DENVER (CBS4) – Bike to Work Day is a free, annual event to promote bike commuting. Nearly 35,000 people are expected to participate and ride 610,661 miles across the state.
“The whole concept of diversifying our transportation portfolio and providing those options is to get people to try it, is to change behavior. It’s in these events where they feel comfortable in an environment where other people are doing it for the first time really helps,” said Doug Rex, the executive director of the Denver Regional Council of Governments.
Bike to Work Day is designed specifically to get people to try biking. There are 307 way-stations set up all over the Denver Metro Area offering breakfast, drinks, snacks, and maintenance.
“On our roadway, right now, on a typical commuting day, during the peak period, there are one million vehicles out on the roadway, so if we can reduce that even by fraction it will really help. So, for example, on Bike to Work Day, we take 20,000 vehicles off the roadway during the peak period, and that’s significant,” Rex told CBS4.
When we take vehicles off the road, it improves the congestion throughout the city, and it improves the air quality. Participating in Bike to Work Day also helps regional governments see where more resources are needed.
“We would encourage everyone to sign up on our web site. We really would like people to sign up because it helps us tell that story, as well, about the level of interest in bicycle commuting helps us in making informed decisions on infrastructure investments,” Rex explained.
Colorado already has more than 1,600 miles of shared use paths, more than 515 miles of bike lanes on roads, and 360 miles of roads that are identified as bike routes. But beyond all the statistics, Bike to Work Day is just fun, with prizes and lots of giveaways.
“It’s a fun way to commute for one thing, but it’s healthy, you get to burn those calories first thing in the morning and get that morning workout in. It is a safe form of transportation, and you can also save a lot of money by choosing bicycling as your commuting option.”