By Cathriona Fey
BAPA Community Outreach & Improvement
The past few months, you may have noticed an increase in biking activity throughout the community. In addition to the warmer weather, as social distancing guidelines and various closures and restrictions went into place due to COVID-19, many local residents and people across the country turned to bicycling as a form of alternative transportation, leisure and exercise.
Evident by the many bike stores in the U.S. are experiencing a shortage of inventory, the spike in demand for bikes has left many bike shops out of stock and long lists of pre-orders. According to the New York Times, “… since the pandemic upended daily life in the United States, cycling has taken on a crucial, sanity-saving role: bikes are a way to exercise while gyms stay closed and an inexpensive means of getting around cities where more than 90 percent of riders have abandoned public transportation.” With many new bike riders on the road and the idea that COVID-19 may have permanently changed the role of bikes into something more essential, promoting safe biking has become a priority for the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA).
Locally, this increase in biking also comes as Beverly/Morgan Park prepares for the upcoming launch of new Divvy bikes and stations in the neighborhood, after which we can expect even more biking activity throughout the community. Given these current and upcoming events, the importance of bike safety and identifying safe routes has been amplified. In addition to providing bike-friendly opportunities in the community, BAPA has been sharing bike safety tips throughout the spring and summer months. To further encourage safe biking, BAPA has also put together a Bike Beverly bike map that highlights recommended routes for navigating Beverly/Morgan Park.
The need for safe bike routes and the fear of being injured while biking are often cited as barriers to people biking or properly following biking rules of the road. Informed by the City of Chicago’s recommended bike routes, safe biking standards, and local bike advocates, the Bike Beverly map allows residents to bike more confidently throughout the neighborhood. Encouraging crossing major intersections at street lights, riding with the flow of traffic, and guiding bicyclists near parks, schools and slower traffic speed areas, the Bike Beverly map has created a connected network of routes that will allow residents and visitors to safely experience and explore Beverly/Morgan Park by bike.
The new month brings a new set of clues for BAPA’s History Mystery Bike Adventure. In July, participants will bike through East Beverly to solve the latest History Mystery puzzle and compete for prizes. This month’s clues combine notable architecture, art, some spookiness, and some quirkiness to create a unique family-friendly bike riding experience. Locate your July History Mystery Bike Adventure on page (##), then solve all 16 clues to complete the puzzle. Take a picture and submit your completed puzzle to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be randomly selected from entries with the correct solution. The History Mystery Bike Adventure will feature a new part of the neighborhood every month through October. Good luck!
Bike Beverly Merchandise Available
Local bicyclists can now show their pride in and support for biking in the community by purchasing Bike Beverly merchandise from the BAPA online store. BAPA has an array of apparel for both adults and children available, as well as hats, stickers and other items for sale. Orders will be accepted June 29 through July 12. Go to www.bapa.org to place your order today!
BAPA looks forward to continuing to promote bike-friendly opportunities in the community throughout the summer. As always, practice safe biking and be aware of bicyclists on the road while driving. Be sure to tag BAPA on Instagram and Facebook and #beverlybikes2020 to show us your biking adventures!