Friday Forum: One Barrier Too Many: Understanding What It Means To Bicycle in Black and Latino Communities

Event details

  • October 13, 2017
  • 12:00 pm
  • 1001 S. Wright St. Champaign, IL 61820
  • 2173371500

Speaker: Dr. Charles Brown, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) and Rutgers University

This presentation highlights findings from a recent study focused on understanding and identifying barriers to Black and Hispanic bicycle access and use in New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the US. The study’s methodology included an extensive literature review, two focus groups with Blacks and Hispanic populations, and administration of intercept surveys in thirty-three municipalities in New Jersey. More than two thousand surveys were collected statewide from individuals living in predominantly African American and Hispanic communities. Results indicate that while minority populations have a strong interest in bicycling, infrastructure investments such as bike share and dedicated bicycle facilities are more likely to be directed to non-minority neighborhoods and communities.

About the Speaker:

Charles Brown, MPA, is a Senior Research Specialist with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) and adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He has 12 years of public and private sector experience in urban and regional planning, policy, and research. He has also extensive experience in community development having worked with municipal, county, and state government agencies, for-profits, and non-profit organizations in three states: Mississippi, Florida and New Jersey.

As a livability and healthy community advocate, he is considered a regional thought leader and a leading voice in encouraging complete streets policy adoption and implementation in New Jersey. Since 2011, through strategic collaborations with transportation, health, school, environmental and other professionals, he has assisted more than 60 municipalities and three counties (of varying social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds) with adopting complete streets policies. During this time, he served as one of the lead instructors for twelve deliveries of the New Jersey Department of Transportation Complete Streets course and worked with health professionals throughout the state on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Health.

In his current role as the project manager of the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center at VTC, he led the development of the Center’s 5-year strategic plan and re-branding efforts. His research focuses on pedestrian safety at or near bus stops, complete streets implementation and evaluation, safe routes to public transit for persons with disabilities and the elderly, and the economic contributions of biking and walking in the state of New Jersey. In addition to his research efforts, he developed the New Jersey Ambassadors in Motion Program (NJ AIM) and played a vital role in bringing a Ciclovia to the City of New Brunswick—the largest and first in the state.

Prior to joining VTC, he was a city planner with the City of Orlando. In his role, he coordinated the yearly update to the City’s Capital Improvements Program, supervised consultants who developed streetscape guidelines for the City and State Department of Transportation, reviewed development proposals (both small and large scale developments of regional impact), and drafted changes to the City’s Growth Management Plan and Land Development Code. He took a strong leadership role in advancing multi-modal transportation through his involvement with the Orlando Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Moreover, he served as subject matter expert on community visioning workshops in low-income and underserved communities throughout the Orlando area, and co-developed the city’s first bicycle training and education program (Got Bikes?…Ride’em!), which targeted both youths and adults in underserved and disadvantaged communities. The program received the Community Education “Program of the Year Award” from the Florida Bicycle Association.

Mr. Brown is the recipient of several notable honors in transportation and receives invitations to speak locally, nationally, and internationally. He is a military veteran and a recipient of the Mississippi Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Belhaven College, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Central Florida, and is a fellow in the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University-Newark Community Development Leadership Program. Mr. Brown enjoys cycling and is certified by the League of American Bicyclists as a League Cycling Instructor (LCI #3520). He is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

About the Series: Building a Better Environmental Movement – Fall 2017

This fall, we are pleased to partner with the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations’ Diversity and Social Justice Education unit (DiversityEd) and the Student Sustainability Committee to host a series that explores the intersections of the environment and social justice. Our Fall 2017 Friday Forum series on environmental issues and solutions, ranging from climate change and policy to active transportation and agriculture, seeks to elevate sustainability issues on campus and in our communities and deepen our understanding of environmental justice.
This series was made possible thanks to the generous support of our partners: Diversity and Social Justice Education and the Student Sustainability Committee
Additional Fall 2017 Friday Forum Lecture Series support provided by:
Channing Murray Foundation, Chapel of Saint John the Divine Episcopal Church, Faith in Place, First Mennonite Church of Champaign-Urbana, LGBT Resource Center, League of Women Voters Champaign County, McKinley Presbyterian Church and Foundation, Native American House, Social Action Committee of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, Wesley Foundation at the University of Illinois, Wesley United Methodist Church, U of I School of Social Work, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program, Funding provided BY THE STUDENT CULTURAL PROGRAMMING FEE