A local nonprofit focused on bicycle safety and infrastructure will be out and about this week posting signs and banners promoting Lodi as a bicycle friendly city.
Bike Lodi is launching its “Bike Friendly City: Lodi” campaign on Thursday, and members will be placing some 200 signs featuring children on bicycles in front yards across the city to raise bicycle safety awareness.
In addition, the group will be hanging four large banners around town depicting a family with their bicycle at Lodi Lake.
Two bus shelters will also be dressed with the campaign message, Bike Lodi chair Kathryn Siddle said.
This is the first campaign the nonprofit has launched, Siddle said, made possible through a Rose Foundation grant of $4,000, she said.
“Lodi is a great city to ride a bike,” Siddle said. “We’re all flat, and the only time you have to go uphill is when you ride over an overpass.”
The idea to promote Lodi as a bike-friendly community came to life after the nonprofit installed a community bicycle repair station at Lodi Lake last year. The station was initially intended to be installed at the Lodi Public Library, but then the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, effectively closing the facility to the public.
Without public presence at the library, installing a repair station made little sense, Siddle said, so it was moved to the lake.
“That got us looking at doing a three-phased campaign about bike safety, awareness and how great a city is for them,” she said.
Siddle added the campaign will be great for Lodi tourism as well, as many wineries in and around Lodi have been destinations for cyclists in the spring and summer seasons.
The sport of cycling seems to be gaining in popularity as well, she said, as Bike Lodi received numerous reports during the pandemic of residents not being able to purchase bicycles.
“Last year, you couldn’t find a bike in Lodi, or even Stockton,” she said. “It was like everyone bought one, because that was one of the few things you were allowed to do (during lockdown). We want to keep that going. It’s a viable form of transportation, and we want people to just ‘think bikes.’”
The yard signs and banners placed Thursday will be in both English and Spanish, and will be part of the first phase of the Bike Friendly City: Lodi campaign.
The second phase will feature cyclists of all ages and lifestyles riding their bikes on both city streets and rural roads, and the third phase will feature messages encouraging motorists to share the road. The campaign was influenced in part by a bike safety awareness program created by the city of Cleveland, Ohio, entitled “We’re All Drivers.”
Signs created for that campaign featured cyclists of all ages and lifestyles, labeled by the kind of rider, or driver they are on the road. For example, one sign features a soldier carrying his bicycle on his shoulder with the label “Defensive Driver,” while another depicts a teenager riding along a bike path with the label “Student Driver.”
Siddle said it is unknown how long the new campaign will last.