Saturday, December 22, 2012

December CalBike Report


dedicated to Ellen Fletcher

"I've spent more time thinking and talking about bicycles in the last three months than I have in the last decade," 
 - Brian Annis, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Housing & Transportation, the agency in charge of drafting the Governor's transportation budget proposal.

Unprecedented statewide alignment behind new strategic plan 
The CalBike Board and representatives from the eleven largest bicycle coalitions around the state gathered in Sacramento for two days in November to forge a new vision for bicycle advocacy in California. They hammered out a new mission, vision and goal, and approved a set of strategies to implement that goal. It's the first time that the community of local bicycle coalitions has aligned itself behind a single statewide agenda, and it gives us unprecedented power in Sacramento.  

In the next few weeks the Governor will release his transportation budget. Your donation right now supports our work to make sure bicycling gets its fair share!  
Don't cut bike funding
San Diego cycle tracks
Upcoming summits

The intense weekend retreat in November followed months of outreach: a survey of more than 225 advocates and interviews with about two dozen leaders. Six drafts later, the final 2013-2017 CalBike Strategic Plan is released today.
CalBike Retreat
Leaders network at a K St. brewpub in Sacramento.

Our goal is to double the amount of bicycling in the Golden State by 2017 and triple it by 2020We have laid out four key strategies for accomplishing that goal:
  1. Create networks of high quality bicycle facilities and complete streets.
  2. Mainstream bicycling in California.
  3. Strengthen legal protection of people who ride bicycles.
  4. Grow the bicycle advocacy movement throughout California
While developing consensus among the local coalitions is always important for the California Bicycle Coalition, it was especially important for our 5-year strategic plan because each of the eleven largest groups also agreed to a strategic statewide alignment. Uniting the advocacy goals and efforts of the largest bicycle coalitions with CalBike will make for a much more powerful voice on statewide issues, helping us achieve progress for all California's communities.  

In the coming months, CalBike will open up at least three new board seats to affiliate representatives and create a policy council for local advocates from around the state to discuss statewide issues and opportunities. Alignment agreements will be made available to smaller bicycle coalitions, bicycle clubs, bicycle retailers and others in the near future. Currently aligned organizations are listed here. 
CalBike to state officials: "now is not the time to cut bike funding."
Innovative projects like San Francisco's 
green cycletracks could be at-risk without 
vigilance from CalBike. Photo: SFBC
Brian Annis had never seen such an assembly of leaders for bicycling and walking in his 24th floor conference room before. CalBike was there, along with a half dozen of our allies, to give our perspective on transportation funding before the governor releases his budget proposal in January. Annis and his colleagues (from the Bureau of Transportation and Housing (BTH), the Department of Finance and the California Transportation Commission) heard our pitch for the value of bicycling investments to meet many of the state's goals: mobility, injury reduction, public health, greenhouse gas emissions, and economy.

Since Congress killed most of the dedicated funding for bicycling and walking in the new federal transportation bill, MAP-21, California could legally stop most funding bicycling. They won't, however, thanks to you and the rest of the organized California bicycling movement. However, the state is making big changes that could make our situation worse, or much, much better. Now is the time to keep the pressure on the Governor and the Legislature. [read more...]
Reforming the California Bicycle Advisory Committee

Established to advise Caltrans on "bicycle issues," CBAC has operated with no formal charter since it was founded in 1992. The organizations and individuals represented have hardly changed in those two decades. Some organizations rarely attend, and the committee's recommendations do not command the respect that a more representative and formal committee would garner. As a member of CBAC, we have led a consensus effort by the committee to create a formal charter and a new membership structure to better represent local advocacy while giving Caltrans the authority to select members. Caltrans is reviewing our proposal now. In the next couple of months, we should be asking for candidates to serve on the new and improved California Bicycle Advisory Committee!
SAN DIEGO: Advocating for Cycletracks
The advocacy organization Bike SD, founded by CalBike board member Samantha Ollinger, is making waves in the City of San Diego.  In addition to coups such as getting mayoral candidates to address bicycling policy issues for the first time, Bike SD is driving the discussion to bring innovative bicycle infrastructure to key bicycling routes in San Diego.

