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Why Support Ciclovía Salinas? Gregg Brady shares his reasons.

Stay in touch with Ciclovia Salinas  for 2014.

Click here for contact info, along with links to Ciclovia Salinas stories.

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Scroll this post for 15 scenes of biking Salinas.

You’ll see many of these faces at Ciclovia Salinas!

Cath-and-Crew cropped

Why is the buzz building about Ciclovía Salinas? Enthusiasts recognize a variety of benefits to having Ciclovía/Open Streets.  Local cyclist Gregg Brady learned about Ciclovía from his friend Kelly McMillin–who many of us are aware is a Champion of Change.

Kelly told Gregg and others: “Logistically, this is a massive undertaking…. I am inspired [by the passion of the many youth volunteers]… and truly believe that a successful Ciclovia can bring some real healing to our troubled streets.”

Gregg Brady is a guy who keeps a low profile in the bike community. He’s a husband and father, and he’s a Salinas business owner, since 2000. His recreational hours have included biking with his buddies, and he’s done some racing as well. He knows there are many benefits to being out and about on your own pedal-power!

Gregg also cares deeply about Salinas. For that reason, he decided to say yes when Kelly asked his support for Ciclovía Salinas. Gregg further agreed to share a letter he wrote to his bike buddies about Ciclovía, asking that they join him in supporting it.

Gregg agrees with Kelly that

Ciclovía Salinas can be a strong building block for positive change in the Monterey County seat.

Sit back and read Gregg’s heartfelt message.

Barricade volunteer training is required by law.

For details on barricade volunteer training, click here.

Note: The 15 photos in this post were all taken in Salinas. Descriptions are at the end of this post.

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Guest post by Gregg Brady

Over the last several days, weeks, months, years ~ we have watched as violence, typically gang-related, has increasingly ravaged Salinas.  I’ve read many emails over the years that have expressed disgust and dismay towards the ongoing violence in the city that many of you have grown up in, a city that you intended to remain in.  Recently, I’ve read some emails that have indicated doubt as to the intelligence of someone wanting to live here due to the potential of falling victim to the spreading violence. 

Though I’m relatively new to the area compared to many of you, I now call Salinas home.  Like you, I embrace and enjoy the many wonderful opportunities and activities this area has to offer.  I came with the intention to stay here, raise my kids here, become a grandparent and enjoy life in this beautiful county. 

I, for one, am increasingly frustrated by the need to be concerned when planning trips to certain parts of town.

I know of some people who will avoid Salinas as a general rule. What a shame.

Over the last couple of years the crime and violence has traveled further down South Main.  It’s spreading down toward the 68 corridor.  Maybe not gang-related, but several of us have been violated with theft over the years here in Toro Park, our cherished sanctuary.  These thefts are more typically related to drug addicts trying to make a buck to score their next high, but it all connects. Drugs, gangs, crime and violence, etc.

With the most recent slough of violence, I’ve read and commented on a couple of emails that expressed respect and concern for the efforts of our Chief of Police, Kelly McMillin.  The McMillins are personal friends of ours, and when I say “ours,” I mean several of us.  The McMillins are darn good people who enjoy this area just like the rest of us, working hard for a living, trying to make a difference. Kelly became our Chief of Police last June.  He has done an outstanding job, through an incredibly troubled time of budget cuts and ever-increasing violence, as our local and national economy slowly crawl out of the worst recession since the 1930s.

After one of the shootings a week or so ago, I’d reached out to Kelly to see if there was anything I could do to help.  I seriously doubted that he was going to deputize me and bring me in as a special agent (Im simply not qualified).  Regardless, I truly wanted to offer my help, if only to give him and his family support, and hope. Hope based on the knowledge that there are a lot of people who care.  People who care about this area and care about preserving those things we cherish about this area, care about the Golden Rule, care about the basic principles of society, about America and our Freedom, our right not to be afraid of going to Tico Taco’s on a Friday night, or the Dollar Store on a Thursday afternoon!  I can go on, but you all get it.

