St. Pete businesses and city aiming to be more bike-friendly

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s a mode of transportation that many have used for a long time, and now it’s making a comeback in St. Petersburg. The city believes riding your bike is good for your health, and good for business.

Whether it’s the giant parfait or the Belgian waffle, the Polachy family is a fan of the food at The Hangar restaurant in St. Pete.

“It’s a great place, a good place for the kids to come in and watch the planes take in, fly off,” said James Polachy.

But The Hangar is turning part of its focus from wings to bicycles.

“A lot of them go riding early in the morning. We’re open for breakfast seven days a week so they can come anytime, we’re available,” said executive chef Matthew Smith.

Just off the Pinellas Trail, this restaurant makes it convenient for cyclists to stop, rest and eat — they’ve added bike racks outside the front door. They’re joining other businesses working to accommodate this specific clientele.

“I’d say it’s the most bike-friendly city in Florida,” said Lucas Cruse, the St. Pete Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator.

The City of St. Pete is doing everything they can to encourage more people on bikes saying studies have shown customers who arrive on two wheels spend more than those in cars.

“It works well with our environment of small, locally-owned businesses, and if you’re biking by on a bike, it’s much easier to pop in and shop local,” said Cruse.

For the Polachy family, they’re already planning their next outing.

“It’s amazing. We like riding our bikes, being outside. It’s a safe place, the kids enjoy coming in and getting the food, and having a good time,” said Polachy.

The City of St. Pete is currently working with businesses in getting them bicycle-friendly business certified.

They’re counting on this to draw more people to live in the city and bring in more tourists.

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