Bike Michiana

resources, news, observations and ideas about bicycling in the Michiana area

The year in review – good things cycling in 2010

Posted by Paul Taylor on January 2, 2011

This is the time of year to reflect on accomplishments for the year just ended. Here is a short summary of Michiana good things cycling.

Bike to Work Week saw miles ridden in The Corporate Challenge increase to 26,154 from 16,179 (an increase of 74%). Also the number of teams increased to 119 from 111 (an increase of 7%) and South Bend closed off a street so the Bike Michiana Coalition could host an organic blueberry pancake breakfast.

Bike Michiana for Hospice saw the number of riders increase to 475 from 273 (an increase of 102%). Increases are expected again in 2011 since several new features will be added, including a 200 mile route.

Legislation was a mixed bag. A bill to help protect cyclists was introduced in the Indiana Senate. This was a step in the right direction, even though it never got out of committee.

The Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail saw progress in two areas: Niles opened a new section this fall and South Bend neared final plans on another section to be built in 2011.

South Bend received the Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community award, and activities to get to the Silver level are already underway

Additional routes have been added to the South Bend Bicycle Network. At the end of the year, there were 46 miles of bike routes, including 16 miles of painted bike lanes and 12 miles of separated bike/ped trail. The map is on the South Bend website at http://www.southbendin.gov/doc/CED_BikeMap1010b.pdf

South Bend formed a South Bend Bike Committee, headed by Chris Dressel. The first meeting, made up of several civic, business and government groups, was November 17. This committee, which was one of the recommendations to advance the BFC silver level, plans to meet quarterly

A new Bicycle Signage Committee has been meeting. It is part of a larger effort by South Bend called “Powering the New Economy”. Bicyclists are involved with the signage portion of the project.

The number of Safety Education classes grew. In 2009 there were was one class with 83 students, while in 2010 there were five classes with 338 students. Classes are for elementary students.

The Granger Paths network, when completed. Click the map for a larger view.

Granger Paths took great strides forward, encouraged by their $571,200 federal grant. They received a grant for $146,000 of Safe Routes to School funding and received $26,000 from the Harris Township Board. For more details see the Granger Paths web site.

Pumpkinvine Trail network. Click the map for a larger view.

The Pumpkinvine Trail continued to sprout. Ground was broken for a six mile stretch between Shipshewana and Middlebury. Also wooden fencing was installed by volunteers, along with new plantings of native grasses.For more details see The Pumpkinvine web site.

NIMBA continued to be a leader in mountain biking, holding six successful mountain bike time trails. All this while they continued to develop and maintain area mountain biking trails and hosted a successful bike swap meet.

Bike the Bend was a huge success, registering 1,600 riders who ventured forth on city streets and county roads closed to motorized traffic. The best thing about this event was that it got so many casual riders out on city streets.

I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of newsworthy items. Please feel free to contribute to this post.

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