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One Cyclist Crowdfunds a Rehab Project That Save Lives

Cycling is growing in popularity among commuters in a city where cars are plenty and space is few. What if the only efficient means of transportation available to you could likely cost you your life? What if these dangers were completely avoidable, yet ignored? One well-loved physician lost her life this August, while cycling her daily Boston commute. This tragedy inspired action to move beyond the frustration of bureaucratic delays that generally prevent expedient solutions. One man took matters into his own hands and started a rehab project and crowdfunding campaign that is still producing means to positive action. The safety and efficiency of the cycling community was immediately preserved by temporary pop-up bike lanes.  One man created them in one day, with his own limited resources and made it look easy. “I went to Home Depot, bought the mums that were on sale for $6, and then just put them down and walked away.” -Johnathan Fertig

Roadway Rehab Project

Why Tactical Urbanism?

rehab projectTactical Urbanism is the use of temporary action that can affect long-term change. Anyone can create temporary measures that improve, and even transform cities. Bicycle lanes are continually used by motorists as turning lanes, and in Boston’s heavily cyclist-populated Mass Avenue at Beacon Street area, this type of situation recently cost as least one life. The popular use of crowdfunding to grow resources eliminates the limit of personal means. The perpetual misuse of Boston’s bicycle lanes may be solved by Fertig's tactical urbanism road rehab project. In response to Dr. Anita Kurmann’s August death, the Boston Globe featured Vineet Gupta, Director of planning for the city’s transportation Department. He expressed the urgency that the department regarded the city's new plans for a protected bike lane. And, then, the community waited, and waited. The city’s action to erect noticeable barriers to prevent motorists and cyclists from colliding was sluggish to non-existent. One Boston cyclist wasn't going to wait for more lost lives. Change has laid precedence to efficient, well achieved tactical urbanism. An achievement that may result in saving lives on an even wider scale than originally predicted.  Johnathan Fertig described the City of Boston’s lack of action as “A complete lack of will to do what is required to protect the safety of vulnerable road users.” I am personally shocked at the lack of regard in a community where cycling isn’t just an exercise-producing hobby, but a necessary means for transportation. The good news is that the days of community members lying in complaining wait for the mysterious process of government bureaucracy is over. Individual Boston community members have become self-propelled to effect the change they’d like to see in their own their city. Many individually driven community projects are now being fueled by commoner creativity, tactical urbanism, and crowdfunding.  Fertig revitalized Bicycle lanes and pedestrian space in Boston’s most dangerous thoroughfares within a day. Clever and quick placement of plants and construction cones now add protected dimension to one of Boston’s most dangerous thoroughfares. Who would have thought such a temporary eye-pleasing placement of plants and construction cones could become symbolic for the permanent preservation of life and beauty?

Related: Solar Roadways Light Up Communities

Crowdfund Campaign is Live

rehab projectCommunity members taking ownership of creating basic community needs are also seeking funding that supports their out-of-box thinking. Johnathan Fertig’s Flowers and Such: Boston Bike Lanes 
 crowdfunding campaign excited a community.  Donations provided the financial resources to offer an immediate fix to a long-term problem. Fertig created bike lanes barriers by simply using house plants, construction cones and flowers along Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street intersection. The corridor bears a much different look and level of safety than it did the day Kurmann lost her life. A flat-bed truck dominated the bike lane to make a right turn and killed her. How many more lives could be irreparably damaged or lost in the bureaucratic time it takes to create a permanent fix?  Fertig, with crowdfunding at his fingertips, decided there was no reason to wait for such answer. September 8
th, 2015, Fertig opened the opportunity to keep this temporary fix alive until a permanent one could take over. In fact, Fertig’s campaign brought light to a value shared at least 153 crowdfunding campaign contributors. $3,214 was raised within the first 3 days. In just one month, he raised over $5,000 and saved an untold number of lives.  Empowered people with the same values come out of the shadows through the advertising of meaningful campaigns. Five hundred and forty-eight people have shared the campaign across social media outlets. This means that the effects will expand beyond the originally planned map. One man’s reaction of ACTION toward an otherwise frustrating situation may serve to inspire community-based action across the nation. I am certainly inspired.

Crowdfunding Raises More Than Funds

Fertig has continued his revitalization efforts through efficient placement of flowers and cones along the paths he travels. His efforts have inspired others to help. A group of Canadian citizens have adopted the thought and have taken it a step further by creating safe pop-up bike lanes in their own community. Where will this particular life-saving bike-lane crowdfunding campaign lead? That remains to be seen. I urge rehab projectyou to consider an extra aspect to the power of a crowd: The magnitude of what crowdfunding campaigns accomplish is beyond the obvious raising of funds. In the last few weeks, we have presented several inspirational forms of innovative progress. We have been inspired by an exciting project that that has raised over $11 Million dollars in shares and will likely change the future of aviation. Our minds have been further fed by revival of dilapidated buildings, and the power of crowd finance continues to remove the barriers of financial limitation to vision. Anyone has a vision, can run with it. It is also clear that crowdfunding serves as much as a provider of marketing and education as a mode for raising capital.

Fertig is an excellent example of how every crowd starts with the vision or action of one. In what area will you be that "one?"  What will you introduce to the world by starting a crowdfunding campaign?

If you want to learn more, take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about real estate crowdfunding on a daily basis and find out why so many people are crowdfunding real estate projects across the country with Patch of Land.
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5 thoughts on “One Cyclist Crowdfunds a Rehab Project That Save Lives”

  • Kerri Buie

    Kerri Buie commented October 21, 2015

    Another excellent article, proving again, the solid philosophy behind crowdfunding campaigns. Crowdfunding works because it removes most of the roadblocks typically associated with network fundraising. Prior to crowdfunding websites, capturing this type of capital was really painful. Imagine calling all of your friends to ask them for a $25 contribution toward starting your company. Aside from becoming part of everyone’s blocked call list, you’d also run into the challenge of actually capturing all of those contributions. An excellent article about a brilliant project.

    Karen Perkins

    Karen Perkins reply October 21, 2015

    Kerri, Well said!

  • Nathan

    Nathan commented October 21, 2015

    In the Christian tradition we say where there is no vision the people perish. Key in the above campaign is the vision. It is a vision that resonates. As people move back to cities and commutes become longer and longer competition for space will grow. The need for transportation alternatives will grow.. This idea has legs. Waiting and waiting is not always the answer. There are times when the people's vision can get up and go. Crowdfunding provides a new tool for the people.

    Karen Perkins

    Karen Perkins reply November 23, 2015

    Nathan, thank you for your feedback. Please feel free to share any personal vision that you would like to see crowdfunded, too.

  • David Poynter

    David Poynter commented October 21, 2015

    Patch of Land and crowd Funding continues to take on unconventional projects. I'm afraid that when it comes to automobiles and bicycles using the same roadways, howevet, there will always be a critical danGermany for the bike rider. No matter what barriers and cones are used there will be impaired and distracted drivers. The only solution which will decrease the danger is separate unshared roadways. My city of Tucson, AZ. has taken it to task, at massive expense, and successfully decreased car/bike collisions while increasing the number of bicycle commuters as well. Admittedly, this would not be practical in the inner city, even in Ticson, but it's been a big success in the suburbs. Perhaps further study will produce a practical solution to the urban areas. That's what impresses me the most about Patch of Land. "Keep thinking, Butch. It's what you're good at". (A line stolen from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)

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