By Martha Levison
Sometimes great ideas grow into results with very little effort, and that might appear to be the case when Danville’s new portable bike racks make their public debut at the upcoming Danville Fine Arts Faire, June 16-17. But over the last year a lot of hard work and coordination from a number of folks went into nurturing the development and building of the bike racks – the result is a great program that will benefit all Danville fairs and festivals for years to come.
It all started last year when the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce began the planning process of the 2011 Danville Fine Arts Faire. The planning committee discussed an idea that had been talked about for years: A portable bike rack system that could easily be put together and taken down, needed little storage space, and once assembled would provide folks a place to lock their bikes, so that instead of driving their cars to downtown Danville for the faire, they could ride their bikes. The benefits were obvious: fewer parking hassles, less traffic congestion and a way for local folks to come to events in their own town without driving – not to mention the environmental impact of having fewer cars on the road. Other communities had portable bike rack systems for their downtown events – Danville should have one as well.
But the Chamber did not have specs, there wasn’t enough time to build the racks, and who would store them? Who would monitor the bikes at the actual events? No one had the answers to those questions at the time, but one person on the Danville Fine Arts Faire planning committee didn’t give up. Darlene Gayler of Gayler Construction, a Danville Area Chamber of Commerce Board Member, and Sustainable Danville Area founder started researching plans for bike racks that other communities used. She met with the Town of Danville on numerous occasions regarding studies and surveys, found a design that would be easy to assemble and store, and partnered with a local SRVHS student, Jonathan Adams who wanted to build the racks as his Eagle Scout project. Between donations from local companies like Heritage Bank, Chow Food and Bar, California Pedaler, Safeway, ConsignIt Couture and Gayler Construction, Jonathan’s family and friends, and Sustainable Danville Area, the racks were built and will debut at their first Downtown Danville Event – The 2012 Danville Fine Arts Faire – on June 16-17.
The bike rack program did not evolve without a little luck and coincidence. Without knowing that an SRVHS student built the racks, a representative from the San Ramon Valley Wolf Foundation approached the Danville Area Chamber to offer their volunteer services. The Chamber partnered them with the bike rack program and now SRVHS Wolf Foundation student and parent volunteers will monitor the bike racks at the Fine Arts Faire. If you ride to the faire, please bring a bike lock and a tip for the attendants – it will go toward the SRVHS Wolf Foundation.
Even the location where the bike racks will be during the fair has good “bike mojo.” The bike racks will be located at 675 Hartz Ave. in the parking lot of the Balfour Building where Pacific Union Holdings Inc is located. A while back, Jeff Abramson, Pacific Union Holdings’ president and avid bike rider, bought two beach cruisers that he keeps in his office and makes available to employees and tenants to ride around downtown Danville so they don’t have to use their cars. Many of those folks ride their bikes to work as well. To add to the theme, Phil and Chad Glashoff of Glashoff Gallery, local metal sculptors, will weld and build an arch made from used bicycle parts right there at the Danville Fine Arts Faire in the Balfour parking lot near the bike racks.
So ride your bike to the 2012 Danville Fine Arts Faire, and park it at the Balfour Building parking lot or any of the non-monitored parking stations throughout downtown. Then stroll Danville’s tree-lined Hartz Avenue and enjoy one-of-a-kind fine art from 200 artists all around the country and the Bay Area, Italian street painting, entertainment, gourmet food, fine wines & micro-brews. In addition, local merchants will present their wares on West Prospect on Saturday and Sunday, and on East Prospect the First Annual Danville Area Chamber of Commerce Father’s Day Classic Vintage Car Show will be held on Sunday only. The Faire is hosted by the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Danville. Admission and parking are free.