New Orleans accelerating into the lead at Places for Bikes
2018 Conference and Big Jump Meetup in Indianapolis
Back at the beginning of May, I had the pleasure of representing New Orleans at this year’s Places For Bikes Conference in Indianapolis, alongside Meg Young, Bike and Pedestrian Safety Coordinator for the New Orleans Health Department. We were there to discuss our city’s progress in improving the conditions for safe biking as well as to celebrate the vibrant local culture for biking here in New Orleans.
Bike advocates and city officials were amazed to hear just how popular our city’s various social rides are, both in the center of town and in neighborhoods on both sides of the river. And now with Blue Bikes, New Orleans first-ever bike share program, there are even more bikes available to keep that local bike culture growing.
For the first time, People for Bikes gave out awards to the best cities for biking, based on their new city rating system. Drumroll, please… New Orleans won the inaugural Acceleration Award, which recognized our city for taking the biggest leap forward over the last year. This takes into account the launch of our local bike share program, Blue Bikes; the city’s Safe Routes to School program, ensuring participating schools can have their students bike and walk there safely; Bike Easy’s pop-up protected bikeways installed this past year on St. Bernard Avenue and Loyola Drive; and much more. It was a gratifying moment to realize New Orleans is truly making strides and being recognized for it by our fellow bike lovers.
Be sure, the acceleration in New Orleans is only beginning! Stay tuned.
PS — While you’re here, also check out People for Bikes’ new Bike Network Analysis. Like us at Bike Easy, the folks at People for Bikes have switched their measure of success from ‘miles of bike lanes on the ground’ to ‘resources reachable by bike’. In this way, the focus shifts towards creating a safe, connected system of bikeways allowing us to get everywhere we need to go by bike, which certainly includes our jobs, schools, grocery stores, hospitals, and all the other resources we need to reach in our daily lives. Check out this very cool, useful tool.