It's a first! Don't miss out on the fun.
The Montpelier Area Mountain Bike Association Presents
TAKE A KID MOUNTAIN BIKING IN HUBBARD PARK
Sunday, August 3rd
Sunday, August 24th
Saturday, September 13th
Saturday, October 4th
Children of all ages are welcome to join in the
fun for any and all of these FREE, family-fun
Volunteers will lead beginner and intermediate
groups starting from the NEW SHELTER at
9:30am and 11:00am on designated routes.
Parents are encouraged to join!
Trail etiquette, safe riding techniques and
other educational components will precede
and be integrated into each ride.
Post and pre-ride snacks are generously
provided thanks to Hunger Mountain Coop!
NOTICE: Some of the trails utilized for this event are
not normally open to bikers. Please be mindful of trail
designations and respect all other park users, wildlife
and the natural environment.
Complete information regarding the event and route
maps can be found at www.bikemamba.org
MAMBA would like to thank the Montpelier Parks Commission for permission to hold this special event series!
Friday, July 25, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2014
Hello Local Cyclists and Advocates,
We are well underway with the bike and pedestrian master plan process for Montpelier. A public work session will focus on identifying the existing conditions (and problems) for cycling and walking here. More info below.
Bill Merrylees, Montpelier Bike Advisory Committee, 522-4913
Montpelier is sponsoring the first of several public work sessions leading towards the completion of a pedestrian and bicycle master plan for the City.
Come learn about existing walking and bicycling conditions in the City, talk about the issues and let the City know what you think the pedestrian and bicycle plan should address or include.
To view an existing conditions report about walking and bicycling in Montpelier, please visit the Broadreach Planning & Design website: www.broadreachpd.com and go to Projects/Currentand then Montpelier in Motion. Information will be available after .
To leave comments about the project, please email Broadreach Planning & Design
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Saturday, July 12, 2014
April 29, 2013
Pat Brown was just hoping to hang on in a tough economy. When she relocated her art gallery in 2008, it was the rock-bottom rent that drew her to a still struggling strip of downtown Memphis, TN. “We were just trying to survive,” she said.
Brown was betting on a small core of community members determined to transform Broad Avenue from a fast-moving thoroughfare, where traffic whizzed past boarded-up storefronts at 50 mph (80 km/h), into a bustling arts district. Little did she know that they would hit the jackpot with bicycling.
Shortly after Brown opened T Clifton Gallery, Sarah Newstok walked in. The local nonprofit Newstok led, Livable Memphis, had a vision for Broad Avenue, too. They wanted to build a protected bike lane that would pass right by Brown’s door, creating a vital connection between a popular multi-use trail and the city’s largest park. “We’re a retail business, so any time there’s a concept to bring additional traffic directly by your storefront, it’s very easy to say ‘yes,’” Brown recalled with a laugh.
In 2010, after garnering support from city officials and surrounding businesses, Livable Memphis and the Broad Avenue Arts District rolled out the idea in a dramatic way. They painted temporary bike lanes and crosswalks and invited the community to “A New Face for an Old Broad,” a celebration, complete with live music, street vendors and a kids’ bike parade down the freshly striped cycle track.
“Until then, the area had been doing art walks once a year and, at best, those were bringing in 1,000 people,” Brown said. “Our goal for this day-and-a-half event, where the street itself would be a sort of theatrical performance, was maybe 5,000 people. We had 15,000 show up. The energy level was incredible. It was a huge tipping point for us – it changed the trajectory of the revitalization efforts.”
The energy didn’t wane once the event was over and bicyclists started taking advantage of the temporary lanes. Since then, the promise of permanent facilities has drawn more than $6 million in private investment. More than 15 new businesses have opened and nearly 30 properties have been renovated. Traffic has slowed, new customers are arriving on two wheels and, suddenly the rock-bottom neighborhood is one of the hottest spots in town.
Memphis isn’t the only city where bicycling is bringing business. Increasingly leaders in the public and private sector are realizing that being bike-friendly makes good business sense, boosting the bottom line and promoting community-wide economic development. Bicycling in the United States is a $6 billion national industry and one study estimates that the spillover effects of recreational bicycling alone could be as large as $133 billion. But that’s just the beginning, barely scratching the surface of the economic impact of transportation bicycling in communities across North America.
Uncovering the Spending Power of Customers on Bicycles
Tom Birchard’s business sits at the intersection of two busy bike routes in the city that never sleeps. During the morning and evening commute, people pour past his restaurant, Veselka, in New York City, NY.
“It’s a steady stream of cyclists coming down the Second Avenue bike lane heading for the bridges to Brooklyn or downtown,” he said. “And the Ninth Street lane is the same going east-west – particularly in the morning.”
