Monday, May 24, 2010

Memphis' First Bike to Work Day a Success!

Even the NBA was talking about Memphis' Bike to Work week, as two Memphis favorites pedaled around the city this past Friday: "(Memphis) Grizzlies Team Mascot (The) Grizz will escort Mayor AC Wharton by bike from City Hall down Main Street to Court Square for the National Bike to Work Day Rally at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 21."

At Court Square, Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. addressed a crowd with enthusiastic support for increased biking in Memphis.  Later, he tweeted: "Great Bike-To-Work celebration in Court Sq! Memphis will have many more miles of bike lanes in the next year."

A commitment from the Mayor to improve the city for bikes on Bike to Work Day after he rode his bike from City Hall.  Not too bad, Memphis.  

The Commercial appeal noted that Bike to Work Day was a "pedal stroke in the right direction" for the city: "What these events could demonstrate is that the future of cycling in Memphis looks good."
 (Picture care of Michael McMullan, Memphis Commercial Appeal)

On Friday, May 21 the CA shared the story of Tim Flack, a City Prosecutor who uses MATA buses--along with his bike--to commute each day.  "Thanks to a newly completed program by the Memphis Area Transit Authority, almost every day for Flack is "Bike-To-Work Day" — as today is being observed nationally. MATA now has bike racks on all 150 of its fixed-route buses."

The Memphis Flyer published an article on its "In the Bluff" blog about the city's support support for Bike To Work Day.  "We'd just like for people to get on their bikes," (Dawn) Vinson (of the Center City Commission) said. "You don't have to be on it every single day or give up your car in all kinds of weather. But if you just did it when it was convenient — errands in a two-mile radius — that would have such a significant impact. I'm not just talking on the environment, but on health and temperament, as well."

Memphis, it seems, is on the move.  Will the River City, in the past called "the city of good abode," soon become a city of choice by including bikes and pedestrians in every aspect of its development? 


  1. The future of cycling in Memphis does not look good, unless you are looking to the far future with a crystal ball. In spite of promises otherwise, the City is poised to spend $25.5 mil in Federal dollars for repaving that WILL NOT include approved plans for around 32 miles of routes and lanes on local streets.

  2. Claude, this is disturbing news indeed.

    But to quote FDR, who was speaking to labor leaders after being elected to his first presidential term: 'I agree with you. I want to do it. Now, make me do it.'

    This is how a democracy works, I think. What you have described about the City's funding priorities is nothing short of unjust. But how are you planning to make the City do the right thing, the thing that is in their own best interest and the best interest of the people of Memphis? Truly it is in these efforts that we might glimpse either the hope or despair for bicyclists in the City of Memphis.

  3. True story, I sold my old Allez to Griz a few months back so I could get a new bike. Wonder if he was riding my old bike with the Mayor...