Sunnyvale paid tribute to one of the city’s biggest advocates for bicycle and pedestrian safety this year. Ari Feinsmith was the recipient of the City’s top honor, the Mayor’s Award of Excellence (individual).
Feinsmith has dedicated much of his time in Sunnyvale to making the streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians and leads the Sunnyvale Chapter of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. In April of this year, he organized a ride with Homestead High School students to bring attention to the need for a permanent bicycle lane on the northbound side of Homestead Road.
A few months ago, Feinsmith asked Sunnyvale’s City Council to choose a bicycle and pedestrian only undercrossing at the Caltrain tracks that run near Sunnyvale Ave. and Mary Ave. They did, unanimously.
Feinsmith says the award was an incredible honor.
“I feel incredibly honored to receive this amazing award. I want to share my appreciation for the support of my family, my friends, and the greater Sunnyvale community,” said Feinsmith. “Over the past 2 years, I have dedicated hundreds of hours towards making bicycling in Sunnyvale safer and more comfortable. This has resulted in new bike facilities on 3 streets, 2,000 more long term bike parking spaces, and over 430 bicycles repaired.
“I’ve learned so much about bicycle advocacy and myself. This experience has inspired me to pursue a career in transportation. I am now majoring in Civil Engineering and concentrating in transportation at UC Davis, so I can continue to make our streets safer,” continued Feinsmith.
The group winner of the Mayor’s Award of Excellence was Magical Bridge Foundation, which opened an all-inclusive playground in Sunnyvale earlier this year. The playground is a preview of what the Magical Bridge foundation hopes to bring to Santa Clara in the near future.
Other award winners include:
- Natalia Esparza (Homestead High School), High School Student of the Year
- Lindsay Choi (Columbia Middle School), Educator of the Year
- Sunnyvale Youth Climate Action Team, Environmental Achievement
- Lidija Dukic, Contribution to the Arts
- Arnold Chong (Chick-fil-A), Businessperson of the Year
- Marlene Somsak (Refugee Resettlement Village), Distinguished Resident
Sunnyvale’s Mayor, Larry Klein, and other council members honored the award winners at an event on Sept. 17. Klein selected and presented the winners of both the individual and group Mayor’s Awards.
Tshaka Campbell, Santa Clara County’s Poet Laureate, wrote and recited an original poem – Love Letter to the Aftermath – for the occasion.
You can watch video of the entire awards event on the City’s YouTube channel.