EV 102 – New EV Owner Workshop: July 28 – Just made the switch to an EV? Long-time EV owners and experts make your transition to driving electric smooth.
Drive Clean with the League: July 10 & 14 – League of Women Voters, together with Drive Clean, co-hosts Drive Clean with the League, an educational and inspirational gathering to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.
E-Bike Rebate: If you purchase an e-bike or have an e-bike conversion kit professionally installed, be sure to apply for a rebate from 511 Contra Costa. Rebates of up to $300 are available while supplies last. Learn more at 511cc.org/rebate.
Antioch: Upper Sand Creek Basin – Spend the morning in the beautiful Upper Sand Creek watershed, exploring an area that is usually closed to the public. Volunteer activities include trash pickup, invasive species removal, and planting native flora. Upper Sand Creek Basin, 6600 Deer Valley Rd, 9am-12pm.
Clayton: Clayton Cleans Up – Community clean-up day; volunteers check in at Clayton City Hall. Various locations. 9am-12pm (Must complete registration form; for more info call the Pioneer at (925) 672-0500.
Crockett: Crockett Shoreline Cleanup – Join the Carquinez Watershed Council in a celebration of Earth Day. The Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center will be hosting a free planting party for the whole family; volunteers will be cleaning up trash and doing a trash assessment at the site. Crockett Shoreline, 10am-2pm.
Martinez ☀: John Muir Birthday–Earth Day Celebration – 511CC staff will be giving each person who bikes to the event a $5 Jamba Juice gift card. Celebrate pioneering naturalist John Muir’s 181st birthday at his former home while learning practical ways to help the planet thrive. There will be live music, activities for the kids and other entertainment. John Muir National Historic Site,10am-4pm. 511CC giving people who bike to the event $5 Jamba Juice gift cards
Port Costa: Port Costa Earth Day Cleanup – Meet at the café in Port Costa for coffee and snacks in the morning, followed by an Earth Day cleanup of the Port Costa Shoreline! 2 Canyon Lake Dr, Port Costa, 9am-12pm.
Richmond: North Richmond Earth Day Cleanup & Celebration – Help clean up Wildcat Creek at Verde Elementary School. After the creek cleanup, enjoy the North Richmond Earth Day Celebration at Shields-Reid Park and Community Center including food, live performances, kids activities, and more! The Watershed Project will be hosting fun and educational watershed activities for kids of all ages. Cleanup 9-11am, festival 11am-2pm.
Pleasant Hill ☀: Diablo Valley College Earth Day – Meet the experts, ask questions, and learn what you can do to be more sustainable. Live entertainment, giveaways, and free food. 511CC staff will have prizes and information on how students can earn rewards for everyday transportation with the Miles app. All are welcome. Commons at DVC, 321 Golf Club Rd,11am-2pm.
Concord ☀: ASI Earth Week Festival – Celebrate sustainability and Mother Earth on the CSUEB Concord campus! Talk with featured organizations and enjoy music, food, and giveaways. In front of CSUEB Concord University Union, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Rd, 11am-2pm.
Moraga: Saint Mary’s Earth Day Festival – Enjoy over 20 booths, including an electric vehicle car show, the Global Gael food truck, yoga, music, art, and more. Celebrate the Earth and learn about environmental issues and solutions. St. Mary’s College, De La Salle Hall, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, 12:30pm-3pm.
Pittsburg ☀: Los Medanos College Earth Day Fair – An opportunity to learn about environmental organizations, their work, and how to live in an environmentally friendly way. The Sierra Club will be hosting a table to share information about the work they do and outings they sponsor. Los Medanos College Campus Quad, 2700 E Leland Rd, 10am-1pm.
Saturday, April 27
Orinda: Orinda Action Day – A day of community service by residents and friends. Volunteers check in at the Orinda Library Plaza. Orinda Library Plaza, 26 Orinda Way, 10am-12pm.
