July 27 Weekly Brief!

Thanks to YOU, and hundreds of your neighbors, our city took a major step this week towards making our streets safer for all!

At Monday’s City Council meeting, over 50 local residents – many of them with bike helmets and signs in hand – stood with us as we asked City Council to support our #ibikeCLT campaign for a protected bike lane through Uptown, connecting the Little Sugar Creek and Irwin Creek greenways.

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Our Bicycle Director, Jordan Moore, provided each Council Member a copy of our petition – signed so far by over 3,000 residents – and explained why protected bike lanes are a critical investment in our city’s future.  Click here to read Jordan’s remarks. Here’s an excerpt:

"Tonight you have the opportunity to do something much greater than build a bike lane.  Tonight you can steer our city in the direction of equality. So many of our residents who live under the weight of being disadvantaged live in neighborhoods that this would benefit...

Safe places for people to use their bicycles means a positive turn for social and economic mobility...

Tonight we speak for over 3,000 people in our community who have aligned their voices to ask you for this lane. [Because] the benefits are endless when we design for safety, beauty and equality..."

And because YOU spoke up, THEY took action!

Typically, the council does not respond to citizen requests during the Citizens’ Forum portion of their meetings. However, Mayor Roberts pointed out that she and the rest of Council received a large number of emails in support of our campaign and that it therefore deserved a brief response. 

Council Member Kinsey expressed support and made a motion to refer this request to the Transportation and Planning Committee.  Council Member Autry also requested that funds be allocated specifically for bicycle and pedestrian projects when the City drafts their budget for next year!  Council Members Eiselt, Lyles, and Phipps also expressed their support for our request.

Then, unanimously, they voted in favor of Kinsey’s motion. The Transportation and Planning Committee will discuss this further and make budget and implementation recommendations by the end of the year.

We want to thank all of you who wrote City Council and came to the meeting to show your support! And special thanks to our donors who make this work possible! We truly could not have done this without you!

We encourage you to email City Council and thank them for their support as well.


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Volunteers from Sustain Charlotte’s Community Corps have partnered with CrossRoads Corporation and Grier Heights neighborhood leaders to install 40 laptop computers in the Grier Heights Community Center!

This computer lab will provide job readiness and computer literacy classes to neighborhood residents.

Frank Segal, a Community Corps volunteer who organizes the team’s technology partnership with Grier Heights, facilitated the donation of laptops from Skanska, an international project development and construction company. 

Skanska employee Donnie Malpass was the driver behind the project. According to Donnie, “I heard about Sustain Charlotte’s technology partnership with Grier Heights through a friend. Once I learned the history of the Community Center and its mission, I was excited to be able to contribute my time and effort to this important project.” 

Click here to read more!


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Today's the day you've been waiting for. Tickets are now on sale for Biketoberfest! 

For just $10 (or $25 if you'd like an awesome event t-shirt), you can participate in this unique, family-friendly event that highlights the excitement and ease of exploring our beautiful community on bike!

Last year was our first annual Biketoberfest, and this year the event will be even bigger and better!

Join in on the fun as hundreds of people explore the streets, local shops, and breweries of South End and Center City Charlotte without driving!

  • Bike, walk, or ride transit to sponsoring businesses while collecting stamps in your official Biketoberfest passport!
  • Redeem your stamps for raffle tickets and a chance to win many fantastic prizes!
  • Gather for an after party celebration with live music and an exciting raffle!
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Is your organization interested in sponsoring this event? Click here to learn more about how your organization can support this event and showcase your commitment to our community's sustainability. 

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Great news! The ReTire pilot program was a success!

In December 2014, a local bike shop manager approached Mecklenburg County’s Business Recycling Programs looking for an outlet to recycle [or reuse] bicycle tires and bicycle inner tubes. 

Research confirmed the lack of viable recycling/reuse options for these two materials, which led Mecklenburg County’s Business Recycling Programs design a cost effective pilot program that would address the needs of local bike shops.

Click here to read more about the ReTire program's success!


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Local residents like you play a critical role in ensuring we have the resources to carry out our work in the community to inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come!
 Click below to learn how easily you can support our mission and your community via membership. 

