Ambassador’s Story - Guenevere Hoy
This spring, a new group of local residents have signed up as Bike Easy Ambassadors, working to ensure New Orleans streets are built to share.
My name is Guenevere Hoy, I live in Mid-City and work in the CBD for a public health organization. I’ve lived in New Orleans for eight years and when I came here from Seattle I had to purchase a car to get to work on the Westbank. Now that I work closer to home I have started commuting to work by bicycle a few times a week. I’ve also started biking more to meet friends or run errands. There’s something really freeing and nice about being out in the air and getting around from the power of your own two legs!
I have several friends who say they would never bike in New Orleans because they think it’s too dangerous and they have a point. There’s a lot of education needed for both people who bike and people who drive. As someone who does both I wanted to do something to help people feel safe and know how to share the streets. I signed up to be a Complete Streets Ambassador with Bike Easy so that I can be a resource to my friends and community about safe, accessible streets for people of all abilities and all ages. Having streets that are built to share goes a long way in changing people’s behavior about who should be using the streets. If streets are built to look like a highway that is only meant for cars to go as quickly as possible from point A to point B, then you’d expect no one to be walking or biking on those streets. But if streets are built to accommodate different modes of getting around safely, with everyone having access then you’d expect more walkers, bus riders, bikers and drivers on those streets.
These are the kind of streets I want in my neighborhood, because these kinds of streets lead to better health, better economic opportunities and better quality of life. The city has come so far from where it was when I moved here in terms of promoting and protecting bikers, but more needs to be done to connect the short stretches of bike lanes that end abruptly and make it difficult for both people who bike and people who drive to know what to do next! I love that more and more bike lanes continue to appear on streets around me but I want to make sure that everyone can enjoy the benefits and freedom of choosing a low-cost and healthy way to get around, whether they’re biking, walking or taking the streetcar and from any neighborhood in New Orleans.