Some of you may say to yourselves, “wow, what a job those folks have over at Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. They ride their bikes all day trying to get others to follow suit. How do I get a wonderful gig like that?” You’re right. It’s a great job. But we do much more than ride around. We lobby, advocate, educate and work hard to do one of the most challenging things on the planet – get folks to stop doing what they’ve been taught to do their entire life (drive a car) and instead ride a bike. This year, we have much to celebrate in moving closer to meeting our goal of 10% of trips by bike by 2025.
Dumbarton Rail: Under the category of baby steps, a small step forward was made to plan for a multi-use trail on the Dumbarton Rail Corridor, from the Dumbarton Bridge to Redwood City. This, after we almost thought the battle was over. SamTrans originally recommended not moving forward with a bike option but we rang our bike bells loud. It worked! The recommendation was reversed and a trail for bikes lives to see another day.
Bike to Work Day: In May, SVBC coordinated another year of the bike community’s biggest holiday of the year, Bike to Work Day. Almost 100,000 people across the nine-county Bay Area, many of whom are first-timers, pedaled to work. There’s nothing that warms the cockles of a bicyclist’s heart like the smile of a first time rider who realizes they can do it. It makes all the hard work of setting up that day worthwhile.
Complete Streets: While the passage of Measure B, the transportation sales tax measure in Santa Clara County, was a great win for transportation funding, there was still work to be done for bike advocates – The Complete Streets policies needed to be fleshed out. SVBC worked closely with Valley Transportation Authority staff and those guidelines were adopted in the Fall. This means much of Measure B funding will be looked at through a Complete Streets lens, ensuring safe biking and walking facilities are considered with all projects.
Kids Kids and Kids! Once again, SVBC spent time with 7,000 kids making sure they know how to ride a bike safely. Through Eco2School and Safe Routes to School programs, SVBC continues to work in Santa Clara and San Mateo County schools to convince kids to ride more.
Protected Bike Lanes on ECR: One of SVBC’s long time goals is to make El Camino Real a comfortable north to south bike corridor. Redwood City took the first step to making that happen when it adopted a corridor plan for ECR that includes, not just bike lanes, but protected bikes lanes. We hope Redwood City’s leadership prompts other Cities to quickly follow suit and make ECR a direct, sensible and safe bike route.
These are just a few of the projects SVBC worked on this year and there is much more work to be done. In the next e-bulletin, we’ll highlight our goals for 2018. We hope you’ll be as excited as we are about the new and ongoing projects that, with your help, we can make happen and get more folks riding for every day use.