Word on the Street

A blog about bikes and the Big Easy

Win Smoothie King Suite Pelican’s Tickets!

Posted by Heather Haylett on March 13, 2018 in Membership

All new and current Sustaining Members will be entered into a drawing for tickets!

We’re giving five lucky Bike Easy Sustaining Members tickets to the Smoothie King suite to watch the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Dallas Mavericks March 20th at 7 pm! There will be food and drink and maybe even a special visit from Pierre or the Pelicans Dance Team.

Not a Sustaining Member yet? Become a Bike Easy Sustaining Member today for your chance to win! If you’re already a Sustaining Member, you’re already entered.

All new and current sustaining members will have a chance to join Bike Easy staff, board, and fellow supporters at the Smoothie King suite in the Smoothie King Arena on March 20th at 7 pm. The drawing will take place on Friday, March 16th at 9 am. Make sure your name is in the hat by then, when we’ll select five winners and call them that day to share the good news. Good luck!

As a Sustaining Member, your on-going support gives Bike Easy crucial financial and political power to work towards better biking every day. Becoming a Sustaining Member allows you to make an easy, automatic monthly donation (until you cancel) that adds up to a big impact each year. 

Greater New Orleans has seen amazing progress in the number of people on bike- in fact, there has been a 50% increase in the number of people who biked to work between 2011 and 2015. Yet, we still have far to go. When people feel comfortable riding throughout our region, the more likely they will be to get out and ride bikes. To make this a reality Bike Easy advocates for connected networks of low-stress bikeways, works to increase safety education for people biking and people driving, and all while having fun with various community events.

Can you support our work by becoming a Bike Easy Sustaining Member?

Along with a shot at Pelicans’ tickets, as a member of Bike Easy you will receive discounts at Bike Easy Business Members around town and be kept updated through our newsletter and special announcements.

Thank you for supporting our work to make bicycling easy, safe, and fun for everyone in Greater New Orleans!

Let’s ride,

Dan Favre
Executive Director

Joining a Bike Easy Challenge Team

Posted by Heather Haylett on March 13, 2018 in Events

How to join a team or create a new team!

On the Love to Ride App

Select the side menu and then select Visit full website

Select Join a team

From here you can either select an existing organization or create a new one.

On Lovetoride.net/bikeeasy

Select My Profile

Select Join a team

If you are joining a team select Choose organization. If you are creating a new team select Register a new organization

Kenner Pop-Up Protected Bikeway

Posted by Heather Haylett on March 6, 2018 in Advocacy

Join us at the Kenner Pop-Up Protected Bikeway installation March 24th to help more Jefferson Parish residents feel comfortable biking by improving our streets.

*Sign up to volunteer here*

More and more people are biking in Jefferson Parish – whether a social ride in Gretna on a Friday night to have some fun, an early morning ride along the levee to stay healthy, or a quick trip to the store to pick up some groceries. Although the parish has made strides in improving the infrastructure and safety for people on bike and people walking, there is still so much work to be done to make Jefferson Parish streets feel safe for everyone on them. Today, people on bike in Jefferson Parish face streets with high-speed limits and no bike lanes, dangerous intersection crossings, and drivers often unaware of how to share the road. Everyone deserves safe and reliable ways to get from point A to point B, and that includes people biking!

In a couple of weeks, Bike Easy, along with local ambassadors and volunteers will be installing a “pop-up” bike lane on Loyola Drive in Kenner. The temporary route will run along Loyola below West Esplanade from Yenni Drive to East / West Loyola Drive. The bikeway will be placed along the sidewalk and protected by putting up barricades to physically separate bikers from car traffic. We hope to keep the route in operation for two weeks, after which it will be taken down and returned to its previous condition.

Our hope with this pop-up bikeway is to show the importance of safe and reliable biking infrastructure and how best existing roads in Jefferson Parish can be built to share among people who bike, walk, take transit, and drive. This route along Loyola Drive will connect bikers to parks such as Kenner City Park and Wentwood Park, several Elementary and Middle schools, as well as the soon-to-be, built Kenner Discovery School, a Walmart shopping center, Ochsner Medical Center, other local businesses, and residential neighborhoods. Additionally, the bike lane will provide easier access to the levee trail by way of West Esplanade.

