Cycling activists are creating change through shifting gears

On February 28th, Sustain Charlotte hosted the first Shifting Gears public action workshop of 2018, where close to 60 people discussed ways to propel cycling in Charlotte forward. The goal was for every participant to leave the event with one action item and one community contact to help them make progress toward their goal before the next Shifting Gears meeting!

People at events

Alex Riemondy from Charlotte Department of Transportation opened the show and gave an overview of  the City’s dockless bikeshare pilot program.  She emphasized the importance of correct parking procedures and promoting a positive image of dockless bikeshare.

She also asked participants what they wanted to see happen with the program.  We collected great suggestions like emailing City Council representatives about positive bikeshare experiences, creating a bike corral parking system in existing car parking spaces, and launching educational information campaigns on how to use the new dockless bikes.  Limebike and Spin, two of the dockless bikeshare companies, also had representatives in the room. They were able to field participant questions during the small group sessions in the second half of the program.

Click here to see Alex’s PowerPoint presentation as well as slides for the entire program. The City also has a great online resource that compiles contact information and a bikeshare survey where you can give your feedback directly to the City.  If you are looking for more information, read Sustain Charlotte’s perspective on dockless bikes in this blog post.

During the second half of the workshop, leaders in the cycling community ledd small group discussions at their tables.  Tables represented interest areas that had been identified during the first Shifting Gears meeting back in July. Based on that feedback, we curated conversations to focus on three main themes; creatingsharing, and learning.

Here is a breakdown of who led tables and their areas of expertise.  Would you like to showcase your work in the cycling community at the next Shifting Gears?  Contact Sustain Charlotte’s Bicycle Program Manager Kate Cavazza at for more information!

Throughout the night, we used kanban boards to facilitate discussions.  Kanban boards are popular tools in the software and engineering fields to manage workflow and supply chains to ensure that project work is not repeated.  It fits directly into the goal for the Shifting Gears series. There are lots of people doing great work in the Charlotte cycling community. Shifting Gears aims to connect the public with resources and people who already run established programs and events.  Together, we can help build up efforts already underway and fill in the gaps when needed!

After the program, attendees headed to Charlotte Cycles.  They graciously re-opened their store after-hours to show off their unique supply of family-friendly cargo bike, e-bikes, and their recently renovated shop.

What are the next steps?  Stay tuned for our next meeting date in May.  Don’t worry if you were unable to attend the February meeting.  Shifting Gears will be held quarterly! In the meantime, join the conversation on our new Shifting Gears Facebook group.

Have a question and would like to get some opinions from the attendees?  Use this site to vet ideas, connect with like minded people, and find opportunities to get involved!

We also want to thank and the Knight Foundation for sponsoring this series.

Thanks for reading!

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