Advocacy Alert

Let The Supervisors Know You Support The Bob Jones Trail

The next phase of the Bob Jones Trail, the section between South Higuera and Ontario Road, is ready to proceed. Unfortunately the project is stalled and in order to continue making progress the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors need to hear that people want this project completed. Please read on and then email TODAY or attend and speak at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday March 7th.

Why Does this Matter?

Though a Request for Proposal (RFP) for this portion of the Bob Jones Trail has been completed and approved by Caltrans, the County has not put it out for bids. Once put out for bids and contracted, the RFP would complete the Plans, Specs and Engineering (PSE) and Right of Way (ROW) necessary for the South Higuera to Ontario Road section of the trail to become “shovel ready”.

Why does this matter?

  • Delaying the project causes the price of the project to go up. Construction prices will continue to rise. The longer we wait, the higher the price tag.
  • A long delay may necessitate that a supplemental EIR be prepared, adding additional time and money to the completion of the Bob Jones Trail.
  • Completion of PSE and ROW will make this section of the trail “shovel ready” and thus eligible for additional grant funding that it can’t qualify for in its present state. Those grants save SLO County money that can be used on other needs.
  • Families, children and individuals from all over SLO County currently use the Bob Jones Trail. Let’s complete the entire project to improve the safety, physical fitness and quality of life for residents and visitors throughout SLO County.

What can I do about it?

EMAIL: Contact the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors by email at boardofsups@co.slo.ca.us and ask them to place an item on the agenda in the very near future to put the Request For Proposal (RFP) for Plans, Specs and Engineering (PSE) and Right of Way (ROW) for the South Higuera to Ontario Road section of the Bob Jones Trail out to bid. Remember to be respectful and to clearly state what you are writing about.

Feel free to amend, copy and paste the text included below:

Esteemed Supervisors,

I’m writing today to comment on Item 13, “Status update on the Public Facilities Financing Plan for Unincorporated Area Facilities”. I respectfully urge the Supervisors to support the completion of the Bob Jones Trail by placing an item on the agenda in the very near future to put the Request For Proposal (RFP) for Plans, Specs and Engineering (PSE) and Right of Way (ROW) for the South Higuera to Ontario Road section of the trail out to bid. Not only has the RFP been completed and approved by Caltrans, grant money will pay for roughly 75% of the cost. With $750,000 of grant money available, the County will pay $280,000 or less to award this contract. Completion of PSE and ROW will make this section of the trail “shovel ready” and thus eligible for additional grant funding that it can’t qualify for in its present state.

Delay in putting this contract out for bid may have serious repercussions. Construction costs will of course rise over time. The longer the delay, the higher the cost. In light of the time and money already been spent, moving forward now will help keep costs down on a project already in progress. Additionally, a long delay may necessitate that a supplemental EIR be prepared, adding additional costs, additional delays and once again raising the price to complete the Bob Jones Trail.

Portions of the Bob Jones Trail now in use serve the recreational and fitness needs of pedestrians and bicycle riders countywide. Families, children and individuals flock to the safety and beauty offered by the trail. Tourists and tourist dollars from outside SLO County are drawn year-round to the already completed section of the trail linking Ontario Road with Avila Beach.

I support the Supervisors efforts to improve the safety, physical fitness and quality of life for residents and visitors throughout SLO County. Completing the Bob Jones Trail accomplishes all three.  Please add this item to the Supervisors agenda as soon as possible.

Thank you,

(Your Name, Your Address)

Attend the Board of Supervisors Meeting:

When: March 7th, 2017. The meeting begins at 9. It is uncertain when Item 13 will be discussed, but to be on the safe side try and be there no later than 9:30 a.m. Please note that Item 13 is listed as “Status update on the Public Facilities Financing Plan for Unincorporated Area Facilities”, not as Bob Jones Trail. On this item Supervisors will be discussing Parks funding in general and while they will not be able to make a decision directly on the Bob Jones RFP, this is the best time to address the Supervisors and ask that they keep the Bob Jones Trail alive and moving forward.

Where: Government Center Board Chambers located at 1055 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.

How: Submit a BOARD APPEARANCE REQUEST FORM prior to the Item being presented on the agenda. These are available at Board of Supervisors meeting.

