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Ride together, apart

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 by Tai Moses

With so many people working from home and commuter traffic congestion a distant memory, the streets have never been safer for those who prefer two-wheeled modes of transportation. According to a news release, the advocacy organization Bike Austin “has seen an uptick of kids, families and members of the community taking advantage of these ideal riding conditions, even on what are normally heavily trafficked streets.” With May being Bike Month, Bike Austin invites the community to share photos of their rides on social media using #BikeMonthATX and #IBikeTo____ (fill in the blank with your own experience). And bicycling is about to get even safer thanks to the city’s new Healthy Streets initiative, which aims to create safer outdoor spaces for cyclists and walkers. The program “prioritizes safe, socially distanced walking and bicycling on non-arterial, non-transit neighborhood streets in all City Council districts while still allowing access for local traffic.” The city is seeking public input to select the best streets to include in the program, aiming for a phased rollout starting in about two weeks. Says Adam Greenfield, a spokesman for the Healthy Streets campaign, “By allowing people to exercise safely near home, this crucial measure will mitigate public mental and physical impacts, reduce potential virus transmission, relieve pressure on parks and trails, and increase community resilience.”

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