Our activities that fall under the Community Outreach umbrella are diverse and always open to evolution in response to community needs. In addition to providing bikes to community members in need, we are part of a motivated and diverse collection of groups and individuals that are constantly advocating for infrastructure to be built, repaired and maintained with cycling in mind. Reno Bike Project has fostered several partnerships throughout the community and with national organizations. Staff and board members are active members of various local and regional advocacy groups. Through these partnerships RBP educates a broader audience and takes part in the most recent strategies for advocacy.
In line with our mission, RBP takes an active roll in advocating for cycling in the community. Currently, staff and board members hold key positions and are involved in various organizations including but not limited to:
-The Regional Transportation Commission’s Citizens Multimodal Advisory Committee
-Nevada State Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Advisory Board
-Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance
-The Alliance for Biking and Walking
-The League of American Cyclists
-Safe Routes to Schools
-University of Nevada Reno Campus Cycling Coalition
The following are a just couple of examples of our success in the community:
The Reno Bike Project played an active role in the 4th St. Corridor Study conducted by the RTC. Through grassroots community organizing and ally building, we were able to shape the discussion into something more favorable for cyclists. Look for upcoming improvements to 4th St., including bike lanes, coming soon.
Taking the lessons we learned advocating for bike lanes on 4th St., we set our sights on another road diet. After months of open house discussions, community organizing and letter writing, the Reno City Council unanimously voted in favor of making Plumas St. safer.
South Virginia Street
In early 2015, the Virginia Street corridor came up for redesign, and RBP joined up with a group of invested citizens under the banner Great Streets Coalition. Virginia Street through Midtown in its current condition failed to meet the needs of its community, characterized by narrow or nonexistent sidewalks, fast car speeds, dangerous crosswalks, and a lack of greenery. The GSC worked with area residents, visitors, business and property owners, and the RTC to pursue a truly great street for Midtown Reno. Although bike lanes were unfortunately not part of the final design due to spacial constraints, the new design does include wide sidewalks, a road diet, and street trees. We’re looking forward to the new Virginia Street.
Freewheels for Kids
Reno Bike Project’s Freewheels for Kids outreach program provides free bikes to kids in need during the holiday season. Children’s bikes, donated by community members, are repaired and tuned up by RBP volunteers. Those bikes are then donated to community organizations who distribute the bikes to families in extreme need, many of whom will currently be living in shelters or in temporary housing.
In 2016, Freewheels for Kids volunteers refurbished 110 bikes, which were donated to deserving kids served by The Children’s Cabinet, UNR’s Early Head Start Program, Silver Stage Elementary, and WCSD Police.
We’ll start collecting kids bikes for this event again in October 2017. If your family has outgrown or out-of-use bikes, you can donate them to Reno Bike Project and we’ll recycle them into a new home! Cash donations are also appreciated, as we will be replacing parts on some bikes to they’re not only ready to ride, but totally appealing to their new owners, too.
Our two Freewheels volunteer wrenching parties will be on December 2 and December 9 from 11am-3pm. Volunteers don’t need to have any prior mechanical experience to come in and help; our mechanic educators will oversee and assist in all repairs, and refreshments will be provided as a small thank you. This is a great learning opportunity for new volunteers.