Bicycles and Gentrification

It’s a critical time to address how bicycling and biking infrastructure impact People Of Color in Asbury Park. Everyone deserves safe access through neighborhoods, and many people in the city ride bikes and walk as their main ways of getting around. So while we need to continue to create safe ways for people to move about the city, we also need to address the fear that the correlation of bike lanes and gentrification will lead to displacement . The city is currently following the Plan for Walking and Biking, created in 2018, gradually adding bike lanes, sidewalks, and intersection bump outs, and it is critical that we engage now and listen to how this infrastructure affects People Of Color in our city, and seek to mitigate negative impacts.

Girl cycles behind people on the street in San Francisco, California. Locals ride the closed streets once a month on a Sunday., Image: 98680003, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Adam Gasson / Alamy / Profimedia

John G. Stehlin’s 2019 book “Cyclescapes of the Unequal City: A Look at Bicycles and Gentrification” strikes home for us as advocates at Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition: “While advocates envision a more sustainable city for all, the deployment of bicycle infrastructure within the framework of the neoliberal city in many ways intensifies divisions along lines of race, class, and space.”

While we continue to advocate for biking, and we’re putting in bicycle lanes and other infrastructure to make Asbury Park a more vibrant and livable city, we may have also played an unwitting role in the gentrification of our city. Listen to the excellent interview with Stehlin here.

Tamika Butler writes:

Why We Must Talk About Race When We Talk About Bikes

SYSTEMIC RACISM CAN’T BE FIXED WITHOUT TACKLING IT WITHIN CYCLING.

“We can celebrate what bicycling should truly be about—the power to be free and move freely.” “Bicycling cannot solve systemic racism in the United States. But systemic racism can’t be fixed without tackling it within bicycling. With the rise of bicycling during this global health pandemic, this is the moment to educate…”

 

 

 

 

 

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