Bike Michiana Coalition members Pete Colan and Jeff Nixa met with South Bend officials on November 14 to review the process for South Bend’s Bicycle Friendly Community application. Present were Chris Dressel and Mike Divita of community development, city engineer Carl Littrell and public works director Gary Gilot.
The two-part Bicycle Friendly Community application first requires a community to appoint a bicycle/pedestrian coordinator on government staff. Coalition members will draft an ideal ‘job description’ for a bicycle coordinator and forward it back to Dressel et al. for their consideration with Mayor Luecke. Attendees agreed that the application does not require the position be a new hire or a full time position. Thus, an existing city staffer could be appointed to a (25%) position as bike coordinator while retaining his/her existing responsibilities.
The application requires a great deal of demonstrated cooperation between bike groups and city officials on the “5 E’s” of Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation/planning. Yet South Bend has already made significant steps in this direction. For example, although South Bend does not have an official Bicycle Master Plan as required by the application, a number of city documents such as the City Plan already address general bicycle priorities, infrastructure, education. The group will review these existing documents to assemble a more coherent master plan for the application process.