I was recently interviewed by Josh Cohen about the possibilities and limits to U.S. bike share equity grants. Probably the first and last time I will be ever so thoroughly and accurately quoted.
Here’s a snippet from the article:
[[ “Bike-share systems are not designed for a diversity of users. They’re designed to make money in certain areas of the city,” [Melody Hoffmann] explains. Hoffmann says Minneapolis’s system, like many around the U.S., was set up to make money in its first year.
“Nice Ride from the beginning was designed for tourists and business people and people that were already invested in biking. If you have a system that’s set up that way to ensure it makes money that first year, you’re going to put the stations where they’re going to make money. If that’s the model it’s just not going to be equitable.”
She continues, “People aren’t dumb. They see who’s riding those bikes, and they say ‘oh those aren’t for me.’” (The city was recently lauded for being the only one from the U.S. to make a Danish design firm’s yearly list of bike-friendly cities.) ]]
Just a quick announcement that I updated the bike & equity resources page (it had been too long!). It is a list of almost 40 popular press articles and organization-based reports on equity issues in bicycle advocacy.
I’d specifically like to draw your attention to the recent reports out by the League of American Bicyclists that directly discuss equity and access to biking.
If you’d like to see an article or report linked to, please post in the comments and I will add it in. It is important that the sources are accessible to all (no academic articles behind pay walls).
Sahra Sulaiman over at Streets Blog just compiled a sad, but not surprising, list of recent events wherein police harassed a person of color on their bike. Sometimes the outcome was just some shattered nerves and humiliation. Other times it was a death sentence.
“A bike is the perfect excuse for officers to regularly stop and question them about their activities or why they are in a particular neighborhood.”
Just something for people to chew on; especially bicycle advocates who do not experience policing in this brutal, violent, murderous way.
This blog article by Sulaiman came about because of a racist Facebook group called “Black people with bikes that are’t theirs” (slated for deletion soon). And if you are curious, because the photos were all taken down, the “evidence” used (to show that Black people steal bikes) included famous African American bike advocates riding their bikes. Good job.
I think Tina Fey sums it up pretty well when she made this remark at the Golden Globes about a new movie (stay with me here).
“The movie Selma is about the American civil rights movement, that totally worked and now everything’s fine.”