Sunday, April 28
Lafayette: Lafayette Earth Day Festival – Discover opportunities to make environmentally friendly choices at the festival. Several organizations will host informative and educational booths including the Girl Scouts, the Climate Reality Project, and Wheel Kids Bicycle Club. Lucia’s, a popular Berkeley pizzeria, will offer regular, vegan and gluten-free pizzas for purchase. Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, 11am-2pm.
Orinda:Wagner Ranch Wildlife Festival – Enjoy free admission to the beautiful historic ranch and 18-acre nature preserve, rarely open to the public. Join a variety of activities for all ages: wildlife fun at the Frog Pond, animals to visit in the garden, tours of the meadows, and live music. You’re also welcome to bring a picnic lunch or visit one of four food trucks. Wagner Ranch Nature Area, 350 Camino Pablo, 11:30am-4:30pm.
Walnut Creek:Lindsay Wildlife Experience Eco Fest – Meet wild animals – like falcons and porcupines, check out an electric car showcase, learn about sustainable food choices, and more! Lindsay Wildlife Experience, 1931 First Ave, 10am-5pm.
Monday, April 22 – Saturday, April 27: Cal State East Bay Earth Week
Concord: Earth Week is free & open to the public, with events including talks, tree planting days, free lunch (bring your own utensils), a scavenger hunt & more. Check the schedule for times & locations.
Great Weather Creates High Bike to Work Day Turnout
Thousands of East Bay residents pedaled to work on Thursday, May 10 to celebrate the 24th annual Bay Area Bike to Work Day. Morning counts taken at East Bay Energizer Stations tallied 19,800 people either stopping in or rolling by. In Contra Costa alone, over 4,000 riders were counted.
The event’s 48 Energizer Stations were located next to popular bike commute routes, along regional trails, at BART and other transit stations, and in downtown areas around Contra Costa. Volunteers cheered cyclists on by giving away coffee, snacks, and free Bike to Work Day bags.
Free Bike Bells: At the 511 Contra Costa Energizer station in Walnut Creek, the East Bay Regional Park District affixed over 200 free bike bells as part of their “Share Our Trails: Ring or Call Out” trail safety and etiquette program.
A BTWD Success Story: Sometimes all it takes is one bike commute for people to realize they’d like to bike to work regularly. That’s what happened with K. Myers – she literally started cycling on Bike to Work Day and is now committed to making her commute between Concord and Walnut Creek by bicycle every Thursday to work at AAA. When asked how she would get home in the case of emergency, she said, “Uber, Lyft or GIG if it was available in Walnut Creek.” Clayton to Concord for a Decade: Steve Biggs has been bike commuting between Clayton and Concord most days for the past 10 years. Although he biked for fitness throughout much of his life, it was only 10 years ago that Bike to Work Day inspired him to try biking to work. This year’s BTWD was his 10th year anniversary as a bike commuter, so he whipped up a bike-blended smoothie on the trail.
Steve recently bought an e-bike which allowed him to commute in the driving rain this past winter. He discovered that with his e-bike he was able to travel more in step with cars on the road, making him feel safer.
During the summer Steve rides his road bike. He loves cycling to work and to the grocery store. An added bonus from cycling to work is that it has increased his fitness level for his double centuries (200 mi. rides).
Bike to School Events: Bike to Work Day wasn’t just for commuters – local students and teachers joined in the fun with 117 schools hosting Bike to School Day festivities on Thursday and throughout National Bike Month this May.
Participation Up Substantially: Participation in Bike to Work Day has increased 30% over the past five years.
Elected Officials Join on Two Wheels
In Brentwood, Mayor Robert Taylor and Brentwood Traffic Engineer, Steve Kersevan, joined the Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club at their City Park Energizer Station.
Moment of the Day
Longtime Bike to Work Day volunteer Dick Anderson (age 82), who hosted the Martinez Amtrak Energizer Station, had a story to share which seems sums up the ‘people helping people’ spirit behind Energizer Stations: A young couple got off the last train of the morning commute. They were about to transfer their boxed bikes to an AMTRAK bus to continue their journey. After I presented them with bike bags, Gatorade and bagels they offered to pay me for them. I told her that I do this strictly as a volunteer and I’d never accept any payment anyway. Since I was ready to pack up for the day, the fellow offered to take the table I borrowed from AMTRAK back for me, saving me the effort.
