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Mon November 8, 2010
City of Las Cruces Working To Become Bicycle Friendly
By Vanessa Dabovich
Las Cruces, NM – The city's Bicycle Friendly Task Force is applying nationally in February to be considered as a "bicycle friendly community." The Bicycle Friendly Community Program or BFC provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities that actively support bicycling.
The city applied back in 2005 and received honorable mention, then applied again in 2008, but didn't receive any designation that year.
The city hopes that designation will change. This year, the City has added 8.4 miles of bike lanes, and is working with local cycling groups to improve community education and enforcement of laws for both cyclists and motorists.
Lack of safety for bicyclists has been a recent concern following the death of local bicyclist, Ricardo Duarte on Valley Drive in October. City planner Andy Hume says the city has developed a prioritized bicycle plan for the region, but it still faces some challenges.
Hume-"That plan is formulated in much the same way as the roadway plan where we try to create an arterial system of routes and fill that in with other tiers of routes. So we have these three tiers of routes for not only in road bike facilities, but for proposed trail facilities and so on. The issue at this point in time is because there is not a dedicated funding source there is really no telling how those facilities will get implemented or when they will get implemented."
The city also plans to develop a courtesy card system to ease the community into the laws and regulations for cyclists and motorists. For a map of bicycle facilities in and around the City visit las-cruces.org.