35% Participation Increase in the East Bay for Region’s 20th Annual Event
Press Release from Thursday, May 8th.
Oakland, CA - This morning, the 126 Energizer Stations peppered throughout Alameda and Contra Costa County counted a record number of bicyclists for this event: close to 20,000 bicyclists. As Bike to Work Day reaches its 20th regional anniversary, Bike East Bay (formerly the East Bay Bicycle Coalition) has witnessed the continuous and positive growth of the bicycle community. The total number represents a 35% increase from 2013, when 15,757 bicyclists were counted in the East Bay.
Bike to Work Day shows us what our region could be like with tens of thousands of commuters experiencing a fun healthy trip to work by bicycle, says Renee Rivera, Bike East Bay’s Executive Director. With great regional transit, Bay Area Bike Share poised to expand to the East Bay, and new bikeways being built the East Bay is ready for an explosion in everyday biking. This trend towards more people taking to the bicycle for their everyday trips will result in a boost for our East Bay cities, attracting businesses, customers and residents.
Bike to Work Day demonstrates the rapidly growing demand for better streets for bicycling. Program it and they will come for a day; build it and they will come everyday. To meet this demand, Bike East Bay’s top priorities for 2014 are to get protected bikeways designed in every city in the East Bay and to pass Measure BB this Fall in Alameda County to fund construction of these innovative bikeways in 2015. Bike East Bay is focused on Telegraph Ave in Oakland, San Pablo Ave in El Cerrito, California Blvd in Walnut Creek, Hearst Ave in Berkeley, and the downtown streets of Concord, Dublin and Fremont as our first phase of new protected bikeways.
Turn the Car off, I’m riding to school: Another Record-Breaking Year for Bike to School Day
The number of schools participating in Bike to School Day in Alameda County has grown from fewer than 10 in 2011, to 45 in 2012, to over 60 in 2013 (with more than 1,800 students biking). This year over 100 schools are participating in Bike to School Day, a 30% increase over 2013. And with only 50% of schools reporting bike counts by 12pm on May 8th, already over 2,600 students had been counted and many more are to come: participation for this year’s celebration is expected to swell to over 5000 students.
At Tyrrell Elementary in Hayward, District Nurse Elise Jackson counted 60 children on bikes at the recent Bike to School Day event. All participants were rewarded with water bottles, granola bars, applesauce squeeze snacks and reflective I Bike to School stickers. Bike to School Day is important, said Jackson, because it brings awareness to a healthy lifestyle that has a positive impact on learning. As part of the Safe Routes to Schools program, Bike to School Day also teaches children to ride in a safe environment - so much so that Jackson overheard a story about a mother who went to start the car that morning only to hear: Turn the car off, I’m riding to school!
Oakland Unified School District Board member Jody London biked to work today. I am thrilled to see so many Oakland schools participating in Bike to School Day this year, said London, riding to school is a great way for families to be active together and kids arrive at school ready to focus on learning.
Bike East Bay’s efforts to get more kids riding bicycles encompass providing incentives for students to ride to school, working to make the streets connecting residential areas to schools safer through continued advocacy work and providing positive education through a free safety program. More information and details about upcoming classes at BikeEastBay.org/education
Elected Officials ride in Packs
Mayors from cities all around the East Bay showed their support for bicyclists this morning by taking to the street. They put their legs to work and biked from Energizer Stations to city halls.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan rode from MacArthur BART on a Bay Area Bikeshare bike. Oakland is regularly ranked in the top 10 U.S. cities for the percentage of our commuters who cycle, and we’re committed to maintaining that leadership role and building on our successes, said Quan. Since 2011 we’ve installed 29 miles of bike lanes for a citywide total of 142 miles. Our community partners, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and I advocated strongly for the new MTC funding to expand Bay Area Bike Share to the East Bay, and over the next year we’ll be excited to roll out locations for our residents to participate. More info on Oakland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program here.
San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy and Vice Mayor Michael Gregory stopped by the San Leandro BART Energizer Station, hosted by city staff. Bike to Work Day is always a fun event, said Cassidy, ?and serves to build awareness of the need to support and expand bike networks across cities and regions. San Leandro’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was approved in 2011 and is currently in the process of being implemented.
Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti rode to East Dublin/Pleasanton BART on a commuter bike borrowed from Dublin Cyclery – although Sbranti is a regular bicyclist and has participated in every Bike to Work Day since he started as mayor in 2009, he wanted to showcase the commuter-style bike. I want to set a great example and show how easy it is, Mayor Sbranti said of his participation in Bike to Work Day. Whether your commute is long or short, it can be done. Dublin’s main Energizer Station, located at East Dublin / Pleasanton BART, is one of the busiest in the Bay Area and testifies to the growing bicycling population in the Tri-Valley. We take bike and ped connectivity very seriously, said Sbranti, ?and we’re working on updating our bike-ped master plan to make it more robust. Dublin’s Bike to Work Day event has grown to be a month-long celebration. Find out more dublin.ca.gov/bikemonth.
Mayor Gayle McLaughlin biked by an Energizer Station in Richmond, where the city counted a 28% increase in participation on Bike to Work Day. I am very happy to see our City staff and community members joining in the spirit of Bike to Work Day!? said Mayor McLaughlin. We have made tremendous strides in making Richmond a bike friendly city, and we will continue to make our streets safe and bike friendly.
Many more elected officials chose to ride to work on Bike to Work Day. See the full list atBikeEastBay.org/btwd_elected.
Mayor Quan Enjoys a Parking-Protected Bikeway on Telegraph Ave
Joining hundreds of morning bike commuters on Telegraph Ave were Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and City Councilmembers Lynette McElhaney, Rebecca Kaplan and Dan Kalb, all of whom experienced the future of bicycling in Oakland a protected bikeway, in this case a parking-protected one.
This demo is very helpful to see what Telegraph Ave could look like with a protected bikeway. I’m very interested in seeing how the project develops. Mayor Quan said after riding down Telegraph’s pop up bikeway.
Because parking-protected bikeways are new and Oakland is considering one for Telegraph Ave, Bike East Bay and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland created a pop-up protected bikeway on Bike to Work Day for the public to experience. Hundreds of people attended recent public open houses on the Telegraph project and saw 3D sketchups of protected bikeway concepts. On Bike to Work Day today, they got to experience the designs first hand. it’s amazing to bike on Telegraph Ave and feel so safe. I wish it were like this all the time, said Autumn Bernstein, an Oakland resident and daily Telegraph bike commuter.