Bicycle makers the Wright Brother brought attention to their hometown of Dayton, Ohio by being the first in flight, and now big names and big crowds are headed to the University of Dayton for the first-ever Miami Valley Cycling Summit on August 14.
Approximately 300 cycling advocates and civic leaders have registered to participate in this day dedicated to people-friendly streets, as well as learning how such amenities can revitalise the Dayton region.
“We see examples everywhere of how cities are harnessing the power of the creative class to breathe new life into post-industrial towns,” said Greg Brummitt, outdoor recreation director at Five Rivers MetroParks. “With a regional effort like this, there’s no reason Dayton can’t compete with cycling-friendly places like Louisville, Madison or Tucson. Now is the time for Dayton to press into the future, and we’re here to help facilitate that movement.”
Five Rivers MetroParks and the Drive Less, Live More campaign have generated a lineup of cycling advocacy heavy-hitters. The summit’s keynote address speaker is senior political reporter and author Jeff Mapes. His book, “The Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities,” illustrates ways that cities like his hometown of Portland, Oregon, are reinventing themselves by making city transit bicycle-friendly.
Other featured guests include Andréa White-Kjoss, CEO of California’s Bikestation Coalition; Bill Nesper, director of the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community Program; Bicycling for Louisville Executive Director Barry Zalph; Philip Pugliese, bicycle coordinator for Outdoor Chattanooga; Jeff Stephens, executive director for the central Ohio cycling advocacy group Consider Biking; and two from the Alliance for Biking and Walking, Grassroots and Training Coordinator Chanda Causer and Member Services Director Jeremy Grandstaff.
Throughout the day, these speakers and break-out sessions will help channel the passion of advocates into productive collaboration with local mayors, commissioners and other government officials. The summit’s goal is to have all attendees walk away with a better understanding of what the cycling movement can do for Dayton and how enthusiasts and officials can make Dayton a bike-friendly community that attracts the sought-after creative class. Ultimately, the goal of these efforts will result in a brighter future for Dayton.
“One of the pillars – or pedals, in this case – on which Dayton was built is the bicycle,” Brumitt added. “What better catalyst for revitalization than the very element that put us on the map in the first place?”
For more information, visit www.metroparks.org.