March 2020 Advocacy Update

Funding Bike Infrastructure in SLO

On March 17th (meeting starts at 6 PM) the SLO City Council will allocate budget surplus to various projects. Several months ago, the City indicated that there was a potential surplus that could be allocated to some quick build projects. Recent meetings with the City indicated they are needing to allocate funding to project overages and other “non-discretionary” items. It’s a bit disappointing that the budget for bike and pedestrian infrastructure that will make all roadway users safer are still not considered essential, while a huge amount of the capital budget continues to be spent on repairing and expanding vehicle infrastructure. BSLOC is going to continue to push for the City to SLO to build out a core network of separated and protected bike routes.  

There is still an opportunity to show your support for better bike infrastructure at the March 17th meeting. Please write council (emailcouncil@slocity.org) and tell the council that you want to see a measurable commitment to building out a protected and separated core bicycle network by 2025. In order to do this we will have to plan to build 2-3 miles of protected bike lanes every year. In order to accomplish this we are asking council and staff to consider reallocated on-street parking or vehicle travel lanes to fit protected bike lanes, shorten pedestrian crossings, and slow vehicle traffic to safer speeds for vulnerable roadway users. Ask the council to make a strong stand against the car culture and make our streets designed to move everyone safely. 

What are “Quick Builds”? 

You may have heard this term being used recently. BSLOC has been working hard to create a buzz and support for Quick Builds. So, what are they? Quick Builds are a tool that activates and excites citizens who want change, instead of those who fear it. Quick builds are pilot projects and interim designs which are meant to show proof-of-concept and collect data ahead of permanent installations.  They are designed to be in place for at least 2 years to allow roadway users to adapt their behavior and eventually be replaced with more robust and permanent infrastructure. As a software engineer put it recently “is beta testing for bike and pedestrian infrastructure”. 

Quick Builds started a handful of years ago after Cities like New York starting using new strategies to reconfigure their streets using lower cost materials, primarily paint and bollards, to create separated and protected places for people biking, walking, and taking transit. Since then many cities have follow suit created policy and processes to build “people oriented” streets as part of any resurfacing effort or as part of a very aggressive timeline to build out a core bicycle network. 

Usually a quick build project will require sacrificing some sort of vehicle space to provide adequate space and protections in place for people biking and walking. There will be resistance and hesitation by many who think that our roadway should only accommodate vehicles. There will need to be strong political will and reinforced support from those of us in the community that want to see change. When the time comes, remember that these are new roadway design concepts that most people have not experienced here in the States. It will take some time to adjust our habits and there may be hiccups along the way. Remember to continue to provide positive support for the concept of protected bike infrastructure instead of picking out the deficiencies. Quick builds are designed to be adjusted along the way to create the safest experience for all roadway users.  

 

Witness bad drivers while trying to bike to school or work? 

Want to do something about it? Download OurStreets app and start reporting aggressive and bad driving behaviors. BSLOC has partnered with the OurStreets team to use the data to help our advocacy efforts. BSLOC will have access to the data and will work with local law enforcement and city official to advocate for data-driven changes in enforcement, education, and infrastructure throughout the county. 

In most cases there is very little to no data collected on near misses, aggressive drivers. Data on bad driving behaviors like running stops signs, not giving adequate space while passing, and speeding rely on the driver being caught in the act. Most of the time it takes a deadly accident to change the way these streets are designed and enforced. Just because someone has not been severely injured or killed on a certain street does not mean that that street is safe or comfortable to ride or walk on. OurStreets allows us to crowdsource documenting unsafe driving behaviors to paint a new picture and solicit change. Lets all work together to because these are OurStreets too.

Want to advocate for change in your area?

Effective advocacy efforts require a lot of time, energy, and passion. All these efforts, including the updates you are reading, were done by volunteers spending their days, nights and spare moments working tirelessly to make our communities more bike friendly. If you are passionate about making your community, BSLOC is looking for motivated advocates to lead the charge in your cities and unincorporated areas. BSLOC is here to help you in your advocacy efforts and spread the work. If you are interested in applying to be an area lead please email garrett@bikeslocounty.org. 

Support SB 127

Complete Streets Bill Would Help San Luis Obispo County Bikes and Peds

The following comes to us from our friends at the California Bicycle Coalition:

We’ve all had this experience.

