A “Share the Road” sign is in the foreground as Tuscaloosa resident Tim Crumly rides along Sanders Ferry Road in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday. Tuscaloosa received an honorable mention as a Bicycle Friendly Community.
By Ashley Boyd Staff Writer
Published: Friday, July 16, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 10:55 p.m.
TUSCALOOSA | Advocates say cycling in Tuscaloosa is only getting better.
Planned bicycle projects
The bicycling component of the Tuscaloosa Area 2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan proposes about 200 bicycle projects in Tuscaloosa County. Projects under way include the construction of sidewalks at area schools, the pedestrian and cycling component of the city’s Riverwalk plan and the proposed McWright’s Ferry Road extension.
With experience hosting large events such as the Tour de Tuscaloosa and the USAT Triathlon Elite National Championships, the city is becoming better known as a friendly place for bicycles. The city’s recent “honorable mention” by the League of American Bicyclists as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” reflects an effort to make the city even friendlier for people on two wheels.
“Tuscaloosa is really a beautiful place to ride,” said Charlie Walbach, a member of the Druid City Bicycle Club. “The terrain is great. You can ride north of the river and be in hilly terrain or south of the river, and it’s fairly flat. You don’t realize it, but Tuscaloosa is a scenic community.”
The League of American Bicyclists’ campaign to identify bike-friendly communities provides incentives, assistance and award recognition for communities that actively support cycling. Cities that apply for such a designation are judged in five categories, including a city’s engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation and planning efforts.
Tuscaloosa applied for the designation, saying it had made significant strides to improve bicycle facilities, implement new trails and encourage more people to bicycle in the community. Tuscaloosa wasn’t selected, but the league gave it an honorable mention and praised the city’s progress.