Events, News & Blog

The fires in California have been big national news.


Author  Rick Coates

Many people have cancelled planed trips to California’s prime tourist locations in Sonoma, Napa and Marin Counties without knowing the full story.  Here are some facts that you should know:

The Kincade Fire was confined to the eastern portion of Sonoma County mostly in areas with limited habitation.  Although a few wineries and vineyards were burned east of Healdsburg, most of the wineries were unaffected.  Nor were the bulk of the redwood forest affected which are on the west side of the county.  The Sonoma Coast is just as beautiful as ever.  The air is now clear of smoke in western Sonoma County.  Power is now back on in the unaffected areas.

The SMART train is running from San Rafael to Santa Rosa and the Santa Rafael and is connected to San Francisco by the Larkspur Ferry and a free shuttle. The train runs through beautiful bird-filled estuaries along the Petaluma River and stops near the historic downtown Petaluma.  Santa Rosa Downtown SMART Station connects to several bicycle trails to western Sonoma County.  Fall is an excellent time to visit the coast with little fog, great views and wonderful food.  California is a big place with lots to discover.  Come see for yourself.

The ‘Superblock’ Revolution Is Making Cities Safer and Cleaner

Author : Wes Enzinna

On weekends, Calle de Postas in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, feels like a never-ending block party. Cyclists share the magnolia-shaded street with off-leash dogs and teetering toddlers. There are bustling cafe tables and families on benches eating ice cream. That’s life in this city of 200,000 in the Basque Country, where nearly half the streets have been converted into car-free zones over the past decade.

“This city is my test case,” says Salvador Rueda, a Spanish urban planner known for overseeing large-scale pedestrian conversions in Barcelona and Buenos Aires, among other places. Vitoria-Gasteiz, he says, is his “laboratory,” a city whose history as a center of auto manufacturing—it’s home to factories for Mercedes and Michelin—makes it an unlikely showcase. “If we can do something here, others can see it and replicate our results.”

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In Your Town for Oct. 29, 2019, Path on bridge to open Nov. 16

The long-planned pedestrian and bicycle lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is set to open on Nov. 16, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The bi-directional pedestrian path will be located on the third lane of the upper span of the bridge and will provide the first bike path connection from Marin to the East Bay.

The path will be separated from westbound traffic by a moveable barrier. The $20 million project’s planned opening date in May was delayed several months after falling concrete from the upper deck prompted months of emergency deck repairs by Caltrans.

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SUVs second biggest cause of emissions rise

If SUV drivers were a nation, they would rank seventh in the world for carbon emissions

Growing demand for SUVs was the second largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions from 2010 to 2018, an analysis has found.

In that period, SUVs doubled their global market share from 17% to 39% and their annual emissions rose to more than 700 megatonnes of CO2, more than the yearly total emissions of the UK and the Netherlands combined.

Author Niko Kommenda Fri 25 Oct 2019 09.57 EDT

At Marin County Bicycle Coalition, we promote the bicycle as a tool for good-

At Marin County Bicycle Coalition, we promote the bicycle as a tool for good–for the environment, our health, and our happiness. But under the looming threat of wildfires and natural disasters, we also see the bicycle as a tool for survival.

Over the past weekend, 185,000 people were ordered to evacuate Sonoma County under the threat of a wind-fueled wildfire. Gridlock ensued as thousands took to the roads in their cars at the same time. Fortunately, the evacuation did not take place in eye of the firestorm, and everyone was able to evacuate safely.

But that isn’t always the case, as we learned last year from the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA, where several people died sitting in traffic and many were forced to abandon their cars to flee on foot.

Does Your Escape Plan Include Bikes?

During the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, Christina Ruiz rode her bicycle to safety while carrying her two toddlers in tow.

“I knew we had to get out,” she said. “There was no way we were going to make it through in the car.”

With Red Flag Warnings becoming increasingly frequent and the threat of fire on everyone’s minds, now is the time to think about emergency preparedness and create an escape plan, if you haven’t already.

Should a wildfire occur, most areas of Marin County will be susceptible to traffic jams like the one that occurred in Paradise, with hilly neighborhoods funneling traffic onto heavily-congested evacuation routes with few alternatives, if any. In these cases, your car may not be the best escape option.

In addition to being able to circumnavigate traffic jams, bicycles–and especially cargo bikes–are gaining traction as an essential disaster-response tool due to their ability to go where cars cannot, including on sidewalks and pathways. And it’s much easier to get over and around obstacles, like fallen trees or power lines.

As Marin prepares for another Red Flag Warning and Public Safety Power Shutoff, we encourage you to carefully consider escape routes and whether your family will be able to evacuate by car or bike should a wildfire occur.

Stay safe!


The Marin County Bicycle Coalition Team

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