By Jon Orbach
For The Diamondback
In efforts to promote the increased bikeability of the City of College Park, Mayor Patrick Wojahn proclaimed May as Bicycle Month for the city.
Though the proclamation does not involve the implementation of new policies, Wojahn, who is also an avid biker, said the city will host a number of bike-related events, such as Bike-to-Work day on May 19.
"[This] month [is] set aside to show appreciation for bikes and how they allow us to get around," he said. "I, as a cyclist, am impelled to get to where I need to go safely," he said. "It's a legitimate and appropriate form of transport as well as recreation."
In addition to Bicycle Month, the city has undertaken several efforts to improve the city's bikeability. In May 2016, the city and the University of Maryland jointly launched mBike, a bike-share program with the bike company, Zagster. The program has 17 stations across the city and this university's campus.
Capital Bikeshare, a bike-rental company between Washington and Prince George's County, is also set to open in College Park by 2019.
Laurie Lemieux, co-owner of Proteus Bicycles located in College Park, said cycling is on the right path, though there is room for improvement.
"Bicycling is growing and normalizing, but there is still much work to be done to make cycling safer," Lemieux wrote in an email. "In College Park, we need improved infrastructure that provides protected space for cyclists and slower speeds for motorized vehicles [and] safer road crossings that utilize narrowed lanes."
However, the city council is working to fix this.
"We will have more of a focus on our bicycle infrastructure," Wojahn said. "We'll see more of a focus on our trails and building out bicycle routes so that people can get around more safely by bike." He also noted that Route 1 is going to be redesigned to include bike lanes from Campus Drive to Route 1 to Route 193 and that the city "has designated 15 on-road bicycle routes and two bicycle/pedestrian trails and adopted a complete streets policy to implement a network of multi-modal roadways."
Junior chemistry major Anya Gipsov said she would like to see some improvements of the pathways on campus.
"Biking is really fun on nice days 'cause there's a lot of hills, and I like going fast," she said. "The only bad thing about biking [on campus] is I guess potholes or cracks in the road 'cause they can pop your tires."