Press Release: Community Cycling Center to Build a Bicycle Repair Hub in North Portland Neighborhood
Community Cycling Center to Build a Bicycle Repair Hub in
North Portland Neighborhood
The new facility will be built in August in an effort to eliminate barriers to bicycling often experienced by Portland’s communities of color and low-income neighborhoods.
August 1, 2012 – Portland, Ore. – The Community Cycling Center announced today it is forging ahead with plans to transform a vacant lot in the New Columbia neighborhood into a Bicycle Repair Hub.
The project represents the collaborative efforts of the Community Cycling Center, Home Forward, and We All Can Ride, a resident-led bike committee at New Columbia. The facility highlights a programmatic shift for the Northeast Portland-based non-profit, capping three years of outreach, programs, and planning aimed at improving access to bicycling by removing barriers identified during a community needs assessment in 2009.
“We believe all Portlanders deserve access to healthy choices for active living and transportation, regardless of their income, education, ethnic background, or street address,” says Alison Graves, executive director of the Community Cycling Center. “Since completing our ‘Understanding Barriers to Bicycling Project,’ we have fundamentally changed the way we work. We have been collaborating with partners in North and Northeast Portland to develop community-based solutions that improve access to the places people live, learn, work, and play.” The Community Cycling Center released its Understanding Barriers to Bicycling Final Report today, and it is available for download on their website.
Though Portland is known for being great at many things, including being the best bicycling city in the United States, this does not represent everyone’s reality. There are complex and interrelated barriers – including cost, safety, and education – that put bicycling out of reach for many low-income people.
The Bike Repair Hub addresses these key barriers by providing:
- Affordable bicycle repair and maintenance clinics in a neighborhood where more than 70% of residents live on low-incomes;
- Weekly bike rides led by trained residents where kids explore their neighborhood, make friends, and enjoy summer on two wheels.
Made possible with support from the Portland Development Commission, Bikes Belong and Bike Gallery, the Community Cycling Center will work with graduate students from the Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art’s joint MFA program in Applied Craft and Design (ACD). Each graduating class spends 11 days completing an intensive Design/Build project, working with artists and designers to transform empty spaces into dynamic and creative learning centers.
Students will begin this process on Aug. 20, spending the first three days in design charrettes with New Columbia residents. In the following days, the Bike Repair Hub construction will begin and will be completed on August 31. Previous projects completed by this Design/Build program include a library and learning center at a Portland juvenile detention center.
New Columbia sits on 82 acres in North Portland. The vibrant community includes more than 2,500 adults and children, representing 22 countries. Eleven languages are spoken among the residents. The Bike Repair Hub is a result of the growing enthusiasm for bicycling at New Columbia.
“As a New Columbia resident and ride leader, I see the need for the Bike Repair Hub,” says Michelle Hanna. “Kids have bikes that need repairs. For one reason or another bikes break down, and we need something there to get the bikes fixed so they can just enjoy riding them.”
Graves says the Community Cycling Center will continue to use the Understanding Barriers to Bicycling report as a blueprint for collaborative and programmatic improvements internally, at New Columbia, and with other partners and stakeholders moving forward.
“We are able to accomplish so much through our partner collaborations, simultaneously removing barriers that build community while showing a different way for bicycle organizations to engage,” Graves says. “These collaborations have shifted and enriched our organizational culture, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. This evolution has given us the ability to influence policy investments and ensure equity is a priority.”
The Community Cycling Center encourages everyone to contribute to the success of this project by making a donation on the center’s Web site, or by donating a bicycle at the center’s bike shop at 1700 NE Alberta Street.
About the Community Cycling Center
The Community Cycling Center, founded in 1994, broadens access to bicycling and its benefits. Our vision is to build a vibrant community where people of all backgrounds use bicycles to stay healthy and connected. As one of the oldest community bike shops in the United States, we build healthy communities by helping thousands of people ride safely. For more information, visit www.CommunityCyclingCenter.org