Hello everyone, my name is Vivian Ortiz ~ When I got on a bicycle as an adult, I couldn’t balance and didn’t know how to stop. I took a class and was hooked! Hardly a day goes by without me asking someone if they ride a bicycle. Eight years later, I teach mostly Black, Latina, and older women how to ride or rediscover the joy of riding.
What are your plans as Bicycle Mayor?
I’ll continue hosting weekly bike rides in my neighborhood. Everyone is invited, but I focus on women, speakers of languages other than English, older adults, and people of color. I even invite people that drive pretty much everywhere. Boston has the worst traffic congestion in the United States. If I can get a few people to switch to getting on a bike for pleasure, they’ll get it.
Focus on people and their experiences – not modes. Not everyone is going to jump on a bike. We need to do a better job of creating empathy and respecting people’s choices. We need to be working together to improve mobility. Most people who bike also walk, take transit and get in a motor vehicle at some point. We need to be working together to ensure there are many transportation options (especially biking, of course!) that are safe, efficient, and affordable. I also value and will continue to have conversations with my neighbors and people who I encounter in car-dependent areas to help them understand that people *do* bike, and how it benefits them, even if they will never take to two wheels themselves.
Build a more inclusive, intersectional and collaborative community within the cycling community. There are many types of people who bike or who want to bike, but they don’t always feel included or are left out of the mainstream biking culture. There are others who haven’t engaged in advocacy before, and advocates who don’t yet think about all of the intersectional issues that relate to their work on “street safety.” I’ll be working to bridge those gaps and more, to make bicycling and bike advocacy more inclusive.