By DAVE SCHWAB | Uptown News
The bicycling community’s answer to the Oscars, the Golden Gear Advocacy Awards, were dispensed in December by San Diego Bike Coalition to top mobility leaders in numerous categories.
2019 awardees were:
- Advocate of The Year: Matt Stucky
- Bike Friendly Business of The Year: Quartyard
- Elected Official of The Year: City Council member Chris Ward
- Public Partner of The Year: City of Encinitas
- Community Partner of The Year: Nook East Village
- Volunteer of The Year: Katie Crist
- Educator of the Year: Michelle Luellen
The awards ceremony was held Dec. 12 at Balboa Park following the ninth annual Holiday Joy Ride fundraiser, sponsored by the bike coalition through the park and Uptown neighborhoods with bikes adorned with lights and tinsel. Participants enjoyed drinks, appetizers and prizes at a post-ride celebration where biking advocates were honored at the Golden Gear Advocacy Awards ceremony.
The Holiday Joy Ride/Golden Gear Advocacy Awards was the culminating celebration for progress made in San Diego County for better biking, like the newly installed protected bike lanes in Downtown San Diego. Funds from the fundraising ride benefit the bike coalition’s education and advocacy programs.
“We look forward to presenting our Golden Gear Awards every year to these outstanding leaders, volunteers, elected officials and communities who have really stepped up their efforts to support and promote safety and more accessible biking for all,” said Andy Hanshaw, executive director of San Diego Bike Coalition. “Our advocacy efforts truly pay off when we engage with individuals and organizations that join us because they support what we all want: safer and more sustainable cities to live, work and plan in. Bicycling not only brings us together, but it enhances our quality of life and those in our communities for generations to come.”
Honorees reacted to being named Golden Gears winners.
“Quartyard is proud to be an ally to the SD Bike Coalition,” said Justin Navalle, Quartyard managing partner. “We share the same passion in creating positive community activations and we will always do what we can do to help the SD Bike Coalition reach more San Diego citizens. Our collaborations in East Village and beyond will only get stronger.”
“I’m extremely honored to be recognized by the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, although I don’t usually think of myself as an advocate,” said advocate of the year Matt Stucky, who was recognized for first bringing the idea of a 30th Street bike lane to the city. “I’m proud to be part of the broad partnership between the community and organizations like the bicycle coalition to push for our city to reimagine our neighborhoods to be sustainable, healthy, and safe for all residents, regardless of their age, ability, or transportation choice.”
“At the Nook East Village, we want to create an urban-living experience that keeps sustainability in mind,” said David Allen, founding principal, Trestle, developer of Nook East Village. “Our accessible bike parking encourages our residents to ride to work every day and enjoy city living at a pace that allows them to enjoy their neighborhood. We are honored to be recognized by the bike coalition with this award and we look forward to building a community where everyone has more transportation options.”
“Since taking office, I’ve been a strong proponent of ensuring a robust network of bike lanes in San Diego and District 3 to protect experienced cyclists and casual riders,” said San Diego City Council member Chris Ward. “I am proud that Downtown has the first protected bike lane in the city and have consistently advocated for its continued funding to complete all three phases. In addition, I welcome upcoming projects in my district including on Pershing Drive, 30th Street, Howard Avenue, Fourth and Fifth avenues and Landis Street.“
San Diego Bike Coalition is a nonprofit that advocates for and protects the rights of all people who ride bicycles, promoting bicycling as a mainstream, safe and enjoyable form of transportation and recreation.
For more information, visit sdbikecoalition.org.
— Dave Schwab can be reached at email@example.com.