June 7, 2010

Numbers rising on Bike to Work Day

While the weather conspired against Bike to Work Day on May 21, the future for the event to try out alternative transportation looks bright, according to Jamie Smith, manager of business process analysis, and director of Bike Emory.

About 30 people braved the “lousy” weather this year, including a downpour that came as many would be starting to work. But more compelling, says Smith, is the number of bike trains that signed on this year — 13 compared to a year ago. Had Mother Nature not interfered, Smith guesses there would have been quadruple the normal number of participants — perhaps as many as 200 — arriving on campus on two wheels.

The special day “gets people who don’t normally ride,” says Smith. The hope is for participants to become occasional or regular cyclists on their commute.
Looking ahead, the next organized cycling opportunity is Oct. 20, which is Bike to Campus Day, a distinction that acknowledges students when classes are in session as opposed to the May event, geared mainly to employees.

Smith says talks are being held with DeKalb County on improvements for biking along Clifton Road and he anticipates an announcement relating these in the near future. He’s looking to get the word out about infrastructure improvements in Emory Village that will make walking and biking in that area much more pleasant. A lot of the attention is on the expected retail-restaurant improvements, he notes, but the work will also create a better experience for pedestrians and cyclists.

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