Press Release

Bike Baton Rouge Receives Grant Funding from New Belgium Brewery

Bike Baton Rouge received $750 in grant money from New Belgium Brewery to support the Light the Night program for Baton Rouge schools. This program distributes free bike lights and bicycle safety information to schools in Baton Rouge to promote safe cycling.

Bike Baton Rouge volunteers, parents, and children participating in a bike safety class at the Baton Rouge FLAIM School 2016.

Bike Baton Rouge volunteers, parents, and children participating in a bike safety class at the Baton Rouge FLAIM School 2016.

As part of the program, Bike Baton Rouge helps program advocates at schools start a Bike Club, organizes and leads a Bike Safety Day, and provides front and rear bike lights for participating students.

“We are very excited about these funds,” said Sarah Schramm of Bike Baton Rouge. “Promoting safe cycling in Baton Rouge, especially among children, is one of our top priorities. This program works with other efforts in the city to promote safe routes to public places.”

To date, 250 lights have been distributed to students at participating organizations.

Students, parents, and school officials interested in supporting bicycling at their schools are encouraged to contact Bike Baton Rouge at the email below to bring this program to their school.

bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

#NewBelgium

Councilwoman Wicker Rides with Bike Baton Rouge

Left to right: Tina Ufford, Councilwoman Tara Wicker, Doug Moore, and Sarah Schramm

Left to right: Tina Ufford, Councilwoman Tara Wicker, Doug Moore, and Sarah Schramm

Bike Baton Rouge board members Doug Moore, Tina Ufford, and Sarah Schramm met with Councilwoman Tara Wicker last week Wednesday, October 11 to discuss bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Councilwoman Wicker’s District 10. District 10 covers an area from the Mississippi River to an eastern border of Plank Road, St. Rose Ave, and around the University Lakes, south to Gourrier Ave. It includes Southern University, Downtown, LSU and City Park. 

WickerRide_20171011_WickerBike_adj.jpg

Councilwoman Wicker and her husband recently have been cycling to some destinations in Baton Rouge and observed first-hand the challenges of navigating the streets by bicycle. Interested in improving conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians in her district, she accepted an invitation from Bike Baton Rouge Vice President Doug Moore to discuss ideas for improving bicycle connectivity in the city and take a 5-mile bike tour in her district.

Although the day was hot, spirits were high, as Bike Baton Rouge pointed out where roads were wide enough for bike lanes, challenges for cyclists who must navigate streets that don’t align, and where bike and pedestrian infrastructure does not connect.

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After the ride, Councilwoman Wicker commented on how much safer she felt riding in a group and taking a lane of traffic compared to when only she is riding with only one other person on the edge of the street. Bike Baton Rouge members noted that it's a common misconception that bicyclists are required to ride as far to the right as possible, and that on streets too narrow to accommodate three feet of distance between a car and cyclist travelling the same direction, taking the lane is often the safest way to ride. (See reference here.)

Bike Baton Rouge left the councilwoman with a map that show where bike lanes exist, where they are under construction, and where they are feasible.  The meeting ended with an agreement to continue pursuing improvements for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and to work with the city to install bike lanes where feasible.

EDITOR'S NOTE :

Two weeks after joining Bike Baton Rouge on this bicycling tour, Councilwoman Wicker made this statement at the October 25 Metro Council meeting regarding the Baton Rouge Bike Share.

"One of the things we found on our tour was that Baton rouge does not have infrastructure necessary for people that choose biking as an option for their mode of transportation, and that's a shame. I should be able to bike my babies through Baton Rouge or go to my Aunt and Uncle's house without having to worry about if I'm going to die in the street.

So if we want to grow as a major city, we need to be able to grow up and look at how major cities are attracting people to their community, and how they're attracting younger people and retaining them. I do believe that having biking as a viable option - if you have infrastructure improvements in place to allow that to happen - is wise, and it's progressive, and it's necessary."

PRESS RELEASE : Bike Baton Rouge announce winners of annual Mike Bitton Awards

Bike Baton Rouge announce winners of annual Mike Bitton Awards
4/11/16, Baton Rouge, LA

Bike Baton Rouge today announced the recipients of the annual Mike Bitton Awards that recognize community members who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make Baton Rouge a better place to bike. The Mike Bitton Awards are named after former LSU student Mike Bitton, who became a spokesperson and advocate for bicycle safety and awareness following a hit and run crash on River Road that left Mike with life threatening injuries.

