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Commissioners Join 2 by 2012 Bike Initiative; Encourage Employees to Bike to Work

Monday, April 25, 2011
Contact: Hanna M. Greer, 525-5848
Brittany Thompson, 525-3354

Today, Franklin County Commissioners joined Consider Biking’s 2 by 2012 initiative and encouraged employees to start biking to work, school or for errands twice a month by Columbus’ Bicentennial in 2012.

2 BY 2012 is a new, turnkey, bicycling program available to all central Ohio businesses and organizations. It is one of the featured campaigns for the Columbus Bicentennial celebration. A recent benchmarking study commissioned by the Columbus Partnership showed that the adult obesity rate in Central Ohio has increased in the last two years – from 25.6-percent to 30- percent making us the most obese city of the 16 cities participating in the study.

“As a major employer in the region, with almost 7,000 employees, Franklin County is committed to improving the health of our employees and residents,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “The 2 by 2012 program is an innovative challenge that will improve personal health, the environmental health of our region and save families money.”

Eighty-percent of car trips in the US are 5 miles or less. Replacing a short car ride with biking eliminates 15 pounds of car exhaust, according to the Consider Biking website.

“In 2006, the Franklin County Commissioners made the commitment to integrate green technologies and sustainable practices wherever possible. Today, 47% of our fleet vehicles now operate on alternative fuel sources,” said Commissioner Paula Brooks. “The 2 by 2012 partnership is the next generation in sustainability—encouraging our employees and residents to take vehicles off the road and lessen their environmental impact while they have the added benefit of healthy exercise.”

“Biking is good for your health and the environment and it’s good for the family’s budget,” said Commissioner O’Grady. “It’s our goal to make bicycling a mainstream transportation option so that more families can start saving. With the cost of gas nearly $4/gallon the cost of buying and maintaining a bike is around one-percent of the cost of buying and maintaining a car.”

“I’d like to thank the Commissioners for their leadership role in encouraging active transportation among their employees and all Franklin County residents by becoming a 2 BY 2012 partner,” said Consider Biking Board President Doug Morgan, Partner, Hahn Loeser Parks, LLP. “Free tools like bike buses and our online RideNet community break down barriers to bicycling, encouraging everyone to drive less and ride more.”

Thanks to collaboration with AVI FoodSystems, Franklin County employees who participate in the program twice a month will receive reduced lunch vouchers at the County Courthouse Cafeteria.

“We’re excited to partner with the Franklin County Commissioners and their agencies on this very important initiative. Biking to work allows you to enjoy fresh air, helps the environment, adds more exercise to your daily routine and now, saves you money at the café,” commented Craig Collins, General Manager for AVI Foodsystems at the Franklin County Courthouse Café.

Participating county employees will also be allowed, with supervisor approval, to utilize flexible work schedules to ensure safety and avoid high-traffic vehicle commute times.