*Membership at the $5/month level includes a free Sustain Charlotte T-shirt (made of 100% recycled material by our Gold Partner Recover)!*

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Are you or is someone you know interested in interning with Sustain Charlotte this fall?

We have two new internship openings! We're looking forward to welcoming two bright interns to our team next month who will help us advance our mission to create a healthier, more vibrant Charlotte region for generations to come!

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Share your preferences for housing, living, working and getting around in the Greater Charlotte Region! 

Take the Charlotte Housing Survey: Living in Charlotte 2016, conducted by ULI Charlotte and the UNCC Urban Institute.

This data will help developers, policymakers and other land use professionals make informed decisions on how to meet the growing needs and preferences of residents.

The survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and will be open until August 12th. At the end of the survey, there is an opportunity to enter into a raffle for one of twenty $25 gift cards or a grand prize $100 gift card.


Did you clean commute this week? Enter the Clean Commute Olympics now for a chance to win this week's prize!

This week, log at least one clean commute for a chance to win a FitBit Flex! 

Keep logging your clean commutes through August 5 for chances to win each week AND be entered in the grand prize drawing for a 55-inch UHD TV. 

We are a proud community partner of this challenge! 


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New Report Finds Increased Cycling, Reduced Risk With More Protected Bike Lanes & Bike Share Systems [Clean Technia]

"How can cities get more people using bikes for transportation, while also reducing the risk of injuries or death? It turns out that it might not really be that complicated, and that by combining bike sharing systems with protected bike lanes, cities can boost bike transportation rates and increase bicycle safety, especially for low-income and minority communities." 49% of people who bike to work earn less than $25,000 per year. Protected bike lanes protect people of all income levels!


The Philosophy that Has Pitted Cars Against Cyclists for the Last 40 Years is Finally Dying [Los Angeles Times]

"In his influential 1976 book 'Effective Cycling,' Californian John Forester argued that cyclists 'fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.' Other countries, however, took a different approach — one which, over time, has proved far superior...Amsterdam and Copenhagen responded to a grassroots movement against the motor-vehicle takeover of their streets by building separate lanes for bikes, blissfully segregated from bus and auto traffic by a physical partition. The result wasn’t just more people riding bikes, it was more people of different types riding bikes: not just the courageous and athletic who tended to embrace vehicular cycling, but children and the elderly." Charlotte needs to follow the example of bike-friendly cities like Copenhagen in order to improve the safety and convenience of biking as a form of transportation! We're working hard to bring Charlotte's first protected bike lane through our #ibikeCLT campaign!


San Diego Council OKs Adding 9 Miles Of Bike Lanes Downtown [KPBS]

"The San Diego City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan for downtown San Diego that will add nine miles of new bike lanes and more than five miles of widened sidewalks...The plan would set up so-called 'road diets' — meaning reducing a car lane or parking — on several downtown streets." This is great news and we hope to have Charlotte's first protected bike lane approved in the next year as a result of our #ibikeCLT campaign! We've made great progress since City Council referred the construction of a protected bike lane in Uptown to the Transportation and Planning Committee!


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June 20 - August 5: Charlotte Air Awareness Clean Commute Olympics

Minimizing vehicle emissions is one of the most powerful steps our community can take to improve air quality. Challenge your friends and coworkers to make a positive change! Record at least five clean commutes for an entry into the Grand Prize drawing. You could win an Ultra-HD television to watch the Rio games, or one of seven weekly prizes for clean commuting this summer! Sustain Charlotte is a partner for this challenge. Registration is now open! Click here to learn more and register yourself or your company today!


July 27: Young Professional Multi-Group Mixer

6:00 - 8:00pm @ The Fillmore Charlotte, 820 Hamilton St, Charlotte, NC 28206. It’s your opportunity to meet and mingle with other community leaders like yourself, and to gather information about young professional groups in Charlotte.  Tickets are just $10 and include one signature Tito’s vodka drink, appetizers, one ticket to any tribute band concert at The Fillmore, a swag bag, plus the chance to participate in some great giveaways. We will have a booth at this event! Click here to purchase tickets now. (As one of our supporters, you use promo code YP2016 to receive 20% off your tickets!)


