Local Spokes: Community-Based Bike Advocacy in Chinatown and the Lower East Side
Local Spokes is a coalition of nine organizations that joined up to engage low-income residents, people of color, immigrants, and young people in the Lower East Side and Chinatown to envision the future of bicycling in their communities. To understand the transportation needs of the neighborhoods, Local Spokes conducted an extensive survey in 2010 and 2011 and held a series of workshops in Chinese, English, and Spanish.
Last summer Local Spokes synthesized everything the coalition had gathered from this process into a neighborhood action plan for bicycling [PDF]. The goal of the action plan is to ensure that residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown will have a role guiding decisions about bike-related policies and initiatives for their streets, and to create a model for community-based bike plans in other neighborhoods.
Streetfilms teamed up with Local Spokes in 2012 to document their work, and in this video you can see them in action.
So, what’s next? After receiving initial support from the JM Kaplan Fund, this year Local Spokes is seeking new funding to realize the goals of the action plan. Also on the agenda for 2013: releasing a blueprint for how to bring a Local Spokes-style coalition to the neighborhood where you live. Stay tuned for the blueprint launch at the 2013 Youth Bike Summit and on the Local Spokes website in February.