San José Ranks First in Nation for Teaching Bike Safety to Kids

 San José, California – San José ranks first in the nation for providing bicycle education to children, according to a recent survey of the 50 largest U.S.cities.  The Alliance for Biking and Walking reported in their “Bicycling & Walking in the U.S. – 2010 Benchmarking Report” that one in eight San José youth receive bike safety education.

      The City’s Street Smarts School Safety Education Program, run by San José’s Transportation Department, reaches more than 23,000 elementary and middle school students annually with bicycle and pedestrian safety assemblies, helmet events and bike “roadeos.”

      “San José is striving to become a world-class bicycling community where bicycling is safe, convenient and commonplace, and the more we can encourage people to use their bikes for transportation, the more we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and congestion,” explained Hans Larsen, the City’s Transportation Director.  “Teaching kids bike safety and the proper way to wear a helmet builds a foundation of safety for our community as we head in this direction,” stated Larsen.

      Bicycling Magazine, in its May, 2008 issue, ranked San José one of the three most-improved cities for bicycling.  San José’s bicycling rate tripled in the last two years, from 0.4% of commute trips in 2006, to 1.2% in 2008, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey.  This survey also found that San José has the second highest bicycling rate among the ten largest U.S. cities.  In a survey of the 50 largest cities, San José ranks in the top 10 nationally for bicycle advocacy.

      “San José is making great strides to become one of the best bicycling cities in the country,” according to Corinne Winter, Executive Director of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.  “A great example: San José is the first city to receive a platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Workplace award from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition,” stated Winter.

      Future plans to support bicycling in San José include completing 20 bikeway projects and installing 300 bike racks in 2010, and San José, together with the Valley Transportation Agency (VTA), will launch the Bay Area’s first public Bike Share System, also in 2010.  This year, a pilot public bike share program will allow bikes to be checked out at San José Diridon Transit Station and downtown locations.

      “I’ve seen the City make great progress in creating a bike-friendly community. San José’s new Bike Plan 2020 sets some great goals, including completion of a 500-mile bikeway network,” stated Jim Bell, Chair of San José’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.  “Every year I've personally seen the bike network expanding - new trails, roadway bike lanes & signage - making it safer and more convenient for myself, my family and visitors to get to around by bike.”

       The recently adopted Bike Plan sets goals to: Complete a 500-mile bikeway network; add 5,000 bike parking spaces; reduce the bike collision rate by 50 percent; achieve a mode shift such that 5 percent of all trips are by bike; and achieve a designation from the League of American Bicyclists as a gold-level Bike Friendly Community (San José is currently a bronze-level Bike Friendly Community).

       Larsen encourages residents to do something good for their heart this coming Valentine’s Day by riding their bikes, “Take your kids, take your sweetheart, bring the whole family, or enjoy a ride in solitude along San José’s 50 miles of trails and over 200 miles of on-street bikeways.  Bicycling just 30 minutes at an easy pace burns 300 calories and is an easy and fun way to stay healthy.  And for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint, keep in mind that 40 percent of errands are generally within two miles of home – a perfect distance for bicycling.”

      For information about how kids and adults can be bike smart, visit the City of San José Street Smarts Program website at:


Upcoming Bicycling Events to be held in San José

  • Third Annual San Jose Cycling Classic, a week of bicycling events and activities that will include rides, races, and Bike to Work Day activities from May 14-20, 2010. 
  • 2010 Amgen Tour of California professional bike race, the city’s fifth consecutive year to host a stage, which will be held on May 19, 2010.
  • 2010 Lance Armstrong Foundation LiveStrong Challenge, San José’s third consecutive year to host the event, which will be held on July 10-11, 2010. 

Our own bridge to nowhere (SF Chronicle)


Imagine you live in Oakland. It's a beautiful day and you have plans to do something with a friend who lives in San Francisco. You hop on your bike and ride over the new Bay Bridge: The 7-mile trip is easy, and offers beautiful views of the bay. Except that your bike lane ends suddenly at Yerba Buena Island, leaving you no choice but to turn around, go home and take BART — for $7 — or pay a $5 toll and add your car to the traffic grinding across the bridge. That's because there's no cash on hand to pay for a bike lane on the western span, even though it would cost less than 5 percent of eastern span's cost overruns alone. Read more...

Hancock Introduces Bill to Allow Toll Funds for Bay Bridge Bike Path (SF Streetsblog)


State Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) has introduced a bill in the Legislature that would allow the Bay Area Toll Authority to use toll revenue to help fund a bike path on the West Span of the Bay Bridge. Advocates on both sides of the Bay worked with Hancock on the legislation, according to Marc Caswell, the program manager for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

We would like to thank State Senator Loni Hancock for introducing this bill, which will pave the way towards the construction of this critical pathway to allow bicycles and pedestrians to cross the bay and provide a safe refuge for motorists and maintenance personnel. We would also like to thank Mayor Tom Bates for his support of the legislative inquiry that made this bill possible. And finally all the bicycle advocates who wrote letters and came out to MTC meetings to support this project. We're one step closer to Bridging the Gap! Read more...

