Brandon Blankenagel

An invite for a Commute of the Century ride with the Mayor

Brandon Blankenagel, Senior Engineer, No Phone Number Available

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 3:27 p.m.

An invite for a Commute of the Century ride with the Mayor

Photo by Hank Greer

Dear Bike Riders,

Please join Mayor Condon and the Washington Secretary of Transportation, Lynn Peterson, on a ride around Spokane's Perry District on May 18th at noon! This event kicks off the second annual “Commute of the Century,” a public outreach program aimed at improving the way Spokane builds for bikes.

Please come prepared with bike and helmet to ride a 5.8-mile route along the South Hill. Meet and sign in at 11:30 a.m. (Pre-register here). The ride begins at 12 p.m. and will progress at a comfortable pace. (Please be aware that we are riding in the street, and must follow rules of the road.) A short, no-host meet-and-greet will be held at the conclusion of the ride in the Perry District. More information to follow.

Commute of the Century
The Back-Story

This spring I attended the Washington Bike Summit, put on by Washington Bikes. This was a two-day event to a sell-out crowd discussing the progress and support of cycling in our great state. I was able to participate in a couple of the presentations, and had a wonderful time rubbing shoulders with bicycle advocates, policy makers, planners, and engineers from all over the state.

One of the great opportunities at Bike Summit was to listen to Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson discuss the doors of support and flexibility that WSDOT is opening within their organization. After her presentation, I had a chance to briefly discuss with her what we are doing here in Spokane with Commute of the Century to help guide how we approach bicycle planning and design in a real-time way. She responded genuinely, so I threw out an invitation for her to join us this year, and she accepted!

Why The Perry District?

The Perry District has become a target destination in recent years for shopping and dining. It's no secret that this district serves up a wonderful atmosphere with such events as farmers markets, food truck rallies, and outdoor concerts. The great thing about neighborhood centers is their proximity to the neighborhood, which allows folks to access all of these great benefits within walking or riding distance from their homes.

An interesting situation in the Perry District is that it is not built with an abundance of parking. While this topic is ripe for debate, it is a reality of a neighborhood business center. The center remains quaint and low-key despite its trend-setting allure. The benefit ultimately falls to those willing to access the center through active modes of transportation. Bus routes, bike parking, and a solid sidewalk network all serve the Perry District.

The Spokane Regional Health District is also working within a federal grant to encourage active transportation in and around the Perry District. The “Walk.Bike.Bus.” program will be in full force this summer to promote making daily trips without using the car. This program will invite, mentor, and even train folks to use healthy alternatives while running errands or even commuting regularly.

Promoting healthy living in Spokane is a key opportunity for this year's legislative ride. Come ride with Secretary Peterson and Mayor Condon, show your support of active lifestyle, and discuss what it means to our economy in general to promote healthy living.

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