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Editorial: Bike-friendly efforts are worthwhile

Making a suburban city like Rosemount or Farmington friendly to bikers and walkers takes a bit of retrofitting. Cities outside the urban core simply were not built with non-motorized transportation in mind. They were built for cars, and over the years people have gotten used to driving the few miles to the grocery store or to dinner or to a movie.

That’s not to say it’s impossible to bike in the suburbs. Farmington and Rosemount both have good networks of trails for people who want to stay in town, and they connect to roads with good shoulders and light traffic for people looking to go farther.

Rosemount in particular has made it a priority in recent years to become friendlier to non-motorized transportation. The city has added bike lanes and installed directional signs bikers can use to find the places they want to go. They are adding an underpass to make it easier and safer to cross Highway 3 and they are making plans to add decorative seating areas in several areas along the city’s trail networks.

All of that helps. So will the bike-skills class the city will offer early next month. Because even though biking is easy enough that it’s the go-to example for things you never forget, it can be nerve-wracking at times to try to ride in traffic.

Anything that makes people more comfortable on a bike makes them more likely to choose two wheels over four. It gets people pedaling to dinner instead of driving. It connects them to their city and it helps them stay healthier.

Farmington and Rosemount were not built from the ground up with bikes in mind, but that doesn’t mean bikes don’t work here. It might take a little extra work, but we believe it’s worth the effort.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606