Community Notebook: Palo Alto prepares to roll through town for Bike to Work Day

For the first time, city to host Bike Away from Work Bash

Palo Alto residents are encouraged to give up their cars for a day and explore eco-friendly alternatives as part of the Bay Area's 25th annual Bike to Work Day this Thursday.

Last year, more than 44,000 people participated in Bike to Work Day in the Silicon Valley, but this year Silicon Valley Bike Coalition Executive Director Shiloh Ballard said she hopes the number increases.

"In order to create a better community, a better environment, improve human health; riding a bicycle is one of the best solutions to all those things," said Ballard.

Bicyclists can visit one or all four city-sponsored energizer stations operated by volunteers from 6:30-9 a.m.:

• Alma Bike Bridge at Alma Street and Palo Alto Avenue.

• Downtown on Bryant Street near City Hall.

• Wilkie Way Bike Bridge near Monroe Drive at Miller Avenue.

• California Avenue Caltrain station at California Avenue and Park Boulevard (largest energizer station in Palo Alto).

Each station will offer different perks — from free bike tune-ups at the Alma Street/El Palo Alto bike bridge to free pancakes at the Wilkie Way Bike Bridge. City staff will hand out information on planning and transportation projects at City Hall. This year will mark Palo Alto's 20th year of participating in the regional event.

Each station will also offer free tote bags containing T-shirts, snacks and more.

Castilleja School is also hosting a student energizer station from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the "Branches of Bryant" at Bryant Street and Lowell Avenue, where the trees will be filled with bicycle-themed decorations. Student volunteers, including ones from neighboring schools. The first 100 visitors will be rewarded with a free laptop sticker that promotes bicycling in Palo Alto.

The four stations are among a total of more than 150 energizer stations across the Bay Area with some operating as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 9:30 a.m. A map of all the stops in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, compiled by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, can be found here.

This will also be the first year that Palo Alto hosts a free Bike Away from Work Bash from 5-7 p.m. at Summit Bikes located at 392 California Ave.

During the event, sponsored by Summit Bikes, bicyclists will be able to socialize and learn about upcoming mobility-based transportation projects and programs as well as the bicyclist friendly history of Palo Alto.

Advanced registration to the evening party is requested online at

More information on Bike to Work Day can be found by visiting

Bike to Work Day is sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and Alaska Airlines.


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19 people like this
Posted by employer
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 7, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Biking to work is a great way to solve our city's parking lot problem. Not everyone can bike to work, of course, but if just a few percent of commuters bicycled to work, they would free up hundreds of parking spaces around they city's business areas. Bike to work day is a great way to get people started. Hopefully, this is not just a once a year event for many people. Next time you see someone bicycling to work wave (don't honk) to thank them for saving a car parking space for you.

4 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 7, 2019 at 7:19 pm

I highly question these locations of city-sponsored energizer stations. Why is the city sponsoring two locations within a few blocks of each other near downtown? It's a handout to downtown tech workers and Stanford employees. Meanwhile the hundreds of kids biking to JLS and Gunn each and every day get nothing. It's disgraceful.

14 people like this
Posted by employer
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 7, 2019 at 11:09 pm

The city has invested a lot of time and money on the bicycle route to Gunn via Ross and Arastradero Roads. I think that is better than most other cities are doing (eg Menlo Park). If the city can get a lot of the tech and Stanford workers to leave their cars at home on a regular basis, that is also big win for the city so investment in Bike To Work Day is worth the incredibly small cost to the city. Most of these energizer stations are sponsored by private businesses, not the city.

Like this comment
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 8, 2019 at 8:02 am

I'm speaking about the four stations sponsored by the city, not any other stations sponsored by billion dollar tech companies. The four stations sponsored by the city are sponsored by you and me. They should be evenly distributed around town, not concentrated in areas where only tech workers bike.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 8, 2019 at 8:19 am

Now would be a good time for the city to disclose the bike counts and vehicle counts on Ross Road. I, like many others, would be very interested to see if how the counts compare to before the work was done.

I would like to see before and after comparisons to other streets like Louis and Ames.

What? No counts have been done? Without comparative counts how can we tell if all that expenditure was worth it.

10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Community Center
on May 8, 2019 at 9:14 am

The city, school district and volunteers already sponsor an annual bike to school day. It has huge participation. As a result of 20 years work by the Safe Routes to School program, Palo Alto has one of the highest bike to school rates in the country.
If we adults participated at half that rate, much of our traffic and parking problems would be solved, along with significant GHG reductions. As noted above, biking is not for everyone, although electric bikes and three wheel bikes can make biking available to more people.

Like this comment
Posted by Midtown50
a resident of JLS Middle School
on May 8, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Midtown50 is a registered user.

The photo caption says bike to work is May 10th.
The city website Web Link says bike to work is May 9th.

Which is it???

Also, I agree it would be AWESOME to encourage all the kids biking to our schools like JLS, Gunn, and Pali.

Like this comment
Posted by Look at the triggered!
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 8, 2019 at 2:02 pm

OMG, someone said bikes and the usual suspect got so triggered! haha.
BTWD is great. I wish I could ride. Have fun everyone (everyone that is capable)

2 people like this
Posted by sequoiadean
a resident of Los Altos
on May 8, 2019 at 2:08 pm

sequoiadean is a registered user.

Biking to work is great - I do it nearly every day. On the rare days I drive, I notice how much more stressful it is to be inside this big hulking metal monster, along with all the other metal monsters on the road, with everyone rushing to get to the next red light so they can wait to rush again. When I'm on my bike, I feel much more relaxed, I don't feel like I'm rushing and waiting, I can go at my own pace, and I arrive at work and at home in a much better frame of mind.

I encourage all of you who can to give it a try!

2 people like this
Posted by Elaine
a resident of Los Altos
on May 8, 2019 at 2:17 pm

I always figure that the kids that don't bike to school were disabled. I've never known a healthy child that doesn't revel in the fun and independence that bicycling provides.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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