We’re out walking a dog or riding a bike through our neighborhood when, all of a sudden, a car zooms by, too close for comfort. Our hearts race at the close call. We shake our fist at the driver, “Can’t you see people walking here?”

But when those dangerous streets and intersections are state-owned roads, we really should be shaking our fist at the state Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which designs roads that encourage speeding and dangerous driving in urban neighborhoods and rural main streets.

We can do better, but we need help from the state legislature because the worst streets in our communities aren’t under local control. These so-called “state highways” that run through our communities as urban streets or rural main streets are wholly owned and operated by Caltrans.

In San Luis Obispo County from 2016-2017, State Route 41 (Atascadero Rd, E.G. Lewis Hwy, Morro Rd, Robert and Pat Nimmo Memorial Hwy) saw 82 crashes, injuring 109 people, and killing 7 people. Out of those crashes 10 people were injured or killed while walking or biking on or across this state-owned road. The problem is even worse when Caltrans roads go through low-income neighborhoods where more people get around via transit, biking, and walking.

A new bill now moving through the legislature will fix it. The Complete Streets for Active Living bill, SB 127, will mandate that whenever Caltrans repaves or expands a state-owned surface street that passes through urban neighborhoods, they must create safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Do you walk or bike on Highway 41? Or Highway 1? Or Highway 58? Passage of SB 127 will make these vital streets safer for everyone.

Caltrans will often claim to make streets safer when they repair them. They even have a Complete Streets policy that requires their engineers to consider such improvements in every project. But in practice, they prioritize fast traffic over the communities demanding more livable streets almost every single time. While Caltrans should fix dangerous state highways without stronger direction from the Legislature, they often don’t. That why we need the Complete Streets Bill, to provide that direction, and force the safety improvements necessary to stop the killing and maiming on state-owned roads. Caltrans calls them highways but we call them home — lined with small businesses, schools, senior centers, places of worship, parks, and people dear to us, like our children.

The bill is not strict; Caltrans won’t have to implement safety improvements if they’re not appropriate for some reason—for example, if they’re too expensive. And the law only applies to sections where you’re likely to see people walking and biking, about 17% of the total system. But it will force Caltrans to implement safety improvements when it’s cheapest to do so: when they’re repaving the street anyway.

This kind of policy has strong support. A David Binder Research poll found that 78 percent of California voters support a policy requiring safety improvements when improving a road. They want children to be able to safely walk or bike to school.

Californians want safer, more livable streets that support local businesses and local jobs. They want the ability to walk and bike safely, because it’s affordable, healthy, and fun.

Fixing state highways to accommodate all users will improve our communities, our health, and our local economy.

The Complete Streets for Active Living Bill (SB 127) passed the Assembly Transportation Committee, but it has more hurdles to go before it becomes law. Even after months of negotiations with stakeholders to get the bill approved by the Senate, Assembly Members could kill or severely weaken the bill. Every provision that elevates the importance of biking and walking safety is at risk.

That’s why we need you to tell your state assembly member vote YES on SB 127, the Complete Streets for Active Living Bill today.

Take Action here.

Upcoming Women/Trans/Femme Night Workshop

Our 2019 Women/Trans/Femme Night Workshops Continue

Come to this special Women/Trans/Femme Night workshop, Commuter Basics: Bike Commuting, Riding with your Family, and eBikes, to learn how to commute confidently and efficiently. We will also go over information such as commuting with children and the potential for upgrading to an electric bike!

Experienced commuters Becky Kallal and Christie O’Hare will join us to share their expertise.

Please RSVP here on Facebook and please share with friends who you think might enjoy this!

Raffle: Coeur Gift Card for $25.
Suggested $5 donation.
Light refreshments will be provided.

WHERE: SLO Bike Kitchen, 860 Pacific St, Suite 105, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (map)

WHEN: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 6-8PM

Hot August Bikes is Back!

Hot August Bikes is back and HOTTER than ever!

If you missed last year’s first ever Hot August Bikes, you might be asking “Hot August whut”? If you attended last year, you already know it’s like a vintage car show but with AWESOME BIKES instead! We’re happy to announce that the Central Coast’s only summertime bike show is returning to Central Coast Brew on Saturday, August 17.

Come to look or enter to win!

You can come just to enjoy a beer while you gaze in awe at all of the amazing two-wheeled wonders, or you can enter your bike in the competition and maybe win all the glory! General audience admission & participation (you get to vote for the Audience Favorite award) is only $5 at the door.

