Car-free Davis: Bike education, encouragement kept city staff, volunteers busy
In this column, I wanted to share our 2017 accomplishments and provide some insights about what to expect in 2018.
First, a little background: The Bike and Pedestrian and Safe Routes to Schools programs carry out projects that emanate from City Council goals, the Beyond Platinum: Bicycle Action Plan, the Walk and Bike Audit Report, the Transportation Implementation Plan, council-approved budgeted activities, Safe Routes to School grants, Safe Routes to School parent surveys, private development projects, and state and federal regulations.
These plans, policies and projects serve as the road map for our programs. We also receive guidance from the public and the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission.
In 2017, we participated in 85 community events compared to 62 in 2016, an increase of 37 percent. In 2017, we hosted more events focused on education, equity, encouragement, enforcement and enjoyment. Our outreach was concentrated around three main areas — bike education, providing bike lights for nighttime safety, and making biking, walking and public transportation enjoyable.
Every year, demand for our education program is increasing. We provided 33 bike education classes and activities to people of all ages and abilities. Our bike education team delivers the school bike rodeos, bike education school assemblies and Biking with Confidence classes offered through the city’s recreation program.
We also teach private and specialized classes for organizations including Team Davis, classes at the Davis Senior Center and classes tailored for UC Davis students, faculty and staff.
New in 2017, we taught bike mechanic classes at junior high schools where students received hands-on training to fix a flat tire and learned about brakes and shifting. We also started a new program to teach people how to ride a bicycle.
In 2018, we plan to continue to provide bike education classes at schools and in the community. If you are interested in taking a class or learning more about the classes, contact Joshua Endow-Monteiro at email@example.com.
Did you meet us at one of our 36 encouragement and enjoyment events in 2017? Our events encourage people to bike and walk instead of drive.
In February, we encouraged elementary students to ride and walk to school by rewarding students with points that were used to adopt 14 polar bears. From April to October, we partnered with Ken’s Bike-Ski- Board to host Bike Party Davis, a fun and casual bike ride. (Don’t let anyone know, but the real purpose of Bike Party is to emphasize safe riding, education and to highlight the easily accessible bikeways and pathways.)
You might also have seen us celebrating Bike Month in May at the bike-to-work block party on Third Street near the UC Davis campus.
Our 2018 event calendar is beginning to fill up. You can check out our events on the city of Davis events calendar at www.cityofdavis.org.
Our program purchases and distributes bike lights throughout the community. In 2017, with the help of the Davis police, UC Davis police and the Davis Bike Fairy Bruno Hope, more than 2,000 bike lights were distributed to people who were pedaling in the dark. Our Light the Night bike light giveaway events occurred between November and March.
Thank you to the Davis Bike Club and the Rotary Club of Davis (noon) for donations to help support our bike light giveaways. In 2018, look for more Light the Night events. Thanks to a Yolo-Solano Air Quality District clean air grant, the city is launching Lights in a Pinch, where we will provide 10 bike light vending machines at bars, restaurants and theaters.
In addition to organizing and participating in community events, we worked on two major infrastructure projects and many smaller projects. The Bike and Pedestrian Program is taking the lead on citywide bike and pedestrian wayfinding system. In 2017, we installed 17 navigational signs and more are coming in 2018. In addition, throughout 2017, we have been working to get Davis closer to having an all-electric-assist bike share system, which will arrive this year!
One of our smaller projects is a bike education tip card for Davis police to hand out to people on bikes as a warning. The cards include information about the rules of the road and bike education classes. Currently, the bike education card is printed in English. In 2018, we want to print the tip cards in Spanish and Chinese.
We are working on updating the city bike map and suggested safe routes to school maps. The city also received a Yolo-Solano Air Quality District clean air grant to purchase an electric-assist quadricycle. This community bicycle will arrive in 2018 and will be used to help promote electric-assist bicycles as a way to replace vehicle trips.
I expect 2018 to be just as busy if not busier than 2017 with the addition of more wayfinding signs, bike share, the community bicycle and Lights in a Pinch. This is an exciting time to work and live in Davis and I look forward to keeping you up to date on what we are working on. Please send any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Jennifer Donofrio, city of Davis bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator, publishes this column monthly. You may reach her at email@example.com.
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