Asheville on Bikes wants more people to ride their bike to work, and they have a plan to achieve it.
“We need to fulfill the mission of changing commuters from ‘interested but concerned,’ to ‘enthused and confident,'” said Mike Sule, director of Asheville on Bikes.
Sule presented information at the group’s annual Bike Love fundraiser Feb. 21 culled from Roger Geller, bicycle coordinator for the city of Portland. Geller says there are four types of transportation cyclists — strong and fearless, enthused and confident, interested but concerned, and not able or interested.
Sule said his group has a four part plan for 2015 in order to grow the bicycling community in Asheville. He wrapped up the educational part of the evening at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall.
Teaching urban riding skills through the Cycle Smart Program has already been implemented and is a tool for making people more confident on their bikes on Asheville’s streets. Working with the chamber of commerce and the business community is also key, Sule said, to getting the type of infrastructure that’s beneficial to bikes in Asheville.
“We’re working on building more partnerships in 2015, as well as working with NCDOT and the city to get on street bike parking. You can fit 15 bikes in one car parking space,” he said.
The third initiative is getting a protected bike lane in Asheville.
“We need to have bike safety and bicycling woven into the fabric of everyday life here,” said Sule.
No. 4 is data collection. Solid numbers for bicycling aren’t available, since the NCDOT only counts vehicle traffic. Bike counts and pedestrian counts need to be presented to affect change.
“It’s up to us to supply the data that will lead to more bike friendly policies,” said Sule.