As it continues pedaling toward bicycle-friendly status, York City will dedicate next week to those human-powered two-wheeled machines.
The third installment of Bike in York Week kicks off Monday.
This time around, the city won't be closing any street lanes, as it did to many motorists' dismay in 2011.
"We're taking more of an education focus this year," said Shaun Underkoffler, the city's community health program coordinator.
For example, Underkoffler spent part of Wednesday at Lincoln Charter School teaching fifth-grade students about bike safety.
Obviously, those efforts aren't limited to the five-day Bike in York Week. In fact, education has been the focus for months, Underkoffler said.
Goal: Part of the motivation, he said, is the city's goal to be named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Underkoffler said he's preparing an application, and education initiatives are a key component of the league's criteria. The designation, he said, would connect the city to bicycling experts who can help the city achieve the pedestrian- and bike-friendly atmosphere it desires.
"There's many benefits with creating a more walkable, bikeable community -- particularly in an urban area," Underkoffler said.
For example, he said, studies show that bikers tend to spend more money at local restaurants and shops than motorists. And, of course, it's a healthier and more environmentally-friendly mode of transportation.
50 miles: Also, for Bike in York Week, the city and its partners are encouraging Yorkers to bike 50 miles next week and log their progress through an online survey, which can be found through the Bureau of Health's page on Facebook.
Those who do will be eligible to win gift cards from Gung Ho Bikes and Adventure Cycling and Fitness.
York still has a long way to go to become the bike-friendly town it wants to be, Underkoffler said.
But there are signs of change. For example, he said, more people are using the King Street bike lanes.
"There's obviously room for improvements," Underkoffler said. "I think we're going the right direction."
-- Erin James may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.