The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) Board of Directors recently approved a brand new chapter of APBP in Sacramento. The chapter is organized to provide professional, technical, and networking resources for practitioners working in active transportation fields in the six-county Sacramento Region of Northern California. This region encompasses Sacramento, Yolo, Yuba, Sutter, Placer, and El Dorado Counties.
We sat down with two of the Sacramento Chapter Leaders (and Alta planners), Kendra Bridges and Emily Tracy, to ask about the new APBP chapter and their experience working on active transportation projects in the Sacramento region.
1. How long have you been a part of APBP?
I joined APBP in 2015 while working in bicycle and pedestrian planning for the State of North Carolina.
2. Why did you decide to start a local APBP chapter?
While working in North Carolina, I helped form the statewide chapter of APBP, which was envisioned to connect people in far-flung cities and towns working to make bicycling and walking safer, more viable modes of transportation. During that process, I saw how valuable forming this type of network can be, above and beyond the benefits of having APBP as a resource on the web. When I returned to Sacramento and began my position with Alta, I saw that no local chapter existed, and started a series of conversations with others in the field to make this chapter a reality.
3. What inspires you about working in active transportation?
Creating opportunity for all members of society to lead healthy, active lives is a key inspiration for me. The freedom and creativity instilled in me as a child learning to navigate on foot and by public transportation, and the love of outdoors that imparted, are things I cherish and aspire to help others achieve.
4. What is the bicycling culture like in Sacramento?
As a relatively flat city with a mild climate and a grid street network, Sacramento is a great place to bicycle. There are many people who choose to make most trips by bike and much more who aspire to do so. We have local agencies working diligently to improve network connectivity, and many passionate citizens helping shape the future of bicycling for transportation. We have a lot of work to do before Sacramento is a truly friendly place to bike for people of all ages and abilities, but we are working to get there!
5. What are some of your favorite places to bike to?
To be honest, I love biking to meetings during the day. Driving and parking are such a burden in an urban environment, and I love the freedom and agility the bicycle provides. I’m not much of a recreational bicyclist, but I do love the bike to get me from point A to point B. I’m a runner, and my favorite place to travel on foot is the American River Parkway, a beautiful, 23-mile meandering path from downtown Sacramento to Folsom.
6. What do you wish to achieve in your active transportation career?
Creating opportunities for people to walk and bicycle safely to and from their daily activities is what motivates and inspires me. As a child in a car-less household, I didn’t realize my family was lacking in any way because we were able to do everything we needed by foot, bicycle, and public transportation. I want to help others achieve what I experienced; in our changing climate, this is more critical than ever.
1. What drew you to working on active transportation?
I grew up in Davis, CA, where walking and bicycling were the default choice for trips to school or downtown, and as I got older for trips to friend’s houses and to my after-school job. In college, I took a few classes on planning and was excited about the opportunity to pursue a career that would have such a concrete positive impact on our communities. As an active transportation planner, I hope to give more people the opportunity to grow up and grow old in places like Davis.
2. How long have you been a part of APBP?
I joined APBP as a student during my last year of college, and after a brief gap renewed my membership a couple years ago with the hope of creating a more vibrant and engaged community of professionals in the Sacramento area.
3. What is biking like in Sacramento?
I don’t bicycle much in Sacramento (I still live in neighboring Davis), but bicycling in Sacramento is definitely on the upswing currently. Former Alta Principal Jennifer Donlon Wyant is leading the City’s bicycle program, with a number of exciting projects on the table that will make bicycling safer and more comfortable over the next few years.
4. What are some of the biking/walking-oriented advocacy groups in the Sacramento region?
Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA) and WALKSacramento are the two key advocacy groups in Sacramento. Some other regional groups that I’m aware of include Bike Davis, Bicycle Advocates of Rancho Cordova (BARC), and Yuba Area Bicycle Advocates (YABA).
5. What are some of the biking/walking events the City of Sacramento organizes for it residents?
The City held their first Open Streets event last year, which was successful.
6. Why did you decide to start a local APBP chapter?
We wanted to start a local APBP chapter to bring together people in the Sacramento region who are working on active transportation. Through this chapter, we hope to both build capacity of the local agency, nonprofit, and private sector staff working on these projects, but also offer guidance and advice to communities facing challenges in planning, designing, or implementing bicycling and walking projects. The Sacramento region has a wide variety of communities at all stages of implementing walkable and bikeable places, including Davis where the bicycle movement in North America began. Our local chapter will help showcase the great things people in the region are doing to make communities safer, healthier, and more active for everyone.
If you live in this region and want to join the Sacramento chapter, request to join the Sacramento chapter group on the APBP website.
Sacramento Chapter Leaders:
Alta Planning + Design
Alta Planning + Design
Kittelson and Associates