The 2013 California by Bike Summit brought together stewards of the bicycle movement in and beyond Cali to brainstorm ways to mainstream biking, learn about local and regional achievements along with state-wide progress on bicycle-related laws, policies and funding. The amazing biking weather combined with the evident embrace of bicycle infrastructure and programs in Oakland made for a perfect locale for this year's summit. Over 4 days, the summit coordinated a well-rounded mix of panel discussions, breakout workshops, networking sessions and of course...bike rides and bike parties.
The Bikes are Healthy Transportation session provided insightful links between health data and active transportation investments. Sean Co of the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Neil Maizlish, Ph.D., of the CA Department of Public Health presented tools that quantify the health benefits of active transportation. MTC's Regional Transportation Plan integrated these tools to analyze costs/benefits of every project while providing a strong basis for educating stakeholders on the potential of bicycling and walking to positively impact community health.
The session on Bike‐Friendly Business Districts was presented by two So Cal locals, Charlie Gandie of Living Communities, Inc. and Cal Bike and April Economides of Alta Planning + Design and Board Member for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. The presentation revolved around the idea of creating business districts that emphasize bicycling as a focal point for establishing sophisticated parking strategies, coordinated marketing campaigns and ongoing customer incentives programs. Case studies show that bicycle improvements increase local business, encourage healthier lifestyles, improve social camaraderie and ultimately creates a more vibrant to place to be.
The Planning and Politics of San Francisco’s Protected Bikeways session discussed the practical and strategic approach to achieve San Francisco’s goal for growing the number of people who bike to 20% of trips by 2020 by realizing a network of separated bikeways that appeal to a broad range of ages and abilities. The presentation shared unique stories of related to three highprofile separated bikeway projects: the JFK Drive parking protected bikeway, Fell and Oak Streets, and Polk Street.
The Perfect Bicycle Parking session explored model policies and regulations applied to new and existing buildings, homes, businesses, transit, on-street corrals, and events. The policies spurred the construction of 40+ bike corrals, the installation of thousands of bike racks and prohibited building owners from barring bikes in their buildings.
The sessions ultimately provided food for thought related to real life projects, studies, programs, policies and best practices throughout California. However, coordinated bike tours of Oakland offered by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition provided an experience that extended far beyond the in-class sessions. The bike tours showcased cycle tracks, enhanced bike lanes, thorough signage, bike boulevards, bike boxes, bike share, and much more that has served as the basis for transforming Oakland into a bike friendly city. What's more, a pedestrian/bike path is currently being paved across the all new Bay Bridge and is expected to connect San Francisco within three years. Luckily for participants, we were afforded the opportunity to ride the Bay Bridge which easily demonstrated the need and demand to complete the bridge.
The California by Bike Summit brought together some of Cali's leading groups that are essentially mainstreaming biking in Cali. Big thanks to the California Bicycle Coalition, East Bay Bicycle Coalition, the City of Oakland and all who had a hand in coordinating this amazing summit.
Here are some photos taken during the summit.
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