Tour Mid City on two wheels for a unique perspective
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving forward.” As adults, some of us forget how much fun it is to ride a bike. We complain about the effort, the time, the unpredictable weather when considering exchanging our cars for bikes. It’s time to stop complaining and explore biking once again. Not only will it provide a healthier lifestyle, but it will save you money as well. You’ll be more intimate with the city around you, not closed off in a bubble of steel and glass. You will literally be able to stop and smell the roses anytime you’d like.
Just last month, nonprofit organization Bike Baton Rouge, published a new report on the economic value of biking versus driving. Between the costs of gas, parking, wear and tear on infrastructure and your vehicle, traffic congestion, pollution, and a few other factors, biking could save Baton Rouge millions of dollars.
Bike Baton Rouge listed their key findings and the numbers are surprising and impressive. Every mile bicycled contributes $2.12 to the city’s economy through internal and external savings. All bike lanes are inexpensive to produce and are paid off in under six months. Replacing a daily two-mile commute with a bike ride saves you $2,120 a year.
While this sounds amazing, is it even possible in our city? Not yet, but plans are in the works to change that. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and BREC are working on a Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. This plan’s purpose is to create a connected network of trails and bike paths in the parish. Its benefits are varied, but include more recreational opportunities, alternative transportation options, and attracting people to come or stay in the city.
Currently, Government Street is on a “road diet” to reduce the number of travel lanes and incorporate bicycle and pedestrian friendly concepts. So, Mid City will be a great place to start your new biking adventure. We’ve put together a map of the area, along with a few fun stops along the way. Of course, there are plenty of paths to take, and plenty of things to find on your journey. We’ve done the work here, now it’s your turn to make your own path and discover new things.
The Perkins Road Overpass provides so many options, you’ll have a hard time choosing just one stop. Schlittz & Giggles, Rock N Sake, The Big Squeezy, The Overpass Merchant, Kalurah Street Grill, City Pork, Duvic’s, Ivar’s, Rama Thai, George’s, Digiulio Brothers, and Pinetta’s are all options in this area with plenty more just a block or two away.
At the corner of Park Blvd. and Government Street you’ll find The Market at Circa 1857. Here you can shop antiques, art, and so much more. But if you happen by at lunchtime, you can enjoy some amazing food from Yvette Marie’s located inside the market. In the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to hang out at The Electric Depot, which promises to be a unique social space offering bowling alleys, live music, outdoor green spaces, and full service restaurants and bars. We can’t wait!
At this big hub of Mid City, you’ll find Pop Shop Records, Time Warp Boutique, Radio Bar, and newest to the scene, Elsie’s Plate and Pie. Don’t miss The Pink Elephant Antiques on your way to this stop.
Stop 4 is host to some of the best fried chicken in the city, Chicken Shack. If you need a rest, find some shade at Kernan Avenue Park, only a block away. On the way, be sure to stop and check out the BR Music Exchange in Mid City Ballroom.
The only thing you need to know about this stop is Cool Delights Snowballs. Enough said.
Here you can take advantage of some of Mid City’s legendary eateries. With options like Roman Lebanese, Superior Grill, Bistro Byronz, Anthony’s Deli, and Fleur de Lis Pizza, you’re bound to find something to love.
Nestled near the corner of Government Street and Jefferson Highway sits a goldmine of places to discover. Red Stick Spice Co., Mid City Craft Wine & Brew, MJ’s Cafe, Reginelli’s Pizzeria, Serop’s Express, Brew Ha-Ha!, and Monjuni’s provide a variety of choices. Whether you make this your last stop or your first, you will not be disappointed.
Map illustration by Season Vining