LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN)—Bikes Belong and Interbike will invest more than $50,000 during the next two years to improve bicycling conditions for children in Las Vegas—the international trade show’s host city.
To launch this three-phase project, Interbike and Bikes Belong have awarded a grant of $10,000 to the City of Las Vegas to help build 3.2 miles of new bike lanes in the city’s Ward 5. The Las Vegas Regional Transportation Commission matched the bike industry’s contribution.
The bike-lanes project was spearheaded by the Ward 5 Bicycle Coalition—a committee of community leaders and representatives from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, local schools, recreation centers, and the Las Vegas Bike Club. This committed group of cycling supporters will host bike rodeos and safety events to promote the new lanes.
In phase two, slated for the first half of 2010, Bikes Belong and Interbike will support the installation of Freikometers at several Las Vegas elementary schools. The solar-powered Freikometer is the backbone technology of the successful Freiker program that tallies bike rides and walks to school. Freiker helps inspire and quantify a growing number of human-powered trips made possible by recent government investments in Safe Routes to School. (The program is labeled Suggested Routes to School in the city of Las Vegas.)
Phase three, which will be announced at Interbike 2010, will include additional investments in Las Vegas bike facilities, programs, and organizations that enhance the two projects described above.
This Las Vegas partnership is one project of many associated with a 10-year, multi-million dollar alliance between Interbike and Bikes Belong, initiated in 2007 to get more Americans nationwide riding bicycles.
“We are so grateful for Interbike’s exceptional overall support of Bikes Belong and their backing of great projects like this one,” said Bikes Belong executive director Tim Blumenthal. “Las Vegas has lots of potential to become a bicycle-friendly city for adults and children. The weather during the school year is nearly ideal for riding, and beyond the strip, the city has residential neighborhoods where seamless bike paths, lanes and street crossings can be developed.”
Andy Tompkins, director of the Interbike Show, said, “Interbike and Bikes Belong are working closely together to get more people riding bikes more often. Supporting Safe Routes to School in Las Vegas is an ideal project in a logical location that affirms our partnership and provides a positive impact on the city that hosts our show.”
The new Las Vegas bike lanes, which will directly connect to three public elementary schools and one public swimming pool, will make the Ward 5 community safer and more accessible for bicyclists of all ages. Eleven parks and community centers, 19 public schools, and six churches in the neighborhood will also benefit from the safety and connectivity provided by these new lanes. Most of Ward 5 is west of downtown and north of the Las Vegas Strip. The first set of lanes is scheduled for completion in time to celebrate International Walk (and Bike) to School Day on Oct. 7.