By Craig Schill
Since early 2012, BikeErie has been devoted to the promoting and spreading of all forms of cycling, as well as equality for bicyclists. The Bike Erie Coalition was created with support from the Erie County Department of Health, as a result of an increased popularity of bicycling in Erie. Bike Erie supports and encourages transportation via bicycle as both enjoyable and healthy for the individual, and environmentally-friendly.
Two major objectives of Bike Erie are to create bike paths on or near every major roadway in the area and to install bike racks at many public locations to encourage residents to use bicycling as a means of travel.
Making businesses more bike-friendly benefits everyone involved: employers, employees, visitors, customers, and the greater Erie community as a whole. Bike Erie has set an organizational goal of adding at least an additional four bicycle friendly businesses within Erie each year. They're seeking the economic support of employers to encourage employees to travel by bicycle. To encourage biking for recreation, they're also focusing upon increasing bicycle tourism to strengthen the local economy and environment at the same time.
There are many advantages to creating a bicycling friendly facility, some of which include:
Better health (coupled with lower costs of health care) for employees
Decrease in days missed by workers caused by transportation troubles
increased worker motivation and morale
Virtually no parking costs
Increase in business from cyclists brought in by safe bike racks
On top of goals for infrastructure, Bike Erie also works to improve education on bicycle safety and awareness, for both cyclists and motorists alike, making Erie a safer place to get out and enjoy your bike. Their website includes all of the information one might expect: information on new laws relating to bicycling on roadways as well as educational guides and videos about bike safety. The site also features some of the helpful tips and considerations that might not so readily come to mind, such as: how to load your bicycle onto an EMTA bus, what to do if you're involved in an accident while cycling, how to report bike theft, and much more.