While this is not a quick-fix for safer and accessible biking across all of Jefferson Parish, it is a first step in showing how bikers and drivers can share the road with protected biking infrastructure. Some of those benefits include a decrease in congestion, increase the quality of life, and positive effects on retail sales in commercial corridors.

Bike Easy is utilizing staff, recruiting volunteers, and providing funding for this project. Help from community residents and local institutions is essential to making it a success – by canvassing neighborhood residents and businesses, collaborating on the design and artwork, volunteering for installation and removal, and donating funds and/or materials are what we need to bring a vision of safe passageways to our neighborhoods. We hope you’ll be a part of this vital work!

Installation will be Saturday, March 24 and we are doing some work beforehand to ensure everything goes smoothly – sign up here to help out.

Please fill out this survey so we can have an accurate picture of how the community feels about biking and walking in their neighborhood!

For any further questions or concerns, please contact Oliver Anderson, Campaign Assistant, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

March Newsletter

Posted by Heather Haylett on March 5, 2018 in Events

Upcoming events and other Bike Easy news!

Become a Bike Easy Member!

The community support for better biking in Greater New Orleans is something to be proud of. Conditions for people on bikes have come a long way in recent years, and ridership has almost tripled since the early 2000’s. These improvements only happened with the dedication of citizen advocates and Bike Easy Members. There is still a long way to go to ensure our streets are easy, safe, and fun for all people on bicycles, and we need you to get involved!

Support your community by becoming a Bike Easy Member today!

Register for the Bike Easy Challenge!

Smiley face

The Bike Easy Challenge is a fun, free competition for everyone in the region. Mark your calendars for the second run of our month-long regional biking challenge, April 1 – 30. Ride anywhere, anytime for just 10 minutes to participate.

Follow these four steps to get started:

Register at lovetoride.net/bikeeasy, it’s free.
Ride a bike anywhere, anytime between April 1st and 30th.
Record your rides and tell your friends and coworkers about the Challenge
Reward yourself and your friends by winning prizes!

Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival

Mardi Gras Indians, African dance, brass bands, luscious jazz, soul-funk, Latin jazz and West African highlife – all these are in store for music fans at the 11th annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival, presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation March 3-4 in Armstrong Park.

Bike Easy will have Bike Valet set up under the Louis Armstrong Park arch.  Ride your bike and enjoy the fest stress-free!

Audubon Park and Riverview (The Fly) Park Survey

The Audubon Park Master Plan survey wants you to voice your opinion on the future of Audubon Park!
Audubon Commission is working on a Master Plan intended to shape the Park’s direction for the future and is actively seeking feedback to understand the needs of the diverse community that enjoys Audubon Park.  This is a great opportunity for our community to express concerns related to walking and bicycling issues such as general access, crossing Magazine Street, and improved Fly access. 

Public meetings will be held at the Audubon Tea Room March 6th and April 5th from 6-8pm for further discussion.

WALK / BIKE / PLACES Registration


Early Registration for Walk/Bike/Places 2018 in New Orleans is now open!

Walk/Bike/Places will take place September 16-19 at the Downtown Sheraton in New Orleans, and will feature 3+ days of over 100 breakout sessions, poster displays, general sessions and of course, mobile workshops that will explore the city’s rich historic and cultural landscape. 

Register today!

Congratulations St. Bernard Parish!

St. Bernard Parish accepted a federal grant to build the 40 Arpent Trail!  Last year the Bikeway and Pedestrian Plan Update a bold vision for establishing a network of trails and bikeways to link together all communities in the Parish and link St. Bernard with its neighboring parishes.

The new grant will fund construction of a 10-foot wide asphalt multi-use path along the Forty Arpent Canal for approximately 8 miles from Arabi near Alexander Avenue to the Violet Canal.   The multi-use path will be designed for walkers, joggers, bicyclists, skaters, and other non-motorized users.  The project also includes two bicycle-pedestrian bridges across the canal at Val Riess Park and at De Bouchel Blvd.  

Read more about the Forty Arpent Trail!

Sponsor the Spring Bicycle Second Line

Smiley face

Sponsor the Spring Bicycle Second Line, a musical 10-mile bike ride version of the famous second line parades that traditionally wind through New Orleans streets during the year. 

For our Bicycle Second Line, we gather several hundred riders of all ages, interests, and backgrounds and roll through our beautiful New Orleans neighborhoods while brass bands set the tempo.

