Author Archives: Deb Banks

City Council Tackles Future Transit Needs

Wednesday night, the Sacramento City Council met for a transportation workshop to dive into the myriad of transit issues facing the Sacramento region. Presentations were made by representatives from SACOG, the Public Works department, the Mayor’s Commission on Climate Change and a couple of advocacy groups: SMaRT (a regional transit advocacy group) and SacMoves (a coalition of non-profit organizations including SABA). The hope was to outline the challenges and make a first attempt at prioritization for a potential transportation funding tax measure that the STA Board hopes to get on the ballot in 2020. 

There was a lot of discussion about fixing streets that have poor pavement conditions and while working on them, to make our streets, “Complete Streets” for cyclists, peds and alternative modes of transit (scooters and Jump bikes). Safety of our streets also topped the lists of Councilmembers. This is sobering: More people die in Sacramento from traffic fatalities than homicides. While homicides are in a downward trajectory, traffic deaths are on the rise. More than one council member told a recent story of a death as a result of a car vs ped or cyclist. Doubling down on our Vision Zero plan would go a long way to stop fatalities. 

The STA Board will be developing a Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) and a first draft of this will be released in mid-November. We urge you to learn more about what SABA’s stance is on this by reviewing the SacMoves Vision and Investment Strategy. As we get closer to the STA Board Meeting (which is public), we’ll be asking members to show up and show support for safe streets, clean air, and a multi-modal transit system so that we can always choose to leave our cars at home.

Seeking: Energetic Person to Lead SABA

SABA seeks a dynamic person in the Executive Director position to lead the overall affairs of SABA in a manner that guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director oversees the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. This position will directly supervise all staff and contractors as appropriate. This is an exempt part-time position. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors.

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and three professional references to president@sacbike.org with the subject line “Executive Director – [First Name, Last Name]”. Recruitment will remain open until the position is filled.

Please visit this link for a detailed job description. 

Salary commensurate with qualifications.

All call for the membership meeting!

SABA friends, supporters and members, please join us this Tuesday evening, June 11th, at 6:30 pm. We’d love to hear from you about what’s working and what you’d like to see changed, enhanced, and focused on to make cycling in the Sacramento Region the best in the US. Light refreshments will be served, and we’d appreciate it if you signed up so we know who to look for! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sacramento-area-bicycle-advocates-meet-up-tickets-62950115490

  • Where: Impact Foundry 2031 K Street, upstairs
  • Time: 6:30-8:30
  • Bring: Your thoughts and ideas about how to make the Sac region the best place to cycle in the nation.

Now Hiring: Policy & Communications Manager

SABA seeks a dynamic, competent Policy & Communications Manager to lead activities aimed at making bicycling in the Sacramento area safer and more accessible. Through deliberate community engagement, expert policy advocacy, and effective external communications, the Policy & Communications Manager is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to meet SABA’s programmatic and policy objectives.

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and three professional references to deb@sacbike.org with the subject line “Policy & Communications Manager – [First Name, Last Name]”. Recruitment has re-opened for this position.

May is Bike Month After Party

Close out May is Bike Month 2019 at this happy hour party at SacYard Community Tap House in East Sacramento.

Your $20 ticket gets you a SABA Silipint that we will fill with either a beer (we’ll be offering a lager and an IPA) or a tasty cider generously provided by Two Rivers Cider Company. We will be selling additional drink tickets at the party for $5. One of our local favorites, DJ Rated R, will be spinning tunes for us – so leave those cleats at home and wear your dancing shoes!

Food wlll be available for purchase at that evening’s food truck, and you can also buy drinks directly from SacYard. Ride your bike and park with SABA Bike Valet!

Tickets are available through Eventbrite on our Facebook page.

Jump on our wheel

Hey everyone, I thought I’d take a minute to say hello and let you know what’s up at SABA. I’m Deb Banks. I’m an avid cyclist, I commute by bike when I can, and am involved in a cycling sport where riders are known to ride “inappropriately long distances”. I stepped in to fill Jim Brown’s cleats this past January. Since then, we’ve continued to do good things with good people for safer cycling in the greater Sacramento Region.

