A week ago Wednesday, October 15th, 18 community advocates gathered at St. Vincent De Paul Society thrift store in northeast Salem to talk about a bicycle recycling program here. Representatives and volunteers from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Black Rock Mountain Bike Association, City of Salem, Keizer Bikeways Committee, League of American Bicyclists, Marion County, Salem Bicycle Club, Santiam Bicycle, and Willamette University expressed support for the program.
Kimberly Allain and Andrew Lane of St. Vincent de Paul Society were pleasantly surprised at the turn out and the enthusiasm. Meeting participants cited both Portland’s Community Cycling Center and Eugene’s Center for Appropriate Transport as models. Lane noted that the Society already has the building, logistics, and administrative support for metals sorting and recycling, and that the earn-a-bike program in particular fit well with the Society’s mission. In addition to an earn-a-bike program, which at the Community Cycling Center “provides low-income adults with fully outfitted commuter bicycles and five hours of training on safe bicycle commuting,” meeting participants supported bicycle education generally, and programming specifically aimed at getting more women on bikes.
The group agreed to move forward on exploring the idea. Several participants came to the meeting from a background in business and volunteered to work on a subcommittee to write a business plan.
City Councilor Kate Tarter, who called the meeting, will also be talking about the project at the Salem Bicycle Club general meeting on the 28th.