Some companies are simply good neighbors. First our members worked extensively with Facebook to get some bike infrastructure funding flowing from them to Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. Now Google has jumped in with some ideas on how they can help out the community.
This morning I happened to be in the office at 8:00 am when Peter Brull from the League of American Bicyclists called me to let me know that the LAB members had elected me to their board of directors. He's evidently on east coast time.
Yesterday Jen and I met with a team in Los Altos Hills--the mayor, the city manager, and the lead for the new Traffic and Safety Committee.
We discussed bicyclist safety issues as well as the frustration some of their residents feel about cyclists, and proactive ways to deal with that.
SVBC is engaged in a Safe Routes to Schools program in East Palo Alto. We are working with the Ravenswood City School District and the San Mateo County Office of Education to implement a program that will enhance safety and encourage kids to walk and bike to school.
This evening we welcomed the new SVBC Board of Directors members with a dinner and short meeting. I'm delighted to have Dave Fork, Scott Lane, and Phil Brotherton join the SVBC board. It was wonderful to hear their motivations for serving SVBC and our mission to promote cycling.
Last night I attended a meeting of the San José Bike Co-op group that's been meeting for several months. Member Cody Kraatz and others have been spearheading the effort to create a community space in San José.
At last nights meeting, the group agreed on a new name: the San José Bike Clinic! Very exciting. Amazingly, we also put together a mission statement: The mission of the San Jose Bike Clinic is to provide a shared space for bicycle repair and education and to build a robust and diverse cycling community in San Jose.
Last week I needed to get to Santana Row to buy my partner a tie for his birthday at the Farragamo shop. I was on my bike in Palo Alto at a meeting when it started raining, and then I rode in the rain (and of course, I haven't put my fenders on yet) to Sunnyvale for a physical therapy appointment. While there, I debated--could I really roll up to a poshy store in Santana Row and walk in scummy and wet, leaning my bike at the door?
Wow, it's been an action packed week! Here are some of the highlights:
City of San José staff is studying converting lanes on 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th Streets through downtown from motor vehicle lanes to bike lanes! I had mentioned several months ago to Department of Transportation leadership that San José is already falling behind on implementing the goals in their recently adopted bike plan--and that they had the power to make significant things happen even without significant funding... all they need to do is convert under-utilized motor vehicle lanes to buffered bike lanes.
Last week I met with the lead developer on the Google expansion project, did a quick site visit, and talked with some of our members to understand their assessment of the situation. Thanks to Patrick Grant for helping me understand the potential to better connect NASA to the network.
My comments at the meeting with the developer included suggestions regarding:
A couple of years ago, SVBC joined together with assorted regional advocates to encourage MTC to create a Safe Routes to Schools funding stream to help get communities up and running with Safe Routes programs. We were successful--as a result, VTA received $4.039M and C/CAG received $1.429 (the money was distributed relative to population).
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is going through the Plan Bay Area process, which will revolutionize the way that transportation funding is distributed in the Bay Area.
Yesterday I met with MTC Commissioner Sam Liccardo (also a San José Councilmember) to discuss the future of regional transportation funding streams.
My main points:
Last week I returned to SVBC recharged from a vacation in northern Spain and southern France. While riding in the Pyrenees and south toward Barcelona, I was again struck by the difference between riding in Europe and here in Silicon Valley. I've heard that Spain is the capital for serious crashes on the interstate--and they do rather drive like maniacs who aren't paying any attention on the highways. But strangely enough, they seem to pay very close attention when they are on the local roads. As a cyclist, I felt safer in the Catalan region of Spain than I've felt anywhere else in the world, including France.
Fair readers, forgive me while this blog entry delves deep into the language of policy-wonkiness. Hopefully several of you will be interested--after all, SVBC is an organization focused on systems change.