North Tonawanda Alderman-at-Large Austin Tylec and Third Ward alderman candidate Ed Smolinski are bringing Slow Roll to the streets of North Tonawanda.
Tylec has advocated for Slow Roll for months, gathering support and raising money through donations from local organizations and businesses. The Slow Roll events are through GoBike Buffalo 501(c) (3), where a diverse group of social bicycle riders meet regularly to bring people from all walks of life together to reconnect with their community and the streets. GoBike provides education and advocacy for rebuilding the streets and infrastructure to support community health, boost the local economy, and reduce air pollution and environmental impacts caused by unsustainable and inefficient transportation. Slow Roll is free and available to all ages and levels of experience and is purposed to give riders a unique perspective of their community and neighborhood.
“Slow Roll is a great way to connect the citizens of North Tonawanda with each other and with the city itself,” said Tylec, “It’s not just NT residents either, Slow Roll is an invitation to anyone who’s interested in seeing what we as a city have to offer.”
Smolinski, a former member of the North Tonawanda Police Department for over 30 years, has acted as the liaison between Slow Roll and the NTPD, working with Chief Roger Zgolak to establish a safe route and provide police and auxiliary support for riders. With his experience earned serving on the NT Traffic and Safety Commission, Smolinski has long been an advocate of the values of pedestrian-friendly initiatives in North Tonawanda.
“This is what our city needs,” said Smolinski, “An opportunity and a reason for people to experience North Tonawanda first hand and in person. Slow Roll does it all.”
Slow Roll was brought to WNY by way of Buffalo in 2014 as an offshoot of the global Slow Roll network founded in Detroit, where thousands have been gathering on Monday nights for many years. Slow Roll can be found in other cities including Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Berlin and Stockholm.
Tylec and Smolinski have high hopes that this will be the first of what is going to be an annual event. Smolinski said he believes this is a strong first step towards the implementation of the bike paths proposed to go on Sweeney Street.
Slow Roll North Tonawanda is planned to kick off in the Manhattan Street parking lot on Aug. 31 and will end at the Dockside Bar and Grill, which is a major sponsor for this event.