Milwaukee Downtown, BID 21
Movers and Shakers

James Davies

"You experience a city differently depending on how you move through it, and I think a bicycle is just about the best way."

By - Sep 16th, 2019 02:15 pm
James Davies. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

James Davies. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

What attracts you to your work with Bublr Bikes?

Initially, it was the bikes. I started at Bublr as a Bike Technician five years ago; I love working on bikes. As I learned more about bikeshare, more and more things attracted me to Bublr. From a theoretical perspective, I’m attracted to the way Bublr can connect the Milwaukee area. You experience a city differently depending on how you move through it, and I think a bicycle is just about the best way. I’m also attracted to Bublr as a means of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of the transportation sector. On the more day-to-day side of things, I love the people I work with. Bublr’s staff and board are all phenomenal, dedicated people who want to see Bublr be a sustainable, excellent bikeshare system for all.

In your new role as Executive Director, are there any particular initiatives you look forward to implementing?

I’m excited to work more with the other bike organizations in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin Bike Federation does phenomenal advocacy work that benefits all bicyclists. Additionally, through their Safe and Healthy Streets program they worked with other organizations, like Path to Platinum, to get Milwaukee’s Complete Streets ordinance passed, which requires that bicycles and pedestrians be considered in city planning and projects. Bike Benefits and Bike 100 Days are two other fantastic groups focused on getting more people on bikes. Bublr isn’t an advocacy nonprofit, but I’d like to work more closely with these types of organizations. I think we share a lot of the same vision and have our own little pieces to work on.

How does Bublr Bikes play into Milwaukee’s development landscape and larger transportation system?

Bublr is an important part of solving the first/last mile problem in Milwaukee’s public transit network. Over 80% of our stations are co-located with a Milwaukee County Transit Stop; 60% of the Hop streetcar stops are collocated with Bublr stations; and Bublr has a station at the Intermodal Station, connecting folks with regional bus and rail.

How do you see Bublr Bikes and the new addition of electric scooters working together?

I think that depends on a lot of external factors. If we look at cities across the country, we’ve seen this story play out several times with the introduction of dockless e-assist equipment into a city that has a traditional docked bikeshare system. In some cities, the introduction resulted in an “all boats rise” situation where the traditional bikeshare system saw their usage increase. In other cities, that was not the case. Every city is different, but I think it says something really good about the cities that created space for multiple non-car options to flourish. I hope that Bublr can both–be part of understanding what made micro-mobility really flourish in some places; and then also be part of implementing those strategies in Milwaukee.

What other project or initiative do you feel is most important to keeping the positive momentum throughout the City?

I think the Milwaukee City-County Joint Taskforce on Climate and Economic Equity, and their eventual recommendations, will be very important in continuing the positive momentum currently flowing through the city.

When you are not working, what are some of your favorite things to do? 

Well, since I’m not working on bikes at Bublr too much these days, when I’m not working, I like to either work on, or ride my own bicycles. Just recently, I did a fantastic 85-mile loop around the Oak Leaf Trail.

Movers and Shakers is presented by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

One thought on “Movers and Shakers: James Davies”

  1. Patricia Jursik says:

    I note the comment about the 85 mile loop on the Oak Leaf Trial which means I once again posit this: The Oak Leaf Trail IS the most attended sporting facility in Milwaukee County. Like the stadium and new arena, this sporting facility deserves dedicated funding, as do the public parks that the trail largely runs through. Best yet, unlike the other facilities that support major sporting, private teams, the trail is free and open to all users. I bike along the gorgeous south shore trails all summer and count myself blessed and beholding to our grandparent who built them. Let’s not drop the ball or wheels for the next generation.

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