STRONG FINISH ... City of Palo Alto Firefighters, Local 1319, collected more than $10,000 during a two-day Fill-the-Boot campaign on June 16 and 17. The Palo Alto firefighters took to the streets with boots in hand at the intersection of El Camino Real and Embarcadero Road to raise money to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) support local families living with muscle disease. They collected $10,119, which will support MDA services at its multidisciplinary outpatient clinics and research programs at the Children's Hospital MDA Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco; UCSF's ALS Center; Stanford Medical Center and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford.
PEDALING TOWARD PLATINUM ... From green lanes and "sharrows" (markings that indicate the area of a roadway to be shared by bikes and vehicles) to the rising number of children who bike to schools, Palo Alto has no shortage of signs (some figurative, some literal) suggesting that its push to promote bicycling is getting some results. Now there is another one. Last month, the city was once again awarded a Gold Level designation as a "bicycle friendly community" from the League of American Bicyclists. As such, the city is one of only 24 communities in the U.S. with the gold designation (neighboring cities Mountain View and Redwood City were recognized with silver and bronze, respectively), which is valid for four years. In announcing the award to the council earlier this month, City Manager James Keene said that between now and 2020, when the award is up for renewal, he hopes to see the city enter an even more exclusive club: platinum level. Currently, there are only five such communities: Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado; Portland, Oregon.; and Davis and Madison, Wisconsin. This would mean making progress on some of the city's weaknesses when it comes to biking, including insufficient bike lanes on major collector streets; a lack of bicycle-friendly laws and ordinances; and the need for more bicycle parking, Keene said. In accepting the award, Mayor Pat Burt called it a recognition of "our staff and all the volunteers in the community who make this happen." "It's a great recognition of all their work," he said.