Bike-share programs are shifting gears and prioritizing equity
- Date: 04/28/2021
Free passes, adaptive bikes, and community outreach are expanding bike-share’s reach.
The National Association of City Transport Officials reports “cycling explosions” in many cities in the United States. Bicycle stores are sold out and the global supply chain is struggling to meet demand. However, the post-pandemic vehicle will be more bumpy for some. Low-income earners and minority groups often rely on cheap transportation such as cycling. In 2013, the American Bicycle Federation reported that “the fastest growth of bicycles is among the Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American populations.” However, cycling can be more of an issue for these groups.
As a professor of urban planning and environmental policy and planning, city planners, lawmakers and cyclists can fully understand how the cycling barriers faced by people living in poorer areas are interrelated. I think it’s important. Infrastructure challenges related to design, such as providing more bike lanes, as well as protected bike lanes (paths separated from both roads and sidewalks) are important. But the more fundamental barriers are political, cultural and economic in nature. Failure to recognize and act accordingly risks diminishing the ability of low-income earners and minority groups to maximize the benefits of cycling.
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