County signs on with city to seek bike-friendly designation

Grand County has joined the city of Moab to co-sign an application to designate the area a Bicycle Friendly Community.

The Grand County Council voted unanimously last month to seek that title from the League of American Bicyclists. The Moab City Council approved the plan on Feb. 12.

Sommer Roefaro, a public lands transportation scholar with the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center, has been working with the Bureau of Land Management the National Park Service and city and county officials to spearhead the local effort.

The league promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and as a way to reduce pollution.

Roefaro said the application process is “rigorous” and fewer than half of the cities that apply are accepted.

The designation could bring in extra tourism money, Roefaro added, because the city and county can tout themselves as bicycle friendly in marketing promotions.

Aspen, Colo.; Breckenridge, Colo.; and Jackson, Wyo., are all about the same size as Moab and have been rated as bicycle friendly, Roefaro said.

County council chairman Gene Ciarus said the county “would be wise” to apply along with the city, but he cautioned against promoting the area for just one recreational pursuit.

“I don’t want us to be just a biking community,” he said.

Applications are judged on five criteria. Those include having an infrastructure that supports bicycling, education programs to ensure safety, incentive and promotions to inspire people to ride, laws that make sure cyclists and motorists are accountable, and having a way to measure results and plan for the future.

ByBy Steve Kadel

Staff Writer