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Get out there and pedal
Commission marks Bike Month with proclamation
new_deh_barton county commission bike pic.JPG
A sign west of Great Bend reminds motorists about bicyclists. The County Commission Monday passed a proclamation marking May as National Bike Month.

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance:

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:

• Approved a proclamation for National Bike Month.

• Approved a proclamation for Mental Health Awareness Month.

• Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz reported on the Kansas County Commissioners Association Annual Conference held this past week in Junction City.

• Heard a departmental update from County Administrator Phil Hathcock.

The bicycle is an economical, healthy, convenient, and environmentally sound form of transportation and an excellent tool for recreation and enjoyment of Barton County’s scenic beauty. 

Thus began the conversation at the Barton County Commission meeting Monday morning as the commission approved a proclamation declaring this as National Bike Month. “Throughout the month of May, the residents of Barton County and its visitors can experience the joys of bicycling through educational programs, races, commuting events, charity events, or by simply getting out and going for a ride,” said Dale Hogg, with the local Be Well Barton County committee. Be Well promotes active transportation and healthy lifestyles, asked to present the Proclamation that names May 2019 as National Bike Month.

In addition, Bike to School Day is Wednesday, May 8, and Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 17.

“Barton County’s road and trail system attracts bicyclists throughout the year, providing for a healthier body for riders and a better economy for all,” Hogg said. “Creating a bicycling-friendly community has been shown to improve citizens’ health, well-being, and quality of life, growing the economy of Barton County, attracting tourism dollars, improving traffic safety, supporting student learning outcomes, and reducing pollution, congestion, and wear and tear on our streets and roads.”

Be Well Barton County, the League of American Bicyclists, schools, parks and recreation departments, police departments, public health districts, hospitals, companies and civic groups will be promoting bicycling during the month of May 2019. These groups promote bicycle tourism year-round and bring visitors to our local restaurants, hotels, retail establishments, and cultural and scenic attractions, he said.

“They also work to foster greater public awareness of bicycle operation and safety education in an effort to reduce collisions, injuries, and fatalities and improve health and safety for everyone,” Hogg said. 

“All residents are urged to enjoy their community from a bicycle seat during Bike Month and throughout the year,” he said. And, “all citizens are reminded to watch for cyclists on the roads and trail systems.” 

There is another component, commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said. Bicycle-friendly communities are better positioned to attract young people and young families.

“They are concerned about quality of life issues,” she said. These are things beyond shopping that make a place more appealing.

And, she said, strides have been made. The county has installed bike-awareness signs along blacktop roads and the cities in the county have implemented policies and practices supporting active transportation.