Cycling experts and advocates from throughout the Southeast will come together in Asheville at the Fifth Annual North Carolina Bike Summit on Sept. 16 and 17. Presented by BikeWalk NC in partnership with the N.C. Department of Transportation, this year’s event will focus on the economic benefits of investing in bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
“Governor Pat McCrory understands the importance of a robust bike and pedestrian network in North Carolina,” said Ed Johnson, acting director of the state’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. “As businesses look at places to relocate or expand, they expect access to a range of transportation modes, especially in high-growth and densely populated areas.”
The event attracts more than 200 bicycling advocates, transportation planners and engineers, business owners, elected officials and public health practitioners. Experts from across the state and nation will share their knowledge, experience and perspective on the importance of creating walkable and bicycle-friendly communities.
“The ability to safely walk and bike in our communities has benefits beyond simply satisfying a transportation need,” said Lisa Riegel, executive director of BikeWalk NC. “When we improve access to bicycle and pedestrian facilities, we encourage healthier lifestyles, increase real estate values and promote economic vitality that results in an enhanced quality of life.”
The economic benefits of bicycle-based tourism and greenway development will be highlighted along with many other topics during the event. Sessions on the first day will be held at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown Asheville, and the event will move to UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center the following day. Each day’s programming will conclude with a tour of the bicycle infrastructure in Asheville.
BikeWalk NC is a membership-based, statewide organization that promotes non-motorized transportation choices and advocates for an environment that fairly and equitably accommodates bicyclists, pedestrians and others using human-powered active transportation.