Their latest campaign is on Montezuma Road, which has seen 57 bicycle crashes between 1999 and 2012 despite having bike lanes its entire length.  This overly broad street has minimal street parking and curb cuts, making it a strong candidate for cycletracks - bike lanes separated from vehicle traffic by a barrier.  Bike SD's efforts have garnered local media attention and seem to be changing the discussion around innovative bicycle infrastructure in San Diego.  Such innovations, if approved and implemented in San Diego, could become a model for advanced bicycle infrastructure statewide.
Attend the National Bike Summit - for Free
The League of American Bicyclists is hosting a National Bike Summit in Washington DC from March 4-6 in the coming year.  More than 800 bicycling advocates and government staff are coming together to tell Congress about the benefits of bicycling. Now the L.A.B., in cooperation with the National Bicycle Dealers Association, is offering 25 scholarships for bike shop owners and key staff to attend the National Bike Summit! Find out more about the scholarship program at the LAB's website.
Get Ready for Recycle-a-Bicycle Youth Summit
The dates have been announced for Recycle-a-Bicycle's national youth summit.  The summit will be held February 15-17 at the New School in New York City.  This national summit has drawn many advocates from California in years past.  Find out more details at their website.
Green Lane Project reports doubling of protected bike lanes in 2012
The Green Lane Project, an organization working closely with six cities (San Francisco, Portland, Austin, Chicago, Memphis and Washington, DC) to build world-class cycling networks, recently reported that 2012 saw a doubling of protected, colored bike lanes across the country.  The Green Lane Project recorded 102 protected bike lanes in 32 cities around the country, and reports that over 100 new protected bike lanes will be built in the coming year.

Protected lanes help encourage those "interested but concerned" bicyclists, estimated to be around 60% of the population, who are interested in bicycling but consider it too dangerous and inconvenient to try on our current bicycle networks.  Of the 32 cities with protected bike lanes, however, only 5 of them are in California: San Francisco, Alameda, San Jose, Palm Springs, and Los Angeles.  CalBike is committed to making it easier to build protected bike lanes across the state, getting more people out of their cars and onto bikes.
This issue is dedicated to Ellen Fletcher 
Ellen Fletcher by Richard Masoner
Photo: Richard Masoner
Ellen Fletcher, one of California's pioneering bike advocates, died of cancer last month at the age of 83. Her leadership is why Palo Alto is as bicycle-friendly as it is today. 
She settled in Palo Alto in the early 1970s and quick got involved in traffic safety and bicycle promotion. Upset with the city's poor progress in making bike improvements, she ran for City Council where for 12 years she served as California's most visible and most effective elected official bicycling advocate. She owned a car -- a 1964 Plymouth Reliant -- but was famous for almost never using it, filling its tank about "once a year," she said. 
For her assertiveness, dedication, wit, and humor, she is a hero to all Californians who want safer, healthier, more livable communities through bicycling. This issue of the CalBike Report is dedicated to her honor.  
CalBike Welcomes New Officers
During the November CalBike retreat, the board of directors elected new officers for the California Bicycle Coalition.  Alexis Lantz has been elected president of the board, Charlie Gandy as vice president, Samantha Ollinger as treasurer, and Christopher Kidd as secretary.
CalBike Officers
The new CalBike officers, left to right: Samantha Ollinger, Charlie Gandy, Alexis Lantz, Christopher Kidd

Alexis Lantz - Alexis Lantz, MA, is a policy analyst with the PLACE Program at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Previously, she was the Planning & Policy Director at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC). During her tenure at LACBC she conducted the first ever citywide bicycle and pedestrian count for the City of Los Angeles and had a hand in shaping policies in the city and county of Los Angeles to increase infrastructure for bicycling as well as the amount and diversity of people bicycling for everyday transportation. She also worked to expand countywide advocacy capacity for bikeways and complete streets through LACBC's Regional Partnership program and developing the recently launched Neighborhood Bicycle Ambassador program.

Charlie Gandy -  is president of  Livable Communities Inc., a nationally recognized consulting firm. He has served as mobility coordinator for the City of Long Beach, as director of advocacy programs for the Bicycle Federation of America, and as the founding executive director of the Texas Bicycle Coalition, as well as one of the youngest people ever elected to the Texas House of Representatives.
Samantha Ollinger - Last fall, Sam quit her full time job as a financial manager to devote all her energy toward making San Diego the world's most bicycle friendly city. She publicizes the current state of bicycling at She previously served on the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition board.

Christopher Kidd - is an active transportation planner with Alta Planning + Design in their Berkeley, CA office. While a graduate student in Los Angeles, Christopher founded the Los Angeles Department of Transportation's award winning LADOT Bike Blog and social media strategy.

The new officers would like to thank the outgoing leadership core of CalBike: president Chris Morfas, vice president Andrew Casteel, and secretary Jennifer Stanley.  CalBike would like to give special thanks to Chris Morfas for his dedication in steering the organization through the process of adopting a new strategic plan and adopting alignment agreements with the local bicycle coalitions.  CalBike would also like to thank Jennifer Stanley, who is leaving the CalBike board, for her eight years of invaluable service. 
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