Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bike Counts and Comfort Food

I took some personal time this afternoon to help some researchers gather baseline data for a study about the work of the Bike Depot.  When the project is fully funded, the work will begin in 2011. 

My counting station was on the corner of Colorado and 26th, a busy intersection not highly traveled by bikes or pedestrians.  I typically take this route when I'm headed to hit the MUP downtown for long road bike rides.  It's generally pretty residential and doesn't have an overwhelming amount of vehicle traffic, however this intersection is very busy. Over the two hours there were around 20 bikes and peds combined - not many.  I took the opportunity to continue my LGRAB social cycling exercise of actually talking to folks! Most of the cyclists were simply on their way somewhere - home from school, to school, to a friends house, etc.  Two were lycra'ed up and headed for an evening road ride.  All were interested in the work we were doing.  I also had several motorists roll down their windows and ask what I was doing.   Everyone was quite pleasant. 

Here's a little summary info regarding the proposed study:

Background and Policy Relevance: Lack of access to bicycles is the number one reason that adolescents do not cycle (NHTSA, 2008). Access to bicycles is associated with household income and perceived safety of neighborhood streets by parents and youth. Given these data, it is not surprising that many youth in low income neighborhoods do not cycle despite its potential to provide social interaction and transportation independence. Neighborhood-based interventions that simultaneously address bike access, safety and social cohesion to increase cycling among low income adolescents, are limited. This study will evaluate a promising and replicable non-profit community organization (the Bike Depot) whose mission is to refurbish, distribute and maintain bikes within a low income community. The Bike Depot will provide targeted youth programming that address barriers to cycling, helping to assure that several important infrastructure changes (i.e., a new bike lane on a major transportation corridor and park enhancements) succeed in reaching those youth who could benefit most. Because of its diverse network of volunteers, board of directors, and staff “activists”, the Bike Depot is well positioned to influence policy, environmental change, and to involve youth in advocacy.

Specific Aims: This study will evaluate how a “home grown” community-based non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting access, safety, cohesion and volunteerism around biking in a low-income, ethnically and racially diverse neighborhood, can help maximize the impact of environmental changes related to Denver’s multi-modal transportation plan, underway in late 2010-early 2011. Aims include: (1) Evaluate pre-and post impact of planned built environment changes including a new bike lane on a major street that bi-sects the neighborhood and enhancements to a neighborhood park; (2) Evaluate reach and effectiveness of the Bike Depot with regard to increasing bike access, perceived safety, and cohesion; (3) Evaluate pre-and post- behavioral impact of a four week Bike Depot Youth (BDY) Program, to increase cycling and reduce sedentary behavior among youth, compared to a waitlist control group; and whether behavior changes are sustained at 12 months; and (4) Report costs of built environment changes and Bike Depot interventions for dissemination purposes (i.e., does investing in a Bike Depot, in addition to environmental changes, help a community get more “biking for its buck”?)

Sitting in the sun all day, doing nothing more than chatting with folks and making tick marks on paper works up an appetite.  It was my night to cook and I was craving comfort food - simple spaghetti with meat sauce made with our Fox Fire Farms ground beef.  We're incredibly lucky to be part of a buying coop for this  amazing tasting organic, grass fed happy beef.  Our spring greens are fully ready for harvest so I made salads of spinach, leaf lettuce and radishes.  We had a lot of spinach that was getting close to going to seed so I added it to the pasta sauce.  I'd normally drink a glass of my favorite table red with this meal but tonight, after sitting in the hot sun, beer was the perfect accompaniment.

No comments:

Post a Comment