The Green Lane Project, a Bikes Belong program, will host a leadership summit to discuss green lanes and equity in Austin, Texas May 15-16. The focus is on building support for modern, next-generation protected bike lanes and related street safety improvements in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
The meeting will bring together transportation professionals, policymakers and community leaders from the six cities involved in the Green Lane Project (Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Memphis, TN, Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC) that are working to transform their streets. City and community leaders will share experiences and lessons learned to work toward a deeper understanding of the issues, identify best practices and brainstorm on next steps.
All neighborhoods should be safe places to walk and ride a bike. Changes to streets that invite more human-scaled interaction and encourage physical activity as part of daily life offer well-documented health, safety and economic benefits. However, some proposals to install better bike lanes in low-income neighborhoods and historically underserved communities have met resistance, partly due to the usual concerns about bike lanes, but also for reasons unique to these communities.
Communicating the goals and building support among neighbors and businesses is a requirement of every transportation project. Doing it effectively in low-income and minority communities sometimes requires extra outreach and a higher level of responsiveness and understanding of history, priorities and cultural backgrounds. Concerns about displacement and gentrification also color the conversations. Understanding and communicating how bike lanes fit into the broader goals of community revitalization and economic improvement is essential.
This gathering is part of a series of best practices workshops hosted by the Green Lane Project and held in the most advanced bicycling cities in the United States and Europe.
Participation in this event is by invitation only. Best practices learned from the event will be shared here and elsewhere.