This Saturday, September 7th, marks our farthest trek yet from Buffalo city limits with our first free and inclusive Jamestown Bike Stampede, thanks to an invitation from the City of Jamestown with support from the Chautauqua County Health Network (CCHN) and New York State’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities program.

We’ll start at 1pm from Brazil Craft Beer & Wine Lounge (10 East 4th Street) on a nine-mile roundtrip ride that’s been designed by locals to both accommodate many skill levels of cyclists while also covering a wide swath of the city, with help from leaders at the Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association, Jamestown Cycle Shop and Loud Performance.

Learn more below about Jamestown and our Bike Stampede from the city’s Principal Planner, Crystal Surdyk.

What is the City of Jamestown doing to make a more walkable and bikebale community?

Jamestown actually has a Complete Streets Policy in place and has been working over the past several years to incorporate Complete Streets components into our roadways, and several new crosswalks have been or will be added at key intersections.  We are also partnering with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation on a project that will add a painted mural to a major intersection at 3rd and Washington Streets with the potential for more as the project continues to develop.

CCHN has also just wrapped up a walkability assessment that looks at the Washington Street Corridor and evaluates its current design in terms of Complete Streets compliance. CCHN will present their findings to the City in the coming weeks and together will develop a collaborative action plan to improve walkability and bikeability along the corridor and surrounding neighborhood. CCHN, with the City as its community partner, has been participating in the Walking College, a program of America Walks, and will develop short term and long term action plans that will take the Complete Street model a step further to be Vision Zero compliant.

Significant focus has been placed on developing our Riverwalk Trail System along the Chadakoin River, and a new bike trail that extends from West 8th street to Clifton Avenue that takes riders through an area of the city like no other as it is completely surrounded by nature. The Riverwalk Trail is an incredible asset to the community and serves as a connector between the urban and natural areas throughout the City.

The proximity of the city’s downtown business and commercial districts to various habitats and ecosystems is a really unique feature that residents and visitors alike have increasingly begun to utilize and enjoy. While the Riverwalk is “off the beaten path,” so to speak, when we’re talking about Complete Streets, its accessibility via multiple points throughout the downtown core of the City further necessitates improved bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

What inspired you to invite Slow Roll out for a ride?

My arrival to Jamestown from Buffalo is fairly recent and I’ve been a fan of the Slow Roll Buffalo message for a long time. As I’ve gotten to know Jamestown a bit better, it has become clear to me that despite good intentions and goals for continued improvements to city bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, there is a pretty significant capacity problem when it comes to implementation of Complete Streets initiatives. There is also a lack of general awareness with regard to not just Complete Streets, but the positive impacts that better bikeability and walkability can have on the community.

I really wanted to bring an event to Jamestown that would bring citizens together as a community, help raise awareness to the purpose and benefits of implementing Complete Streets projects citywide, engage local bike organizations and inspire new citizen champions to advocate for better bike infrastructure and change attitudes about alternative transportation modes.

What should participants expect from our first Jamestown Bike Stampede?

A fun ride that brings people together, highlights some of Jamestown’s coolest neighborhoods and inspires the locals to become advocates and change leaders. We will discover hidden gems, marvel at the City’s historic architecture, meet new friends and share an afternoon of laughs, community and of course, beer!