Bike Walk Alameda: Advocacy in Action

Photos courtesy Bike Walk Alameda, The track on Fernside Boulevard protects children cycling.

A little over a year ago, Bike Alameda and Pedestrian Friendly Alameda joined forces to become Bike Walk Alameda (BWA). The transition was amazingly smooth, primarily because the mission statements from each organization combined so easily. The new mission of Bike Walk Alameda is:

“To make our city a safe and enjoyable place to walk and bike.”

While BWA works on both pedestrian and cycling issues with equal enthusiasm, this guide is about Bike to Work Day. So, I wanted to highlight the organization’s advocacy successes relating to cycling. In addition to advising the City of Alameda on street and sidewalk designs that incorporate best practices for cycling safety and enjoyment in new development projects like Alameda Point, the Advocacy Committee also suggests specific improvements to existing streets and sidewalks. 
When looking back on the projects BWA was actively involved in, the word cycle track stands out. A cycle track is a wider bike lane that allows cyclists to travel in both directions. What makes a cycle track different is that the two-way bike lane is protected from the vehicle traffic by concrete planters as shown in the photo of the Fernside Drive cycle track below.
The division between vehicles and cyclists can also be done with street markings like the ones shown in the Shoreline Drive cycle track conceptual drawing pictured below left, by artist Markus Lui.
The Shoreline Drive Cycle Track was only an idea that appeared on the cover of last year’s BTWD guide. This year, it is a real project that should be completed in late October. Through each step of the project, from concept to speaking in front of the City Council, Bike Walk Alameda was there to keep the project moving forward. We could not have had the success in getting the votes necessary to make the project a reality without the help of our members.
Membership in Bike Walk Alameda provides the organization with funding to secure resources that assist the advocacy committee in their efforts to be sure streets will be safe for all residents from youth to seniors. Membership also adds credibility to the BWA message since city officials and developers know that we speak for a large number of concerned residents.
You can join Bike Walk Alameda by going to www.bikewalkalameda.org and clicking on the “Become a Member” link. Individual memberships start at just $25. Every member is important. The larger our group, the stronger our voice. Join today!

Photos courtesy Bike Walk Alameda. This watercolor by artist Markus Lui was sponsored by the city of Alameda last year to help envision what Alameda’s cycle track could look like.