POSTED: Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 6:30am
UPDATED: Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 6:34am
Baton Rouge, La — Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden and his wife Lois will celebrate the Mayor’s Annual Family Bike Day on Saturday, April 13, by leading a bike ride through the historic Garden District and along the stretch of Government Street that will temporarily be converted to a pedestrian- and bike-friendly street by the Better Block Baton Rouge Program.
On April 13 and 14, the section of Government Street between Bedford Drive and Beverly Drive will be narrowed from four to two lanes of traffic to make room for bike lanes, sidewalks, landscaping, parking and business façades. The demonstration will show how the Government Street corridor can be converted into a vibrant and safe destination for pedestrians and cyclists, while maintaining quality road design that optimizes traffic flow and access to businesses.
The Mayor’s Family Bike Ride is open to bicyclists of all ages free of charge. This year, the event is being expanded to include children with disabilities who will participate on specialized bikes, thanks to the McMains Children’s Development Center and Movers and Shakers of Baton Rouge.
Participants should plan on arriving about 9:00 a.m. at B'nai Israel Parking Lot at 3354 Kleinert Avenue, which is just east of Saint Joseph’s Academy. The annual “Blessing of the Bikes” will be held at 9:30 a.m.
Mayor Holden and the city’s First Lady will then lead cyclists for a short ride through the neighborhoods around Saint Joseph’s Academy and Catholic High to the Better Block BR Section of Government Street.
The Baton Rouge Police Department, EMS, Healthy BR partners and local bicycle advocates will be on hand before and after the ride to provide free health screenings and safety information. Bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers from throughout the Capital Region are invited to participate in the screenings and take advantage of the safety tips.
The ride is held each year, as part of the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, and this year’s activities should last until about 12 noon.
The event will also celebrate Baton Rouge‘s status as the first Louisiana city to be officially recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.