DUNKIRK – A group of city residents interested in improvement in Dunkirk wants to promote bicycling in the city.
At a recent meeting at the Fredonia State College Technology Incubator building in Dunkirk, the group heard from Rich Goodman, founder of the nonprofit Spoke Folk group that has been helping local youths obtain bicycles and teaching bicycle repair.
Goodman shared his most current proposal for a partnership between the city and Spoke Folk to establish a mobile bike kiosk at the pier to service the growing number of cyclists who travel along the Great Lakes Wine Trail or belong to cross- country cycling groups that stop in Dunkirk .
Goodman said he believes the bicyclists are an untapped source of tourism, which can be facilitated by a new partnership extending repair and safety services to visitors and local bikers as well.
He said the project could be started at no cost to the city since it is a nonprofit operated by volunteers. Goodman also suggested that weekly family-friendly bike-riding events be planned for the new paths along the lake to encourage outdoor activity.
The City of Dunkirk is scheduled to complete its final phase of bike paths along the harbor, including the historic lighthouse park area.
Those attending the meeting were encouraged to circulate and sign petitions asking the city to also establish a bike path from Fredonia to Dunkirk.
Ann Abdella, of the Chautauqua County Health Network, provided an update to the group on the “Complete Streets” proposal.
The health network will be working with the Dunkirk Planning Office to design neighborhoods that encourage walking, bicycles and motorists.
It also announced plans for community gardens in the city.
Members of the group agreed to begin a campaign to encourage the railroads to maintain the overpass bridges throughout the city.
Group members said these are in need of paint and maintenance. They will discuss lobbying efforts with the railroad companies to encourage them to upgrade the bridges.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 27.
Residents and officials from the Village of Hamburg will be invited to the meeting to share their recent experiences working with the state Department of Transportation in conjunction with their “complete streets” plan that was implemented for the Hamburg business district.