Carlisle Borough is looking for community input as it seeks certification as a Bike Friendly Community through the League of American Bicyclists.
“I have wanted us to apply for some official designations for a while now because for the last 10 years we have invested so much time and resources to become a more bike-friendly community, but we often forget to get the official designation that proves it,” Councilwoman Brenda Landis said in an email.
Landis is leading the application process that evaluates the borough’s engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation efforts as it relates to promoting cycling.
The application includes a public survey designed to provide local context and perspective for the league as it reviews the application process. That survey can be found online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/app_BFC_FA19.
The survey, which takes 10-15 minutes to complete, seeks comments not only from borough residents but also from those who live in neighboring municipalities or who have other connections with the borough.
According to the league’s website, more than 1,500 applications have been processed. There are now 464 recognized Bicycle Friendly Communities nationwide and nearly 100 Honorable Mention communities.
“Dickinson College already had a gold level award as a Bicycle Friendly University, and Camp Hill has a bronze level award for a Bicycle Friendly Community, so this would be another great award for Cumberland County’s effort to promote the whole county as bike friendly,” Landis wrote.
The application wasn’t just a borough effort, Landis said. Bicycle South Central PA, Cumberland Valley Rail Trail, LifeCycle and Cumberland Youth Cycling Development, which sponsors the Carlisle Area Composite Racing team, assisted with the application, and the Carlisle Area School District offered information on its educational initiatives.
Landis said the “comprehensive assessment” required the work of a number of staff members, particularly those from the parks and recreation, public works and planning departments, as well as the Carlisle Borough Police Department and the borough manager’s office.
The designation can be an asset for the borough as it applies for grants related to multimodal transportation, recreation and other community investments in the future, Landis said. The designation could also draw residents to the borough, she said.
“When folks are looking for places to visit or move to that have an active biking community, this designation can help visitors take a second look at Carlisle when it might not have otherwise been on their radar,” Landis said.
Landis is also looking at having the borough designated as a “Place for Bikes,” through the organization “People for Bikes.” That application opens in September. The race team is applying for a grant through the same organization as part of its fundraising for the installation of a pump track in Valley Meadows Park.