This event is a high-profile, earned media grabbing extravaganza. Putting your logo and branding next to ours demonstrates your commitment to healthier, safer, more equitable communities and puts you in touch with our diverse and ever-growing circle of supporters. Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information about sponsoring the spring Bicycle Second Line.

Partner Spotlight: Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods team members are part of the local community and are passionate about supporting the local causes that are important to shoppers and neighbors.

Whole Foods stores have a lot of latitude in deciding the best way to operate each store to meet the needs of the community. The Greater New Orleans Whole Foods Market sponsors events like the Bike to Work Day and ’5% Day’ which helped Bike Easy raise $14,980 in September!

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers often tell us how much fun it is to come out to help at Bike Easy events and how gratifying it is to see the tangible impacts their time and energy can have on Bike Easy and bicycling.

Sign up to volunteer today!

Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks and events such as:  

  • Drop-in volunteer night
  • Bike Easy Challenge/Bike to Work Day
  • Bicycle Second Line Planning
  • Bike Valet

Find more information about these opportunities in our blog post.

Better Bike Share Partnership Grant

Bike Easy has just been announced as a recipient of the Better Bike Share Partnership Challenge Grant! This program is all about funding strategies to tackle barriers to equitable use of bike share while increasing ridership.

Blue Bikes can offer a unique opportunity to correct deep-rooted, historical inequities by providing an affordable, accessible way to commute to the city’s working-class populations and communities of color. Bike Easy will be implementing ‘Blue Bikes for All New Orleanians,’ an outreach program focused on overcoming long-lasting racial and class divides in New Orleans, by making sure New Orleanians know how to take advantage and seize this opportunity.

Bike Easy YouTube Channel

Subscribe to our YouTube channel!

You’ll find highlights from our Health Equity Report release and portraits of New Orleanians on bike. Take a ride with John Mack his home to the Gretna ferry, a ride he often took in his youth, as he discusses his work with Bike Easy to make Jefferson Parish safer and more accessible for bike riders today and in the years to come.

Blue Bikes for All New Orleanians

Posted by Heather Haylett on March 1, 2018 in Advocacy

Bike Easy is a Better Bike Share Partnership grantee!

Bike Easy has just been announced as a recipient of the Better Bike Share Partnership Challenge Grant! This program is all about funding strategies to tackle barriers to equitable use of bike share while increasing ridership.

Blue Bikes can offer a unique opportunity to correct deep-rooted, historical inequities by providing an affordable, accessible way to commute to the city’s working-class populations and communities of color. Bike Easy will be implementing ‘Blue Bikes for All New Orleanians,’ an outreach program focused on overcoming long-lasting racial and class divides in New Orleans, by making sure New Orleanians know how to take advantage and seize this opportunity.

Areas of Focus

The focus of our outreach will be in two specific low-to-moderate income neighborhoods, the 7th Ward and Central City. These neighborhoods were chosen because of their location on the edge of the Blue Bikes service area, demographics, and their overall social determinants of health. Our goal is to build the number of rides in these areas and thereby demonstrate broad demand for bike share that can then propel expansion into other low-to-moderate income areas currently outside the service area.

This grant will also allow us to focus on promoting Blue Bikes to hospitality and service industry employees in the CBD and French Quarter. Most hospitality employees earn low wages, and transportation challenges are often cited by management and workforce alike. We’ll focus on providing the workforce with specific Blue Bikes how-to’s, safety advice, and reduced fare pass registration opportunities.

‘Blue Bikes for All New Orleanians’ allows Bike Easy and community partners to truly experience how Blue Bikes can improve their daily mobility and lives.

Rides with a purpose: Neighborhood rides that support community organizations’ missions while providing free use of the Blue Bikes system that includes a system overview, safety presentation, and free month trial pass with automatic access to the reduced fare annual pass.

Blue Bikes to work: A focus on engaging hospitality industry workers directly through Lunch-and-learns, skills workshops, shift meeting announcements, educational materials in break rooms, and support and encouragement from management.

Blue Bikes riders’ portraits: A campaign to publicize and share the stories of the many diverse people who use bike share.

Blue Bikes skills sessions: Bike Easy will incorporate bike share basics into our existing bike safety programming in the focus areas.

