Community rallies to help raise over $750,000 to improve safety for bicyclists and motorists at Mount Diablo State Park | Cal Parks

12 December 2023

Mount Diablo, CA— California State Parks Foundation today announced that its Mount Diablo Bike Turnout campaign raised $755,090 exceeding its goal of $750,000. California State ParksCalifornia State Parks Foundation, and Mount Diablo Cyclists have partnered to build Phase Two of bike safety turnouts at Mount Diablo State Park.

“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.”

For many years, cycling at Mount Diablo State Park has been a popular — but dangerous — activity. From 2010 to 2014, there was an average of 23 car and bike collisions per year. According to California State Park officials, this also frequently resulted in road rage showdowns between drivers and riders.

Bike turnouts allow bicyclists, who move at slower speeds as they pedal uphill, 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.  

With the completion of 30 bike turnouts in 2022, there are now 45 total at Mount Diablo State Park. 

This project was inspired by the memory of Joe Shami who was a passionate advocate for increasing safety for bicyclists and cars at Mount Diablo State Park. Known by locals as “The Legend of Mount Diablo,” Joe’s passion for Mount Diablo State Park and cycling was exemplified by over a decade of weekly trips up the mountain well into his 80s. 

“Tragically, Joe was struck and killed by a vehicle while riding his bicycle in Lafayette,” said Randy Widera, Director of Programs of the California State Parks Foundation. “Although he is not with us today, Joe left a special gift in his will of $123,415.61 to California State Parks Foundation to fund additional bike turnouts on Mount Diablo.” 

In an incredible show of dedication to this work, California State Parks allocated the same amount as Joe’s gift with an additional $123,415.61 from the department’s annual roads allocation funding. Taking this initial funding as a challenge, a passionate group of volunteers comprised of Alan Kalin, Mark Dedon, and Ted Trambley spent the past four months doing outreach in the park and at Peet’s Coffee in Danville with locals, cyclists, and visitors.

“We absolutely enjoyed all our time and effort meeting and speaking with the thousands of motorists and cyclists,” said Alan Kalin. “The vast majority of folks understood the critical importance that bike turnouts could make, how they help prevent collisions and save lives.”

Through their efforts and with the support of California State Parks Foundation, they inspired over 300 individuals, organizations, and companies to donate an additional $508,259.26 lifting the campaign to a total of $755,090.48 raised. 

Currently, 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 

To learn more about this project, please watch this short video. Please see here for a map of existing and future bike turnout areas and photos of Mount Diablo.


California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation. 

Mount Diablo Cyclists’ mission is to improve the safety for Cyclists, Motorists, and Pedestrians on the Roads of Mount Diablo.

About Mount Diablo State Park
Located in the San Francisco Bay Area to the east of Walnut Creek, people have been drawn for generations to Mount Diablo for its spectacular views from the summit which extend over 100 miles in all directions on a clear day. Visitors have been attracted by the complex geology that has created amazing rock formations such as the “wind caves” at Rock City, and by the mountain’s variety of habitats which are home to over 600 species of plants and an amazing array of wildlife such as butterflies, bats and birds of prey, tarantulas, bobcats, lizards, snakes and deer.

In 2021 Mount Diablo celebrated its 100th year as a State Park. Though 100 years is a long history as a park, the importance of Mount Diablo was recognized long before that. For thousands of years Native Americans were the caretakers of this land. Many groups considered and treated the mountain as a sacred place and continue to do so today.

Since becoming a park in 1921, Mount Diablo has been protected as a natural area, and over the past 100 years the park has grown from only a few hundred acres to over 20,000 acres. Today it is a destination for those who would like to view wildlife and wildflowers, experience beautiful views, hike, camp, picnic, run, cycle, climb, ride horses, or gaze at the stars.