Events, new bike hubs, and a #CoastChallenge all happening during the month of March
TAMPA (February 28, 2017) – Tampa Downtown Partnership announces the kick-off of Florida Bike Month by promoting local bike events, continuing the success of the Bike Friendly Business program, adding Downtown bike amenities, and supporting bicycle safety education.
Director of Transportation and Planning for Tampa Downtown Partnership, Karen Kress, is a founding member of Bike Walk Tampa Bay and a biking advocate. “Fifteen percent of trips are within one mile of home and could easily be taken by bicycle instead of car,” said Kress. “With a helmet, proper safety skills and careful route choice, biking becomes a much more feasible and healthier way to get around.”
Throughout Florida Bike Month, Tampa Downtown Partnership is offering a variety of opportunities for people to get on their bikes – from bike valet at local events, bike safety classes, fun group rides, to promoting a Bicycle Friendly Business designation.
Bike Friendly Businesses
“In 2015, Tampa Downtown Partnership created a Bicycle Friendly Business campaignÂ to recognize leading downtown businesses embracing cycling for their employees and customers,” said Kress.
“This effort resulted in the City of Tampa ranking number one in the State of Florida and top ten in the country with over 30 certified Downtown businesses offering special incentives for customers arriving on bike.” Kress continued, “In fact, Tampa Downtown Partnership is the only Gold certified non-bike shop business in the state and in 2016 we won a state-wide award from the Florida Bicycle Association as the best ‘bike-friendly business.'”
Downtown Calendar for Florida Bike Month
A robust list of “Bay Area Bike Happenings” includes public input meetings, fun group rides and free BikeSmart classes. The full calendar is available atÂ BikeWalkTampaBay.org.
Some of the highlights in downtown include:
- Bike Month Commendation from Tampa City Council – March 2
- History Bike TampaÂ (4 year anniversary ride!) – March 4
- Gasparilla Festival of the ArtsÂ (free bike valet) – March 4-5
- Second Sunday RideÂ – March 12
- Blarney RideÂ – March 14
- Mayor’s River O’GreenÂ (free bike valet) – March 18
- BikeSmart classÂ – March 23
- Fourth FridayÂ (First hour free for new users on Coast Bike Share) – March 24
- Urban Restaurant TourÂ – March 30
- Tampa Critical Mass RideÂ – March 31
Coast Bike Share Expands
Coast continues to experience about a 30 percent growth rate each year. Tampa Downtown Partnership is contributing to that growth by underwriting ten new Coast Bike Share racks to complement the 100 new bikes soon being added to the fleet. This will increase the system to 40 hubs and 400 bikes.
Coast Bike Share is encouraging riders in Tampa and St. Petersburg to take as many trips as they can during the month of March. The top five users will be rewarded with prizes. Trips must be longer than three minutes and happen March 1 through 31 to be eligible. More details are available on their website.
Downtown Tampa’s Bicycle Fun Facts:
- Le Meridian Hotel and The Barrymore Hotel added complimentary bikes as a perk for their hotel guests.
- One of the ZipCars in Downtown Tampa has a bike rack
- Tampa’s Downtown Guides assist with minor bike repairs. They are just a phone call away at 813.267.2220.
- Tampa Downtown Partnership added bike parking medallions on meter posts, free-standing racks and three self-repair stations (on Tampa Riverwalk near The Sail and Laurel Street and one at HART’s Marion Transit Center).
- There are over 250 places to park your bike in Downtown Tampa.
- All HART buses have bike racks at the front of each vehicle.
- In 2016, the City of Tampa was nationally recognized as aÂ Bicycle Friendly Community.
- Tampa is #1 in Florida and Top 10 nationally for number of certified Bicycle Friendly Businesses.
- Tampa was ranked one of theÂ Top 50 Best Biking CitiesÂ by Bicycling Magazine.
- PeopleForBikes named theÂ Cass St. Green SpineÂ separated path among the 10 best new bike lanes in the nation.
About Tampa Downtown PartnershipÂ
Tampa Downtown Partnership is a private, membership based not-for-profit 501(c)6 comprised of companies, organizations and individuals with a common goal of advancing Tampa’s Downtown. Through an annual contract with the City of Tampa, Tampa Downtown Partnership administers the Special Services District. In addition to Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team, Tampa Downtown Partnership serves Downtown through marketing, business development, transportation, advocacy, public space activation, planning and beautification.