Biking has seen an increase during Covid-19 pandemic, local environmentalists say. Allison Glackin said in some areas on local greenways there was a 1243% increase in biking traffic year over year in 2020. Photo: Angeli Wright

 

After a year of forced changes and subsequent adaptations, Earth Day 2021 can be a time to reflect on how people have impacted the environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, Asheville environmentalists say.

Allison Glackin from Connect Buncombe, a nonprofit organization that promotes greenways, also reported extreme growth in bike traffic on Asheville greenways.

Traffic is tracked at greenway in North Asheville and the River District. At North Asheville, biking in 2020 was up 72% over 2019. At the River District, it was up 124%.

“As much as we’re sad for all the negative things that have happened, the use of greenways, people getting outside, has increased for recreation,” Glackin said. “Things like the greenways and streets and sidewalks have become community centers.”

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