Entering a bike in the competition? Space is limited! Please Pre-Register your bike by 11pm on Wednesday, August 14, it’s only $10! Register at http://bit.ly/HotAugustBikes2019

Day-of bike registration is $20, and is limited to 15 spots!

Our guest judges will award prizes for the best in five categories:

DIY – From tall bikes to home-brewed cargo bikes
DAILY DRIVER – Show us your commuter bikes!
VINTAGE I – Classics from 1987 or EARLIER – Eroica pretty bikes, classic cruisers, etc.
VINTAGE II – Any sweet bike from 1988-2000
TOURING BIKES – decked out in all of their touring glory

There will also be a prize for the bike chosen as the Audience Favorite.

Please RSVP here on Facebook and watch this space for info about raffle prizes, sponsors and more!

The End of Bike Month?

The End is Near and it’s LOADS OF FUN!

Bike Month 2019 is almost over but there is still lots of bike-related fun to be had.

The Last Breakfast

Bike SLO County helped kick off the start of Bike Month 2019 with a bike breakfast at the Kitchen and is thrilled to co-host a bike breakfast behind SLO Guild Hall with the fine folks at Peak Racks on Friday, May 31 from 7-9 AM. As always, bring reusable plates, cups, silverware if you have them. If you don’t we’ll have stuff from Table Ware Share so you don’t have to drink coffee straight from the pot.

What: Bike Breakfast

Where: SLO Guild Hall, 2880 Broad St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 back in the Eucalyptus grove.

When: Friday May 31, 7-9 AM

Bikes and Beauty

This year our annual Bike Fashion Show, Bikes & Beauty, is moving to Saturday June 1st. Join us as we bid a huge farewell to Bike Month 2019 in the San Luis Obispo Guild Hall.

This year’s theme is “Bike Prom”, so dress up, bring a date, make a bikey corsage…Bikes and Beauty brings people from all over SLO County together to cheer on members of our local bike community as they strut their stuff on the runway in an always amazing array of hand-made DIY bike fashion.

Come groove to the satisfying sounds of DJ Norm, enjoy tasty food from Mee Heng Low Noodle House, beer from Central Coast Brewing, wine from Peloton Cellars, Tablas Creek Vineyard and Diringer Estates, cocktails by T-Dubs, deliciously sweet cupcakes from Linnaea’s Cafe and we are proud to be partnering with Whalebird Kombucha on tap.

Entry this year is $5 and gets you one free drink ticket. Additional beverages and food are available for purchase with sales benefiting Bike SLO County.

The first 125 people to arrive at Bikes & Beauty will receive a complimentary 2019 Bikes & Beauty commemorative steel pint tumbler. Supplies are limited! Arrive early, stay late!

This year Bike SLO County’s Bike Kitchen rebuilt 3 bikes from the ground up and had them custom powder-coated to make three unique Bike SLO County bikes for this year’s silent auction.

 

Bike Month 2019

Bike Month 2019 kicks off on Wednesday, May 1st and Bike SLO County is starting the month right with our annual Bike Breakfast at the Bike Kitchen from 7-9 a.m. Below is a preview of Bike SLO County events during Bike Month. These events and others are all listed on the calendar maintained by the fine folks at SLO Shift: http://sloshift.org

Keep it clean…

In an effort to help make Bike Month events less dependent on single-use containers and utensils, Bike SLO County reached out to the community and discovered an amazing, local FLATWARE library called Table Ware Share – Free Lending! (If you’re hosting an event and want to borrow reusable dishes etc, click this link!) While we still want to encourage people to consider using/reusing your own cups, utensils, plates, napkins, etc. during Bike Month and beyond to help cut down on waste and save the earth, we’ll have plates, cups and utensils at our Bike Breakfasts if you need them.

