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Making a Better Middlebury!

AMATS and several sponsors will mark the agency’s 11th anniversary of hosting Bike-N-Brainstorms with a Sept. 23 event in Akron’s Middlebury neighborhood.  Bike-N-Brainstorms provide cyclists in the Greater Akron area with opportunities to share their insights with planning officials regarding how to improve the region’s active transportation network.

The popular events include a bike ride along a designated route followed by a brainstorming session among participants to discuss potential improvements along the route.  The Middlebury Bike-N-Brainstorm includes a four-mile bike ride through the neighborhood and a group discussion, but this event marks a first for AMATS and its partners: This will be the first event to feature an array of local food preparers.

Members of the Akron Food Works, a shared-use kitchen program to promote food-based businesses, will provide free fare to event participants following the ride.  Bike-oriented businesses, such as Blimp City Bike & Hike Shop and Summit Cycling, will also be on hand for bike safety checks.  Other partners joining AMATS in hosting this event include the city of Akron, The Well CDC, the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation, Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, and the Summit County Public Health Department.


Matt Stewart, AMATS planning administrator, says that several partners approached AMATS about hosting an event in the Middlebury neighborhood over the summer.  Their enthusiasm about a Bike-N-Brainstorm was timely given the recent completion of various nearby transportation improvements in which AMATS programmed federal transportation funds.

“This event is an excellent opportunity for our agency to gauge how well the new bike lanes on Arlington Road and East Exchange, the new Freedom Trail extension, and Jewett Park improvements are working,” Stewart continues, “Feedback from this event will help us plan for upcoming projects such as the Rubber City Heritage Trail and potential improvements on East Market Street.”

Registration for the Middlebury Bike-N-Brainstorm begins at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 23 at The Well CDC/Compass Coffee offices located at 647 East Market Street in Akron.  AMATS will also provide free bells and LED lights for all participants.  Would-be participants lacking bicycles and helmets are encouraged to contact the agency to reserve a bike and a helmet by Sept. 21.  Spin, the electric scooter-sharing company, will also provide free e-scooters for those who would like to try one during the event.

For more information about the Middlebury Bike-N-Brainstorm, please contact AMATS at 330-375-2436.