Thousands of East Bay residents pedaled to work on Thursday, May 11, 2017 to celebrate the 23rd annual Bike to Work Day. Morning counts across the East Bay tallied 20,732 people rolling by Energizer Stations and participation has increased 30% over the past five years.
Photo credit Fernando Munguia.
Bike to Work Day encouraged local residents to try commuting by bicycle for the first time and celebrated those who ride regularly. Bike East Bay partnered with hundreds of community groups to host 147 Energizer Stations in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Local students and teachers joined in the fun with 133 schools hosting Bike to School Day festivities on Thursday and throughout National Bike Month this May.
“Bike to Work Day gets more people on bikes,” said Renee Rivera, Executive Director of Bike East Bay. “People find out how fun and easy it is to bike around town and Bike East Bay keeps the momentum going by advocating for safe and well-connected bike lanes so that you can feel confident riding in the city all year-round.”
A 2011 survey of Alameda County residents showed that nearly one in three people who participated in Bike to Work Day said they rode more frequently after the event.
People on bikes rolled by 147 Energizer Stations located next to popular bike commute routes, along regional trails, at BART and other transit stations, and in downtown areas around the East Bay. Hundreds of volunteers cheered them on by giving away coffee, snacks, and free Bike to Work Day bags.
Energizer Stations Celebrate New Commute Options
With bicycling continuing to grow in popularity, Bike East Bay added 27 new Energizer Stations this year to encourage even more people to try a fun and healthy way to get around town. New stations greeted commuters at the newly open Warm Springs BART station in Fremont, and along the Bay Bridge Bicycle and Pedestrian Path, which finally opened on May 2 for weekday access to Treasure Island.
This was a long-awaited Bike to Work Day for Karuna Holm, a life-sciences teacher at Life Learning Academy Treasure Island. Over the past eight years, she has tried many different commutes, including taking BART to San Francisco and riding a Muni bus back to Treasure Island. After the path opened last week, Holm finally swapped a stressful motorcycle ride through the Bay Bridge toll plaza for a relaxing bike commute.
“I was surprised at how easy it was to bike to work on the Bay Bridge,” Holm said. “I got there so fresh and energized. It was so much fun it didn’t even feel like I was going to work.”
Elected Officials Join on Two Wheels
In Fremont, Mayor Lily Mei and Public Works Director Hans Larsen cut the ribbon on a new protected bike lane on Walnut Avenue next to Fremont BART. The mayor was joined by members of local advocacy group Bikeways for Fremont for a celebratory ride down the newly upgraded bike lane.
Elected officials in Oakland rode to City Hall for a pancake breakfast at Frank Ogawa Plaza. Mayor Libby Schaaf and Councilmember Annie Campbell-Washington rode in from Fruitvale BART with the Oakland Scraper Bike Team. The group of 30 riders arrived at Frank Ogawa Plaza bumping music on colorful trikes tricked out with amps and speakers. They were joined by Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Dan Kalb, who joined constituents on pedal-pools around the city.
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin led a bike ride celebrating the city’s new Bike Plan, which was unanimously approved by Berkeley City Council last week. The Berkeley ride started at the north end of UC Berkeley on Hearst Avenue, where a new protected bike lane is under construction. After picking up Bike to Work Day bags at an Energizer Station, the ride passed by City Hall to end at the Berkeley Bike Station, a free bike parking station in downtown Berkeley.
“Berkeley is committed to improving our streets for people who bike,” said Mayor Jesse Arreguin. “Our new bike plan will upgrade bike boulevards and build twenty new protected bike lanes as part of a complete and well-connected bike network in Berkeley. We’re going to lead the way for bikeable cities in the East Bay.”
Bike to Work Day is made possible by MTC (the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area), 511 (the region’s traveler information system) and Kaiser Permanente. In addition, Bike to Work Day in the East Bay receives support from the Alameda County Transportation Commission, the City of Berkeley and the City of Oakland. Bike East Bay thanks our community and business partners for hosting Energizer Stations and encouraging tens of thousands of East Bay residents to ride.