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Denver, CO, June 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Each year, thousands of commuters from across the region register for Bike to Work Day. This year, the event, presented by Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), is expected to attract more than 35,000 participants on Wednesday, June 26, making it the second largest event of its kind in the country. Now in its 29th year, it’s an integral part of a broader strategy to highlight support for what is now the fastest growing mode of transportation in the region.
The Denver region is expected to grow from just over 3 million to around 4 million people in the next 20 years, and it’s estimated that time spent sitting in traffic each year will increase from 66 hours to 104 hours by 2040. DRCOG’s Way to Go program encourages people to get out of their single-occupant vehicles and opt for biking, transit, and other modes of transportation to reduce congestion on our roadways and improve air quality. Biking especially offers the added benefits of escaping traffic, improving personal health and garnering financial savings.
The primary purpose of Bike to Work Day is to introduce people to biking in a supportive and fun environment. Participants will have a great experience, and when they see how easy it is, they are more likely to continue biking at least part of the time in the future. In fact, a 2018 event follow-up survey showed that 51 percent of first-time Bike to Work Day riders reported that they were motivated to commute to work by bicycle more often.
“We love the fact that we’ll introduce 15,000 people to bike commuting in one day, and we’re able to show that many of them will continue biking more often,” said Douglas W. Rex, DRCOG’s executive director. ”Both the images and statistics really help us tell the story when decision makers sit down to consider transportation priorities.”
Organizers say the event is also an opportunity to shine a spotlight on residents’ interest in and motivation for active transportation. The growth in participation on Bike to Work Day, along with community survey results and traffic model forecasts, points to a healthy trend in bicycling, and Colorado is now consistently ranked among the top bicycling states in the nation. DRCOG’s traffic model forecasts that between now and 2040, biking trips will increase by 56 percent in the region. Increasingly, active transportation modes are being supported and funded at the local, regional and statewide levels. In the last round of DRCOG’s federal Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) funding, more than 30 percent of funds were devoted to regional bike and pedestrian projects.
In addition to funding, the demonstrated interest prompted DRCOG to develop the region’s first active transportation plan. The plan addresses the need for an integrated network of on- and off-street facilities that support comfortable and well-connected active transportation throughout the region. According to the plan, while many people bicycle in the Denver region, even more people would bicycle if it were a more comfortable, safer and more convenient way to travel. A survey conducted for the plan revealed that 59 percent of adults in the Denver region are “interested, but concerned” and would like to ride, but are concerned about safety. This suggests that investing in safe and comfortable bicycle facilities could substantially increase bicycling in the region.
2019 Bike Stations and Events
Bike to Work Day is ideal for those who might have been curious, but are too intimidated to ride to work. This year, hundreds of volunteers, municipalities and local businesses will host an estimated 300 bike stations across the Denver metro area to encourage cycling over driving.
Breakfast stations will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. around the region. At these stations, riders can enjoy free refreshments, giveaways and camaraderie on their way to work. Bike party stations for the ride home have grown more popular, and can also be found throughout the region. In addition, there will be numerous water stations for the trip to and from home. For a comprehensive listing of all Bike to Work Day stations, use this map.
There are many incentives for registering for Bike to Work Day, including the opportunity to win these prizes:
About Way to Go
Way to Go is a program of Denver Regional Council of Governments, a planning organization in which local governments collaborate to establish guidelines, set policy and allocate funding in the areas of transportation and personal mobility, regional growth and development and aging and disability resources. For more information, visit waytogo.org.
Bike to Work Day is part of a wider Way to Go campaign that leverages positive reinforcement to impact behavioral change on the part of Denver metro area citizens. The idea is that when thousands of people experience the benefits of utilizing smart commuting options—biking, public transit, walking or carpooling—it will lead to more consistent, sustainable behavior. Other Way to Go programs include the Go-Tober Challenge, an annual monthslong competition among employers in the Denver region that encourages employees to try different ways of getting to and from work during the month of October.
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Mariah Wollweber Denver Regional Council of Governments 303-480-6743 firstname.lastname@example.org Allison Redmon Denver Regional Council of Governments 303-480-6764 email@example.com