ctnow.com/opinion/hc-ed-bike-friendly-south-windsor-20121123,0,970513.story

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EDITORIAL

'Bicycle Friendly' Designation Gives Towns A Leg Up

Pedal Power: South Windsor is state's second bicycle-friendly community

7:36 PM EST, November 23, 2012

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On a recent Saturday, bicyclists from Simsbury, the state's first Bicycle Friendly Community, rode over to South Windsor to pass a symbolic torch to the second town to win the designation. Good for South Windsor — and why aren't more communities trying for this distinction?

The bicycle-friendly designation is awarded by the Washington, D.C.-based League of American Bicyclists to communities — as well as businesses, colleges and entire states — that create a safe environment for cycling and encourage people to bike for transportation and recreation.

Communities must apply for the designation and show effort in such areas as bicycling infrastructure, education, enforcement and planning. The awards are given at four tiers: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Both Simsbury and South Windsor broke in at the bronze level (as did Yale University), and officials say they want to move up.

Good, and other towns should follow their lead. Is there another activity that saves energy, cuts pollution, eases traffic congestion, fights obesity and is also fun? Also, active people want to live in bike-friendly communities, which is good for property values and economic development.

It's crazy that many people have to drive to find a decent place to bike or walk. Let's make the whole state bike-friendly.