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Local

Batavia seeking bike-friendly designation

BATAVIA – Batavia Bicycle Commission Chairman John Gamble wants bicyclists to know they are welcome in Batavia.

The commission wants the Washington, D.C.-based League of American Bicyclists to designate Batavia as a “bicycle-friendly community.” Only a few communities in Illinois have the designation, including Chicago, Evanston, Naperville, Schaumburg and Urbana.

“We have to have the city’s approval to proceed with an bike-friendly application,” Gamble told aldermen Monday.

The designation provides incentives, hands-on assistance and award recognition for communities that actively support bicycling.

Since its inception in 2009, the Batavia Bicycle Commission has worked to promote bicycling in the city and make the city a safer place to ride. The commission was formed to implement the city’s comprehensive bike plan, which was approved by the City Council in 2007.

Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said he wants to see Batavia designated as a bicycle-friendly community.

“We are the only community in central Kane County where the bike trail is on both sides of the Fox River,” Schielke said. “I think it is imperative that the City Council grab ahold of this idea.”

Sixth Ward Alderman Robert Liva also spoke in favor of the idea. To be included in the next review cycle, the Batavia Bicycle Commission must submit a bicycle-friendly community application by Feb. 26.

“I am 100 percent behind this,” Liva said.

The Batavia City Council is set to discuss the issue at its Dec. 17 meeting.

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