Tucson reaching for platinum bike friendly rating

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Tucson area is pedaling toward platinum. The covetted rating describes a community that is bike friendly.  But there's always room for improvement.

The Old Pueblo already has the gold.

Monday the League of American Bicyclists declared the Old Pueblo as exceptionally bike friendly.  But the group thinks Tucson has platinum potential.

It turns out, bicycling advocates and city planners have a prime source of inspiration right in front of them, the University of Arizona.

The U of A was honored for having a bike friendly campus.  Just within the last year the school has started using bike valet stations.

The university also boasts a bike share program and a bike kiosk that will now be open three days a week to provide information and perform minor bike repairs.

"We have residence halls, we have eateries, we have classrooms, we have transportatikon corridors and making sure that all of that is integrated to facilitate the movement of people and in this case the movement of people with bicycles," said University of Arizona President Robert Shelton.

The U of A now has a silver ranking.

At least one cycling group has an idea to get more tucsonans on two wheels.

"If we could start providing a lot more education programs that get women and children and elderly populations out on bikes that's going to start to generate the demand for facilities," said Emily Yetman from the Living Street Alliance.

According to the League of American Cyclists, one of the best cycling cities is Madison, Wisconsin.  The city has asked it's citizens to use a bike for a quarter of all their daily trips.