Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance focusing on community engagement & economic impact in 2013
Posted on 4 Mar 2013 by James Stewart Jr
Last month Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance (CABA), a bicycle advocacy group, had its annual meeting. In that meeting, a large array of speakers with diverse expertise had one theme in common: bicycle advocates can make a large impact. Examples from around the U.S. include Atlanta’s Atlanta Street Alive, Memphis’s MemFix Project, and Charlotte’s own CABA quarterly greenway surveys. All projects highlighted throughout the day showed passionate communities coming together to make things happen for cyclists.
Locally CABA is the main bicycling advocacy group and it announced its goals for 2013. Last year CABA went through a change of leadership – this year will be the first in which they will attack their mission with these new advocates. Their plans focused on three main initiatives: social rides, community engagement, and recognizing economic impact.
Additional social rides will be highlighted so that more Charlotteans will become comfortable riding their bikes on city streets. CABA will partner with more organizations to supply bike clinics for kids and to inform the youth about bicycle safety. Lastly, the organization will continue to take quarterly greenway surveys to learn the needs of cyclists and pedestrians as well as the economic impact those individuals have on businesses.
To round out the day Charlotte’s B-cycle, a public private-partnership under Center City Partners, announced its progress. So far the program has collected nearly 350 annual members, received nearly 17,000 check outs, and has sold 7,000 24-hour passes. In December, the organization reported more than 11,000 check outs which is almost 6,000 check outs in two months. Lastly, the 6th and Pine station will be expanded to respond to the high activity in Fourth Ward.
As Charlotte continues to position itself as a cycler friendly city the message from CABA is clear: if you care about cycling then promote, support, and participate in cycling related initiatives. The next major event for cyclists in Charlotte is Bike Charlotte, a month long collection of events with three major bike races. Only then will it be known if this message has sunk into its residents.