The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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July 30, 2013

Ways to make Clinton more bike friendly eyed

CLINTON — Several hundred people access Clinton by using a bicycle, but with more cyclist-friendly amenities some feel that number could reach into the thousands.

The city of Clinton and Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau officials are considering ways to make the city more bike friendly, such as creating a map of bicycle trails throughout the city.

River Bend Bike Club President Mary Moore estimated there are several hundred cyclists in Clinton, but there could be more if the city would close the gap of bike-friendliness that separates Clinton from other cities.

“Going from somewhere that is very bike friendly to somewhere that is not as bike friendly is kind of a shock,” Moore said .”This attracts young people. This attracts business. It has to be the city leaders connecting those dots.”

According to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition’s report on the economic and health benefits of cycling, recreational cyclists have a $364.8 million annual direct and indirect economic impact on the state.

To tap into some of those dollars, not to mention the numerous health benefits biking boasts, city leaders are talking about creating a bike trail map that could cater to different types of cyclists, such as families, avid riders and people looking to tour historic parts of the community.

“It’s something that appeals to all kinds of people and it’s also really on trend. There are lots of communities embracing it,” CVB Director Carrie Donaire said. “If there are several hundred bikers around the area we could easily attract several thousand.”

But to leverage that many visitors by way of bike, the city would need more than just a map of where the trails are, Donaire asserted. It would require placing the maps online and making them interactive or tying the maps to different events, restaurants and businesses in Clinton.

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