Safe Streets for All
Bike Cleveland is creating a region that is sustainable, connected, healthy, and vibrant by promoting bicycling and advocating for safe and equitable transportation for all. That is our mission; but at its core, our mission is safe streets for all.
“Safe streets for all” means more than building a connected bike network and safe pedestrian environments. It means creating an environment where all people, but especially African Americans and other persons of color, feel safe and comfortable using our city streets as public spaces for recreation, transportation, protest, and more. They should be able to do this without fear of harassment, traffic violence, or police brutality. Black Americans are forced to be cautious using the same sidewalks, roads, trails, and parks that other people use without worry. The images that we have seen of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tamir Rice, and too many others bear witness to how public spaces are places of oppression. We must say their names along with the names of Breonna Taylor and others who could not even take refuge from violence and intimidation in their own homes. All of their lives matter.
We must all work together to address institutional racism, economic exclusion, and cultural violence that impact black and brown communities.
We must be Anti-Racist. Being Anti-Racist means actively fighting racism in all of its forms, by speaking out on behalf of oppressed people, by recognizing that racism is everybody’s problem, and by taking the steps to share power with those who have been excluded from making decisions on behalf of themselves and our communities.
Bike Cleveland commits to supporting those on the forefront of fighting systemic racism and police brutality. We will continue to frame all our programs and advocacy campaigns through a lens of equity and inclusion to ensure our work addresses the needs of Greater Clevelanders who have historically been marginalized by transportation system decisions.
- Our strategic plan calls for equity to be at the heart of our work including where and how to invest resources in the local transportation system.
- Our education and outreach programs prioritize communities dealing with effects of systemic racism.
- We work with the City of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to address our built environment as a social determinant of health like poverty, hunger, education, and medical care – all factors that are compounded by systemic racism.
We need, and will commit, to do better at engaging more diverse voices in our work through our staff, board and volunteers. We know that our actions mean more than our words and we will continue to fight for equity inside and outside our organization. We ask our partners and stakeholders to help us hold ourselves accountable in our work.
Protests in Cleveland, and across the world, happened because people feel like they aren’t being seen or heard. To our black and brown neighbors and partners: we see you, we hear you, and we will continue to support you as we fight against racial injustice together.
If you want to better understand the depth of justified anger about police brutality and racism in our society, there is upcoming virtual racial equity training offered by Third Space Action Lab (which all Bike Cleveland’s staff has attended and we highly recommend), and here is a list of anti-racism reading materials. We also invite you to tell us where Bike Cleveland can improve as an organization dedicated to safe and equitable transportation for all. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-273-6863 and we will hear and respond to you.