Meet BikePGH’s 2019 Award Winners
Each year at our Annual Members Meeting, we recognize individuals and organizations for going above and beyond to help us achieve our mission or help move the needle and make Pittsburgh a better place for biking and walking. Take a look at the impressive accomplishments and dedication of our 2019 awardees!
Organization of the Year
There are so many amazing organizations in Pittsburgh that partner with us, work with us as business members, and volunteer with us. One organization in particular has volunteered with us at OpenStreetsPGH at least nine times through the years as Intersection Heroes. That organization, and our Organization of the Year, is PUMP!
PUMP has a small staff, but they always bring a big group of their members and friends to volunteer at OpenStreetsPGH. If you’ve been at OpenStreetsPGH, you know them as the volunteers that always seem to be dancing while directing traffic. PUMP brings so much great energy to the event, and we always know we can count on them.
Volunteer of the Year
This year, 389 individuals volunteered over 2,000 hours with BikePGH. 50 of those hours were completed by our Volunteer of the Year, Thom Franz.
Thom shows up by bike to his volunteer shifts and gets right to work. He’s a no-fuss type of person, and often stays past the end of his volunteer shift to continue helping out. Some of the roles he’s taken on this year include helping out at the bike valet, monitoring barricades at OpenStreetsPGH, and being a course marshal at PedalPGH.
Educator of the Year
From Confident City Cycling to Positive Spin, we at BikePGH have had the honor of working with some awesome educators in the field of Bike Safety. In our Positive Program, we believe in encouraging and empowering student leaders to help the program run smoothly. This year’s Educator of the Year has risen through the ranks from student to teacher and is on his way to being a great leader in his field.
Jason Thomas, now a freshman at Point Park University, was apart of our first direct high school Positive Spin Program. As a Junior at Pittsburgh Obama Academy, Jason showed his leadership qualities when he showed his want to help the team stay safe on our rides. We taught him out to be an Intersection Helper or “intersector” for short. Jason not only excelled in this position, he also taught his friends how to safely share the position and take turns helping the group through intersections. It was an easy decision to bring Jason on the team as a young educator for our Summer Dreamers Academy class of 2018. Now, as a freshman in college, Jason stands next to his old teachers as a co-leader at the now independent Obama Bike Club.
Advocate of the Year
This award has been given to advocates, organizations, businesses and government agencies, who, through their vision and a lot of perseverance, have moved the needle toward creating streets and communities for people, and not just for cars. The ReMake Group, a planning and consulting firm, took on the difficult task of taking a nearly blank slate of land in Hazelwood known as Hazelwood Green, and turning into a place that is welcoming for people on foot, bike, and bus. Sandwiched between the Monongahela river and Second Ave, building a car-oriented development, with the usual space dedicated to seas of parking, wider roads and congestion, simply wasn’t an option.
From protected bike lanes, to speed humps, to bike lanes that go behind a bus stop, the ReMake Group took some of the best practices for street design from around the world, and worked to ensure that they were installed at the outset of the development. On top of that, they made sure that these features were connected to the community, providing new opportunities for residents to safely get around their neighborhood and beyond.
The ReMake Group’s accomplishments have set a new standard, and we hope to see the innovations they helped bring to Pittsburgh make their way into other parts of the City.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT: BECOME A MEMBER OF BIKEPGH
Your membership ensures that BikePGH advocates and educators can continue to thrive by engaging in all Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Join or renew as a Sustaining Member and contribute to safe streets year-round!
All BikePGH members enjoy the perks of:
- Advocacy for better, safer bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure such as bike lanes and crosswalks
- Adding your voice to one of the fastest growing and most transformative organizations in Pittsburgh
- Contributing to improving public health, climate change, and air and water quality
- Discounts at local bike shops, restaurants, BikePGH classes & events, and more
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