Local workshop aims to make city more bike friendly - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local workshop aims to make city more bike friendly

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Bicycle enthusiasts from Chattanooga and the Netherlands are working together to make the Scenic City even more bike friendly in an event called the ThinkBike Workshop.

ThinkBike brings together Dutch bicycle transportation experts with local leaders, architects, traffic engineers, business owners and bikers to talk ideas.

"In the Netherlands, bicycling is part of our DNA. We are pleased to bring our expertise to Chattanooga, as the city explores how bicycling can be incorporated into its transportation mix," said Dutch Ambassador Rudolf Bekink.

The two-day workshop kicked off Monday with two teams working indoors by the drawing board and outdoors on their bikes to talk about ideas to improve the city for cyclists.  

"Supposed to be about the feeling of an outdoor city and not a high car-dominant metropolis," said Dutch consultant Dick Vanveen.

Dick Vanveen said it's important Chattanooga lives up to its Scenic City nickname.

"A city with potential but still a lot to be done."

He's in Chattanooga to help map out the future of the city's roads and the best way for cars, buses and bikes to share it.

"Our transportation system should support choices that are viable and safe for all Chattanoogans; at the same time, those choices must be cost-effective and efficient," said Blythe Bailey, Administrator of the Chattanooga Transportation Department.

Bailey said there's two main starting points: St. Elmo and the North Shore.

"A bunch of activity on the north shore, a bunch of growth happening by the Cherokee tunnel and the need for an east-west connection through that neighborhood," he said. "St. Elmo is one of those neighborhoods that we think we can do something that serves as a model for other neighborhoods where there's lesser used secondary streets in the neighborhood that can be used as a safer, alternative protective route."

Team members will present their ideas from the workshop in a final presentation Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on the 4th Floor of the Downtown Library. The public is invited to attend.

READ MORE| Dutch input making streets safer for cyclists and motorists

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