Biking in New Orleans: A Youth Perspective
N’Courage NOLA went to the library to collect stories about “Streets Built to Share.”
When N’Courage NOLA went to the main library we collected stories on “Streets Built to Share.” Each group had a different story to tell about their first bike ride they took, what its like to ride bikes now, and what improvements can be made for biking to be better.
Some of the first bike ride stories were rough and tough. But most of them were fun and memorable. We heard stories of being on bike making them “street smart”, happy, and made them want to practice more.
Stories about current biking experiences were funny and sometimes dangerous, while others had you second guessing their life choices. Some of the stories we heard had us confused, but we did not want to pester them into telling us the whole story leading up to that point. All the stories we gathered had improvements that could be made to the city.
Improvements suggested include better-paved streets and more bike paths that can lead to places bikes can’t get to now. Some of the specific streets they wanted to improve for biking and walking are Claiborne Ave, which was one of the most common, Washington Ave, and N Robertson. Participants also shared that they didn’t feel as if laws necessarily prevented accidents from happening and they could be enforced better.
A challenge echoed by most of the riders is the difficulty of getting around without using the interstate or RTA. Other people wanted to feel safer. Most of the stories we collected from people had some type of violence in them and they felt that if they had a better network and enforcement systems they would’ve been able to avoid it completely.
- NCourage NOLA wrote this blog collaboratively after debriefing the youth-led Summer Reading Program events