Anthony Taylor: Bicycling & Equity
When we released “The New Majority: Pedaling Toward Equity” report in May, we knew it was just the first step to a much bigger, complex and on-going discussion about bicycling equity in the United States.
Last week, Anthony Taylor, a member of the League’s Equity Advisory Council and founding member of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota, provided his analysis of the report — and the state of the movement — on the Bike Walk Twin Cities blog.
Read an excerpt below and the full post here.
… As a local activist in the Twin Cities and also a member of the League’s new Equity Advisory Council, I feel this report is an impressive first step to embrace equity and to acknowledge that matters of transportation have been historically inequitable–not simply as bikes relate to cars, but also as communities of color have been affected by unequal access to the benefits of infrastructure improvements.
In taking this step, the League literally had to change its definition of “equity.” The new definition acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist in the equitable provision of effective opportunities to all groups. This perspective is key to realizing the genuine opportunity in the bicycling movement…
… For low-income communities and communities of color, the lack of safe places to ride in their neighborhoods, unequal representation in transportation project planning, and unequal financial burdens prevent equal access to cycling and its benefits. When I travel and perform a cursory analysis of bike infrastructure distribution, I typically see that the network is weakest where the highest percentages of people of color reside. I don’t believe that this is malicious; I believe that these communities at worst have become invisible and at best represent an inconvenience to connectivity within a metro area.
From my perspective, leaving North Minneapolis out of the initial roll-out of the Nice Ride Minnesota bike-share program in the Twin Cities was a classic example of this. I always expected that, from a pure “probability of success” measure, North Minneapolis would not be included at first. But the leadership at Nice Ride Minnesota, political leaders, and the bike advocacy community, including TLC, have since responded swiftly to expand the system. The will to do the right thing is there…