Word on the Street

A blog about bikes and the Big Easy

We’re Hiring!!

Posted by Dan Favre on February 22, 2017 in Advocacy, Bike-Friendly Businesses

Bike Easy is looking to fill 2 exciting positions to help make bicycling easy, safe, and fun!

Bike Easy is currently looking to fill 2 positions!

Campaign Organizer – Jefferson Parish
Bike Easy is dedicated to making bicycling in the Greater New Orleans area easy, safe, and fun for everyone. Better bicycling can improve our community through positive impacts on economic development, public health, environmental health, and social equity. Bike Easy is especially interested in creating more opportunities for physical activity as a way to improve health outcomes for children, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color that have long experienced health disparities.

Complete Streets is a policy approach that ensures streets are designed and operated to accommodate all people, no matter who they are, where they live, or how they travel. We’re looking for a full-time, dedicated, enthusiastic leader rooted in Jefferson Parish to help build the base of public support in Jefferson Parish for streets that are safe and built to share for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, biking, driving, or taking transit! More information and application instructions here.

Bike Parking Coordinator
One important way to help encourage more people to ride bikes is to make sure they’ve got a good, secure place to park and lock their bike upon reaching their destination. This part-time, hourly position will focus on various aspects of bike parking, especially our popular Bicycle Valet Program.

Bicycle Valet by Bike Easy provides a free VIP experience to all guests arriving by bicycle to a festival or event. It encourages more people to enjoy the benefits of riding bikes to the incredible local festivals, fairs, and events that occur so often in the Greater New Orleans region. For event organizers, it’s a great way to support the New Orleans bicycle culture while creating a better event experience for all attendees. See current list of events below.

Through our participation in the Dero Advocacy Dealer Program, Bike Easy works with businesses, developers, and others to implement bike parking solutions. We help people navigate New Orleans’ bike parking standards and permits, conduct free site visits, recommend quality Dero bike racks, and support clients’ through the purchasing process. All bike parking sales benefit Bike Easy’s bike advocacy efforts. More information and application instructions here.

Driver’s Ed for People on Bikes

Posted by Virginia Brisley on February 14, 2017 in Bicycle Safety , Events

Traffic Skills 101 at Bike Easy teaches riders to bike confidently in traffic

When I first started at Bike Easy in 2015, I was able to take Traffic Skills 101 for professional development. I must admit, coming into that training as a daily commuter and multi-decade rider, I thought there wasn’t really anything new that I could be taught about riding my bike. Oh, was I wrong!

Happily surprised with the additional skills that I gained, such as correctly lubing my chain, easy brake adjustments on the go, taking the lane, staying visible, and being predictable, I was most impressed with the long term effect it had on my confidence. Riding in traffic can be stressful and I didn’t realize how many of my choices were actually contributing to my stress levels on the road. Simple adjustments in lane positioning, daily tire checks for air pressure, and more communication on the road all have made a drastic difference for me!

Some of the training is in class where certified instructors lead group discussions about how to navigate riding comfort issues, commuting woes, and best route choices. The other part of the training is on bike, where the group practices parking lot drills of rock dodges, quick stops, signaling as well as group rides through the city in real traffic conditions. The training concludes with written and writing evaluations to understand what skills were gained by each participant.

Join us at the UNO Transportation Institute on Saturday March 11 & Sunday March 12 for the driver’s ed class for people on bikes! Registration is required and space is limited so please don’t hesitate! Please contact Virginia for any questions or for more information.

Dispatch from an Early Bike Share Volunteer

Posted by Jack Greenwood on January 26, 2017 in Advocacy, Events

The process for establishing a bike share system in New Orleans has begun

Last year, Bike Easy celebrated a long-awaited victory for mobility when the City of New Orleans signed a contract to establish a bike share system. Over Martin Luther King, Jr Day weekend, Bike Easy hosted the first two opportunities for people to get involved in the details of setting up a sustainable, equitable system for New Orleans! Bike Easy Advocacy Intern, Jack Greenwood, participated in Saturday’s event and provides the following dispatch:

One weekend ago, I joined 16 other people from the Greater New Orleans biking community. It was at this event that we learned about the upcoming bike share program, discussed its details, and went out and surveyed neighborhoods all over the city to find out where to best place bicycle stations. It was at this event that the people of New Orleans took an exciting step toward promoting greater mobility options.

