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Edwardsville presented with ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’ award

It’s official: The City of Edwardsville is a “Bicycle Friendly Community.”

The League of American Bicyclists announced Wednesday, Dec. 14, that Edwardsville has earned a Bicycle Friendly Community award at the bronze level. The City moved up from last year’s honorable mention ranking and is among 32 U.S. cities to earn the designation this year.

The Bicycle Friendly Community awards reflect local leaders’ ongoing work to build better places to bike and to evaluate those efforts with equity and accessibility in mind, the League of American Bicyclists said.

“We are grateful for the hard work and commitment of City staff, residents and others to help us earn this award,” Mayor Art Risavy said. “This is only the beginning, though. We are committed to continuing down this path to ensure everyone can safely and easily get where they want to go whether on foot, bike or other means.”

To earn an award, applicants must meet specific criteria, including providing a cycling network; educating about cycling safety; enacting ordinances and policies to promote it and enforcing those; encouraging cycling through events; and evaluating the community’s efforts, such as through a comprehensive plan and an advisory committee. The designation is in effect for four years; the City can apply for renewal in 2026.

“We already knew Edwardsville was a bike-friendly city, but I’m thrilled that we are formally receiving this designation,” said Ward 4 Alderman SJ Morrison. “I want to thank Mayor Risavy and my fellow council members for supporting bike/ped initiatives, the City’s Public Works staff for all of their efforts, and the volunteer residents who serve on the Edwardsville Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Achieving this goal has been a team effort!”

In 2021, the City created a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to evaluate and advise on matters pertaining to pedestrian and cyclist accessibility in Edwardsville. In August, the Edwardsville City Council approved a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan that was crafted with public input to identify related improvements and priorities.

The League of American Bicyclists also incorporated public input into its decision-making process through a survey available for several weeks this fall.

Edwardsville is home to more than 20 miles of off-road trails and 10 miles of on-street bicycle accommodations. Many of these are owned, managed and operated by Madison County Transit, but the City also is in the process of adding three miles of new off-road trails that will connect with the MCT network.

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