Memphian honored by White House for bike lanes

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man behind the city’s bike lane initiative will be recognized by the White House next week.

Kyle Wagenschutz heads to Washington  on Tuesday to be recognized as a transportation leader as part of the White House’s Champions of Change program.

Since Wagenschutz became Memphis’ bicycle and pedestrian program manager in 2010, the city has greatly expanded its bike and pedestrian routes to now more than 200 miles of bike lines, trails and neighborhood routes. And that number is expected to go up — more than 140 miles of new bike paths are in the works.

Daily bike usage is also going up, and the rate of crashes is declining.

“I’m grateful and humbled at being recognized by the White House with this honor,” Wagenschutz said in a statement. “Not only are the improved conditions for biking and walking in Memphis generating positive outcomes for our residents, but now Memphis stands at the forefront of innovative design, project delivery and programming setting an example for others to use.”

Wagenschutz is one of 11 people from across the country being recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

His work has also helped give Memphis the honor of being named the “Most-Improved City for Cycling” by Bicycling magazine and a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists in 2015.

Mayor A C Wharton said Wagenschutz is “making Memphis a role model for other cities to follow when developing their own biking and walking programs.”