The Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) is an effort led by the City of Philadelphia that works to ensure that Indego bike share is accessible to all Philadelphians. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is a nonprofit advocacy and education organization working as part of the Better Bike Share Partnership to support bike share and biking education. The Better Bike Share Partnership is funded by the JPB Foundation.
Written By: Azephra Hamilton
The Indego station in the heart of Strawberry Mansion has been dedicated to Mr. Alan Lomax, a former Indego Ambassador who recently passed away. Mr. Lomax has worked for decades to advocate for cycling, healthy living and community involvement. Mr. Lomax lived in Strawberry Mansion his whole life and his passion was to make life better for others in the neighborhood. He worked with the Strawberry Mansion CDC, Friends of East Park, and was an early supporter of Indego and the Cadence Youth Cycling Team.
As a local bike advocate, Mr. Lomax was always the person in the neighborhood that people could go to if they needed help fixing their bikes. He also gave advice on how to buy one and/or encouraged community members to give bicycling a try. While attending a community meeting in 2016, he met city representatives and learned that Indego was expanding to his neighborhood. He wanted to get involved immediately and became an Indego Community Ambassador, organizing rides and classes using the Indego bikes. We interviewed him last year at the beginning of his ambassador term and he said, “Actually, I was praying for something to happen like this. I wanted to get more involved in cycling again. I started seeing all these bikes and I was like ‘WOW’ my blessing was answered. So I just wanted to get involved in it, because that’s my passion. I could just ride all day long and promote the bicycles. I love it.”
This year, The Strawberry Mansion CDC honored Mr. Lomax with an award for his service to the community and the City of Philadelphia dedicated the 33rd & Diamond Street Indego station in his name. Family and friends gathered at the annual Strawberry Mansion Day celebration where the new station artwork was unveiled.
We reached out to some of the people he partnered with who sent us the following comments. If you have met Mr. Lomax and he has impacted you in some way, feel free to leave your comments below.
- I can’t think of a more positive person than Alan Lomax. I met him at Strawberry Mansion Day and he had just returned from leading the second of his three community rides for the day. He was hot and sweaty, but seemingly un-tired as he headed back out, only to return with his car a half hour later, fully loaded with backpacks and school supplies to give out to the community. -Aaron Ritz, Transportation Systems Manager, Office Of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems, City of Philadelphia
- Every time I saw Mr. Lomax he was always cheerful and supportive of Indego. His energy is contagious and he will be truly missed. -Kiera Smalls, Indego Marketing Manager, Bicycle Transit Systems
- Mr. Lomax joined our first Digital Skills and Bicycle Thrills class. He was the Indego veteran in the class and helped explain to everyone how Indego works and why he thought it was a good program for his community. There were a bunch of newbies in the room who were asking him a bunch of questions, and he was loving it. At the graduation celebration, he put on some sunglasses, got his diploma, and shook everyone’s hand in the room, getting the biggest cheer from the rest of the class. His energy was contagious, and we were lucky to have him believe in the Indego program and support it.
-Claudia Setubal, Data & Evaluation Manager, Bicycle Transit Systems
- Before Indego, there was the Cadence Youth Cycling Program that Mr. Lomax helped start and ran in the Strawberry Mansion area for many years. Mr. Lomax understood and helped the City of Philadelphia and its partners inform the community about the possibilities that Indego could bring to residents and beyond. He was the City’s advocate and our champion helping us spread the word and get approval by the community for the placement of Indego stations. As the City’s newest transportation option, Indego was more than a bike share program to Mr. Lomax, he dreamed with us and imagined what it would do for the community for years to come. Mr. Lomax and the memories we built with him will last in my heart forever. I aspire to dedicate my life to helping my community and people the way Mr. Lomax did with such grace, love, and respect. Rest in peace Mr. Lomax, we love you!
-Carniesha Kwashie, former Grant Manager, Better Bike Share Partnership, City of Philadelphia
- I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Lomax. I will always remember him as a proud resident of Strawberry Mansion, a keen cyclist, and a wonderful community advocate– one who asked tough, necessary questions of the City and then worked hard to make sure that his neighborhood could make the most of a new program. As an Indego Ambassador, Mr. Lomax went above and beyond, even making his own business cards. I will always remember his warm smile, his gentility, his dedication, and, of course, his dapper suits! He will be truly missed. -Cara Ferrentino, Former staff @ Office Of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems, City of Philadelphia
- I remember the first day I met Mr. Lomax. He shared with me his journey through cycling from a child into adulthood, and what cycling meant to him. Along with a brief lesson on the history of Strawberry Mansion and locations that I should visit while biking. He was excited about Indego and the opportunity to merge his passion for cycling and the community he loves. Mr. Lomax has helped shape Indego and its mission in countless ways. His passion and dedication for his community has been an inspiration to us all. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten! -Waffiyyah Murray, Indego Community Coordinator, Office Of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems, City of Philadelphia
- Mr. Lomax had an impact on everyone he met. He always had a smile, kind words of encouragement and/or a history lesson to share. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him. -Azephra Hamilton, Community Liaison, Bicycle Coalition Of Greater Philadelphia
- Alan was a friend, advisor, teacher, leader and co-laborer in our efforts to preserve and revitalize our neighborhood. He always shared his wealth of experience with young people and encouraged them to get the knowledge and get involved. He knew every inch of Strawberry Mansion and Fairmount Park, affectionately known as Mansion’s backyard and always had a great story to tell. Alan’s love for cycling was one of many ways we witnessed his commitment to a healthy lifestyle and attitude, so it made sense that he would represent our community as the Indego Ambassador. We are honored to carry on his legacy in Strawberry Mansion. -Tonnetta Graham, President, Strawberry Mansion CDC