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Around the Island

Making walking and biking in Alameda safe, comfortable, and a good option for short trips.

Fall has officially arrived in Alameda, and even though our weather remains mild (aka perfect), there is a crispness in the air as mornings start out a little darker and leaves start to change color. October is LGBTQ+ History Month and in Alameda, community organizers created history by establishing the City’s first Alameda Pride celebration.

Alameda Pride

Alameda Post - Alameda Pride at the Park 2022. Photo by José Lim
Pride in the Park. Photo José Lim.

Incredible thanks to event organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and especially to Jeramie Andehueson, Alameda Pride’s founder. Alameda Pride was a weekend of activities that included the family and pet-friendly Pride in the Park event Saturday afternoon, October 8. Special thanks to the Alameda Recreation and Park Department (ARPD) and the Downtown Alameda Business Association (DABA) for 18 months of planning that led up to this fabulous event.

The happy vibe at Pride in the Park spread to a weekend of activities that started with a pre-Pride party on Webster Street and included a Pride walk/run/fundraiser, block party, strut down Park Street, and finished with Drag Yourself to Brunch at the Alameda Comedy Club. We heard overwhelming support for all these signature events and how happy folks were that Alameda Pride took place in their hometown.

As we move through different phases of the pandemic, Alameda Pride created the opportunity for many to be outside and to see everyone again in person. The energy was amazing and a reminder to lead with kindness.

Halloween fun and safety

Alameda Post - a child in a superhero costume trick or treating
Photo Tom Wolf.

Can you believe in just a few weeks it will be Halloween? The decorations creeping up around the island are spectacular. This year, Halloween falls on a Monday, which means that as people are commuting home, kids will already be starting to trick-or-treat or participate in other fun traditions.

Alameda is an incredible place to celebrate Halloween, but with so many people enjoying the holiday, it can also be dangerous if we are not careful. Please, help ensure our streets are not scary by slowing down and being extra alert when driving. We read that kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day. Watch for kids everywhere, especially at intersections, sidewalks, and driveways. Drive with your lights on to be extra visible. And never drink and drive.

On Halloween, along with every day of the year, the City wants to provide safe, comfortable, and accessible ways for people of all ages and all abilities to walk, use mobility devices, and bicycle throughout Alameda.

Active Transportation Plan

Alameda Post - a smiling mother and child on a bike

Earlier this month, the City released the draft Active Transportation Plan that includes long-range visions as well as an eight-year infrastructure and programs plan to improve walking and biking. With Alameda’s human-scale, relatively small size (10 square miles), tree-lined streets, flat topography, conveniently located shopping districts, and mostly 25 mph speed limit, Alameda is the ideal community for walking and biking.

Fun fact: 63 percent of all trips in Alameda are 3 miles or less (easy on a bike) and 31 percent of all trips are less than 1 mile (which can be an easy walk for many residents). However, we know that even for short trips, most people are driving—70 percent of all trips are by car, 21 percent are on foot, and only 4 percent are by bike.

We’ve heard from Alameda residents that they’d like to walk and bike more, but they don’t always feel safe doing so. What areas do you think need the most improvement? What infrastructure improvements would encourage people to walk and bike more? We’ve been listening to community input over the last three years to try and answer these questions. Please let us know if we got it right, and help us reduce car trips and increase trips using other modes of transportation.

Read the Draft Active Transportation Plan online or at the Main Library Reference Desk, and take an online survey by October 23 to share your feedback—or email your questions and comments to [email protected]. Your feedback is important to us and to future generations.

Accessible public transit

Alameda City Hall will be lit up in orangeFor Alameda residents who are older or have disabilities, we are also seeking feedback on the City’s free transportation programs to ensure they are meeting people where they are. The City offers free AC Transit bus passes, curb-to-curb car service, information about transportation options, a training program to help improve transit skills and build confidence, and even transit app training.

Please, visit the City’s Paratransit page to learn more and take our survey. And please share this with people you know who are older or have disabilities. We want to make sure these programs are meeting the needs of Alameda residents.

I’m not sure if it’s the smell of pumpkin spice in the office, the recent Pride festivities, or a little bit of both, but Alameda is feeling very supportive and connected. It’s an incredible place to live and work.

Sarah Henry is Communications & Legislative Affairs Officer for the City of Alameda. Reach her at [email protected].

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