Despite having one of the lowest car-ownership rates in the state, the Frogtown Neighborhood in St. Paul has one of the lowest rates of biking, too. But some groups are working to change that.
The Frogtown Crew is a group of 12 youth who have been working all summer to change perceptions around biking and walking in their neighborhood. One of their goals is to make biking easier in Frogtown. To accomplish this, they are having 30 Frogtown branded bike racks installed in the neighborhood, beginning at the southwest corner of Dale Street and LaFond Avenue.
The crew worked with Minneapolis-based Dero Bike Rack Co. to design, manufacture and install the racks, which will be popping up all over the neighborhood in the coming months. Dero hosted the Frogtown Crew last summer to teach them about its business. During the tour, Dero facilitated an activity where Crew members designed their ideal bike rack for the neighborhood. Dero then shared the designs on Facebook, where the public voted on their favorite design. The winning design featured a frog on a lily pad with “Frogtown” written across it.
“We are proud to be involved with this great program to help youth learn about community development and take pride in their neighborhood,” said Andy Kennedy Lageson, Vice President and General Manager of Dero. “We love the final design that was chosen for the racks. They will be a great addition to the neighborhood to help make biking easier.”
The first racks are being placed at the site of the Frogtown Green community garden in the Frogtown neighborhood. The final locations for the rest of the bike racks are still being decided. The Frogtown Crew plans to work closely with the community on where the final racks should be installed.
“We’re really excited to have these bike racks coming into our community,” said Caty Royce, Executive Director of the Frogtown Neighborhood Association. “Even more exciting is that the youth are listening to the community and working with them to put racks where they are needed.”
The installation of these bike racks follows a busy summer for the Crew. They hosted a series of block parties in the Frogtown and Summit-University Neighborhoods of St. Paul to educate their neighbors about the importance of transportation options. It culminated in a Paint the Pavement project at the intersection of Charles Avenue and Avon Street last month.
The first three racks were funded through the City of St. Paul’s Neighborhood Bike Rack Program.
Funding for the Frogtown Neighborhoods Program is provided by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, as part of Blue Cross’ long-term commitment to tackling the leading causes of preventable disease: tobacco use, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating.
About the Frogtown Crew
The Frogtown Neighborhoods Program is a partnership between St. Paul Smart Trips, The Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center and the Frogtown Neighborhood Association. The goals of the 12 youth are to develop a crew of youth leaders in the Frogtown neighborhood and increase walking and biking trips in the neighborhood through outreach, infrastructure changes and education.
Learn more at http://smart-trips.org/frogtown