Regional Economic Development Councils should embrace cycling

NY’s Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs) are increasingly embracing the economic and tourism benefits of bicycling-related projects.

According to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the North Country Regional Economic Development Council included Cycle Adirondacks, a week long cycling touring through Northern New York, as one of the “priority projects” in its 2013 Progress Report, released Tuesday.  The Wildlife Conservation Society developed the proposal, modeled after a similar event called Cycle Greater Yellowstone, which draws cyclists from all over the world.  Zoe Smith, WCS Adirondack Program Director, hopes the event will provide an economic boost to smaller communities that don’t typically see a lot of bicycling tourism, while encouraging increased appreciation for the Adirondack Park.  Read more here…

Photo courtesy of: Olympic Regional Development Authority

Photo courtesy of: Olympic Regional Development Authority

In 2012, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) announced that Tompkins County was awarded $512,000 from the Community Revitalization Program to assist with improvements to Pine Tree Road, part of a larger effort to expand pedestrian and bicycle connections among the East Hill area, Cornell, and a proposed bikeway extending to Varna and Dryden.

“The Ithaca area attracts thousands of visitors every year with its scenic gorges and premier colleges, and through the expansion of these pedestrian and bicycle connections we are making the area an even more attractive destination. An increase in visitors will provide an economic boost to local businesses, helping to grow the Southern Tier’s economy. We are proud to support this project and look forward to its completion,” said Tom Tranter, STREDC Co-chair and President & CEO of Corning Enterprises.

Across New York State, from New York City, to Buffalo, to Ithaca, to Plattsburgh, projects like these are breathing economic life into communities that embrace the transportation, recreation and tourism benefits of bicycling.

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