In Solidarity

To our Community,

We know that Sacramento is not immune to unsafe streets. We can and should do better. Streets should be safe for all people, period. Yet what constitutes a “safe street” is different for many people. 
Streets are not safe until people of color can walk and bike on roads, on sidewalks, in parks, and in any community without fear of being attacked based on their race. 

We stand in solidarity with the Black community and their allies, many who have taken to the streets in communities across the country, demanding justice and calling for an end to systemic racism and oppression. 

SABA recognizes that improvements to our own work are needed to achieve equitable and just investments in communities of color throughout Sacramento, too many which are underserved and underrepresented. We need to do better. There’s a long road ahead. As a starting point, we will engage with local communities of color, to listen. We will share your ideas and feedback on how we can improve with our members, our allied advocates, and to local leaders. We are committed to doing the work imperative to arrive at a just and equitable Sacramento. Black Lives Matter.

Sincerely,
Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates

Farm to Fork Al Fresco

The Sacramento Bee recently published an article[1] about opening up sidewalks and streets for dining. Mayor Darrell Steinberg dubbed it, “Farm to Fork Al Fresco,” a catchy name capturing the essence of the food scene here in Sacramento. The idea is to open up space for diners and maintain social distancing, while helping restaurant owners fill seats to more than 50% capacity, which is, on average how much seating space is lost if all tables are distanced at six feet.[2]

Where does the extra space come from? In cities such as Paris, which has had outdoor seating at cafes and bistros for decades, the extra seating is on the sidewalk, either abutted to the restaurant or out farther adjacent to the street edge, with a wide space for pedestrians to pass through on the sidewalk. Few of our sidewalks in Sacramento are wide enough for that, and adding tables to the area would likely force pedestrians out into the street to maintain social distance as they navigate the corridor.

Instead, we could follow many other cities worldwide whose streets are being partially or fully closed to cars and businesses. They are able to add more space with a “parklet,” borrowing the parking spaces in front of their establishments.[3]

Parklet designed in SF. Photo: Rebar

Tampa, FL is allowing businesses to establish parklets on the sidewalk immediately adjacent to their establishment or in their parking spaces.[4] Applying for a city permit is suspended during their pilot program; however, property manager approval remains a requirement. The city will work with the business owner to temporarily disable parking meters so the parking spaces can be repurposed for use by the business. Some cities have been leaving one side of the road open to parking and the other to pedestrians. Restaurants may set up tables and chairs in these parklets as long as they are adhering to health and safety standards. Diners are seated through a reservation system to avoid gathering while waiting for a table.

Long Beach is moving in the same direction. The need for the extra space is what could make or break a business. One restaurant owner shared the math: 50% occupancy simply means 50% of the profits, which doesn’t add up when rent, utilities, wages and insurance are all at 100%.[5] The extra space is crucial to the equation of whether or not it’s a viable business model. Likewise, research has shown that places built for people but are less car-centric are more likely to be economically viable.[6]

The coronavirus is pushing us to think differently when it comes to the safety of our citizens and jumpstarting the economy, and using space in a different way is emerging as a key factor.[7] Following the lead of other cities around the world, Sacramento should close down streets typically reserved for driving and parking and open them up to accommodate diners at a safe distance, boosting much needed economic growth. The city is already working on a plan to close a few streets so that more people can get outside and enjoy some fresh air while maintaining social distance. 

Cinco de Mayo in Tampa. Photo by Jason Fernandez

Closing streets to vehicular traffic isn’t new or radical. In the 1970s, roads were closed off to create downtown walking malls, and these days major thoroughfares are closed to cars a few times a year for large events, such as the Sacramento International Marathon, or the Amgen Tour of California. Sacramento has already toyed with Open Street or Ciclovia projects, where the roads are closed for a set amount of time, like Bogota, Columbia does every Sunday, and Los Angeles has been doing now for years.

The list is long of cities who have taken steps to change their streets into places where people can move about free from concern of being too close. London, Paris, Barcelona, Bogota, Lima, Berlin, Vilnius, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Tampa, Charleston, Cincinnati, and Oakland have all embraced making changes to their streets.[8]

A prominent New York chef summed it up this way: “[What’s] the best dish on the menu? Safety. Restaurateurs will serve this one dish as they try to re-open. What’s true is that to safely serve this up, space is the key ingredient.”[9] So we urge you, our City leaders, to open our streets to people, extend sidewalks, create parklets and ease permitting so that businesses may serve us safely. Let’s enjoy it, “al fresco”.


