community connections
and recreation department.
Hoffmann, a graphic designer by
profession, created a custom design for
the bike racks meant to visually enhance
local spaces. WABI Burien launched a
bike-rack sponsorship program that, in
three days, saw all 41 bike racks claimed,
raising $7,800 for additional bike and
pedestrian projects and activities.
By June 2013, the project partners
had successfully installed 23 bike racks
in strategically chosen public areas.
WABI Burien is leading the charge to see
the remaining bike racks placed in com-
mercial areas around town.
Hoffmann says community response
to the bike racks has been extremely
positive. “I was taking a picture of one
of our bike racks in use at a coffee shop.
I went inside and noticed there were
three people watching me with inter-
est—one of them the cyclist. I stopped
to talk to him, and he [later] sent me the
most wonderful email. He and his wife
recently moved to a block of condos in
Burien’s town square. He told me they
now feel comfortable riding their bikes
around town to do shopping because
they have a safe place to lock their bikes
up. It’s exactly what our objectives were!”
Active Living à la Italia
Ask Maureen Hoffmann what inspired
her to start WABI Burien (Walk/Bike
Burien) (
a non-
profit dedicated to promoting walking
and biking in the Puget Sound, Wash.,
community of Burien—and she’ll reply
I had just moved back from living
in Italy,” she explains, “and had loved
getting around by foot, bike and train
while there. I didn’t have a car.” Back in
the U.S., she noticed that her beloved
hometown of Burien was much less
walk/bike-friendly than Italy. It inspired
her to take action.
In 2011, she launched monthly
Walk-n-Talks” to encourage active living.
Around this time, Hoffmann and oth-
ers also noted a particular challenge for
bicyclists: the lack of available places for
cyclists to lock up their bikes in both pub-
lic rights-of-way and commercial centers.
This led to a formal call to action.
The group organized. They picked board
members and registered as a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization (Hoffmann is
president). They reached out to others.
And then—by way of Michael Lafreniere,
director of Burien Parks, Recreation and
Cultural Services—they got wind of grant
monies available fromWashington State’s
Community Economic Revitalization
Due in a week
Hoffmann and WABI Burien Vice
President Brooks Stanfield hunkered
down, and lo and behold,
they hit pay dirt in
September 2012 in the
form of a $10,000
grant to install 41
bike racks around
town. The money
was awarded to the
city of Burien, with
the project to be
managed by WABI
Burien in partner-
ship with the parks
Newly installed bike racks are making it
easier for people to move about, shop and
hang out in Burien,Wash.
The (Bicycle) House
That Scot Built
It was Scot Benton’s father who moti-
vated him to found Bicycle House
Tallahassee (
a Florida
nonprofit that’s part bike repair shop
and training center, part “build-a-bike”
program, part community develop-
ment organization, part trail cleanup
group and part kitchen/overnight space
for travelers on the “Southern Tier”
bike route from San Diego to Saint
Augustine, Fla.
My father said, ‘Get out of the
house...and open the door,’” says
Benton. “I had a little money, and I just
put that into the building, the bricks
and mortar, and the tools. We had no
idea what was going to happen.”
If the origins of Bicycle House seem
basic, Benton’s story is anything but. After
a bike-filled childhood in Tallahassee, he
moved to New England for college. He
traveled cross-country by bike several
times and raced bikes for 15 years. He
was, as he puts it, a “very unsuccessful,
hardworking racer.” In 1998, while stand-
ing on the side of a street in Boston after
work, Benton was struck by a car. He
spent three months in a coma and five
years living with his parents.
WABI Burien and Patti Means Project Solutions
Bicycle House