If you haven’t noticed, our neighbors on the west end of the Metro Valley are continuing to push for more infrastructure for bikes and while it’s no Portland or Boulder, it’s probably safe to say Huntington is already one of the leading cities for bikes in West Virginia.
In the last few weeks, the city added “sharrows” on a portion of 10th Street between 11th Avenue and Harris Park. While a small and simple step, the sharrows create a designated north-south bike route through the center of the city past the Amtrak station and Pullman Square to connect Ritter Park and Harris Park.
Huntington also has the well-known and growing Paul Ambrose Trail for Health (PATH) and a separated bike lane on 4th Avenue downtown (a sparse sight in the state). It’s also erected signs informing drivers of West Virginia’s “three-foot law” for passing bikes.
The River City has non-infrastructure bike resources, too, including a regular “critical mass” ride and other groups (see this page on the “Try This WV” website).
There’s been investment by private business as well. Huntington Cycle & Sport recently installed one of, if not the first, public “Cycle Aid Station” in the region in front of the business’ 10th Street shop.
A privately-operated bike share program has also been trying to get off the ground, though with little success so far.
Despite all the two-wheeled momentum in Huntington, the city wasn’t listed in the League of American Bicyclist’s “bicycle friendly communities” list for 2014, though the city may not have applied for an award (Morgantown was West Virginia’s only ranked city last year).
I’ve put in a message to Huntington’s spokesman to see if the city plans to apply for a “bicycle-friendly community” award this year.
Meanwhile, Charleston is working toward developing a master bike plan and an early draft of recommendations was presented last week.
The Capital City is also planning to construct the Kanawha Boulevard bike lanes this year, though the city had initially said the lanes would be finished in 2014.