When You Give, The Impact is Tangible


The attraction to try and speak broadly of ‘safe streets’ and ‘strong communities’ is strong. It’s easy to be pulled in that direction because our desire for them leads the rhetoric to flow a little easier. But it’s just as important to describe the nuts and bolts of how we’ll get there. I want to share a few of the tangible ways your contributions will make an impact.

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Bike Placement Program

The average cost of car ownership in California is nearly $9,000. For many, it’s a major financial burden. Along with housing prices, personal transportation is a major contributor to SoCal’s high cost of living. So this year BikeSD intends to launch a bicycle placement program. We’ll partner with a women’s advocacy organization to identify those who need—and can safely switch to—an alternative to car ownership and provide them with a completely refurbished bicycle that they can be proud of. We think we can get it done for about $100 a bike—and our goal is to give 100 bikes this year.

hand of the master with a wrench, repair a bicycle wheel.Bike Clinics

Last year’s Bike Clinic at the Central Library in Downtown was a huge success. We provided bicycle maintenance to over 100 people of all ages and circumstances, while creating an atmosphere of community inclusion. People rode away with patched tires, new chains, aligned wheels and working brakes. In short, their bikes were made safe to ride. Each bike clinic costs about $600—and we’d like to expand to host two a month, reaching different neighborhoods each time.

Gender and economic equity are two issues the organization feels so strongly about that we included them in our Guiding Principles. We’ve heard your calls to make progress toward transportation justice, and these two programs are just two of the ways we intend to do just that.


In addition to programs we’d like to launch or expand, our advocacy continues. Because of our advocacy, this is the year we’re going to finish off Level of Service – the archaic traffic-flow metric used to kill the “Transform Hillcrest” plan for University Avenue. And we’re going to make sure candidates for the next City Council, as well as County staff, revisit that plan once LoS is retired. We’re also going to push for a reform to the “85th Percentile” rule of traffic speeds, so roads connecting neighborhoods can be made slower as the community desires. The Executive Director position is a full-time job—one that Samantha Ollinger has succeeded in with an incredible desire and personal sacrifice. To be clear, the job is not just attending meetings and making public comment. It is no exaggeration to say that she has transformed the conversation surrounding bicycles in the City of San Diego—and she has done so by becoming a researcher, an analyst, a community organizer and a dogged-pursuer of decision makers. BikeSD is a nonprofit, but it’s not a hobby club. The work is serious. Staff is necessary and a real cost. And we need to have Sam’s back.

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So it’s simple—the level of donor support we receive through the rest of this month will determine whether the organization thrives in advancing our shared goals, merely exists as an online agitator, or draws to a close.

Thousands of you will see this title. Not only will you see it, you’ve ‘opted in’—by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or signing up for advocacy update emails. Are you ready to make your impact?

Join us. Give today.

Andy Kopp, Board President
Bike San Diego