City staff participating in ‘Bike to Work Month’

City staff encouraging citizens to try biking to work as well
By Brandon Gustafson | May 02, 2018
Courtesy of: Karl Almgren From left, Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, Permit Services Supervisor Shawna Gossett, GIS Coordinator Matt Entinger, and Assistant Planner Garrett Jensen posing with their bikes after riding from the Rosehill Community Center to Mukilteo City Hall for Bike to Work Month.

If you’re driving and it seems like more bikers are out riding this month, you’re right.

May is “Bike to Work Month,” and the city of Mukilteo is encouraging locals to participate.

Although the “official” Bike to Work Day is May 18, some Mukilteo city staff members already kicked off the month by biking from the Rosehill Community Center to City Hall yesterday morning.

Among that crew was Mukilteo Assistant Planner Garrett Jensen, who said this is the city’s fourth year participating in Bike to Work Month.

“It’s in collaboration with Community Transit’s efforts to promote biking to work,” Jensen said. “It’s a part of the Commuter Trip Reduction (CTR).”

CTR is a law passed by the Washington State Legislature in 1991 to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Some organizations choose to bike to work as a part of the CTR.

Jensen said people should research alternate routes and means of transportation for getting to their jobs.

“I saw a recent study that about 40 percent of people live within just a few miles of their workplace,” Jensen said. “People who live that close to their jobs are the key audience for this.”

Jensen says people in the city, not just city staff, already use alternative modes of transportation, but encourages people to try biking to work.

“A lot of people do use the bus, carpool, and some take the ferry,” Jensen said. “But I’m trying to advocate that more people try biking to work.”

Yesterday, four city staff members from City Hall made the trek from Rosehill, including Mayor Jennifer Gregerson.

Jensen said because the city has multiple agencies such as City Hall, Public Works, and the Police Department, for instance, it’s hard to have city co-workers group up to ride like they did yesterday.

“We do have six different city government locations, so it’s hard to do an event like this,” Jensen said. “But we do try and encourage people that may live in between Rosehill and City Hall, for instance, to just bike from their place rather than having to meet up with a group.”

Karl Almgren, an associate planner for Mukilteo, also wants to see more citizens and city staff members try biking to work. He feels the hardest step is getting started.

“We just want to get people on their bike once to ‘break the seal’ so to speak,” Almgren said. “We want people to get used to it and know patterns, so we try to do this at the beginning of the month. Getting this out to the public early also allows motorists to know that it’s Bike to Work Month and to be on the lookout for people riding their bikes.”

Of course, weather plays a factor in an increase in biking as well.

“In general, more pedestrians and bikers are going to be out as there’s more ample weather occurring,” Jensen said.

Almgren offered general safety advice for bikers who plan on participating in Bike to Work Month.

“Make sure to wear a helmet and use lights when it’s dark,” Almgren said. “Dress to be seen, but ride as if you’re not.”


Comments (1)
Posted by: Joe Kunzler | May 02, 2018 12:43

Awesome cause, awesome effort!

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