Photo Essay: “I Support Measure BB Because:”
Measure BB benefits everyone, no matter how they get around. See why Alameda County residents are eager to vote for better transportation.
Tiere and RB of the Scraper Bike Team
Rebecca Peterson at the Warm Springs BART Construction Site
Dennis - Senior Citizen and member of Genesis California
Dan Franco - Bike East Bay Volunteer
Nicole Campos - Daily Commuter
Mike Udkow - President of Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay
Jesus Aguayo - Member of Laborers Local 304
Rosie Mesterhazy - Safe Routes to School Coordinator
Measure BB Profile: Dorothy Theodore & Family
As more and more families leave their cars behind for biking and walking, and Alameda County is receiving pressure to build complete streets that accommodate all modes of transportation. Dorothy Theodore is an active bicyclist and mother of two living in Castro Valley. She rides to work, community meetings, shopping errands, and her three kids bike to school most days. She wants safer ways for her kids to get to school, but with a lack of federal funding to bicycle and pedestrian projects, it is a struggle to make progress:
“Each year someone from public works writes a grant for sidewalk improvements on Anita Avenue on the back side of our school. Every year, we come in 2nd or 3rd because there is not enough money to do all of the worthy projects. Marshall elementary school just got sidewalks installed on one side of the school after also waiting and writing grants for the last 6 years.”
Faced with the funding challenges in Castro Valley and other communities, Alameda County Transportation Commission has taken matters into its own hands by placing Measure BB on the November 4th ballot. Measure BB will provide 7.8 billion dollars to build the infrastructure that will keep families like the Theodore’s bicycling safely. With reliable, local funding, Castro Valley will see complete sidewalks, well-marked bike lanes, expanded bus service, and more.
Dorothy sees Measure BB as an important opportunity to remedy the danger and inconveniences caused by incomplete streets in Castro Valley. She knows that three students were hit by cars on Redwood Road in April, and regularly experiences the frustration of drivers waiting for her on streets with no bike lanes and no room to pass. Although these events paint a dismal picture, Dorothy knows that there is opportunity for positive change:
“I want that for my kids, the freedom and self confidence to get where you’re going safely. We know more now about pedestrian and bicycle safety and how things can be engineered for safety and efficiency. We need to press for safer shared streets to accommodate everyone.”
A bike and pedestrian-friendly future for Castro Valley is not far away. If we vote “Yes” to pass Measure BB this fall, Dorothy’s family can bike with confidence, drivers will be more aware of pedestrian crossings, and communities across Alameda County will become safer and more accessible.
Measure BB Profile: Econo Jam Records
Tom and Tiffany O’Shaughnessy live in Downtown Oakland and recently opened Econo Jam Records in the KONO District of Telegraph Ave. They chose Telegraph Ave because it’s right in the middle of the Art Murmur and First Fridays excitement and because they are seeing a lot more bicycles on Telegraph.
The O’Shaughnessys look forward to the day Oakland has an interconnected bicycle network that make bicycling and walking better options than driving.
“We love it when people pop in to the record shop with their bikes and stay for a while. We especially love it when families bike together and then come in to discover music together,” says Tiffany. “Driving just doesn’t have the same community feeling. People feel stressed out about parking, they need to rush back to feed the meter - it’s just a bigger hassle.”
Tom and Tiffany support our campaign to add protected bikeways to Telegraph Avenue and to pass Measure BB on Nov 4, 2014, to fund this important new bikeway.
“We are so excited to see the proposals for protected bikeways. Right now Telegraph Avenue is such a dangerous place to walk and bike, which also makes it bad for drivers,” says Tiffany. “We support Measure BB for sure! Some Oakland streets are comically awful and we are long overdue for making all of Oakland more walkable and bikeable.”
While Tiffany worked at UC Berkeley, Tom dreamed of opening his own record store and he realized that almost all of the people he worked with at Amoeba Records biked over from Oakland. He also noticed that there were no vinyl record stores (at the time) in downtown Oakland where they both live and he wanted to create a local community record store. He knows there is tremendous potential to reinvest in Oakland, and that includes improving people’s commutes.
“Investing in transportation improvements is essential to improving access for all residents and making our community a safer and more positive place,” says Tom.
Measure BB Profile: Bruce Dughi & Family
Bruce Dughi is a dedicated father and bicyclist living in Castro Valley. The unincorporated roads of Castro Valley aren’t the most bike-friendly in Alameda County, but Dughi and his family bike and walk almost everywhere. Bruce escorts his twin seven-year-old daughters to school every day (a five mile round trip), takes frequent trips to the store, and cycles recreationally, taking the whole family on overnight bike camping adventures from Fremont to Sunol Regional Park (45 mile round trip). Bruce’s wife Garland also walks to BART to commute to her work at Tesla.
The Dughis are devoted to making healthy and sustainable transportation choices, but without sufficient funding to complete the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for Unincorporated Areas, it’s a difficult pursuit.
“Cycling in Castro Valley is a struggle, especially with children. There are very few bike lanes built and very few planned to be built in spite of state law AB1358 Complete Streets… There is so much potential to make Castro Valley much more livable by adding bike lanes and sidewalks but Public Works refuses to remove government parking to make room for bike lanes. It is frustrating.” - Bruce Dughi
Given significant Federal cutbacks, Bruce is advocating for Measure BB to secure the funding that Castro Valley streets desperately need. Because Measure BB projects will adhere to “Complete Streets” design principles, Castro Valley’s road improvements will safely accommodate bikes and pedestrians so that everyone can easily access schools,BART, and the downtown business district. Bruce’s dreams of “bikeways separated from cars such that everybody wants to ride,” and his vision “to make all of our communities more livable and enjoyable” will be within easy reach if Measure BB passes.
To make our streets safer, better connect communities, and help families like the Dughis keep moving, we are asking everyone in Alameda County to vote YES on Measure BB this November 4th!
Bike East Bay wants to hear your story too! We’re seeking individuals with transportation stories all across Alameda County. Tell us how Measure BB will have the biggest impact on your life and community.