Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Biking in Action

Over the last week, there have been several opportunities to talk about how bikes can play a role in our local communities. It has been pretty exciting to present these ideas to different groups and have a series of dialogues that will continue to influence how folks experience moving around the Upstate. Since it's been so much fun, I wanted to share these experiences.

There's been an increase in demand for parking in downtown Central, SC. On Monday, I briefly spoke to the Town of Central's Town Council about how bike racks can help alleviate that (great!) problem. Bike racks are a cost-effective way to establish a downtown (or any business, school or place) as a destination. One of the biggest barriers to having folks use their bike is the lack of safe, secure parking at either end of the trip. Install bike racks, and one major barrier is removed. Communities can continue to drive folks downtown by increasing accessibility beyond just having parking spaces for cars. Why not include parking spaces for bikes, too? Bike racks can compliment parking.

Earlier that same day I gave an informal presentation about how bikes are influencing the urban landscape to an architecture class at Clemson University. Talking about how putting in bike lanes, paths and bike racks create opportunities for more people to get out and have fun on a bike with a group of students was fun. The students had some engaging questions and shared a lot of good thoughts and ideas.

On Wednesday I gave a presentation on the bike plan at Clemson during the semester's first Sustainability Cafe'. There was some good discussion about what else is going on related to bikes on campus. Folks wanted to know if bike share was being considered, where are the preferred and not-so-appropriate places to park bikes and shared their experiences of bike riding. The Cafe' is a good place in academia for a cross-pollination of ideas. It provides exposure to ideas across disciplines. 

Later this month Clemson University will host a Sustainability Week. Please check out the website for more information. There will be opportunities related to bikes during the fair. Watch out for or check into the possibilities of a bike ride, bike tune ups and a 'bike' table at the Sustainability Fair on Friday from 11a - 2p.

It's been a fun to talk to the different groups, and I always look forward to talking about bikes with others. Look for ways and places to become a part of the conversation. Take part in whatever ways you can and put biking into action.

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