With help from the Mayor, City Council, the Department of Transportation, and our friends at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, we kicked off Bike Month in San José yesterday. Councilmembers joined together to pilot a seven-person conference bike and then joined the Mayor to pose for the cameras at Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, bikes at the ready, to show their support for Bike Month and Bike to Work Day.
Turns out it’s not so tricky to get to get a bunch of elected officials to work together and move in the same direction! Councilmembers Xavier Campos, Rose Herrera, Ash Kalra, Johnny Khamis, and Madison Nguyen boarded the seven-seater, while Don Rocha led the way on a traditional two-wheeler. Assisted by the Leadership Group’s Carl Guardino at the helm and our own Executive Director Corinne Winter offering additional pedal power (and a clear vision for a bike-friendly future), the group moved down the luxuriously wide buffered bike lane on 4th Street at a clip that exceeded our expectations. Using the crosswalk at San Fernando, the septet deftly maneuvered the conference bike into a reserved parking spot (talk about a high occupancy vehicle!) and joined Mayor Chuck Reed and Councilmember Sam Liccardo (who was sidelined with an injury) for a bike friendly photo op.
It was a pretty fantastic sight as the City’s political leadership rolled down the street, facing each other and putting their fates in the hands of Guardino. We hadn’t known what to expect, but the team performed fabulously. They were so quick, in fact, that the whole event moved ahead faster than anticipated. Council Member Liccardo showed up early for the photo op, but still barely made it in time, as his colleagues had finished the ride in record time. Council Member Kansen Chu, who also hurried to meet us for the photo segment of the afternoon, was unfortunately left out of the photos. Clearly, I severely underestimated the pedal power of our City Council. Despite being left out, Council Member Chu was gracious enough to ask us to pass along his message of support for everyone participating in Bike Month: “Bike to Work Day is a great reminder for people who have thought about commuting by bicycle but never tried it before. Not only will biking to work make you healthier, but it will also contribute to better air quality,” says Chu. “I encourage you to check out the newly paved Guadalupe Trail, a 6.5 mile path that links downtown San José to Gold Street in Alviso.”
We’ll all take that message to heart as we get on our bikes this May and invite our friends, colleagues, and coworkers along for the ride! Our heartfelt thanks go to Google, who generously loaned us the conference bike.
Have a great Bike Month, everybody!