The Erie Canalway Trail attracts all different kinds of users for a variety of uses– rollerblading, skateboarding, dog-walking, running and cycling.
All of these users can have a positive impact on the trail and surrounding communities. Cyclists, because there are so many of them (48 million people in the United States bicycle recreationally each year), are in a great position to take on a dual role as cheerleaders and economic engines.
For more than a decade now, PTNY has hosted a Bicyclists Bring Business (B3) workshop in a community along the Erie Canalway Trail to promote this concept more widely. The workshop offers resources and recommendations to local businesses, elected officials, tourism professionals, and community members about the services and amenities that are important to bicyclists, and what their community can do to better attract and profit from the growing bicycle tourism market.
The communities we’ve worked with have found that modest investments can result in a substantial boost for tourism. These modest investments focus on services that are particularly important to bicyclists, such as lodging and campsites, local maps, luggage transportation, bicycle repairs and bicycle security. Places like Oneida and Glens Falls were able to incorporate the recommendations from Bicyclists Bring Business into future planning efforts.
On September 30, PTNY hosted a virtual workshop in partnership with the New York State Canal Corporation and Herkimer County HealthNet focused on Ilion. The workshop presented findings from a bicycle and pedestrian assessment that was conducted in Ilion at the end of August and offered workshop participants with recommendations to:
- Encourage bicycle tourists to visit Ilion;
- Ensure that bicycle tourists can safely and comfortably get to and around Ilion;
- Meet the needs and desires of bicyclists with cyclist-oriented infrastructure and amenities;
- Give bicyclists positive experiences that draw them back for repeated visits and that they will share with fellow cyclists;
- Take the first steps to foster partnerships and secure resources
By the end of October a final report and the updated Bicyclists Bring Business: A Handbook for Attracting Bicyclists to New York’s Canal Communities will be available.
Watch a full recording of the webinar: