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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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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

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!

WTF! Women Trans Femme Night

WTF! Women Trans Femme Night at Bike Kitchen

Bicycle maintenance has traditionally been an overwhelmingly male-dominated area. It is our goal to help teach women, trans, and femme individuals who have been intimidated or marginalized in this setting to be knowledgeable and confident working on their bikes.

On a daily basis, Bike SLO County strives to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all, while also recognizing the benefits of offering women, trans & femme-specific evening hours as a stepping stone to achieving greater confidence working in our space at any time.

Women’s Night and WTF Night are for:

Women: A person who identifies as a woman.

Trans: Transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, gender creative, anyone whose gender identity is fluid, transgressive, and/or transitioning.

Femme: A gender identity in which a person of any gender embodies a feminine appearance, expression, or identity.

Bike SLO County’s WTF (Women/Trans/Femme) Night takes place the 1st Wednesday of every month from 5 – 8:30 PM in the Bike Kitchen at 860 Pacific St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (map).

If you are not WTF identified, please BECOME AN ALLY:

  • Respect the space: Come during our regular hours, don’t ask for an exception, and don’t hang around the entrance during Women’s Night or WTF hours.
  • Respect People: During Bike Kitchen’s regular hours, treat all female & trans mechanics and patrons as you would any other person (don’t assume they’re less knowledgeable, don’t call them “sweetie,” and NEVER take a wrench out of their hand!)
  • Get Educated: Learn about the issues facing women and trans communities.
  • Educate others: About why and how to be an ally!

(Big thanks to DIY bike cooperative, BICAS in Tuscon, AR and Sacramento Bike Kitchen in Sacramento, CA from whom some of our Women’s Night/WTF Night language was cribbed.)

Bike Safe! Drive Safe!

Bike Safe Everyday

While you should always bike and drive safe, on Thursday October 5th, 2017 the San Luis Obispo Police Department will step up bicycle safety enforcement operations with focused enforcement on collision-causing factors involving both people driving cars and people riding bicycles. Special patrols will be deployed to crack down on all people who violate traffic laws meant to protect all roadway users.

The SLO Police department has mapped out locations from over the past 3 years where bicycle involved collisions have occurred and noted the violations that led to those crashes. SLOPD officers will be looking for violations made by people driving automobiles and people riding bikes that can lead to life changing injuries.

The following safety tips can save lives and traffic citations:

People who drive Motor Vehicle Drivers:

– ‘Share the road’ with people on bicycles
– Be courteous; California law now mandates at least three feet of clearance when passing a bike rider
– Look for people riding bicycles before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space
– Yield to people riding bicycles at intersections and as directed by signs and signals
– Be especially watchful for bicycle riders when making turns, either left or right

People who drive bicycles:

– Wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. If under 18 years of age, it’s the law
– A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash
– People riding bicycles are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other people driving motor vehicles, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
– When cycling in the street, people riding bikes must ride in the same direction as traffic.
– People riding bikes should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at dawn and dusk
– To be noticed when riding at night, the law requires a front light and a red reflector to the rear
– For additional safety, use a flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing

7 Days of Bike Kitchen!

Bike Kitchen Cooking Seven Days a Week!

We thrilled to announce that beginning on Monday October 2nd, 2017 the Bike Kitchen will transition to a brand new and expanded seven days a week schedule! We’ll expand our current 23.5 hours a week to a whopping 39.5 hours of Bike Kitchen goodness. We’re also opening later on Mondays so that we can be open later for people who prefer to wrench in the evening.

Our new and improved schedule:

  • Monday: 3-8 PM
  • Tuesday: 12-5 PM
  • Wednesday: 12-5 PM
  • Thursday: 12-6 PM
  • Friday: 12-5 PM
  • Saturday: 12-5 PM
  • Sunday: 12-5 PM

Additionally, our WTF (Women/Trans/Femme) Nights continue from 5-8:30 PM on the first Wednesday of every month, as well as Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Wednesdays from 5-8:30 PM.

We’ve been dreaming about this day for ages and are excited that the day when we’re able to help even more people keep rolling is almost here!

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The Bike Kitchen is located at 860 Pacific St, on the corner of Morro and Pacific in SLO, behind the Marsh St Post Office.

The Bike Kitchen is a program of Bike SLO County. We have all the parts, tools and knowledge you need to fix your bicycle! We can help you build a bike from the ground up, fix that vintage junker you found at a yard sale or simply tune up your bicycle. We serve all types of people, and are committed to creating a safe space for everyone. We have provided guided instruction to over 8,000 people since opening our doors in 2010. Looking to buy a gently used, ready to ride bicycle? We sell all kinds of bicycles! Come in and see us. Have a bike you’d like to donate? Your generous gifts help the Bike Kitchen thrive and give even more people the chance to experience SLO County by bike. Thank you!

Like Bikes? Join us! It’s free! Head over to bikeslocounty.org/join to sign up for our monthly eNews and we’ll keep you informed about all things bike in SLO County.