Brandon Blankenagel, Senior Engineer, Integrated Capital Management, No Phone Number Available
Friday, April 4, 2014 at 9 a.m.
Last week we announced the Commute of the Century, a new event during Bike to Work Week. Today, I want to provide a bit more information.
I am an Engineer at the City of Spokane, and a fair-weather bicycle commuter. I also enjoy cycling for fitness, as well as mountain biking. For a few years, I've been chewing on a wild idea to complete a 100-mile bike ride (a Century ride) within Spokane on the existing bicycle infrastructure.
Recently, as part of the team working on Link Spokane, I've been involved in public outreach regarding transportation. It's probably no small secret that this conversation can get a bit dry, despite the fact that EVERYONE depends on the transportation network.
It struck me that my wild idea might be a key to enlivening public outreach regarding bicycle infrastructure. You know… invite the whole city to join me for an epic suffer-fest. Thankfully, I've got great advisors who recommended smaller bites could still accomplish big things. Thus hatched Commute of the Century!
Cycling in Spokane has, in recent years, been given a bit of a boost. Following the recommendations of the Bicycle Master Plan, the bicycle network has largely been developed in the downtown core and also along some of the routes extending to and from the core. However, there is not yet a full interlocking network of lanes. Nor do all bicycle lanes necessarily provide the best service to the "venturing-but-cautious" or "mother-with-child" cycling crowds.
I'd like to challenge all who are mildly interested in cycling or cycle-commuting to participate in the Commute of the Century. You may do this on your own time; or with us in a group ride during Bike to Work Week. And, if you're so inclined, send us a photo @spokanecity on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Reach out to a friend and make plans to ride this over the next three months; even if you must break the routes down into sizes that meet your ability, your experience and response will be every bit as valuable.
In May, online surveys will be made available for each route. Fill out each survey soon after you complete the associated ride. In the end, the feedback received from this event directly affects every cyclist in Spokane, as it will help direct the city's capital investment efforts. Please join this effort and serve your cycling community!
For more information or to register, visit the Commute of the Century page.