Written by Frank Stickney and photo by Kate Reali
In Their Own Words is a special section in Portico Eastern Shore Magazine that highlights profiles of local residents. Each season, we get to know some of the people that contribute to our beautiful and unique community, and we tell their stories here.
Here, we are featuring Meredith Montgomery, founder of the Bike to School program at Fairhope Elementary School.
I had heard about National Bike to School Day, so I organized one here in 2017. I created fliers that offered safety tips for bicyclists and drivers. We didn’t know what to expect, yet more than 50 students (plus many parents and siblings) arrived by bike that day! It was so well received I launched monthly bike to school days the following fall. When I started routinely biking I began regularly contacting Public Works about uneven sidewalks, missing crosswalks, and unsafe intersections. They were very responsive. It’s hard to get things fixed when no one knows they’re broken. I now co-chair the city’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee with Chris Riley, and we are working to put more bike racks around town, increase connectivity of bike lanes and sidewalks, emphasize our Complete Streets ordinance, and more. Fairhope is small, and it’s easy to be heard. Whether there’s a bumpy sidewalk or a need for a bike lane, speak up (call the city or e-mail our committee)–the more voices, the better.