Recycle-a-Bicycle is an amazing empowering organization who provides rides and events for under served community youth. They also have two retail stores which restore bicycles lead by young people as part of their high school build-a-bike programs.
Monday, December 3rd 2012 they celebrate their 18th Birthday.
Recycle-A-Bicycle’s 18th Birthday Benefit Celebration!
Monday December 3, 6:30-9:00PM
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012
Honoring Jon Orcutt, Policy Director for the New York City Department of Transportation -AND- Carolyn Szczepanski, Director of Communications for the League of American Bicyclists
Department of Transportation
Jon Orcutt is a serious trailblazer. Not only was he a founding board member of Recycle-A-Bicycle, Jon has led the charge at nearly every major transportation advocacy group in New York City including Transportation Alternatives, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and now at the NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT).
There at its inception, at Tri-State Transportation from 1994 to 2007 Jon worked with three governors in NY and NJ to adopt “transportation-led smart growth” policies and founded Mobilizing the Region, a well respected weekly sound off on issues in the metropolitan region and continues as a blog to this day.
While at Transportation Alternatives as their Executive Director from 1989-1994, Jon transformed the mostly volunteer team into a staffed force to be reckoned with, popularized the term “traffic calming”, and promoted sustainable streets. He was a co-author of the Bicycle Blueprint: A Plan to Bring Bicycling into the Mainstream in New York City in 1993. In a wink to the world, Jon now leads the implementation of many of these traffic calming plans at the NYC DOT. There he directed the creation of Sustainable Streets and World Class Streets which allowed his team to deliver major improvements to NYC streets including new pedestrian and public spaces along Broadway, Summer Streets, Weekend Walks, 20 mph speed limits in residential areas, a bicycle network that is 350 miles and growing and bike share (coming soon).
Jon Orcutt has pushed policies to a higher standard during his 25+ years of leadership and is proactive about creating safer streets for everyone. We are scared to imagine what the streets of the city would look like without his influence and look forward to working with Jon for many more years to come.
On the lighter side, did you know that Jon has an uncountable number of bicycles and enjoys racing his bikes in his spare time?
Carolyn Szczepanski is a serious visionary. She is a veteran journalist who took a right turn a few short years ago into national bike advocacy. During this time, Carolyn has transformed traditional advocacy as we know it by taking the necessary, energetic steps to getting equal footing for women in bike lanes, bike business, and bike policies. In the last year alone, Carolyn organized the first-ever Women’s Bike Forum at the National Bike Summit in Washington DC and the first-ever Women’s Bike Summit in Long Beach, CA. She has no plans on stopping and went ahead to create the first ever nationwide Women Bike initiative. Before joining the team at the League, Carolyn served as Communications Coordinator at the Alliance for Biking and Walking. She still writes regularly for Bicycle Times and is a contributing writer to Momentum Magazine. We asked Carolyn a few questions:
How did you first get involved in the biking world?
I lived in Switzerland for part of my youth, so I walked, biked and used public transportation to get pretty much everywhere. For me, *cars* were alternative transportation!
How has being involved in bike advocacy changed your life?
Rediscovering biking changed my career path. From a very young age, I always loved writing and knew I’d be a reporter. But, when I started riding again, I was drawn to use my voice for a purpose — I wanted to put my skills to work toward a higher goal that had the capacity to change lives and transform communities. From my very first day at the Alliance for Biking & Walking, I started to meet such incredible advocates doing such inspiring work.
If you had one wish that could be granted for biking what would it be?
That we could wave a magic wand and all the stereotypes about biking would vanish. The notion that you need expensive gear or special clothing or special athletic ability. The misconception that you need to spend $1,000 on a fancy bike or that you need to ride every day to be a bicyclist — or bicycle advocate.
What is your proudest biking accomplishment?
The National Women’s Bicycling Summit was probably one of my proudest moments. I had barely gotten the words “Welcome to the National Women’s Bicycling Summit” out of my mouth when a woman in the crowd yelled “It’s about time!” — and a massive cheer erupted from the packed room.
If Robert Moses were alive today, what do you think he would say about the Women Bike movement?
Well, Moses’ mother, Bella, was very active in the settlement movement, working on health and housing equity in the early 1900s. So I think he’d be inspired by our efforts to get more women leaders engaged in our fight for transportation equity in the 21st Century.