Pulling into the dock at Boatwerks on a Friday afternoon was a refreshing reminder of the impact that bikes have on our community. This lovely couple live in Muskegon and decided to travel by boat along the Lakeshore, stopping in Holland for lunch, and then boating further south along the shore. They each bring a bike onboard and find that having a bike gives them great freedom to travel the last mile, biking to restaurants to enjoy dinner, or simply to enjoy shops downtown.
The Michigan Department of Transportation sponsored a study of the economic benefits of cycling in the Holland area and found that the total economic impact of bicycling in our community is $6.4 million. This includes bike retail sales, bicycling events and vacations in Michigan.
The simplicity of taking bikes along while traveling by boat or by any other mode (train, bus, automobile, etc), also provides a great opportunity for physical activity – which is not only good for your health – it also saves money. The economic impact study found that health care savings due to the physical activity from biking in our region can be up to $2.5 million. When employees are physically active they take fewer sick days and they are absent from work less often. This same study noted that employers save money when Holland area employees bike. The savings to local employers is calculated to be $1.8 million.
So….consider bringing your bike along the next time you plan some leisure time. It’s a great way to enjoy your community and you too, can see that with a bike you really can go anywhere!
Did you know that rain and melting snow are the only substances that should go into storm drains? Anything that enters a storm drain is carried directly to a nearby lake and stream. There it becomes pollution that can negatively impact habitat, recreation and other uses. A discharge to a storm drain that is not composed entirely of rain or snowmelt is known as an Illicit discharge. Illicit discharges include dumping of grass clippings, leaves and litter on the street, soil washing away from unprotected construction sites, direct connections of sanitary sewer lines, emptying powerwashing wastewater into a storm drain, and many other items or substances that are not water! Directly dumping or accidentally spilling substances into storm drains are also considered illicit discharges.