open streets santa cruz county
Open Streets is a free public event that temporarily transforms roadways into open spaces for people to bike, walk, skate, and play in a safe and festive environment. Automobile traffic is temporarily diverted onto alternate streets in cooperation with local law enforcement and affected residents and businesses. Open Streets events partner with local agencies and community organizations providing information booths with resources for leading sustainable, active, and healthy lives. The mission of Open Streets events is to foster individual and community health through creative use of public space. The purpose of Open Streets events is to promote physical activity and health, promote a culture of bicycling and walking, and increase safety and access to the roadway for users of all ages, abilities and modes.
Bike Santa Cruz County took over organizing Open Streets events in 2016 and has successfully organized 3 events since, two in Santa Cruz and one in Watsonville. Our vision is a sustained program of repeating events in diverse locations of Santa Cruz County in order to yield greater community benefits and impact behavior change over time.
Open Streets Watsonville
1st Sunday in June
Open Streets Santa Cruz
2nd Sunday in October
Union/Brennan St. in Downtown Watsonville
West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz
Earn-a-Bike Santa Cruz County
For many youth in our county, access to bicycles and the cost of bike maintenance can be a challenge. The Earn-A-Bike program is designed to address these issues by providing Watsonville, Live Oak, and Santa Cruz youth with bicycles and accessories, as well as training them in bike safety and maintenance to create empowered and self-sufficient young cyclists.
Over the course of a 5-7 week program, Earn-A-Bike uses a peer-to-peer education model to provide mentoring to middle school participants and leadership experience for high school students. High school students, including graduates of the ROP Bike Technology classes at Santa Cruz, Harbor, Soquel, and Pajaro Valley high schools, act as mentors and role models, working with their younger peers to refurbish donated bikes and teach bike maintenance skills.
To date, Earn-a-Bike has delivered more than 250 bikes to youth in need.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
Pajaro Valley High School, Watsonville
Boys and Girls Clubhouse, Live Oak
Bike Church, Santa Cruz
Middle School Bike Club
Middle School Bike Club is an after-school program that focuses on bicycles as a form of transportation and recreation, a means to maintain good health and have fun, a tool to explore our amazing backyard, and a way to make new friends. From 2010 - 2018, Bike Club served 450 middle school students and lead over 500 bike-based field trips.
Bike Club is available at Branciforte and Mission Hill Middle Schools, and is a partnership between Bike Santa Cruz County and Santa Cruz City Schools. Over the course of each 10-week session, we provide training in bike safety and basic bike maintenance, go on a variety of on-bike field trips, explore local bike culture, and support youth in building healthy transportation habits.
Mission Hill Middle School, Santa Cruz
Branciforte Middle School, Santa Cruz
Shoreline Middle School, Live Oak
Light Up the night
Light Up the Night is a community bike ride and bike light giveaway occurring annually in Watsonville and Santa Cruz. Light Up the Night encourages safe riding at night by distributing lights and reflective gear to attendees and encourages bright costumes and bike decorations by offering prizes for “Brightest Bike”, “Brightest Rider”, and “Most Creative Costume”. Prizes include hi-visibility reflective gear, bike locks, wheel lights, helmets, and more. Light Up the Night partners with local bike shops to host pre-ride activities, snacks, and light distribution.
Light Up the Night Watsonville
Light Up the Night Santa Cruz
Watsonville - various locations
Santa Cruz - various locations
valet bike parking
In order to encourage people to bicycle to local public events (vs. driving), we provide free valet bike parking to attendees. (Events include concerts, street fairs, open art studios, etc.) Our goal is to reduce traffic congestion and encourage sustainable transportation. The planned measurable outcome of this program is to increase the number of people who bike to local events and encourage biking in daily transportation. We currently provide this service at approximately 24 events per year – which translates into approximately 2,000 individuals served.
Various locations in Santa Cruz County