From the very early days of BikeWalkCV four years ago, we felt the support and compassion from Paul Keener, Sr. Planner at Alameda County Public Works Agency.
Paul was there to coordinate Castro Valley’s ATP grant proposals: for sidewalks, bike treatments, crosswalks, and pedestrian ramps. The grant proposals were gigantic, filled with statistics, photos, letters of support, and other evidence of need. Yet, Paul powered through, with the help of several of our team, to submit over a dozen proposals in the last four years – five of which have been granted so far. Five sidewalks that would not have happened without his passion and efforts. Yesterday, his assistant, Diana, submitted four more that we again helped out with. Paul is up there somewhere, smiling down, proud of the efforts we carried on in his honor.
Paul was also an unwavering fixture at every Bike to Work/School day, supplying us with flashing bike lights and reflectors, and staffing his station – ready to make every effort to ensure the safety of our community received all the support he could give.
Paul lead our Castro Valley Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee through years of gathering community input and spirited exchange on various projects. Paul listened with his compassionate ear to the well-intentioned yet occasionally frustrated community members who always wanted more – more sidewalks, more bike lanes, more everything. Paul was always the diplomat, making note of every request, whether he would be able to convince the powers that be at the county to grant them or not. And although the wheels of PWA turn slowly, turn they have. And we owe a lot of our forward progress to Paul’s diligence and dedicated efforts.
Paul also attended and spoke at countless other community meetings and events where he could support the many safety projects or proposed projects in our area – Safe Routes to School programs, parent meetings, county meetings, etc. No matter the situation, Paul always had a smile and a positive outlook that never wavered. His personal life was filled similarly to overflowing, always giving, always a smile, always a positive attitude.
On July 21st, Paul was setting up “Bike Day” at Castro Valley BART in the early morning. He was working yet another weekend, giving generously of his time, to further the cause of safety. Paul suffered a heart attack and tragically passed away that evening. Castro Valley, Alameda County, and the many good friends he made in our community and many communities have lost not only an incredibly valuable resource, but a steadfast and supportive friend and a good man.
Our sincerest condolences go out to Paul’s family, friends, co-workers, and the countless communities he touched. He left the world a better, safer place. He will be greatly missed.