Since 1991, SABA has believed in the power of community-based education and local advocacy to enable residents to make more and safer trips by bicycle. Great improvements have been made to our local bicycle infrastructure in recent years thanks to SABA and our allies’ efforts. Yet everyday obstacles -- from close-calls with oblivious drivers and ill-placed leaf piles, to real setbacks, like the news of yet another fatal collision -- are reminders that the Sacramento region is still behind its potential to be unequivocally “bicycle friendly.” 

In 2019, SABA’s Board of Directors and staff navigated internal transitions while reflecting on community input on how to improve engagement and advocacy efforts on behalf of our members and the public at large. And, with invaluable support from our donors, governmental and advocacy allies, and selfless volunteers, our unrelenting staff have kept SABA rolling strong while accomplishing an incredible amount of work to promote and improve bicycling for all. 

With exciting projects including the Broadway Avenue Complete Streets and I Street Bridge redesigns coming up, and a countywide transportation sales tax measure framework solidifying, 2020 is gearing up to be another busy year for SABA – and a critical year for all bicycle advocates to get involved.

But SABA needs your help in order to continue our work to make our region’s bicycle-friendly future a reality.  Please take a moment right now to make a generous, tax-deductible year-end gift to SABA.   Together we can create a safer, healthier, and more prosperous region for everyone.

What a year! In the face of grim news about our warming atmosphere and changing climate, we saw a lot of new bicycle infrastructure installed in our region, and more public funding to make even more progress.  SABA's work on behalf of clean, healthful, sustainable transportation has never been more important. Read more below about some of our most important accomplishments from 2018.

But first, if you value this work, please consider showing your support with a tax-deductible, year-end gift. Click here to give online using your credit or bank card or directly from your bank account. Thank you!

Advocacy

Bike share

Photo by Lezlie Sterling/ Sacbee

When the regional bike share system launched this spring, we worked with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments , the agency that manages the regional bike share program, to help introduce the system, especially to underserved neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, we are part of a steering committee to advise on a possible bike share system in Rancho Cordova and Folsom. We continue to be a strong champion of bike share as a way to replace short car trips with bike trips.

Protected bikeways

Protected bikeway on J Street in Midtown Sacramento.

Since this spring, the City of Sacramento has installed the city’s first protected bikeways on 9th, 10th, J, P and Q streets in downtown Sacramento.

Meanwhile, the City of West Sacramento is completing its second protected bikeway project, near 5th Street and Tower Bridge Gateway, and planning protected bikeways and buffered bike lanes along West Capitol Ave. And the City of Rancho Cordova continues work toward installing its first protected bikeway on Routier Road and Rod Beaudry Drive.

We continue to be strong advocates for protected bikeways as the way to make busy streets function more safely and comfortably for a wider variety of bicyclists, especially those who are the most reluctant to ride directly next to vehicle traffic. Read more here.

Connecting the Grid

Narrow conditions on 16th Street leave no space for bike lanes.

Even as the City of Sacramento continues to install protected bikeways in the downtown Grid, notable disconnects persist at freeway ramps along the south and east edges of the Grid, in the part of downtown north of P St. and west of 16th St., and north of downtown to the American River.

In January, when Sacramento County closed the Jibboom Street Bridge for a 6-month-long rehab project, we generated some media attention to the need for more bridges across the American River. And this spring we went directly to the community and heard strong demand for much better access for bikes on N. 16th Street.

Off-street paths

We’ve been actively involved with generating public support for new off-street multi-use biking and walking paths, including the Mather Heritage Trail in Rancho Cordova, the Sycamore Trail in West Sacramento, the Dry Creek Greenway West in Roseville and the Sacramento River Parkway, Del Rio Trail and the Two Rivers Trail in Sacramento.

Our efforts include providing technical assistance where needed, and also advising elected officials, residents and prospective users about the ways that multi-use paths enable healthy activity, provide safe, car-free routes for bicycling, and activate isolated areas.

Cross section of the Two Rivers Trail

No on Prop 6

Prop. 6 on the Nov. 2020 ballot would have repealed the gas tax increase enacted last year in California and made it nearly impossible to enact future increases. As of this fall, new gas tax revenues had increased the City of Sacramento’s transportation budget by 50%. Prop. 6 would have been disastrous for our region and the state by eliminating this funding. We joined hundreds of organizations, businesses, professional associations and local government agencies throughout California to defeat Prop. 6. California voters rejected the measure by 57% to 43%.

Countywide transportation funding

The Sacramento region spends too little on transportation. Regionally, our spending is lower than comparable metropolitan areas elsewhere in California. That’s partly the result of not having enough locally controlled funding for transportation improvements. In most of our region, most transportation funding comes from competitive grants, which require local matching funds. Without a sufficient pool of locally controlled funds, we can’t generate much match funding, which limits the number and size of grants we pursue, and we also don’t have the capacity to make improvements quickly outside of grant cycles.