Wondering what Bike To Work Day looked like across Contra Costa? Click any thumbnail below to access our gallery of photos from energizer stations across the county, or view them on Facebook. We also suggest visiting the photo gallery at YouCanBikeThere.com. (Note: As energizer stations hosts send in photos, we’ll be adding them. If you have photos to share, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org!)
Walnut Creek: Iron Horse & Contra Costa Canal Trail – Hosts: 511CC, CCTA, EBRPD
Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek BART – Host: Bike Walnut Creek
Any Day Can Be Bike to Work Day
Bike To Work Day is a great time to try commuting by bike, but it doesn’t have to be the only day you give it a shot! Just remember: Biking to work is all about what works for you. Maybe the weather, or having a bike buddy, or the copious amounts of stuff you have to haul on a bike factors into your decision to cycle to work, and that’s okay!
Biking to work should be enjoyable, so pick days when riding seems fun and reasonable, then go for it. Do that and you might find yourself planning more rides to work. Just like these first-time Bike To Work Day participants.
Tips: Preparing to Bike Commute
Need help getting ready to ride to work? Preparing for a bike commute isn’t as difficult as you might think. Taking a little time to get familiar with your bike, figure out how to carry your stuff & find a good route (or even a bike buddy) can make things much easier.
Take the guesswork out of preparing with our Tips & Tricks for Bike Commuting!
Isabella Zizi: 2017 Contra Costa Bike Commuter of the Year
Bike Party is what made Isabella Zizi start riding as an adult. That’s where “I broke in my orange ’70s Peugeot and introduced it to the fun.” Those rides opened the door to her commuting by bike, and she now regularly uses her bike to commute the six miles to Gathering Tribes in Albany, a Native American arts, crafts & jewelry store.
For Isabella, biking is more than just transportation, it provides a link to her community and its history. These days she rides the Richmond Greenway, but she used to live by it before it was green. “It was just dirt and rocks, and now it has been transformed. I love the connections it provides. The edible garden, the murals, it is so cool to see everything come to life and be open to the whole community.” During rides around Richmond, she also builds connections with her neighbors and strengthens friendships with other riders.
To get further inspired, read the rest of Isabella’s story and the stories of other 2017 Bike Commuter of the Year winners at YouCanBikeThere.com!
Bike Mapper: Choose the Route Best for You
511 Contra Costa’s Bike Mapper is an innovative bicycle mapping system designed to find the flattest, most direct, or fastest route anywhere in Contra Costa. Read more about the 511CC Interactive Bike Mapper here, or check out our selection of free paper and online bike maps.
On Thursday, May 12, over 100,000 people across the Bay Area commuted by bike in celebration of Bike to Work Day, with more than 5,600 participants in Contra Costa alone! Morning counts across the Bay Area showed an increase in participation of more than 9 percent over last year. That’s amazing!
511 Contra Costa wants to thank all participants for making this another successful Bike to Work Day and for helping reduce CO2 emissions! We’d especially like to thank the hosts and volunteers who helped coordinate and staff the energizer stations throughout Contra Costa. By providing encouragement, snacks and mechanical assistance, you helped make bike commuting a reality for so many!
Whether you rode to work, volunteered or just want to see what things looked like at Energizer Stations on Bike To Work Day, you should check out our photo gallery below. Who knows – if you visited an Energizer station we just might have a photo of you!
If you participated in Bike to Work Day and want to keep commuting by bike (or want to try bike commuting for the first time), we’ve got resources to help make it fun and easy. Visit our Biking page for tips on how to become a bike commuter, to sign up for a BikeLink (bike locker) card, to learn about taking bikes on transit, and to find out how you can get a cash reward for making the switch to commuting by bike!
Bike to Work Day 2016 was a huge success and we’re thrilled about how many people got involved. Whether you participated this year or not, we hope to see you on your bike next year… if not sooner!
