Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sanibel celebrates "Gold" Bicycle Friendly Community status and recognizes collective efforts of community

See BikeWalkLee's earlier blog today for the City's Press Release: Sanibel elevated to "Gold" Bicycle Friendly Community Status.  Links to previous BikeWalkLee blog posts that highlight Sanibel's accomplishments since achieving "Silver" BFC status in 2014 are at end of this blog.

 Sanibel Bicycle Club (SBC) members with Councilwoman Holly Smith, Council Liaison to SBC, at today's City of Sanibel''s "Gold" BFC Celebration
City of Sanibel's Celebration

Sanibel Mayor and City Council Members announcing "Gold"
[Members L to R:  Holly Smith, Mayor Kevin Ruane, Vice-Mayor Mick Denham and Chauncey Goss]
The City of Sanibel held a press conference on December 6th to announce and celebrate this "Gold" BFC designation. The event was hosted by Mayor Ruane and City Council members.  In attendance were city staff, representatives from the County's Visitor and Convention Bureau and Department of Recreation, Sanibel community leaders, members of the Sanibel Bicycle Club, a representative from BikeWalkLee, and other members of the public.  In announcing the City's Gold designation, Mayor Ruane applauded the Sanibel Bicycle Club for partnering with the City over the past two decades to enhance the shared use path system and all the related programs and efforts that go into making our community bicycle-friendly. He said these efforts have resulted in Sanibel progressing  from Bronze, to Silver, and now Gold, Bicycle Friendly Status, in eight short years. He also thanked the many other community partners for their efforts, and did a special shout out to BikeWalkLee's Darla Letourneau (Sanibel resident) for her contributions.  Mayor Ruane stated, "To have our collective efforts recognized nationally as one of the nation's premier programs is a source of community pride for Sanibel."
The City provided refreshments, including special cookies designed just for the occasion.  
Celebration Cookies
Celebration Cookies
Congratulations to the City of Sanibel for being elevated to "Gold" Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) status!  Since Sanibel's “Bronze “designation in 2010, then Silver" designation in 2014, the City has continued to improve its Shared Use Path system, enhance its safety, and strengthen its efforts to promote biking and walking as a mode of transportation. BWL especially applauds the community’s safety improvement efforts over the past 4 years.  The City completed a comprehensive intersection and path signage/safety marking review and then updated the traffic control treatments throughout the path network.  Once the City puts the finishing touches on a few remaining intersections, the City's path markings system will be consistent and clear, making it safer for path users as well as drivers. In addition, the community (led by the Sanibel Bicycle Club), underwrote an award-winning "Cycling on Sanibel" video and distributed it widely to broaden the island’s safety education effort.
BWL's Darla Letourneau (R) celebrates today with Mayor Ruane (Center) and Holly Smith (L), City Council Liaison to SBC and lead on Shared Use Path issues
The City's improvements in making Sanibel a bicycle-friendly community have been recognized by the national BFC Program, with a steady progression from Bronze, to Silver, and now Gold.  Being designated as a Gold BFC community further solidifies the City's branding of itself as a "Bikeable/walkable Community".  BikeWalkLee’s dream is for more communities in Lee County to join Sanibel and Cape Coral in achieving “Bicycle Friendly Community” status, so that all of SWFL will someday be bicycle-friendly.
Click here to read about the League of American Bicyclists' Dec. 6th announcement of the 61 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities

Previous BikeWalkLee (BWL) Blog Posts:

BWL Blog 3/4/16: Sanibel’s successful promotion of biking and walking as a way to get around Island provides ideas for other communities
Santiva Chronicle 2/25/16:  Sanibel paths busier than ever...

BWL Blog Dec. 1, 2015: Sanibel City Council Approves Shared Use Path Funds: ‘Stop’ Markings Going Away (Santiva Chronicle Article) 

BikeWalkLee Blog, June 3, 2015: Sanibel Bicycle Club Releases New Bicycle Safety Video

   BikeWalkLeeBlog, November 18, 2014: Sanibel awarded "Silver" Bicycle Friendly Community Status 

BWL Blog 7/24/14: Bikers focus on Sanibel (published in News-Press newspaper)

Report by Darla Letourneau

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