As part of our Last Word series, mobility equity activist Oboi Reed on transportation infrastructure and a safer Chicago.
Though Chicagoans have plenty of options for getting around the city — one option in particular isn't offered in equal measure to all of Chicago's communities: bike infrastructure.
Residents in predominantly Black neighborhoods are less likely to have protected bike lanes, leaving cyclists with the choice of riding on dangerously fast-moving streets or illegally on the sidewalk, increasing their risk of getting a police citation.
The study “Biking While Black: How Planning Contributes to Unjust Policing" by University of California Davis professor Jesus Barajas shows cyclists in Chicago’s majority- Black neighborhoods are eight times as likely to receive a ticket for riding on the sidewalk than their counterparts in majority-white neighborhoods. That increased potential for police interaction means there is more risk in these communities for police violence.
Mobility equity activist Olatunji Oboi Reed says through improving transportation infrastructure, his organization Equiticity is working to reduce three types of violence – police violence, interpersonal violence, and vehicular violence. Here, Reed gives The Last Word on how he says improving transportation infrastructure can transform communities.