City employee promotes bicycles as alternative mode of transportationMunicipal bike planners are generally the last civil servant to be featured in the pages of the local newspaper. Cops? Yes. Fire Fighters? Yes. Coroner? Yes. Bike planners? Hah! Here's an extensive conversation with bike enthusiast who happens to be the bike coordinator for Fort Collins, Colorado. A position created as a result of advocacy by local cyclists.
Q: When was this position created and why is it important?
A: This position was created in late 2005... Local bicyclists raised their concerns toward city leaders on the necessity of having a person on city staff to encourage and plan for the inclusion of bicycling in the Fort Collins community.
City leaders listened to their concerns by creating a part-time bicycle coordinator position. I filled the part-time bicycle coordinator position in March 2006 and since then have entered full-time status. This position is important for several reasons. Bicycling is an environmentally-friendly and healthy way to get around the city. It decreases an individual's carbon footprint and eliminates one less car in traffic. Apart from the sheer fun of it, bicycling is also a great way to wake up in the morning before work and a great way to decompress after work. Bicycling allows a person to be in the elements; to feel the wind and sun on your face and body, and to smell the air of the changing seasons.
People need to be reminded on the benefits of bicycling. A healthy bike culture also has economic advantages. People seek bicycle friendly communities in which to reside, and employers want to relocate their businesses to cities where employees can engage in healthy lifestyles. Tourism is also significant. Bicycling is a great way to see Fort Collins and the fact that we have world class bike riding in the region also helps. (Read more.)
Image: The Coloradoan. Dave 'DK' Kemp, Fort Collins Bicycle Coordinator
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site