Bicyclists and pedestrians made great strides in Gilroy this year

Here’s a year in review that all Gilroyans should be proud of. Our City of Gilroy Bicycle Pedestrian Commission has taken part in many aspects for change and advocacy.
For the first time we created a Strategic Plan. It’s our guiding document and changes throughout the year.
It allows new commissioners to come on board and get caught up before their first meeting. It’s a great tool for long-term sustainability for the commission and allows for transparency. We have created all our written documents you can see at http://www.cityofgilroy.org/280/Bicycle-Pedestrian-Commission
We collaborated with the Public Art Committee for bike racks and the Parks/Rec Commission for an outdoor BMX track, dirt and asphalt pump track. We participated in Santa Clara County’s “Let’s All Go to The Park” series, the Library Bike Fest and Fix-It Station and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s annual Bike to Work and Bike to School days.
We participated in the budget process. We submitted our top three projects and aligned them with the city council’s top five strategic plan goals. The Artistic Bicycle Racks for Downtown were selected and the city will install four of them early next year throughout the downtown. Gary Walton, the President of the Gilroy Downtown Business Association, is donating a Bike Fix-It Station and Pinnacle Bank donated funds for an additional artistic bike racks in front of its bank. We will be doing some public outreach to collect funds for additional artistic bike racks.
We have a monthly award. It’s a great way to interact with public, recognize those that strive to make Gilroy a better place in regards to Bike/Ped activities.
We worked to ensure transportation projects include Complete Streets, which include bikes and pedestrians, and we believe, should be a way of life and not chosen just for specific projects.
We have plans for the first on-street bicycle corral, which could be planned for bike racks or a bike share program like LimeBike and Ford GoBike. We currently have 60 bicycle parking spots downtown and we could reach a total of 380.
Safe Routes to School is close to our hearts. We participate in planning meetings, bike trains, and walking school buses, bike rodeos and Walk & Roll Wednesdays. We have asked the city staff to utilize us when providing staff reports on property developments with regards to Safe Routes to School and not solely rely on “how they will drive a car to school.”
Gilroy will have Measure B funding for bike/ped education and encouragement of approximately $39,000 annually. We have started the conversation within the city departments and the school district to come together as one for the best ways to allocate these funds.
We have remained focused on creating Gilroy as a walkable community. We worked with VTA to get 10th Street at the train tracks into the Pedestrian Access to Transit Plan. On sidewalk signs you’ll now see Bike Wrong Way for those bikes riding against traffic.
We are the only city in the county that doesn’t have a green bike lane policy and implement green bike lanes. We are currently drafting one up for the city. Buffered bike lanes can be done with striping such as on Welburn Avenue and bikers can be protected when parked cars are moved out into the street and the bike lane is between the cars and the curb on busy streets. Other physical barriers can be used as well but it’s more cost effective to use parked cars.
Zach Hilton is the chair of the Bicycle Pedestrian Commission.

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