Thank you to all the great SVBC members who attended tonight's Volunteer Open House. It was great to see some new faces among the familiar. Normally at our Car Free Happy Hours conversation revolves around rides, routes, and commutes. Tonight we talked about ways to get involved in upcoming community events.
This weekend, as a precursor to Valentine's, some spirited Silicon Valley folks decided to have a pillow fight in downtown San Jose's Chavez Park. Although we pride ourselves on our innovation here in the valley, the modern day urban pillow fight was re-invented in Toronto, Ontario several years ago.
In a recent meeting of the Caltrain Bicycle Advisory Committee, Caltrain staff gave a presentation highlighting the history of bicycles on board Caltrain. Here is a timeline from 1977 showing the history of bicycles and Caltrain. The complete Power Point presentation, in pdf format "Caltrain and Bikes" is on the Caltrain website.
Bus rapid transit, colored bike lanes, bus arrival video screens, offboard fare collection, elevated linear parks, open streets. No matter where you go in this valley one word that gets bandied about in abundance is the word "innovation." Yes this is true we are innovative, when it related to bits, data packets, efficient coding, etc. But when it comes to urban transportation, public spaces, and bike infrastructure we somehow slap ourselves on the forehead and let out a big d-oh.
"Small boys and girls should not be allowed to ride their bicycles on the sidewalk" was the opinion of one San Jose mother in a January 11, 1938 San Jose Evening News article (on page 19 of 24). Although the number of children who ride or walk to school has decreased since this 1938 editorial was written, bicycle safety for children is a growing concern given the congestion that has increased around our schools.
Today U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood commented on his blog Fast Lane that "pedestrian and bicycle projects created nearly twice as many jobs per dollar spent than traditional road projects."
When speaking or commenting publicly to an agency, town, or city council remember that you may speak to the board or council about any item that is on the agenda, but only when that board has reached the point in the meeting to consider that item.
Tonight the city of Los Altos in a special joint meeting will consider the fate of the city's bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee. The meeting is so special it will not be held in the council chambers but in the Neutra House (181 Hillview Avenue), a short walk away.
Regular readers of our website likely saw our recent post about the city of Los Altos considering whether to keep their BPAC (Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee). We appreciate your support in encouraging them to keep the committee. For those who may not follow advocacy issues so closely, I will attempt to explain what makes a city effective at creating safer bikeways, streets, and trails.
Portland, also known as Stumptown, Rose City, Bridgetown and PDX, became "Railtown" for a brief moment last week, when the city hosted the 16th Annual Rail~Volution under sunny skies and warm temperatures. The event seeks to foster greater involvement by public transit agencies in creating livable communities and linking to bicycle, pedestrian, and street networks as well as increasing private sector investment in creating livable communities.
After the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition's recent move by bicycle it was only fitting that Clarence Eckerson would highlight cargo bikes in a recently posted video at Streetfilms. Although when I first heard about cargo bikes, the Dutch Bakfeit was the only thing that came to mind.
Although cycling is on the upswing in the South Bay, it has been a mostly a male dominated actvity. San Jose's Bike Party has changed this a bit with ever increasing numbers of women riders. SJBP has been an excellent way for new women riders to sample the joy of cycling and community with other women riders. July's Ladies Ride was a huge success with over 350 cyclists.
When cyclists get together eventually the talk moves to topics such as how much better they feel, how much weight they've lost, and sometimes how much money they've saved.