California Bicycle Coalition Summit
Every two years, the California Bicycle Coalition’s Summit brings together planners, engineers, advocates and political officials to share ideas for making California better for bicycling. This year, the Cal Bike Summit came to America’s Finest City and we jumped at the chance to sponsor and participate in our home town. This year’s theme was Equity in Motion and included sessions on a wide range of topics, all of which considered whether the bicycle improvements we create are reaching the communities that need them the most, and how we can do better. With many of our past and current projects occurring in disadvantaged communities, we had a lot to share at the Bike Summit. In addition, demonstrating new bicycle infrastructure within these communities was a hot topic. With KTU+A’s tactical urbanism experience, this was another topic to which we knew we could contribute.
Joe Punsalan participated in the “Building Bikeway Networks in Diverse Communities” panel and focused on the outreach efforts for Santa Ana’s Downtown Complete Streets Plan and Desert Hot Springs’ Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. While probably overdressed for event, Joe presented on how a three-day charrette can be fun, informative and – by empowering residents to improve their own downtown – a serious vehicle for change. The Desert Hot Springs presentation highlighted a grassroots outreach approach, where residents were trained to lead the table exercises. This empowered residents to make decisions about bicycle and pedestrian improvements and helped to build trust between attendees and project staff.
Building on the momentum from her recent presentation at the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professional’s Professional Development Seminar (APBP PDS) in St. Louis, Alison Moss contributed to the “Pop-Up Demonstrations of Better Infrastructure” session. Jointing this session afforded Alison the chance to collaborate with Dave Campbell of Bike East Bay and Monique Lopez of Placemaking Collaborative, to offer a vibrant and entertaining look at pop-up demonstrations. KTU+A’s cycle track demonstration on University Avenue during the 2014 CicloSDias event was the focus of Alison’s talk. In her discussion of how the team planned, programmed and executed the design, she focused on lessons learned and tools of the trade.
What would a Bike Summit be without a bike ride? KTU+A volunteered to lead a ride through Coronado under the leadership of the City’s Active Transportation Coordinator Mariah VanZerr. KTU+A’s John Holloway co-led the ride while Jacob Leon and Tim Henderson provided bicycling and organizational support. The vertigo induced and tattoo laced backlash the City recently faced inspired this ride. But instead of adding fuel to the fire, this ride was designed to showcase the City’s existing infrastructure and the steps it’s taking to ensure that the City remains a world class bicycling destination. Where else do 70 percent of a city’s children bike or walk to school? Plus, it’s flat, there’s a ferry ride, ocean views and (for 2015 Cal Bike attendees) free bike rentals. Thanks to our partners at DecoBike for providing the bikes!
We came away from the Summit more inspired than ever. Seeing and hearing about the changes that our colleagues in the field are making was great. According to the League of American Bicyclists’ (LAB) Bicycle Friendly State Program, California ranks eighth, moving up one spot from last year. With local and state officials steadily making changes to improve our streets for everyone, California has a bright future ahead and a number one ranking in sight.