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2022 Grants Challenge

Bicycle Repair and Safety Education for Underserved Communities

Bici Libre is designed to empower underserved community members and organizations who utilize human powered transportation, primarily bicycles; as well as scooters, wheelchairs, push carts and skateboards with tools, parts and bi-lingual education at low or no cost. The grant will support an increase in existing program as well as support the launch of our Bikes and Wellness programs and mobile repair clinics.

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What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Community Safety

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

The Westlake/ Macarthur Park area is heavily impacted by economic disparities, poor transportation infrastructure and environmental injustices. Our communities of color, specifically our Black, Latinx, people of color and immigrant communities are under-resourced and purposely placed in danger. There are a limited amount of businesses and resources that support economic mobility, pedestrian and bicycle safety, mental health and environmental advocacy which if invested in could decrease the high level obesity rates, pedestrian and bicycle accidents and houselessness. Houselessness is on the rise and the biggest problem facing LA now. In addition 2020, marked a 25 year high for bicycle fatalities in California, with Los Angeles being the epicenter. Our shop is at the epicenter and we want to be able to provide more resources, accessibility and health.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Bici libre existing programs face income inequality, unsafe streets and health inequities through education, advocacy and mobility access through or bike repair program. During shop hours we focus on providing a safe, brave and transformative space for participants to engage in bike repair and maintenance education. Our Volunteer Program Membership is designed to provide access to shops space, tools, and parts at free or at low cost for those economically stressed. Volunteers accumulate hours and in exchange get free bike work station hours, have access to free used parts, can attend shop operation meetings and have access to educational courses. Volunteers reach membership after volunteering a minimum of 3 consecutive months or volunteers can immediately exchange time for parts and services. Our Volunteer program is run by other volunteers. Our Community Empowerment Bike Build Program is designed to support community organizations who utilize bike transportation for community leadership and empowerment. Our existing programs have supported the unhouse community, Spanish only speakers, and low income transportation cyclists be able to access work, provide physical healthy mobility and have allowed them to integrate to a community hub. This year we would like to bring back our Bike Safety Classes and community family rides to promote play and street safety. We will also implement a bike and mental health resource fair to be able to provide free healing services.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Bici Libre directly serves about 1,000 people/year that come in for repairs, parts or bicycles. There are 5 regular volunteers and we aim to create paid positions when funding is available in order to expand programming. The space has also been used for art shows and as a place where homeless neighbors can meet basic necessities such as restrooms, water, phone charging and occasional meals. Libre has an indirect impact on the entire neighborhood because human powered transportation reduces traffic, better for the environment and promote mental wellness. Being one of the few locations in the area that allows restroom use without purchase reduces the amount of human waste on the streets improving lives of the entire neighborhood. There are over 8,000 people/square mile in the area surrounding Bici Libre that are mostly low income people of color. With proper funding and program implementation Bici Libre will drastically increase positive impacts on our community.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Bici libre has been open for over 10 years serving the cycling, day labors and unhouse community refurbishing thousands of bicycles and assisting thousands of repairs. An example of our success is the continual support of volunteers who have continue to support the shop for 10 years. Moving forward we are implementing high level assessment tools to track our visitors, bike repair projects started and bike repair finished. New volunteers and visitors will start filling out surveys in order to assess their level of bike repairs experience, as well as an exist survey to document progress, our instruction and over all numbers of participants in our programs. Document testimonials, local agencies partnerships and resources distributed at our events.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 2,000

Indirect Impact: 5,000