Bike Lodi is working to advocate and act to improve sustainable, active transportation options in Lodi and San Joaquin County. This work will make a difference by improving local air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing negative health impacts ranging from obesity to asthma, and developing a greater sense of community.
Lodi is located in the San Joaquin Valley air basin, which faces some of the worst air pollution challenges in the country. Central Valley communities like ours has a long history of non-attainment status for ozone, PM 2.5, and other criteria pollutants. One of the primary causes of this air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in California in general is the transportation sector and vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Encouraging a mode shift to active transportation options such as bicycling and walking is an important first step in reducing the large number of short, vehicle-based trips that contribute to VMT–for example, the Safe Routes to Schools Partnership estimates that half of all drives to schools can be covered by foot or bike. This is especially true in Lodi, which is a fairly compact, flat, well-planned city. Moreover, not only is Lodi well suited for a mode shift, residents would benefit from more active lifestyles. San Joaquin County’s adult obesity rate is nearly 40% higher than California’s.
Bicycle coalitions and other advocacy groups are already responding to active transportation opportunities in the Bay Area. There, Bike East Bay is proposing to increase the number of trips taken by active transportation by investing in people-first infrastructure, neighborhood-based bike programs, and bike education in schools, among other initiatives. The work plan purposed in this grant application supports this type of approach as well: funds would be used to acquire a county-wide tactical urbanism lending library, useful for demonstrating the benefits of this type of infrastructure as well as offering bike education through bike rodeos. Bike rodeos in turn help inspire generations of kids to view riding a bicycle as a safe, effective, and coequal means of transportation. Separately, a deluxe bicycle repair station centrally located in a city without a bike shop is a means for those new riders to continue to move around on their bikes and publicly signals the legitimacy of this mode of transportation.