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Bike to the Blossoms Campaign Brings People to Parks

Credit: goDCgo.com

Every year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC.  Originally planted along the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, the cherry trees bloom each spring and can now be found throughout the entire Tidal Basin as well as East Potomac Park.  The two-week festival includes numerous concerts, food tastings, walks and races, parades, the Blossom Kite Festival and myriad other activities, and attracts over a million people to the city each year.

As the Tidal Basin turns into a cloud of pink each spring, East Potomac Park is often overrun with cars whose drivers idle about while admiring the famous cherry trees, making it difficult for those on bike or foot to enjoy the floral display.

That’s why we are excited to learn that Capital Bikeshare, in conjunction with the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, is launching the Bike to the Blossoms campaign for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  This campaign allows visitors (and locals) to buy a 5-day membership to Capital Bikeshare for a special rate of $15, instead of the regular $5 daily membership rate.  In addition to the special rate, there will be extra bike docks and racks downtown as well as valet bike parking.  And for the directionally challenged, there is even a reader-friendly joint transportation map available outlining the many transportation options surrounding the festival’s events.

We’ve written before about the importance of bringing bike share programs to city parks, encouraging people to visit their local urban oases by using two wheels instead of four.  And with the super helpful transportation map, riders can easily discern how to visit multiple parks and attractions in one bike ride.

The Bike to the Blossoms campaign is a good example of how an already popular bike share program can connect residents and visitors to over a dozen parks and monuments within a five-mile radius, heralding the beginning of spring and the tourist season in Washington, D.C.  This campaign is also a great example of a successful partnership between local and federal government and the private sector to support the tourism industry.  We hope other cities will consider similar campaigns this spring and summer to encourage their residents and out-of-towners to visit their own city parks from a two-wheeled vantage point 🙂

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