Anyway, the McMillins came over the other night and Kelly followed up on my request to help. (BTW, I was right.  He’s not going to deputize me.) 

He brought up a community activity that he’d like some help with. 

Kelly is a huge believer in the positive attributes of impacting the community psyche to create a groundswell change in an otherwise negative environment. 

In other words, the police can’t ultimately fix the issues in Salinas by increasing the force alone.  To be successful over the long term will require  a multi-pronged effort that includes Family and Community.

The activity he would like help with is called “Ciclovía Salinas.” If each of you would take a little time and go to http://marilynch.com/blog/ciclovia-proposal-by-salinas-neighborhood-council.html, or Google “Ciclovía Salinas,” you’ll get a better description of the event than I can provide you.

You may not pick it up from the website, but there are some very engaged young people helping with the organization of this event, including college students from East Salinas.  For example, three of the primary organizers are East Salinas youth who are attending or just graduated UC-Berkeley. One is now enrolled in grad school in NY, one is at Cal specializing in optometry, and another is a new student at Cal. These youth who come from a challenging section of our city are not only continuing on with their educations, they are turning around to bring others alongincluding by creating this positive opportunity, by making an impact. 

This event is tentatively scheduled for October 6th.  The intended route will shut down Alisal Street, from Salinas Street to Sanborn Road. [Sanborn and Salinas Street will be open to vehicles. A very few intersections along the route will also be open to vehicles, but these will have uniformed police officers directing traffic. All other intersections along the route will be barricaded and staffed by adult volunteers who have received training from police officers, as required by law.] As you can imagine, there are a lot of cross streets and alleys that cross or exit onto Alisal.

There will be A-frame barricades placed, but numerous volunteers are needed to be posted at each of these locations.  Kelly is asking that we help with this.  We can take our stingrays over, hang out at our posts, relieve each other and cruise around, interact with the event participants.  In general, hang out and have a good time while hopefully helping to create a positive influence in our hometown.

Kelly has indicated that if they (we) can’t get enough responsible adult volunteers, the event will not happen.  The organizers cannot afford to hire police staff to hold the intersections.  This is a somewhat moot point as there are not enough PD staff available, even if they could pay for them.

This being the case, our help is vital.

I have told Kelly I would act as lead on this. I reiterated that we are not a club or organization, that we are publicity adverse and prefer to keep our names out of the limelight.  He understood this. He did ask thatif we Highway 68 Hillbillies are interested in helping—this letter and our involvement be used as a way that can help others to likewise commit to supporting Ciclovía Salinas.

Let’s see the good we can do.

–Gregg Brady

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Join Gregg and others in helping bring this dream to life!

Want to help with barricades? Read on.

Can’t do that but want to help in other ways? Scroll down below the bike maps picture.

Here’s what Kelly McMillin had to say to local bike groups about helping with barricades. (Other responsible adults are welcome to help at barricades too.)

Staffing road closure barricades can be tedious work, and there are lots of roads to be closed if Ciclovía Salinas is to succeed. Please consider volunteering on the morning and early afternoon of Sunday, 6 October to help with the barricades.

Salinas Police Department will provide the brief training required by law.  While there will be a number of officers present [including Chief McMillin], there aren’t nearly enough to staff the barricades….The more volunteers we have, the less time each volunteer will have to sit at their post, and the more time we can all spend participating in the event.

Logistically, this is a massive undertaking…. I am inspired [by the passion of the many youth volunteers]… and truly believe that a successful Ciclovia can bring some real healing to our troubled streets.

Are you part of a cycling club, bike shop or other business, civic club, or other community group whose adult members and friends might like to be part of the barricade crews?

