Location: Missouri

Celebrating Columbia's Bicycling Mayor

At the recently-completed National Bike Summit, the League of American Bicyclists presented Columbia, Missouri Mayor Darwin Hindman with a Lifetime Achievement Award:

Darwin HindmanIf there is a symbol that could summarize Mayor Darwin Hindman’s impact on Columbia, it might be a bicycle.

Hindman pushed for the creation of the cross-state Katy Trail State Park, and he worked closely with Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., to secure more than $22 million in federal grant money to make the city more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, to name just a few of his accomplishments.

GetAbout Columbia Director Ted Curtis said Hindman has been an incredible influence on the city. “He’s been instrumental in bringing programs on board. He believes in the process. He walks the walk. That type of leadership is important.”

The effects of Hindman’s efforts go beyond striped lanes and bike racks.

Sarah Ashman, manager of Walt’s Bicycle Fitness and Wilderness Co., said that in recent years there have been more customers who say they use bicycles to commute as opposed to recreation. She bases this on increased bicycle sales and the increased sale of bike accessories such as luggage racks, pannier bags and rain gear.

Hindman “has certainly changed the culture of cycling in Columbia,” she said. “Cycling in general is on the increase.” [ read more ]

After five terms as Columbia’s mayor, Hindman is retiring in April, and there is concern that some of the momentum for cycling in Columbia, which culminated with Columbia being recognized as a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community last year, may be lost.

According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, Curtis isn’t worried. He said the momentum in GetAbout projects is well established, adding that it is the city’s program, not just the mayor’s. Even if a future city council puts less emphasis on non-motorized projects, Hindman said he will continue to promote biking, walking and good health. “I do intend to practice the active living and join the others who push for it.”

See also: Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation, KCBike.info, Leadership for Healthy Communities, Parade Magazine, Wikipedia, The age of Hindman.

Congratulations, Mayor Hindman! Well done.

Photo courtesy of MoBikeFed via flickr.

About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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