Photo Gallery: Bike To Work Day 2016
(Click any photo to see a larger version)
Morning Energizer Stations
Antioch: Mokelumne Trail at Prewett Park (hosted by the City of Antioch)
Brentwood: City Park (hosted by Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club)
El Cerrito: Ohlone Greenway (hosted by the City of El Cerrito)
Martinez: Central Contra Costa Sanitary (hosted by Central Contra Costa Sanitary District)
Pleasant Hill: Contra Costa Canal Trail & Gregory Ln (hosted by Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District)
San Pablo: City Hall (hosted by the City of San Pablo)
Walnut Creek: Contra Costa Canal Trail & Geary Rd
Walnut Creek: Contra Costa Canal Trail & N. Wiget Ln (hosted by Renaissance ClubSport)
Walnut Creek: Iron Horse Trail & Broadway/Newell Ave (hosted by Beeline Bikes & Whole Foods Market)
Walnut Creek: Iron Horse Trail & Contra Costa Canal Trail (hosted by CCTA, 511CC & EBRPD)
Walnut Creek: S. Main St & Newell Ave (hosted by Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center)
Walnut Creek: Olympic Blvd & Newell Ave (hosted by Bike Walnut Creek)
Walnut Creek: Ygnacio Canal Trail & Contra Costa Trail (hosted by Encina Bicycle Center)
Afternoon Energizer Stations
Walnut Creek: Iron Horse Trail & Contra Costa Canal Trail (hosted by CCTA, 511CC & EBRPD)
Green bike lanes have landed in Walnut Creek just in time for Bike to Work Day! The bike lane on Olympic Blvd has been painted green on the segment between N. California and the I-680 on ramp. The creation of green bike lanes has been on the rise in the Bay Area since San Francisco’s first green lanes on Fell Street in 2010. It’s an inexpensive way to remind motorists to stay alert for cyclists, especially when drivers have to enter the green-painted area to change lanes or make a turn.
Does the painting of bike lanes help? A report on Portland’s painted bike lanes concluded:
The percentage of motorists yielding increased to 92 percent, a 27 percent increase… The overwhelming majority [of cyclists] (76 percent) felt that the locations were safer since the installation.
Given the benefits of painted bike lanes, it’s no surprise that at least 7 of the projects that made People for Bikes‘ list of the Best New Bike Lanes feature green paint.
If you want to see what the future of bike lanes might look like (or just drool over some amazing bike infrastructure), check out People for Bikes’ America’s 10 Best New Bike Lanes of 2015.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has announced that Green Clean Air Vehicle decals – which allow single-occupant plug-in hybrids to use the HOV lane – are no longer being issued. In late 2015, the DMV hit their limit of 85,000 stickers. Although the limit has been raised in the past, there is no guarantee that additional decals will be authorized in the coming months. The DMV will continue to accept applications without payment for people who want to go on a waitlist should additional decals be authorized.
White Clean Air Vehicle decals (for natural gas or 100% electric vehicles) are still available and an unlimited number can be issued. Both the Green and White decals are valid until 2019.
For more information, visit the California DMV’s decal information page or call 800-242-4450.
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 and continues be seen as a model of sustainable transportation for the rest of the nation. Coincidentally, last year also marked the 75th anniversary of another incredible Bay Area infrastructural transportation monument, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Today, the Bay Area is leading the way in California again*, albeit with a subtler and humbler infrastructural feature, but one that nonetheless has the potential to hugely impact the way we move– Bay Area Bike Share. Bay Area Bike Share just launched Thursday, August 29th, so the system is merely in its infancy, but similar systems have been around Europe for a while in cities such as Paris and London, and New York City was recently graced with its own iconic bike share earlier this year. Stateside, bike-share programs so far has proven to be surprisingly successful, especially in New York and D.C. Here in the Bay Area, bike share seems to have great potential to compliment our existing excellent regional public transport system, which is perhaps why Bay Area Bike Share is initially launching in Downtown San Francisco and along the Caltrain corridor in Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose.
Here’s how the system works:
RIDE – Run errands, ride to and/or from your BART station, commute to work, or just go for a spin and use it as a gym membership of sorts!
