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email from Champaign County Bikes
Posted by Morgan White on January 10, 2019
Ben from VeoRide and I have started a discussion about how we can make sure the VeoRide Bike Share opportunity is known and available to everyone in our Champaign/Urbana community. We are not alone. Other communities are exploring this question too. There is even a Better Bike Share Association!
Are any of you interested in joining this conversation? Do you know of others who would be interested? Let me know and I’ll create an email list and keep you in the loop of ideas and meetings.
Note: CU has a dockless bike share system and some of these studies looked at cities like Chicago and their large public docked bike share systems like Divvy. But I think we can learn a great deal from what these studies and authors have learned about the introduction of bike share to various populations of potential riders.
CHANGING MINORITY & LOW INCOME PERCEPTIONS OF BIKE SHARE
-> Smart Cities Dive reports when bike share was not understood or accepted when it expanded to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. A grant from the Better Bike Share Partnership provided resources for a community-led campaign. A historically rooted, minority-led organization lead the charge. Community groups and churches organized group rides, and schools offered bike education classes. Ads were rewritten to reflect the voice and priorities of the neighborhood. Discounted memberships were publicized and bulk memberships were offered to employers to get more people to sign up. From there, more listening sessions in the neighborhood helped Citi Bike explore new dock locations that would better serve the community. Just a year later, Bed-Stuy was an unexpected poster child for Citi Bike. Personal engagement has become a top priority for successful cities trying to expand mobility options. http://bit.ly/2CKogRj
[See Research section for links to 2 studies of minority and low-income neighborhood bike share perceptions and concerns.]
MINORITY & LOW INCOME NEIGHBORHOOD PERCEPTIONS OF BIKE SHARE
-> Smart Cities Dive reports as bike share expands, neighborhood perception is key. (http://bit.ly/2CKogRj) A recent study published in Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice on bike share systems in Chicago reinforced a persistent problem for new mobility options: Minority and low-income neighborhoods aren't always on board. (Where Does Active Travel Fit within Local Community Narratives of Mobility Space and Place?: http://bit.ly/2Fe1jsg) Researchers used advanced machine learning to analyze focus groups of residents of 2 contrasting neighborhoods. Minority and low-income residents worry bike-sharing presence is yet another sign of a gentrifying neighborhood while more pressing needs, such as safety measures or expanded broadband are not addressed.
A study from the Transportation Research and Education Center surveyed residents in Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY and found people of color, or those with lower incomes, had more concerns about bike sharing than white or high-income people. (Breaking Barriers to Bike Share: Insights on Equity: http://bit.ly/2FfqCdy) Among those concerns were uncertainty about how it worked, and the cost and the fear that bike share would make their neighborhoods too expensive.
[See The National & International Scene for an initiative that successfully changed a neighborhood vocally against bike share to on that embraces it.]
CCB has a growing concern about Cycling Equity, and making sure cycling events, education, infrastructure, and opportunity reach to all the neighborhoods and people in the greater Champaign/Urbana area. We will be giving this some thought as be plan for CU Bike Month 2019, and particularly, our Bike to Work Day - given that the data is showing that the majority of the people who bike to work in Champaign/Urbana are not pedaling towards the U of I, where we have traditionally put most of our efforts.
If you are interested in helping us explore something new and additional to our Bike to Work Day, let me know.
From a Washington Post article looking a census data:
Of special interest, the demographics also reveal an important underlying dichotomy. The people most likely to bike or walk to work are either the least educated in society or the most educated. Slice the demographics by income, and the less money you have, the more likely you are to take either of these modes of transportation to work. Unless, that is, you're really wealthy. The graph below illustrates that biking and walking decline as income rises, until both start to tick back up again for the two highest income groups:
The pattern is even clearer when we look at educational attainment (this is my graph, using the Census data):
These two graphs illustrate a transportation paradox: Alternatives to driving in the United States are both a luxury for the well-off and a last resort for the poor.
Champaign County Bikes