Adam and Ashley Lownik have two young children and are both teachers who live and work in Algiers. They enjoy the easygoing lifestyle of their community. What they haven’t always enjoyed are cars and trucks racing by, sometimes within inches, on their commutes to work at Harriet Tubman. For them, the new protected bike lanes on MacArthur provide relief and peace of mind. Now, the weekly shopping trip to Winn Dixie is easy and relaxing, not nerve-wracking.
For Ashley, the new trails on Wall Boulevard and through Behrman Park have shortened and greatly improved the commute she takes by bike a few times a week. “It’s a great thing to be able to do, when it’s not too hot out. I mean, we live so close.”
It didn’t always feel so easy, but whether they’re riding together, solo, or as a family (with kids riding in the bucket) the difference between an unprotected or a traditional striped lane and the new protected lanes are night and day.
I can get to my job, the park, the levee trail and I don’t feel like I’m taking my life into my hands. That’s big.”
Angela Bruno Baldwin saw a need for more education about how to bike safely with her neighborhood Aurora West about to receive new bike lanes. That’s why she put together a community block party last September with information about Moving New Orleans Bikes along with a community ride. The purpose for the ride was to bring attention to the need for safer and less stressful streets. Participants from six years of age to sixty joined in. Parents alongside their children filled the streets with a total of thirty-five bike riders participating.
As they rode down the streets, residents waved and smiled. Cars yielded. That acknowledgement showed Angela and the all the local residents riding that they were seen and appreciated. They showed how many people in Algiers enjoy bike riding and how necessary designated bike lanes on roads are.
More bike trails in the area would (without a doubt) be utilized.”
Especially for the kids who were learning a new means of travel, Angela wanted to make certain that streets in Algiers and New Orleans moving forward will be equally safe for all commuters.
Alan Delery rides for peace of mind and to take in the sights and sounds of the community. He’s been doing so since he was a kid, so he’s familiar with the difficulty of dealing with New Orleans streets. He comes from a big family, most of whom still live in town, split between the east and westbank. Keeping in touch with cousins, nieces and nephews, going out for a ride with the family is a great way to stay connected and grounded.
He and wife, Michelle, operate a yoga and healing practice in Old Algiers, Positive Impact/UpLIFT NOLA. For Alan, the mind, body, and soul are all bound together and sometimes a ride to and up on the levee trail is just what he needs.
When he heard about the Moving New Orleans Bikes low-stress network being planned for Algiers, he knew he wanted to play a role. He’s been leading a series of ‘peace rides’ which aim to show young people how to be mindful while they ride (and during their daily lives). It’s a great way to get the youth active in the community, with a healthy and healing approach.
I’ve been riding my whole life, but in the past we would have to skip that intersection [Holiday and MacArthur] because we’d seen too many accidents there, with people not looking.”