Infrastructure Rides: It is time for cities to show-off

Photo Credit: Roy Leonard

SVBC and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department have teamed up together to organize what we call infrastructure rides! These are a series of 13 educational rides in several cities in the Santa Clara county. The rides are an on-bike-peer-to-peer tours for city transportation planners, engineers, city council members, and other stakeholders. It is a great opportunity for city staff to highlight their new and proposed infrastructure projects which make big improvements for bicycling in their city!

With a goal of 10% of trips by bike, SVBC focuses on two avenues – People and Places.

People refers to the cultural and behavioral change, the programmatic aspect of an organization, ways of convincing folks to try riding a bike. Safe bike infrastructure and bike lanes is the “place” aspect of SVBC’s work. Bike plans, securing funding, working with cities to prioritize bike projects, these are all examples of how we lay the foundation for the construction of high quality, stress-free bike infrastructure.

With the above goals in mind, Infrastructure Rides are a great starting point!

In order for cities to prioritize safe and stress-free bike infrastructure, there are three main impediments:

  1. Getting everyone on-board. This includes all stakeholders like council members, city staff, community groups, and so on.
  2. Changing the mindsets of those who come from a schooling background and system that prioritizes cars.
  3. Promote bicycling as a safe and viable transportation option.

With support of Santa Clara County, SVBC is running a program to change these dynamics through experiential learning via bicycle. Last year, SVBC worked with the cities of Cupertino, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Gatos and San Jose to show off their bike projects. Each is different ranging from a focus on new trail projects (Cupertino) to a network of protected bike lanes (San Jose) to interesting design treatments for door zones (Menlo Park). For each ride, city transportation staff determined the highlights, set the route and SVBC worked with them to get the right people on the ride. In the end, there were Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) members, city council members, and city staff from cities all across the County to learn and share with peers.

Through these rides, SVBC hopes cities will pedal away better equipped and inspired to go back to their cities and put more resources into the planning and construction of high-quality bike infrastructure.

If you work in a city and are interested in showing it off, contact us at advocacy@bikesiliconvalley.org

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