Cities across the state are striving to create activity-friendly environments by rethinking urban design. Urban design is one of the best ways to combat obesity and health problems that are on the rise due to inactivity.

To give Walker a boost in thinking about how active transportation can play a key role in the community, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Schools and BikeMN  will team up to host a Bikeable Community Workshop May 22, focusing on the tangible benefits of a well-designed “bikeable community.”

WHA, along with the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, is hosting the workshop, which is being facilitated by the Minnesota Department of Health, MnDOT, and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. The workshop will be held at the Country Inn. Community members who are interested in participating can email brianmarcus@whaschools.org

“Bikeable Community Workshops have been powerful tools for building teams and focusing work to move communities quickly on the path to being more liveable and bikeable places to live, work and visit,” said Nick Mason, Deputy Director of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.

The workshop is designed to provide local leaders and planners with technical assistance that may help create a more bikeable environment in Walker. The workshop will identify real-world problems and hands-on solutions. The workshop is designed for local elected officials, public administrators, health officials, transportation planners, and other local stakeholders.

“Walker, and the surrounding Leech Lake Area, is a thriving vacation destination year round, especially during the summer months,” said Brian Marcus, Activities and Community Education director at WHA. “With the countless miles of state trails and bike paths right out our front door, becoming a more bikeable community will be a great asset to our beautiful area.”

Bikeable communities accommodate all types of transportation, including cars and transit, but focus on a safe and convenient environment for pedestrians and bicyclists. People-friendly facilities might include such amenities as bike lanes, safe shoulders, gathering spots, benches, aesthetic landscape design, and traffic- calming roadways.

Bicycling has a proven positive impact on the health of Minnesotans, as well as the economy. Research from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) shows the bicycling industry and bike events in Minnesota generate more than $625 million in economic activity and that those who bicycle commute have 31 percent lower odds of obesity.

About BikeMN

The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) is working to make Minnesota a place where bicycling is easy, safe, and fun for everyone. The mission of BikeMN is to unite and strengthen bicycle advocacy, provide education, and work for a more bicycle friendly Minnesota. Visit www.bikemn.org for more information.

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