Marin Independent Journal
August 3, 2002

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Sausalito Councilman Paul Albritton are well deserving of being called Clean Air Champions of the May Area.

They have been honored by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for their hard work and innovations toward helping make the air we breathe a little cleaner.

We need more champions.

The Bike Coalition has been tireless in trying to make riding a bike, whether it's for recreation, to get to school or to work, a lot easier and safer. It is a steadfast advocate for a bike path that would parallel Highway 101 and for creating safe routes to schools so local students can return to the days when they pedaled or walked to school everyday.

Just take a look at the number of cars converging on school campuses every morning and you can see there is room for improvement. Also consider county estimates that some 20 percent of Marin's morning commute traffic is school related and you see there's the potential to help ease that glut of cars.

That's where the bike coalition stepped in, launching its successful "Safe Routes to Schools" program and helping educators, parents and kids organize safe alternatives to students being driven to school. Program leaders have been working with local schools to facilitate plans that gets kids thinking about the value of exercise and curtailing air pollution.

The programs also help parents feel more secure that their children are going to get to and from school safely.

In Sausalitio, Albritton's contribution has been two-fold. He's been working at creating a successful clean-air shuttle that would give residents and visitors a cleaner and easier way to get around the picturesque town. He's also tackled the monumental effort of trying to make Sausalito's narrow, hilly and winding roads safer for bicyclists. Both goals are not easy to accomplish. There's still a lot of work to do. But Albritton has shown leadership in trying to make both a reality.

Take a deep breath. The air is a little cleaner because the efforts of these "champions."

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