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Somerville named Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community

Posted by Brock Parker  October 23, 2013 12:05 PM

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Somerville cycling is climbing the friendliness rankings.

The Washington D.C.-based League of American Cyclists has recognized Somerville this month as a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community for its commitment to creating a bikeable community.

Mayor Joseph Curtatone’s office said in a press release Wednesday that the designation comes two years after the city first earned a bronze level designation from the non-profit organization.

The Silver designation puts Somerville on par with the level of recognition received by cities such as Boston and New York City for promoting bicycling. Cambridge was named a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community earlier this year.

Somerville has installed more than 25 miles of bike lanes and sharrows in the last three years and held a groundbreaking in May for the extension of the Somerville Community Path from Cedar Street to Lowell Street according to the city.

Increasing the bicycle friendliness of the city promotes healthier lifestyles, is kinder to the planet, and brings more customers to local businesses, said Curtatone in a press release about Somerville’s climb in the rankings.

“We have seen the impact of our investments in bicycle infrastructure, with biking up 56 percent over the past two years in Somerville according to our counts,” said Curtatone.

Since 2011, the city has also added more than 200 new bicycle parking spots and in 2012 joined the Hubway bikeshare system and now has 12 docking stations in the city.

According to The League of American Cyclists website, Somerville was one of seven cities in the country to climb from the Bronze to the Silver designation this fall and was the only municipality in Massachusetts to make the jump. The organization has now designated at total of 291 Bicycle Friendly Communities 48 states.

"Somerville is playing a critical part in creating a truly Bicycle Friendly America," said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. "We know Somerville’s investment in bicycling will be returned many times over in the health, environmental, and quality of life benefits of a thriving community.”

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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