Friday, May 10, 2019

Where Bikes Fit in with Affordable Housing

I live in a single-family home in San Jose. It’s about eleven miles from my job.

My career has taken a lot of turns over the years but using a bicycle to get to and from my job has been a constant - and one that I am lucky enough to enjoy. My spouse works in another Bay Area city and for a variety of reasons - one of which is financial - we own only one car between us. Public transit and riding a bike close the gap from home to office for me and we both make compromises.

One of those compromises is speed. Even though I usually catch up to cars at red lights - especially near downtown -  bikes move slower than motor vehicles. On a perspective standpoint, switching from a car to a bike is like viewing a movie formatted for television and then going to a second-run theater and seeing it on widescreen for the very first time.

For example, if you bike by a homeless encampment instead of driving by it you can really notice details. Discarded couches set up like a living room - complete with a painting hanging off a chain link fence. A dog flopped lazily on a folding lawn chair like it was the front porch of a farmhouse. Sometimes you can see and smell food cooking.

Beneath a Bay Area highway - May 2019
Since I ride on roads that can pass for highways on the East Coast I think a lot about the space the Bay Area has invested for car movement. Since I also pedal through acres of parking to hunt for a bike rack I think about the demands the Bay Area has for car storage.

Few people think about it, but the cost of parking spaces at stores and restaurants are usually baked into the prices of the items in the stores and restaurants, embedded in the leases of most workplaces, and factored into the per-unit costs of building apartments. In every case the cost is carefully hidden from the drivers.

Understanding the cost of the space cars consume isn't just about the solvency of our wallets but the sustainability of cities like San Jose. No matter how much people like Elon Musk brag about the technology they can cram into a car, it still needs a place to wait when the owner arrives at his or her destination. Building those places to wait - parking spaces - costs. Building the heavy duty infrastructure needed to move them costs. The time spent by the driver waiting in traffic they themselves create is a cost. And the cost of the parking that puts more space between our homes, our schools and our workplaces costs too.

A lot of young people either just don’t enjoy driving or would prefer to live car-free - but for now we live in an area that assumes you own a car and punishes you if you don’t. Escaping from that expensive and unsustainable mentality is part of what Bike Month is about.

Where housing comes in is an easier fit than you think. When homes are built in walkable and bikeable areas near workplaces and transit we deliver a freedom to people who can’t or would just rather not be hit with the expense and hassle of owning a car. When we build, support and value that that kind of infrastructure, we can build more affordable homes.

A project the nonprofit Housing Trust Silicon Valley helped finance in early April plans for 130 homes and an allotment of ½ a parking space per home. It is a five minute walk from a VTA station, a ten minute walk from two Ford GoBike bikeshare stations, and a 15 minute walk to Diridon station. This past summer a loan was made to a different affordable housing developer to buy another lot even closer to Diridon - and 300 homes are planned for that site which has a similar car-lite design.

National Bike Month is all about getting people to think about using bikes more and driving cars less - and realizing just how much of a cost cars have become.  Affordable Housing Month is about understanding and creating affordable housing. May gives us the chance to do both. Please learn more about and get involved by visiting and - and if you have a bike and can ride it safely, please ride it.

Also: if you want to explore San Jose by bike and learn about affordable housing at the same time, there's a ride Saturday, May 11th that starts at 1:00pm in St. James Park in San Jose. You can register for Wheelie Home: An Affordable Housing Bike Ride right here. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.


  1. Excelr’s online training in Guidewire is customized and for good enough reasons. Consider what regular trainers offer. A typica Digital Marketing Course in Sydney
    would take learners through the basics
    of Guidewire, teach them about configuration and understanding of various models, go on to organizing the claims centre and then best practices. This type of generalized
    training is of little use to employees handling specific parts like claims management, policy management or billing. Excelr’s custom online training addresses gaps and goes
    in-depth into specifics for each employee and his role. The result is that employees emerge better empowered and knowledgeable as well as skilled in what they have to deal with
    on a day to day basis.Unlike others, Excelr does not believe in a one size fits all approach in corporate training if highest efficiency and productivity are the goals.
    Each employee’s role is analyzed and a custom package is tailored to bring him up to speed. This has two benefits. One, the learner is motivated to learn because what he
    learns directly concerns his areas of work. Two, he learns more, in-depth and at speed. The training is online so he can access materials any time he is free and proceed at
    his convenience. He can access a tutor anytime he faces any issue while learning and become perfect in the selected modules. Tutors also go beyond to transfer the knowledge
    they have gained through years of hands-on experience and give insights that are not usually available in a regular course. By establishing a one-to-one relationship with the
    tutor, the learner remains committed and gets to know far more than he would be he to attend a classroom-based course.


  2. just awesome post. Thank you so much for sharing the valuable information
    With our Digital Marketing Training, re-discover your creative instinct to design significant marketing strategies to promote a product/service related to any organization from any business sector.
    Digital Marketing Course
    Digital Marketing Course in Sydney

  3. Thanks for the article. And for sharing the article.Salim Parvez

  4. Digital Marketing can be defined as a unique marketing strategy that is implemented in digital platforms through Internet Medium to reach the target audience. When compared to traditional marketing, search analytics gives you an extra edge in Digital Marketing. Analytics empowers the business to analyse the success in their business strategies and provides the required data to modify the strategies to suit the market requirements and improve ROI.

    Digital Marketing Course
    Digital Marketing Course in Sydney

  5. zzzoomer I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

  6. Im really impressed by it.I am happy for sharing on this blog its awesome blog I really impressed. thanks for sharing. Great efforts. data science training

  7. Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. Keep posting. Thanks for sharing.

    Tow truck dublin

  8. Protect your online data with IPVanish & scoopyreviews , through private browsing and advanced encryption.


    through private browsing

  9. I have read your Excellent Post.This is Great Job. i have enjoyed your reading your post first time.
    i wnat to say thanks for this post.

    BD News : Bangla News Online

  10. The knowledge of technology you have been sharing thorough this post is very much helpful to develop new idea. here by i also want to share this.
    AWS Training in Hyderabad
    AWS Course in Hyderabad

  11. So good!All your hard work is much appreciated. This content data gives truly quality and unique information. 토토

  12. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already

  13. Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites!

    omnichannel service
    freshservice problem management

  14. Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites!
    personal protective equipment
    nbc filtration system