Two Local Bicycle Advocacy Groups Honored With National Awards

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Not to be outdone by the movie industry's much-ballyhooed awards season, The Alliance for Biking and Walking, a North American coalition of 140 bicycle and pedestrian organizations, recently announced its 2010 Advocacy Awards and two of the winners are from the Bay Area.

Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) received the 2010 Campaign Award for its Bike Broadway campaign, which would add bike lanes to Broadway, Webster, and Franklin Streets, vital corridors for connecting Downtown Oakland with North Oakland.

"Walk Oakland Bike Oakland is extremely honored to be recognized nationally for our work," said WOBO Chair Carli Paine. "The Bike Broadway campaign has exemplified what it means to be people powered -- from merchant outreach to a three-day corridor bike traffic count, there have been dozens of volunteers on the streets getting the work done."

Paine said their success is due to the "tremendous pride that Oaklanders have in our city and the deep desire to see our streets transformed into welcoming, inclusive places."

kate.gifKate McCarthey. Photo: sfbike
Across the bay, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's (SFBC) Kate McCarthy was honored with the 2010 Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award for her "tireless enthusiasm to harness the power of individuals to better bicycling."

"It's like the Oscars of bike and pedestrian advocacy," said McCarthy. "I think it's really cool because I'm not the typical policy advocate," she added, explaining that the SFBC is the largest bicycle member organization per capita in the U.S. "Membership gives us ambassadors, volunteers, revenue -- basically, everything we need to propel our cause," she said.

When McCarthy began working at the SFBC in 2006, the organization counted 6,000 members. Four years later, they are at 11,500, in no small part because of McCarthy's work.

When asked if her next move was to go to Disneyland, McCarthy said she was on her way to Guadalajara with Cheryl Brinkman from Livable City and Heath Maddox from the MTA's bicycle program for an international ciclovia tour hosted by Gil Peñalosa's 8-80 Cities.

"So, it is kind of like going to Disneyland in the advocacy universe," she said.

Congratulations to WOBO and Kate for their achievements! We look forward to covering your work throughout 2010.