Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett doubled down on the first day of Bike to Work Week by not only riding a B-cycle to City Hall yesterday, but he also announced $288,000 for a bicycle sharing system in Milwaukee next year. The majority of the funds will come from a Tax Incremental Finance district (TIF) to help Northwestern Mutual build a new 33-story office tower along Milwaukee’s lakefront downtown. The funds will need approval by Milwaukee’s Common Council. Aldermen Nick Kovak and Jose Perez who biked in with the Mayor said they thought it should pass given the even larger amount of private money already promised to Midwest BikeShare Inc.
In addition to the welcome good news from Mayor Barrett yesterday morning, Mother Nature provided great weather and local businesses offered free coffee and snacks to help encourage people to get out and ride bicycles to work. The first day closed with a Kick-Off Party hosted at Stone Creek Coffee and organized by Vulture Space, a non-profit bike shop downtown in Grand Avenue Mall. The party featured free pizza from Transfer, Milwaukee’s most bicycle-friendly pizza joint and a fashion show.
To find out about similar events going on in across Wisconsin, check our our BTWW pages here to find something closer to where you live and work. Let us know in the comments below how your first day of Bike to Work Week went. Did you see more people out riding in your community?