Transportation justice in St. Paul

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Poverty causes a lot of problems and not having enough money to get around is a big one.

The people at Cycles for Change aim to help with a bike lending program.

Folks can borrow a bike through their Community Partners Bike Library.

In the photo above taken in in July by Bruce Silcox, borrowers are learning the rules of the road in a Bike Library Riding in Traffic class at Hope Community, Inc. a partner program in Minneapolis.

People gather later today in St. Paul to observe the program’s third year.

Cycles for Change uses the term “transportation justice” to describe their work.

Transportation justice sounds a little like the vigilante action some would like to exact upon naughty drivers.

But then I thought back to my days as the MPR transportation beat reporter and the phrase makes sense.

Well over half the residents in some St. Paul Midway area neighborhoods served by Cycles for Change don’t have a car. That was the finding by the advocacy group Isaiah.

Anyway, the Cycles for Change people sent along this information:

“The celebration, hosted by Goodwill Easter Seals at 553 Fairview Avenue North in St. Paul, will take place from 5-7pm on Monday.

“In 2012, the Bike Library has partnered with 19 Twin Cities organizations to loan 254 bicycles and 21 child trailers to people from traditionally marginalized communities including immigrants and refugees, women and people of color. Patrons use the bikes for transportation, exercise and more, experiencing many health and economic benefits.

“This year, the Bike Library has expanded its Learn-to-Ride classes for adults, particularly immigrant women, who have never had the opportunity to learn to ride a bicycle. The program also added leadership development opportunities, engaging program participants in internships in teaching, communications and outreach.”

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