Albany Strollers & Rollers is a service and advocacy group focused on making it easier and safer to bike, walk, skate, scoot, roll, ride, and just generally get around Albany by any means that allows stopping to talk to a neighbor, stranger, or friend. We run bike valet parking at city events, fund bike racks, install free lights on kids bikes, and more. We seek improvements to make it easier for people to get around under their own power, such as leading the effort to get the path built under the I-80/I-580 freeway onramp long ago or more recently working with the City to get a wider and more safely configured Greenway path after the seismic retrofit.
Albany Strollers & Rollers (AS&R) was founded in 2004. Currently, we comprise over 483 individuals and families. For a more detailed summary of what we do, read the AS&R article.
458 people rode by or stopped at our Energizer Station, including Albany’s own rolling home inspector, Jay Marlette.
courtesy Francesco Papalia
What a great Bike to Work Day! 458 people rode by and so many of them stopped by to enjoy food, coffee and good company & conversation!
We enjoyed having you at our Energizer Station and enjoyed the company of our Mayor, Peggy Thomsen who handed out bike bags to all comers. Albany Traffic & Safety Commissioner and former Mayor Farid Javandel led the 2nd Annual City Officials’ Bike to Work Day Ride Around Albany, which ended up at our Station. Thanks to both of you.
Some photos are here: http://tinyurl.com/abpaux9 and in this article by Patch: http://albany.patch.com/articles/a-festive-day-to-bike-to-work
Plenty of food and coffee, thanks to the generous supporting local businesses!
courtesy Francesco Papalia
MANY THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS AND SUPPORTING BUSINESSES!
Blue Heron Bikes
Bua Luang Thai Cuisine
East Bay Bicycle Coalition
Fehr & Peers
La Farine Boulangerie
Marie Bowser Acupuncture
Missing Link Bicycle Cooperative
Noah’s New York Bagels
Peet’s Coffee & Tea
Tay Tah Café
Wheels Of Justice
Riders were happy to see staff from both Blue Heron Bikes and Wheels of Justice there for safety checks.
courtesy Nick Pilcn
AND TO OUR FANTASTIC VOLUNTEERS!
THESE TWO HELPED WITH POSTERS – THANKS MUCH!
Not many Energizer Stations could boast a Mayor handing out bags and swag. Ours could, as Peggy Thomsen volunteered all morning!
courtesy Nick Pilch
OUR OWN SYLVIA PAULL WAS THERE REPRESENTING
THE EAST BAY BICYCLE COALITION ALONG WITH
Thanks to everyone who made Bike to Work Day so much fun and a success!
See you all on the road!
On Thursday, April 25th, the Traffic & Safety Commission considered whether the upcoming Complete Streets plan for San Pablo Ave. should include bike lanes. Adding bike lanes unfortunately requires removing some street parking. The consultants offered a hybrid plan, with bike lanes in some sections, where they are most needed and where the existing parking is least used. The remainder of the street would have green “super-sharrow” markings encouraging bikes and cars to share the right lane. The Commission voted unanimously to instruct the consultants to proceed with this plan.
The plan will include bike lanes in both directions in the northernmost block of Albany, to connect with bike lanes which are in El Cerrito’s Master Plan. In southern Albany, the plan will show a southbound bike lane from Buchanan St. to Dartmouth St., and a northbound bike lane from Dartmouth St. to Marin Ave. If the city proceeds to turn Kains and Adams into two-way bicycle boulevards, as AS&R has long advocated, then the new bike lanes will fill in some important gaps to make for a thorough bicycling network in Albany. In particular, southbound cyclists on the Adams bike boulevard, upon reaching the end of this side street at Buchanan, will be able to continue southward using the San Pablo bike lane.
