At South Bend’s ‘State of the City’ address, Mayor Luecke listed the top 10 accomplishments, challenges, and reasons for optimism. Biking made the top 10 list of ‘accomplishments’, as well as the top 10 list of ‘reasons for optimism’.
Mayor Luecke said “with 80 percent federal funding, we completed the extension of Riverside Trail along the St. Joseph River to the city limits.” The new section was about 1.7 miles. The mayor went on to say “This popular 3.2-mile trail, from Angela to Darden, has some of the most scenic vistas in South Bend.” Indeed it does; this multi-use trail is second to none.
Another accomplishment in making neighborhoods inviting was the completion of trail at the other end of the riverwalk system. According to Luecke, the city has “extended Northside Trail from Twyckenham Bridge through the IU South Bend campus almost to Ironwood Drive.” He added that the city is “developing plans for the final mile to connect to Logan Street, near Mishawaka’s trail system.”
Luecke went on to say “We have completed more than 10 miles of walkway along the St. Joseph River. City Plan promoted a citywide system of bicycle routes. We are making great progress on creating that bike path system. Since 2007 we have completed 35 miles of trails, marked bike lanes and signed “Share the Road” segments, including more than a dozen miles last year. This is 70 percent toward the goal of 50 miles by 2012. We have had great support and advocacy from our bicycle community to make it easier and safer for residents to choose to travel by bike.”
Reasons for Optimism.
Luecke made the first public announcement of a major event to take place this spring in St. Joseph County, South Bend, Mishawaka and Notre Dame. The event is Bike the Bend. The mayor said “On Sunday, May 23, bicyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in the first Bike the Bend”. This is a noncompetitive recreational ride through the streets and trails of Michiana. He explained that “The 30-mile route highlights our beautiful riverwalks, convenient bike lanes and scenic neighborhoods. The Louise Addicott and Georgina Joshi Foundation is sponsoring the ride to help promote our area’s assets. Local bicycle groups are providing logistical support. Registration begins later this month at BikeTheBend.com”. One of the local bicycle groups providing support is the Bike Michiana Coalition.