Groups partner to conduct survey on walking, biking needs in county

Groups partner to conduct survey on walking, biking needs in county

For more than a decade, Bicycle Owensboro has been working to try to improve bicycle routes in both Owensboro and Daviess County.

So far, the effort has seen a lot of stops and starts.

But with gas prices seemingly rising hourly, people might be thinking more about biking to places these days.

And the Chamber Young Professionals is joining with Bicycle Owensboro on a survey to see what challenges people face in both walking and biking in Owensboro.

Jared Revlett, a member of the Chamber Young Professionals’ community development committee and a board member of Bicycle Owensboro, said, “We have a pretty solid bicycle community. We decided to do a survey to see if people walk and bike and what challenges do they face.

“We’re partnering with Bicycle Owensboro, Owensboro Health and the United Way to send the survey to the people on their email list.”

Earlier this week, the survey had seen 111 responses, he said.

“And we just started last Friday,” Revlett said. “We’ve heard from people from 18 to 65 and older. We’ll take the data and determine what needs we can try to address.

“Obviously, we’ll need the support of the city commission and Fiscal Court, and we’ll have to apply for grants. The Greenbelt is great, but it doesn’t go to places like downtown or Wesleyan Park Plaza. We may need more bike lanes.”

Felicia Nicely, chair of the CYP’s community development committee, said the idea behind the survey is to see what Owensboro residents feel is the “biggest need area” for the chamber to focus on for walking and bicycling around town.

“This has been on the radar for some time,” she said. “The goal of this survey is just to see what does Owensboro feel we need to improve, or to promote them walking and bicycling more.”

Nicely said the survey began to assess the possible need for bike racks, but it has expanded to include a wider scope, from asking questions on people’s habits of walking to public transit questions.

“It obviously helps people with their personal and mental health,” she said of the activities. “But what people don’t realize is it promotes a greater sense of community. You know when you have all these people gathered together walking down the street it creates more of that neighbor-ness.

“If you’re walking down second street and you see all these places, then you walk in. So you’re helping community businesses too.”

The survey will be up through June 27.  Click here 

By Mike Crimmins and Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer