Chandler among best U.S. bike cities

By Matthew Garcia

The city of Chandler has been honored for its efforts toward achieving a bicycle friendly community.

The League of American Bicyclists has designated Chandler a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community.

Chandler is one of only 29 communities around the country to attain the bronze-level designation and one of 44 nationally to be recognized for its bicycle-friendly attributes.

Chandler joins Arizona communities Mesa and Gilbert, also bronze-level honorees, and Tempe and Tucson, recognized as silver-level communities.

Mike Normand, planning manager for the Chandler Transportation Services Department, said Chandler supports bicycling as a form of transportation and recreation.

“We want to encourage alternative modes of transportation to help ease traffic congestion and air pollution,” Normand said.

Normand said the League of American Bicyclists, which strives to represent the nation’s 57 million bicyclists, awarded Chandler the designation based on a rigorous application process.

The league considered Chandler’s 100 miles of bike lanes and another 13 miles of bike paths.

Also, the city requires all newly or reconstructed arterial streets to be marked with bike lanes.

League officials were especially impressed with the city’s sponsorship of bike restoration projects, according to Normand.

The city of Chandler collects discarded bicycles from water canals and restores them for the community’s economically disadvantaged members.

Andy Clarke, executive director of the League, said a community designated as bicycle friendly has demonstrated the will to create a better and more livable environment for its citizens.

The League designation is a four-level ladder: Bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

Thus far, no American community has reached the platinum level.

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