Bicycle repair hub in North Portland a means to active, healthy neighborhood
By Alison Graves, Community Cycling Center
Alison Graves is the executive director of the Community Cycling Center. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.288.8864.
Something really amazing happened in North Portland in August: the Bicycle Repair Hub design, construction and opening celebration. It involved dozens of people who are passionate about Portland’s promise of livability and sustainability. The project aims to improve individual health, promote community connections, and develop diverse leadership.
The Hub is located in New Columbia, the largest neighborhood revitalization project ever undertaken in Oregon’s history. New Columbia sits on 82 acres, and its vibrant community includes more than 2,500 adults and children, representing 22 countries and 11 languages.
New Columbia is very different from neighborhoods like Sellwood or Hollywood. It is a significantly more diverse, low-income community, which, in Multnomah County means residents suffer disproportionate barriers compared with their white and middle-income counterparts. The result is poorer health, diminished job security and less access to daily needs. Yet New Columbia residents share the same goals and desires as their more privileged and affluent counterparts: to be part of a healthy community and to have opportunities to learn and grow.
For those who read stories about Portland’s bicycle successes, it can seem like the whole city has easy access to bicycles. But it’s not the case. In underserved neighborhoods, the bicycle network is the weakest. Not only that, but there are fewer bike shops, programs and services.
The Community Cycling Center believes that everyone deserves access to healthy choices regardless of income, education, country of origin, or address. So we seek creative, community-centered solution to improve access. One of those solutions is the Bicycle Repair Hub, which put affordable bike repair in an underserved neighborhood as part of a community-driven process that was both powerful and wonderful.
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