225’s February 2021 issue is on stands now

Doug Moore is a longtime advocate for the expansion of Baton Rouge’s bike culture, and lately, he’s noticed something interesting. “Every time I ride, I see someone else riding,” says Moore, president of Bike Baton Rouge. “That’s a big change from a few years ago.”

For some time, bike proponents have been trying to shoehorn an alternative transportation network into Baton Rouge’s decidedly car-centric transportation infrastructure. Change has been gradual. But a recent wave of momentum could give the movement an adrenaline shot.

In 2020, Baton Rouge saw the opening or expansion of several new bike pathways, including on a portion of Government Street, Phase II of the Downtown Greenway and an extension of the Mississippi River Levee Bike Path. In June, the Metro Council passed the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, which recommends the city ultimately create more than 350 combined miles of safe on-road and off-road trails. And, a master plan spearheaded by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to revamp the LSU and City Park lakes calls for dedicated paths linking to other bike routes.

But what’s most interesting is that this convergence of projects, some of them years in the making, is playing out against an unexpected backdrop. The coronavirus pandemic caused interest in recreational biking to soar, reaching levels no one could have anticipated. Baton Rouge’s recently established bikeshare program, Gotcha, saw usage double after the onset of the pandemic. Over at Capital City Cyclery, the shop “sold an insane amount of bikes,” says Clayton Weeks, manager of the Essen Lane location.

Read more about the future of biking in 225‘s February 2021 cover story. In this issue, you’ll also find stories on the mayor’s plans for her next term, the impact of COVID-19 on Carnival in Baton Rouge, and much more. Find a copy of 225 on newsstands now, or flip through the issue below.