The momentum for bicycling improvement in New Orleans is high, and progress is happening every day! New Orleans is one of 10 cities participating in The Big Jump, where its target area overlaps with the Blue Bikes Service Area, and the focus areas proposed here. So, we’ll be getting to work to bring all these efforts to make sure whether you’re riding your own bike or a Blue Bike, it’s easy, safe, and fun for every New Orleanian!

Volunteer with Bike Easy!

Posted by Heather Haylett on February 22, 2018 in Events

Spring is quickly approaching and things are starting to kick up at Bike Easy. Let us know how you can help!

Volunteers often tell us how much fun it is to come out to help at Bike Easy events and how gratifying it is to see the tangible impacts their time and energy can have on Bike Easy and bicycling. We provide the support and training you need to jump right in and make a difference.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks and events such as:  

Drop-in Volunteer Night - We host a monthly drop-in volunteer night to utilize the unique skills of Bike Easy volunteers! Our next volunteer night is Wednesday, March the 21st from 4:30-7pm. Stop by the Bike Easy office and help with operational tasks such as working within our volunteer database system, preparing mailings, and organizing materials.
Dates coming up: March 21st, April 18th

Bike Easy Challenge / Bike to Work Day - Help out at our second annual month-long event! Bike Easy needs volunteers to spread information via word of mouth, flyers, and social media. We’ll also need event set-up and breakdown on Bike to Work Day as well as other outreach opportunities. Let us know how you can help contribute!
Dates coming up: Mid March-April 30th

Bicycle Second Line Planning - The Spring Bicycle Second Line is a pedal-powered version of the traditional musical second line parades! Assist with the planning and execution of this unique party.
Dates coming up: TBD

Bike Valet - Spring is festival season! Bike Easy provides Bike Valet at events across the city and it would be impossible without the support of our volunteers.
Dates coming up: March 3-4th Congo Square New Worlds Rythm Festival, March 11th YEP Fest, March 14th Wednesday at the Square  

Complete Streets Advocacy - Do you want to bring change to unsafe and inequitable street conditions? Volunteer at events like installing a pop-up bikeway or collecting petition signatures and help implement change.
Dates coming up: March 24-25th Kenner Bikeway Pop-Up 

Sign up to volunteer today!

A Bike Easy staff member will follow up depending on your volunteer preferences.

Thanks for your interest in getting involved with Bike Easy! See you soon.

John Mack’s Story

Posted by Robert Henig Bell on February 5, 2018 in Advocacy

Riding from the Westbank to the ferry to New Orleans streets, all for the joy of biking.

John Mack III has lived and biked around Jefferson Parish all his life. After a career working in track & field athletics across Louisiana, he now resides in Harvey. Follow along from his home to the Gretna ferry, a ride he often took in his youth, as he discusses his work with Bike Easy to make Jefferson Parish safer and more accessible for bike riders today and in the years to come.

- And in case you missed it, watch Ambasssador Suzanne Cole share her story of making biking more comfortable for women riders.

The Bike Easy Challenge is Back

Posted by Virginia Brisley on February 2, 2018 in Events

Join a team or as an individual and lets get more people riding bikes this spring!

The 2018 Bike Easy Challenge will run Sunday, April 1 through Monday, April 30 and is open to both individuals and organizations. Team up with your co-workers, social club members, or congregation to compete for weekly and top prizes in this free, fun, and friendly biking challenge!

Registration is now open!

We’ll help you find plenty of reasons to be on your bike throughout April. Bike Easy volunteers are in full planning mode to present happy hours, riding activities, and, of course, meeting for breakfast at the annual Bike to Work Day on April 11. This year will also be the first regional Bike to Worship Weekend, April 20 – 22. Register today and also encourage your friends, family members, and colleagues to register.

Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Support the Challenge with prize donations! Sponsors are featured on the Challenge site, in Bike Easy communications, and our social media. Email Virginia for additional information.

The Challenge helps increase awareness for people on bikes in the Greater New Orleans region. Let’s try to log even more rides for 2018!

Register or re-register (for free) to join the 2018 Bike Easy Challenge!

Secure your bike this Mardi Gras

Posted by David Meza on January 31, 2018 in Advocacy

Biking to the parades is a great time! Follow these tips to ensure your bike stays with you throughout the festival season.

