The California Bicycle Summit took place April 6 to 9 in Uptown Oakland, with sold-out attendance and rave reviews for fantastic sessions and events.
The Summit began on Wednesday night with a fantastic night of movies at the New Parkway Theater. The rich and inspiring program of bicycle shorts included Spokespeople, a documentary exploring bicycle communities and safety in Los Angeles. There was also a short video of San Francisco activists blocking car traffic when cars park in the bike lane, holding up signs that said, “We’ll just be a minute,” a short feature about the Scraper Bike Team, and Biking While Black, a powerful documentary by CalBike’s own Yolanda Davis-Overstreet. Many of the filmmakers and the people featured in the films were in the audience and the night included lively Q&As between films.
The opening plenary makes history
On Thursday, the California Bicycle Summit started with a plenary that included a welcome from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Bike East Bay Executive Director Ginger Jui, and CalBike Board President Cynthia Rose. The owner of Oakstop, the venue that hosted all Summit sessions except the movie night, Trevor Parham, gave a moving speech about growing his Black-owned business in Oakland and using his locations to create a sense of place and community. Oakstop made a terrific partner, with a wonderful venue where every meeting room was enlivened by walls covered with paintings by local artists.
Assemblymember Laura Friedman, Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee and a champion of bicycling, spoke at the plenary by video. California Secretary of Transportation Toks Omishakin appeared via videolink and also took questions from attendees. The session ended with a panel discussion about why it’s taking so long to create the world biking advocates want to see and what we can do to speed the timeline.
My first Summit – too much! great information, friendly, helpful atmosphere was infectious, supporting the theme of “Connecting”- made connections with people, with intersection of many issues presented. Bravo! Look forward to the next one, hoping it’ll be public transitable.MaryAnn Furda, 350 Bay Area
The opening plenary session was notable not just because it demonstrated the growing support for biking among elected officials and agency heads, but also because we were able to share some good news. State officials present confirmed that the $500 million announced by Governor Newsom as part of the gas tax relief package was not the same $500 million boost to the Active Transportation Program included in his January budget proposal. It was in addition to that. With the $100 million from that January proposal for HSIP, the Governor has announced a total of $1.1 billion toward better biking and walking in California, so CalBike and our allies are halfway to our goal of getting $2 billion for bikes in the state’s next budget.
Breakout sessions and second plenary inform and inspire
There isn’t room here to go into detail about all the fantastic breakout sessions on topics including a new paradigm for safe streets among state leadership, next steps in mobility justice, connecting housing policy with biking, and so much more. Videos of most of the sessions will be available on CalBike’s website in a few weeks, and we’ll be covering some of the exciting takeaways from the breakouts in upcoming blog posts.
“Last year was both inspiring and bruising, as two of our bills, the Safety Stop and a bill to legalize safe mid-block street crossings, got vetoed by the governor. Both those bills are back for a second try and it was great to reunite with our allies from last year, including Assemblymember Phil Ting. The Summit energized me and gave me hope for the year ahead.”Jared Sanchez, Senior Policy Advocate, CalBike
A lunch plenary on Friday brought members of diverse and subversive bike communities onstage to talk about the ways that riding together builds community and enhances safety in the RideOut panel.
The California Bike Summit always brings together the widest range of speakers, private and public entities to discuss and challenge our thinking of all things related to cycling. I always find the summit to be a the best couple of days to learn, challenge my thinking and engage with thought leaders. Lee Jones @ BCycleLee Jones @ BCycle
Summit attendees came from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, including students, Caltrans employees, community leaders, and local bike advocates. This conference broke the mold of a typical bike advocacy gathering with an engaged crowd that was diverse in race, ethnicity, and gender.
Rides and wrap up
The Summit also included several well-attended biking and walking tours, and summit-goers could visit the parking-protected Telegraph Avenue bike lane project by just traveling a few blocks from Oakstop.
And, on Friday night, many attendees, including CalBike’s Executive Director, Dave Snyder, joined East Bay Bike Party for a joyous ride through the streets of Oakland.
“The Summit was everything we wanted it to be as a catalyst for our movement. People made powerful connections in sessions and in the street that we closed to cars and took over for socializing. And, as always, we had a dance party but this time it was connected to the East Bay Bike Party. What a great cap to the Summit: hundreds of people taking the streets and riding together with joy!”Dave Snyder, Executive Director, CalBike
A huge thank you from the CalBike staff to everyone who attended, presented, volunteered, sponsored, or otherwise supported the 2022 California Bicycle Summit. It is a big undertaking and we couldn’t do it without our fabulous communities.
The Summit is held every two years and this year’s event was off-schedule because of the pandemic. So we’ll see you again in fall 2023 for the next California Bicycle Summit!