Shifting Gears: Oakland's Bicycling Future 

How Oakland can become a world-class city for biking — and save lives, boost the economy, and improve the environment at the same time.

Page 8 of 8

It's a message that resonates with Michael Schwartz. In his day job as a San Francisco transportation planner, safety is at the forefront of his work, but after that Acura sent him flying off of his bike last fall, it put everything into perspective. "There's this implicit agreement that if you want to do something like bike ... you need to risk your life," he said. "That's kind of a crazy deal you're making with society."

He said he wants to see the paradigm shift through truly state-of-the-art street designs that eliminate that unfair risk. "The deal is you bike and you get to arrive safely, and it's safe or safer than being in a car. Then people would do it," he said. "That's the kind of change you need."

For now, however, Schwartz is focused on recovering from his crash, both physically and mentally. He has slowly been returning to a normal routine — and he's hoping he can soon start biking regularly again.

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