The staff at Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) work diligently to advance our mission, and it is personally meaningful work for each of us. SVBC Deputy Director Colin Heyne shares his thoughts on what SVBC means to him:
I am a very experienced bicyclist – I have ridden on city streets for 30 years, biking to almost every job I’ve had since I was 15. As a League Cycling Instructor, I have taught hundreds of people to stay safe while riding their bikes in an urban environment. I ride my bike because I want to stop the global trashing of our environment, and biking is something I can actually do to help every day.
But I am not a happy bicyclist. Some of my friends and colleagues tell me that when they ride a bike, they feel happy, carefree, blissed-out, and able to have great revelations. I wish I felt the same, but instead I am scared. I worry about each and every driver that passes me too close, too fast, and blind to my presence. I am hyper-aware of each pothole, double-parked delivery truck, and hunk of garbage in my path. Instead of thinking about my to-do list, I imagine what would happen if I crashed or were struck by a driver. How would that affect my wife, kid, parents, and friends?
I think bicycling SHOULD be a happy activity. And it could be, if decision makers prioritized making our roads safer for all people, not just drivers. If biking, walking, and transit were more than afterthoughts in a system designed for people to drive cars quickly, I could finally start feeling safe and maybe even being a happy bicyclist.
That’s why I’m proud to work at SVBC. Our work moves the needle a little more each year, away from the old, car-centric way roads were designed, toward streets that work, safely, for everyone.
Through engaging events like our Silicon Valley Bike Summit, we’re changing the way politicians vote. By getting involved in projects like the Page Mill/I-280 redesign, we’re shifting the way engineers approach challenges. And as a result of policy work like our campaign to include Complete Streets requirements in the new Santa Clara County transportation tax measure, we’re drastically improving the way projects get funded, so that people who ride bikes, walk, or take the bus have more and safer options for getting around.
Deputy Director, SVBC