The successful “Get Lit” program, which gives out lights to Portland cyclists, is expanding into helmets. Community activist and Shift volunteer Jeff Bernards is spear-heading the program with his usual, “take it to the streets” style. Jeff, working with Shift to Bikes, has received a grant of $3380 through the ODOT funded, Community Cycling Center bike safety grant program.
Jeff has tried to provide free helmets to cyclists before, but previous grants allowed him only to pass out coupons which could be redeemed at local bike shops for $10 off a helmet. Unfortunately, only 10% of riders actually redeemed the coupons. This new grant will allow Jeff to bring about 400 helmets directly to those in need, on a custom-made trailer he plans to pick up this weekend.
Jeff hopes his helmet program echoes the success of his light program:
“I found that peer pressure (everyone has a light, but me) regarding light use has really increased their presence on the streets. Those who use lights now are the majority, I’m hoping that happens with the helmets too.”