If so, please have a representative for your group contact Chief McMillin:

Kelly J. McMillin
Chief of Police
Salinas Police Department
222 Lincoln Av.
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 758-7999
kellym@ci.salinas.ca.us

Ciclovía Salinas is a very special way to …

…help more people of all ages–locals and visitors–discover the many unexpected pleasures of getting around in Salinas without always using a car.

 Dr. Hugh Stallworth, retiring Monterey County Health Department leader, said that such physical activity is vital if the next generation is going to outlive their parents.  He also said:

That’s going to take an entire community effort!

Ciclovía Salinas is a great place to begin! There, in Monterey County’s first Open Streets event, you can make new friends who bike Salinas or bike-and-ride Salinas, as well as people who walk, jog, dance, do yoga, zumba, and other physical activity.

Many people don’t know that there are already 95 miles of connected bikeways for pedaling throughout the City of Salinas.

However, many people aren’t of an age or ability level to safely travel the bike lanes or signed routes of Salinas. All Salinas bikeways are on streets shared with cars.

(Salinas does not have Class I bikeways like the Peninsula’s Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, where people can travel without any motorized vehicles sharing the bikeway.)

On Ciclovía Salinas days, people of all ages and ability levels can have the experience of biking, walking, skating, or jogging a car-free route in Salinas!

Salinas bike map

Can’t help with a barricade? Or just eager to help in more ways?

Click here for “10 Ways to Be Part of the Fun.”

Burrito Ride 5-19-13 Salinas - here boys at the lead

 

Boy at Burrito Ride 5-19-13 near 1st Pres Salinas

 

 

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Burrito ladies - 5-19-13 chic

 

 

 

Top to bottom, here’s a description of the Salinas scenes pictured in this post:
  1. Salinas youth welcome Velo Club Monterey member Cath Tendler-Valencia to the first Salinas Bike Party, a Courteous  Social Bike Run. (Photo courtesy of Jan Valencia.)
  2. Monterey Park Elementary School cycling club (Photo courtesy of Ron Dillender.)
  3. East Salinas resident shopping by bike.
  4. Bike maps–City of Salinas, CSUMB, and Monterey County.
  5. Dating-by-bike, a husband and wife pedal to MYO Pure Frozen Yogurt, one of the more than 30 HER Helmet Thursdays spots in the Monterey County seat.  All MYOs in the county are part of the HER Helmet Thursdays project. What’s that? Discounts on Thursdays year-round for males and females who bike, offered at hundreds of locations throughout Monterey County.
  6. Burrito Bike Ride.
  7. Burrito Bike Ride.
  8. Pedaling to the First Fridays Art Walk in Oldtown Salinas.
  9. La Plaza Bakery on North Sanborn. As with MYO, all La Plaza Bakery locations in the county choose to participate in HER HelmetThursdays.
  10. East Salinas girl doing errands by bike.
  11. Ladies at a Burrito Bike Ride demonstrate that biking can be done in most any fashion; it doesn’t always require spandex or other “cycling attire.”
  12. Okerblom memorial riders came to Salinas as part of their California Springtime Protest Pedal to point out the dangers of distracted driving. Salinas PD shares their concerns to keep the roads safer for people who bike, walk, or otherwise get about.
  13. Salinas Police Officer–one of Monterey County’s extra bike-friendly police departments.
  14. Pedal-powered snack cart in East Salinas.
  15. She’s beaming about new opportunities to bike Salinas with others.

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Print mini-fliers to pass out to others. Download here:  Ciclovia Salinas Oct 6 2013 – 4-to-a-page mini fliers

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Learn more about Ciclovia Salinas

At BicyclingMonterey.com
Related post at the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau / See Monterey blog, BlogMonterey.com:

Guest Blog: Ciclovía Salinas, Monterey County’s Open Streets – October 6, 2013 Short link: http://www.bit.ly/SeeSalinasOct6

Related posts at BicyclingMonterey.com
 For photos of the inaugural Ciclovia Salinas, October 6, 2013…

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