Promoting bicycle ridership has become a widespread mission across many regions, ranging from small towns to large cities. In California’s East Bay, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC) has grown to be the primary advocacy group to make bicycling more feasible and safer on a large scale. The organization’s “guiding principles” include the following:
Make biking, walking and transit more accessible options to all communities, particularly those that have been underserved;
Engage diverse populations;
Enhance the health of residents, improve the quality of the environment and make communities more livable and sustainable;
Be fiscally and ethically responsibly with their resources.
The accomplishments of the EBBC are numerous. Currently, they are working with BART, the Bay Area’s primary transit service, to lift the ban on bikes on the BART at all hours, every day of the week. There are certain commuting hours, those being during morning and evening rush hour, when bikes cannot be brought on the carts.
They have already completed several successful short pilot programs. But on July 1st, the BART will begin a five month trial period when bikes can be brought on the carts at all hours of the day, every day of the week. I can say from personal experience that it will interesting to see how BART riders react to the extra bicycles dispersed around them at 8:30 in the morning.
Although I feel the EBBC has made many contributions to the East Bay communities, I was surprised and a bit disappointed to find how disconnected they are from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC). Although they share the same goals and are both part of the Bay Area, they do little work together. As a whole, I believe the San Francisco Bay Area could make a stronger effort to promote a greater sense of regionalism with transportation initiatives, versus looking at San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley as separate entities.
Still, I am encouraged by the level of ridership I am seeing throughout the Bay Area. I believe the residents want to have the option to ride to their destinations. With that being said, what efforts are your local organizations making to enhance bicycle ridership?
Credits: Data linked to sources. Photos credit of EBBC and SPUR.