Biggest Bike Day of the Year!

Bike to School & Work Day 2016 is in the books as another great benefit of being part of the Castro Valley community. “Energizer Stations” were busy near Creekside Middle School and at the CV BART station. In front of Castro Valley High School, waves and laughter beckoned students and commuters on bikes to pull in and grab a free commuter bag full of bike swag, homemade breads and treats, coffee and hot chocolate.

Chris Padavana, owner of Eden Bicycles, kept busy with free bike adjustments and repairs.

A table filled with maps and information helped fuel conversations about grant proposals for sidewalks, where bike lanes are most needed, stories of near misses and hope that the efforts of the community will result in improvements in engineering, education, enforcement and engagement in these areas. Lots of VIPs joined BikeWalkCV and CVHS Leadership for the morning festivities.

Later in the afternoon, the celebration and conversation moved to Endless Cycles‘ new location on Nunes Avenue for Castro Valley’s first Bike Happy Hour.

Three of our local groups came together to talk about how to join forces in creating events for the whole family to bring more awareness to what is needed, including BikeWalkCV, Bike Walk San Leandro, and Cherry City Cyclists.

CV Bike Happy Hour 2016 5

JoAnne Lauer of BikeWalkCV, Donna Chang of   Bike Walk San Leandro, Vicky Ma of Cherry City Cyclists

Endless Cycles made several bike items available in the free raffle.

CV Bike Happy Hour 2016 1

We heard from many community members that this was the first time they’d gotten out their bike in a long time. Big thanks to Bike East Bay for all the support in helping us make this happen! Here’s to making it a healthy new habit, and to creating an infrastructure that makes it safe and easy!

Bike to School & Work Day May 12

Join the fun on Thursday, May 12 for the biggest bike day of the year!

Thousands of people all around the Bay Area will be riding their bikes, scooters or skateboards on Bike to Work & School Day – to work, to school, or around town. If you ride, we hope you’ll ride on May 12! If you haven’t ridden in awhile, here’s your excuse to get a healthy habit started again – and get some free stuff!

Visit one or all three Castro Valley Energizer Stations 7-9am to pick up your free goodie bag full of bike-friendly swag:

  • In front of Castro Valley High School, at the corner of Redwood Road and Heyer Avenue (co-hosted by BikeWalkCV and CVHS Leadership) – snacks, coffee and Eden Bicycles‘ friendly bike mechanic service also provided
  • On the corner of Center Street and Castro Valley Blvd. (hosted by Creekside Middle School), and
  • At the Castro Valley BART station (hosted by Alameda County Public Works Agency)

2015-05-14 07.16.29

And, stop by the family friendly Bike Happy Hour 4-8pm at Endless Cycles, 20825 Nunes Avenue, co-sponsored by Cherry City Cyclists, for music, food and a chance to meet the folks from BikeWalkCV and Bike Walk San Leandro. Whether you’re bicycling to work, school, or even just around our community, we look forward to seeing you.

For additional information, email us at bikewalkcv@gmail.com. Also, visit this link for details on these and other Bike to Work Day events around the bay area: BikeEastBay.org/BTWD.

Sharrows – The New Bike Routes

Alameda County Public Works Agency recently put out the press release below to help the public understand the purpose and use of the “sharrow” markings that you see on Redwood Road. Sharrows remind drivers to drive carefully and allow people riding bikes to share the road – particularly important in Castro Valley where most streets are too narrow to fit driving lanes and bike lanes. You will see more sharrows in our community over the coming months to help improve safety for people riding bikes. This press release will appear in “The Forum” either this week or next.

 

ALAMEDA COUNTY – The Alameda County Public Works Agency is installing new pavement markings on Class III Bike Routes on roadways throughout unincorporated Alameda County.   These new pavement markings, called Shared Lane Markings or “Sharrows”, indicate that a roadway is a shared bike route.  These new pavement markings include a bicycle symbol and two white chevrons. Sharrows are painted on roadways as a reminder to motorists that bikes may be present on the road, and are legally allowed to take the full lane.

Sharrows Press Release
Sharrows on Via Alamitos in San Lorenzo

In addition to offering motorists a visual reminder that bicycles exist and may be present in traffic, sharrows offer an ‘ideal line’ for people riding bikes to position themselves in the shared lane.  This positioning reduces the chance of a bicyclist hitting an open door of a parked vehicle and the uncertainty of a bicyclist weaving in and out of parked cars.  This positioning also reduces the chance of unsafe passing when there is not enough room for both a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel side by side within the same traffic lane.  Finally, sharrows discourage wrong way bicycling (riding against the flow of vehicular traffic) and riding on sidewalks.