May 1: Bike Breakfast: 7-9 AM at SLO Bike Kitchen. Let’s kick off Bike Month right with Breakfast at the Kitchen. Stop in for coffee (donated by Nautical Bean), breakfast tacos, pancakes, pastries donated by House of Bread, juice, fruit and more as we kick off Bike Month 2019! More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/390495528463400/

May 4: Bike Rodeo at Hawthorne Elementary: 11AM – 3PM. The Parks and Recreation Department once again will partner with the SLO Police Department to host the Annual Bike Rodeo and Bike SLO County will be there to lend a hand. There will be a bike parade, bike “safety town”, tune-ups and a BMX show. More information is available at  https://www.facebook.com/events/638768459897241/

May 5: Tenth Annual Cote de Claiborne Velo Challenge: 7AM-1PM. Join Claiborne & Churchill for the 10th Annual Cote de Claiborne Velo Challenge! This 50+ mile ride will conclude with lunch and a glass of wine in our lovely garden. Pre-registration required and experienced riders only! We will be donating $20.00 per rider to Bike SLO County. More information is available at
https://www.facebook.com/events/413090655933213/

May 5: FILM NIGHT at Bike Kitchen: 6-8:30PM. Join us in the Kitchen for two Bike Month screenings of California Golde, a 12 minute film Directed and Produced by “Ronnie” Romance Jr and Sandy Carson. This short film chronicles a completely analog tour off the grid—with no digital devices, apps, or GPS. A window to a time before, as @UltraRomance says, ‘we became cyborgs,’ it’s a project he considers an ‘art film,’ blending the aesthetic of 70s surf movies with the modern-day popularity of off-road bike touring. More information is available at
https://www.facebook.com/events/338157993506323/

May 9: Kidical Mass BEARS! at Mitchell Park: 5:30-6:30PM. Often called the family bike happening, Kidical Mass is a venue for parents to teach their kids how to ride safely. If you have ever wanted to ride your bike in a parade with kids of all ages, this is the perfect chance to make it happen. No matter your age, the ride is a blast for everyone! The more the merrier as we introduce the next generation to the joy of bicycles. This month’s theme is BEARS! Costumes encouraged. More information is available at
https://www.facebook.com/events/433491180787607/

May 15: Morro Bay Community Bike Ride: 1:30-2:30PM. Join us in Morro Bay as we celebrate our community on 2 wheels with an hour long, all level, community bike ride that benefits Bike SLO County! 3 group ride options: 1. kid friendly in town, easy pace 30min 2. recreational rider up Highway One, easy-moderate pace 60min 3. seasoned cyclist up Highway One, fast pace 60min. Ticket includes collectible event shirt and free bike valet by Bike SLO County. More information is available at
https://www.facebook.com/events/785064671860638/

MAY 15: Bob Roll invites you to Meet & Greet the Pro’s: 5:30-8:30 PM. SOLD OUT! Meet the Pros during our FREE 5:30pm Meet-and-Greet event at The Siren (next to the Amgen Tour of California | Men’s Stage 4 Finish), featuring legendary road cyclist, Bob Roll! PLUS – LIVE Auction benefiting Bike SLO County & LIVE Music. More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/361263391376552/

May 15: Ride of Silence at SLO Bike Kitchen: 7-9PM. The Ride of Silence is a free ride that aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured. This ride takes place simultaneously in multiple locations around the world. More information is available at
https://www.facebook.com/events/1540403476091448/

May 17: Bike Fest Atascadero: City Hall 4-6PM. Get the weekend started right with Visit Atascadero’s first-ever, “Happy Hour Station” Bike Fest to wrap up an incredible Bike to Work Day! Together Ride Share and Bike SLO County would like to celebrate YOU for taking an alternative mode of transportation and enjoying all that North County has to offer with bites and pints on the steps of City Hall. More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/336227697096536/.

May 25: Pedal to Pizza Ride, starts at Bike Kitchen: 11:30AM-1PM. Join us for the 3rd Annual Pizza Ride! This social, low key ride begins at 11:30 am at the Bike Kitchen (860 Pacific St in SLO, corner of Morro and Pacific) and visits 3 different San Luis Obispo pizza joints for an afternoon of food, fun and bikes. Three Large Pizzas will be pre-ordered and purchased at each location. Additional food/beverages available for purchase. More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/589961698176933/

May 31: Bike Breakfast @ SLO Guild Hall: 7-9AM. On the last day of Bike Month Peak Racks and Bike SLO County are joining together to start off the last day of Bike Month with a bang! Join us as we bid farewell to Bike Month 2019 with tasty treats in the Eucalyptus grove at the back of SLO Guild Hall. More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/2363109183936146/

June 1st: Bikes & Beauty at SLO Guild Hall: 6-9PM. Join us as we bid a HUGE farewell to Bike Month 2019 at the San Luis Obispo Guild Hall.

