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Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
Email: aharris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @antwanharris

NEWORLEANS-- New Orleans Bike to Work Day is one week away and organizers want to make sure people get involved.

This event has been growing here in the metro area for some time and hundreds are expected to participate next week.

The goal is to make the city more bike friendly. This is the third year for the event and it really tackles three key areas.

One of those is a focus on health. You can burn more than 200-calories in a 20 minute commute to work on a bike.

New Orleans has been dealing with health issues for years. Ten percent of the state's population is dealing with diabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The second area the day addressed is the environment. Louisiana has taken significant steps to reduce emissions.

New Orleans puts out about 40-tons of vehicle emissions a year according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The city has made significant strides in improving the air quality to meet or surpass regulated standards.

Lastly, bike to work week focuses on road safety. Since Katrina, the city has added more than 70-miles of bike lanes with the intention of adding another 20+ in the next year.

Patty Riddlebarger with Entergy said, 'We wanted to be greener and cleaner than we were before and increase bike and pedestrian infrastructure and we have a role to play.

If people have a place where they can ride a bike and feel safe they will. We have seen an increase in the community since Katrina.'

Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell said, 'It is not just a day. It is about a quality of life we can change and embrace fully.'

Bike to Work Day begins Tuesday, April 8. Visit http://bikeeasy.org/events/archives/1411/ for information on how to sign up and get involved.

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