Summit gearing up to discuss Lexington’s bike-friendliness

By Erin Melwing

Lexington will host an all-day bike summit Friday at UK’s Student Center to discuss the city’s future in bicycle policy.

“It is an event to bring together citizens, government agencies, community leaders and ideas toward moving forward to becoming a more bike-friendly city,” said Kenzie Gleason, Lexington’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.

Safety, law enforcement, tourism, health and bike culture will be among the topics community leaders and citizens will discuss at the summit, Gleason said.

“We need to make progress in each of those areas to become a bike-friendly community,” she said.

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry will speak at the event, as will Bob Wiseman, vice president of facilities management at UK, who plans to speak about the university’s bicycle initiatives.

Andy Clark, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, will talk about the advantages of bike-friendly communities and will discuss Lexington’s standing in the process of becoming bike-friendly.

Gleason will also discuss where Lexington currently stands on the issue of bicycling.

“I think Lexington has reached a point where the stars are aligned and where we have a leadership who is interested in seeing these kind of initiatives happen,” Gleason said. “We also have a citizenship who is also very interested in seeing the city become more bike-friendly.”

The summit was modeled after bike summits around the country in cities like Louisville and Portland, Ore., Gleason said.

“Across the country, cities that have had a bike summit have seen it as a catalyzing moment,” said Brad Flowers, bike summit planning committee member and Yellow Bikes in Lexington board member. “Everyone will be able to walk and ride more safely.”

Lexington has already acquired more than $5 million from city and state funding this year to put more trails throughout the community, Gleason said, adding that some of that funding has gone to the creation of four trails that she had already outlined.

About a month ago, Lexington approved the bike and pedestrian master plan, which prioritizes sections of the city, such as the area between UK and downtown, where trail corridors, sidewalks and other things that would benefit pedestrians are needed, said Flowers, who is also the sales manager at Pedal Power.

Short-range plans, such as adding bike lanes to streets being rebuilt, will be determined at the summit. Gleason said she would like to see bike lanes and trails throughout Lexington. That could take up to 20 years, but Gleason said it could be finished sooner.

Students and community members can register for the event at the bike summit Web site ( and arrive between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. Friday to sign in.

The summit will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., closing with a social from 5 to 7 p.m. where people can talk about the events and meet with guest speakers.