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April 02, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Christine Minero Rigamer
Gambel Communications
christine@gambelpr.com
504-324-4242
Third Annual NOLA Bike to Work Day Presented by Entergy and Bike Easy

City Leaders & Community Members Rally to Show Support for Expanding Bike Infrastructure  

New Orleans, LA (April 2, 2013) – Entergy and Bike Easy along with Councilmember Guidry and Councilmember Cantrell gathered this morning on the steps of City Hall to show support for the third annual NOLA Bike to Work Day presented by Entergy and Bike Easy and to unveil the newest Bike Easy initiative -- NOLA Bike Trains Powered by Entergy.

“Biking is a simple way to conserve energy and preserve the environment,” said Patty Riddelbarger, director of corporate social responsibility at Entergy Corporation. “Entergy is proud to be at the forefront of the movement to make our city more bike friendly. We are committed to making bicycling more accessible for every New Orleanian every day of the year.”

Formed in 2012, NOLA Bike to Work Day is a community wide initiative that raises the awareness about the benefits of biking and regional developments that make biking eaier and safer. More than 700 cyclists from the Greater New Orleans Area participated in the 2013 NOLA Bike to Work Day, an increase of more than 200 participants from the inaugural event in 2012.

New Orleans had approximately 11 miles of bicycle paths before Hurricane Katrina. Today, the city now boasts over 84 miles of bike plans with more planned or under construction thanks to a grant from Entergy Corporation and a partnership between the City of New Orleans and the Louisiana Public Health Institute. Entergy has invested more than $500,000 since Hurricane Katrina toward making New Orleans a more bike friendly city though supporting various bike initiatives including Bike Easy’s newest program, NOLA Bike Trains Powered by Entergy.

Building on the momentum created by NOLA Bike to Work Day, NOLA Bike Trains Powered by Entergy -- will emphasize the ease of cycling, while fostering a community of support for riders of all experience levels from beginners to the experienced cyclist. Set to launch Friday, April 11th, NOLA Bike Trains Powered by Entergy will offer weekly bike convoys led by volunteers and will start with two pilot routes -- the first departing from Bayou St. John and concluding at the Central Business District, while the second route commences in Mid City and finishes at the University of New Orleans Lakefront campus. Both routes will meet weekly on Friday mornings at 7:45 AM and depart at 8 AM. Additional routes will be developed and added to meet the growing needs of the cycling community.

“Bike Easy is dedicated to making biking accessible by connecting cyclists of all skill and comfort levels through community programming,” said Naomi Doerner, executive director of Bike Easy. “We are grateful for the continued community support and excited to see how we can continue to grow and support the bicyling community of New Orleans.”

For its continued efforts, the City of New Orleans has been designated a Bronze Level Bike Friendly City by the League of American Bicyclists -- joining other cities such as Portland, Boulder and Austin who are designated bike-friendly cities. In 2012, the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking Benchmarking Report ranked New Orleans tenth nationwide for the highest number of workers commuting by bike.

Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure, and Community Development Cedric Grant said, “Biking is an important mode of transportation in New Orleans and Bike to Work Day is a great way to promote this healthy and safe alternative to commuting. Active modes of transport save money, energy, and the environment. Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans had fewer than 5 miles of bikeways. Today, we have more than 84 miles and on pace to have more than 100 miles by the end of 2014. Bicyclists and motorists are encouraged to follow the rules of road and exercise common sense and common courtesy so that everyone arrives safely at their destination. On Tuesday, April 8, 2014 we encourage residents to participate and enjoy a bike ride in to work that day.”

The third annual NOLA Bike to Work Day will take place on Tuesday, April 8 and features a full day of bicycle related events. The day begins at 7 AM with bike convoy meet ups at seven strategic locations throughout the city – Algiers, Broadmoor, Bywater, Gentilly, Lakeview, Mid City and Uptown. Once all registered riders are accounted for at the designated meet up spots, experienced Ride Rangers will depart at 7:30 AM, leading the way toward the Central Business District (CBD). For a complete list of NOLA Bike to Work Day meet up spots, visit www.bikeeasy.org.

Between 8 – 9:30 AM, NOLA Bike to Work Day participants are invited to stop by Lafayette Square, on St. Charles Avenue in the Central Business District across from Gallier Hall. Attendees will receive complementary bike swag from Bike Easy and complimentary snacks.

After work, NOLA Bike to Work Day continues with an extended celebration from 5 – 8 PM at the Soda Shop at the National WWII Museum located at 945 Magazine Street. Exclusive food and beverage specials will be available for NOLA Bike to Work Day participants.

The third annual NOLA Bike to Work Day is presented by Bike Easy and Entergy. NOLA Bike to Work Day is free and all New Orleanians with a bike are encouraged to participate. All pre-registered riders will be entered to win a bicycle. For more information or to register, please visit www.bikeeasy.org.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.

Bike Easy (formerly The Metro Bicycle Coalition) is a local 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to making bicycling easier, safer and more fun in Greater New Orleans.  New Orleans currently ranks eighth in the U.S. for bicycle commuters. The city now has over 80 miles of bicycle routes installed, with more being added throughout 2014. Such progress would not be possible without Bike Easy's positive working relationships with the Department of Public Works and the City Council. Bike Easy hopes to one day transform New Orleans into the most bicycle friendly city in America. To learn more please visit www.bikeeasy.org.

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