A few updates from GObike during the pandemic.
Dear GObike community––
From our homes to yours, hello. We hope you’re finding connection, comfort, and ease in these uncertain times.
As health experts and elected leaders advise us to self-isolate, maintaining our community connections has never been more crucial. Building community has been at the forefront of GObike’s mission since our founding, and it will continue to be our guide as we navigate through our shifting landscape.
We want to provide an update on our operations in response to the pandemic. As guidance from state and federal health experts changes, our services will change, too. We’ll do our best to keep you up-to-date.
Our staff is working from home and continuing our work to improve active mobility in our region. We’re available via email, phone, and video chat. A few things we’re working on:
Encouraging the inclusion of bicycle repair shops on New York States’ list of essential businesses allowed to remain open during the statewide business closure;
Partnering with PUSH Buffalo and Queen City Courier, a new Buffalo bicycle courier business, to respond to community members’ critical needs via bicycle;
Providing employer and employee telework guidance through GO Buffalo Niagara, GObike’s commuter-assistance program; and
Adapting our public outreach approach for streetscape and multi-use pathway planning projects underway and spring education events.
Our community workshop remains closed to the public, but we’re handling repairs via appointment beginning Monday, March 30. See our full repair policy here. Our shop employees continue to refurbish bicycles for resale in preparation for the spring biking season at a limited capacity. If you’d like to support our community workshop, you can buy a gift card for yourself or a friend to redeem later for a GObike membership, bicycle repair, or a bike.
SkyRide is still on! We’re still planning to host SkyRide, sponsored by Independent Health, on Sunday, August 9, 2020. The SkyRide is our annual fundraising event, bringing thousands of cyclists on a city-wide tour of our urban highway system. Register here. We’ve postponed all other GObike events until further notice.
Let’s get social. Out for a solo ride? Are you walking around the neighborhood with your family? We want to see it! Snap a selfie, a picture, or record a message for your fellow community members with the tag #gobikealone, or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to see it and share it via our social media. Let’s stay connected.
Everyone, Everyway: A Note on Complete Streets during the Pandemic
As a supporter of GObike, you likely share our vision of building a better community through active mobility and complete streets. You trust that each connected community leads to a more supported, connected region, one day leading to a healthier world. You probably believe, as we do, that safe travel is a human right to which every person deserves access. You have faith that education and advocacy efforts can encourage action from our community members, business owners, and elected leaders to support complete streets.
Keep the faith. The pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our society–from our daily commutes; how, when, and where we consume; our mode and amount of travel; and how we spend our Saturday evenings, we are no longer operating at business as usual. Only a week into the crisis and resultant social experiment, several of our long-touted postulates have become evident.
First, bicycles are undoubtedly an essential part of our transportation network. As the pandemic raises personal caution for using public transit, those without access to cars become reliant on active mobility alternatives such as biking and walking to meet basic needs. Thus, fundamentally, keeping bicycles operational to allow personal, supply chain, and essential deliveries is imperative. Bicycle repair shops should be declared an essential business, just as New York State has declared auto repair and transit operation businesses as such.
Second, the benefits of bike lanes, multi-use trails, and green spaces have never been more evident. From mental and physical health advantages to places to share fellowship at safe social distances to receiving the beauty, serenity, and stress relief provided by our natural surroundings, it’s clear access to outdoor spaces is essential to our survival. Have you ever been more delighted to hear birds chirp?
Last, the impacts of traffic-calming are undeniable. Our lived experience is reinforcing our perception that calm streets strengthen communities and improve our quality of life. Walking down neighborhood streets, crossing an intersection with our kids and dogs and push-carts, biking to our favorite greenway path or the grocery store has never been more comfortable. Around the globe, air pollution is decreasing while essential services continue to be executed.
These lessons affirm the validity of our shared vision and demonstrate a better society and transportation network is possible.
The pandemic has upended our transportation network, and its contemporary flaws are more transparent than ever. What an opportunity to envision a better system! As we physically isolate, the importance of our social connectedness has never been more evident. We believe our community can emerge from this crisis more connected than ever. We hope you’ll continue to share our vision.
In health and togetherness,
Executive Director, GObike