The Commission’s approval of the plan does not mean that it will be built exactly as shown. Once the plan is complete, the City will start seeking funding to change the street a little bit at a time. Changes involving only paint, rather than repaving or changing cement medians, are the cheapest and will get done first. Once some of the street has been set up with bike lanes and some with sharrows, and once some parking has been removed, the Commission hopes that the community’s wishes and priorities will become clearer. Future plans can then be adjusted accordingly. It’s possible that the end result could include more sections with bike lanes, or fewer, than are shown in the current plan. But the Commission wanted to avoid laying down new concrete medians now that would make it difficult to add bike lanes later.
AS&R offers thanks to all of those who have spoken in favor of bike lanes at City meetings, and to the Traffic & Safety Commission for taking alternative transportation very seriously in planning for Albany’s future.
Shortly after the final signature was applied to the settlement agreement between UC and AS&R, UC’s University Village Mixed-Use Project developers informed AS&R they had included a two-way cycle track along the project frontage on San Pablo. This includes in front of the proposed Sprouts Farmers Market north of Monroe. The new plans showing the cycle track are available at http://www.albanyca.org/index.aspx?page=521. These plans will be considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission at a study session during its meeting on Wednesday, May 8th.
A map of the cycling path network in development in west Albany shows the critical link this cycle track could provide. When complete, this cycling network could prove to be the most connected of all such networks in Bay Area sites containing higher residential density and commerce (the network extends to the condominium complexes on Pierce Street, where thousands of people live). Completing this cycle track will also allow residents to commute from south Albany and northwest Berkeley to the planned Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory bay campus on the Bay Trail in Richmond as well as other employment centers to the north entirely on routes with few to no motorists.
In a fitting bit of serendipity, someone that makes just that commute via Dartmouth and threading through the Village and Buchanan to and from the Bay Trail found their way to the AS&R happy hour the day after AS&R met with the developers. AS&R was able to say her commute was set to improve dramatically with facilities in the works letting her ride motorist-free all the way to the Bay Trail from the moment she hit San Pablo and Dartmouth. She became AS&R’s newest member and volunteer on the spot.
Besides all of the above, the proposed cycle track appears to be the first along a commercial street in the East Bay, and perhaps the first along a State highway, and so could further advance cycle tracks as the next wave of preferred cycling facilities in the Bay Area.
Of course there are yet design details to check regarding the cycle track and adjacent sidewalk, and the project must go through subdivision approval and design review before AS&R can be absolutely confident the cycle track will be included. A first step in that regard was taken in the meeting with the developers. The cycle track shown in the new site plan ends just south of a driveway into the supermarket parking lot at the north edge of the property.
When asked, the developer replied they ended it there because they did not know what else to do. AS&R explained its goal to have the cycle track continue to the north along the east edge of the Gill tract to connect with the east end of the Buchanan path under construction (originally suggested by Traffic and Safety Commissioner John Miki). The developer did not know about the Buchanan path and the possible connection, and committed on the spot to extend the cycle track right up to the northern edge of the property.
So come to the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on May 8th or send a message to the Commission care of email@example.com celebrating and supporting the proposed the cycle track.
AS&R and Carbon Neutral Albany (C0A) are pleased to announce agreement with the University of California (UC) on a proposed amendment to the global climate change mitigation measure regarding the University Village Mixed-Use Project in Albany, California. The parties hope the Albany City Council will adopt this amendment at its meeting this Monday, May 6th. This would allow for completion of the settlement agreement.
UC has reaffirmed its commitment to climate change mitigation at the University Village Mixed-Use Project in the settlement agreement. The agreement proposes to amend the climate change mitigation language regarding cycling facilities as follows (deletions in
strikeout and additions underlined):
“Provide bicycle lanes and/or paths, incorporated into the proposed street systems and connected to a community-wide network
subject to the limitations set forth in. This mitigation measure would not modify or alter Mitigation Measure TRANS-12.”
Because Mitigation Measure TRANS-12 regards improving the crossing of San Pablo at Dartmouth for people walking and biking, the improvement was dependent on CalTrans approval. AS&R was concerned that the original language could be interpreted as holding that if CalTrans did not approve the crossing improvement then none of the other cycling facilities needed to be including in the project.
