Around the world, distressed neighborhoods are the last to enjoy the benefits of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. Too often the campaigns that win these provisions are fought by those who can afford the time and money needed to wage such a campaign – usually for their own neighborhood. Low income people do not have this luxury so they and their loved ones face deadly traffic as they walk and bike to their destinations without choice. One Street is seeking out and connecting organizations who serve distressed neighborhoods for bicycling and walking provisions as well as finding ways to bring bikes and bike shops to the people of these neighborhoods.
Each neighborhood is unique. Bicycle initiatives require partnerships with people who understand each particular neighborhood's dynamics. In the U.S., community developement corporations are often the most active organizations working on improvements for the residents of distressed neighborhoods. Search the internet for "community development corporation" in your area to find those closest to you. In other parts of the world, NGOs working for public transit or even affordable housing could become partners for bicycle initiatives in the neighborhoods they serve.
Join our ongoing discussion about serving the bicycling needs of disadvantaged people on our Defying Poverty with Bicycles blog.
If you live in or near a distressed neighborhood, you can also discover ways of building your own bicycle program to serve your neighbors through our Social Bike Business Program.
For an inspiring, eye-opening look into the perspective of disadvantaged bicyclists, read this timeless article from Bicycling Magazine in 2005 written by a reporter who had never before spoken to someone who relied on their bicycle: "Invisible Riders."