After Bike Easy’s Dan Favre kicked off the event, we heard a brief presentation by Dwight Norton, Urban Mobility Coordinator for the City of New Orleans, and Kris and Alan, representatives of the bike share company Social Bicycles. Their slideshow painted an exciting picture. The initial launch in the fall of this year will place 700 bikes across 70 stations that service Downtown, Central City, and Mid-City. Users can pick up and park the bikes at official stations, approved bike racks, or, for a small extra fee, anywhere in the service area. The bikes themselves are sturdy cruisers built to withstand constant outdoor exposure, and they also feature some cool technology. For example, a built-in LCD screen will display the distance and duration of your ride, while a built-in communication system can help you contact a representative if your bike breaks down.

Particularly exciting was the pricing system: $8 per hour for one-time users, $15 for a month pass with a free hour per day (you can split up that hour over many short rides throughout the day), or – for low-income individuals – $20 for a year-long pass. We’re optimistic that this sliding scale will significantly expand mobility options for low-income New Orleanians often marginalized by existing transportation systems.

After reviewing the programs details, we learned more about the day’s task of site surveying. An ideal bike share station should be accessible by transit or foot, near places of interest, visible, in a spacious location, and work with pre-existing concrete. Easier said than done. And yet, our volunteers were more than happy to step up to the plan.

Our group enjoyed lunch following the information session. Shout-out to Liberty’s Kitchen for catering! Their orzo salad and po boys were seriously delicious. (Don’t take my word for it; stop by their cafe on the ground floor of the Whole Foods off Broad and Bienville if you ever want to find out for yourself.)

During our lunch break, we also got to test out the bikes in the rooftop parking lot. Sure enough, they offered a smooth ride for people of all sizes and abilities. And what a nice day to ride! 70 degrees with minimal cloud cover. It was with this endorsement from the weather gods that our group of 17 volunteers split off into groups and tackled the streets on our own bikes.

I selected to scope out the Lafitte Greenway and Jeff Davis Parkway Trail with my partner for the day, Michael. We used our smartphones to take pictures, write up descriptions, and share our potential bike station sites with the rest of our group. The process was surprisingly energizing, as it got me visualising the system on the ground. Maybe someday soon, families, children, senior citizens, young adults, and everybody else in between interested in biking would need only to walk to the trails and punch in a code. As simple as that.

If you’re interested in that vision, be sure to look out for upcoming Social Bicycles demos around the city during the lead up to Mardi Gras!

Map of New Orleans Bike Share Demonstration Sites, February 10 -23, 2017

MLK Day Rodeo, Bike repair & safety workshop

Posted by Virginia Brisley on January 23, 2017 in Bicycle Safety , Events

Bike Easy led adult and youth activities in Gentilly at Arthur Ashe School’s MLK Day of Service

While volunteers beautified the school grounds and surrounding neighborhood, Bike Easy put neighbors and students in motion! In partnership with the New Orleans City Year cohort, Bike Easy Instructors brought bike activities to Gentilly at Arthur Ashe Charter School.

No stranger to biking, Arthur Ashe School was the site of one of the first Where Ya Rack bike rack installations as part of the Young Leadership Council’s Safe Routes to School funding. Also, Bike Easy led bike classes for the past two years as part of Summer CampX hosted at Ashe. So when City Year asked us to be part of their service Day on Dr Martin Luther King Day, we were excited to be back on the Ashe campus and biking in Gentilly!

David Meza, a Claiborne Corridor Ambassador and certified instructor, led a youth rodeo while Woody Joseph, certified instructor and Trafigura Work & Learn Center’s lead mechanic, led an adult workshop for folks to learn basic repair skills and safe riding tips. Youth Empowerment Project’s Work & Learn Center was able to provide repair demonstrations by a youth mechanic, Monica, who even helped a young rider put brakes on his bike!

If you’re interested in bringing safety education and bike activities to your school, neighborhood or event, please contact Virginia!

The 2016 Bike Easy Award Winners!