Getting ready for parades and balls can be a real chore, though a welcomed one. Gathering the outfit, people and of course refreshments can get downright hectic as you check the tracker for updates. Then, there’s always the lingering thought in the back of your head: Too much fun on one night can make for a disorienting recovery day.
For many of us, a hangover or missed sleep is something we can power through within a few painful hours. However, a bicycle not properly secured can result in a much lengthier (if even possible) recovery and the sense that a part of us is missing.

In order to ease your mind, follow these guidelines to properly secure your bicycle:
• Find a good spot
o Bikes are able to be locked to city street posts and bike racks.
o Locking to a private structure may cause an issue for the owner and may result in your bike being removed.
o Ensure the post and structure you’re locking to is secure. Give the structure a shake to see it is firmly attached to the ground. Also, check any overhead signs to make sure they aren’t set to quickly be taken off to slide your bike over the post.
o Though heavy foot traffic is a good deterrent for thieves, ensure your bike wont be in the way of pedestrian traffic.
• Secure your bike
o Use a U-Lock! A cable to go through the unsecured wheel is also recommended.
o Put the U-Lock through the frame and at least one wheel. Locking through the rear triangle (where the frame connects to the rear tire) is a great way to lock up.
o If your seat has a quick release, secure it with a cable or take it with you.
o Make sure to take any accessories off of your bike that can be easily removed: lights, bags, tools.
• Get to it in a timely manner
o Most street parking is only secure up to a point. Neglecting your bike for a length of time makes it a more likely target. If you’re plans for the night are moving you from your bike, walk it with you to a closer spot!

Bicycling is a great way to navigate the traffic of the parade routes and even allows us to catch multiple parades at different locations, or zoom through the streets for a second chance at a coconut or shoe. I’d personally recommend a ride through an abandoned parade route, as long as you have quality tires.
If you’d rather bike but not leave your bike on the street there are a few alternatives. Bike to a uncrowded spot and watch with your bike in hand, there are a few social rides through Get Up And Ride and Nola Social Ride which watch the parades with their bikes, or look in to trying the new Blue Bikes bike share: hubs can be found along many of the routes or a $1 fee is applied if its locked away from a hub.

6 Tips for Biking During Mardi Gras

Posted by Heather Haylett on January 25, 2018 in Bicycle Safety

Get on your bike and ride!

Krewe du Vieux arrives this Saturday the 27th, and it won’t be long until we are fully immersed in Mardi Gras activities. As people and floats squeeze cars out of their usual routes, biking becomes the supreme choice for getting around. All the bikes out and about get our bicycle advocate hearts fluttering. We know that more bikes on the road increases visibility of people on bike and promotes the need for better bike networks.

Keep these six safety tips in mind as you enjoy Mardi Gras on bike:

1. Look for Hazards
During Mardi Gras beadss and hazards abound. Watch for items that could puncture your tires, get caught in wheel spokes, or damage your chain. While riding a bike, keep in mind that beads around your neck are dangerous while your riding.

2. Be Prepared If you do happen to hit a hazard that causes a flat tire, be prepared. Carry a patch kit and a hand pump so that you can get back to parade watching.

3. Lock up Strategically and be courteous Make sure to lock your bike to a rack or secure street sign and out of the pedestrian pathway. Best practice is to park off the parade street and avoid having your bike become a ladder.

4. Don’t Bike Through Crowds Much like Royal Street is a pedestrian throughway on the weekends, parades are not suitable for biking through. Dismounting is much safer, and others will thank you.

5. Bike Safely

  • Wear a helmet – fix your headpiece or wig once you’ve arrived at your destination.
  • When crossing streetcar tracks, cross at a 90-degree angle to avoid getting caught in the tracks.
  • If you bike, drink responsibly and know your limits. Call a ride, walk, or take transit if you need.
  • Use front and rear lights to retain visibility at night.
  • Ride with traffic, not against, and abide by traffic lights and signs.

6. Try a Blue Bike! You don’t have to own a bike to use one on Mardi Gras. Blue Bikes New Orleans is the recently installed bike share system that is perfect for short trips. For $8 an hour (prorated by the minute) you can hop between friends houses and parade routes. This is also a great option if you don’t want to leave your bike unattended for an extended period. Simply unlock a bike, ride to your destination, relock, and have zero worries.

Biking during Mardi Gras is a no-brainer. You’ll get where you need to go faster and in style. Be courteous, stay safe, and have fun!

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