This Palo Alto Area Report was written by Laura Thompson, San Francisco Bay Trail Project Manager
If you ride along the Bay Trail through the Palo Alto Baylands, you will notice a new and exciting piece of bicycle-themed art along the trail. The stainless steel sculpture, by local artist James Moore, is a tribute to Bill Bliss, who dedicated his life to improving the safety of bicycle corridors and trails in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout California. He was tragically killed when hit by a motor vehicle in 2005 while on a bicycle trip across the country.
The memorial was made possible by the Palo Alto Public Art Commission, the Bliss family and dozens of Bill’s friends and colleagues. It is located at a trail junction in the Palo Alto Baylands, adjacent to East Bayshore Boulevard, along a busy section of the trail.
Bill was one of the most experienced and accomplished riders many bicycle organizations have ever known. During his lifetime, he logged over 300,000 miles, most of it commuting in challenging urban settings. He was one of the few people to complete the entire 366 day, 20,126-mile Odyssey Tour around the globe in 2000 to greet the new millennium.
Bill was one of the Bay Trail Board's most dedicated and effective members. As a pioneer for the vision of the 500-mile continuous shoreline trail, he served on the original Advisory Board that developed the Bay Trail Plan after State legislation authorizing the regional concept was passed. He was chair of the Bay Trail Board of Directors from 1994-1999 and continued to serve on the Board until his death.
To learn more about Bill’s accomplishments, visit www.baytrail.org/bliss.