Part of our objective is to promote those organizations in Buffalo that are working hard to make our community a better place. So it is only appropriate that our very first interview is with Go Bike Buffalo. Because they kick ass.
Some background as to why that is so: GObike Buffalo promotes healthy, environmentally sustainable and community-friendly transportation options in the City of Buffalo. They accomplish this through advocacy, education and initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles, civic engagement, economic vitality and improved community environments.
So on top of the advocacy work they do for the bike lanes you like to use in the city, you can also go to their shops and buy a bike they’ve fixed, buy your own bike, fix one yourself, or buy pieces and build one.
We hit up Tivona with some questions of our own regarding how Buffalo’s transformation is affecting their mission.
Rise Collaborative: How has 2014 been different from years past for Buffalo and for your organization?
Go Bike Buffalo: It’s actually been awesome! Since the city has come on board and started installing bike lanes, I’ve seen a huge influx of bikes, more bikes out, more events. This summer has been insane. So many more independently organized rides from Slow Ride, stuff that Campus does, anything we do, there’s just been a huge increase in participation.
RC: What has been the effect of major construction downtown on your efforts?
GBB: Definitely positive impact. There is focus on redoing streets and roads that would have never been touched without these construction projects. Certain new builds have sought us out and wanted us as a tenant because they realized that our locations tend to add vibrancy to the surrounding neighborhood.
RC:What is your vision of a Utopian Buffalo?
GBB: Obviously every street and road having some sort of bike facility. Motorists and cyclists having a good relationship with each other. For motorists to be smart and respectful, and for cyclists to actually do the same thing. Basically a bike inclusive culture so there’s not a separation of society of bikers vs motorists, one without stigmas in either direction.
RC: What should someone reading this take post away from it?
GBB: Cities should want to keep their 20 and 30 somethings, their millenials. Smart cities like Buffalo are realizing that in order to do that, there needs to be a large urban core which is developed through well-connected neighborhoods and biking is a huge part of that.
RC: Finally, who is it that Go Bike Buffalo collaborates with?
GBB: Historically with Buffalo Car Share and the BNMC because we have a location there. We also do a lot of work with Flying Bison and Massachusetts Avenue Project. As far as collaboration, we often partner with someone or with a group for a single project at a time, whether that be obtaining grants, which is how we are funded, or other projects.
We believe Go Bike Buffalo’s efforts are outstanding examples of the kind of work that truly makes a city a better place. We’ll be donating $2 from every “Rise from the Dead” shirt sold to Go Bike Buffalo to support the work they do.