The bicycle has been an active player in social justice activism for decades, and the inequity in the treatment of people riding bikes has been documented through history. Adolf Hitler’s in 1933 criminalized cycling unions. In 1989 demonstrators in China poured into Tiananmen Square on bicycles, and then flattened frames and wheels were left behind after tanks moved in.
During Black Lives Matter protests bikes are being confiscated. When a curfew is enforced people walking and on bikes are targeted, while people in cars are permitted to drive. A disturbing recent twist has emerged, and as advocates for police on bikes in Asbury Park, we are horrified by images of bicycles being used by police in some cities as weapons against protesters.
As APCSC continues to advocate for safe bicycling infrastructure, we know that a rise in real estate values often accompanies biking and walking improvements. Although it is not causal, there is a reluctance on the part of residents to embrace bicycling and walking improvements for fear of gentrification. We must be energized to address affordable housing and retain residents while creating safe environment for people to move about the city. There are millions of every day bike riders and walkers – people who don’t own cars – who deserve better, equitable access to jobs and school. “Invisible riders” is a term describing the marginalization of black, brown, female, and working-class cyclists, illustrating that t
freedom of movement for everyone.