REI grants boost protected bike lane plans in six cities

May 4, 2015

Michael Andersen, Green Lane Project staff writer

Linden Avenue, Seattle.

Plans to improve low-stress biking will be taking locally customized leaps forward in six U.S. cities thanks to a flexible grant program from specialty outdoor retailer REI.

The $100,000 gift, matched by $20,000 from PeopleForBikes (that’s us) will be sent this year to each of the cities selected last year as focus cities for the second national round of the Green Lane Project.

City and PeopleForBikes staff worked together to come up with uses for the local grants that’ll best advance the construction of low-stress, all-ages biking infrastructure in their current situation. Each is worth $20,000:

Atlanta: To help the Transportation Planning Division install two-way protected bike lanes on Westview and Jesse Hill, Jr. Drives.

Boston: To advance the installation of protected bike lanes on multiple roadways in 2015.

Denver: To test and evaluate different vertical treatments for separating bicycles from cars on key corridors downtown.

Indianapolis: To send 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.

Pittsburgh: Advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh will use this grant to help fund an extension of the Penn Avenue protected bike lane downtown.

Seattle: To gather public input as part of the project to design and develop the Center City bike network, and also to work with Commute Seattle to host a study tour to Vancouver to learn about and experience great on-street bicycle infrastructure.

Grant recipients will engage their local REI store in the project and provide a clear plan for measuring success.

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.

“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, in a news release. “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,” said Marc Berejka, REI’s director of community and government affairs. “We believe in a future where people of all ages and abilities feel safe while riding a bike for fun, fitness or transportation.”

Correction 9:15 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly described the Seattle grant.

The Green Lane Project helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. You can follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook or sign up for our weekly news digest about protected bike lanes. Story tip? Write

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