Join fellow walkers on Wednesdays downtown

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A group of half a dozen city employees and Duluth citizens met outside on the steps of City Hall at noon last Wednesday to go for a walk together. It's part of "Walking Wednesdays," a new program of "Bus Bike Walk Month" led by Angel Hohenstein, wellness coordinator for city employees and member of the Bus Bike Walk Month committee.

"Bus Bike Walk Month" is a month-long celebration that brings together bicyclists, businesses, art hounds, outdoor enthusiasts, active commuters and families that share a mutual love for busing, biking, and walking.

"The idea is to celebrate active transportation and get people to realize that there are other modes of getting to work or getting to your errands or whatever," Hohenstein said.

The month of activities developed over the years and is based around National Bike to Work Day, to be held this year on May 19. Commuters are encouraged to bicycle to work on that day and can receive complimentary coffee from Duluth Coffee company at the Minnesota Power Plaza on the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street 6-8 a.m. This year there will also be satellite stations:

• Central Entrance and Arlington Avenue, hosted by Kwik Trip and Dunkin Donuts

• Lakewalk and 45th Avenue East, hosted by Amity Coffee

• West Superior Street and 20th Avenue West, hosted by Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

• East 8th Street and 19th Avenue East, hosted by At Sara's Table

"So a lot of people liked the idea of Bike to Work Day, but thought, hey, instead of focusing in on the one day, why not have a whole month of just kind of encouraging people to utilize other modes of transportation besides driving a car?" Hohenstein said.

Walking Wednesdays are 30-minute walks throughout downtown. Community members are encouraged to meet outside City Hall at noon or at 5 p.m. at the Downtown Duluth YMCA, 302 W. 1st St.

"It's a way to get to know people and just get outside on a nice day and get a few extra steps in," Hohenstein said. "And the hope is that it will become a habit for people to get out and go for a short walk on Wednesdays together. We'll keep it up until the end of the month, but I hope some regulars stick it out past that."

A complete list of Bus Bike Walk Month activities can be found on the Facebook page and on posters throughout the community.