BOSTON—As part of Boston Mayor Menino’s "Roll It Forward" program, which began late September, Boston will be collecting used bikes at various locations throughout the city to refurbish and distribute to underprivileged people of all ages throughout the city.
The program is part of Menino’s Boston Bikes project, which was awarded some $3 million to make Boston a more bike-friendly city. The project has created some 15 miles of bike lanes in the Boston area, published a Boston Bikes map, and installed more than 500 bike racks throughout the city.
“I think a lot of people probably have an older bike that sits unused in their basement, and now we are offering them the chance to “Roll it Forward,” stated Mayor Menino in a press release. “There are a lot of kids and families who will put those bikes to good use, many of whom would not otherwise have that opportunity. This is one more great way to encourage healthy activity and cycling across all of our neighborhoods.”
The program has already started to give bikes to children and adults throughout the Boston region and hopes to give up to 1,000 bikes by the spring of 2011. Every bike recipient has had to demonstrate safe biking practices and must agree to wear a helmet at all times.
Boston will partner with bicycle shops including Eastern Mountain Sports and other community organizations to repair the donated bikes and match them with Boston residents who would benefit from their use.
One such community organization is Bikes Not Bombs (BNB). BNB describes itself as an organization that provides community-based education and assistance for the development of projects that use recycled bikes to provide alternatives to over-consumption and militarism.
They have worked with international as well as local communities to bring bike and bike safety education to youth and adults. One such program is Earn-A-Bike, which gives youths between 12 and 18 the opportunity to learn to rebuild a bike, which they then get to keep.
Roll It Forward is accepting bike donations at various stores throughout the Boston area such as Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) stores in Boston, Cambridge, Hingham, and Newton as well as in Giant Cycling World locations in Fenway.