Bike Walk Alameda Looks Ahead to Successful 2023
Bike Walk Alameda Looks Ahead to Successful 2023
In looking back over the past year, Bike Walk Alameda has a lot to be grateful for (and proud of!). But, more than anything, we’re grateful for your support. Supporting biking and walking comes in many shapes and sizes. Whether you answered our calls to speak or write to our elected representatives, volunteered for Bike to Wherever Day, or just helped spread the word about the benefits of active transportation, you’re helping make Alameda a safer and more enjoyable place to get around. And for that, we want to say thank you. We truly can’t do any of it without you!
Getting people to feel safer and more confident in choosing active transportation instead of driving is a multi-pronged effort. And we’d like to share some highlights with you from last year, in the hopes it will inspire you to continue supporting our work.
From a planning perspective, it’s been a monumental effort to get Alameda’s Active Transportation Plan (ATP) over the finish line and approved by the City Council this year. This plan defines our framework and vision for the next decade. We’d like to specifically thank Rochelle Wheeler, the city’s Senior Transportation Planner, for her work on melding together hundreds (if not thousands!) of community comments into an exceptional vision for our city, which is already paying off. For example, ATP’s vision for a low-stress bike network provided the guidance needed to successfully advocate for much-needed protected bike lanes on Grand Street from Encinal to Shoreline.
But we’re not just planning for biking and walking around Alameda: the West End bicycle and pedestrian bridge took another big step forward this year. The city launched a $1.5 million county-funded planning study for the bridge and hired two world-class consulting firms to complete it. This Project Initiation Document will answer many outstanding questions about the bridge, such as: Where will it land, and who will build and operate it?
While busy planning for the future, we’ve also enjoyed the fruits of earlier efforts with the opening of the Cross Alameda Trail segment behind Del Monte (aka Star Harbor) and the new Bay Trail segment at Bohol Circle Immigrant Park (Alameda Landing), which should have a water shuttle dock — and maybe shuttle service — coming soon!
We recognize that making it safer and easier to bike or walk isn’t just a matter of building safe infrastructure, we also need to provide informational resources. One of those resources is the new 2022 Alameda Biking and Walking map. We want to give a huge shout out to Tim Beloney, BWA’s board member who led the new map project. If you didn’t get a new map in your Bike to Wherever Day bag, please stop by either City Hall or your favorite local bike shop to pick up a copy. You can also download a digital version from our website.
We’ve also been working with other organizations to elevate biking in their initiatives. For example, after Alameda Municipal Power announced their EV rebate program, we advocated for a rebate program for e-bikes. If you’re considering a new e-bike purchase, please check out their rebate options! And if you bring your bike on the ferry, you may have noticed a change in the process which allows people with bikes to disembark first on weekdays. This clears the parking lots of bikes before drivers get to their cars, making disembarking faster and safer for everyone.
With the elections this year, we wanted to help voters make informed decisions. In addition to tracking our Council’s individual voting records on items important to our membership, we co-hosted candidate forums with Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA) for both our City Council and Mayoral candidates. We thank ALL the candidates who tossed their hats into the ring and volunteered to serve our community, and we congratulate the winners! We’re excited to work with you all in making Alameda an even better place to bike and walk.
Finally, we want to take a moment to recognize the contributions, and friendship, of BWA’s prior Board President, Pat Potter, who passed away this year. She led BWA from mid 2019 until late 2020. Under her leadership, BWA honed our strategies on the Cross Alameda Trail, Central Avenue, and many other projects. Her guidance, laughter, and generosity will be sorely missed.
If you want to get more involved in the work we do, please check out the opportunities at www.bikewalkalameda.org/volunteer/. We’re always looking for help. Even if you’ve never been involved, I promise you have the skills and talent we need, and you can make a difference!
We can’t do this work without your voice and your financial support. Thank you for being there when needed. We hope you will consider a year-end contribution to Bike Walk Alameda by making a tax-deductible donation this holiday season online at: bikewalkalameda.org/donate/. We’re looking forward to a busy and great 2023!
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
This column was originally published on the Bike Walk Alameda newsletter. To learn more about Bike Walk Alameda, visit https://bikewalkalameda.org.