City earns ‘bike-friendly’ designation
The city of Venice has yet another feather in its cap: official designation as a bicycle-friendly community.
Bicycle enthusiast and Parks & Recreation Advisory Board Member Monty Andrews, who’s been pursuing the idea for several years, wasn’t available to take the credit but his fingerprints are all over the effort.
The designation is from the League of American Bicyclists.
Venice joins 39 elite cities and counties nationwide as a “Silver” bike-friendly community. Nationwide, there are three platinum members, 16 gold members and dozens of bronze-designated cities.
The bicycle-friendly designation program provides incentives, hands-on assistance and recognition for communities that actively support bicycling, according to the LAB website.
The League named 24 new communities recently, and renewed the status of another 25.
Communities are judged on how well the city accommodates cyclists on public roads and multiuse paths; safety education programs that teach motorists how to share the road safely with cyclists; how well the community promotes cycling; and how its bicycling rules are enforced.
Key was the city’s recent development of a Bicycle Patrol, placing bicycles on a number of police patrol vehicles.
The designation comes as Venice prepares to host the Rev3 Triathlon later this month that is guaranteed to attract national attention.
Venice has doubled its efforts to promote the event in hopes of bolstering the city’s image as a vacation destination spot. The city’s Economic Development Advisory Board, chaired by Candice Roberts, is taking the lead in promoting and organizing the event.
The county is in the process of repaving key sections of the bicycle trail portion of the triathlon.
The city’s Venetian Waterway Park, developed by Venice Area Beautification Inc. and assisted by city and county government, has a world class, 10-mile trail to bicycle or walk on each side of the Intracoastal Waterway. It connects to the Legacy Trail at the Historic Venice Train Depot, 301 E. Venice Ave, tying into its 12-mile bike-friendly path.