For Birchard, those bike lanes offer a tempting preview for potential customers. Passersby aren’t speeding by at 40 miles per hour; they’re traveling at a pace where they can be enticed by the sight and scent of fresh pierogies on the plates of patrons in the sidewalk café. “For me,” Birchard said, “bikes mean business.”
In the minds of many business owners, though, there’s still a direct correlation between cars and customers. Too often, the opposition to bicycle infrastructure is led by retailers who believe ample car parking space is critical to their customer base. But that belief could be depriving businesses of their best potential patrons: cyclists.
Just this summer, the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives did a travel study in Birchard’s neighborhood, the Lower East Side. They found that only a tiny fraction – just four percent – of customers arrived by car. In contrast, 23 percent arrived by bike. A study of travel patterns in the city center of Utrecht in the Netherlands showed similar results: customers on bikes significantly outnumbered those in cars (26 versus 17 percent). Even individual businesses are taking stock of how customers get to their door. The East End Food Co-Op in Vancouver, BC, conducted a survey that showed that 24 percent of its patrons usually pedaled to the store – more than the number of people who drove.
That’s good news, because a growing body of research shows that people who arrive on two wheels have a bigger impact on the bottom line, too. Recent research out of Portland, OR, showed that cycling customers spent more per month ($75.66) than their car-driving counterparts ($68.56) at bars, restaurants and convenience stores. A 2009 study of Bloor Street in Toronto, ON, found that customers who arrive by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month.
Why do people who arrive on bicycles spend more money? Researchers in Muenster, Germany, suggest that because bicyclists buy smaller quantities and thus shop more frequently, they’re “exposed more often to temptation” – more likely to get extra items that aren’t on the shopping list. So it’s not surprising that a survey of 1,200 consumers in Bern, Switzerland, found that businesses made more profit per square meter of bike parking ($9,900 per year) than car parking ($8,800).
For Birchard getting more bike parking is more than an amenity for bicyclists – it’s a business imperative. “Across the street from me, the coffee shop put in a bike corral, and it’s always full,” he said. “We need many, many more.”
How Businesses Are Cashing In on Bicycles
Jeff Motch wasn’t trying to cater to fellow bike riders when he put a bike in the logo of his business, the Blind Lady Ale House. But as soon as he opened his restaurant in San Diego, CA, his clientele started asking: So what’s the connection to biking?
“Bicycle people were attracted to our place, even though it wasn’t intentional,” Motch said of the logo. “And when you tap into a small, core group like that, word spreads very quickly.”
Motch started offering a 10 percent discount for anyone who arrived by bike and built a large and loyal fan base faster than you can brew a batch of pale ale. On Sunday mornings, Blind Lady is the meeting spot for social rides, like the annual Growler Run, which takes participants to a local brewery. Now, on any given weekend, Motch’s place is packed – and a sizable percentage of patrons are cyclists. “I have 20 or 30 bikes outside my place on a Friday night,” he said.
Increasingly, businesses across the country are trying to tap into the spending power of cyclists. In 2008, the League of American Bicyclists launched its Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) program, setting clear criteria for how employers can encourage cycling among their staff and customers and recognizing companies at the Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum level for their achievements. From small coffee shops to major corporations, a staggering 480 businesses in the US have earned a BFB designation. Hundreds more have applied.
“Even we couldn’t have expected the incredible interest and buy-in we’ve seen in just a few short years,” says Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “Some of the most iconic companies in the country – Facebook, Apple, and General Mills, to name a few – are realizing bikes can boost their bottom line.”
Standing Stone Brewery, in Ashland, OR, is just one of the hundreds of BFBs that have made small bike investments and seen big payoffs. “Working with the City of Ashland to trade a car parking space for bike parking spaces has definitely led to more business,” says manager Danielle Amarotico. “While we paid to fabricate and install the rack, it’s set the stage for customers to realize that we’re bike-friendly and have gone the extra mile to promote cycling in our community.”
Because that rack sits right in front of the restaurant, it’s become a central hub for community bike parking in all of downtown. And that external welcome is just the beginning. Standing Stone also buys a new bike for all of its employees and financially supports local cycling events. “That exposure brings large numbers of locals and visitors in our doors,” Amarotico added.
For Motch, though, it isn’t just about revenue. It’s about making his work meaningful. “What’s been so awesome for us is [being bike-friendly] brings us the kind of person we want coming through our door,” he says. “People who are active – not just active in their lifestyle, but active in their community.”
That sense of engagement has become a draw for new businesses in bicycle-friendly areas. “I never thought I’d leave San Francisco to move back to my hometown; it’s too car-centric for my taste,” said April Economides, the owner of Green Octopus Consulting. “But mine is just one of 25 businesses that have moved to, opened, or expanded in Long Beach in the past three years because of the city’s bicycling progress.”
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