Sat, April 04

Verde Valley a little more bike-friendly

The Verde Valley took a couple of steps toward becoming a little more bike-friendly in October. Both the City of Cottonwood and the Arizona Department of Transportation carried out long-awaited measures that bicycle advocates have been working toward for years.

On Oct. 9, Cottonwood's City Council, led by Mayor Diane Joens, approved the city's moving forward with a bike plan. The new plan will include the four basic elements that advocates say are necessary to improve the cycling environment in Cottonwood: Education, Engineering, Encouragement and Enforcement.

A bike plan is necessary for any community to take steps in the direction necessary to become a League of American Bicyclists recognized Bicycle-Friendly Community, as well as getting ADOT to include shareable facilities in its right-of-ways. For more information on the Cottonwood Bike Plan, contact planner Wes Ballew at

On Oct. 21, the Verde Valley Cyclists, in conjunction with the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists held a Road 1 class in Cottonwood, taught by Phoenix couple Radar and Sharon Matt. The pair are League Cycling Instructors, as certified by the League of American Bicyclists. Attendees included Daniel Paduchowski, president of the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition.

Also in October, ADOT placed "Share the Road" signs on State Route 89A over Mingus Mountain. "It's great to see these signs - they're definitely a step in the right direction towards making this a bicycle-friendly area," said Zoomer's Bike & Gear shop manager Patrick Wiatrolik.

The next step will be signing and marking bike lanes throughout Cottonwood, as well as educating cyclists & motorists regarding bike safety.

Reported by Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Northern Region Representative Randy Victory.

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