Return the bike to the nearest station.
Repeat steps 2 through 4. Remember, any trip under 30 minutes is free– and yes you can simply dock a bike and check out a new one for another 30 minutes of charge-free cycling.
Bike-share bikes are NOT intended for long trips and the pricing system reflects this. For example, using a Bay Area Bike Share bike for an hour and a half before returning it to a station, will cost you $12 in addition to your membership fee. Any trip under 30 minutes, however, is completely free after membership fee is paid.
So what are bike share bikes good for? Going to meetings or grabbing a bite to eat on your lunch break; cycling from a BART station to your office (at the moment, most downtown San Francisco BART stations have bike share stations nearby); replacing bus trips under three miles with a bike ride; avoiding having to bring your own bike on BART; the infamous last-mile… The possibilities are many, and as long as your journey takes less than 30 minutes (keep in mind, at a “no sweat” pace, one can easily cover at least three miles on a bicycle), using a Bay Area Bike Share bicycle is free. Because of this structuring, getting an annual membership is particularly enticing as it can save you money, especially if you use it to replace short bus trips and cab rides when getting around congested parts of San Francisco.
So what do you think– are you ready to take a Bay Area Bike Share bicycle for a spin?
For additional information, check out Bay Area Bike Share’s Frequently Asked Questions or Contact page. And if you are on social media, feel free to check out Bay Area Bike Share on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram. *While Bay Area Bike Share is not the first bike share system to launch in California, it is by far the largest and is also distinguished in that it is regional and not confined to a single city, integrating the system well with our existing public transportation network and commuter routes.
Photo credit: vision63
In just about every major American metropolitan region, and especially here in the Bay Area, streets are congested – and contested – spaces. Increasingly cities are reallocating mixed-traffic lanes to accommodate bicycling, and while this makes it safer for the cyclists, it can affect the traffic flow by reducing the number of lanes available for motorists, transit, and goods movement. Encouraging more cycling through the creation of dedicated bicycle infrastructure may be a wise investment in the long-term, but the short-term pains it causes some commuters has given rise to the use of phrases such as “anti-car” and “war on drivers.” Do people on bikes cause or relieve congestion? Oftentimes changing streets to accommodate bicycling is as being a “bikes vs cars” issue. Photo credit: ubrayj02
In contemplating the growing tension over bike lane implementation in North American cities, city planner Bret Toderian contends that we should not lose sight of the greater societal aspiration behind changing our existing transportation system– to improve our cities. In an article on the Huffington Post, Toderian describes this approach to recent bike lane debates:
We need a more sophisticated discussion about how we get around in cities, and it starts with this — it’s not about loving your bike. It’s about loving what biking does for cities. If more cars make cities worse, the opposite is true for bikes. Expanding urban biking is about making better, fiscally smarter, healthier, more flexible and resilient cities. Bikes are hardly a silver bullet, but they can be a big part of better city-making.
Toderian proceeds to provide compelling arguments to support this position. He notes that encouraging cycling makes sense in cities because bicycles are more space efficient:
Most pragmatically, city-builders understand that bikes make cities work better because they take a lot less space. Even if cars were clean in emissions, the biggest challenge with car-dependency is a space problem. There isn’t enough room on the roads and parking lots of cities, to have everyone drive. They just don’t fit, and our failed efforts to make them fit, cost a staggering amount.
Perhaps surprisingly, Toderian also argues that having more people cycle in a city actually makes driving easier, not more difficult:
Even if they [cities] prioritize driving, global city-builders recognize the best thing those who feel they need to drive could hope for, is for OTHER people to be able to walk, bike and ride transit. Multi-modal cities make it easier for EVERYONE to get around – including, counter-intuitively, drivers.
When viewed through this lens it does become apparent that existing traffic congestion cannot be solved by only accommodating one mode of transportation and that bicycles are just one tool in the tool box of ways to make cities more pleasant and inhabitable– it isn’t about bikes versus cars. Check out Toderian’s full Huffington Post article.