electrical bike Portland desires to ‘prescribe a motorcycle’ to Black Portlanders with continual ailments
Portland is proposing what transportation leaders say is a “actually progressive effort” that might permit well being officers to prescribe an annual Biketown membership to Black residents with sure continual ailments.
Town transportation bureau is collaborating with the Multnomah County Well being Division on a $200,000 grant software. The Metropolis Council is anticipated to log out on the proposal Wednesday. If permitted, the grant could be for two-and-a-half years and town and county would every contribute $10,000 to the program.
Metropolis and county officers say they constructed the proposal on the same effort in New York Metropolis, which has had optimistic outcomes. They are saying it’s a approach to make the on-demand bike rental service extra accessible to individuals of shade whereas additionally encouraging extra bike using.
Charlene McGee, who leads the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health, a federally funded program housed at Multnomah County, mentioned eight out of the ten main causes of demise for Black Portlanders are continual ailments.
If Portland is awarded the grant, she mentioned county officers would look to prescribe a motorcycle to Black Portlanders who’re pre-diabetic, diabetic or have hypertension. Her program reaches out to African immigrant communities in Portland in addition to different Black Portlanders, all of whom usually tend to have these continual ailments.
The proposal is to supply sufferers with a one-year membership to Biketown, town’s bike rental program. Biketown’s fleet is now all electrical help, or “e-bikes” that can travel up to 20 miles per hour and have a variety of roughly 25 miles, relying on the rider. Sufferers would undergo an orientation earlier than choosing up their “prescription.” That orientation would come with security discussions.
McGee mentioned research shows that e-bike riders are likely to trip for longer distances and for longer stretches of time, which might profit individuals with sure continual ailments. An hour of train per day, that may embody biking or strolling, is vital.
“It’s a strong well being intervention that has far-reaching advantages,” McGee mentioned of biking.
She mentioned the ability in prescribing a motorcycle opens up potentialities that simply suggesting a motorcycle to a affected person doesn’t.
“We all know that when a supplier writes a prescription for somebody, they need to adhere to what the supplier is saying,” McGee mentioned. She mentioned bike using is optimistic for psychological well being as nicely, and could be a communal exercise, all of which may enhance psychological and bodily well being for these sufferers.
McGee mentioned New York Metropolis and Minneapolis have comparable packages.
The grant software is thru the Better Bike Share Partnership, a nationwide group that awards grants to cities nationwide.
Dylan Rivera, a Portland transportation spokesperson, mentioned town believes it’s in good place to obtain a grant for this “actually progressive effort” that may make “the well being advantages of Biketown extra accessible than ever.”
One of many metropolis’s staff labored on New York’s program, Rivera mentioned. If awarded the grant, Portland hopes to have this system in place in 2021.
— Andrew Theen; email@example.com