Ian Thomas wins Missouri Friend of Bicycle and Walking award

Monday, April 8, 2013 | 12:49 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Fourth Ward councilman Ian Thomas was among the 14 recipients of an award from the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation.

The Missouri Friend of Bicycle and Walking Award honors Missouri residents who have promoted bicycling and walking in their communities, across the state and nationwide.

“It is very nice to be recognized for your work,” Thomas said.

Thomas is a co-founder of Columbia’s PedNet Coalition, an advocacy group dedicated to promoting healthy, sustainable modes of transportation. PedNet advocates for the creation of a safe network of paths and trails, a comprehensive streets policy and encourages walking and cycling.

The nonprofit organization also started Columbia's Walking School Bus program and participated in the implementation of the $25 million GetAbout Columbia federal Nonmotorized Pilot Project.

After 13 years as an executive director of PedNet, Thomas stepped down and won the election for the Fourth Ward City Council seatin Columbia.

His next goal as Fourth Ward councilman is to improve Columbia’s bus system, he said.

"We're very pleased to honor these outstanding Missourians, who have made a difference in their communities," said Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation Executive Director Brent Hugh in a news release. "Ian is the best of the best — a hard working citizen who has worked from the ground up to bring about real, positive change in his community."

The awards ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday under the rotunda of the Capitol in Jefferson City.

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.

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