Bicyclists are good for business.
Available bicycle parking tells bicyclists that they are welcome at a business or in a community.
Milford Borough is hoping that the addition of a bicycle rack in one of its municipal parking lots will help support downtown businesses.
According to the Adventure Cycling Association, towns with populations of just 750 people can generate more than $25 million from bicycle tourism annually.
“Bicyclists require relatively little to attract them to your business or community, but bicycle parking is a key amenity to welcome and encourage bicyclists to patronize local stores,” said Caryl Harris, goHunterdon bicycle specialist.
The rack delivered to Milford Borough recently was provided by goHunterdon, the local nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainable transportation.
As part of the organization’s “Bike Hunterdon” initiative, bicycle racks are being offered to Hunterdon businesses and municipalities, for periods of one to two months, free of charge, to gauge demand for bicycle parking. “The bike rack loan program allows businesses and communities to see for themselves whether a bike rack is of value,” said Harris.
Bicycle racks have already been placed in Lambertville and at the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market.
“We are excited to receive a bicycle rack from goHunterdon and place it prominently in the municipal parking lot on the corner of Route 519 and Bridge Street,” said Mayor Henri Schepens. “Bicyclists know Milford and often plan their route to be able to stop to rest, refuel in one of our restaurants, and visit our unique shops,” he added.
“This bike rack shows cyclists that Milford welcomes them,” said CouncilmanRob Castagna. Castagna, who also owns Chestnut Hill on the Delaware Bed and Breakfast, said bicyclists from across the country and around the world regularly make reservations knowing that Hunterdon County offers outstanding bicycling.
Nina Ferranti, owner of Bridge Street Bagels & Deli, said cyclists regularly frequent her business. “The bike rack will be great for those customers,” she added.
“We have (a) special downtown here in Milford. Anything we can do to attract customers benefits everyone,” said Councilwoman Janice Armstrong.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of local residents choosing to ride recreationally,” said Harris. “It’s an ideal time to increase bicycle parking in our downtown areas.”
Businesses and municipalities interested in requesting a bicycle rack are invited complete an online request form at: gohunterdon.org/pedalpark.