Courtesy of Sumter Landing Bicycle Club Imagine a cycling infrastructure utopia. Wide, multi-use paths line every road in every direction. There are no major highways. The speed limit tops out at 25 mph on most streets. Any potential traffic backup is simply the outcome of a massive group ride taking the lane. Sounds pretty ideal. And did we mention no one in this commuter’s paradise ever has to actually go to work? Advertisement – Continue Reading Below This is the unique reality for residents of the Villages in Sumter County, Florida, the first retirement community to be awarded gold-level status from the League of American Bicyclists as a “Bicycle Friendly Community.” The 115,000-population area had been honored at the silver level since 2014. This year, it joined just 30 other U.S. cities, including Minneapolis and San Francisco, at the gold level by excelling at the League’s criteria for bike-friendly communities: education, engineering, enforcement and safety, evaluation and planning, and encouragement. But despite the abundance of bike paths, 900-member bicycle clubs, and year-round mass ridership, making the jump to gold bike-friendly status was no immediate task, according to Diana Mirkin, Chair of The Villages’ Bicycle Friendly Advocacy Council. The community lacked… Read full this story
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