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Governor Hickenlooper announces a pledge of $100 million to make Colorado the best state for cycling nationwide.
There were a lot of exciting announcements made at Interbike 2015 last week. New products, exciting technological advancements, innovative new brands entering the industry. But the biggest takeaway on the advocacy front was a speech made by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper at the PeopleForBikes’ Industry Breakfast on September 16th, 2015.
Governor Hickenlooper, the first governor to speak in the thirty-three year history of Interbike, announced the state’s commitment of $100 million USD over the next four years to make Colorado the best state for bike riding across the United States.
The four-year plan and $100 million budget will function by ensuring more people own bikes, as well adding bike lanes, improving driver education, and overall making it safer to ride a bicycle in the state of Colorado.
One thing Colorado has come to be known for is its ranking as the fittest state in the country. With over 5,000 miles of biking trails, as well as biking events like Pedal the Plains and the U.S.A. Pro Challenge, Colorado is well on its way to taking the lead in bicycling in the US. With the addition of this significant monetary commitment, it seems they’re poised to succeed.
As part of their plan, Colorado is aiming to change the way children and adults spend their time and energy, by improving bicycle safety, they’re making recreation and active transportation more accessible than ever.
State agencies such as the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Office of Economic Development are now working with organizations such as the Colorado Pedals Project, Bicycle Colorado, Great Outdoors Colorado and a few more to ensure the $100 million is distributed and spent equitably and effectively.
It seems as though Colorado is on the right track to accomplish its goals and everyone is rightfully excited to see how this initiative will unfold. Now we can only hope that this project will set the minimum standard for other states across the country, and that other Governors will take this announcement as a friendly challenge to themselves to do the same, or better!