LIMA — The city of Lima is getting recognition for its efforts to encourage bicycle traffic.
On Wednesday, the city was named a bronze-level bicycle friendly city by the League of American Bicyclists. Reading from the official notificaction from the league, city Engineer Kirk Niemeyer said the league has been working for more than 100 years to promote the benefits of bicycling.
“The program emphasizes that bicycling is a simple solution to many of the challenges we face in our country,” he said. “As Lima residents know well, bicycling is about mobility, sustainability, health and so much more. Bicycle friendly communities are great places to live, work and visit.”
The honor was given after a collaborative effort between the Engineer’s Office, Activate Allen County, Allen County Public Health and the Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission, among others. Factors that went into receiving the designation included the Ottawa River Bike Path, shared bicycle lanes on several Lima streets and bike safety education efforts such as bike rodeos held by the Lima Police Department as well as education at Safety City.
“It was a big application, but we got it in, and we got it in on time,” Niemeyer said. “The league was impressed with many of the city’s efforts to make it a bicycle friendly community. There are no communities in Ohio that have higher than a bronze level.”
Josh Unterbrink of Activate Allen County also credited Niemeyer’s efforts to foster a bicycle friendly atmosphere in the community.
“He did a lot of work to put this together,” he said. “It’s really something that is great for Lima. We have a lot of work to keep doing to hopefully get up to that silver level.”
Lima Mayor David Berger said Niemeyer himself exemplifies the benefits of bicycling.
“It should be noted that Kirk models that behavior because he rides his bike to work every day,” he said. “It really demonstrates that this is not just for leisure, but also for important transporation purposes.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.