Gainesville, Fla. – Alachua County Emerging Leaders (ACEL) is proud to announce the installation of two new bicycle pumps in downtown Gainesville. The pumps were unveiled today at the Sun Center at 11:00 a.m during a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Gainesville Cycling Club, the City of Gainesville, the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.
The new bicycle pumps are located near two new bike racks in downtown. One is in the Sun Center directly across from Boca Fiesta and the other is on 1st Avenue and Main Street. The bike pumps were installed after a year of collaboration between ACEL, the biking community, the City of Gainesville, the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, downtown business leaders, local nonprofits, and private business.
ACEL was founded in 2005 as a way to make Alachua County a thriving place for young professionals to live and work. After research of national data and discussion with a variety of stakeholders, ACEL decided to focus on alternative transportation, an issue important to young professionals in Alachua County and nationally when choosing a place to live. Using a mix of private capital and public investment, ACEL was able to fund and install the two bike pumps located in the heart of downtown Gainesville.
In addition to the partners above, ACEL collaborated with a variety of organizations, both public and private, to raise funds for and properly install the new downtown infrastructure.
In May 2013, ACEL held a fundraiser in collaboration with local non-profit Society Promotions at High Dive in downtown. Local musicians Michael Claytor and Devon Stuart of Adult Boys Thunderband and Travis Atria of Morningbell entertained the crowd and even donated their own money to the cause. The Gainesville Cycling Club capped off the last of the needed funds and Foresight Construction donated their time and resources to install the pumps.
“ACEL is incredibly excited to have these installed. We believe investments like these in our community not only ben
efit young professionals, but the community as a whole,” said Marilyn Headley, chair of the Professional Development Committee at ACEL and past chair of the Public Policy committee. “Our research has shown that communities that invest in alternative transportation options better attract young professionals, and we are proud to have helped in that investment through a private-public partnership.”
“As ACEL continues to grow and become a voice for young professionals in our community, we are constantly looking for ways we can improve the quality of life in our area,” said Andrew Romero, President of ACEL. “This project shows what can be done at a grassroots level to help make our downtown a world class destination, and we are very proud to have led a coalition to get these bike pumps installed.”
“Research has shown that our generation looks for a city to move to first, and what jobs are there second,” said Bryan Eastman, Chair of the Public Policy Committee. “If Alachua County is hoping to compete for the talent of tomorrow we need to make our community a destination, and the installation of these bike pumps is a step toward making that a reality.”
About ACEL: Alachua County Emerging Leaders
Launched in 2005, ACEL’s mission is to encourage the development of young leaders and engage them in community life by being connected, informed and involved as a thriving community of and for young professionals. With a growing membership of young professionals between the ages of 21 and 45, ACEL works to enhance the Gainesville and Alachua region’s reputation as desirable place for diverse, talented young people to flourish. For additional information, visit www.acelfl.com.