Archived Story

Bike, pedestrian subcommittee to be selected

Published 11:39am Monday, November 25, 2013

The Fergus Falls Planning Commission will look to appoint members to a bicycle and pedestrian subcommittee at its meeting Monday.

The bicycle and pedestrian subcommittee is being formed following a recommendation from the League of American Bicyclists. The Fergus Falls Bicycle Friendly Community Application Committee applied earlier this year for Bicycle Friendly Community status but found out it didn’t qualify. The subcommittee was one of more than 40 recommendations offered to Fergus Falls to try and improve cycling in the community.

The subcommittee will be made up of five voting members and one non-voting member (a representative from the planning commission). Those on the list for appointment to the subcommittee of the planning commission include Patrick Hollister, Erik Johnson, Jake Krohn and Dave Sanderson. Kayla Rossiter is slated as the non-voting member. That still leaves room for one more voting member of the subcommittee. Anyone interested in joining should contact Gordon Hydukovich, community development director, at 332-5427.

However, the members of the subcommittee are up to the planning commission. Nothing will be official until it votes on the selection at its meeting Monday.

Once the subcommittee members are officially appointed, they will meet some time in December to determine when exactly it wants to meet during 2014.

One of the main tasks of the subcommittee will be to advise the planning commission on agenda items that affect or have a relevance to cyclists and pedestrians.

“That is actually part of the reason why we’re thinking about the timing of our own meetings,” Hollister said.

Though it’s yet to be determined, a good time to meet might be the second Monday of each month at noon, since the planning commission meets the second and fourth Mondays monthly, according to Hollister. That way, the subcommittee would meet between when the planning commission agenda would come out and its meeting.

It would give the subcommittee a chance to make a recommendation to the planning commission right away.

“Another purpose is to help the city apply for and hopefully, eventually, achieve official bicycle friendly community status,” Hollister said.

The subcommittee may also come up with ideas on its own to bring to the planning commission as well. They might also take into account ideas, complaints or concerns from residents regarding particular sidewalks or intersections.

“I think that our subcommittee could serve as a sounding board for that issue,” Hollister said.

Having an official committee that meets frequently is critical to build public support for bicycle improvements, and it creates a systematic method for ongoing citizen input into the development of important policies, plans and projects, according to the BFC feedback report from the League of American Bicyclists to Fergus Falls.

“We’re excited to get going,” Hollister said. “And to help Fergus Falls become a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly community.”

The Fergus Falls Planning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the City Hall Council Chambers.

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