Aug 1: Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) Open House

10:00am – 1:00pm @ West Boulevard Library, 2157 West Blvd, Charlotte, North Carolina 28208. The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) conducts long-range transportation planning for Iredell, Mecklenburg and Union counties, and is seeking input on its Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP). The CTP is a multi-modal, long-range evaluation of existing and future transportation needs that will serve as the foundation for many of the CRTPO’s future efforts. Click here to learn more.


August 6: FREE Learn to Ride Event

11:00am - 1:00pm @ Waddell Language Academy outdoor track, 7030 Nations Ford Road, CLT 28217. It’s never too early (or too late!) to learn to ride a two-wheeler! Kids of all ages and grown-ups, too, can Learn to Ride a bike using the tried-and-true “balance bike” method. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s a skill that will last a lifetime! Learn to Ride is a not-for-profit, 100% volunteer series of events to grow Charlotte’s cycling community one new cyclist at a time. Parents should bring their kids, their kids’ bikes and helmets. Click here to learn more.


* August 10: Sustain Charlotte + Green Drinks Charlotte Monthly Mixer * 

6:00pm - 7:30pm @ Free Range Brewing, 2320 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205. Join us for an informal and fun evening of conversation and networking! Our Monthly Mixers provide an opportunity to learn more about us, our partners, and meet others interested in local sustainability issues. At 6:30, you'll hear from special a guest speaker of AIA Charlotte who will feature AIA’s Urban Housing Competition awards winners and give a brief presentation on urban housing in our community! There are no membership requirements and everyone is warmly welcomed. Click here to RSVP.


August 14: The NC Native Plant Society Screening of Hometown Habitat

2:00pm - 4:00pm @ UNCC Cameron Hall, Room 101, 9010 Craver Rd, Charlotte, NC 28262. Hometown Habitat, stories of Bringing Nature Home is a documentary, produced by The Meadow Project, that shows how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Botanical Garden meadow at the Mellichamp Native Terrace after the movie. Free and open to public--invite your friends! RSVP required: ncnpsspchapter@gmail.com. Further details at ncwildflower.org.


September 20: The Uptown Urban Trail Connections Study Public Input Session

4:00 - 7:00pm @ Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202. The City is working with a consultant to evaluate options to connect the Little Sugar, Irwin and Stewart Creek greenways and at this workshop, YOU will have the chance to provide input for this study! Please attend this workshop and let the city know that you want to see a safe, protected bike lane connecting our greenways and ultimately a network of protected lanes throughout Charlotte. We are encouraging people from all over Charlotte to ride their bikes to this event.  Make it a group ride, make it a race, make it a slow cruise, just make it out on Sept 20th and let your voice be heard in support of safe, connected, world-class bicycle infrastructure! Click here to learn more.


* SAVE THE DATE - October 15: Sustain Charlotte's Second Annual Biketoberfest *

Sustain Charlotte will host this highly anticipated event on Saturday, October 15th, 12-6pm in Center City and South End Charlotte. This unique event shows hundreds of people how easy it is to get around without driving! Participants will bike, walk, or ride transit to sponsoring businesses while collecting stamps in their official Biketoberfest passport. Stamps will be redeemed for raffle tickets and a chance to win many valuable prizes! This family-friendly event will end with an after party celebration with live music and an exciting raffle! All proceeds will benefit Sustain Charlotte, your community advocate for biking in Charlotte! Click here to learn more.


MANY THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS

Is your company interested in joining the Sustain Charlotte Partner Network? Our generous partners play a critical role in supporting our work. Through our corporate membership program, we provide year-round brand exposure, positive publicity, and business development opportunities to those businesses and nonprofits that are helping make our community more sustainable through their products, services, or commitment to move their organization towards greater sustainability. Become a partner today!

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PLATINUM

Wooden Robot Brewery - TreeCycle America

GOLD

#thesavageway - Alfred Williams & Company - Alta Planning + Design - Belk - Boingo Graphics - The Center for Intentional Leadership - Charlotte Magazine - DPS Construction - Environmental Window Solutions - National Gypsum - New Belgium Brewing - Optima Engineering - Packard Place - Pinckney Marketing - Recover - S&D Coffee & Tea - Triple C Brewing


BRONZE


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