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Garfield Park community celebrates its new protected bike lanes
With support from the Bikes Belong Green Lane Project, Active Trans is working with local elected officials and community-based organizations to educate and get more people biking on the new protected bike lanes in Chicago communities of color.
On Saturday, October 6, over 70 residents came out to celebrate the new protected bike lanes in Garfield Park with Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. of the 27th ward, Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Garfield Park Community Council and Active Trans. Youth and community members joined Ald. Burnett on a fun bike ride around the 27th ward and the new protected bike lane on Franklin Boulevard. and Lake Street. Protected bike lanes make it safer for everyone, from 8-year-old kids to 80-year-old grandparents, to ride bikes in the city. We celebrated with the Garfield Park community the great strides the city is making building a safe bike network for all Chicagoans.
In a collaborative effort, we partnered with numerous donors and stakeholders to provide free rental bikes, basic bike repair, and helmets for this celebratory event. Bike and Roll Chicago provided the rental bikes, and Ciclo Urbano offered free repair services.
We also distributed 50 helmets to youth, an event made possible through a partnership with Groupon, Safe Kids Illinois and Lurie Children’s Hospital. Through Groupon's system of crowd sourcing individual donations, we solicited financial support from the public to finance the purchase, distribution and fitting of bicycle helmets. Safe Kids Illinois matched donations for the first 75 helmets, providing Active Trans with 150 helmets to give to children in Chicago's neighborhoods, and the first 50 helmets were distributed at the 27th ward ride. The Chicago Bike Ambassadors provided safety instruction and helmet fitting for event participants.
This great event is also helping mobilize Garfield Park stakeholders to create bike education and encouragement programming for youth in the community. Active Trans will work with Breakthrough Urban Ministries and Marillac House to begin the first on-bike youth program in Garfield Park, with a fleet of 10 bikes generously donated by Schwinn.
We look forward to supporting community-based organizations as they grow the number of youth cyclists in Garfield Park and continuing to work with Ald. Burnett to promote biking and host an annual bike ride in the community.
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