The City of Stevens Point was recently ranked fourth on a list of Wisconsin cities with the most citizens biking to work.
The ranked list came from a 2015 American Community Survey on towncharts.com. The city with the highest percent of citizens biking to work was Lake Delton where 8 percent of citizen’s commute by bike.
Stevens Point had half of Lake Delton’s with 4 percent of commuters traveling via bike.
Tori Jennings, professor of Anthropology and Member of the Bike and Pedestrian committee of Stevens Point said the city features wide roads, minimal hills, and a compact layout all of which encourage the use of bicycles.
The compact layout of the city means that people live closer to their place of employment, providing ample opportunities for alternative forms of transportation.
According to the towncharts’ website, Stevens Point ranks first in proportion of citizens with a commute time of less than five minutes with six percent of its citizens. Stevens Point rated second in proportion of citizens with a commute time between five and nine minutes with 26 percent of citizens having a commute time that falls within that range.
The Stevens Point Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, formed by the mayor in 2015, is happy with the current success pedestrians in Stevens Point are having, but hope to continue their pursuit of excellence with added bike lanes and the addition of metered parking throughout the city.
Jennings said that with the hopeful addition of bike lanes citizens could bike safely down major streets such as Stanley and Division. While the addition of metered parking would deter the unnecessary use of cars–effectively encouraging more people to bike.
Young millennials and professionals want a community with bike lines and sidewalks to support pedestrian activities.
Jennings said making the community attracted to this demographic will draw in businesses who are looking to employ these people.
By taking these actions Jennings said the city can create, “a community where everyone can get around the way they want to get around.”
Ellie Corbin, senior geography major worked with the Committee to ensure the continued popularity of biking in Stevens Point.
Corbin recently completed a 60 hour internship with the Bike and Pedestrian Committee to create a map of bike routes around the Stevens Point area based on the cyclists comfort level and convenience.
“I think the reason Stevens Point might be considered so bicyclist friendly is because it’s the people that demand it to be,” Corbin said “As long as we continue to have students, faculty and community members demand a bicycle friendly city, we hope that it will continue to go that way.”