DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) Cars aren’t the only form of transportation. These days many also use a bicycle. Which explains an effort underway to make Downtown De Pere more bike friendly. The motivation here is to make the downtown more functional for bicyclists – while bringing additional revenue to the local economy.

The Fox River Trail brings runners, walkers and bicyclists through Downtown De Pere each year. Yet while pedestrians take time to explore – sometimes bikers ride on because of a lack of places to park.

“We have plenty of racks placed in recreational areas, at the riverwalk and our park systems,” said Allyson Watson of Definitely De Pere. “But we haven’t caught up with the idea of biking being a mode of transportation to get to and from businesses.”

But hopefully – not for much longer. Definitely De Pere – a non-profit group dedicated to business development – is leading an effort to place bike racks throughout the downtown district. Offering businesses a chance to buy one for $200 – which will than be placed as close as possible to their storefront.

“Nationally, more and more people are viewing bikes as a viable source of transportation,” said Watson. “But with that you have to make bike parking just as convenient as vehicular parking is.”

Businesses are buying into the idea – like the owner of Gyro Kabobs. He is buying a rack and believes it will bring in new customers. He sees the untapped market – rolling by his store each day.

“This is a good idea for people to bike around – there are no places to park their bikes,” said the businessman.

Watson says research links bike racks to business success –  saying bicyclists spend on average $25 more than those driving a car – at businesses that they can ride to and store their bike close by.

“Clearly people have adopted more healthy lifestyles and we want to make sure our transportation accommodates that,” Watson said.

And adding up to 50 new bike racks this coming year is one way of accomplishing that. Definitely De Pere hopes to raise enough money to place another 50 bike racks next year as well.