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Farmington recognized for efforts to become bicycle friendly
National organization presents city with honorable mention award
FARMINGTON — A nonprofit organization that advocates for bicycle education and safety has recognized the city of Farmington for beginning efforts to address the needs of bicyclists in the community.
Earlier this week, the League of American Bicyclists announced it had awarded Farmington an honorable mention in its Bicycle Friendly America program's Bicycle Friendly Community initiative.
The city worked with organizations like San Juan County Partnership, a community action agency, to submit the application. Another application can be submitted in February for the spring awards. The League of American Bicyclists presents the awards twice a year.
Patience Williams, the healthy kids and healthy communities coordinator for San Juan County Partnership, described the honorable mention award as an "awesome high five" recognizing Farmington's efforts to improve the bicycle community.
"I'm very excited," she said. "I know Farmington's been working very hard."
Williams said once local organizers receive the report card from League of American Bicyclists, the people who worked on the application will evaluate areas that the city could improve upon or things the city has in place that may not have been included in the initial application.
The goal is to have the city move up to becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community with a bronze ranking. If it continues to apply, Farmington could receive improved rankings including bronze, silver, gold, platinum or diamond Bicycle Friendly Community status.
While Farmington could apply for the awards again in February, Williams said it likely will wait and implement changes prior to applying again. The honorable mention status is awarded for a year.
City public works director David Sypher said the city is continuing to work to improve bicycle infrastructure in Farmington.
Sypher said the city has a bicycle plan. The city and other entities within the Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, a regional transportation planning organization made up of representatives from local governments, recently worked on a Complete Streets plan. The Complete Streets concept looks at how to make roads safer for various modes of transportation, including bicycles, pedestrians and equestrian enthusiasts.
When designing new roads or doing work on existing roads, the city has considered whether a bike lane can be added to the road.
Sypher highlighted the Foothills Drive enhancement project as an example of the city's work to become more bike friendly. The project includes a 10-foot-wide multiple-use path that bicyclists, equestrians or pedestrians can use.
He said in other parts of Farmington, the city has created 5-foot-wide bike lanes.
"You'll see more and more of those," he said.
Farmington is in the process of completing a street inventory, which will help the city identify which roads can have safe bicycle lanes added to them without reducing the space for vehicles.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.