Bike paths are more accessible than ever in our region and the trend is likely to continue. However, the number of riders is going down in the bike-friendly Truckee Meadows.

The Regional Transportation Commission says that from 2016 to 2017, Washoe County saw a dip of about 1,400 riders, a nearly 20% decrease.

A United States Census Bureau report shows the percentage of commuters using bikes has gone down nationally for the third straight year. Despite this national dip in cyclists, Reno and Sparks communities are continuing to make bike-friendly investments.

RTC is currently adding bike lanes to Oddie Boulevard and Wells Avenue as well as on Center Street.

In 2018, the organization also added bike lanes from Prater Way to 4th Street, better connecting Reno and Sparks without the need of cars.

It's a change that the Reno Bike Project says is not only great for the environment but also for their recent expansion. After years of hard work and growth, this downtown staple has now added a second location on 4th Street in Reno.

“We felt there was a need down here for this community,” says Noah Silverman, Co-founder of the Reno Bike Project.

The new shop is a place where it can store and recycle the thousands of donated bikes it receives each year. Silverman says the new home will help his company achieve it's mission.

“Our mission is to get more people on bikes, and create a world class cycling community,” says Silverman.

Silverman says he knows the Reno Bike Project can't achieve this task alone. He says that’s where organizations like RTC come in.

“People don't want to drive their cars, there's traffic and it's easier to get there by bike,” says Lauren Ball, Spokesperson for RTC.

Ball says in the last couple of years, the widening of McCarran at Pyramid Highway now leaves more space between drivers and bicyclists. She also says the multi-use path along Veteran's Parkway gives riders a more than 5 mile path between Sparks and south Reno.

“Wherever we have a project where we are able to add infrastructure for bicycles, we notice an increase in bicyclists in those areas,” says Ball.

While trends might show that a strong economy has led to a decrease of bike commuters nationally, Silverman is hopeful Reno and Sparks will continue to push people to get on two wheels.

“Connectivity around town, safely, is the key,” says Silverman.