On Civility and Cycling

(UPDATED 6:48 PM 4/23/2108: In response to our request, Cal Coast News removed the comments of SLO_Children_at_play and “added a short leash” to the user and apologized for the trouble.)

On March 19th a Cal Coast News reader using the pseudonym SLO_Children_at_play posted a number of highly disturbing, inappropriate, threatening and illegal suggestions in response to an editorial about the proposed Anholm Bikeway. The comments included the following:

  • “…I suggest sabotaging the current bike freeway that exists on Morro Street.”
  • ”At night clandestinely place tacks and small nails in the intersections where only bikes can pass through. ”
  • ”String fishing wire at about handlebar level between the signs at the bicycle-only intersection.”
  • “If you want to put some money into the resistance, dump large quantities of ball bearings wherever the bicycles traverse. Do the same at Broad Street when it’s complete.”
  • “Make the new bicycle freeways as dangerous and unappealing to bicycles as possible.”
  • “I would even suggest that we start slashing tires on all bicycles in the city.”

Bike SLO County reached out to the moderator of Cal Coast News to ask for the comments to be removed and the comments have been taken down.

While we understand that some people are frustrated by the prospect of change, speech threatening harm is never, ever acceptable in a democratic, civil society. Bike SLO County strongly condemns these irresponsible, inflammatory comments. While we encourage civil engagement and urge everyone to participate in local government (at City Council meetings as well as at the ballot box), suggesting sabotage that will cause physical harm to the children and adults that ride bicycles in the City of San Luis Obispo crosses a line that should never be crossed.

As of yet there are no reported incidents matching SLO_Children_at_play’s suggestions. Bike SLO County urges people on bicycles at remain alert and if you see something suspicious, call the SLO Police Department at 781-7317.

If you have any additional information about SLO_Children_at_play making other threats or following through on their threats, please let the police know. You can ask to speak to an officer about case number 180420054.

Bike SLO County encourages members of the bicycle community to continue to engage in civil dialog and resist sinking to the depths demonstrated in SLO_Children_at_play’s inflammatory comments. Please continue to be the change you want to see as we all work to make SLO County a better place for everyone.

Speak up for the Anholm Bikeway!

On Tuesday, April 10th at 6:00PM, the Anholm Bikeway is on the SLO City Council agenda. Again.

As some of you are aware, the SLO City Council adopted a resolution on the Anholm Bikeway Plan on February 20th as a consent item.  Subsequently, the City received a letter from members of the public outlining beliefs that the Council violated statutes of the Brown Act, by adopting the resolution as part of the consent portion of the agenda. The City Attorney reviewed the claims in the letter and concluded that the Council acted within its legal discretion and that there was no violation of the Brown Act. However, since the City’s primary objectives in public engagement are to accommodate different perspectives and encourage more residents to be involved in shaping decisions, the item has been placed back on the Council agenda but as a regular business item with the recommendation that Council rescind the prior resolution adopted on Feb 20th and take separate action on the Plan with an updated resolution. The Plan itself remains as Council approved at the Feb 20th meeting.  More details are in the full staff report.

Staff’s recommendation is to adopt the resolution with the same outcome from the Feb 20th meeting, which allows staff to continue to explore a couple more options for the middle section. There are long time residents that live in the Anholm district, and others within our community, that are vehemently opposed to any bicycle infrastructure improvement projects, as it changes the status quo that they are comfortable with. It is crucial that we, as bicycling and community advocates, continue to voice our support of these improvements that impact and improve bicycle safety, create better community and move our community forward.

Here is where you come in. Whether your live, work or play in San Luis Obispo, we need to encourage the SLO City Council to adopt this resolution as it is presented. We need you to come to the Council meeting and speak up in favor of the adopted resolution. Below is a template letter to Council and talking points. Please modify and add to bring your own experience and voice to the letter. We have a few more efforts to make on this project, but this project will set the expectation for how the City of SLO tackles our mode shift, climate action, and vision zero goals. The item is first on the public comment so be there promptly at 6:00 to speak up on April 10th at SLO City Council Chambers (map). Keep it brief and to the point, we’ll debate the options for the middle section of the plan in the near future. Additionally, you can email your comments to the Council at emailcouncil@slocity.org

Item 1 – Anholm Bikeway

Dear Mayor and Council,

I am speaking to urge you to adopt the resolution as presented tonight and agreed upon during the Feb 20th meeting. I believe this approach/resolution is an accurate reflection of your intent after a lengthy public comment on Feb 6th. I respect the decision to adopt the resolution in a more engaging fashion. This project has been contentious, but many of us are supportive of the decisions you have made and your willingness to tackle some of the difficult issues facing our city and environment. Moving forward on this project, we need to choose the option that best meets our city goals and is best for every road user and community member. Please adopt the resolution as presented tonight.

