Deb Hubsmith, a cycling zealot whose political savvy blazed many North Bay bike paths over the past 13 years, will step down as advocacy director for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition to focus on the national Safe Routes to School program she founded.
Hubsmith will remain an advisor to the Marin coalition while handing off most of her lobbying work in July to Andy Peri, who’s served on the group’s advocacy team for five years.
With bicycling growing rapidly in Marin — the number of weekday cyclists rose 135 percent during her tenure — Hubsmith said it was a good time to make a change in the local organization.
“At the national level, however, we’re struggling with a new Congress, many of whom are trying to eliminate bicycle and pedestrian funding,” she said in a statement. “It’s time for me to have an increased focus on national level policies.”
She expressed confidence her national work “will help bring more funding” for cycling facilities in Marin. Her efforts have already helped to bring $100 million in funding to Marin to build bikeways, tunnels and other projects.
As a founding board member, Hubsmith served as MCBC’s first executive director from 1998-2005, establishing the group’s position as an early leader in the national alternative transportation movement.
She championed the $27 million Cal Park tunnel project for 12 years. At its opening in December, she called it proof that “vision, tenacity and will can truly make miracles happen.”
She was also instrumental in securing $25 million in federal funding for Marin’s part of the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program.