This concern arose in when UC successfully asked for the additional language “subject to the limitations set forth in Mitigation Measure TRANS-12″ in the last minutes before Council’s approval of the project at 2 am on July 10th last year. UC asked for this language out of concern the previous language would compel it to improve the crossing, and so if CalTrans did not approve of the improvement the project could not proceed.
C0A, AS&R’s partner organization in the legal effort, negotiated a proposed amendment regarding the solar power portion of the climate change mitigation measure. The previous language did not include a minimum amount of solar power that would be installed. UC commits to such a minimum in the amendment.
The settlement discussions provided all parties the opportunity to understand each other’s concerns and find language to address those concerns. In this spirit, UC, AS&R, and C0A cooperated in reaching the proposed settlement agreement without need of a court proceeding. The parties repeatedly joined in successfully petitioning the court to delay the start of its proceeding to provide more time for discussion. UC, AS&R and C0A agreed to share the legal cost of the settlement should the Albany City Council adopt the amendment.
AS&R hopes the City Council will adopt the amendments this coming Monday, and looks forward to working with UC, the City and the project developers during the next project review and approval phases.
Hi Strollers & Rollers,
May is Bike Month, which means it’s a busy time of year for our group and our city! With so much happening, we need help from our community to make these upcoming events a success:
Bike to Work Day - Thursday 5/9
6:30am-9am Volunteers needed to count cyclists, hand out swag bags and goodies, outreach at tables and just to provide a smile and a wave to passersby. Food, coffee and swag available for all volunteers!
Bike Rodeo - Saturday 5/18 9:30am-1:30pm
Volunteers needed to blend up frosty smoothies with the Bike Blender, help fit kids’ helmets (Ken McCroskey will give you on-site training,) answer cycling questions from parents and kids.
Arts & Green Festival - Sunday 5/19 10am- 3:30pm
Volunteers needed for outreach at our booth, coordinating the Bicycle Valet Parking and bike tuneups.
*All volunteers who help for 2+ hours get a delicious Chipotle burrito for lunch!
*Plus, the first 15 people who sign up to volunteer get a special discount coupon from our Bike Valet Parking sponsor Bua Luang Thai Cuisine!
Consider joining us for an hour or two, or more! Volunteer help is needed to promote Albany Strollers & Rollers, discuss upcoming projects related to walking and biking (bike lanes, sidewalk conditions, bike rack locations, etc.), get feedback from the community about what their needs/interests are, and to give away, and sell, bike lights and talk about our Bike Light Program. I have volunteered at all of these events in previous year and have always enjoyed meeting new people. And if that wasn’t enough to get you to commit, there’s free food and giveaways available for all volunteers!
Please respond to Amy Smolens to let us know which event and time you are available to help with.
Thanks a lot – look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the events!
AS&R’s booth at any Albany event is a hub of activity – please consider helping us out during Bike Month!
photo courtesy Matt McHugh
Albany Strollers & Rollers is considering launching a bike trailer sharing program. We would like to help people use bicycles for tasks that they might have thought required a car: transporting children, groceries, equipment, or even Christmas trees.
Please click here to take our poll to tell us whether you would use a trailer sharing program and how we should set it up to be most useful. Or, feel free to leave comments here or on the discussion list.
The poll questions are:
- Are you interested in a trailer sharing program?
- How often would you be likely to borrow a trailer?
- What type of trailer would you want to borrow? Some ideas: A trailer for a single child or about five large grocery bags — A trailer for two children — A medium-sized cargo trailer — A large cargo trailer — A foldable trailer that can be rolled into a store with you
- How far out of your way would you be willing to travel to pick up a trailer? (One possibility is to have the trailer stored at Terrace Park.)
- How much would you be willing to pay for borrowing a trailer?
- How would you prefer to make a payment?
I have posted AS&R’s first annual Treasurer’s Report. This report covers calendar year 2012. I plan to post a report like this each calendar year, so that our members can see where our funds come from and how they are being spent.