Thank you,

(Your name)

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We’re Hiring: Executive Director

Bike SLO County is on the lookout for an awesome Executive Director.

Responsibilities

The Executive Director (ED), with the Board of Directors, is responsible for implementing the strategic plan of the organization. The ED works with staff, board members, community partners, volunteers, government agencies, and an active membership to keep our plan current and responsive to community needs and opportunities. The ED is responsible for managing a $1/4 million budget and for successful fundraising through cultivating individual donor and business partner relationships. The ED manages, develops, and empowers a staff of ~4 people to conduct effective bicycle advocacy, educational programs and activities such as the Bike Kitchen and Bike Valet. The ED connects and engages with our diverse members, and works to expand our membership base to better reflect all San Luis Obispo County bike riders, including underserved groups and communities. The ED is the primary public face of the organization, speaking to media, government agencies, and at public functions. Weekend and evening work will be required at times to attend board meetings, fundraising events, member programs, etc.

Ideal Experience and Capabilities

  • At least three to five years’ experience managing people, including a demonstrated ability to hire, develop, and lead talented and committed staff.
  • Success leading advocacy work in areas such as sustainability, transportation, urban planning, land use, social justice, public health or a related field. Experience with bicycle advocacy is a plus.
  • A strong history of effective fundraising, including individual, business, government and foundations.
  • A deep commitment to Bike SLO County’s mission of improving quality of life through safe cycling.
  • Experience working in a non-profit organization.
  • Expertise facilitating participatory decision-making in an advocacy organization whose members hold diverse views.
  • Skilled at building coalitions.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize organizational efforts given input from a broad range of stakeholders and multiple competing interests.
  • Ability to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences and to maintain composure in challenging situations.
  • Strong experience representing organizations with the media and with the public at large.
  • Strong financial, organizational, management and program design and implementation skills, preferably with a nonprofit organization.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • A bachelor’s degree or commensurate experience.
  • Additional requirements include California Driver’s License and ability to lift 40#.

Compensation

Salary based upon experience.

How to Apply

Email a cover letter and resume to edsearch@bikeslocounty.org. Your cover letter should specifically address the experience and capabilities identified above. Please include “Executive Director – YOUR NAME” in the subject line, and please mention how you found out about the position. Inquiries may made by contacting the Executive Board at: executive@bikeslocounty.org.

Preferred Deadline for Applications: April 15, 2018. Applications received after April 15 will be reviewed, but priority will be given to applications received prior to that time.

Equal Opportunity Employment  Bike SLO County is an equal opportunity employer.

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Not ready to be the Executive Director? We’d love for you to get involved by becoming a volunteer or a member!

Support the Preferred Alternative

On the evening of Tuesday, February 6 the San Luis Obispo City Council will have the opportunity to adopt the “Preferred Alternative” for the Anholm Bikeway plan (previously the Broad St. Bike Blvd). The Preferred Alternative includes protected bike lanes along Chorro St. while the less desirable Lincoln St. alternative relies heavily on sharrows. Both connect to the planned Safe Routes to School crossing on Foothill Blvd. Bike SLO County believes that the Lincoln St. alternative won’t do enough to raise ridership or increase safety for riders. You can learn more about the two alternatives at  https://www.peakdemocracy.com/portals/189/Issue_3444

Bike SLO County urges you to consider taking one or more of the following timely actions before Tuesday’s meeting. See below for email template and attached for additional points to consider for both written and spoken comments):

1. Write an email to the city council (emailcouncil@slocity.org) supporting the Preferred Alternative. To ensure that City Council receives and reads your email, submit no later than noon on TuesdayFebruary 6th.
2. Submit your letter and comments here: https://www.peakdemocracy.com/portals/189/Issue_3444/
3. Write a letter to the editor and send via email to the Tribune (letters@thetribunenews.com) and the New Times (letters@newtimesslo.com)

