Sommer Roefaro, a public lands transportation scholar with the Federal Land Management Agency, worked on the application for the Bicycle Friendly Community application to the League of American Bicyclists. Moab and Grand County recently received silver level recognition. [Travis Holtby/ Moab Sun News]

Moab and Grand County were recently named a Silver level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

“We are inspired when we see places like Grand County and Moab City making bicycling safer and more convenient,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We know that investment will be returned many times over in the health, environmental, transportation, and quality of life benefits of a thriving, attractive community.”

Recent significant bicycling achievements for Moab and Grand County include the near completion of the North Moab Recreation Alternative Transportation System and connecting trails, the building of 75-plus miles of single track trails, extensions of the Mill Creek Pathway and the Bike Park, and formation of the Trail Mix and Moab Trails Alliance.

There are now 259 Bicycle Friendly Communities in 47 states in the United States. The Silver level award recognizes Moab and Grand County’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.

More than 500 communities have applied for recognition of a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. There are five levels of recognition: platinum, diamond, gold, silver and bronze.

“It makes sense that Moab would be a great candidate for being a Bicycle Friendly Community since we draw the world here,” said David Olsen, Moab’s community development director.

Olsen completed the application with the city’s planning director Jeff Reinhart and Sommer Roefaro, a public lands transportation scholar with the Bureau of Land Management who has been working in Moab for the past year. Trail Mix, a local advisory committee on non-motorized trail issues, and the Moab Trails Alliance also helped in crafting the application.

The League of American Bicyclists has been running the Bicycle Friendly Communities program for the past 10 years in an effort to encourage communities to improve their level of bike-friendliness.

Deciding to combine Moab and Grand County in the same application was a very conscious move, Roefaro said. Her view is that the areas bicycle system should be as much about creating alternative transportation opportunities for locals as it is about improving recreation.