Roswell is the first city in Georgia to achieve Bicycle Friendly Community status with the League of American Bicyclists. This coveted designation is only awarded to cities that have demonstrated their commitment to all aspects of cycling.Download the Bicycle Friendly Community Brochure (compliments of the Roswell CVB)
Bike Roswell! & Roswell, GA’s road to BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY status
In 2006, Roswell, Georgia was awarded the designation of “BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY” with the League of American Bicyclists. A Bicycle Friendly Community welcomes cyclists by providing safe accommodation for cycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. Roswell became the first city in Georgia to receive this coveted title. This accomplishment was achieved by the City of Roswell (elected officials and city staff) and Bike Roswell! members working closely together toward one goal – Bicycle Friendly Community status.
In order to obtain the next Bicycle Friendly Community level of designation (Silver) the City of Roswell, Bike Roswell!, the cycling community, and local businesses and schools will have to continue working together to achieve this more challenging task.
For the benefit of other cities desiring to achieve Bicycle Friendly Community status the following is one early action plan that we in Roswell, GA used to achieve our initial goal.
AN EARLY ACTION PLAN FOR BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY STATUS IN ROSWELL, GEORGIA
- Reduce congestion on our streets – The City of Roswell established a City Bicycle Fleet, coordinated by the Recreation and Parks Department, which encourages City Employees to use one of five complimentary bicycles to run errands or take him/her to lunch. In addition, a bicycle rack and shower are available at City Hall for City Employees. Five bicycles are currently part of this fleet.
- Save funds and encourage citizenship – The City of Roswell works closely with Bike Roswell!, a local cycling advocacy organization comprised of leaders in the cycling community and City Staff. Bike Roswell! helps promote volunteerism and community spirit with neighbors and co-workers.
- Increase opportunities – The City of Roswell is currently working with the Recreation and Parks Department and the newly formed Bike Roswell! to update the existing Bike Route Suitability Map for the City. This new map will show recommended routes for road cycling, for both the commuter and recreational cyclist. The map will also show the locations of all schools, parks and multi-purpose trails (such as mountain biking trails). In addition to maps, flyers will be produced to explain the benefits of cycling and provide safety tips for motorists/cyclists.
- Increase awareness – The City will be working closely with Bike Roswell!, a publicity sub-committee and local bicycle shops to distribute all materials explaining the benefits of cycling – flyers, maps, web page content. This information will also be made available to City Employees on check stubs, and be sent additional City residents via billing statements (from what department?). The Advocacy Committee will partner with the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign to raise awareness of motorists/bicyclists, through the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
- Enhance Public Safety – The City has proposed a Policy and Procedures on Striping that will encourage a “bicycle friendly community”. This is reinforced with the Context Sensitive Design Concept that is being incorporated when reviewing all future road planning.
- Promote Public Safety – The City has started implementing a “Share the Road” campaign that will help educate the motoring public to the fact that cyclists do have a right to be on the same roadways. Installation of 50 “Share the Road” signs has been planned for the next two years.
- Protect and Save Lives – The City is working with the Roswell Police Department to reinforce rules and regulations of the “Share the Road” policy with cyclists and the motoring public. Flyers on safe cycling will become available at all locations where motorists register for a driver’s license. The Police Dept. will also make available a Bicycle Safety color book for elementary school children at local events.
- Improve health – The City is looking to provide three-wheeled bicycles to an assisted living retirement facility. This would encourage exercise on a nearby trail system for the elderly.
- Boost the economy – For the past few years the City has hosted the Historic Roswell Criterium, a one-day bicycle race event which provides opportunities for professionals and amateur adults to race in a safe environment, but also provides an opportunity to promote safe cycling with children and helps the local economy as well. The event is a full weekend, to include a Mayor’s Bike Ride and Kids Bicycle Safety Rodeo to promote safe cycling, bike routes and area parks for recreation. The event also works closely with businesses and the Historic Roswell Merchants Association to provide a positive economic impact to the local community, where the races are held on Sunday.
