Last Friday I spent all day at the Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) All-Sites meeting with my colleague Michele Beasley of Greenbelt Alliance. The meeting took place up at the San Francisco Foundation and included systems-change workers from all across the Bay Area who are focused on planning projects in areas chosen by the GCC.
This weekend I went to Park City, Utah, for some rest and cycling. For our road ride we decided to go down to the Glenview area, which is nestled in a nature preserve with lots of fancy houses in it (castles, really). When we passed under Hwy 80, we were greeted by a lot of water. Apparently they just decided to make their pre-existing culverts double as bike/ped paths. Ah, Utah.
Last night I attended Greenbelt Alliance's Grow Smart Bay Area event, which featured a panel of experts who discussed the critical next steps that the city should take in order to protect its open spaces and maintain its vibrant neighborhoods--all while making them more bikable and walkable, of course.
It was very interesting, thanks Greenbelt--it's wonderful to have excellent partners working on land use planning and other issues that certainly affect cycling mode share.
The panelists included:
Jeremy Madsen, Executive Director, Greenbelt Alliance
It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for me--here are just a few recent highlights:
Yesterday I had the pleasure of riding in the SunPower/Webcor King of the Mountain Race up Sierra Road and then staying up at the top of the
climb until the pro racers had a summit finish for the fourth stage of the Amgen Tour of California.
Naturally, I use the word "pleasure" loosely--the climb itself, as those of you who have ridden it know, is rather painful for someone
like me who has been so busy working the last couple of months I'm lucky if I ride 50 miles a week. And did I mention it was raining? But
This morning I was a panel speaker at the Air Quality Management District's Green Business Workshop. After County Supervisor Ken Yeager's fabulous opening remarks and a couple of speakers, my panel discussed various ways of promoting alternative commutes. I was joined by Bena Chang from the Leadership Group and Malys Neang from Juniper along with other colleagues. I'm happy to relay that many of the questions from the audience were focused on cycling and promoting biking to work.
I had a great ride down the SJ Guadalupe River trail from Hedding to Virginia the other day. I was riding to an appointment, but I was also checking out the route for possible use in our car vs bike race on May 3. Council member Sam Liccardo and Carl Guardino will race each other on bikes and race some unlucky person in a car. Will the bike triumph? We know it's greener, cleaner, and more fun, but not everyone realizes that sometimes the bike is also faster!
Lo and behold, Bicycling Magazine wrote a short article about SVBC's bike move to our new office last fall. Check it out in the May issue on page 38.
I think it's pretty neat. I don't believe that I've ever seen a bike advocacy group even mentioned in the magazine... perhaps it will help inspire the magazine's more sport-oriented readers to use their bikes more for transportation.
Wow, I'm so thrilled! The VTA Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) have all recommended a list of Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA) and Bicycle Expenditure Plan (BEP) projects to the VTA board for final approval next week... and one of them is bike lanes on Hedding in San Jose from Park to 17th!
Thanks to two fabulous SVBC volunteers, Moya and Jacky, Anne in our office has organized the collection of The Spinning Crank newsletters that Ellen Fletcher generously donated to our office. The earliest issue is from 1977! When I arrived to the office this morning, I flipped through some of the old issues. They're amazing! What a great historical record from the organization. Thanks to Ellen Fletcher for keeping them all these years.
Last night I had dinner with San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and 12 other women CEOs. Thanks go to Tech CU and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group for hosting the dinner.
I was pleased to have an opportunity to discuss cycling with Vice Mayor Nguyen in a more casual setting than the council chambers. She seemed very supportive and hinted that we might work together to enhance the City of San José--as Vice Mayor, she would like to leave a positive mark on the entire City.
I've just returned from a nice vacation in the Caribbean--thanks to the SVBC staff, board, and volunteers for managing everything in my absence! It seems I can soon look forward to retiring, as our staff is so capable.
Before I become entirely slammed with my inbox and other piles of urgency (I don't return to the office until tomorrow), I figured I'd share my experiences with you in case anyone out there is interested or planning a future trip to the area.
Carlos and I had a very interesting meeting with C/CAG this morning to discuss some of our ideas about San Mateo County. We have researched other counties (Santa Clara, Marin, and Alameda) with respects to their bicycle planning and have compiled some best practices, which include:
- Composition and charter of the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee (B/PAC)
- The establishment of a quality bicycle plan
- Existence of a bicycle coordinator
- Centralized coordination between various agencies
SVBC members and staff have been working with the San Mateo County of Public Works in an effort to redesign the Alpine Road underpass at 280. This was precipitated by the recent death of Lauren Ward.
I was invited to attend the monthly meeting of the club that Lauren's husband rides with last night. They are, understandably, motivated to help make the roads safer for cyclists at this time. We discussed some of SVBC's advocacy and I invited them to work with us in our efforts to make the roads safe--starting with the Alpine/280 intersection redesign.