At Tuesday’s meeting:

1. Attend to show your support and raise your hand when comments are made supporting the Preferred Alternative. Meeting takes place at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, City Hall, 990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, California 93401.
2. Speak on behalf of the project.
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Email Template 

SUBJECT: Regarding Anholm Bikeway (Broad St. Bike Blvd)

Honorable Mayor and Council Members,

I’m writing to encourage the City Council of the City of San Luis Obispo to adopt the Preferred Alternative of the Anholm Bikeway (Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard) proposal. The Preferred Alternative creates safer streets for everyone — people who drive cars, people who ride bikes and people who walk. The Lincoln St. Alternative doesn’t do enough to raise ridership or increase safety for riders.

Additionally, the Preferred Alternative will play a major role in providing Safe Routes to School for students attending Bishop’s Peak and Pacheco Elementary schools.

Thank you for working to make SLO a better place to live,

YOUR NAME

Stand up for the Broad St Bicycle Boulevard

Tell the SLO City Council what you want

Monday, December 11, 2017

On Monday, Dec. 11th, there will be another community session to review the plans for bicycle improvements in the Chorro/Broad street corridor. Bike SLO County encourages you to attend the meeting to support safer bike and pedestrian facilities. If you are not able to attend, please spend a few minutes to send an email to the city council (emailcouncil@slocity.org) regarding the importance of this connector and safe route for all members of our community. Your email and/or attendance at the meeting will make a real difference.  There are people who don’t want to see the Broad St Bicycle Boulevard get built in any form and they have been very vocal about their opposition. Please take a few minutes to write to City Council or to attend the meeting on December 11th or both.

As it mentions in the information from the City of SLO below, you can read more about the project and past meetings here: (http://www.peakdemocracy.com/3444)
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Over the past year-and-a-half, the City has conducted numerous public engagement activities for the Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard Plan—a proposed transportation improvement plan with the goal of establishing a safe, low-stress through route for bicyclists and pedestrians connecting the downtown with neighborhoods, schools and other points of interest to the north. Most recently, a City Council Study Session was conducted on August 15th, 2017 to invite public input and evaluate potential alternatives for the most challenging segment of the proposed corridor—the middle portion between Lincoln Street and Ramona Drive.  The Study Session concluded with Council directing staff to complete the technical studies and concept designs for the corridor with the following alternatives:

• Preferred Alternative – Route alignment follows Chorro Street (Lincoln to Mission), Mission Street (Chorro to Broad) and Broad Street (Mission to Ramona). Eliminate on-street parking on one side of Chorro and Broad to provide width for dedicated protected/buffered bike lanes.
• Low-Impact Alternative – Route alignment follows Lincoln Street (Chorro to Mission), Mission Street (Lincoln to Broad) and Broad Street (Mission to Ramona). Route operates as bicycle boulevard (shared street) with markings, signage and low-impact traffic calming features to convey bicycle travel. Option includes no dedicated bike lanes or on-street parking removal.

Over the course of the project planning process, the City has conducted three community meetings to encourage neighborhood engagement to guide development of the Plan. A fourth community meeting will be held at the City/County Library on Monday, December 11th, 2017 at 6:00 PM to present the latest project materials. The agenda for this meeting includes:

1. Review of project background, Council Study Session, and other work completed to date
2. Staff presentation of refined concept designs and analysis:
a. Middle Segment (Lincoln to Ramona)
– Recommended Alternative: Broad & Chorro Protected/Buffered Bikeway
– Low-Impact Alternative: Lincoln Street Bike Boulevard Alignment
b. Southern Segment (Downtown to Lincoln)
c. Northern Segment (Ramona to Foothill)
3. Project Implementation (Phasing) & Performance Monitoring Strategies
4. Upcoming meetings and next steps

The goal of this upcoming meeting is to invite public input on the recommended project concept designs and implementation strategies prior to returning to the City Bicycle Advisory Committee (January 2018) and City Council (February 2018) for submittal of the Final Plan for consideration. Two weeks prior to the December 11th meeting, direct notifications will be mailed to all properties along Broad Street, Chorro Street and along cross streets within the vicinity of the corridor. City-wide notification of the meeting will be provided by advertisement in the Tribune, the City’s website and social media platforms approximately one week before the meeting.

