I don’t count myself as a bike fanatic. I don’t even own a single piece of fancy specialized bike clothing. I don’t subscribe to Walking, Running, or Biking Magazines. However, I am an avid pedal-pusher and enthusiastic walker. Call me strange, but I enjoy enjoying the world a little slower pace sometimes. And of course I appreciate smooth, marked bike lanes and not being run down by vehicles. I also like bike racks outside of the stores, cafes, and offices I frequent. I also have this strange notion that a more bikeable and walkable city is a more pleasant city and a more sustainable city–in terms of health, environment, and community. These are all things that have to advocated for.
One of my favorite Oakland organizations is the walking, biking, and livable city advocacy group Walk Oakland, Bike Oakland (WOBO).
Thursday night I went to a meeting where the group introduced its volunteer base to their new Executive Director Kassie Rohrbach and shared a glimpse of their ambitious 2010 plans. One particularly exciting project is Oaklavia, modeled after SF’s Sunday Streets. Families come out, strolling around, ride bikes, roller-skate, eat food, and enjoy street performances. It is a fun car-free experience that we don’t often get a chance to enjoy. It is modeled in part after Ciclovia, first pioneered in Bogota, Colombia.
So far I’ve been only been tangentially involved with WOBO efforts, following their campaigns, occasionally signing a petition, and sometimes showing up to WOBO events like the one hosting folks from the Transatlantic Cities Network to discuss how Oakland can become a world-class cycling city.
Indeed, Oakland has huge potential for being a model sustainable city and promoting safe biking and walking is one vital part of the push in that direction. And it requires us to be involved in whatever way we can to help create that model in the same way that the sustainable food, sustainable energy, and sustainable economics folks are stepping up and creating new projects and partnerships while building community and advocating better policies.
So far my part, I’m going to gt more involved with WOBO’s campaigns, which are after all, our campaigns.
Read my post about WOBO’s 2010 plans on Oakland Local.