B$Z: REI awards $100,000 to PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project
Specialty outdoor retailer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) has awarded $100,000 to PeopleForBikes to expand its Green Lane Project. The Green Lane Project helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create safer streets and better communities. The Project is working with six focus cities for 2014-2016 – Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Denver, CO, Indianapolis, IN, Pittsburgh, PA and Seattle, WA – and is focused on protected bike lanes, which are on-street lanes separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts.
The REI award investment will be used to fund Green Lane Project grants in each of the six focus cities. The grants are designed to help the cities advance their protected bike lane infrastructure and build public support and ridership for low-stress networks. Grant recipients will engage their local REI store in the project and provide a clear plan for measuring success.
"Thanks to REI’s support, we will be able to demonstrate the many benefits that come to a city when it invests in safe, accessible places to ride,” said Martha Roskowski, PeopleForBikes vice president of local innovation. “These grants will help our focus cities become better places to live, work and play. ”
“At REI we believe an outdoor life is a life well lived. We believe in a future where people of all ages and abilities feel safe while riding a bike for fun, fitness or transportation, “said Marc Berejka, REI’s Director of Community and Government Affairs. “We are proud to support PeopleForBikes’ efforts to create more bike-friendly communities across the nation through the growth of protected bike lanes.”
The number of protected lanes in the U.S. has more than tripled since 2010, with more than 200 now on the ground. Studies show protected bike lanes increase bike traffic on a street by an average of 75 percent in their first year alone.
The contribution from REI was leveraged with additional funding from PeopleForBikes. The grants awarded include:
City of Atlanta: $20,000
This grant will help the City of Atlanta’s Transportation Planning Division install two-way protected bike lanes on Westview and Jesse Hill, Jr. Drives.
City of Boston: $20,000
The City of Boston’s grant award will help to advance the installation of protected bike lanes on multiple roadways in 2015.
City and County of Denver: $20,000
Denver Public Works will use this grant award to test and evaluate different vertical treatments for separating bicycles from cars on key corridors in downtown Denver.
City of Indianapolis: $20,000
This grant will allow a team of city staff to visit counterparts in Portland and Seattle to examine and learn from their bicycle networks, while also funding planted medians on their own new protected bike lanes.
Bike Pittsburgh: $20,000
Bike Pittsburgh will use this grant to help fund an extension of the Penn Avenue protected bike lane in downtown Pittsburgh.
City of Seattle: $20,000
With their grant, Seattle will host a pop-up protected bike lane on 5th Avenue in preparation for a permanent facility later this year, and also work with Commute Seattle to host a study tour to Vancouver to learn about and experience great on-street bicycle infrastructure.