Press release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Second annual bike summit May 8 puts spotlight on bicycles as transportation
Free event features workshops, keynote speaker, vendor expo, bike rides
Spinning forward with efforts to make the community more bicycle friendly, the City of Fort Wayne will host its second annual bike summit Saturday, May 8. The free event will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the Allen County Public Library downtown with an optional post-summit bike ride.
The sessions are designed for everyone, from beginning cyclists to those who bike year-round.
A free vendor exhibit open to summit attendees and library patrons will be in the library’s Great Hall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All summit participants will also receive a free “Ride Your Drive” t-shirt.
This year’s event will feature Chicago-area cycling advocate Randy Neufeld, SRAM Cycling Fund director, as the keynote speaker. He will present examples from other cities that have had success in increasing bicycle use. He will also offer solutions for expanding cycling opportunities here in Fort Wayne. Neufeld is coming courtesy of Summit City Bicycles and Fitness and Trek Bicycles.
With input from the public, including information gathered during last year’s summit and from the 4,000-plus responses to the 2008 bike-use survey, the City’s planning department has drafted the Bike Fort Wayne plan. It is proposed as an amendment to Plan-it Allen, the joint City-County comprehensive land-use and development plan. For more information about the bike plan, visit .
“Our new bike lanes, bright-green bike racks downtown and the signed bike route demonstrate my firm commitment to a more bicycle-friendly Fort Wayne,” saidÂ Mayor Tom Henry. “Bicycles are great transportation, but we still live in a car-centric world. To promote the use of bicycles, we must build the quality community infrastructure that welcomes them along with vehicles, pedestrians and transit. The bonuses are many: cleaner air, energy savings, healthier citizens and a city more attractive to new investments, jobs and economic growth.”
Summit attendees can choose up to two workshops from the four offered during the morning. The 45-minute breakout sessions will start at 10:25 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. The topics are:
- Share the Road: There’s room on Fort Wayne’s streets for bicycles and vehicles. Each has responsibilities. This session will provide tips for drivers and cyclists alike to safely share local roadways.
- Bikes as Transportation: With about 40 percent of urban trips within two miles of home, bikes can be a great alternative to a car or truck. Learn from people who successfully “ride their drive” in Fort Wayne about the necessary gear and mindset.
- Grassroots Advocacy: Bicyclists have a unique perspective on the need for improved and additional active transportation infrastructure such as trails, bike lanes and sidewalks. This panel will discuss ways for cyclists to talk to legislators and other decision makers about how policy and funding decisions shape Fort Wayne’s and Indiana’s ability to be bicycle friendly.
- Bike Fort Wayne Plan and Fort Wayne Trails In-depth: Following the presentations in the first half of the summit, City staff will provide details on the City’s proposed bike plan, accenting its network, outreach and legislative components. Current and future trail construction plans will also be detailed.
The workshop sponsors are the Ronald G. Repka Foundation Inc., Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot, Carson Boxberger Attorneys and the Downtown Improvement District.
“Last year’s summit concentrated on listening to cyclists and finding out their desired destinations,” Mayor Henry noted. “We used that information to better plan connectivity and infrastructure, and to develop â€˜share the road’ strategies to educate both drivers and cyclists. This year, the summit is all about making bicycles a viable transportation option throughout Fort Wayne. The time is right.”
At 1 p.m. Three Rivers Velo Sport will offer a 30-minute, family-friendly bike ride on downtown streets and the Rivergreenway. For those interested in a longer ride, cyclists can continue with an extended tour of Fort Wayne for another 90 minutes. Helmets are required for the free rides.
Summit attendees can participate in as much or as little of the summit as they choose. Due to limited capacity at the library, the summit will be first come, first served.
Companies or organizations with a focus on bicycling, fitness, health or active transportation can participate in the free vendor expo. Contact Amy Hartzog at 427-6228 for more information.