March 30, 2016
By Nieeta Presley, Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation
From 2014 to 2015, Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC) engaged community members in Frogtown and Summit-University in bicycle and walking clubs. The purpose of the program was to increase bicycle ridership and walking rates by personally supporting people in overcoming their self-identified barriers to bicycling or walking.
ASANDC led an intensive outreach effort, including door-knocking, small group conversations, one-to-one meetings with community leaders, and presentations to schools, churches, and informal social groups. The goal was to reach as many people as possible in a small/medium geographic area.
ASANDC implemented the bike rides with several partners: Cycles for Change (C4C), Frogtown Crew, Nice Ride Minnesota, Smart Trips, Major Taylor Bicycling Club, Slow Roll Twin Cities, Friendly Street Initiative staff and Building Better Bridges residents, Frogtown Neighborhood Association, and Women on Bikes. We organized events in partnership with our partners and then, went on our own community bike rides.
ASANDC and Cycles for Change implemented weekly bicycle rides accessible for participants of all skill levels. C4C provided free services to participants including access to a free or discounted bicycle, training in safe, responsible cycling, and lessons for first-time riders. The rides led participants through neighborhood streets and parks, as well as places like Como Park and the Mississippi River. During the colder months, ASANDC staff and community outreach volunteers went on 10 walks.
The results by the numbers:
- conducted six focus groups or listening sessions with 75 people
- knocked on 115 doors
- conducted 100 surveys
- 13 bike rides, where 339 people participated
- 10 walks
Moving forward, we will be seeking funding to continue the bicycle and walking clubs with the support of Cycles for Change and Major Taylor Bicycling Club.