Public Workshop: The Future of Downtown SLO

The City of San Luis Obispo has announced that the Draft Downtown Concept Plan is available for review. After 13 months of work by staff, consultants, the public, and the Council-appointed Creative Vision Team (CVT), the Draft Downtown Concept Plan lays out a long-range vision for the downtown; it includes both an illustrative diagram and a supplemental narrative that together provide the story to help guide the achievement of the community’s long-range vision for the downtown.

Imagine Downtown SLOA public workshop is being held this Saturday, February 4, to review key components of the Draft Plan. Workshop participants will have a first-hand opportunity to provide feedback to help shape the future of downtown. Wants to see more bike infrastructure downtown? Show up and speak up!

Following the workshop, the public will be invited to provide additional input through Open City Hall on the city’s website, and at a series of advisory committee and other meetings. Council action is scheduled for August 2017.

Workshop Details:

Date: Saturday, February 4th, 2017

Time: 1:00-4:00 pm

Location: City/County Library Community Room, 995 Palm St

  • Drop in at your convenience
  • See a presentation from the project team at 1:15 or 2:45
  • Review key components of the draft Downtown Concept Plan
  • Give input to inform the final plan
  • Coloring station and snacks for kids of all ages
  • Help decide the future of Downtown SLO

For more information:

Visit the project webpage: www.slocity.org/downtown

Or contact project manager Rebecca Gershow: rgershow@gmail.com, or 805.781.7011

Meet Our New Executive Director

Attend a Meet and Greet This Week

We’re excited to introduce our new Executive Director, Mike Bennett who joined Bike SLO County in early January. Late last year our Board of Directors selected Mike to take over Executive Director responsibilities from Interim Executive Director and Board of Directors Treasurer Tyler Wertenbruch. 

Executive Director Mike BennettMike graduated from Cal Poly in 1989, having been an active member of the Cal Poly Wheelmen and Velo Club San Luis throughout the four years he spent in SLO. When not racing or studying, Mike worked at the now defunct Spirit Cycle Works. He recently returned to San Luis Obispo after spending 24 years serving as an Officer and Aviator in the Marine Corps and a couple of years wrenching in a bike shop.

“I am grateful that the Bike SLO County Board has given me the opportunity to lead the exceptional Bike SLO County team. Our staff, members, and volunteers have, for 15 years, been making significant contributions to the quality of life within San Luis Obispo County. I hope to help them continue to grow the organization and to make the local transportation environment safer and more enjoyable for cyclists and non-cyclists alike,” said Bennett.

There are a few upcoming opportunities to meet Mike in the Bike Kitchen. Mike will be in the Kitchen for a few hours this Thursday and Saturday wrenching on bikes. Stop in, say hi and get to know our new Executive Director. Save room for coffee, donuts and other refreshments. Bring your bike and Mike will clean your chain!

When:  Thursday January 26, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
What:   Executive Director Meet and Greet
Where: Bike Kitchen, 860 Pacific St, SLO, CA 93401 (map)

When:  Saturday January 28, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
What:   Executive Director Meet and Greet
Where: Bike Kitchen, 860 Pacific St, SLO, CA 93401 (map)

Survey

Take the Survey – Bike the Vote!

Participate: Community Priorities Survey and Community Forum

It seems like it was just yesterday, but the time for the bike community of San Luis Obispo to stand up and be counted is here again. Every two years, the City of SLO establishes the top priorities to make San Luis Obispo an even better place to live, work and play. The City Council then matches the resources necessary to achieve these priorities through adopting the budget in June.  ibikeivoteThe adopted budget sets the City’s course of action for the next two years and helps the City to continue to provide the exceptional services and programs the community cherishes.

In previous years the bike community has been a strong presence in the preliminary Community Priorities Survey and at the Community Forum that follows, resulting in bike and pedestrian improvements throughout the town. While we’re happy to see the ongoing improvements, there is always more that needs improving. 

With recent narrow failure of Measure J, which would have generated about $25 million dollars per year for local roads and transportation countywide, it is now more important than ever for people who support bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements to stand up and be heard. For residents of the City of SLO, there are two easy steps to take:

  • Take the Community Priorities Survey before midnight on December 14, 2016 and your answers will be summarized and presented to the City Council at the Community Forum in January. A link to the survey site is here: Community Priorities Survey
  • Attend the City Council Community Forum on January 10, 2017  from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Ludwick Community Center, 864 Santa Rosa St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (map).  This forum is an opportunity to present your ideas to the Council and discuss them with other community members.

While many of us in San Luis Obispo will rightly raise our concerns for the projects that we see making the most difference in our daily lives, The Bike SLO County Advocacy Team suggests support for the four following priorities. Experience has shown us that when we focus on a concentrated number of projects we are able to see them adopted and built:

  1. Complete the next segment of the Railroad Safety Trail – Pepper Street to the train station – while continuing the effort to create a permanent trail separated from traffic citywide. (The city received a grant for the segment from Taft to Pepper Street, including a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks behind California Highway Patrol headquarters. Construction is scheduled to start in 2017.)
  2. Complete the Bob Jones Trail, with the priority of designing and constructing the Los Osos Valley Road to the Octagon Barn connection. (The feasibility study is complete and environmental study in the approval process.)
  3. Design and construct Safe Routes to School to Pacheco and Bishop Peak elementary schools, including the Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard from Monterey Street to Ramona Drive and safer bicycle/pedestrian crossings of Foothill Boulevard at Ferrini Road and Patricia/La Entrada. (The previous budget approved feasibility studies for these projects, which are under way.)
  4. Feasibility study for a Madonna Road protected bikeway and improvements to the bikeway crossing of Highway 101 between Marsh Street and Madonna bike path. (The proposed San Luis Ranch project may include some of these improvements.)

Survey Deadline: Midnight December 14th. Do it now! Community Priorities Survey

City Council Community Forum: January 10, 2017  from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Ludwick Community Center, 864 Santa Rosa St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (map). Put it on your calendar now then show up and be heard on January 10th.

Pro-Tip: The Community Forum has historically been extremely crowded, with all seats packed, people standing and also observing from the lobby. If you enjoy sitting down, show up to get a seat early. If you enjoy standing up for 3+ hours at a time, show up at 6:30 or later. Bottled water? Bring some, and even bring some to give to folks sitting or standing nearby. The Ludwick Community Center can get pretty hot and stuffy when packed with the many civically involved citizens of SLO.

Bike Kitchen Hours Expand

New Bike Kitchen Hours

Bike Kitchen Hours Expand!

Thursdays at Bike Kitchen are getting busy busy BUSY! Earlier this year we added Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen on Thursday evenings from 6 – 8:30 pm, and this week we’re thrilled to announce that the Bike Kitchen hours are expanding again.
Bike Kitchen Hours

Starting today we’ll be open for all on Thursdays from Noon – 5 pm. That means more time to fix your bike (or more time to learn how to fix your bike), more time to come in and see what gently used bikes we have in stock and yes, more time to volunteer with Bike SLO County. We’re always on the lookout for passionate volunteers – you don’t need to be a skilled mechanic to help. (Learn more about volunteering here.)

New Bike Kitchen Schedule:

Open to All:

Thursdays Noon – 5 pm
Fridays Noon – 5 pm
Saturdays Noon – 5 pm
Sundays Noon – 5 pm

Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen:

Thursdays 6 – 8:30 pm

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE!

Bike Kitchen will be closed November 24 – 27 for the Thanksgiving weekend and closed Dec 25 – January 1 for the Holiday Break.

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 junker you found at a garage sale, or simply teach you how to 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! Click here to join and we’ll keep you informed about all things bike in SLO County: JOIN

 

2016 Red Davis Award Winners

Last Friday we held the 6th Annual Red Davis Celebration, Bike SLO County’s yearly gala to honor meant to honor the example, the spirit, the dedication and the hard work of Red Davis and everyone else who strives to make SLO County an even better place for bikes.

Food and drinks were provided to the happy bike community crowd, and before the awards were presented Red Davis himself spoke about the history of the so many individuals who have helped make Bike SLO County over the years.

Every year it is difficult to choose the award winners – there are so many creative and energetic folks doing great work for bikes. Congratulations to all of our 2016 Red Davis Award Winners!