Posted by Dan Favre on December 19, 2016 in Events, Membership

Congratulations to the 2016 Bike Easy Award winners!

Last Thursday, December 15, the Bike Easy Annual Member Party gathered together Bike Easy members to celebrate our accomplishments, plot for next year, and to bestow awards and appreciation to some of our movements greatest contributors.

Louisiana Highway Safety Commission

Bike Easy Community Partner Award

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission administers the State’s highway safety grant program designed to reduce traffic crashes and the resulting deaths, injuries, and property damage. Entering our third year of partnership, Bike Easy and the Commission have been working together to bring biking and walking safety skills to diverse audiences throughout the region. Support from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission makes much of our community safety education work possible, and we are pleased to show our appreciation with the Community Partner Award!

Redmellon Restoration and Development

Bike Easy Community Partner Award

Bike Easy staff see the Redmellon staff everyday – we share an office space! The Bike Easy (and RIDE New Orleans) office space on OC Haley is donated for our use by Redmellon Restoration and Development, a mission-driven real estate company. Their commitment to neighborhoods that are walkable and bikeable is on display everyday with the Bike Easy signs on their building and our busy staff within its walls. Their generous contribution of office space has allowed us to focus crucial unrestricted funds to growing the organization rather than on rent, and we’re lucky to regularly interact with their friendly, supportive staff! Redmellon is a fantastic Community Partner.

Tyronne Smith, Sr.

Bike Easy Volunteer of the Year Award

Tyronne has been riding his bike all over New Orleans for decades, and in recent years, he’s been a fixture on the NOLA Social Ride scene. As Tyronne became much more interested in making biking safe for everyone, he was searching for the right way to make an impact – and we’re glad he found Bike Easy! Tyronne was a member of the pilot cohort of the Claiborne Corridor Ambassador Program that culminated in the Safe-Tea on the Greenway event. And he’s been helping Bike Easy with all sorts of events and safety education work ever since and has leant us his truck more times than we can count. It’s clear that he is the 2016 Volunteer of the Year!

Andy Kopplin

Peter Duffy Bennett Policy Advocate Award

As Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer for the City of New Orleans from 2010-2016, Andy was a strong voice for bicycling inside City Hall. During his years serving in the Landrieu Administration, New Orleans saw a huge increase in bicycling and bikeways. From fighting hard for the Baronne Street bike lane to helping usher in bike share for New Orleans, Andy was right in the middle of making many of the recent biking achievements possible. While we were sad to see this avowed “bicycle-partisan” leave City Hall, we’re thrilled to be able to continue working with him to improve the region in his new role as CEO and President of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. For all he’s done and all the positive change he’ll continue to create, Andy Kopplin receives the 2016 Peter Duffy Bennett Policy Advocate Award!

Dr. Jill Murray

Bike Easy Award

This year’s Bike Easy Award goes to Dr. Jill Murray for her incredible contributions to the organization during her four years on the Board of Directors. After a stint as Treasurer, Jill has been President of the Board of Directors for the last two years. She has helped guide the organization through incredible growth, some tough times, and big achievements. During her tenure, Bike Easy has doubled its budget and staff, diversified and professionalized its board, and established new educational and advocacy programs. Jill has devoted countless hours and tremendous energy to the organization and the people that comprise it, and for that, there is no one more deserving of the Bike Easy Award!

Bike Easy 2016 Year In Review

Biking is Elementary!

Posted by Virginia Brisley on November 22, 2016 in Bicycle Safety

Bike Easy conducted Walk & Roll to School safety classes during PE in Gretna this month

In our 3rd year of school programming, Bike Easy is proud to offer bike and pedestrian safety classes for elementary students in Gretna this semester during their Physical Education (PE) period. Funded through generous support from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Safe Routes to School program, Keith and Virginia taught 4th & 5th grade students at William Hart Elementary School traffic safety, handling skills and sharing the road with all users. In December, students at Shirley T Johnson/Gretna Park Elementary will have Walk & Roll safety classes as well!

Using a two-way mock road, students on bike were able to practice riding on the right side of the road in straight lines, stopping at stop signs, looking for people walking, and communicating with each other by signaling. Students that were off bike played the role of pedestrians trying to cross the road. The mock road activity keeps everyone moving and helps students understand their roles and responsibilities while in traffic.