Award recipients will include Gabby Loubiere Higgins of Brew Ha-Ha, who will be awarded the Bike Friendly Business Award for her long time support of bicycling in Baton Rouge; Kathy Stites and the BREC Capital Area Pathways Project, who will receive the Bike Friendly Professional Award for their leading the way in design and installation of bicycle facilities throughout Baton Rouge; and finally Larry Reilly, former board member and long time volunteer for Bike Baton Rouge, who will be awarded the Mike Bitton Award for his services to bicycling in Baton Rouge, including running the Bicycling BR bike calendar, leading advocacy efforts to create the Dawson Creek bike trail, and more.

“Mr. Reilly is an unsung hero,” said Doug Moore, Bike Baton Rouge Vice President. “His advocacy in helping make the Pennington trails a reality and his civic engagement in general make him an outstanding recipient, and he's a role model for those of us fortunate enough to know him and work with him."

The award ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday April 19 at WHYR Community Radio (1623 Main Street). Bike Baton Rouge members, non-members and the general public are invited to join Bike Baton Rouge and our award recipients for some fun, food and festivities. More details about the ceremony are available on Facebook.

For more information, visit bikebr.org, look up Bike Baton Rouge on facebook, or email Bike Baton Rouge at bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

Mika Torkkola
225 571 2906
bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

Bike Baton Rouge is a local non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization and has been dedicated to making bicycling trips in Baton Rouge safer and more enjoyable since 2006.
 

2016 winners (left to right) Gilles Morin, Beaux Jones, Juan Cruz and Dave Cano

PRESS RELEASE : Bike Baton Rouge promotes spring bike safety with tips for motorists and bicyclists

Bike Baton Rouge promotes spring bike safety with tips for motorists and bicyclists
3/21/17, Baton Rouge, LA

Bike Baton Rouge, a local non-profit bicycle advocacy organization, today released a short list of bike safety tips which they hope will result in increased safety amongst bicyclists and motorists sharing the road. Spring sees greatly increased bicycling as the warmer weather and extended evening daylight hours allow for more people to bicycle after work or school.

The last two weeks have seen several bicyclists and pedestrians involved in motor vehicle crashes in Baton Rouge, particularly along Florida Boulevard - a road, that Bike Baton Rouge notes, has no bicycle or pedestrian facilities on a near eleven mile stretch between North 19th Street and the East Baton Rouge Parish border at the Amite river.

Louisiana ranks third in the nation for adult bicycling deaths after Delaware (second) and Florida (first) according to a 2015 study by the Center for Disease Control, but Torkkola says that Louisiana rankings will improve as both bicyclists and motorists become more accustomed to the increased numbers of people riding bicycles in the state.

“We wanted to keep things really simple with our safety tips to give maximum impact from a small and easily digestible amount of information.” said Mika Torkkola, Bike Baton Rouge President, “And we wanted to acknowledge that both bicyclists and motorists have the responsibility to avoid causing crashes on our roads.”

The complete set of Spring Safety Tip graphics are available at bikebr.org/safety, and include tips for both bicyclists and motorists, complete with statistics that show the resulting safety increases associated with correctly following each tip. Each safety tip is based on Louisiana road law.

Read the full list of Spring Safety Tips and learn more about bicycle safety at bikebr.org/safety

Mika Torkkola
225 571 2906
bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

Bike Baton Rouge is a local non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization and has been dedicated to making bicycling trips in Baton Rouge safer and more enjoyable since 2006.

PRESS RELEASE : Bike Baton Rouge presents #mybikestory week

Bike Baton Rouge presents #mybikestory week
2/16/16, Baton Rouge, LA


A local non-profit organization, Bike Baton Rouge, will next week be holding a social media campaign to help dispel the myth that bicycling in Baton Rouge can be difficult or dangerous.

"Too often, people only hear about bicycling when something bad happens." said Bike Baton Rouge President Mika Torkkola. "We're encouraging folks to help change that perception by letting the world know how fun, how relaxing, or even in many cases, how mundane your average bike ride in Baton Rouge can be."

During #mybikestory week, bicyclists can post stories, photos, and videos of their daily bike rides on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media outlets using the #mybikestory hashtag. Bike Baton Rouge hopes that by hearing more about the experiences of bicyclists in Baton Rouge, potential bicyclists will see that the benefits of bicycling in Baton Rouge greatly outweigh the risks, which are often exaggerated by social media.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s 2016 City Stats Survey found that 39% of Baton Rouge residents surveyed would be interested in riding to work if conditions were safer, a number that has grown from surveys in previous years.

#mybikestory week runs from Monday, February 20th through Sunday, February 26th. Submissions from previous events can be found at bikebr.org/mybikestory, and Bike Baton Rouge will be updating that page regularly throughout the week as well as sharing their favourite stories on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Mika Torkkola
225 571 2906
bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

Bike Baton Rouge is a local non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization and has been dedicated to making bicycling trips in Baton Rouge safer and more enjoyable since 2006.