Those whom cannot attend the meeting are encouraged to visit the project website (http://www.peakdemocracy.com/3444) to review meeting summaries, project materials, provide comments, and subscribe to project updates.

If you have any questions, please contact Project Managers Jennifer Rice and Luke Schwartz via phone or email as follows:

Jennifer Rice
Transportation Planner/Engineer
(805) 781-7058
jrice@slocity.org

Luke Schwartz
Transportation Planner/Engineer
(805) 781-7190
lschwartz@slocity.org

Giving Tuesday 2017

#GivingTuesday 2017 Facebook Fundraisers

It’s Giving Tuesday and some of our Board and Staff members are raising funds for Bike SLO County on Facebook. Donate today and your  #GivingTuesday donations will be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

You give $10? It becomes $20!

You give $50? It becomes $100!

 

You get the picture. Your donations double and they add up fast, enabling Bike SLO County to work even harder in 2018 on programs like RideWell. Bike SLO County staff and volunteers refurbish gently used bikes, then provide them free of charge to some of SLO County’s neediest residents.

  • Your $150 tax deductible gift provides one child, woman or man with a bicycle, helmet, lights, bike lock and a bike education course to make sure they learn how to ride safe and smart.
  • Your $600 contribution provides all of the above to a family of four, granting access to sustainable, non-polluting transportation, physical fitness & old fashioned fun for SLO County residents in need.
  • Your $1000 donation makes it possible for six SLO County residents to receive the gift of mobility and get their lives rolling again!

You can donate to any of the Facebook fundraisers benefitting Bike SLO County listed below. Why so many? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to $1000 per individual fundraiser, but they will donate up to $50,000 in total to any single nonprofit. If any of the fundraisers listed below have already raised $1000, please click another link and donate to one below the $1000 threshold. If we collectively raise $5000, they’ll double that amount to $10,000!

Staff Fundraisers:

Executive Director Mike Bennett: https://www.facebook.com/donate/196723297543736/

Communications Director Steve Akers: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1491784987524700/

Board Fundraisers:

President Chris McBride: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1490133141040216/

Treasurer Tyler Wertenbruch: https://www.facebook.com/donate/933018453530348/

Member Gary Havas: https://www.facebook.com/donate/131669144215564/

Prefer to donate directly to Bike SLO County? You can donate online at http://bikeslocounty.org/donate-3/ or mail checks to Bike SLO County, 860 Pacific St, Suite 105, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Thank you!

Giving Tuesday 2017

Help make Giving Tuesday 2017 Great!

Giving Tuesday 2017 (November 28th) is both a local and a global day of giving. It is also the official kick-off for Bike SLO County’s End of Year Fundraising campaign as we reach out to the bike community and ask you to support our efforts to inspire, educate, advocate and work to build a safe, healthy and connected community through bicycling.

Giving Tuesday 2017

This year we’re asking for your help in 2 ways:

  1. Make a donation, either a one time donation or a monthly recurring donation. Monthlybikeslocounty.org/donateOne time donation:https://bikeslocounty.org/donate-3/one-time-donations/ Old School: Mail check to Bike SLO County, 860 Pacific St #105, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
  2. Host a one day Giving Tuesday online fundraiser on your Facebook page. It’s easy and a great opportunity because The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to $1,000 from every one of our supporters who raises money on Facebook.

All you have to do is set up your fundraiser on Facebook and ask your friends to support it. Every dollar donated by you and your friends will be matched (up to $1,000 per fundraiser, for a total of $50,000 overall for Bike SLO County).

If you’re willing to help, just go to https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers/ and click on “Raise Money” to get started. It’s super easy and will just take two minutes. See our sample message below in orange, which you can feel free to copy or change entirely. (And if you like detailed step-by-step instructions, you’ll also find those below). Be sure to select “Bike SLO County” as your charity.

Instructions for setting up your fundraiser (this only takes 2 minutes):

To set up your fundraiser, you can follow Facebook’s simple instructions here, or our more detailed ones, below. (Or, if you’re tech savvy, just go to facebook.com/fundraisers and it’s pretty straightforward.) See our bolded message in orange below, if you’d like to use that.

