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Bikes on Broadway

Martha Emmons, co-owner of a Paducah bike shop, says she’s proof that one person can make a difference. Disheartened by a decline of bicycling among children, she proposed closing a stretch of downtown Paducah so that families could have a safe place to ride with their kids.

bikers riding

“If they can do this in New York City, one of the largest places in the world where everyone complains about traffic — why, in the world couldn’t we do it in Paducah, Kentucky with a population of 30,000?” Martha Emmons, co-owner, BikeWorld, Paducah, Ky.

Emmons was inspired by a New York City program called “Summer Streets,” where a 7-mile stretch of downtown Manhattan is closed to automobiles on Saturdays and open to walkers, bikers and families seeking outdoor fun. With the help of Paducah’s City Commission, Emmons brought the vision to her hometown.

“Bikes on Broadway came about in response to a request from local citizens … and it’s been tremendously popular. It’s safe to ride and it’s all about families. It’s about getting your kids off the couch.” Gayle Kaler, City Commissioner, Paducah, Ky.