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Dixon seeks to be bike-friendly

Two new racks dedicated, more are in the works

DIXON – Shane Miller hopes two bike racks at the Heritage Crossing are just the beginning of a more biker-friendly environment in the city.

Three more bike racks are expected to be added along Hennepin Avenue in Dixon, near Alley Loop Saloon, Books on First and Dion’s Barbershop.

Miller is a member of the Rock River Valley Bicycle Club, which donated the bike racks to “kick-start” a citywide initiative to add bike racks at public attractions, businesses and industries.

The club spent about $1,440 on materials and the city’s public works department made the racks.

The club approached the city with the idea of placing more bike racks downtown, and chose the locations, said Amanda Bradshaw, administrative assistant at City Hall.

Officials, including Ed Barsotti, executive director of the League of Illinois Bicyclists, dedicated the bike racks Monday.

Barsotti said there is an attraction to Dixon for bicyclists, if the city wishes to take advantage of it.

“Bike racks are a sign that bicyclists are welcome here,” Barsotti said. “That’s an important part of attracting visitors to your community. ... To bicyclists from Chicago and the suburbs, the beautiful country roads here are heaven.”

Mayor Jim Burke said Monday that he would like to see Dixon become “the most friendly biking and walking city in Illinois.”

While Dixon has bike trails at Lowell Park and The Meadows park, officials at the dedication mentioned biker safety, biking lanes and more trails as steps toward reaching Burke’s goal.

“It was encouraging to hear that message [Monday] from the city,” said B.J. Fenwick, secretary of Rock River Valley Bicycle Club. “It sounds like they are dedicated to working with the bicycle community. That’s a giant step.”

Any business interested in having its own bike rack is encouraged to call City Hall at 815-288-1485.

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