‘Bikeable Community’ event will take place at Downtown Square

    Leaders in cities across Minnesota, Crookston among them, are striving to create activity-friendly environments by rethinking urban design. Urban design is one of the best ways to combat obesity and health problems that are on the rise due to inactivity.

     To give Crookston a boost in thinking about how active transportation can play a key role in the community, the City of Crookston, Bike Crookston, Polk County Public Health, and Crookston Chamber of Commerce will team up to host a Bikeable Community Workshop on Tuesday, June 20, focusing on the tangible benefits of a well-designed “bikeable community.”

    "Bikeable Community Workshops have been powerful tools for building teams and focusing work to move communities quickly on the path to being more liveable and bikeable places to live, work and visit,” said Nick Mason, deputy director of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.

     The workshop is designed to provide local leaders and planners with technical assistance that may help create a more bikeable environment in Crookston. The workshop will identify real-world problems and hands-on solutions. The workshop is designed for local elected officials, public administrators, health officials, transportation planners, and other local stakeholders. Media is invited to attend and take photos during the outdoor on-bike segment or the classroom segment of the day.

     “Crookston Community Bike Advocates are excited to welcome BikeMN to help us improve the bike friendliness in the city,” said City Administrator Shannon Stassen.

    Bikeable communities accommodate all types of transportation, including cars and transit, but focus on a safe and convenient environment for pedestrians and bicyclists. People-friendly facilities might include such amenities as bike lanes, safe shoulders, gathering spots, benches, aesthetic landscape design, and traffic- calming roadways. In Crookston, as part of a discussion about modifying the “road diet” on the downtown arteries, Main and Broadway, City leaders and the Minnesota Department of Transportation are exploring the feasibility of reducing the two streets from three traffic lanes to two, and then adding a bicycle lane.

    Bicycling has a proven positive impact on the health of Minnesotans, as well as the economy.  Research from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) shows the bicycling industry and bike events in Minnesota generate more than $625 million in economic activity and that those who bicycle commute have 31 percent lower odds of obesity.

    The City of Crookston is hosting the workshop, which is being facilitated by the Minnesota Department of Health, MnDOT, and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. The workshop will be held in at the Downtown Square.