For additional information about this project, please contact Paul Keener, Senior Transportation Planner, at (510) 670-6452.

Please support BikeWalkCV on Giving Tuesday

BikeWalkCV is a group of volunteers working to improve the safety of people walking and biking in Castro Valley. We have made amazing progress in a very short period of time:

2015-09-13 09.47.31

  • Winning 3 sidewalk grants!
  • Getting Alameda County Public Works to take action on the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan for Unincorporated Alameda County in marking bike lanes and undertaking feasibility studies for new bike lanes
  • Getting bike racks at schools and soon at local businesses
  • Increasing awareness for our students walking and biking to school through the “Don’t Rush Safety” campaign, and
  • Generally increasing awareness for people walking and biking in Castro Valley

We rely on donations to support our operational costs (producing informational and educational materials, covering entry fees at community events). Please consider supporting us on this Giving Tuesday by using this online form to donate to BikeWalkCV. (Donations are tax-deductible, through our fiscal sponsor, Bike East Bay.) Thank you.

BikeWalkCV meeting 11/4 with Assembly Member Quirk and representative of Senator Wieckowski’s office

Please join us for our monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm in the boardroom of the Castro Valley Unified School District office (4400 Alma Ave., Castro Valley).

Meet our special guests, Assembly Member Bill Quirk and a representative from Senator Bob Wieckowski’s office. Join the discussion about how to accomplish the following, with our legislators’ help:

  • More funds for sidewalks
  • More control over infrastructure improvements in our unincorporated community
  • Updated state guidelines for bike lanes to provide more protection to bicyclists
  • Legislation to enforce the 3-foot law and reckless driving law using bike-mounted video evidence
Missing sidewalks on Somerset

Missing sidewalks on Somerset

Please feel free to share with your friends, family and community circles. Support for these topics will benefit everyone in our community, particularly our students walking and biking to school.

3 Sidewalk Grants Recommended for Approval!

BikeWalkCV is proud to announce that three of our sidewalk grants are recommended for approval by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in the regional level of funding through the Active Transportation Program (ATP):

  • Anita Avenue – from Castro Valley Blvd. to Somerset Ave.
  • Stanton Avenue – from Castro Valley Blvd. to Miramar Ave.
  • Center Street – from Heyer Ave. to Paradise Knolls

Sidewalk Construction

These are three of only ten bay area projects to be recommended for funding in this highly competitive program. In addition, the Somerset Avenue grant proposal is on the “contingency” list of projects that could receive funding if any of the winning projects don’t go forward. We have much to be proud of!

This funding is for the initial design phase of each project. It is highly likely that these projects will be fully funded throughout the remaining engineering and construction phases over the next few years.

A big thanks goes out to Paul Keener, Sr. Planner for Alameda County Public Works Agency (PWA) and his colleagues, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and staff, Castro Valley Matters, and many members of the BikeWalkCV team who spent countless hours on this campaign, starting with the first Castro Valley Town Hall meeting a year ago through assisting with writing seven extensive grant proposals.

We look forward to keeping the momentum going as we continue our call to action for more safety and accessibility for walking and biking in Castro Valley.

Sidewalk Grant Interim Results – Fingers Still Crossed

We received the disappointing news that seven Castro Valley sidewalk grant proposals that BikeWalkCV helped Alameda County Public Works Agency (PWA) write were not funded in the first round of state level funding in Active Transportation Program (ATP) Grant Cycle II. All is not lost, however. The proposals that did not make the cut are now being evaluated at the regional level. Our proposals will be reviewed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), where another $30 million is available for projects. Our fingers are still firmly crossed that we’ll hear some good news from the MTC in October.
Center no sidewalk

Sidewalks Needed on Center Street

Here are some helpful stats that will illuminate the scoring in this first round:
  • 617 grant proposals received by ATP for $1 billion in funding
    • 86 grants awarded for $179.7 million (our highest ranking grants were #112 and #114)
  • 88 points was the scoring cut-off for funding; our proposals scored as follows:
    • 84.5 points – Stanton
    • 84 points – Somerset
    • 82 points – Proctor
    • 76 points – Heyer
    • 70 points – Anita
    • 70 points – Santa Maria
    • 62 points – Center
  • 88% of the funding went to disadvantaged communities (Castro Valley does not qualify here, making our high ranking even more impressive as qualifying communities received up to 10 points for this category)
  • 2 grants were awarded out of 30 applications from Alameda County
    • Our proposals ranked 3, 4, 7, 13, 19, 20 and 23 in Alameda County
The listing of proposals in scoring order is here: ATP Applications – Scoring Order
The listing of proposals in county order is here: ATP Applications – County Order
This topic is on the Castro Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) agenda for the next meeting on Wednesday, September 30 at 6:30pm at the CV Library, and all are encouraged to attend. In addition, we’ll talk about other ways we can fund our critical need for sidewalks in our community, particularly those that are near our schools.

