Caltrans regularly meets with bicycle advocates to share ideas on improving bicycling in California. And in this era of concern about climate change, what could be better than experiencing our majestic golden state by riding an emission free bicycle?
Caltrans Headquarters in Sacramento kicks off its spring bicycling promotion with Smart Cycling clinics for Sacramento area employees. During April and May, employees are encouraged to register and participate in local Bike Month events. Staff also assists with planning for local events. The Department belongs to the Sacramento Transportation Management Association (TMA) and supports the TMA's commute alternative programs.
Throughout the year, Caltrans works to improve and maintain support facilities such as bicycle parking and shower/locker rooms for bicycle commuters. Caltrans district offices throughout California organize and participate in a variety of events that encourage bicycling. Examples include bike rides with local clubs, bike commuter surveys, loaner bikes for employees, Bike to Work Day pit stops, displaying bicycling messages on freeway changeable message signs, coordinating bike tune-ups and Street Skills clinics, and assisting with bike commute and touring route planning.
Larry Greene, Air Pollution Control Officer at SMAQMD, says "Bicycling is a zero emission commute. So is swimming, but it's a little hard to use the American River to get to and from work. More than half of commute trips, and three out of four shopping trips, are less than five miles in length which is ideal for bicycling. If we bicycle for some of these trips, we will all breathe easier."
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District has a team of 12 cyclists that ride daily during lunch.
The District is very supportive of its bicycle commuters, who are truly committed to clean air. Bicycle commuters enjoy a $4.50 subsidy on the days they cycle in. Monitored bike lockers are located onsite, and clothing lockers and showers are located in the main building. SMAQMD maintains a set of bicycle tools and a work stand for repairs and maintenance, and participates in the Guaranteed Ride Home program so bicyclists can get home quickly in an emergency.
Mike Penrose, Director for the Sacramento County Department of Transportation, says, "We are committed to improving bicycling locally and as a partner in regional efforts whenever possible.
Leading the Way to Greater Mobility is our vision for the unincorporated area roadway system as we make improvements that benefit all users ;bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists.
We have completed many bicycling related projects over the last 10 years and almost every new roadway and pavement maintenance project includes striping for bikeways or other kinds of bicycling related improvements."
SACDOT is updating the Sacramento County Bicycle Master Plan to include - An inventory of existing bike trails, lanes and routes. - Identification of gaps and ways to develop continuous bike routes. - Evaluation of connections to provide better links into the regional bikeway system. - Alternatives to improve safety for bicyclists. - Development of a Plan for short-term high-priority improvements and long-term bicycling needs and projects for unincorporated area bikeways.
Mike McKeever, Chief Executive Officer of SACOG, says "Every year our region adds more and more bike lanes and trails, making it easier than ever to bike for work, trips around your neighborhood, or for recreation."
SACOG encourages its employees to ride their bicycles to work by providing them with an $100 monthly subsidy (the price of a transit pass), secure bike lockers, lockers and showers. SACOG also participates in the Emergency Ride Home Program, ensuring taxi or rental cars for employees who bicycle and need to get home for a personal emergency. Visitors can also ride their bikes to meetings or other business at SACOG and lock their bikes at two convenient bike racks at the front and rear entrances of our building. SACOG staff actively challenge each other during May, by tracking how many miles they are riding and recognizing top participants throughout the month.