Posts

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)

+++++

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.
============================================================
 
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