This summer we began working with our closest allies – including WALKSacramento, Environmental Council of Sacramento, Breathe California Sacramento Region and Sacramento Housing Alliance – on a strategy to fight for a community-driven process for producing the next countywide transportation sales tax measure, which would increase the amount of locally controlled funding for transportation. Measure B failed to win passage in 2016 in part because it was simply a shopping list, without clear goals that reflected what community needs from its transportation system. With Sacramento County planning to put another transportation sales tax measure before voters in 2020, we want to make sure it fully understands what the community expects from the measure.

Read more about our advocacy work.

Community Cycling Program

Education

Bike skills training at Southport Elementary School in West Sacramento.

This year we held our first-ever cycling skills classes, including 11 in West Sacramento so far -- and we’re planning for more next year, including classes in Sacramento.

Through the City of West Sacramento's Safe Routes to School program, we also delivered cycling skills instruction at four elementary schools in West Sacramento and we’ve begun offering it at three more during the current school year.

Bike Valet

We provided valet bike parking for more than 10,000 bikes at some 250 community events, enabling thousands of people to bike to community events instead of drive. Those bike trips replaced car trips that would have pumped nearly 10 tons of carbon pollutants into the atmosphere and our lungs. Read more here.

Bike repairs

We performed safety checks and minor repairs on 675 bikes in North Natomas and on dozens of bikes in South Sacramento and Rancho Cordova neighborhoods that don’t have retail bike shops.

Read more about our Community Cycling Program.

SABA works in three main areas — advocacy, technical assistance and community engagement — to help create the conditions that enable more people to confidently choose a bike as safe, convenient everyday transportation. Here are the highlights from 2017:

Advocacy

Vision Zero Sacramento

What we did: As part of the Vision Zero Task Force, we’ve been working with public agency, nonprofit and community partners to develop an action plan for reaching the City of Sacramento’s goal of eliminating all severe injury and fatal traffic collisions by 2027.

Why it matters: A data-driven plan will direct funding toward improvements to safeguard people on bikes in the most dangerous locations, many of which are concentrated in traditionally underserved neighborhoods. For example, most of the fatal bike collisions in Sacramento County have occurred south of US-50 and west of Power Inn Road, on major streets like Stockton Blvd., 47th Ave., Fruitridge Road and Mack Road.

What’s next: The draft action plan will be released early next year for public review. We’ll be involved in helping solicit community and neighborhood input.

Transportation funding

What we did: Late last year Sacramento County's Measure B transportation sales tax measure narrowly failed to win passage, in part because SABA and allied groups didn’t have a seat at the table to help shape a measure we could all support. Since then we've been working with our strategic allies to ensure that the next transportation sales tax measure reflects our ideas and values.

Why it matters: Our region cannot achieve its air quality goals without providing safe, convenient alternatives to driving, including travel by bike. And without additional funding, we won't see the kind of roadway improvements that will enable more people to choose a bike for everyday travel. Environmental, neighborhood and community groups have a decisive role to play so long as we work together.

What’s next: Allied groups continue to meet to discuss our role in influencing the content of the next transportation sales tax measure.

Project review

What we did: We submitted detailed comments to public agencies reviewing environmental documents, construction permit applications and planning documents for major development and public works projects with potential benefits and impacts on people who travel by bike, including the Central City Specific Plan (formerly known as Downtown Specific Plan), the Capitol City Freeway Improvement Project, and the West Jackson Highway Master Plan. We also routinely meet with developers in the early stages of projects, with the goal of educating developers and helping improve projects that are still being designed.

What it matters: The application review and approval process is the opportunity for public input that pushes public agencies to exercise their authority to modify projects where needed. Meeting with developers presents the opportunity to share projects in their early stages, often in ways that developers find helpful.

What's next: We'll continue to participate in public commenting on projects and also meet with developers. Watch for additional advocacy activities from SABA, such as public awareness campaigns, to mobilize public support for significant needs related to some of these projects.

Bike share

What we did: We’re part of an advisory committee that developing policies and strategies for ensuring that the Sacramento region’s bike share system, launching next spring in parts of Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis, is accessible to everyone. We also represented the interests of people on bikes in three cities interested in introducing Chinese-style dockless bike share systems.

Why it matters: Bike share programs enable people to replace car trips with bike trips, which helps reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Meeting these goals requires local policies about bike share operators to ensure that people can rely on bike share as a long-term transportation solution.

What’s next: We’ll continue to advocate for bike share as a legitimate transportation solution. We’re especially interested in strategies for making bike share succeed in less-dense suburban areas and with traditionally underserved populations.

Photo by Tony Bizjak/Sacramento Bee

Protected bike lanes

What we did: We led rides and encouraged people to try out the protected bike lane on P Street that was demonstrated for three days in during early October. We also met with City of Rancho Cordova transportation planners to provide input on the Routier Road-Rod Beaudry Drive protected bike lane project currently in the design phase.

