09/05/11

Biking, Walking, & Blogging:Bike and Bike/Walk Centers: Community Welcome Mats for Active TransportationBiking, Walking, & Blogging:Bike and Bike/Walk Centers: Community Welcome Mats for Active Transportation

 

Bike and Bike/Walk Centers: Community Welcome Mats for Active Transportation

From Joan Pasiuk, Bike Walk Twin Cities

In September, the Board of Transit for Livable Communities approved funding for the Seward Community Bike Walk Center (SCBWC). The SCBWC will open in 2012 as a partnership of Seward Neighborhood Group, the Hub Bike Co-op, and Sibley Bike Depot. Seward Redesign will develop a property on 22nd St E for the SCBWC. The property will have easy access from the Hiawatha LRT Trail and many neighborhood bicycle and walking travel routes. TLC is excited about the opportunity to reach the very vibrant and diverse neighbors of SCBWC. In nearby Seward Towers, 60% of residents are East African immigrants and 25% of the neighborhood overall is foreign-born. The SCBWC will be an important resource for residents as they learn to navigate the Twin Cities.

But, does access to a bicycle matter in transportation choices? Our frequent anecdotal evidence certainly indicates that when a two-wheel vehicle and training both are available, new or renewed bicyclists hit the streets and trails with enthusiasm. Backing up this up - in the Minnesota Department of Transportation Statewide Omnibus Study 2006, 15% of Metro respondents reported that the main reason they do not ride a bicycle more often is that they do not own or do not have access to a bicycle.

 In addition to retail space, this center will include the following programs:

  • Earn-A-Bike Program (recycled bicycles!)
  • Community Partners Bike Library (run by Sibley Bike Depot and funded through BWTC)
  • Youth Junior Mechanics Classes
  • Free Classes and Programming (safe cycling, year-round bicycling)
  • Women Only Classes and Programming
  • Open maintenance shop hours
  • To promote walking, an outreach program called "Seward Walkers" will be established along with other activities for walkers.

 

This center will complement Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee at 1830 Glenwood Ave North in Minneapolis, opening this week! It also builds upon the proven success of Sibley Bike Depot, located in the Summit-University area of Saint Paul. Together, more reasons for folks to feel comfortable with and excited about bicycling and walking for transportation.