Mountain Bikers head to Dirt Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday

Six-time Leadville 100 winner, and former US Mountain Bike team member, Dave Wiens, will lead a new annual cycling event for the Bay Area, The Dirt Bowl, to be held on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7th, 2010.
The Dirt Bowl, produced by Marin County Bicycle Coalition in partnership with the The NorCal High School Mountain Bike League, is a benefit ride to ensure that kids have safe roads and great trails. Proceeds from the Dirt Bowl will support the ongoing advocacy work being conducted by both organizations.
The ride is sponsored by Specialized Bicycle Components and Mike's Bikes and is for both recreational and competitive cyclists. Road cyclists are also invited to participate in the Dirt Bowl and will be supported by the Marin Cyclists. The start is at the San Geronimo Golf Course west of Fairfax, California.  Riders may join the supported mountain bike route through the famous Camp Tamarancho, or plan their own route (trail or road).
After the ride, there is a BBQ at the San Geronimo Golf Course, with local beverages and the big game!
Participants are required to raise a minimum of $125 to join this fundraising event. There is no upper limit on fundraising.  Fundraisers will receive:
*  Saddle time with mountain bike legend and all-around great guy, Dave Wiens
*  A commemorative event T-shirt
*  Pre-ride hot drinks and snacks, and a BBQ lunch with sausages, turkey burgers, garden burgers, pasta, green salad, potato salad, and beverages
*  Entry into a raffle with great prizes
*  Special prizes for the riders who raises the most money
For more information, and to enter the fundraising ride, visit, or contact Tom Boss: tom (at) marinbike (dot) org (415) 272-2756.


The Next Decade's Top Sustainability Trends (World Changing)

What trends are likely the next ten years? One thing for sure, 2010 through 2019 will be one day looked at as 1) the turning point for addressing climate change by using effective urban management strategies, or it will be remembered as 2) the time when we collectively fumbled the Big Blue Ball.

1. Bikes Culture 2.0

Time period: 2010-2019

Around the world, bicycles are becoming a potent talisman of our urban post-carbon future. The city of Copenhagen is making noise to replace the Little Mermaid of Hans Christian Andersen fame with something two-wheeled. Read more...

BABC and Allies Secure $192 Million in Funding for Sustainable Transportation

Thanks to the efforts of the BABC, local bike coalitions, TransForm and the Greenbelt Alliance, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approved $192 Million in STP/CMAQ funding for sustainable transportation over the next 3 years, $48 Million more than MTC’s initial proposal for those funds.

The $192 Million in Sustainable Transportation funding will go to the following programs:

A series of innovative grant and outreach programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.  This includes $17 Million in funding for the first regional Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program in the country, which provides funding for education and bike infrastructure to encourage students to bike and walk safely to school.


Funds the Regional Bicycle Network (RBN), a 2,100 mile regional network of bike routes providing connections between counties and between major transit hubs and business and retail centers throughout the region.


Provides Transit and Capital Funds to improve Pedestrian, Bicycle and Transit Access.   TLC encourages Transit Oriented Development, which helps create communities that make it easier to use non-motorized transportation.

We couldn’t have done any of this without the support of all of you who wrote their MTC commissioners demanding that funding for these important programs be increased.  We would like to thank everyone who wrote a letter, signed our petition or gave public comment.  Your support is the most powerful tool in the fight for a better future for biking, walking and transit.

While this increase in funding was a great win, we still have several challenges ahead of us.  Even with the increased funding these programs received, they are still not funded at the levels promised in the regional transportation plan adopted by MTC this year.  Funding for Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T) is limited to evaluation only, despite the hundreds of you who signed our petition to fund SR2T.  The Federal Transportation Act could see a major overhaul this year, changing the way this STP/CMAQ funding is allotted, possibly providing more opportunities for funding bicycle and pedestrian improvements that encourage sustainable transportation.

CycleTracks now available on Android!

Download CycleTracks, the free app that generates maps and statistics of your rides that you can share with friends now available on Android phones and iPhones. Time and route data is saved for you—and also transmitted to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority to improve the bicycle component of their travel forecasting model, helping planners better understand and serve the needs of San Francisco cyclists. You’ll be promoting Bay Area cycling with each ride you record! (All data collected will be kept confidential).  For more information and links to downloads visit:



$10 Million To Be Spent On SF Anti-Emissions Program (SF Appeal)

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted unanimously today to spend $80 million on an ambitious climate initiatives program that aims to reduce driving in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Marin County Supervisor Stephen Kinsey said the idea is to make short-term investments that reduce transportation-related emissions and vehicle miles traveled, and to encourage the use of cleaner fuels. Read more...

Bike vs. car debate leads to Santa Rosa council delay (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

The test of Santa Rosa's first bike boulevard originally expected to take six months will now stretch to 10 as the city scrambles to find middle ground between warring factions.
The City Council has asked the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board to study two controversial traffic-reducing measures, which will postpone until May council consideration of the project's fate, said Transportation Planner Nancy Adams. Read more...



BABC and CBC encourage the investment of Cap-And-Trade revenues in non-motorized infrastructure

The Bay Area Bicycle Coalition has joined the California Bicycle Coalition in encouraging the Economic Allowance Advisory Committee (EAAC) to allow investment of the allowances being considered in discussions of a Cap-And-Trade system for California.  The committee is already recommending investing allowances in transportation planning to support Sustainable Community Strategies, which will help encourage biking and walking.  Our recommendation to the EAAC is to explicitly add non-motorized infrastructure as an eligible investment so that we can implement the sustainable community strategies they are already supporting. You can learn more about the EAAC and the Cap-And-Trade process being designed as part of AB32 at:

Read BABC and CBC's letter to EAAC (pdf)

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