2016 Business of the Year:

SLO Sail and Canvas
slo-sail-red-davis-award-2016

2016 Board Member of the Year:

Chris McBride

2016 Red Davis Award

2016 Advocate of the Year:

Dave Abrecht

2016 Red Davis Award

2016 Public Professional of the Year:

Jeff Brubaker

jeff-red-davis-award-2016

 2016 Volunteer of the Year*:

Kylie Mendonca

kylie-red-davis-award-2016

2016 Volunteer of the Year*:

Audrey Surprenant

audrey-red-davis-award-2016

*This year we had not one but two Volunteers of the Year. Woo-hoo!

Bike Donate

Give Your Old Bike A New Life: Donate It!

Donate Your Old Bike Today!

If you listen to KCBX or any other public radio station, you’ve probably heard announcements asking for donations of old cars to help sustain their programs. You donate a car, it gets sold at auction, a percentage of the proceeds go to your favorite public radio station (and you get a tax break).

It may surprise you to know that Bike SLO County has a similar program – but instead of cars, we accept bikes. When you donate your old bicycle to Bike SLO County, your gift works in a number of ways:

  • By donating your old bike instead of throwing it away, you’re helping the environment by keeping it from heading to a landfill before its time.
  • Your bike will be tuned up and given a new life, giving someone else years of joy and transportation.
  • Your bicycle may be sold to someone looking for a gently used bicycle. The proceeds help Bike SLO County fund our other programs (Bike Education, Bike Valet, Bike Advocacy, Kidical Mass)
  • Your bicycle may be donated to someone through our Ride Well program, which serves SLO County families and individuals in need, for whom a bicycle may provide much needed mobility.
  • You get, at your request, a receipt of your gift that allows you to deduct your donation on your taxes.

Bike DonateWill We Accept Any Bike?

Great question! While we do accept most bikes, we can’t accept all bikes.

  • We do not accept “department store” bikes (Next, Roadmaster, Magma, modern Free Spirits). Why not? These bicycles are often constructed with very low quality parts in non-standard sizes and are not designed to be serviceable. Due to their limited compatibility, we are not able to make sure that they are safe to ride.
  • We do not accept bikes that are beyond help. That rusted bike that has been buried in wet leaves for the last 3 years? No thanks! Use your best judgement. When in doubt, call Michael at 547-2055 and ask us if your bike sounds like a good candidate for donation.
  • We do accept most other bicycles and will repair them (or use them for spare parts). “Old” does not mean we won’t accept it – it’s about quality, not age.

What’s The Next Step?

Ready to give your bike a new life? Bring your bicycle to the Bike Kitchen, 860 Pacific St, Suite 105, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (map) any Friday, Saturday or Sunday between the hours of Noon – 5 PM.

Thank you for helping make SLO County an even better place for bikes!

 

Volunteer Lighthouse Century

Volunteer at the 2016 Lighthouse Century

Calling all volunteers! The San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club’s Lighthouse Century takes place this year on Saturday, September 24th and Bike SLO County staff and volunteers will be at the Donati Family Vineyards Rest Stop in Templeton from 7 – 11:30 A.M. to help make sure riders get the snacks and beverages they need. Proceeds from the Lighthouse Century benefit Bike SLO County and other local cycling organizations as well as programs and the communities and groups that support the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club’s rides.

Volunteer Lighthouse Century

Photo by Roger Heathcote

Want to lend a hand? We’re looking for volunteers who can:

  • Assist with setup (serving and decorations) and cleanup
  • Lift 5-gallon water bottles, and pour the contents
  • Slice and dice some foods, merely set out others
  • Array foods for riders
  • Stir drink mix in 5-gallon coolers
  • Mingle with participants
  • Be creative!
  • Have fun!

Our awesome Volunteers each receive a free Lighthouse Century short sleeve T-Shirt, as well as the option to participate in the Pre-Ride and to attend the Volunteer Banquet. We had a blast in 2015 and we’re hoping that this year is even better.

When: Saturday September 24th, 7 – 11:30 AM
Where: Donati Winery Rest Stop, 2720 Oak View Rd.,Templeton, CA 93465 (map)
 
 
For the question “Please enter your preferred Job or your Organization (CCCMB, CPARC, Wheelmen, Bike SLO County) if you are volunteering as part of the organization team” simply enter Bike SLO County so they’ll know you are with us.
 
Want to car pool? We’ll have transportation from SLO to Templeton and back. Email steve@bikeslocounty.org to reserve a space.