Deb heading out for a ride of inappropriate distances (1200 kilometers long).
Photo: M. Behning

I thought I’d share some of the highlights of the year to date:

Want to ride a JUMP bike but are a bit intimidated by them? I got on one for the first time a few weeks ago and was amazed at how quickly they sped up once they got going. At 70 lbs, it felt heavy when stopped, but once I got through one rotation of a pedal, I was moving along at speed with a big smile on my face. SABA has partnered with JUMP to provide Urban Safety classes in West Sacramento and is providing meet-up rides at Midtown Farmers Markets on the second Saturday of each month. There will continue to be an influx of e-bikes in Sacramento’s future, so why not learn how to use them safely and enjoy the get-up and go they provide?

Also on the education front, SABA has been partnering with WALK Sacramento on bicycle clubs and bike rodeos for students in a number of West Sacramento elementary schools. What great fun to watch young people gain independence and confidence by pedaling their bike.

Bicycle sandwich at Bridgeway Island Elementary School. Photo: D. Banks
Arlete Hodel (LCI, Bicycle Club Leader) teaching right hand signals and the Power pedal position at Stonegate Elementary in W. Sacramento. Photo: D. Banks

Our Bike Valet program has continued to grow. We are at more events (over 90 currently scheduled on our calendar), parking more bikes than ever before. Our new Valet Manager, Jeremiah Rohr, has jumped on board to take the program even further. Plus, a huge shout-out to Rancho Cordova for hosting the start of Stage 2 of Amgen where Bike Valet will be available. Bike Valet is where we meet most of the public and we feel it is one of the most important pieces of advocacy that we engage in. By making a choice to ride your bike to an event and be able to leave it safely, means that one less car is on the roadway. #winning.

Bike Valet at NAHBS. The bikes we parked were as fine as some of the bikes inside!
Photo: D. Banks

Likewise, we are fixing bicycles for people in our region where there are few bike shops. Partnering with JIBE, we provide pop-up bike mechanic services in North Natomas and at Bike Rodeos in West Sacramento. Good stuff happens when people have confidence that their bicycle will safely get them from point A to B.

On other fronts, we’ve been weighing in on new developments, like the Railyards, about placement of bike paths and bike parking, talking to City Councilmembers in support of the Del Rio and Two Rivers trails, and supporting the influx of shared-rideables as long as there’s oversight that will make all of our streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians.   

It’s an exciting time in Sacramento for cyclists and those seeking alternative forms of transportation to make trips around town. We at SABA are striving to make all of our streets safe for every person, and your dollars help us do that. I’m thrilled to be a part of this organization, and am hopeful that you’ll join us as members and donors. Together, we can make a difference in creating the Sacramento Region a place where people choose to ride their bike and feel safe doing so. Jump on our wheel and let’s go!

Shared mobility needs regulation

A year after becoming one of JUMP’s most impressive bike share markets, Sacramento is about to see another boom in shared mobility. Electric scooter share operators are lining up to deploy as many as several thousand e-scooters on Sacramento streets starting later this year.

On Tuesday, April 2, the Sacramento City Council will vote to amend its ordinance governing so-called “shared rideables” (bike share and electric scooter share). The revisions would:

1. authorize as many as 3 citywide operating permits (JUMP holds the City’s only permit issued so far)

2. reduce the number of parking spaces required for each device from 1.5 spaces per device to 1 space for device

3. give the City the responsibility for locating and installing parking for bike share and e-scooter share

4. require operators to deploy 20% of their devices outside of the Central City (basically, anywhere in the rest of the city)

5. impose permit fees to cover City administrative and enforcement costs and pay for City-provided parking for shared devices

We strongly support these proposed revisions, including the proposed permit fees, as the best way to ensure that bike share and e-scooter share deliver on their promise to give people meaningful alternatives to driving.

While e-scooters are undeniably popular, the impact of thousands of them has generated considerable blowback from residents, businesses and disability rights advocates in other cities. We’ve seen what happens to cities that do not adequately regulate operators: Earlier this year disability rights advocates sued the City of San Diego and e-scooter share operators Lime and Bird for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by impeding and blocking access to city streets and sidewalks. (State law prohibits the operation of e-scooters on sidewalks.)

In enacting the shared rideable ordinance a year ago, Sacramento learned from the experience of other cities and was appropriately conservative about ensuring that JUMP and future operators were sufficiently regulated.

The key to making the revised regulations work in Sacramento are the proposed permit fees. The fees will generate the revenues to cover the City’s cost for administering and enforcing the permits and – crucially – for providing public parking for shared rideables. The staff report for next Tuesday’s vote details the calculation for the proposed fees.

