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Scottsdale celebrates bike month, plans more paths

PHOENIX -- Thanks to its 133 miles of bike lanes, Scottsdale has earned the status of "gold-level community" from the League of American Bicyclists.

The national group said Scottsdale has more bike pathways than any other large U.S. city.

"We don't just look at it as a fitness thing or just for transportation, but it's really for quality of life," said Scottsdale Senior Transportation Planner Susan Conklu.

She said the city's recipe for success includes connecting current paths, adding new ones, educating residents about the opportunities and organizing events, like the 9th Annual Cycle the Arts ride on Sunday, April 6, that begins and ends at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. The free, family-friendly ride takes people on a guided seven-mile loop that highlights public artwork.

"I love that people can get on a road bike and do a 30-mile bike ride if they want to or they can jump on a beach cruiser and just ride somewhere for fun," Conklu said.

Staffers are researching ways to make the downtown more bike friendly. Conklu said they're seeing more riders during both day and night.

"We're looking at ways to improve the parking for bikes downtown, so that it's more convenient for those riders to feel welcome," she said. "It's helpful for the businesses, too, if people can get there easier."

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