Step 1: Go to https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers (You’ll need to be logged in to your personal Facebook page), and click “Raise Money,” then “Get Started”

Step 2: “Who are you raising money for?” Select “Nonprofit”

Step 3: Type in “Bike SLO County.” Facebook then asks how much money you want to raise. Enter $1000 (or more, if you prefer). Choose the date you want your fundraiser to end. If you want to just raise money on #GivingTuesday, the set the date to Tuesday, Nov 28, but there’s no harm in having the fundraiser last a few days.

Step 4: Fill in the title and description of your fundraiser. Here is sample text (feel free to just copy this text, or to personalize it by letting people know why this cause is so important to you):

Title: Support Bike SLO County on #GivingTuesday

Description: Join me on #GivingTuesday in supporting a charity whose work I care deeply about, Bike SLO County. On Tuesday, Nov 28th, #GivingTuesday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to $50,000 per charity, so your donation will be doubled!

Bike SLO County’s mission is to inspire, educate, advocate and work to build a safe, healthy and connected community through bicycling.

Bike SLO County makes the Central Coast a better place for people who ride bikes—and for everyone. Friends, I hope you can help them make this match today!

Step 5: For your cover photo, you can use one of Facebook’s suggested graphics (the one with the happy people in a green park seems to best fit Bike SLO County), or use a photo of you on your bike, or feel free to use the photos linked below. Click “edit” in the lower right hand corner of the FB graphic, then click “Upload new photo,” and choose a photo from your computer. To use our attached photo, you must download it first, and then find it in your downloads folder once you click “Upload new photo.”

Photo 1: Kid on Bike
https://www.flickr.com/photos/slobikelane/24811667058/in/dateposted-public/
Photo 2: Group shot at Bikes & Beauty
https://www.flickr.com/photos/slobikelane/24811695298/in/dateposted-public/

Step 6: Click “Create” and your fundraiser will be published!

Finally, please let your friends know about your Giving Tuesday 2017 fundraiser! It’s best to let them know late Monday night or very early on Tuesday morning, since the match is only good on #GivingTuesday. To invite your friends, go to
https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers/ and click on the title of your fundraiser over in the left hand column under “Shortcuts” (you can also edit your fundraiser here). Click on “Invite” and choose any or all of your friends with whom you wish to share your fundraiser.

If you have already donated, THANK YOU!
Giving Tuesday 2017
Thanks from everyone at Bike SLO County!

Congratulations to the 2017 Red Davis Award Winners!

The 7th Annual Red Davis Celebration took place Friday, November 2nd at the King David Masonic Lodge in San Luis Obispo and it was a blast! Bike SLO County presented 6 deserving winners with our 2017 Red Davis Awards for:

Volunteer of the Year:  Aldi Geramaldi Red Davis 2017 Volunteer of the Year Aldi Geramaldi

Donor of the Year:  San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club

Business of the Year:  Foothill Cyclery

Community Program of the Year:  SLO County Sheriff’s Christmas Bike Program

Advocate of the Year:  Helene Finger

Board Member of the Year:  Tyler Wertenbruch

All award winners were also presented with a certificate of recognition from the office of California State Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham.

During the ceremonies Dave Abrecht, Board President of the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club (Donor of the Year winners) presented Bike SLO County with a check for $20,000. Thank you SLOBC for your ongoing support!

Attendees dined on delicious food prepared by Mee Heng Low and enjoyed beverages donated by the fine folks at Central Coast Brewing, Peloton Cellars, Rabbit Ridge Winery, Diringer Estates and Whalebird Kombucha.

Photos of all award winners and the photo booth pictures are up on Flickr. You can see them here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/slobikelane/  

Thanks to everyone who showed up. It’s great to see so many faces, old and new, gather together to celebrate bikes and the people who make Bike SLO County possible.

Next year will be the 8th Annual Red Davis Celebration! See you there!

About Red Davis: In 2001 Red was a founding member of Bike SLO County (back when we were the SLO County Bicycle Coalition). For countless years Red has worked hard throughout SLO County as an advocate for better bikeways, including a ten year stint with the county’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. The County Board of Supervisors honored Red by designating the bike lanes on Los Osos Valley Road between Foothill Boulevard and South Bay Boulevard as “The Red Davis Bikeway”. Red’s hard work and dedication were the inspiration for the Red Davis Celebration, created to honor members of the bike community who make SLO County a better place for bikes. Red currently serves as a member of the Morro Bay City Council.