The proposed ordinance revisions extend the existing requirement for shared devices to be parked in designated places and give the City the responsibility to locate and install those parking places, most likely a combination of bike racks and painted parking ‘zones’ like those being installed by the City of Santa Monica.

Photo by Gary Kavanaugh/StreetsblogLA

JUMP and prospective operators Lime, Bird and Spin – all of them valued at hundreds of millions (even billions) of dollars – call the proposed fees ‘excessive’ and continue to heavily lobby the mayor and city councilmembers to reduce or eliminate them. None of the operators have shown what makes the City’s fee excessive.

Without permit revenues, the City would absorb the cost of administering and enforcing the permits — a workload estimated to require one new full-time City staff position — but would not have the funds to provide parking for several thousand e-scooters and more shared bikes.

Sacramento operates with a transportation budget one-third the size of comparably sized cities like Oakland. But thanks to weather and terrain, Sacramento is well suited for shared mobility to flourish and help our region meet ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. That potential can’t be realized without appropriate regulation and the resources to ensure that it works.

What you can do

1) Call or email your City Councilmember and the Mayor to express your support for the proposed ordinance revisions, including the permit fee recommended by City staff.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Vice Mayor Eric Guerra (District 6)

Councilmember Angelique Ashby (District 1)

Councilmember Allen Warren (District 2)

Councilmember Jeff Harris (District 3)

Councilmember Steve Hansen (District 4)

Councilmember Jay Schenirer (District 5)

Councilmember Rick Jennings, II (District 7)

Councilmember Larry Carr (District 8)

2) Testify in support of the proposed ordinance revisions, including the recommended permit fee, at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting, starting at 5 PM at City Council Chambers at Sacramento City Hall, 915 I Street.

Click here to read the full agenda for the meeting.

City proposes levee-top trail

The design of the proposed Two Rivers Trail may include about 400 yards running along the top the American River levee just east of the Capital City Freeway in River Park.

On March 29, the American River Flood Control District, which maintains the levees along the lower American River, will be asked to approve the City of Sacramento’s request to build the trail on this segment of levee. District staff is recommending that the district board of trustees approve the request.

The district has a policy against allowing recreational uses on the top of the levees it maintains. In response to the policy, the City has proposed locating the entire 2.4-mile-long trail on an unpaved maintenance road at the base (toe) of the levee nearest the river.

Click here to read more about the Two Rivers Trail project.

However, when the levee was repaired following the 1986 flood, a short section of the maintenance road east of the freeway bridge was not replaced at the toe of the levee. Instead, it climbs the levee face and runs atop the levee for about 400 yards.


For this section only, the City originally considered building the Two River Trail on a ‘bench’ just below the crown of the levee:


The foundation for this bench would extend down the face of the levee and require the removal of about 90% of the vegetation currently growing along the water’s edge in this area. Apart from the impacts on plants, animals, birds and insects, this design is likely to face tough scrutiny from regional, state and federal flood control agencies that must grant permits for the trail.

So in February, the City asked the district to grant an exception to its policy and allow the trail on the levee top. The district’s policy explicitly allows for such exceptions:

“The District’s preference is to locate trails off the levee crown on either the land or waterside of the levee, where feasible, in accordance with the State Reclamation Board regulations. If not feasible, or if the applicant desires to locate the trail on the crown for other reasons, the Board may approve locating the trail along the crown on a case-by-case basis.”

The City would build and maintain the paved trail segment atop the levee and take on all liability for its use.

At a Mar. 8 board of trustees meeting to review the request, the district staff explained that the top of the levee is wider than usual in this area — about 20 feet – due to the 1986 repairs, and could safely accommodate an 8-foot-wide paved path and unpaved shoulders on each side. Staff confirmed that adding the paved trail would not weaken the levee or interfere with the operation of maintenance equipment.

Click here to read the staff report that recommends granting an exception to the district’s recreational trails policy.

On Mar. 29, the board will consider the narrow question of whether the proposed levee-top location for the trail is eligible for an exception to the district’s policy. The board does not have authority to dictate details of the trail’s design or operation or to evaluate the trail’s impacts on plant and animal species or the privacy or security needs of nearby residents.

For the past 50 years the top of the levee through River Park has been heavily used by River Park residents and others for walking, dog-walking, running and biking.

Phase I of the Two Rivers Trail was built on the levee top between Tiscornia Park and the Highway 160 bridge in the River District, where — like River Park — there is no place for the trail at the toe of the levee. The district also accommodates paved trails on the levee top next to the Sac State campus south of H Street and just north of Del Paso Blvd. in North Sacramento.

