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Hear What Black and Brown New Yorkers Think About Bike Infrastructure – Streetsblog New York City

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Hear What Black and Brown New Yorkers Assume About Bike Infrastructure – Streetsblog New York Metropolis

For all of the speak about making New York Metropolis extra bike pleasant, there’s little or no emphasis on something in addition to security. Protected bike lanes are, in fact, crucial to luring extra folks onto environmentally pleasant bicycles and scooters, however any plan that focuses solely on this component could be terribly incomplete.

As an alternative we should take into account the total expertise of utilizing a motorbike in New York and all ache factors that come together with it. What good is a community of secure parking lanes, for instance, if it’s unimaginable to discover a bike mechanic for an pressing repair?

For the previous three years, I’ve centered on an particularly essential and uncared for a part of the biking ecosystem; safe bike parking.

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Working via Oonee, the corporate that I co-founded, to construct a community of accessible safe bike parking amenities throughout the metropolitan space. Except for security, bike parking stands out as the opposite main ache level for New York’s riders. Bike theft is rampant and bikes left on the road in a single day are sometimes vandalized or broken by the climate. Merely put there are lots of hundreds of people that would like to bike extra typically however merely lack handy storage choices.

Sadly, the Division of Transportation merely doesn’t take into account bike parking to be a precedence. Having quietly shelved its own secure bike parking pilot, the DOT continues to erect roadblocks that may permit for even primary personal options like Oonee rapidly fill this void. Town received’t spend public {dollars} on a community of amenities or permit personal operators to reap the benefits of promoting and sponsorship to offset the prices both. Except for our facility in Downtown Brooklyn, New York Metropolis has no inexpensive public amenities for bike parking.

On the core of this institutional reticence is the internalized perception that bikes and scooters are principally a novel type of transportation that’s electively utilized by principally White, prosperous New Yorkers. This misbegotten narrative, typically peddled on the pages of native media shops, rests on the erasure of an unlimited inhabitants working cyclists who primarily hail from communities of coloration.

In truth, communities of coloration and immigrants are literally extra more likely to depend on their bikes for transportation, work and commuting than their white counterparts. Our metropolis’s restaurant and supply ecosystem truly is constructed upon this reality, a lot in order that staff on bikes have been broadly acknowledged as “important” through the darkest days of the pandemic.

Working cyclists and communities of coloration usually tend to want their bikes for work, much less more likely to have entry to safe parking at their office, and much much less probably to have the ability to change their bike if stolen.

For these New Yorkers, safe bike parking isn’t a “good to have” it’s a should.

Kawan Taylor, the primary of our “Oonee views” sequence, brings this reality to life by explaining how a easy safe bike parking facility modified his life.

Taylor, like 61,000 different New Yorkers, lives inside the metropolis’s sprawling homeless shelter system. For Taylor, incomes and saving cash by making important meals deliveries is a method of upward mobility; he plans to make use of his financial savings to get a spot of his personal within the close to future.

Since Taylor isn’t allowed to maintain a motorbike or scooter at his Chinatown shelter he makes a each day commute to Oonee’s safe bike parking facility at Atlantic Terminal in Downtown Brooklyn, the place he is ready to park in a single day without cost. Whereas he’d like to have a more in-depth facility, the DOT received’t allow another stations in Decrease Manhattan.

Like many working cyclists, Taylor has had a number of bikes stolen, and discovering a substitute can simply quantity to every week or extra of wages. For him this is a matter of financial survival, so he has no selection however to make the journey every morning.

Right this moment, we’re sharing Kawan Taylor’s story, however within the coming days we’ll be sharing six different views on Medium and social media (you’ll find us @ooneepod on Twitter, Instagram and Fb)

Throughout the course of the week, we are going to share the views of six different New Yorkers, all hailing from the town’s Black and brown neighborhoods, on the significance of constructing an inclusive system of biking infrastructure that app. (Posts will be discovered on our Medium page, and will likely be introduced each day on Twitter, Instagram and Fb.)

In their very own method, every of those tales will deal with the essential significance of motorcycle parking infrastructure to their lives as New Yorkers who bike. I hope Mayor de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg hearken to their voices, as they work to satisfy their promise to construct the fairest metropolis in America.

Shabazz Stuart is the founder and CEO of Oonee. You’ll be able to comply with him on Twitter @shabazzstuart.

Writer’s be aware: This sequence is made potential by an in-kind donation from Kel Bush who’s a neighborhood videographer and photographer. Please think about using him to your upcoming photograph or video wants. You’ll be able to contact him through his web site at kelbush.com.

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