Organization seeks to create official bike path - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Organization seeks to create official bike path

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 by Isa Baza

Guam - Not only has running taken off in recent years, but cycling has, as well.  In fact, both sports face the same problems of a lack in suitable infrastructure. iBike is a grassroots cycling organization that has taken this issue into its own hands.

Chairman Tom Renfro told KUAM News, "We have this big project called the Central Bike Route 58 and the central bike route basically goes from Dededo, past Micro Mall, all the way down Tumon, to the hospital circle, over to Marine Drive and then down all the way to Adelup." Last year iBike implemented over 85 sharrows - or shared bike and car lanes - along this route. It did all of this independent of government support, relying on volunteers and contributions from the community.

Although Guam has a law mandating the implementation of bike lanes with all new road construction, the Department of Public Works struggles to actually implement this because of the increased costs associated with implementing the lanes. However Renfro says iBike will continue to work towards creating a usable central bike route, and currently has plans for what he calls the route's crowning jewel.

"The crowning jewel of the entire central bike route would be this three mile stretch along the ocean, which would be a standalone bike path, similar to what Saipan has had for over, I believe over a decade," he explained.

The standalone bike path would span from East Agana all the way to adelup. Renfro says he has spoken to both Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio and several senators regarding the issue. While all seemed sympathetic to the cause, some concerns included pedestrians as well as funding. "The government as far as I know already owns most 90% of that land," Renfro said. "It would take quite a big grant to do it right, and that would of course take some grant money, but there is that money available."

In fact, iBike has identified several grants which could be used to fund the project, including a safe pathways to school grant and scenic byways grant. However, Renfro said to get the momentum for this project going, it needs greater community and government support, noting, "We would need to sit down with the L.T. and maybe some of these senators and maybe have a roundtable."

Expertise and collaboration from Government of Guam grantwriters and decisionmakers could be all that is needed to bring this project to fruition. 
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