Bike riders and public transportation users commonly lament that the people who govern, manage, plan and design their transportation facilities don’t actually use them. Caltrain Board President Don Gage, for example, drives to solo to work in his SUV from Gilroy to San Jose.
I’ve been blessed to know several people who practice what they preach, however. In Longmont, Colorado, city engineer Len Marquez and planner Ben Ortiz regularly bike to their city jobs. They’re intimately familiar with the issues facing cyclists, because they are us.
San Jose parking director Matt Farrell rides a bus and bike everyday to his city job. He also uses his folding bike to get around San Jose for meetings.
San Jose Mercury-News “Roadshow” columnist Gary Richards called Bay Area transportation planners to survey which of them use the alternative transportation they promote. According to Richards, 33 of 42 planners he called use ‘alternative’ transportation at least some of the time.
Among them is San Jose transportation director Jim Helmer, who I regularly sit near on the Highway 17 commuter bus. Matt Farrell, who (ironically) runs San Jose’s city parking operations, also rides the bus and his bike everyday. The two newest members of Caltrain’s Joint Powers Board are cyclists.
What about in your area? Do your transportation planners and engineers ride bikes or transit to work?