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Kingston To Host Bike Summit Featuring Speakers And Best Practices From Across North America

March 5, 2013 -

Sent on behalf of the Share the Road Cycling Coalition

Kingston To Host Bike Summit Featuring Speakers And Best Practices From Across North America

The Share the Road Cycling Coalition, a provincial cycling advocacy organization, together with the City of Kingston and KFL&A Public Health, will host a Bike Summit on March 19, 2013. The Summit will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the John Deutsch University Centre, 99 University Avenue – Wallace Hall in Kingston.
 
The event will bring together speakers from the U. S. and across Ontario with local stakeholders to discuss active transportation strategies and learn about best practices in areas that include shaping policy and infrastructure investments.

Dave Cieslewicz, former Mayor (2003-2011) of Madison Wisconsin (one of America's most bike friendly cities), a champion of cycling and walking, will be the keynote speaker and will share lessons from the ongoing implementation of the 100 recommendations that make Madison a Gold-rated "Bicycle Friendly City." Bike lanes, multi-use paths and overpasses, and bike primacy boulevards are part of Madison's five-year, $50 million plan for facility improvements.

Also speaking at the Summit is April Economides, Principal, Green Octopus Consulting and General Manager, Bike Nation Long Beach.  April has led the development of Bicycle Friendly Business Districts in the United States, starting with a program in 4 commercial districts in Long Beach California  -- the first of it's kind in the U.S. -- in 2010.  The pilot was extremely successful – so much so that BFBDs have spread to other cities, most recently in San Diego, New York City – and now Oakville and the Niagara Region!    
      
A Bicycle Friendly Business District (BFBD) is a commercial district where the merchants encourage people to bike to the area to shop and dine – and where merchants and employees ride, too. BFBDs integrate bikes into a district's operations, events, and promotions. April's presentation will include compelling data on how and why BFBDs work, to the benefit of the local economy.

In August 2012, the Share the Road Cycling Coalition awarded Kingston a Bronze Level award as part of their ‘Bike Friendly Communities' program. To help Kingston work towards achieving a Silver level award, the Bike Summit will bring together community stakeholders for a discussion on how to improve cycling in Kingston. The Summit offers a chance for community stakeholders to come together to build capacity, leverage relationships, and facilitate conversations around bicycling in Kingston.

The Summit is an opportunity for members of Council, City employees, Tourism Kingston, Kingston Police, bicycle advocates, bike retailers, area businesses, educational institutions and various community stakeholders to come together and learn about best practices, inspiring success stories, ongoing projects and provincial initiatives. Tickets are $35, to register go to: http://bit.ly/Y7UsBO.

The Kingston Bike Summit will be preceded by a public forum on cycling issues in the city will be held on March 18th from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, 53 Yonge Street – Press Lounge, where Mr. Cieslewicz  and Ms. Economides will also be speaking. The general public is invited to attend, share their input on how to make Kingston more Bicycle Friendly, and be inspired by initiatives that encourage cycling, from other jurisdictions.

About the Share the Road Cycling Coalition The Share the Road Cycling Coalition is a provincial cycling advocacy and policy organization created to unite cycling organizations from across Ontario, work with and on behalf of municipalities to enhance their ability to make their communities more bicycle- friendly and advocate for an enhanced provincial role. Core to the organization's mission and mandate are safety, education and awareness campaigns.

Since its inception, the Coalition has focused on outreach work across Ontario and has built partnerships with active transportation stakeholders notably provincial  and municipal politicians, cycling advocates, local cycling clubs, municipal advisory groups, municipal and provincial officials, law enforcement, planners, public health professionals, and funders.

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For information and interviews: Kaitlynn Dodge, Brown & Cohen Communications & Public Affairs Inc. 416-484-1132, Ext. 5, kaitlynn@brown-cohen.com

Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer 613-546-4291, ext. 3116 (cell 613-329-3462). Or call the City of Kingston's media hotline at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.