by Maya Agarwal, ASLA, PLA, Davidson, NC

Maya’s presentation: ―Target Women -> Benefit Everyone; lots of great discussion happening at this event.

Did you know that Ohio‘s Miami Valley region boasts a 330 mile network of paved bike trails? That a cyclist can ride the Little Miami Scenic Trail (a paved rail-to-trail) from Springfield, OH practically to Cincinnati, for approximately 75 miles through southwestern Ohio‘s small towns and farm fields? Who knew! In fact, many if the out-of-state attendees at the at the Miami Valley Cycling Summit in Springfield last week learned alot about the region’s bikeway system.

In its third year, Summit attendance of over 300 was impressive. The theme of the conference was ―Cycling Connects, and the connection among the presentations was the exploration of the many ways that the region can capitalize on its trail system to drive economic development and tourism. I met with many of the region‘s stakeholders; my presentation ―Target Woman -> Benefit Everyone, was successful and got a number of the region’s movers & shakers involved in a great discussion about attracting more women to cycling for recreation and everyday transportation. In bringing the discussion back to the Miami Valley Regional Bike Plan (an Alta project—2008), I encouraged attendees to implement a wide variety of bike facilities that would appeal to the broadest range of women, thus benefiting the widest variety of users.