Mistakes are often made during the activity. But as we emphasize to students on the mock road, its better to make those errors while practicing in PE at school rather than on a real street in live traffic. Walk & Roll safety classes are preparing our next generation of riders to be savvy and aware on the road!

To celebrate Gretna’s Walk & Roll to School program, join Mayor Constant, William Hart School, Shirley T Johnson/Gretna Park Elementary and Bike Easy at Mel Ott Park on December 10 at 9am for a family oriented community bike ride. More information can be found here.

Bike Easy Is Hiring!

Posted by Dan Favre on November 18, 2016 in Advocacy

Bike Easy is hiring two Campaign Organizers to help build public support for better walking and biking

Bike Easy is excited to announce that we are hiring two Campaign Organizers! We’re looking for dedicated, enthusiastic leaders to help build the regional base of public support for streets that are safe and accessible for people of all ages and abilities whether they are walking, biking, driving, or taking transit!

As New Orleans embarks on unprecedented infrastructure and street upgrades with FEMA settlement dollars and Jefferson Parish considers how to invest in improved quality-of-life, the time for Complete Streets is now.

We’re looking for people who can help mobilize volunteers, build coalitions, put on great events, and help focus the tremendous energy for improved biking and walking in our region. We’re looking for people who are connected to and ready to work with communities of color and low-income communities, people who care deeply about mobility, public health, and social equity. We love working with people who are fun, optimistic, and enjoy bicycling!

Want to help build the movement for better walking and biking in Greater New Orleans?

For more details on the positions and how to apply, check out the following links:

Campaign Organizer – Jefferson Parish. Application deadline Monday, December 19.

Campaign Organizer – New Orleans. Application period has closed.

Volunteering at Bike Easy

Posted by Lily Taft on October 31, 2016 in Membership

Lily Taft, an intern from Tulane University, discusses her work with Bike Easy

Lily Taft is a sophomore at Tulane University who is interning with Bike Easy through the Center for Public Service. She’ll be at the Tulane Internship Fair this Wednesday, November 2 to recruit Bike Easy volunteers for future semesters. Here’s her story:

I have been volunteering for Bike Easy as a Social Media/Marketing/Communications intern for almost two months now. This is my first time working with people who have such different backgrounds from my own. I have interned for my father’s company and worked in schools educating children, but both of those jobs included familiar faces or familiar institutions. Although biking, the outdoors, and the environment have always been important to me, the workplace environment that I am experiencing at Bike Easy is something very new. I have the chance to interact with new, interesting people, and learn about different perspectives. My internship also gives me the chance to get off campus and out into the city. As a student, it’s easy to get trapped on campus with so much time being dictated towards my studies and so many activities constantly going on. I look forward to riding my bike to work and interacting with New Orleans.

Working at Bike Easy is fun, but it can also be challenging. I’ve learned even when you try your hardest you might not get the results you are after. Getting people to listen to you is difficult, and getting the results you so desire isn’t always reasonable. Calling people on the phone can be tedious, and getting rejection after rejection can be disappointing. But when you get that one “yes” answer for every 20 “no’s” it makes it all worth it. Sitting behind a desk and promoting an event is stressful, but when the event day comes and there’s tons of people there, it makes it worth it. As a busy student, I don’t always get the chance to go to the events, but even seeing a picture of smiling people and a successful day is rewarding.

In order to be successful, I have to experiment with different types of marketing and communication, and different social media platforms. Posting online on behalf of an organization comes with a lot of responsibility. Having such a big responsibility makes me feel like I am actually helping the non-profit grow – I’m not just another set of hands doing busy work. Growth is important to any non-profit because the goal is to help as many people as possible. Without growth, a company is limited to helping a fixed number of people. Helping Bike Easy grow makes me feel important because I know that the work Bike Easy does is crucial to our community.

In addition to giving me a sense of importance and responsibility, my internship at Bike Easy has allowed me to explore what types of communication and marketing I am interested in. I am learning that I like interacting with people and creating content. I hope this can help me choose a career path later in life.

Thank you Bike Easy! I can’t wait to see what the rest of my internship will bring!

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