- Implement the Action Plan! The steps above can be achieved with the following:
Form a subcommittee of the City of Roswell Bicycle Committee (Bicycle Committee) for Public Relations and Publicity. This group (Bicycle PR) will be responsible for:
- Keeping the City web site refreshed with current events and news related to Bicycle Committee projects
- Keeping the City communications department updated on current events and news related to Bicycle Committee projects and other cycling events in the area
- Sending news related to bicycle safety and Bicycle Committee events/projects to local media
- Coordinating media partners for Bicycle Committee events, such as Mayor’s Ride in the spring
- Distributing news to local bicycle advocacy organizations
Under the supervision of Bicycle PR, creative tactics in addition to press releases and web updates would be used to promote special events with the focus on the following Special Events:
1. Roswell Mayor’s Ride:
a. Having a broadcast media partner promote the event. Fox5 News weather forecaster, Ken Cook, is a Roswell resident and is active in the community. Suggested activities include live weather forecast on Saturday news program, in-studio interview on Friday’s Good Day Atlanta program, safe cycling tips/photos featured on weather forecast at 6pm and 10pm news, Ken Cook to lead one of the bike rides, have Fox5 produce :05 or :10 second promos for the week prior as part of their community relations campaign.
b. Inviting the local Roswell Velo racing team to participate and provide a safety seminar for children.
c. Invite local sponsors of the Historic Roswell Criterium to provide prizes for all participants.
d. Involve the Mayor and local Roswell Velo racing team and the Roswell Recreation Association in a photo shoot the week before for media placement.
Event day rides: Two recreational bike routes and one walk/fun ride route for parents/children to promote the new safe cycling routes designated by the Bicycle Committee. The Bicycle PR group would look at promoting the event by:
a. The PR Committee will join forces with the NHRC promoters to distribute 15,000 flyers to elementary school children to promote participation in the free Children’s Bicycle Safety Rodeo.
b. The PR Committee will seek a media partner for the Rodeo, and to promote safe cycling materials from the City.
c. A display at the event Expo will distribute bicycle maps and Bike to Work Week information.
d. Utilize Mayor Jere Wood as a spokesperson at the Rodeo for children
e. Utilize a professional cyclist in the area, such as National Road Racing champion Tina Pic, as a spokesperson. Tina lives in North Georgia and is the 3-time defending champion of the NHRC women’s Pro race.
2. Effective Cycling classes:
These are organized by the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign throughout the year, and would be hosted by the City and local merchants. Effective Cycling (EC) classes teach safe methods of riding on the road and in traffic. They build your skills and your confidence. Classes cover the fundamental principles of riding your bike on the road effectively, predictably, and confidently. About half the instruction occurs on – bike in parking lot drills and actual on-road conditions. The course is based on a nationally recognized curriculum and the instructors are certified by the League of American Bicyclists.
3. Historic Roswell Criterium:
The City of Roswell will host this event in the historic downtown area for the several consecutive years. It combines professional and amateur adult bicycle races and children’s safe cycling seminar with area merchants and sponsors for a full-day community jamboree and celebration. This event kicks off “Bike Month” activities.
4. Bike to Work Week
The PR Committee will assist the City of Roswell to promote Bike to Work Week by distributing information to media and local athletic organizations.
This element will be useful for analyzing the impact of improvements made by the Bicycle Committee, as well as determining the demographics of area cyclists.
a. Conduct email surveys to members of local bicycle organizations
b. Conduct email surveys to customers of local bicycle shops
c. Conduct email survey to City of Roswell employees
d. Provide an online survey on the City of Roswell web site
e. Ask a local college to conduct spectator surveys at local bicycle races
Bike Rowell! is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
(For more information of if you would like to help Bike Roswell! and the City of Roswell obtain the next level of designation for Bicycle Friendly Community – Silver level – contact Bike Roswell!)
The PR Committee would keep all constituents updated on news and events with the following communication tools:
– sending updates to City of Roswell for their website, www.roswellgov.com
– sending updates to local bike shops for their websites
– include bicycle and athletic organizations on all media lists for inclusion of news on their websites and/or newsletters
– an email newsletter will be distributed to media on a quarterly basis, with more frequent updates when necessary