BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—New York City's Transportation Alternatives and the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation have been selected as the first recipients of the REI/Bicycle Friendly Communities Grants of $15,000 each.
This new grant fund, administered by the Bikes Belong Foundation and made possible by generous support from Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), helps aspiring, committed Bicycle Friendly Communities become great places to ride.
Transportation Alternatives (TA) will use its award to support a comprehensive citywide bike parking initiative designed to increase bike transportation in New York by giving cyclists safe, convenient places to park and store their bicycles. TA will conduct advocacy work for "parking spot swaps" and legislation mandating bicycle access to commercial buildings. The grant will also back a bike-rack design competition organized by the NYC Department of Transportation, TA, and city art museums.
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation will use its funding to produce the first of a series of Sunday Parkways events in Chicago, modeled after Ciclovia in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Bogotá, Columbia. With a goal of "transforming communities by invigorating their lifelines—their streets—every weekend from June through October," Sunday Parkways promises to dramatically increase ridership in the city of Chicago by creating a car-free community celebration that other U.S. cities can adopt.
"Chicago and New York are already working hard to become bike friendly," said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong. "These REI grants will help city governments, businesses, community leaders and nonprofit groups increase cycling for transportation and recreation. The result will be reduced road congestion and air pollution, and better health and quality of life for residents and visitors."