Joel Dunn: Cycling integral to Carson City’s future |

Joel Dunn: Cycling integral to Carson City’s future

Joel Dunn

Anyone who questions this community’s penchant for bike riding need only to look at last weekend’s opening of the last leg of the Carson City freeway.

It was a virtual three-mile traffic jam of bicyclists, mixed in with some walkers and runners along with the occasional rollerblader, skate boarder or unicycler.

Looking out the window of my office on the corner of Washington and Carson streets, I easily see dozens of cyclists ride by every day.

All of this isn’t mentioning the hundreds of people who rode their bikes through the city’s historic west side as part of the events planned by Muscle Powered during National Bike Month in May.

That’s why I was taken aback to read the Chamber’s latest article saying Carson City residents aren’t riding through town, opting to take their bikes elsewhere to ride.

Of course, motorized vehicles outnumber bicycles. That’s true in every city in America. They missed the point.

The point is by creating the infrastructure for bicycling, more people will opt to ride rather than drive, helping to create a healthier and more dynamic community.

That’s the kind of community that will draw in visitors and new residents, alike.

With Carson City’s estimated buildout of 70,000 residents, we’re presented with a unique opportunity to help define the next 15,000 residents. Carson City has successfully rebranded itself over the past four years as a contemporary capital rich in arts, culture, history and outdoor recreation.

The rebranding showcased Carson City as a community with actively engaged residents, celebrating an unmatched quality of life with our natural assets, investment in open space, trail development and a pedestrian/bike/business friendly downtown.

The Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority’s marketing campaign has focused on young, educated millennials throughout the Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Simi Valley areas. The method to the madness wasn’t to just attract them to visit Carson City but ultimately to relocate and contribute to our amazing community.

Carson City has come a long way in recent years, becoming a community focused on health, innovation and education.

I’m proud to be involved with that change and look forward to future improvements.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to hop on my bike to go grab some lunch. I’m sure I’ll see many of you out there doing the same.

Joel Dunn is the executive director of the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority.