This is the Advocacy area of the BABC.

Complete Streets

Ever walk down a street with no sidewalks?  Watched elderly folks trying to cross streets that are as wide as freeways?  Ridden on a street with no facilities, signage or room for bicyclists?

Complete Streets is a national movement that asserts that the streets of our cities and towns ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper.

Too many of our streets were designed without consideration of any user besides the motorist.  Now pedestrians and school children and retired persons and bicyclists are joining together both at the local and state level to ask planners, engineers and designers to build road networks for everyone.

To ensure this level of respect, policies and legislation are being written and passed.

Following this state decree, our regional transportation planning agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) adopted Resolution 3765 (pdf), a policy that declares that all projects “shall consider the accommodation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.” MTC has since developed a Routine Accommodation checklist that all applicants for funding must complete. (Often in the planning/engineering/design world, “routine accommodation” is used instead of “complete streets.”)  This checklist is designed to ensure that the needs of cyclists and pedestrians aren’t overlooked during the planning, programming, engineering or construction of a road project.  If they are ignoring these needs, the checklist is written to determine why.

Visit the MTC website to view the checklist and current list of evaluated projects

Unfortunately, this checklist falls short of being used to determine funding eligibility.  Cities and counties fill the form out but aren’t incentivized (or punished) for how well they are executing Complete Streets.  Because of this, BABC continues to recommend to MTC that they use the Checklist to help measure the worthiness of a project.

On the legislative front, AB1358, California’s Complete Streets bill, was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in September 2008 and takes effect January 2011. This makes California the first state in the nation to ensure that all local streets and roads accommodate the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians and transit riders, as well as motorists. Read more about this bill here.

The League of American Bicyclists National has championed complete streets legislation since 1994 and is a key member of the Complete Streets Coalition which includes AARP, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the American Planning Association, Smart Growth America, America Bikes, and many other organizations.

Bicycle Bridge Access


What would it feel like to be riding across the Bay Bridge on your bike?   With a pathway beneath your wheels, and a view of the Bay and the City skyline below, there would be no better way to cross the Bay.


Unfortunately, the reality is that the Bay Bridge prohibits bicycles and pedestrians, so only those risking arrest know how it feels to bike across the bridge.  Five of the nine other bridges in the Bay can also only be crossed by those using motorized vehicles.


The Bay Area Bicycle Coalition is advocating for all of the Bay Area bridges to be open to non-motorized traffic, as they are to motorized traffic, 24 hours a day.  Bike access plans have already been found feasible for the West span of the Bay Bridge, and the Richmond- San Rafael Bridge.  We need your support for funding the construction of pathways on these and other bridges.


Our goal is to secure direct access on all of the Bay Area’s bridges.  But in the meantime, access over the bridges can be obtained by public transportation. You can locate information at


For a list of the eight Bay Area Bridges, the current status of bicycle access for each crossing, and who you can contact to support advocacy efforts relating to the bridges, click here.


For more information on Bay Bridge bicycle access:


SF Chronicle article Our Own Bridge to Nowhere

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

SF Bicycle Coalition's Bay Bridge info page 

East Bay Bicycle Coalition's Bay Bridge info page

2030 Regional Transportation Plan

Ever wonder what will the Bay Area be like in 25 years?  The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is not only wondering about our future—they are planning and budgeting it!

In the T2030 Regional Transportation Plan, BABC successfully lobbied MTC (the

regional transportation planning agency for the 9 counties of the Bay Area) to create a new account solely for the purpose of funding bike and pedestrian projects.  And we succeeded:  $200 million over 25 years was designated to flow through the “Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.”  This money, $8 million a year, is meant to build out the Regional Bicycle Network and improve walking facilities around regional transit and business hubs.

That was a big improvement over the 2001 RTP, where no money at all was designated specifically for bikes and pedestrians.  Yet the $8 million per year advance we made in 2004 is not guaranteed to be included in the T2035 Plan.  And even if it was, $8 million a year is not enough to build many projects for the entire Bay Area.

In fact, the projected “shortfall” (the amount we don’t have) to complete the Regional Bicycle Network is estimated to be around $965 million (2004 dollars).  At $8 million a year, it will take us literally 120 million years to get a region with a coherent bicycle infrastructure! 

So yes, $965 million is a lot of money.  But compare it to a single proposed highway project in Marin:  the current cost estimate to add one automobile lane in each direction to the 16-mile Sonoma-Marin Narrows is estimated at more than $800 million.

Download the T2030 Plan from the MTC website.

Visit the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan to see the wins BABC made for bicycling in 2009.


Another of the very effective means for making change in the way our transportation system works is through legislation.


Bills are crafted to define policy, designate minimum standards, to amend deficient laws, and to create funding sources.  (To get more familiar with the process of turning ideas into law, read this Overview of Legislative Process)


BABC primarily works through the State of California’s California Bicycle Coaltion (CBC) to articulate a legislative agenda.  CBC contracts with a lobbyist, sponsors legislation, and has a legislative committee (which BABC is a member of) which deliberates positions of support and sometimes opposition for other bicycling-related legislation.

California Legislation Affecting Bicycling

AB 32 - Air pollution: greenhouse gases: California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
Sets Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets for California

SB 375
- Transportation planning: travel demand models: sustainable communities strategy: environmental review

Ties AB 32 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions to Transportation Planning

AB 1358 - Planning: circulation element: transportation
Requires Cities and Counties to include a Complete Streets Policy in their General Plans
SB 391 - California Transportation Plan
Sets the scope of the state transportation plan, including Smart Mobility and Transportation Demand Modelling standards
SB 1061 - San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge: capital projects
Seeks to allow toll funds to be spent on the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge West Span Bicycle Pedestrian Maintenance Pathway
AB 1951 - Vehicles: misdemeanor: collision: pedestrian and bicyclist
Vulnerable Road Users Law seeks to increase penalties for distracted drivers involved in a crash with a bicyclist, pedestrian or other vulnerable road user.
SB 1475 - Vehicles: electronic wireless communications devices: prohibitions
Seeks to increase penalties for cell phone use while driving and extends penalties to bicyclists.
SB 518 - Vehicles: parking services and fees
Seeks to restrict state funds from subsidizing auto parking.

Regional Bicycle Plan and Network

In 2001, the Regional Bicycle Plan was developed as a component of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) 2001 Regional Transportation Plan. The Plan provides resources for agencies, planners and transit agencies and defines planning goals and objectives for bicycle transportation in the Bay Area.

The primary purpose, however, of the Regional Bicycle Plan (RBP) was to designate a system of bicycle routes that would connect counties, access business districts, and connect to transit nodes.  These routes are considered to be of “regional significance” and together comprise the Bay Area’s Regional Bicycle Network (RBN).

According to an analysis of the Network MTC conducted in 2004, “this network can be seen as providing connectivity between communities to nearly everyone (6 out of 7 people, if connectivity is defined as living within a mile of a portion of the Regional Bike Network).” 

So the Network as it is defined is a wonderfully comprehensive transportation system which once finished will no doubt increase the numbers of bicycle trips dramatically. The original Regional Bicycle Plan, published in 2001, documented the region’s bicycling environment, identified the links in a regionwide bikeway network and summarized corresponding funding sources. It stated that only 35% of the proposed 1,893 mile network was built; the cost of completing the 2001 Network was estimated to be $1.192 billion. 

While the 2001 plan provided an inventory of bicycle facilities at transit facilities, The 2009 Update of the Regional Bicycle Plan further investigated the relationship between bicycling and public transportation in recognition of the importance of bicycle‐accessible transit and transit stations.

The update increased the cost to complete the network to $1.4 billion, stating that 50 percent of the Network’s 2,140 miles have been constructed. Included in this cost are pathways on the region’s three remaining bicycle‐inaccessible toll bridges; programs to encourage, increase and promote safer bicycling; an analysis of bicycle trip‐making and collision data; summaries of countywide bicycle planning efforts throughout the Bay Area; and documentation of advances in bicycle parking and other technologies.

According to the Regional Transportation Plan 2035: Change in Motion, the regional bicycle network was designated $700 million over 25 years in 2007 dollars ($1 billion when escalated by 2035), or $28 million each year. MTC's 2010 proposal for funding over the next 6 years commits $67 Million which is still short of the $40 Million annually MTC would have to spend to reach $1 Billion by 2035. 

Providing a seamless network of safe and convenient bicycle routes is essential if our intent is to increase the numbers of people choosing to bicycle instead of drive.  Currently our Network is full of holes, creating confusion and safety risks for even the most hardcore commuters. BABC is working diligently to increase funding for the implementation of this Network.

Regional Transportation Agencies

BABC works with Bay Area-wide transportation planning agencies—primarily the Metropolitan Transporttation Commission and Caltrans District 4—to make sure important regional policies and funding distributions represent the interests and safety of bicyclists.


Given our cross-county travel habits and the growth of our region, there is obviously a need for a coordinated approach to planning and managing our nine-county transportation infrastructure.  That is the specific role of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). 


Technically, MTC is the Bay Area’s metropolitan planning organization or MPO.  An MPO is a federally-mandated body that is responsible for transportation planning and approval of federal transportation funding for the region.  Usually each county has its own MPO.  But because of the nature of travel in the Bay Area, we have one MPO for nine counties.


MTC coordinates significant regional planning and budgeting efforts like:

• the $100 billion+/25 year Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)

• new BART or rail extensions
• the Regional Bicycle Plan and Regional Bicycle Network

• distribution of a percentage of Bay Area bridge toll money

• the allocation of a large amount of federal transportation dollars.


BABC staff are regular visitors to MTC’s downtown Oakland headquarters.  Various MTC committees meet on a regular monthly or bi-monthly schedule, and if a relevant item is on the agenda, a BABC representative will attend. MTC also runs a Regional Bicycle Working Group as a forum for city or county professional bicycle planners to work with representatives from regional transit as well as the advocate community. 


Caltrans—California’s Highway Transporation agency—divides its focus up into districts.  District 4 covers the whole Bay Area (the same nine counties that MTC governs). District 4 has a Bicycle Advisory Committee, which meets quarterly at Caltrans’ downtown Oakland headquarters. BABC co-chairs this meeting.  (One of our goals is for this public meeting to have an internet presence.  Until then, refer to the BABC website for meeting schedule and agendas.)


Other important regionally-minded transportation planning agencies BABC works with are the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Bay Conservation Development Commission (BCDC), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and the San Francisco Bay Trail. 


Beyond those, BABC watches the agendas and sometimes attends meetings of the Joint Policy Committee (JPC), which is a collaborative effort of MTC, ABAG, BCDC, and BAAQMD that is pursuing the implementation of the Bay Area’s Smart Growth Vision.  The JPC has also taken the lead for the Bay Area agencies on climate protection.


All of these “acronyms” make decisions that greatly impact the quality of life in the Bay Area. BABC is there in the mix, reminding staff and decision makers of the need for better bicycling facilities, education, and planning policy.


Safe Routes to School

The most mainstream bicycle advocacy movement in America is undoubtedly Safe Routes to School (SR2S).   The numbers of school children walking and biking to school has plummeted around the nation as roads have become more congested and more dangerous.  Over the same period, childhood obesity rates have climbed alarmingly.  SR2S is a cross-cultural, community-driven movement that works to combat both of these negative trends.


In 1998, Marin County received one of two of the nation’s first pilot study Safe Routes to School program grants.  These pilot studies evolved into a replicable program where schools and their parent communities utilize a combination of education, engineering and enforcement strategies to entice more students to walk and bicycle to school.


In July 2005, Congressed established a National SR2S program that would distribute $612 million from 2005 to 2009.  Additionally, in August 2005, the State of California began its own Safe Routes to School program.  The State’s program has brought many good projects to the Bay Area,, however only 1 of 5 SR2S applications are funded.


In many communities, driving kids to school comprises between 20 to 30% of morning traffic.  This seemingly local issue has become a regional problem, thus BABC is advocating for the creation of a regional SR2S program via the 2009 Regional Transportation campaign. We assert that the creation of a robust regional SR2S program will improve overall mobility, help stem the tide of climate change, and foster a new generation that values walking, bicycling and transit usage as preferred modes of travel.

Safe Routes to Transit

Safe Routes to Transit is a slogan which promotes a vision for seamless and convenient bicycle and pedestrian access to public transportation. This access includes routes to stations, secure and available parking, and comprehensive on-board access. 


Most people cite safety as a primary motivation for using their cars to get to transit centers, thus the notion that an increase in accommodation for non-motorized modes will in turn increase the numbers of people choosing to leave their cars at home and walk or bicycle instead.


Safe Routes to Transit is also a very popular, competitive Bay Area funding program that was started via voter approval of Regional Measure 2 in March 2004. It is co-administered for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission by TransForm and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition.


The $20 million designated for Safe Routes to Transit is planned to expire with its last grant cycle in 2013. BABC is working to expand this funding program through 2035 via the 2009 Regional Transportation Plan campaign.

More Information:

See what Safe Routes to Transit projects are built or planned for the Bay Area

Regional Measure 2 Application Process

Overview of Advocacy

This is what the BABC advocates.

Help Restore STP/CMAQ Funding for Bicycles



When MTC adopted the 2009 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) this spring, we applauded them for taking climate change seriously and recognizing the importance . Not only did they set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, but for the first time ever, included $400 million in funding for a five-year Transportation Climate Action Campaign with $100 million worth of funding for the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and Safe Routes to Transit (SRTT) programs.
Now, MTC is backpedaling on their commitment to climate. Instead of funding the Transportation Climate Action Campaign in the first five years of the life of the RTP, they’re proposing to shift funding to freeway priorities and fund the Climate Campaign at just 17% of the level promised, threatening millions of dollars of bicycle funding through the SRTS and SRTT programs!
Join BABC and our partner TransForm in telling the MTC Commissioners to make good on their word and fully fund the Transportation Climate Action Campaign.
Take action here.

BABC Early Advocates to Build Benicia-Martinez Bridge Bicycle Path


The 2.2 mile bike path on the southbound George Miller Jr Bridge opened August 29th 2009. It is part of a $50,000,000 seismic retrofit and now makes the 290 mile Bay Trail that much closer to ringing the Bay. The path is a 12-foot-wide bidirectional lane separated from vehicular traffic by a concrete barrier, open 24 hours a day.

Founder of the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, Alex Zuckermann was influential in ensuring the addition of this bicycle and pedestrian path.


Bridge Opening: Ina Gerhard, Caltrans Dist 4 Bicycle Coordinator; Bijan Sartipi, Caltrains Dist 4 Director; Robert Raburn, EBBC Director; Andrew Casteel, BABC Director; Dave Campbell, EBBC Board Chair

During a meeting in Oakland in 1988, Caltrans came before The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) to obtain a permit to build the new span. Alex gave an excellent speech asking BCDC to make installation of a bike path on the new bridge a condition of granting the permit. BCDC agreed and made the path a condition of putting up the span.

The pedestrian/bicycle path will close a gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail while also linking the San Francisco Bay Trail with the Bay Area Ridge Trail that encircles the bays at the ridgeline (the two trails share an alignment along the bridge). This lane also links the Carquinez Strait Scenic Loop Trail, which is a 50-mile trail that crosses both the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and the Al Zampa span of the Carquinez Bridge. The eventual goal is to encircle San Francisco and San Pablo bays with 500 miles of uninterrupted biking and hiking trails. Read more...

Safe Routes to Transit Projects

Safe Routes to Transit has already provided many improvements to the safety and ease of bike and pedestrian access to transit.  Here are a few:

Already Built

Richmond/Ohlone Greenway

The Richmond/Ohlone Greenway represents a regional route connecting the cities of Richmond, El Cerrito and Berkeley. It provides safe and easy access to many AC Transit and BART stations, passing near Richmond BART and three schools. It will also connect three major East Bay bikeways, the Bay Trail, the Ohlone Greenway and the I-80 Bikeway, which travels north to the Rodeo Transit Center.

San Francisco 16th St. BART Bicycle Stair Channel

This ramp allows cyclists to push rather than carry their bikes up three flights of stairs. This takes weight off cyclists shoulders and is safer for all transit users, reducing the risk of dropping a bike or accidently hitting others on the stairs.


Coming Soon

Puerto Suello Hill Pathway

This project provides safe pedestrian and bicycle access to the San Rafael Transit Center. It connects the Puerto Suello Hill Pathway which ends at the intersection of Mission Avenue and Hetherton Avenue to the San Rafael Transit Center.


Bike Station at Berkeley BART

The bike station at the Downtown Berkeley BART station will be expanded. The new bike station will be located in the now-vacant Shoe Pavilion store on Shattuck. It will replace the current station, which is inside the BART station. It will provide free attended bike parking for 200 bikes, bicycle repair, bicycle rentals, showers and lockers, and community bike education classes. For more information visit



Planned with Funding from Safe Routes


New BART Test Cars

Design plans for the new cars include a space designated for bicycles including a bar which allows cyclists to strap the bikes down. There will be more room for additional passengers, bikes and luggage. There is also possibility of upgrading them with new technology for customer communication, new interior fabrics and colors, and new modular seat configurations. Visit for more information.


 Mission and Geneva Pedestrian Improvements

The neighborhood will be transformed into a corridor with a landscape buffer along London Street. Traffic-calming measures will be installed to slow speeding cars. Improved curbs and bus stops for pedestrians will also be installed. Amenities to make the area safer will be added such as countdown traffic signals and improved street lighting. Bus stops will be combined to make it easier for riders to connect to BART. For more information visit

Pleasant Hill BART/Contra Costa Centre Shortcut Path and Wayfinding System Project

The purpose of this project is to make the area around the BART station friendlier to pedestrians and bicyclists, and to improve access to and from the BART station. One of the projects added was the extension of a Pedestrian Promenade from the BART station
to neighborhoods northeast of the station. The Shortcut Path will improve on local transportation options and improve access to community amenities. For more information visit

Balboa Park Ocean Avenue Pedestrian/Bicycle Connections

Some of the proposed improvements include improving safety while increasing access by reducing collisions, upgrading street lighting, landscaping and street furniture, and improved directional signage in and around the station. Expected results are a major improvement to pedestrian and bicyclist comfort and safety, better end-to-end transit experience for pedestrians and cyclists and increased transit ridership and rider retention. For more information visit




Come to MTC on December 9th to help Save Safe Routes to Transit

Downtown Berkeley BART Bike Station is being expanded with SR2T funds.  Click here to see what other projects are being funded by SR2T.
Downtown Berkeley BART Bike Station
See More SR2T projects

The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in April 2009 promised $50 Million each in funding over the next 5 years for Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T) and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) as part of their Climate Action Plan.  However, in MTC’s recent proposal for programming federal funding, they have limited their funding for SR2T to evaluation of the program with no money to continue to build improvements to ensure safe and easy access to regional transit.

It is unacceptable to completely eliminate funding for such an important program as Safe Routes to Transit that was promised to the public in the RTP. We need your help to ensure that MTC invests in making transit safer and easier for bikes and pedestrians to access.  Heres what you can do:

Speak Up In Favor of Safe Routes to Transit at MTC December 9th
Join us in voicing your support for safer and easier access to transit at the December 9th Programming and Allocations Meeting at MTC. For more information contact Andrew Casteel at 415.814.9247 or

If You Can't Come to the Meeting, Share Your Ideas for Making Your Transit Commute Safer
Next time you are walking or biking to transit and you see something that could be made safer or easier to navigate, let us know where it is and how Safe Routes to Transit funds could help fix it, take a picture if you can and then share it with us in one of the following ways.  We'll be presenting all the responses we get to MTC's December 9th meeting to help make the case for funding Safe Routes to Transit.

Thank you to everyone who signed our Safe Routes to Transit Petition
We've shown MTC that there is great demand for these funds.  Click Here to View

Help Save Safe Routes to Transit

Downtown Berkeley BART Bike Station is being expanded with SR2T funds.  Click here to see what other projects are being funded by SR2T.
Downtown Berkeley BART Bike Station
See More SR2T projects

The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in April 2009 promised $50 Million each in funding over the next 5 years for Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T) and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) as part of their Climate Action Plan.  However, in MTC’s recent proposal for programming federal funding, they have limited their funding for SR2T to evaluation of the program with no money to continue to build improvements to ensure safe and easy access to regional transit.

It is unacceptable to completely eliminate funding for such an important program as Safe Routes to Transit that was promised to the public in the RTP. We need your help to ensure that MTC invests in making transit safer and easier for bikes and pedestrians to access.  Heres what you can do:

Sign the Safe Routes to Transit Petition

Show MTC that there is strong demand for safer access to TransitClick Here to Sign

Share Your Ideas for Making Your Transit Commute Safer
Next time you are walking or biking to transit and you see something that could be made safer or easier to navigate, let us know where it is and how Safe Routes to Transit funds could help fix it, take a picture if you can and then share it with us in one of the following ways.  We'll be presenting all the responses we get to MTC's December 9th meeting to help make the case for funding Safe Routes to Transit.

Speak Up In Favor of Safe Routes to Transit at MTC December 9th
Join us in voicing your support for safer and easier access to transit at the December 9th Programming and Allocations Meeting at MTC. For more information contact Andrew Casteel at 415.814.9247 or

BABC Successfully Advocates for $17 Million in Regional Safe Routes to School Funding

BABC successfully advocated for MTC to start the first regional Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program as part of their Climate Initiative.  Working with our partner agencies, Transform and Greenbelt Alliance as well as our local coalitions, BABC secured $17 Million in STP/CMAQ funds for SR2S for 2010-2012.  MTC is currently developing the guidelines for their regional Safe Routes to School Program.  We will post a link to the guidelines for this new program as soon as they are available.


BABC will continue to work with MTC in their stakeholder committee that is putting together the guidelines that will shape SR2S programs in all of the 9 counties in the Bay Area.


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.

2035 Regional Transportation Plan

Transportation planning agencies around the nine-county Bay Area planned ways to improve and change the way we will get around in the next 25 years.  New tunnels, larger train networks, more ferries, road rehab, highway projects, new bike facilities and pedestrian accommodations are all on the table for consideration during the revision of MTC’s Regional Transportation Plan.

This process and document, known as the “RTP” or “T2035 Plan,” articulates a 25 year vision for getting around in the Bay Area. The RTP decides $100 BILLION+ in regional transportation investments and is one of the major opportunities the public has to shape how the Bay Area will grow and travel.  This blueprint is revised every four years.

Download a copy of the T2035 plan from the MTC website.

BABC worked together with local bicycle coalitions and TransForm to advocate for increased funding for sustainable transportation.  Working together, our coalition managed to secure several important wins:

A Billion for Bikes
The greatest success for bikes was a huge increase in regional bicycle funding, with the regional commitment increasing 5-fold from $200 Million to $1 Billion dollars over the next 25 years.  This money will fund the Regional Bikeway Network, a 2100 Mile network of bike facilities connecting all the counties in the Bay Area and providing better bicycle access to transit stations.

A Commitment to Climate
The RTP includes a promise of $400 Million dollars to a 5 year Climate Initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging sustainable transportation.  Included in this program is funding for Safe Routes to School and Safe Routes to Transit.

Building Livable Communities
Over $2 Billion dollars in funding over the next 25 years is promised to the Transportation for Livable Communities (TLC) program which encourages Transit Oriented Development by improving bicycle and pedestrian access to transit stations.  This is double the funding TLC received in the 2030 RTP.

The fight for regional funding for bikes is far from over.  While the RTP is intended to guide funding decisions for the region, MTC still has the flexibility to choose how funds are distributed among the programs defined in the RTP.  BABC will continue to work with our allies in monitoring funding proposals from MTC to ensure that these commitments in the RTP are fulfilled.  Follow the Funding section of BABC's website for updates on our advocacy on bike funding for the Bay Area.

These wins wouldn't have been possible without your letters, public comments and financial support.  We would like to thank everyone who supported our efforts to secure more funding for bikes in the RTP.  Please support BABC so that we can continue to build a better future for bicycling in the Bay Area.

Letter to MTC on Jobs Bill

January 8, 2010

Dear Chair Haggerty and MTC Commissioners,

As you know, the House has passed HR 2847, a “Jobs Bill”, which would include at least $550 million in transportation funding for the Bay Area. Information about this legislation will be presented to the Programming and Allocations Committee this coming Wednesday (January 13, 2010). As MTC prepares to be able to spend these funds quickly, we urge you to use the following four principles, described in detail below, to guide the investment of these new funds: maximize job creation, support focused growth, fix it for all, and maximize funding flexibility.

 ·        Maximize job creation. The paramount purpose of this legislation is to create jobs. MTC should use current information about job creation to direct new federal Jobs Bill funding to maximize job creation. For example, a recently released study from Smart Growth America, What We Learned from the Stimulus, reports that ARRA funds spent on public transportation more effectively created jobs than stimulus funds spent on highway projects—Dollar for dollar, transit projects funded by the stimulus created twice as many jobs per dollar as investing in roads.  In addition to creating jobs, investment in public transportation preserves jobs by enabling people to continue to get to work reliably. As you know, many of the Bay Area’s transit agencies are in the process of cutting services and raising fares, adding additional affordability pressure and access challenges to many Bay Area commuters who are struggling to retain their jobs. Additionally, the League of American Bicyclists have found that for every $1 million invested in an FHWA-approved paved bicycle or multi-use trail, the local economy gains 65 jobs.

·        Support focused growth. As the Bay Area steps up to the challenge of SB 375 and successful adoption of the region’s first Sustainable Community Strategy, we should take advantage of new funding to support the goals of our future SCS: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support focused growth, and preserve and expand access for all. MTC should consider how these funds may support eligible PDA needs, for example, by directing funds to the TLC program to achieve the goal of $60 million/year for this program, and/or by prioritizing grants to support cities’ transportation projects within planned PDAs.

 ·        Fix it for all: There are countless streets in the Bay Area that do not meet identified standards for pedestrian and bicycle access and safety. At the same time, the region’s local streets and roads (LS&R) face huge maintenance shortfalls. When MTC adopted its Complete Streets (also called Routine Accommodation) policy, the expectation was that the region and local municipalities would be partners in ensuring that regional funds be spent on projects that meet standards for pedestrian and bicycle access and improve and enhance this access. MTC should follow through on this intention by using these Jobs Funds efficiently by funding only those LS&R maintenance projects that also address bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements that create truly complete streets. There are shovel-ready segments of the Regional Bike Network throughout the nine counties. For instance, MTC could fund implementation of shovel-ready segments of the Regional Bicycle Network or Countywide Bicycle Plans that overlap with local streets and roads maintenance projects, lessening the maintenance shortfall while investing in a legacy of a complete active transportation network.

·        Maximize Flexibility of Fund Sources: To achieve the region’s goals for a healthy, livable, affordable Bay Area and to fulfill the previously outlined principles, it is tremendously important for MTC to use federal funding as flexibly as possible. For instance, there are FHWA funds that the region does not traditionally use for transit purposes, but that may legally be used this way. Similarly, although 10% of federal FHWA funds go to Transportation Enhancements, bicycle and pedestrian projects, programs that facilitate non-automobile travel, provision and utilization of mass transit and other traffic control measures are all eligible expenses for the remainder of FHWA funds as well under federal law.

Thank you for your consideration of these principles. We welcome your questions and would be happy to discuss all or any of these with you.


 Bob Allen, Urban Habitat

Andrew Casteel, Bay Area Bicycle Coalition

Stephanie Reyes, Greenbelt Alliance

Carli Paine, TransForm

New Jobs Bill Could Bring Millions for Bikes

The Federal Jobs Bill H.R. 2847 has passed the House and is now being discussed in the Senate.  The bill is poised to be enacted early in 2010, bringing an expected $2.5 billion in transportation funding to California with an estimated $150-$300 million in highway money coming to the Bay Area.

According to Title 23 Chapter 1 Section 133 of the U.S. Code: Bike Projects are eligible for this highway funding.

"(3) Carpool projects, fringe and corridor parking facilities and programs, bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways in accordance with section 217, and the modification of public sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.)."

On January 13th, MTC’s Programming and Allocations Committee will be discussing the guiding principles for how this money will be used throughout the 9-county Bay Area region. Here is MTC's current proposal (pdf).

BABC is working with Urban Habitat and TransForm to affect these principles and to make sure that bicycle infrastructure is set up for significant funding.  Here is a copy of our letter to MTC regarding use of the Jobs Bill funds.

We are compiling a list of bike projects ready for funding that this new bill could support.  We will update this list as we hear from more cities and counties.  If you know of a bike project that is ready to be funded in your county, please contact

Bike Projects Ready for Funding in the Bay Area (updated 1/11/10)

  1. Alamo Canal Trail I-580: Part of the Regional Bike Network, Currently undergoing federal environmental review and thus shovel ready
  2. SF Bay Trail at Hercules Transit Center: Part of the Regional Bike Network
  3. West County Bay Trail San Pablo: In Regional Bike Network, Has already completed federal environmental review
  4. Maud Ave Sidewalk Improvement
  5. Grove Way Sidewalk Improvement
  6. Marshall/Omega Sidewalk Improvement
  7. Buchanan Bicycle and Pedestrian Path Project
  8. Pedestrian Safety Corridor Improvement Project, which includes:
    1. University Avenue Corridor Pedestrian Safety Improvements (6th Street to San Pablo Ave)
    2. Ashby BART Station Area Improvements
    3. Ashby Avenue Corridor Pedestrian Safety Improvements (San Pablo Ave to California)
    4. Shattuck Avenue Corridor Pedestrian Safety Improvements (Hearst to Vine)
    5. San Pablo Avenue Corridor Pedestrian Safety Improvements (Addison to Bancroft)
  9. Cedar Street Sidewalk Improvement Project
  10. Mission Boulevard Sidewalk Improvement Project
  11. Iron Horse Trail, Isabel Avenue to Murrieta Bl.
  12. Trail improvements Segment N (LARPD Project managed by City of Livermore)

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...

Golden Gate Bridge


 STATUS:  Twenty-four hour direct access.


The only Bay Area Bridge not owned by the state, the Golden Gate Bridge falls under the jurisdiction of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District:


While cyclists today can enjoy direct access, twenty-four hours a day to the Golden Gate Bridge, this availability has only existed since November 23, 1992.  When the bridge was opened in 1937, only pedestrians were allowed on the sidewalks.  Thirty-four years later, cyclists were granted access during weekdays on the East sidewalk, and on the West during the weekend.  Efforts from bicycle advocates led to the November 1992 opening of the bridge to cyclists 24 hours a day.  Check out for an explanation of how to use the remotely controlled security gates on the bridge after 9pm and before dawn.


In November of 2003, an eleven-month installation process of a public safety railing was completed on the Golden Gate Bridge.  The railing protects the pathway from motor vehicle traffic.  While the Golden Gate Bridge is a huge tourist attraction, it is also a major transportation route for cyclists; the installation of this barrier represents a major safety improvement. 


Thanks to public comment over the past few years, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District’s proposal for a $1 bicycle and pedestrian toll has not been enacted.  But this doesn’t rule out future attempts from the GGBHTD to gain money through a bike/pedestrian toll. If any such proposals are discussed in the future, BABC will continue to work with local coalitions to fight a proposed toll.

Richmond-San Rafael Bridge


STATUS:  No bicycle or pedestrian access.


Connecting Interstate 580 between Contra Costa and Marin Counties, the 5.5 mile long bridge is not accessible to bicyclists or pedestrians.  Since its completion in 1956, the Richmond San Rafael Bridge has been an important route for North Bay travelers, but direct access has been denied to non-motorized traffic.  Bicycle advocates have struggled for the past 50 years to obtain access on this bridge.  Two Statewide studies indicate direct access would be reasonably safe, feasible, and affordable, and a third study has been underway since 2003.  Bicyclists had previously proposed use of the 12 foot shoulder for public access, but Caltrans is currently studying the possibility of using that shoulder as a third lane for automobile access.  Caltrans has also determined that any public access must be provided with a solid barrier. 


It is expected that proposal for public access will come before MTC and BCDC at the end of 2007 or early in 2008.  For the latest news on bike access, go to the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) website or contact Deb Hubsmith, MCBC Advocacy Director, to support current actions for bridge access:  deb AT marinbike DOT org or call at 415-454-7430.

Antioch Bridge


Antioch Bridge


STATUS:  Unlimited non-motorized access on a bike lane adjacent to the vehicle travel lane.


The original structure was completed in January of 1926, and then replaced in 1978; the new structure offering cyclists access to both of the five-foot shoulders.  Connecting State Route 160 between Antioch in Contra Costa County, and Sherman Island in Sacramento County, the Antioch Bridge provides unlimited non-motorized access.



Dumbarton Bridge


STATUS:  Unlimited non-motorized access on path separated from the roadway by a barrier.


The original structure of this bridge was built in January of 1927, and then rebuilt in December of 1984 for safety and traffic congestion reasons.  This 1984 replacement span was constructed with a bicycle and pedestrian pathway and is open 24 hours a day.  The Dumbarton Bridge connects State Route 84 between San Mateo and Alameda Counties near Newark and East Palo Alto.

Carquinez Bridge


STATUS:  Bicycle and pedestrian access on a path separated from the roadway by a barrier

<!--{126697247273929}--> The new bike and pedestrian pathway on the Carquinez Bridge opened on May 16, 2004.  The 12-foot-wide path is located on the western side of the suspension bridge connecting Solano and Contra Costa counties along Interstate 80. 


Benicia-Martinez Bridge


STATUS: In August 2009 the bridge was open to bicycle and pedestrian transportation.


The existing Benicia-Martinez Bridge provides Interstate 680 access across the Carquinez Strait between Contra Costa and Solano counties.


The new Benicia-Martinez pedestrian/bicycle lane on the Senator George Miller, Jr. Memorial Bridge closes a gap in the San Francisco Bay and Ridge Trails. This lane also serves as a link in the Carquinez Strait Scenic Loop Trail, which is a 50-mile trail that crosses both the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and Al Zampa Bridge spans over the Carquinez Strait. Bicyclists and pedestrians using this new path are treated to stunning views of the Suisun Bay, as well as the Carquinez Bridge and the Mothball Fleet.

San Mateo-Hayward Bridge


STATUS:  No bicycle or pedestrian access.


Carrying State Route 92 between San Mateo and Alameda counties, the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge does not provide access to non-motorized traffic.  The bridge was opened in October of 1967 and then widened in 2003 from four to six lanes of traffic, yet a pathway was not added as part of this project.  Public transportation was, however, made more convenient to cyclists with the AC transit Line M that carries up to six bikes.  While Line M was federally funded by a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant, and represents bicycle-friendly improvements, providing unlimited non-motorized direct access on the bridge is the only way to provide equal access, not to mention reduce congestion and improve air quality. Contact Robert Raburn, Executive Director of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition to support these efforts: robertraburn AT ebbc DOT com

Southern Crossing over the Napa River on route 29 & 12 (George F. Butler Bridge)


STATUS:  Closed to cyclists.


It is mentioned in the Napa County Bike Plan as a potential project. Contact Lou Penning at loupenning AT yahoo DOT com for more information on these and other Napa County Bike issues.



Petaluma River Bridge on Hwy. 37 at Marin/Sonoma county line


STATUS:  Open to bikes, but no shoulder.


Contact Christine Culver at chrisc AT bikesonoma DOT org for more information.





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...

San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge


STATUS:  No bicycle or pedestrian access on the West Span. Access on the East Span is expected upon completion of the replacement bridge (after 2011 at the earliest).  


UPDATE: Senate Bill 1061, which would allow bridge toll funds to pay for the bicycle/pedestrian pathway, was passed by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on March 23, 2010. For more updates visit the bill status page.


While the new East Span structure of the Bay Bridge has been designed to have a 15.5-foot-wide bicycle, pedestrian, and maintenance pathway that will run along the eastbound deck, no funding has been set aside for West Span bicycle/pedestrian access. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, and the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition together have been working to gain support for funding of a pathway on the West span that will enable non-motorized traffic to conveniently cross the Bay between San Francisco and Oakland. 


As a result of these efforts, in February 2010, State Senator Loni Hancock (D - Oakland) introduced Senate Bill 1061 which will be voted on after March of this year. If approved it will give the Metropolitan Transportation Commission the authority to use bridge tolls to fund a Bay Bridge West Span bike and pedestrian pathway.


Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS)

Over the next few years, the Bay Area will develop its first Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) with the goal of aligning transportation investment, land use, and housing policies to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.  BABC is working with partners including Transform to ensure that these new policies encourage investment in biking, walking and transit.  Click here for more information on the Sustainable Communities Strategies

BABC's Sustainable Communities Strategies Platform

Transportation investments

Transportation Demand Models must include bicycling and walking forecasts.
Transportation Demand Models play an important role in determining funding priorities for transportation funding.  Models that do not include biking and walking forecasts inevitably focus efforts on improving auto travel.  California should adopt new transportation demand modeling programs and standards which can measure the effect of transportation planning decisions on biking and walking to ensure that all modes are represented in the data that transportation funding decisions are based on.

Improved Bike and Pedestrian Data Collection
Comprehensive annual bike and pedestrian counts using the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project are needed to provide accurate data for Transportation Demand Models to use in predicting changes in bicycle and pedestrian modeshare.

The American Communities Survey is currently the primary source for bicycling and walking modeshare data.  The survey underreports biking and walking as many of those trips are part of a multimodal trip where they provide connection to transit and are thus classified as such on the results.  This is why annual bike and pedestrian counts and the installation of automated counters are necessary to provide accurate data.

The result of insufficient and inaccurate bicycle and pedestrian modeshare data is that evaluation of GHG reductions from various transportation investments is currently skewed against biking and walking as current data sources underestimate the volume of bike and pedestrian commute trips.

GHG emissions should be primary target for reduction rather than Vehicle Hours of Delay (VHD)
Currently VHD have such a high value that investments such as the Freeway Performance Initiative, which actually increases Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT), are given priority for their cost-effectiveness.  In the long term, the additional VMT created will cause additional VHD, reducing the long term effectiveness of such investments.

Programs to reduce GHG emissions should be required to not increase VMT.
Programs that reduce GHG emissions primarily through reductions in congestion end up increasing VMT by encouraging more vehicle use.  Though these programs reduce GHG emissions in the short term by creating additional roadway capacity through decreased congestion, in the long term they will encourage more vehicle use, which will increase congestion and increase GHG emissions.

