Erin Potter lead Providence to Seattle in 2012. She is currently a Program Manager for Bike Arlington. Erin’s path was a winding one, as most are, and after sitting down to talk more about Bike Arlington, she reveals how she got here and why she loves it.
Before leading P2S, Erin was actually working in the affordable housing sector. Once she dipped her front wheel on the west coast, she headed back to Chicago to teach environmental education in public schools.
Erin saw a posting on the Bike & Build alumni Facebook page for an events and outreach position at Bike Arlington and decided to apply. After landing the job, she packed up and moved down to Arlington. This was the first time she was dipping her toes into the professional world of biking. Erin learned quickly and has since been promoted to her current position as Program Manager.
One of the main goals of Bike Arlington is to provide people with education and encouragement to ride bikes and commute to work in a way that isn’t driving alone. Erin worked on creating bike infrastructure maps and “comfort maps.” She explained that the comfort maps show how the bike lanes feel, rather than just simply mapping where they are. Erin stated “all bike lanes are not created equal,” and these maps help identify where riders feel most comfortable.
When asked what her favorite part of working at Bike Arlington is, Erin responded hand’s down the Learn to Ride classes. There are classes for students of all ages that help to break down personal barriers that may be stopping an individual from riding a bike. They educate people to feel both confident and safe on a bike. Erin said the classes provide truly special moments of joy as people learn to ride bikes together.
While Erin does this work as her full time job, there are ways to get involved and spark change in your own community. Erin recommends going to transportation meetings and taking pictures of infrastructure issues that need to be fixed. She reminds us that behind every bike lane, street, and transportation decision, there are human beings – someone built it, someone can fix it.