Friday, May 15 2009 @ 02:13 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
Several riders, who met at City Hall for a rally this morning to mark the day, said the city has made progress in marking lanes and installing bike racks. They credit Mayor Sheila Dixon, who rides two or three days a week, with starting to transition from an all-car culture.
"There have been a lot of changes," Shoken said. "It's great to have a mayor who rides a bike."
The mayor also did some riding this morning and attended the rally for Bike to Work Day, sponsored by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, a coalition of the region's elected officials. Stephanie Yanovitz, a senior transportation planner for the council, said 1,016 people registered for the ride in Baltimore and five surrounding counties - a record number. About 800 registered last year.
Yanovitz said the group would do a follow-up survey with riders to see how many plan to continue commuting by bike and how their trip today went. The group has information about biking on its Web site, baltometro.org, and has regular riders who can offer advice on routes, riding in traffic and how to handle logistics such as what to do about work clothes.
His advice to new riders: scout a route in your car, incorporating your comfort level with traffic; consider riding just a day or two at first rather than all five work days; keep some work clothes at work so you don't have to carry them; and have a positive attitude. Also, wear bright colored clothes and keep yourself visible. More people get into sticky situations because drivers don't see them, he said.
And, support the cause. "Events like this [Bike to Work Day] increases awareness people are doing this. The city is supporting it, businesses are supporting it. And more and more employers are finding places for people to put their bikes. We're all better off."