At the Silicon Valley People's Climate Rally on October 14th, Cherie Walkowiak and John Scarboro gave a talk on the work of Carbon Free Mountain View and the safe bicycling advocacy of Safe Mountain View. The portion of the talk dealing with carbon free electricity is available on the Carbon Free Mountain View site. An excerpt of the talk dealing with improving bicycling safety is below:
- Cherie: I’m honored to have this chance to speak! The way I see it, greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are the biggest threat to future generations. As a mother, I feel an intense maternal obligation to leave this planet in a state that can sustain life for my kids and their kids. So I’ve decided to tackle the two biggest sources of carbon pollution: electricity and transportation. I'm happy to say that with the help of some amazing people, we have made some great progress!
- John: Like Cherie, I feel we have an obligation to leave a habitable planet for all our kids. We need big organizations and individuals to step up to this challenge quickly and boldly.
J: We’d like to share an area where you can make a big difference- reducing carbon emissions in transportation.
C: In Safe Mountain View we advocate for road designs and policies that make the city safe for anyone to bike. Safe biking and walking facilities improves health and gives people a choice to get out of their car, which reduces greenhouse gasses.
J: Some of the things we are advocating are protected intersections and protected bike lanes. Unlike usual bike lanes where only a stripe of paint separates the speeding cars from people riding bikes, protected infrastructure has a physical barrier to separate the people driving from the people riding bikes. This way it is safer and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to get around without a car. Another thing we are advocating is Vision Zero- policies and actions to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our roadways. This involves many things, I’ll mention three. It involves educating people driving vehicles and people riding bicycles. It also involves enforcement. When there is a crash, it is investigated seriously, not just considered an accident. Also it involves engineering. When there is a serious crash, the infrastructure is examined and the hazards are engineered out.
C: If you would like to get involved with this type of advocacy, come talk to us and get involved. If advocacy is not your thing, there’s still plenty you can do. If your destination is less than a mile, consider walking. If your destination is 5 miles or less, consider riding your bike. Throw on a backpack in case you need to pick anything up while you’re out.
J: We need the tech companies as well. What can you do 1) Support Santa Clara’s 2016 transportation tax ballot measure. 2) build in infrastructure and facilities to make biking, walking or taking transit to work a great experience and 3) support low carbon commute options for your employees and community.
C: We are fortunate to have tech companies in the North Bayshore area who are putting in innovative infrastructure for biking and walking, helping their employees and visitors get around without a car.
J: In summary, we encourage you to take action supporting community choice energy and safer biking. And above all, take action, get involved!
C: This is life-giving transformational work, for you, your friends, our communities, our society
J: We need you. All of you. We have so much further to go. This is a turning point. You can make a difference.
C: Together let's take care of the climate, our community and the ecosystem and make this a heaven on earth!
- Cherie Walkowiak is a nature lover and an environmentalist. Her mission in life is to do what she can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions locally through her work with Carbon Free Mountain View and Safe Mountain View.
- John Scarboro’s mission in life is sustainable, equitable community for everyone. As a father, he finds sustainable community and a habitable planet absolutely vital. He is a professional industrial engineer, working in environmental sustainability for 20 years. He currently works at NASA Ames and serves on the Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission.
Time to take the tabling materials home - by cargo bike.