Why it matters: Protected bike lanes are a crucial tool for making streets accessible to would-be cyclists who don't want to share the street with vehicle traffic. The City of Sacramento's preview helps build public support for the City's Sacramento Downtown Bikeways Project, which will install 20+ blocks of bikeway improvements, including a protected bike lane on P Street, in the Grid next spring. This was also the first time the City has demonstrated this kind of facility on a short-term basis. We support more experiments like these. The scope and suburban setting of Rancho Cordova's project makes it the region's most ambitious.

What’s next: We’ll continue to educate the community about the benefits of protected bike lanes.

Off-pavement bicycling pilot program

What we did: We helped organize community support for Sacramento County's pilot program to allow bikes on unpaved maintenance roads in the Woodlake and Cal Expo areas of the American River Parkway. The program opened this fall.

Why it matters: The pilot program help determine whether off-road bicycling can be accommodated in the lower American River Parkway, like it is around Lake Natoma near Folsom. Introducing more active uses in this part of the parkway helps the paved American River Bike trail feel safer and less isolated for more people.

What's next: We'll continue to monitor the success of the program over the next three years, when future expansion could be a possibility.

Technical assistance

Biking in the Power Inn area

What we did: We partnered with WALKSacramento to evaluate needs and opportunities to improve conditions for biking and walking in the Power Inn area for the local business association.

What it matters: As advocates, we look at the world from the perspective to people on bikes. That knowledge can be valuable to organizations like the Power Inn Alliance whose members want the benefits of more transportation options, including travel by bike.

What’s next: We continue to support Power Inn Alliance in advocating for improvements for travel by bike.

Safe routes to school in West Sacramento

What we did: Once again we partnered with WALKSacramento on a contract with the City of West Sacramento to encourage biking and walking to 7 elementary schools through evaluation, education and street improvements.

Why it matters: Helping make it easier for kids to bike and walk to and from school creates healthy habits, reduces traffic congestion around schools and improves air quality.

What’s next: During 2018 we’ll deliver bike education, organize ‘bike trains’ and help residents identify the best bike routes through their neighborhoods.

Community engagement

Bike Doc mechanic Glenn Small explains repairs to a Bike Doc customer.

Bike repair program

What we did: SABA mechanics repaired more than 750 bikes at 25 Bike Doc bike repair clinics at schools, community events and apartment complexes, a program of the North Natomas Transportation Management Association.

Why it matters: There’s just one bike shop that serves the 100,000 residents of Natomas. Without easy access to repairs, people can’t ride their bikes, which leaves some people stranded and forces others to drive more than they want to.

What’s next: We continue to work with the North Natomas TMA. Meanwhile, we have grant funding to introduce bike repair clinics in South Sacramento.

Encouraging bicycling in Rancho Cordova

What we did: With funding from Rancho Cordova's Measure H Community Enhancement Fund, we introduced Bike Valet services at community events in Rancho Cordova, and also led social bike rides and held several bike maintenance classes.

Why it matters: We're helping build a community of Rancho Cordova residents who support bicycling and can organize to advocate for needed roadway improvements.

What's next: We'll continue to provide these services through 2018.

Photo by City of Sacramento

Open streets

What we did: We were part of a committee that organized Sunday Street on Broadway, when Sacramento temporarily closed Broadway and adjacent streets to cars so people could bike, walk, skate, play and have fun. We partnered with a group of young urban planning professionals to fabricate a temporary protected bike lane as one of the activities at the event.

Why it matters: Events like these offer a way to ‘reclaim’ our streets as places for people and not just for cars. When people can experience their neighborhoods this new way, even temporarily, they become more engaged in decisions about how their neighborhood streets operate and how they can be improved. For SABA, Sunday Street on Broadway presented an opportunity to meet and talk to people interested in helping advocate for installation of protected bike lanes.

What’s next: This was the first in a pilot project to organize similar events in each City Council district. Future events have not been announced, however, we’re encouraging the City to host more of these transformative events and we want to help make them successful. We've also heard from other cities in the region that want to host these kinds of events.

Bike Valet

What we did: During 2017 we parked more than 10,000 bikes at nearly 300 community events in Sacramento, West Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove.

Why it matters: When people have a fast, easy way to park their bike for free at a community event, they’re more likely to ride a bike than drive a car. That keeps driving-related pollution out of the air (and your lungs) and helps reduce traffic congestion. Our regular clients include the Sacramento Republic FC, Midtown Farmers Market, Friday Night Concert in the Park, SactoMoFo, The Barn and the Cordova Community Council.

What’s next: During 2018 we hope to resume providing Bike Valet services for selected Golden 1 Center events.

Effective advocacy is only possible with your support. Please make a tax-deductible, year-end gift to SABA right now by clicking here.

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