PBOT’s Active Transportation Division relies on partnerships with community organizations and volunteers to meet its goals of providing transportation choices to all Portlanders. Saturday’s Fix-it Fair at Rosa Parks Elementary underscored the value of working together to make bicycling accessible to everyone.
Since 2010 PBOT’s Safe Routes to School program has recruited volunteer mechanics from Portland bike shops and organizations, as well as folks who just like to wrench on bikes to provide free minor bicycle repair to children and families at the Fix-it Fairs. Safe Routes staff promotes the event with an eye toward low income families that may have difficulty affording bike repair otherwise.
At the January 25th event, nine volunteer mechanics from Bike Farm and Bikes for Humanity PDX spent most of their Saturday repairing 37 bicycles. “The Bikes for Humanity and Bike Farm volunteers were champions,” said PBOT staff person Abra McNair. “They had six mechanic stands going the entire day.” With the help of longtime and bilingual Transportation Ambassador Sonia Connolly, the volunteers and PBOT were able to provide services to people in both English and Spanish.
PBOT worked with the We All Can Ride club at New Columbia and the Community Cycling Center to provide helmets to 25 local children. Volunteers from We All Can Ride fitted the youth with helmets which the Community Cycling Center donated. This partnership grew out of PBOT’s community outreach and equity work with New Columbia through our Sunday Parkways and Safe Routes to School programs.
The Fix-it Fairs are produced by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. They are free community events that feature more than 50 exhibitors and workshops, with lunch and childcare provided. Fairgoers can expect to find resources for weatherization and energy conservation, garden and habitat maintenance, healthy eating, sound finances and more. Workshops in Spanish and English will be featured at the last Fix-it Fair of the 2013-14 season, Saturday, February 22nd from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at David Douglas High School.