Posted Jan 31, 2014
Catching the Bus to Horseshoe Bay

Read the rest
A bicyclist peacefully overtakes a bus loading and unloading passengers. Photo credit: Canadian Veggie
If you commute by bike or bus, the conflict is familiar: a bus will overtake a person bicycling then arrive at a stop to pick up passengers, and while the bus is momentarily stopped the person bicycling will catch up and overtake the bus.
This effectively creates an unwanted game of “leap frog” in which bicycles and buses are constantly overtaking one another, sometimes causing near collisions since it can be difficult to see a bicycle approaching on the left as the bus driver attempts to re-enter the flow of traffic. 

Posted Jan 22, 2014
Eureka bike ramp

American transportation planners are fixated on getting more people on bikes, and it’s easy to see why. Bicycles offer a number of benefits, so much so that we have a “bike benefits” tag on this blog.
With the immense popularity of blogs such as Bicycle Dutch and A View From The Cycle Path, which demonstrate what everyday bicycling is like in The Netherlands (where 25% of all trips are by bicycle), there has been a strong focus in recent years on learning from the best… Read the rest, and bringing lessons stateside.

Posted Dec 27, 2013
Bay Area Bike Share launch in San Jose CA


Will the streets of the Bay Area soon be full with a sea of bike-share commuters cycling that last mile from BART to the workplace? Only time will tell. Photo credit: Richard Masoner
The Bay Area is not new to transportation innovations. Last year, we celebrated four successful decades of the visionary commuter rail known as BART, which stills sees climbing ridership… Read the rest  and continues be seen as a model of sustainable transportation for the rest of the nation.

Posted Dec 12, 2013
Fireworks in Pinole, CA in Contra Costa County

Transit riders and vanpoolers who take advantage of pre-tax commuter benefits with their employer will find that their maximum monthly limit decrease to $130 starting January 1, 2014 from $245 in 2013.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR 8)… Read the rest restored the pre-tax transit and vanpool commuter benefits to be on par with the qualified parking benefit temporarily for the 2013 calendar year. That parity ends December 31, 2013.
At this time, the 2014 monthly limits for qualified monthly transportation benefits are:

up to $130 per employee per month for public transportation and vanpool
up to $250 per employee per month for qualified parking, or
up to $380 per employee per month for both public transportation and qualified parking

Qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements will remain unchanged at $20 per month in the new year.

Posted Dec 8, 2013
IMG_0431


Bike commuting– much safer and pleasant when there’s company. Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock
Los Angeles has been making headlines in recent years because of the region’s willingness to invest in alternatives to the automobile, particularly in bringing back an efficient and convenient train system. However, it now appears that another form of commuter train has been built… bike trains!
What are bike trains? The founders of LA Bike Trains, the organization spearheading the concept, put together this concise explanation:
We provide a rolling party along select routes run by Conductors… Read the rest – experienced urban cyclists – to harness the safety of riding in a group while kicking it up a notch by making the ride a fun social experience. 

Posted Dec 6, 2013
DSC_0031


(Two people enjoying the toll-free, bicycle-pedestrian path along the new Bay Bridge span.  Photo credit: Sharon Hahn Darlin)
The bicycle and pedestrian path along the new East Bay span of the Bay Bridge has proved incredibly popular… Read the rest, even though one still can’t completely reach San Francisco by bicycle or foot. People just really like recreating outdoors, enjoying breath-taking views in one of the most beautiful parts of California– who knew?

Posted Nov 13, 2013

What if someone told you there were a way to safely lock your bike with a not a key, but a smartphone app? And that this same app enables you to seamlessly borrow a friend’s bike, effectively allowing users to create their own bike-share network? And that the app alerts you if your bike has been stolen?
That’s the amazing and genius concept behind BitLock, a kickstarter idea that has just reached its crowd-sourced funding goal…. Read the rest

Posted Jul 24, 2013


Good for business? A former parking space for a single car now easily accommodates 10 times as many bicycles.
Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock
Here at 511 Contra Costa we tag posts that directly or indirectly feature the benefits of bicycling with our “bike benefits” tag. Of the many benefits we’ve covered, one is increasingly being spotlighted by city officials and advocates alike– the economic benefits of bicycling and bicycle infrastructure… Read the rest

Posted Jul 23, 2013
20070603_19-53-29


Bike aboard Amtrak. Photo credit: ubrayj02
Looking to take a nice train and bike trip along the coast this summer?
The Source… Read the rest published this news release from Caltrans, which funds some passenger rail service in California, regarding the new bike reservation policy (with our emphasis added) :
Caltrans, Amtrak Announce New Bike Reservation Policy to Improve Customer Service and Enhance Safety
SACRAMENTO – Amtrak California passengers traveling with bicycles can reserve onboard bike rack space free of charge beginning June 1, 2013 when booking travel on Pacific Surfliner trains.

Posted Jun 7, 2013
Melbourne Bike Share - first day


A bike-share dock in Melbourne, Australia. Photo credit: Gavin Anderson
This past month you may have heard about New York City’s historic bike-share launch. New York’s bike-share program continues to incite enthusiasm and excitement, not just for the locals using the system, but for other cities interested in similar bike-share schemes. Here in California one can’t help but to wonder– when will the bike-friendly Bay Area… Read the rest get to enjoy bike-sharing?