[1] https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article242712226.html?utm_source=pushly&intcid=%7B__explicit:pushly_531639%7D  

[2] https://lbpost.com/hi-lo/addison-coronavirus-commentary-restaurants-close-off-roads?fbclid=IwAR0hEsm9PnEQrnAmcUwIirDzpIwi1_VmlI937fv_63iBjSD5bDDgDLhL5MY

[3] https://sf.streetsblog.org/2020/05/12/for-small-biz-to-survive-sidewalks-must-thrive/

[4] https://patch.com/florida/southtampa/tampa-expands-outdoor-restaurant-seating-sidewalks-roads

[5] https://lbpost.com/hi-lo/addison-coronavirus-commentary-restaurants-close-off-roads?fbclid=IwAR0hEsm9PnEQrnAmcUwIirDzpIwi1_VmlI937fv_63iBjSD5bDDgDLhL5MY

[6] https://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/app/legacy/documents/cs/factsheets/cs-economic.pdf,  https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/downtowneconomics/files/2012/07/economic-benefits-of-a-walkable-community.pdf

[7] https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/pandemic-shows-what-cities-have-surrendered-cars/610423/

[8] https://medium.com/@TransAlt/14-cities-getting-it-right-4ba7b78c920b

[9] https://www.scribd.com/document/461056931/Henry-Rinehart-Safe-Space-Open-Streets-And-Vibrant-Retail#download

#BikeMatchSac

Bicycles are essential transportation for many who need to get around at any time but especially now during the coronavirus outbreak. This might include traveling to essential jobs, running crucial errands, or participating in mutual aid for vulnerable people who cannot leave their homes.

Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates is connecting those who have an extra bicycle to folks in the community who need one. Whether you have a bike or need a bike, contact us via the links below, and we will match you.

We have teamed up with a number of other bike advocacy groups to create an on line platform to match up people who have a bike to donate with those who need a bike.

Here’s how it works

If you need a bike

Fill out the I Need a Bike form and tell us about yourself and what you need.

We will contact you when we have a match for you. You and the donor will be provided with each other’s contact information so that you can make your own arrangements to hand off the bike.

If you have a bike

Fill out the I Have a Bike form and tell us about the bike.

We will contact you when we have a match for you. You and the recipient will be provided with each other’s contact information so that you can make your own arrangements to hand off the bike.

Guidelines

  1. Participation in the Bike Match program constitues your agreement to the terms of the LIABILITY WAIVER.
  2. Donated bikes should be in “ready to ride” condition. Something that you would ride, at least in a pinch.
  3. The bike hand-off will take place between the donor and recipient in an outdoor, no-contact exchange in a public place observing social distancing guidelines.
  4. For sanitary purposes, clean the bike thoroughly before hand-off (handlebars, gear shifters, seat, etc). For the same reason, all bike exchanges are permanent.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Slow Streets Sacramento

During these unprecedented times, people need safe places to get outside and exercise. Unfortunately, the surge in people seeking outside space close-to-home is putting a considerable strain on our public spaces. Trails, sidewalks, and parks are overcrowded, making it difficult for people to safely maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and others.

With dramatically-reduced car traffic due to the pandemic, we have an opportunity to create more public spaces for people to safely get out—by opening up our streets for walking, biking, and physical activity. Closing off selected streets to cars or converting some traffic lanes for biking and walking use can expand access to the outdoors, which is essential to maintaining physical and mental health.

Saba and WalkSacramento have teamed up to urge the City of Sacramento to consider fully or partially closing streets for residents to be able to safely exercise and access essential grocery stores, restaurants, and parks. We know that opening streets for exercise and active transportation is an attainable tactic to improve quality of life and promote public health during this unprecedented public health crisis. Let’s join the 30+ cities worldwide in making these changes for Sacramento.

Here’s what you can do to help:

Go to this website and SIGN the petition, LEARN more about this effort and let your VOICE be heard in City Hall by sending a letter to your City Council member. Listen here for our take in an interview with Randol White on Capital Public Radio.

May is Bike Month 2020

We know that everyone is staying safe at home, washing hands, and basically doing what they can to avoid Co-Vid 19. But! Did you know that cycling has been deemed an essential activity? Yes! Biking is the perfect solo activity to get fresh air and exercise while you practice safe physical distancing. It’s great for the mind, body, and soul, and we’re here to celebrate biking in all its forms! Whether you’re riding around the block, around your neighborhood, by yourself, or with your immediate family, cycling is good for your head, good for your heart and good for everyone.

This year, May is Bike Month is going virtual! SABA will be offering a series of rides and scavenger hunts that you can do on your own to earn prizes as well as logging in your trips on the May Is Bike Month trip calculator.

Each week, we’ll post up a new set of rides and activities for you to enjoy with directions so that you can earn credit towards SABA and MiBM swag. Look for the latest information in our bi-monthly Gear’d Up, on our Facebook page and Instagram. Get out there and learn about our city, visit interesting new places and enjoy riding around our great city. Don’t forget to tag pictures with #mayisbikemonth, #sacbikerides2020

  1. Ride and Seek week one’s activities are here:

When you complete the ride, upload your answers here.

2. Ride and Seek week 2 activities:

When you complete the ride, upload your answers here.

3. Ride and Seek week 3 activities:

When you complete the ride, upload your answers here.

3. Ride and Seek week 4 activities:

When you complete the ride, upload your answers here.

End of Year Annual Appeal

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.

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.

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.