LIMA — The Allen County courthouse is finally getting a bike rack.
“We’ve tried for years to get a bike rack at the courthouse,” Shelly Miller, Creating Health Communities program coordinator, said. “For us, it’s a big accomplishment because it’s a place that’s been identified for many years.”
For those who drive regularly, bike racks are often seen as just another piece of the urban landscape, but for bicyclists, they’re a welcoming addition to well-frequented areas that give riders a safe place to store their vehicles.
Miller said Allen County Public Health has helped place close to 50 bike racks throughout the county often at places of businesses, parks, apartment complexes and public buildings. Once a place is identified, she’ll also work with organizations asking for bike racks to provide education to future bike riders.
The goal of the program is to encourage healthier lifestyles and increase physical activity throughout communities. The county receives roughly $100,000 toward that goal passed down through the Ohio Department of Health.
Lima is one of 19 communities in Ohio designated as a “bike friendly community” by the League of American Bicyclists. The city, however, ranks at the League’s lowest level of “bronze”.
Despite efforts to making biking more accessible, only 0.3% of commuters use bikes to get to and from work, and the number of crashes per the number of commuters remains comparatively high. The crash rate measured by the League for Lima sits at close to 42% for commuters.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Miller said.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.