“The key word here is ‘advanced,’” Miller said. “You need to have advanced skills to be riding on these streets without bike lanes. It wouldn’t be recommended for less experienced riders such as children riding their bikes to school or purely recreational, family riders.”
Advanced routes are roads where cyclists are already riding, he said.
Bike routes and lanes, known in transportation speak as “bicycle facilities,” are becoming a bigger part of the city planning process nationwide.
“As we develop bicycle facilities, we are following a national standard,” Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary said. “It’s very well thought through.”
Norman has earned the designation of a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community and would like to maintain or even upgrade that rating.
“It plays into lifestyle and your image in the community and your quality of life,” Miller said.
The designation helps promote the city, making it more attractive for visitors, new businesses and new residents.
Along with more accommodation to cyclists will come more responsibility for cyclists to obey traffic laws. Public education goes hand in hand with making a community safe and bicycle friendly, Miller said. Bicycle lanes can help facilitate that process.
Designating existing bike routes as official bike routes on the map also will allow the city to qualify for federal funding for improving those roads by making projects more competitive, O’Leary said.