City officials and local cyclists will explore possibilities for bike transportation in Chattanooga this weekend with assistance from the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
The group will feature area leaders, planners, business owners and cyclists for ThinkBike Workshops, which will also include Dutch transportation experts. The goal is to discuss ways that Chattanooga can become a more bike-friendly city.
The city's rise as a cycling hub was evident last May, when the U.S. Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships were held in Chattanooga. The event is slated to return to the city in both 2014 and 2015.
Blythe Bailey, director of transportation for the city, said he hoped the workshops would provide additional commuting opportunities for residents in the city.
"It's an honor to be chosen for this," Bailey said. "This is a great program and a great way to interact with a European country that has some expertise that's useful for us. We're excited about it … We want to improve the infrastructure for bike safety. Anything we can do to increase the safety of cycling, increase the knowledge base of people that it's a viable option, will be great for us."
Costs for the program are being split between the embassy and the Benwood Foundation, which is providing $6,500 to pay for the workshops. The events are being carried out at no cost to city taxpayers.
The workshops will kick off at the Development Resource Center on Market Street on Monday morning at 9 a.m.
Two teams led by Dutch and local experts will lead workshops. Items like bike commuter safety and the feasibility of implementing new measures for bikes will be discussed.
Groups will specifically focus on two areas for potential bike lane projects—the corridor of Cherokee Boulevard through Frazier Avenue and another in St. Elmo.
Following a series of events, recommendations from groups will be presented on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on The 4th Floor of The Public Library.
In the past, ThinkBike Workshops have occurred in cities such as Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Miami; and Austin, Texas.
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