Our focus for GHG reductions should be on encouraging more transit, biking and walking trips rather than reducing congestion, which will only encourage more vehicle use and create increased emissions in the long run.

Establish minimum bicycle parking requirements for new developments
To encourage bicycling, new and majorly renovated developments should be required to include bike parking facilities that meet or exceed the expected bicycle modeshare for their area.

Signalization must work for all road users
Bicycle detection should be included into the construction of all new intersections and should be added to existing intersections.

Signals that do not detect bicycles discourage commute cycling by increasing travel times and encourage cyclists to disregard signals.

Encourage the use of alternative measures to LOS in CEQA reviews
New changes to CEQA allow for alternative measures other than LOS to be used for reviews.  LOS discourages dense urban development which should be encouraged, as it encourages higher transit, biking and walking modeshares.

Alternatives such as MultiModal LOS and Auto Trips Generated should be encouraged as they capture the effects of development on biking, walking and transit much more effectively.

As these changes to CEQA are new and allow flexibility in the choice of which metric to use in reviews, it is critical to support the use of alternatives to LOS as many counties and cities currently choose LOS because they are more familiar with it and want to ensure that they are not subject to legal challenges for choosing newer metrics.

Require a minimum of 4% of Transportation funds to be spent on non-motorized infrastructure.
The American Community Survey estimates that 1% of Californians commute by bike.  We should set a goal of 4% bicycle mode share by 2020 and fund non-motorized infrastructure accordingly.

Establishing an effective non-motorized transportation network is the most effective means of reducing GHG emissions over the long term.

50% of all trips in California are less than 5 miles in length, which is a perfect distance for biking or walking.

Bicycle and pedestrian access shall be established in new construction and reconstruction projects in all urbanized areas
Caltrans  Complete Streets policy or Deputy Directive 64 revision 1 currently “provides for the needs of all travelers of all ages and abilities in all planning, programming, design, construction, operation and maintenance activieies and products on the state highway system.” But we need a stronger policy to support non-motorized transportation.

Florida has already approved a policy that requires new construction and reconstruction projects to include bicycle and pedestrian access.  Their policy is available for review at:

Safe Routes to Transit
Bicycles are an important link in multimodal trips.  They provide quick and flexible connections to transit which in turn increase transit modeshare and reduce auto trips.  As such, the state should provide Safe Routes to Transit funding to support bike connections to transit.

Transit Agencies should include questions in their surveys to their riders on how they connect to their transit trips (bike, walk, drive, other transit, etc.) to evaluate whether they are adequately supporting biking and walking connections to their routes with parking, ramps and other access improvements.

New Sources of Funding

Carbon Cap and Trade Income from AB32
AB32 allows investment of income from the cap and trade program to be used for SCS planning that is in accordance with Strategic Growth Council guidelines.  The latest Economics and Allocations Advisory Committee (EAAC) recommendations are available at:

California California Senate Passes SB1061 - We're Another Step Closer to Bike Access Across the Entire Bay Bridge!


Senate Bill 1061 (D-Hancock) was passed by the California Senate today.  It is now moving on to the Assembly committees for review before it would be voted on by the full Assembly.  This bill would allow toll revenues from the region to fund a Bicycle-Pedestrian-Maintenance pathway on the west span of the Bay Bridge, completing shore to shore bike and pedestrian access from San Francisco to Oakland.  The Bay Area Bicycle Coalition would like to thank State Senator Loni Hancock for sponsoring SB1061 and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, East Bay Bicycle Coalition, California Bicycle Coalition and our numerous other partners who have supported this bill.  Together we are making the dream of shore to shore access for bicycles and pedestrians a reality.  We will keep working to get this bill passed by the Assembly so make sure to check back for new updates.

West Span Bay Bridge Bike Lanes Clear Hurdle


On June 21st, BABC's Executive Director, Andrew Casteel, and Dave Campbell of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC) joined SB1061's sponsor, State Senator Loni Hancock, to urge the State Assembly's Transportation Committee to approve SB1061, which allows for the use of local bridge tolls to fund the west span bicycle-pedestrian-maintenance pathway on the bay bridge.  Our statements of support stressed the importance of completing shore-to-shore pedestrian and bicycle access to fighting congestion, increasing tourism and reducing pollution.  The committee voted 7-3 to approve SB1061, which will now go to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and then a full Assembly vote.  Our thanks go out to Senator Hancock for sponsoring this important legislation and all our partners whose continued support of SB1061 through letters, testimony and phone calls have brought the bill and the dream of shore-to-shore access closer than ever before.  BABC is already mobilizing support for SB1061's approval by the Appropriations Committee as we continue our work to ensure shore-to-shore access for all road users.

West Span Bay Bridge Bike Lanes Clear Hurdle - CBS 5



 Please check back in July 2011 for new data. Thank you.

Sustainable Communities Strategy

Sign up to support the BABC Platform for MTC's Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy.  Every 4 years, MTC plans transportation investments for the region and we need your help to:

- Increase Safe Routes to School funding

- Strengthen Complete Streets policies

- Reserve a percentage of One Bay Area grant projects for stand-alone bicycle pedestrian projects

- Improve modeling and data collection


Download the full BABC platform here.

Download our latest letter to MTC on SCS here.

Learn About BABC's Advocacy Platform

 Sign up to support the BABC Platform for MTC's Regional Transportation   Planand Sustainable Communities Strategy.

  Every 4 years, MTC plans transportation investments for the region and   we need your help to increase Safe Routes to School funding, strengthen Complete Streets policies, reserve a percentage of One Bay Area grant projects for stand-alone bicycle pedestrian projects, and mprove modeling and data collection. 

For more information, click here