A goal of more biking

Published 7:37 am Sunday, May 10, 2015

May is rolling along with activity in the Vision 2020 Bike/Walk Trails Committee. All the events and campaigns are designed to support long-term goals for promoting multi-modal transportation in Austin.

The goals of the Bike/Walk Trails Committee to complete by the year 2020 are:

• Austin is connected with Shooting Star and Blazing Star regional trails.

•50 percent increased use of trails from 2012 baseline.

•100 percent increase in students biking to school at six Austin schools from 2013 baseline.

•15 percent reduction in number of accidents involving a bicyclist injury from 2012 baseline.

•25 percent increase in helmet usage on trails from 2012 baseline.

•Austin attains bike friendly status from the League of American Cyclists.

To learn more about our goals and help us reach these outcomes, please consider attending the meetings of the Bike/Walk Trails Committee on the fourth Tuesday of the month at noon at the Town Center conference room. The next meeting is May 26. (More at www.vision2020austin.com.)

To encourage trail use, we are promoting Bike/Walk to School and Bike/Walk to Work Day on Friday, May 15. Thank you to employers Mayo Clinic Health System – Albert Lea and Austin, the city of Austin, and Mower County for encouraging your employees to bike or walk to work. Ask your employer to support Bike/Walk to Work day with incentives like casual dress for those who bike or walk to work.

Why bike or walk for your daily commute?

Physical activity boosts your health, conserves natural resources and reduces carbon footprint, reduces traffic congestion and pollution, and it offers a chance to connect as a community.

Fun!

To participate, simply make plans to commute by human power to your work place or school on May 15. Give it a try to see what you think.

To reduce bicyclist injuries and promote helmet use, we are co-hosting Bike Safety Day from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 17 at Lions Park.

With partners YMCA of Austin, Austin Police Department, Gold Cross Ambulance, Rydjor Bike Shop, Mayo Clinic Health System -Albert Lea and Austin, Southern Minnesota Bike Club and Mower Refreshed, we offer this free activity fair. Come to learn about bike safety and healthy living. Bring your bike for a safety check and to try the bike safety course.

You will also have the opportunity to be custom fitted for a high-quality bike helmet for a $5 co-pay for kids or $10 co-pay for adults. The wholesale costs of the helmets are $25 to $28. Donations by Rydjor Bike Shop, the Hormel Foundation, Mayo Clinic Health System and the Southern Minnesota Bike Club help us make the helmets available to families in need for the low $5 and $10 co-pays. Please help us spread the word so that families in need can ride safely this summer. If your family is able to afford to purchase helmets, please consider patronizing Rydjor Bike Shop. We appreciate their partnership and generosity in the community.

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Mark your calendar: Summer Kickoff with free live music and kids activities in downtown Austin starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 29 Watch for more information.