Rob Healy, Administrator of Parks & Recreation, announced today the selection of Philip Pugliese to serve as the first director of bicycle programs for Outdoor Chattanooga. Initially funded through a grant by the Lyndhurst Foundation and Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga, this position will be responsible for coordination, communication and execution of the Chattanooga Urban Area Bicycle Facilities Master Plan as adopted by the City of Chattanooga and surrounding communities.
Mr. Pugliese, who has recently served as chairman of the Chattanooga Bicycle Task Force, will also be working to develop additional funding resources to significantly accelerate implementation of the $25 million, twenty-year plan.
Mr. Healy said, “We are very thankful to the Lyndhurst Foundation for this grant and are looking forward to accelerating the progress on the Bicycle Master plan. This region is quickly becoming a place where bicycle enthusiasts want to visit and live. Philip has a great knowledge of our local bicycle needs as well as how the state and national alternative transportation programs can help us locally. We are very excited to have Philip join the Outdoor Chattanooga team.
“Taking advantage of the synergy created through Outdoor Chattanooga, we believe that Chattanooga is poised for a significant increase in cycling activities around the region,” Pugliese said. “From people wanting to save money on gas and improve our air quality, to major tourist events such as the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee and Three State Three Mountain Challenge, bicycling is a great way to improve our community. Bikes are economical, don’t pollute and take less space to park.”
Chattanooga has already accomplished many of the initial phase activities identified in the master plan to provide bicycle lanes, share the road facilities, and the recently completed Tennessee Riverwalk and University Greenway. Pugliese said that, “these facilities provide important connections for our residents and visitors between schools, recreation sites and businesses in our community. Bicycling is an excellent activity to improve health and physical fitness while at the same time it can serve as a fundamental means of transportation.”
Upcoming cycling events include the River Gorge Mountain Challenge Road Race on September 10, the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee begins in Chattanooga on September 17, and the Sequatchie Valley Century on October 1. For more information on these activities and bicycling in Chattanooga, please visit www.outdoorchattanooga.com, www.chattbike.com and www.bikechattanooga.org.