This year’s theme is “Bike Prom”, so dress up, bring a date, make a bikey corsage…Bikes and Beauty brings people from all over SLO County together to cheer on members of our local bike community as they strut their stuff on the runway in an always amazing array of hand-made DIY bike fashion. We’ll have dinner, drinks, dancing, a silent auction and loads of fun! More information is available at
https://www.facebook.com/events/523313658073449/

Looking for more Bike Month events?

Check out SLO Shift for info on other events taking place during Bike Month and every month of the year. Want to add an bike event? YES! https://sloshift.org

City of SLO Budget Priorities Meeting

Stand Up for Bikes on Wednesday, January 23!

Bike community members who live, work or play in the city of San Luis Obispo should attend the SLO Budget Priorities meeting on January 23rd to stand up for bikes and multi-modal transportation. Attendance at this event is the best way to show City Council and Staff that we need safer streets for everyone.

Unlike previous years, it isn’t necessary to attend the entire event. Attendees will be able to voice their opinions with a dot poll throughout the event. Dots will be distributed when forum attendees arrive and can be placed at various project stations during the event.

Please support:

  • Major City Goal: Multi-Modal Transportation (Prioritize implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan, pedestrian safety, and the Short-Range Transit Plan)
  • Anholm Bikeway Plan: Design, construct, and maintain bikeway from Lincoln to Ramona & install art and lighting to enhance the US 101 underpass.
  • Railroad Safety Trail: Design and construct Pepper St to the train station & Jennifer St. bridge to Iris (connecting to French Hospital Trail).
  • Broad Street Crossing Improvement: Design and construct a “HAWK” beacon (a traffic control device used to stop road traffic and allow pedestrians to cross safely) at Woodbridge Street.

This year’s meeting takes place at the SLO Vet’s Hall from 6-9 PM. Our free Bike Valet will be parking bikes throughout the event so ride your bike!

WHAT: Budget Priorities Meeting
WHERE: SLO Vets Hall, 801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (map)
WHEN: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 6-9 PM

Advocacy Alert: Stand Up for Bikes!

City of SLO Community Survey & Budget Priorities Meeting

Every two years, the City of San Luis Obispo establishes a list of top priorities that will make SLO a better place to live, work, and play. The City is asking the community for input on the 2019-21 budget through an online survey and community forum. It is vitally important that members of the bike community participate in this process in order to convey the need for bike lanes, multi-modal transportation options and safer streets to our City Council members and city staff.

Bike SLO County agrees with the city’s Active Transportation Committee that the following three projects should receive priority during 2019-2021:

  • Anholm Bikeway Plan: Design, construct, and maintain bikeway from Lincoln to Ramona & install art and lighting to enhance the US 101 underpass.
  • Railroad Safety Trail: Design and construct Pepper St to the train station & Jennifer St. bridge to Iris (connecting to French Hospital Trail).
  • Broad Street Crossing Improvement: Design and construct a “HAWK” beacon (a traffic control device used to stop road traffic and allow pedestrians to cross safely) at Woodbridge Street.

There are two ways to provide input to the city:

1) Community members can participate by first completing the Community Priorities Survey at  https://www.opentownhall.com/portals/189/Issue_6825The deadline for participation is 11:59 AM on January 16, 2019. The City is placing increased emphasis on the survey this year so it is important that you complete it. Please consider mentioning the specific projects above as well as choosing the “Current Major City Goal: Multi-Modal Transportation” in the survey. Additionally, all of the projects above contribute not only to the city’s current Multi-Modal Transportation goals but also augment the city’s progress on the Climate Action Plan goals.

2) Community members should also attend the meeting on January 23rd where you’ll be able to voice your opinion with a dot poll throughout the event. In a change from previous years, dots will be distributed when forum attendees arrive and can be placed at various project stations during the event. Please consider placing dots on the specific projects mentioned above.

And ride your bicycle! Our free Bike Valet will be there to provide lots of secure bike parking.

WHAT: Community Priorities Survey at https://www.opentownhall.com/portals/189/Issue_6825The deadline for participation is 11:59 AM on January 16, 2019! 

AND…

WHAT: Budget Priorities Meeting
WHERE: SLO Vets Hall, 801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (map)
WHEN: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 6-9 PM