Friday, May 4, 2012

GSB Launches "Go By Bike" Campaign

In celebration of National Bike Month, and to promote National Bike to Work Week, GSB has launched its "Go by Bike" campaign.  If you drive on Capitol Drive, you'll  see the large 14' x 6' banner we've erected just west of the OLT/Capitol Drive Bridge, which says "Join the Movement, Go by Bike".  This is part of our mission, to encourage folks (as they are able) to leave their cars at home, and instead use their bikes to get to work, to get to stores, and for exercise and pleasure.  Thanks very much to our local business sponsors on this project:  Alterra Coffee, Rainbow Jersey Bicycles, PNC Bank, The Three Lions Pub, The City Market, North Star American Bistro, Design Group Three, CYGA cycling & yoga.  When you're in one of those fine establishments this month, mention you saw the banner with their name on it, and thank them.

Why is more biking in Shorewood and the surrounding area a good thing?  Because: 

  1. Biking helps:

    • to promote healthier kids;
    • to contribute to adult physical fitness;
    • to promote strong families;
    • to get kids outdoors;
    • to increase kids’ independence and levels of self-reliance;
    • to decrease traffic congestion;
    • to reduce pollution;
    • to reduce demand for foreign oil;
    • to save money;
    • to reduce demand for motor vehicle parking spaces;
    • to lower stress;
    • to reduce depression;
    • to decrease obesity;
    • to fight heart disease;
    • to fight cancer;
    • to fight stroke;
    • to fight the growing diabetes epidemic;
    • to decrease rates of smoking;
    • to raise property values; and
    • to decrease crime.  (See websites like www.bikesbelong.org or www.1world2wheels.org for more details and full citations to the numerous research studies that show the benefits that bicycles provide to individuals, kids, families and communities.) 

  2. Being designated and known as a Bicycle Friendly Community ("BFC") helps Shorewood publicize what a wonderful, vibrant, healthy place Shorewood is to live, play, work and locate a business. Being such a place, and convincing others that Shorewood is such a place, helps us to retain and attract residents, employers and businesses. Educated, creative and talented people theses days tend to seek out communities where there is more biking, that have good bike infrastructure, and that are bicycle friendly.
  3. Bike-wise, Shorewood already has a lot going for it already:
    • Geographically, situated as it is between Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River and with a relatively flat terrain, Shorewood is one of the best places to bike in Wisconsin, if not the World (and we're modest too);
    • Little Shorewood (roughly only a mile square in area) has 5.7 miles of paved bike paths total (2.3 miles of bike/pedestrian trails, and 3.4 miles of marked on-road bike paths), plus roughly 1 mile of unpaved informal single track bike paths along the river – an extraordinary number of miles of bike paths for a village of our size;
    • Shorewood has recently made an important investment in improving its bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure through the construction of a new and popular bicycle and pedestrian bridge across Capitol Drive;
    • Over 2 miles of the beautiful Oak Leaf Trail—one of the World’s best bike paths (did we mention we're modest?)—travels through Shorewood;
    • The Oak Leaf Trail and Lake Drive, coupled with the Village’s close proximity to downtown Milwaukee, makes Shorewood an ideal place to locate one’s family, if one wants easy access to great schools/neighborhoods, yet still to work in downtown Milwaukee;
    • The Village borders the campus of a major world class university (we're with you on this Chancelor Lovell), which makes Shorewood a highly convenient place for students, employees and faculty of the University to live, and then bike to UWM. 
    • The Village’s intelligent design and compact size make it possible to bike with relative ease to schools, grocery stores, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, bike shops, flower stores, houses-of-worship, gyms, pools, beaches, parks, places-of-employment and just about anyplace one wants or needs to go in the Village; and
    • Shorewood has the densest population level of any municipality in Wisconsin, and that density is both a blessing (you're never far from where you need to go), and a challenge (parking can sometimes be hard to find)—bicycling fits very well into the Shorewood environment.
    • Shorewood is the home to some great bike-related events, including the June 21st  Shorewood Criterium Cycling Classic Race, the June 16th  “Shorewood First Ride” Program, the annual Estabrook Park Cyclocross Tournament, and our Fourth of July Parade (which prominently features cyclists and future cyclists of all ages).
We know the above and the banner is probably not going to result in Capitol Drive tomorrow suddenly becoming a bike boulevard.  But we do hope the banner and the above will move the needle a little, and encourage more people, more of the time, to leave their cars at home, and get on their wonderful, trusty bikes instead.  Join the Movement, Go by Bike!  (Kahuna)

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