Onalaska, a small west-central Wisconsin city, recently earned a bronze-level Bike Friendly Community Award from the League of American Bicyclists.
The award was the culmination of work begun in 2010 when the city’s planning department applied for the bike friendly designation and started meeting the extensive criteria, according to the Onalaska-Holmen Courier-Life newspaper.
Over the past four years, Onalaska has passed a Complete Streets policy, which requires bicycle facilities to be incorporated in new road projects, hired a licensed cycling instructor, improved its Safe Routes to School program as well as made many improvements to bike paths, lanes and signage.
There are now a dozen Wisconsin communities with Bike Friendly status: Madison (gold level), La Crosse (silver) and bronze awardees Milwaukee, Fitchburg, Stevens Point, River Falls, Sturgeon Bay, Appleton, Eau Claire, Shorewood and Sheboygan County. The league also recognizes bike friendly businesses and ranks states by similar criteria.