Last year, Girl Scout Troop 33984 embarked on a mission to fix bumpy bike boulevards in Berkeley. While #TheSmoothening has brought some fantastic smooth lanes to the East Bay, there is always more work to do. Read an update straight from the Troop below.
We are Girl Scout Troop 33984 in Berkeley, and we have something to tell you. We earned our Bronze awards! A Bronze award is the highest level award that you can get as a Junior Girl Scout. To do that we needed to do a project that helped the community. We decided that bumpy bike boulevards in Berkeley needed repaving, because it would make it safer for bikers. Also, more people would bike if the streets were smoother, which would help stop climate change.
First we biked on streets looking for bumpy patches and we took pictures and notes on what streets we thought needed to be repaved. Then we decided on the top three street sections that we thought needed the most repaving and work.
We enlisted the help of Walk Bike Berkeley and Bike East Bay to help us gather more information. We then made a survey asking people if they thought this was something that needed to happen, and which streets they thought needed repaving the most. Bike East Bay put the survey out in their newsletter, and we got over 70 responses. We found in the survey that more people found Channing from MLK to Milvia bumpier than the roads we had chosen. So we took notice of everyone’s opinions and decided to try and advocate for Channing from MLK to Milvia to get repaved.
We took this new found Information and wrote a letter to the City Council about the road. We got two very speedy responses back from Council Member Harrison and Council Member Robinson stating that they were going to repave the road in spring of 2021. Because of this we joined the December 15 online Zoom meeting to thank them for putting Channing from MLK to Milvia on their list of roads that needed to be prioritized first.
We learned that we should have checked the repaving planning chart of 2021 before we asked about repaving Channing. We learned how to get our words out to the world and ask people about their opinions (the survey). We also learned that if you don’t like something, don’t be afraid to speak about what you think is right and to have your voice heard. It is really cool to realize that what you’re going to do is going to impact the community. It is really important to speak out for what you believe in because if you do something about it, not just wait to see if other people try to make change, you will help the community and the people in it. It is really fun to collaborate with the other troop members to get things done.
Photos above: Annika and Eliana take notes on street conditions (left), Zella fixes up her bike (right).