NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, City of New Orleans Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo joined Entergy and Bike Easy to announce the second NOLA Bike to Work Day – a community wide initative that will continue to raise awareness about the benefits of biking and regional developments that are making biking easier and safer for all. Bike to Work Day is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 2013.
Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans had approximately 11 miles of bicycle paths. Thanks to a grant from Entergy Corporation and a partnership between the City of New Orleans and the Louisiana Public Health Institute, the city now boasts 57 miles with more planned or under construction.
"The City of New Orleans is excited to help host another Bike to Work Day. Bike to Work Day provides a healthy and safe commuting alternative,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We remain committed to better and healthier choices for New Orleanians, which is why we have increased bikeway mileage and access to active transportation opportunities.”
"Biking is one of the many ways that we want to encourage people to be more physically active and physically fit," said Dr. Karen DeSalvo. "Bike to Work Day is a terrific way to promote healthy lifestyles and give people the opprotunity to enjoy our beautiful city and all of the work that has been done to make New Orleans more accessible for active transportation."
For its efforts, the City of New Orleans has been designated a Bronze Level Bike Friendly City by the League of American Bicyclists — joining other cities such as Portland, Boulder and Austin who are designated bike-friendly cities. In 2012, the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking Benchmarking Report ranked New Orleans tenth nationwide for the highest number of workers commuting by bike.
Since Hurricane Katrina, Entergy has invested more than $500,000 toward making New Orleans a more bike friendly city though supporting various bike initiatives, such as the recent Super Bowl Bike Share Pilot program, and a grant to Louisiana Public Health Institute that funds the salary of the City of New Orleans Pedestrian and Bicycle Engineer.
“More than 500 riders participated in the innaugual NOLA Bike to Work Day last April and we’re hoping even more riders participate this year,” said Jamie Wine, executive director of Bike Easy. “Right now there are many exciting initiatives on the horizon to make New Orleans a more bike friendly city and we are grateful for the continued community support.”
Bike to Work Day was established by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956, and is celebrated nationally every year by 43 major U.S. cities.
The second NOLA Bike to Work Day will take place Tuesday, April 9 and features a full day of bicycle related events. The day begins at 7 AM with bike convoy meet ups in over a dozen strategic locations throughout the city. Once all registered riders are accounted for at the designated meet up spots, experienced Ride Rangers will depart at 7:30 AM, leading the way toward the Central Business District (CBD). To find a complete list of NOLA Bike to Work Day meet up spots, visit www.bikeeasy.com.
Between 8 – 10 AM, NOLA Bike to Work Day participants are invited to stop by Duncan Plaza, on Loyola Avenue between Gravier and Perdido Streets across from City Hall. Attendees will receive complementary snacks, giveaways from Bike Easy and take a commemorative group photo on the steps of City Hall. A bike mechanic courtesy of Plan B Community Bike Project will also be onsite to address any bicycle maintenance issues before riders head off to work.
After work, NOLA Bike to Work Day continues with an extended celebration from 5 – 8 PM at the American Sector at the National WWII Museum located at 945 Magazine Street. Exclusive food and beverage specials will be available for NOLA Bike to Work Day participants. A bike mechanic courtesy of Plan B Community Bike Project will also be onsite to address any bicycle maintenance issues before riders head home for the evening.
Throughout the day, select hub stations will be offering free coffee or snacks for riders. Free New Orleans Bike Maps will be available at all New Orleans Public Library branches and select local bike shops will be offering free bicycle tune-ups.
The second NOLA Bike to Work Day is presented by Bike Easy and Entergy. NOLA Bike to Work Day is free and all New Orleanians with a bike are encouraged to participate. For more information or to register, please visit www.bikeeasy.org. All pre-registered riders will be entered to win a bicycle from Gerken’s Bike Shop and other great prizes.
Entergy Corporation, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.