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City is honored for bicycling initiatives

September 15, 2011

The city of Hagerstown received national recognition Sept. 14 for its efforts to continue to make Hagerstown a bicycle-friendly community.

The League of American Bicyclists named Hagerstown an Honorable Mention Bicycle Friendly Community during its fall awards announcements.

"This is great news," said Mike Mittel, chairman of the city of Hagerstown's Bicycle Advisory Committee and owner of Hub City Cycles. "In such a short time, the city has mapped out a thorough plan to create an environment that is truly bicycle-friendly. It's really encouraging that initiatives like our bike routes, bike maps and bike racks are already being recognized."

Hagerstown joins a group of communities that have applied for and received awards. The total number of committees recognized through the League of American Bicyclists has reached 190 in 46 states.

The awards recognize a community's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. The awards are handed out in levels including platinum, gold, silver, bronze and honorable mention. Hagerstown will have the opportunity to reapply next year for a higher designation.

Hagerstown's committee was created last June and the group has worked along with city staff to put new initiatives into effect, including the creation of the "Take a Bike Ride in Hagerstown" map.

Since 2009, 4 1/2 miles of bicycle lanes have been created throughout the city, and the committee has new projects in the works.

For more information, go to http://hagerstownmd.org/Engineering/BikePlan.asp. You also may pick up printed copies of the city's bike map at City Hall or the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

To apply or learn more about the free committee program, go to bikeleague.org/community.

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