Existing Two Rivers Trail on the levee in the River District near I-5
Levee-top trail next to Sac State, south of H Street
The Sacramento Northern Bike Trail runs on the levee for a short distance north of Del Paso Blvd. in North Sacramento

SABA’s position

We support the district staff’s recommendation to grant an exception to the district’s recreational trails policy to allow the City to build and maintain the Two Rivers Trail atop of levee in this area.

We agree with district staff’s analysis of the district’s policy and its conclusion that the City of Sacramento has demonstrated why building the trail anywhere but atop the levee is infeasible.

What you can do

Send a brief email to Tim Kerr, general manager of the American River Flood Control District, at tkerr@arfcd.org to express your support for the staff recommendation to make an exception to the district’s recreational trails policy for this project.

The American River Flood Control District encompasses most of the 95811, 95814, 95815, 95816, 95817, 95818, 95819, 95825 and 95838 zip codes (click here to see a district map). If you live within the district, please mention this in your message. As a district resident, your opinion has added importance.

The special meeting of the district board of trustees is at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 29 at 185 Commerce Circle. If you can attend, please plan to briefly testify in support of the staff recommendation. The meeting room is small and we expect the meeting to be crowded, so plan to arrive early enough to get a seat.

Click here to read the staff recommendation to the board.

Announcement: SABA Leadership

The Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA) Board of Directors would like to thank Jim Brown, Executive Director of SABA since November 2012, for his service and contributions to the Sacramento area bicycling community. Jim leaves behind an impressive legacy of accomplishments during his time with the organization including aiding in the creation of an updated Bicycle Master Plan in the City of Sacramento, doubling SABA’s operational budget over the course of 6 years, managing our many Safe Routes to Schools programs, among many other achievements. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.

We are pleased to welcome Debra Banks as SABA’s Interim Executive Director. She is the owner of Rivet Cycle Works, a boutique bicycle leather saddle and accessory company, and is an avid randonneur. Debra began her involvement with SABA as a member of the Board of Directors. In 2018, she was hired as SABA’s Operations Director to oversee the organization’s contracts and financial matters. Debra is well-positioned to lead SABA’s programs and activities in this transitional period as the Board of Directors works towards a permanent leadership role.

We are excited for another busy year in bicycle advocacy this 2019, and we hope to continue to have your support. Stay tuned for more updates about SABA’s leadership, events, and activities!

Asha Kreiling

President, SABA

Join our management team

Join the team that is helping make bicycling a clean, sustainable transportation choice for more people in our region. We’re hiring for two positions on our management team.

Bike Valet Lead

Councilmember Eric Guerra (center) and SABA volunteers at the Tahoe Park Food Truck Mania

We’re looking for a highly organized, detail-oriented perfectionist who loves going the extra mile to deliver high-quality service to customers and clients and help SABA raise its profile in the community. Bike Valet turns community events into bikeable destinations. In 2018 we parked more than 10,000 bikes at more than 250 community events. Our clients include the Sacramento Kings, Sacramento Republic FC, SactoMoFo, Downtown Sacramento Partnership, and Midtown Association. This is our most visible program! Read more about Bike Valet here.

You’ll deliver Bike Valet services and work closely with clients to ensure that bike parking is handled efficiently for everyone. You’ll be a great fit if you love what bikes do for the world, .

This is a part-time variable hours, including occasional early mornings and late evenings.
Pay: $15 per hour.

Bike Doc Manager (seasonal)

We’re hiring a manager for Bike Doc, a program we manage for North Natomas Jibe that provides maintenance checks and basic repairs at more than 24 community events per year in North Natomas. This year our team of mechanics checked and repaired 675 bikes between April and October.

You’ll manage all details of our contract with North Natomas Jibe, train and supervise SABA’s team of 8-12 mechanics, promptly complete reports about repair activities, and maintain an inventory of supplies and materials. You’ll also work as a mechanic at each event, where you’ll supervise all mechanic services.

You’ll be a good fit if you really know and love bikes, have professional bike mechanic experience, are highly organized, and work well as a team leader.

This is a seasonal position from Feb. 1, 2019 through Oct. 31, 2019. Hours vary from 6 to 12 hours per week, depending on the Bike Doc schedule, with the busiest periods in April to June and September through October. Pay: $18 per hour.

Click here to download complete job description.

To learn more about both positions and about working for SABA, contact Debra Banks at deb@sacbike.org.