The message was clear from the Bay Area Public Health Officers during the shelter in place issued regarding COVID-19. Remember to get out for a walk or bike ride. This was mentioned at many of the press conferences by the Bay Area Public Health Officers. Spending time outside improves mood and well-being, and is particularly beneficial to children. You can go for walks, go to the park, and engage in other similar activities, but you should maintain social distance (more than six feet away from persons who are not part of your household) to avoid spread of the virus.
I couldn’t agree with them more. In Gilroy we have plenty of off-street bike/ped trails and more that are planned for construction. Whether you live on the east side, west side, or central, we all have access to these trails. If you don’t know where they are, check out our website that’s available in English/Spanish. https://www.cityofgilroy.org/280/Bicycle-Pedestrian-Commission
The Gilroy BPAC hasn’t lost any momentum and remains committed to advocating for all the projects and policies that we have been working on. Once City Hall opens back up, we will hit the ground running. This is how government works. Disasters will always happen and government has to react, that's why we try and get as much done during good times. We are always working on projects and ideas behind the scenes. Connecting virtually with other advocates around the world is what we are used to.
In my last column I wrote about the Gilroy Bike Parking Ordinance that I drafted and the Gilroy BPAC approved in January 2020. Going through my first shelter in place, it has become an even higher priority that we have adequate bike parking for our community. We don’t have any zoning requirements for bike parking in Gilroy. The goal of CA Senate Bill SB330 is to streamline the residential development process, and still allow cities to develop clear objective standards. Gilroy needs to take full advantage of it now. Otherwise whatever a developer proposes based off of our current standards, it will automatically be deemed complete on submittal.
As a South County advocate, I am teaming up with Bike Therapy Owners/Morgan Hill residents Doug & Jodi Hall to make some incremental changes that I think will benefit us all. Morgan Hill's zoning requirement for multi-family residential is 1 long-term space for ever 5 units (regardless if it’s a studio to three bedroom). Do you think that’s enough? Why shouldn’t every unit have access to a long-term bike parking space or better yet each bedroom? In today’s housing market not all families will be able to own a home, and some will stay in these apartments indefinitely. Families, young adults, and seniors all need a safe place to store their bikes and incentives to not drive their cars.
Bicycles are essential transportation for many who need to get around 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. I am connecting Gilroy & Morgan Hill residents who have an extra bicycle to residents who need one. Whether you have a bike or need a bike, we will match you. If your bike needs a little TLC before it’s ready for a new home, please consider reaching out to a local bike shop to service it. https://bit.ly/BikeMatch
Until our local government is back open, take care of each other and your health. Get outside and enjoy the great weather in Gilroy. Support your local restaurants and café that remained open for to-go orders. Most have great front row bike parking when you pick up your orders. If they don’t, then ask them to reach out to me for a free consult. #GilroyBPAC