Don’t Rush Safety Campaign Kicks Off

BikeWalkCV is proud to participate in the “Don’t Rush Safety” campaign that kicked off Tuesday with a press conference held in partnership with law enforcement, Alameda County, local school districts and BikeWalkCV. This campaign highlights the need for parents, students, and all members of the community to work together to slow down and pay attention, while driving, walking or riding a bike, particularly around school drop off and pick up times.

 Don't Rush Safety Partnership

Don’t Rush Safety Partnership

I spoke at this event, telling my story of my and my son’s experiences getting hit by cars in Castro Valley. This drove me to co-found BikeWalkCV and seek out other community partners to work together to improve safety. This campaign is a huge step forward for students, pedestrians, bicyclists, and all Castro Valley residents.

The campaign kick-off was reported in the media, including this ABC 7 News Report, a Report on KRON 4 News, this Castro Valley Patch article, as well as this Mercury News article that also references the public service announcement that was shown at the press conference.

Student Safety Press Conference August 18

Dont rush safety banner logo

If you live in Castro Valley, or anywhere in the Eden Area, you are likely aware of the extreme traffic congestion around the start and end of the school day. If you drop off or pick up your kids, or live next to a school, you likely have first-hand experience with the chaos that results from the mix of frustrated drivers and students. Our schools are simply not designed for most parents to drive their kids to school. The result is a high rate of accidents that we can all do our part to prevent.

A consortium of law enforcement, Alameda County, and advocacy groups including BikeWalkCV has come together to highlight the need for everyone to take the time to keep our community safe. The campaign kicks off next Tuesday, August 18 at 10am, with a press conference at Colonial Acres Elementary School in Cherryland. Representatives from CHP, Alameda County Sheriff, San Lorenzo USD, Castro Valley USD, and BikeWalkCV will speak. In addition, a public service announcement safety video, produced here in Castro Valley, will be shown. The Press Conference Announcement is attached. The public is encouraged to attend.

There will be additional events throughout the school year to continue the focus on traffic safety around schools. BikeWalkCV strongly supports this effort and looks forward to our continued participation in working to improve safety for everyone in our community.

PRESS RELEASE – Don’t Rush Safety 8.12.15

Sidewalk Grants Sought

When BikeWalkCV started advocating for more safety and accessibility for people walking and biking in Castro Valley, the biggest hurdle we identified was funding. Alameda County Public Works Agency (PWA) created extensive plans for many sidewalks in Castro Valley, but has very limited funding to carry them out anytime soon.

Typical Unimproved Sidewalk on Anita Avenue

Typical Unimproved Sidewalk on Anita Avenue

Therefore, members of both BikeWalkCV and the Castro Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (CVBPAC) took on the challenge of assisting PWA to write seven grant proposals for sidewalk projects along large portions of the following Castro Valley streets:

  • Anita Avenue
  • Center Street
  • Heyer Avenue
  • Proctor Road
  • Santa Maria Avenue
  • Somerset Avenue
  • Stanton Avenue

The funding source for the current set of proposals is California’s Active Transportation Program (ATP). ATP will fund projects that can show the highest probability of increasing the amount of students walking and biking to school, as well as increasing the safety of those students. We were able to show that building continuous sidewalks on these heavily used routes to school will result in exactly that. Castro Valley’s projects will compete first state wide for $180 million and then with other SF Bay Area projects for approximately $30 million in regional ATP funding. (Here is the full list of projects submitted to the MTC for regional funding.) The seven grant proposals are primarily seeking design funding – the first step in any sidewalk project. Although building sidewalks is a multi-year project, getting this initial funding will start the clock.

Our grant-writing team helped with multiple stages of the grant proposal process: coordinating school/parent surveys, researching health and demographic statistics, photographing dangerous areas for pedestrians, and conducting extensive public outreach. Perhaps you heard from us at a PTA, MAC, or Town Hall meeting this spring or completed a survey through your school? All of this community-wide effort culminated in a marathon writing process, resulting in seven 200-page grant proposals headed to reviewers on June 1st.

We look forward to hearing some good news come September and have high hopes for the outcome of this hard work for Castro Valley. In the meantime, thanks to all who contributed!