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Why I Ride #9: To Build a Better Community For My Son

(Leslie Meehan is the Director of Healthy Communities for the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization)

Sean Meehan

My son Sean is three years old and, although he is too little to understand what bicycle and pedestrian planning or public policy are by name, he understands the impact they have on his life.

His favorite activity is to ride his bike. He bikes to daycare (with supervision) and notices everything: the ‘tunnel’ (overgrown bush) that he rides under, the hill he rides down fast, even the bump in the sidewalk he aims to ride over. He has a feeling of freedom and independence when riding his bicycle (the jackpot for a toddler), and he has a sense of belonging in his community.

Funny how those are the same things that I hear adults say they love about bicycling.

This is why I chose to be a bicycle and pedestrian planner — a career that can often be challenging, innovative and rewarding.

I chose this field because I see firsthand the impact that walkable and bikeable communities have on my family, and on the lives of others.

(Of course, my son always wears a helmet when he rides!)

May is National Bike Month and this year’s theme is One Ride, Many Reasons. To highlight and celebrate the many benefits of bicycling, throughout May we’ll bring you the personal reflections and inspirations of a diverse collections of bicyclists from coast to coast with our daily 31 Days, 31 Reasons blog feature.


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