City of Lowell Rolls Out Bicycles for City Staff
Consistent with its practice of leading by example on issues of sustainability, the City of Lowell purchased four bicycles for use by City staff in conducting City business. The bicycles are available to all employees who have official need to travel throughout the City on inspections, site visits, or deliveries. Those employees who use the bikes will be saving fuel, eliminating wear and tear on their personal vehicles, lessening traffic congestion, getting a little exercise, and saving the taxpayers money in mileage reimbursement. All of this helps move the City closer to its goal of promoting environmental and economic sustainability as outlined in the Sustainable Lowell 2025 master plan that was endorsed by the Lowell City Council in March.
The four bicycles were purchased from a Downtown business by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) using a federal grant. DPD staff have pilot tested their use. Transportation Engineer Eric Eby, a frequent bike user, observed “I have been riding one of the bikes for a while and it really is an enjoyable and easy way to get around the city and avoid having to look for a parking spot!”
The new bikes complement the City’s efforts to promote cycling in the City, including the introduction of bicycle lanes and sharrow markings on various City streets, most recently Father Morrissette Boulevard, and ongoing expansion of the Riverwalk, Concord River Greenway, and Canalway network of multi-use trails.
There are 2 men’s bikes and 2 women’s bikes. All bikes have fenders, chain guards, helmets, locks and saddlebags. The women’s bikes also have a basket on the front. They are 3-speed bikes with internal hub gearing so there is no greasy chain to get one’s pants caught in. They have wide tires to handle any bumps and cracks in the roads. They have an upright seating position to allow for better visibility. The seats are easily adjustable to different heights for different riders.
City employees have been reminded to follow the same rules of the road as vehicles when riding on city streets. Bikes have a legal right to the full lane on all streets, but they must also stop at all red lights and stop signs, and ride with traffic not against it. In the downtown area bikes are not allowed on sidewalks, but elsewhere in the City cyclists may ride on the sidewalk if they choose.
City Manager Bernard Lynch observed, “We are pleased to be able to offer this more sustainable option for City employees when they need to travel around the City on public business. It highlights Lowell’s position among the more progressive local governments when even our Traffic Engineer is using a bicycle.”
For more information or questions please contact Assistant City Manager Adam Baacke at 978-674-1401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.