Project Update (February 13, 2013):
Aleida Andrino-Chavez (City of Albany’s Transportation Planner) provided us with this photo (sent by Ana Bernardes in Public Works who is overseeing the construction of the project). Please note the new, improved curb-cuts at Buchanan/Pierce where the new cycling ramp / plaza meets the street. Kudos to the City staff for making this happen!
- new curb-cut with wider access to the ramp will accommodate cyclists and pedestrians traveling in opposite directions
I went to the project site this morning commuting to work and was very pleased to see the newly constructed curb-cuts into the new “plaza” area (where the ramp meets Buchanan/Pierce). I see that the earlier curb-cut (at Pierce, illustrated in the photo below in the earlier post) is designed/constructed for pedestrians/wheel-chair folks who need to cross Pierce to access the sidewalk on the east side of that intersection and is in addition to the new curb-cuts on the plaza area.
Happily, the crew had already also removed the “wall” and that bollard (entry to the ramp), so i walked my bike onto the sidewalk (over the other new curb-cut at Pierce) then over the dirt onto the bike-pedestrian ramp before re-mounting my bike. The construction crew was great… I thanked them for letting me through and for the quick pace of their work….
The progress of this project makes me very happy and thankful for having City staff who pay attention to the details and are flexible to accommodate necessary changes.
The construction for the new plaza access to/from the Buchanan Street Pedestrian and Bicycle bridge is underway and the curb-cuts at Pierce Street have now been completed. Here are some photos showing the ongoing construction. The good news is that you no longer need to detour Pierce-Johnson-Cleveland-Buchanan Spur just to get onto the pedestrian/bike bridge.
The less-good news is that those nasty bollards will still be around until at least when the new plaza construction and Buchanan bike-path segments have been completed.
Here are some photos i took yesterday morning on my way to/from the Albany Bulb.
AS&R had recommended a wider curb-cut at Pierce Street, so it’s a bit disheartening to see that the rather narrow profile of what went in will not easily accomodate people on bikes or people on bikes and pedestrians together.
Join in on the ongoing discussion on this and other matters in the next City meetings and/or Traffic & Safety Commission meetings.
The racks at St. Alban’s Church have gotten plenty of use already!
You may have noticed 6 bright, shiny and colorful new Dero “Bike Bike Racks” around town. These are a partnership between the local businesses, Albany Strollers & Rollers and the City of Albany.
The locations with two new racks each are Wheels of Justice Cyclery on Solano Avenue, St. Alban’s Church on Washington and Grazzy Burger/Albany Taproom, which will open in February on San Pablo Avenue.
That adds to the 6 that are already in town at Gathering Tribes, K2TOG, Daniel Winkler & Associates, T324, Innate Chiropractic and Metta Thai Massage/Be Fit Personal Training.
We really appreciate these businesses working with us to ensure that there is secure bicycle parking at their locations – thanks to them and to Winkie Campbell-Notar of the Albany Chamber of Commerce for helping make Albany more bike-friendly!
Thanks also to Dan Lieberman for measuring and photographing the locations with me while he was still recovering from a torn ACL, Mark Matherly of Public Works for being very detail oriented while installing the racks, Ken McCroskey for designing the colorful decals on the rack “saddles” and Design-A-Sign for producing those decals at both excellent price and quality.
These racks are extremely popular because not only do they provide bike parking but they look great –
Ate dinner at Grazzy Burgers/Albany Taproom with Sherie Reineman and others after an Albany Chamber of Commerce mixer. Lots of cyclists there enjoying a brew and a burger – good salads, too! More people came on bikes but I was too busy eating to take more photos.
they’re bright and attractive. When Mark and I were installing the racks many people walked by and were excited that they were going in.
Albany Strollers & Rollers is happy to invest money in projects like this in which we work with local businesses and the City to make our town more bike-friendly.
Have any other ideas of local community projects? Contact me!
See more photos of bike racks around town in our Gallery.