Farhia Asaro, a resident of Seward Towers East since 1999, has been working with Sibley Bike Depot staff to increase bicycling awareness among East African residents of the high-rise apartment complex in Minneapolis’s Seward neighborhood.
As the Towers’ interim community organizer, during Nasra Noor’s maternity leave, Asaro has been charged with explaining and introducing programs to fellow residents, while taking bicycling classes herself. She reports that interest has been higher in Seward than in any neighborhood Sibley Bike Depot has worked with to date. Organizers had expected seven people would apply for a program that lends bikes and allows participants the opportunity to earn a bike. Instead there were more than 15, and interest and inquiries continue. Asaro says that people knock on her door at all times of day. This, and the expressions of appreciation she receives, is what’s especially exciting to her.
Plans are being developed for a not-for-profit Seward Community Bike Center that would be operated by Seward Neighborhood Group, working directly with Sibley Bike Depot and in partnership with Hub Bicycle Co-op. Sharing Sibley’s mission, the Center would offer similar programming, including Earn-a-Bike, Community Partners Bike Library, Youth Mechanics Apprenticeship Program, women-only classes, and other classes teaching safe cycling and maintenance.
Depending on where you live, it may seem as if we’ve already entered a new transportation age; a world where bicycling, walking, mass transit, and bike- and car-sharing are no longer fringe activities. Six points of view:
New World of Biking on Minneapolis’s Northside
Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Collaborative.