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PAWTUCKET â€“ Mayor Donald R. Grebien will put on his bicycle helmet and get aboard a two-wheeler to take part with dozens of other bicycling enthusiasts when the first ever â€śPawtucket Bike to Work Dayâ€ť is held today.
Bicyclists taking part in the event, which is open to everyone, will gather at 8:30 a.m. at the Veterans Amphitheatre, at Roosevelt and Exchange streets in downtown Pawtucket, for a show of two-wheel strength and a bit of rest before completing the ride to their workplace. Light refreshments will be provided to participants.
Last June, following the awarding of a $225,000 competitive federal grant to the city through the state Department of Health, Grebien called for city residents to volunteer on an advisory panel for the â€śHealthy Places by Design Project.â€ť The grant is intended to promote healthy living through community planning, and promote healthy eating and increased physical activity.
In addition to Pawtucket, North Kingstown and South Kingstown also received funding for similar activities.
The events are being organized by Healthy Places by Design, in conjunction with the private, nonprofit Pawtucket Citizens Development Corp. and the Pawtucket Bike Committee.
Healthy Places by Design is a national federally-funded initiative seeking to strengthen land use, transportation and urban design policies and local ordinances in a way more supportive of healthy living.
Suggestions were provided through meetings with residents, surveys and public meetings that determined improved walkability and bike-ability would help meet the goal of encouraging healthier lifestyles.
The Health Department chose Pawtucket as the urban community for the project in part because the city recently conducted an update of its city master plan, completed a circulation and zoning analysis of its downtown, and took part in related projects with PCDC and Rhode Island Housing.