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It’s flat, the weather is amazing, it has plenty of public bike racks…so why aren’t more Sarasotans riding bikes? Bicycles can play a huge role in the livability of a place. They provide mobility to citizens of all ages and income, keep people fit, promote social connections, and don’t require a drop of gasoline. Cities and towns around the world are realizing that the more their people are on bikes the healthier, happier, and safer they’ll be. Research even confirms that cities that prioritize bikes reap economic benefits.

Laurel Park Management encourages its residents to utilize bikes whenever possible. Several residents we’ve spoken with run nearly all their errands, including grocery shopping, via bike. The Silva Court Studios even offer free indoor bike parking. From Laurel Park, nearly everything one needs can be reached on bike. And the more people see other people on bikes, the more likely they are to join them.

If you don’t regularly use a bike for transportation, what would encourage you to give it a try? If you already consider a bike to be your second car, what do you think Sarasota could do to make itself more bike-friendly?