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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.

Elizabeth Press is a Filmmaker for Streetfilms. She joined Streetfilms in 2007 to focus her video work on advocating for better biking, walking and mass transit.

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  • http://twitter.com/toddedelman toddedelman

    Brilliant! Hooray!

  • Ben Kintisch

    Incredible beautiful project. Well done everybody!

  • http://unlikelyvoters.com/ Ilyse Kazar

    I am sitting here feeilng so stupid. I have read the article 3 times but I see no video on this page and no link to the video. I have clicked through to the Local Spokes site where it mentions the video but the link puts me back on this page. So it's probably a really stupid question, but *where is the video*? This post says: "Streetfilms teamed up with Local Spokes in 2012 to document their work, and in this video you can see them in action," so I keep thinking "this" video means it is on this page. It's not showing in my browser (Firefox) anywhere on this page...

  • http://unlikelyvoters.com/ Ilyse Kazar

     OK, I just opened this page inSafari and there is the video at the top. You should know for some reason it doesn't show up in Firefox on Mac. Perhaps it's in the kind of html5 that doesn't work in Firefox.

  • escape from yonkers

    off topic i know, but i have to share this. My COOP apartment in Yonkers is real progressive. The Board passed secret ,but against policy, House laws changes, that allowed the 7 year old son of a board member to ride his bicycle in the cramped, no sight line, indoor parking garage. Insanity and could have easily led to loss of insurance