We love bike riders (and walkers) at the Kalamazoo farmers market. For us, it’s a strategic choice, a values choice, to encourage and invest in ways that promote biking and walking to our market. There are many benefits for our vendors and Kalamazoo Farmers Market customers that come from promoting biking to market. Examples of benefits include less car traffic (in this way biking investments help even drivers), families staying longer, and it’s healthier. These examples are just a few of the many benefits. What reason do you ride to market?

It’s been great to chat with so many bikers this past market season. There are 100’s of individuals and families who bike to the market every week. Yep, really! It was great to see all types of bikes, commuters, electric assists, electric scooters, peddy cabs, and fat tires. We were fascinated to see the awesome array of saddle bags, milk crates, and grocery/kid haulers you all rode down on this year.

We’ve heard your feedback that you’d like walkable, bikeable connections to nearby neighborhoods and downtown. More on this later, help us hear your feedback by using the hashtag #bikethezoo

Here’s a few of our favorite rides from this spring/summer/fall.

We’d like everyone to be able to walk or bike to KFM safely. One way to do this is to slow traffic in front of market on market day and Take back the streets.

What we’ve done...

With your help we hosted Bike valet at every night market and every 2nd Saturday. Shoutout to the more than 500 riders, and 10 volunteers who helped us pull off Bike Valet nine times this season! Look for more in 2016.

Who rides to the market? Families, kids, couples, individuals, people who live around the block, people live in Richland. Where do you ride from? Even some vendors ride to market, with all their supplies.

Challenges- Kalamazoo biking infrastructure isn’t great, but improving. We are working to help that change, one way is to celebrate and promote you, our bike riders!

Perceptions- We’ve heard it’s not possible to carry groceries home from market on bike, but we know that’s not true because we see YOU do it every week. We’ve heard it’s not safe to ride down to market and we recognize that as a very real limitation. Know that market staff is working actively to incorporate bike friendly design into our space and advocating to the City of Kalamazoo for more safe routes to market. We’ve heard there is no where to park at market, which we know is not true if you ride your bike! We’ve got premium parking for bike riders located at the very front of market.

What does the future of biking at Kalamazoo Farmers Market look like?

You tell us! Use the hashtag #bikethezoo to join the conversation about biking in Kalamazoo (to market or otherwise). KFM is also on Twitter, Facebook, and Instragram, where we’d love to hear your feedback and see your photo’s of biking to market.

Look for more bike valet in the future. Look for KFM to continue to advocate for interconnected, and safe routes to market for our customers and vendors *the farmers and small biz*. All market users benefit when we invest in biking (yep, even the drivers). Shoutout to all the bike riders!