Community Cycling Center Addresses Barriers to Bicycling
By Jake Knight on August 17, 2012
As their name would suggest, it all starts with community. In 2009, Community Cycling Center (CCC) reframed their strategy to focus on neighborhoods within a five-mile radius of the shop rather than the whole Portland area. In refining their mission, they came to realize that many people, particularly people of color and low-income individuals and families in the area, were not benefitting equitably from Portland’s vision of a sustainable transportation system. They went one step further to ask questions like, “If more people in our community are interested in bicycling, what are the barriers preventing them from getting on a bike?”
Working with partners in community development, CCC organized surveys and focus groups to gather data on bicycling in focus neighborhoods and to understand some of the perspectives and external barriers that keep people from riding bicycles more often. Various concerns such as safety and cost were common, and some survey and focus group participants cited cultural barriers as well.
Understanding the barriers that prevent more people from bicycling, CCC has refined their programming to address needs like secure bike parking and events to promote access to biking for all.
“This change has not been easy,” says Alison Hill Graves, Executive Director of the Community Cycling Center. “It has taken a long time to build the relationships and develop shared goals. But now that we have a foundation to build from, we are making very quick and exciting progress.”
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