(By Shelby Kelley) Davis just got a new Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator! And she is raring to go bringing exciting ideas of how to boost biking and walking from her times in Tucson and Calgary. Please welcome Jennifer Donofrio to Davis.

I sat down with Jennifer to discuss her ideas for Davis and get to know her better. First of all she wants to learn from the Davis community about our specific wants and needs. She also intends for cycling and walking to be treated equally in future planning and wants to work toward bettering them together while balancing any conflicts between the two.

The City recently hired Jennifer to the position, having been without a coordinator since October. Having a bike/ped coordinator is vital to a place like Davis and crucial for helping people in our community shift to lower carbon transport and thus help us meet our city’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. Many projects and programs were put on hold while the city searched for someone with the experience and know-how to design, assess, plan, and implement programs, projects, policies, and infrastructure. Now that we have someone in place bicycle and pedestrian projects should start picking up speed again.

For Jennifer,  bicycling and walking in Davis should become just part of the norm here – everyday activities you don’t have to think twice about – not just limited to riding to school or occasional alternatives to driving a car.

Jennifer has experience of helping encourage this cultural shift. In Tucson, she helped orchestrate fun Cyclovias, carfree events where people could try out biking, walking, skating and just enjoy car-free streets. Small events can build up to to larger events, all encouraging active transportation.

In Tucson, she also helped manage the city’s employee bike-share program (bike share in Davis should come online in 2017 as part of a regional bike share program led by SACOG).  She noted that it was a great experience in learning how to relocate bikes based on ridership, maintain bikes, and provide educational materials to new riders.

Jennifer is recovering from a nasty leg break. Putting her leg down when stopping on her bike is still a little jarring but she’s out riding around Davis anyway. She broke her leg when she stepped in a patch of black ice in a crosswalk in Calgary in November. So she’s obviously been on the unfortunate end of pedestrian safety hazards and now has personal experience with accessibility issues under her belt.

Our meeting then digressed into discussion about past projects in Davis, potential projects, and general excitement over getting moving on improving transportation in Davis. Jennifer is obviously passionate about these issues and looks to be a great person to help lead us forward.

Read Davis Enterprise interview with Jennifer here