^ People’s Credit Union sponsored their first bike hitch in 2011, and their second in the new Queen Anne Square. Shown at the new bike hitch are (l-r) Don Jagoe, cyclist and bike hitch sponsor; Scott Wheeler, City of Newport Building and Grounds Supervisor / Tree Warden; Bari Freeman, Executive Director at Bike Newport; and Marie Everett, Newport Branch Manager, People’s Credit Union. (photo courtesy People’s Credit Union)
As more people opt to pop out of the car and into the bike saddle, the search for bike parking in Newport is on. There are only so many signposts that can double as a bike hitch. Bike Newport and the City’s Department of Public Services are looking for ways to increase bike parking options. In the process, the commitment is to install racks that respect the bikes, the cyclists and the properties. No more wobbly school racks. New racks will meet the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) Bicycle Parking Guidelines – providing two points of contact for any bike to hold it stable. Bike parking will be a combination of bike hitches that generally hold 1-2 bicycles, and higher capacity racks, that hold upwards of six bicycles.
The City has already installed new racks at Scotts Wharf, Storer Park, Queen Anne Square, and the Cliff Walk Trail Head at Forty Steps. New racks are in place at Pell School and on order for Thompson Middle School as part of the Safe Routes to School programs. Plans are underway for racks in the new Broadway Streetscape.
Studies are proving that bikes are good for business – cycling consumers are loyal customers – returning most often and spending the most money, according to a 2009 study in Toronto, ON. Recent research out of Portland, OR, shows that cycling customers spent more money per person than their car-driving counterparts at bars, restaurants and convenience stores.
That’s good news for local business – and the key to a new opportunity for bike friendly and community conscious businesses and individuals to get on board. Fifteen business-sponsored bike hitches were installed around the city in 2012, and now a new wave of hitches is gaining steam. Zipcar will sponsor four hitches, decked out in Zipcar green, near the Lower Thames Zipcar location. “Many Zipcar members are also avid bicyclists,” remarked Chris Moulding, Zipcar’s manager in Providence. “With these sponsored bike racks in Newport, along with the convenience of Zipcar, members will have easy access to more sustainable transportation options when they need them.”
Of four bike hitches installed at Queen Anne Square, two are sponsored, one by People’s Credit Union, and one by Brian Hennessey – former People’s CFO and former Board Member at Bike Newport. Hennessey made the rack a parting gift when he relocated to San Jose, California. “People’s sees the racks as direct community service, and as a way of demonstrating support of our cycling clients. It’s a program we are all thrilled to get behind,” explained Marie Everett, People’s Newport Branch Manager.
Bike Newport hopes that as the racks pop up, so will more and sponsors. That’s just what happened with Newport resident and cycling enthusiast, Don Jagoe. Don saw the People’s racks and immediately contacted Bike Newport to sponsor one himself. “The fact that part of the funds support Bike Newport’s programming is icing on the cake,” he shared. “Every time I see our youth engaged in bike mechanics and bike skills training, I’m happy. These programs are opening the world of health, freedom and confidence to our kids at an early age. And I get to request a rack close to my favorite shops. Works for me!”
The sponsored hitches are available at a cost of $500 – with $375 paying for the hitch and sponsorship plaque, and the balance supporting Bike Newport’s bicycle education initiatives in Newport. Higher capacity bike racks can be sponsored as well.
Businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring a bike rack can find more information here – or call (401) 619-4900.
DOWNLOAD the Bike to Work Day poster HERE.
Newport’s 4th annual Bike To Work Day is Friday, May 16. We encourage everyone who can to leave the car home and hop in the saddle – it’s fun, healthy, invigorating AND makes us more happy and productive. Give it a try and see what you think. Maybe it will become a habit. We hope so!
We’ve got a fun day planned to celebrate cycling for transportation. All activities take place in Washington Square – the historic center of Newport.
If you live far away, over the bridge, or without access to a safe route into town, then take advantage of our Park n’ Bike lot at the Bike Newport office at 437 Broadway. Drive to our HQ and ride the mile into town. You can follow Broadway straight to Washington Square.
Bike to Work Day 2014:
6:00 to 9:00 am Bike Commuter Breakfast: Bike riders can start the day meeting friends, neighbors and co-workers at the Bicycle Commuter Breakfast – provided by Jonathan’s Café, Tea and Javas Café, A Market, and more.
3:30 pm Press Conference on the Courthouse steps: Includes bicycle-friendly news and announcements by Bike Newport, Newport Public Schools, City of Newport, Newport Police Department, and Newport Housing Authority. PLUS the awarding of the 2014 Bicycle-Friendly Business of the Year.
4:00 pm Bike Decorating: Young and old can rediscover the joys of playing cards and clothespins, stickers and ribbons.
4:15 pm Community Ride: Leaving from Washington Square, a six-mile group ride around Newport.
5:00-6:00 pm: Delicious refreshments from Genie’s Hookah Lounge and fabulous entertainment by Officer Jimmy Winters and Friends and the chance to register all those bikes with the City. Plus make-your-own-pedal-powered smoothies!
Spread the word. Tell your friends, encourage your colleagues. Click here to join the event on Facebook and show your support! And check back for updates.