Home NEWS Local Scene Shami Bequest Kicks Off Mt. Diablo Bike Turnout Campaign

Shami Bequest Kicks Off Mt. Diablo Bike Turnout Campaign


A significant bequest from a respected local cyclist killed during a ride in Lafayette has helped push a local effort to fund construction of additional bike turnout lanes on his favorite mountain ride closer to fruition.

California State Parks Foundation today announced its Mount Diablo Bike Turnout campaign has raised $755,090 – exceeding its goal of $750,000 – with a $123,415.61 bequest from legendary mountain rider Joe Shami, who died as a result of injuries sustained when he was struck by a Lexus SUV on April 13, 2021.

Shami, known as the “Legend of Mount Diablo” for riding 11 miles up the mountain once a week for 500 consecutive weeks, was a passionate advocate for bicycle safety, working to secure new turnout lanes for cyclists on the shoulders of Mount Diablo’s winding roads.

His bequest was matched by California State Parks with the push for additional funding taken up by a group of Shami’s fellow riders and volunteers Alan Kalin, Mark Dedon, and Ted Trambley, who spent the past four months doing outreach in the park and at Peet’s Coffee in Danville with locals, cyclists, and visitors.

“State Parks is very appreciative of the community’s enthusiasm around this project,” said Clint Elsholz, Acting District Superintendent of Diablo Range District. “The generosity of so many will accelerate our progress around enhancing safety measures at Mount Diablo State Park.”

Park officials say there have been an average of 23 car and bike collisions per year on the mountain from 2010 to 2014, along with frequent road rage showdowns between drivers and riders.

Bike turnouts allow bicyclists to pull out of the main traffic lane into their own lane so that vehicles can pass safely. After the first turnouts were created, collisions dropped to three accidents in two years, and road rage significantly diminished.

There are now 45 turnouts at Mount Diablo State Park.

Phase Two of the Mount Diablo Bike Turnout project is anticipated to break ground in late spring of 2024. For more information on this project, please contact Randy Widera, Director of Programs, California State Parks Foundation at randy@calparks.org.

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