Time to ride that bike to work

Some Pasco County employees will work to bring more attention to the benefits of biking to work when they ride their own bicycles to the job on May 16.

The ride starts from the corner of Town Avenue and Starkey Boulevard at 7 a.m. It will run north on the path that runs adjacent to Starkey before turning west on DeCubellis Road, and then finally heading north to Little Road, ending at the West Pasco Government Center there. The riders will then make a return trip at 5 p.m.

Bikers who would like to participate are welcome, but they are asked to bring their own water.

The ride coincides with National Bike Month, which has been held since 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists.

“Biking provides many  benefits not only to the cyclist, but to our environment,” said Allen Howell, a bicycle and pedestrian planner for the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization, in a release. “If we get more people to commute to work via bicycle, then we can reduce the amount of cars on the roads, thus reducing the greenhouse gases. It’s a small start, but it’s a start in the right direction.”

Howell reviews bicycle and pedestrian master plans for the county, and coordinates with adjacent counties and municipalities for long-range trail planning. He is part of the team that is reviewing the land development code, and says he believes having bike paths and trails is key to getting more people biking to work.

“The county’s goal is to have multi-use trails connecting parks, attractions and neighborhoods,” Howell said. “We’d like bike paths to be a minimum of 10 feet, with an idea width of 15 feet.”

By building bike paths to that width, there can be safe, two-way bike traffic plus pedestrian traffic, he added.

For information on the event, call Howell at (727) 847-2411, ext. 8678.

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