In a recent study, PlacesFor Bikes gave Fort Wayne a 1.9 star rating out of 5 for great places to bike. The study also puts the Summit City 134 out of 509 studied.
The bike advocacy group uses several surveys and studies to come up with the ranking each year. It measures ridership, safety, network, reach and acceleration.
Those rankings break down as:
- Ridership (1.7) – The amount of regular riders in the community.
- Safety (1.9) – How many injuries and deaths are reported from car vs. pedestrian incidents.
- Network (2.2) – How easy it is to access destinations via bicycles.
- Reach (3.1) – How consistently the bike network serves all members of the community.
- Acceleration (0.6) – How quickly the city is working to grow bike riding.
“We’re doing an awful lot in terms of reaching people,” Planning Director Paul Spoelhof explained. “Outreach, being creative and how we’re trying to encourage people to ride. But the other thing is, we need to keep building our infrastructure in the city to make sure that people have a place that they are comfortable riding.”
In 2016, Fort Wayne was designated as a bicycle-friendly city by the League of American Bicyclists. At that point the city reported the installation of 275 bike racks and 12 miles of bike lanes since 2010.
“It’s gotten significantlly more friendly and more easy as the community has come to realize that bicycles are part of our life,” Cyclist Vincent Serrani said.
“And the trails are expanding every year,” Martin Smolinski added. “It’s really neat what’s going on in Fort Wayne.”
Bicycle safety is getting attention as more riders hit the streets with warmer weather. Friday marks National Bike-to-Work Day. In Fort Wayne, Pedal City will host an after work party. An official celebration will start the day outside of the Skyline YMCA.
“People want to cycle,” Patrick Stelte, the president of Three Rivers Velo Sport said. “They want to get out and enjoy the outdoors. They want to do it in their own way. Fort Wayne has had the momentum for a while and I hope it continues.”