Durham's Bike-to-Work Day Press Release
For Immediate Release
Bike to Work Day, Wednesday May 21 (Events May 20)
Date: May 9, 1997
Contact: Dilip K. Barman /
Phone: (919)254-0246 / 560-4137x235
Durham, North Carolina The Bicycle Committee of the Durham Open Spaces and
Trails Commission is inviting commuters from all over Durham and the Triangle to
ride their bicycles to work this Wednesday May 21st as part of the National Bicycle
Month celebration. Some area companies are inducing commuters with continental
breakfasts and recognition.
The day before, at 9 A.M. on May 20th at the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences (NIEHS) in RTP, a representative of the mayor will be proclaiming
May 21 to be Bike to Work Day in Durham. The bicycle committee will discuss
currently planned bicycle projects and suggest ways employers can encourage bicycle
commuting. Breakfast will be served. The public is invited and encouraged to come
whether by bicycle, public transportation, or car.
Bike to Work Day is part of a national effort, endorsed by the U.S. Department of
Transportation, to highlight the benefits of bicycling, and to prove to people that it is
feasible to leave the car at home for some journeys. The campaign is being promoted
nationally by the
League of American Bicyclists, the national organization of
bicyclists founded in 1880 to advance and defend the rights and interests of cyclists.
"We've been celebrating Bike to Work Day in Durham for some years," explained
Dilip Barman, chair of the Bicycle Committee, "but we are excited that this is the first
time that we are partnering with an organization that encourages their employees to
bicycle commute. We hope that more people will consider bicycle commuting, and
that road conditions are improved with bicycles in mind." Mr. Barman encouraged
bicyclists to wear helmets at all times while riding.
Directions to NIEHS
NIEHS is located at 111 T.W. Alexander Dr, RTP, NC 27709,
and the contact is Dick Sloane
at 541-2947. From Cary, take Davis Drive north, turn left on Hopson Rd, and find
NIEHS on the right. Otherwise, from routes 54 or the Durham
Freeway in RTP, take Alexander Drive south; NIEHS is on the left about a mile south of 54.
- Bike to Work Day has met with significant success in other cities. In 1987,
Boulder, CO received national recognition for "Energy Innovation" after the
Department of Energy determined that their Bike to Work Day saved approx.
1000 gallons of fuel, kept a ton of carbon monoxide out of the air, and left
1800 parking spaces available. DOE praised the organizers for contributing to
national security by helping to make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil.
Bicycling is the most efficient form of transportation invented.
Federal government figures show that 8-15 million barrels of oil could be saved
annually through a nationwide program of bicycle awareness to increase the
use of bicycles for transportation.
The EPA estimates that dangerous vehicle emissions could be cut by as much
as 5 percent if just 2.5 percent of car trips were made by bike instead.
1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act dictate that employers with more than
100 people at one site in areas with pollution problems are to reduce the
number of vehicle trips to the workplace by 25%.
Some companies encourage bike commuting by providing showers,
covered/locked bike storage, bike repair classes, free taxi rides home in the case
of rain, or cash rebates for every day an employee rides to work. Not only are
these companies helping to reduce pollution levels, but also they are
engendering fitter, more alert employees.
Durham, Raleigh, and RTP are all planning on adding bicycle racks to buses to
encourage inter-modal public transportation. Within a year, some area
commuters can expect to have the option of riding a bike to a nearby bus stop,
easily and safely loading their bicycle onto the bus, and riding a short distance
to their workplace. Such programs have already been in place for some time in
various other places in the country, such as Portland, OR, Seattle, WA,
Phoenix, AZ, Dallas, TX, Willamantic, CT, and San Mateo County, CA.
The League of American Bicyclists can be reached at (410)539-3399 or by
email at BikeLeague@aol.com.
Bicycling had an excellent article in its
Dec.1994 issue, "Good Company" (pgs. 64-68), hilighting bicycle commuting
and how companies can help.
This press release is available in
PostScript formats for printing.