Advocacy Alert

3 Feet for Safety Law goes live!

On September 16th The San Luis Obispo Bicycle Coalition held an event to inform the press and general public about California’s new bicycle-passing law, “Three Feet for Safety”. P1010551The law states that motorists must maintain a distance of at least three feet when passing a bicyclist.

California joins 24 other states with similar laws. According to Dan Rivoire, Executive Director of The SLO County Bicycle Coalition, “Bicyclists have a legal right to be on the road in California, even on streets that don’t have bike lanes. More and more people of all ages are discovering that bicycles are an easy, healthy, economical and fun way to get around, especially for short trips. Bike riders are vulnerable when motorists pass too closely. This new law is a reminder that sometimes motorists will need to slow down and wait to pass a bicyclist until it is safe to do so.”

Helping Rivoire spread the word were members of the San Luis Obispo Police Department and the California Highway Patrol. After officers discussed the law with local media, a SLOPD patrol car demonstrated the correct distance to give to bikes by driving past Vanessa Amerson,  3ft2pass_300the Bicycle Coalition’s Interim Education Director, as she rode her bike down Pacific Street in front of Bicycle Coalition headquarters in San Luis Obispo.

Some things to remember:

  • To help estimate what three feet is, motorists can think of how much room they give when parking in order to fully open their door without hitting another parked car or a wall.
  • The law applies on all roads: those with bike lanes as well as those with no bike lane.

If you would like more information or have questions about the new law, please contact the Bicycle Coalition at 805-547-2055.

 

Advocacy Alert

Safety Wins: Wider Bike Lanes on Hwy 1

Today we’re excited to report a victory for the people of the Central Coast.

Nearly three miles of Highway 1 north of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse are due to be moved inland next year in response to coastal erosion. California Coastal Commission staff only recommended five foot wide paved shoulders for the new road, failing to fully utilize the opportunity to make this section of Highway 1 safe for riders of all abilities.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 5.10.55 PM.pngThe Bicycle Coalition and our allies (including the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club, The Slabtown Rollers and even Caltrans) got involved, writing letters and testifying before the Commission about the many benefits of a wider paved shoulder:

  • increased safety for bicyclists
  • increased protection from distracted drivers
  • building an infrastructure that supports the local economy, attracting visitors who tour our county by bike
  • encouraging healthy lifestyle choices for local residents

In response to our efforts, the Commissioners voted against staff recommendation, approving a wider, safer, eight foot paved shoulder. We’re very excited about this result and will continue to keep an eye on this project which breaks ground in May 2015 and is expected to take three years to complete.

 

Advocacy Alert

Fired Up Friday! Raise your Voice in Support of Safer Streets!

Sign the Petition Backing the Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act

Fired Up Friday is a great time to take a moment to sign the petition in support of California’s Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act (AB 2398). The act will protect Californians who ride bikes, walk, run, ride horses, scooter, skateboard and work on our streets.

The Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act brings much needed attention to the issue of distracted driving and protects all road users by raising the fines for hitting Vulnerable Road Users, assigning points on the offending motorists’ license and suspending the offender’s license for six months.

Please take a moment to sign the California Bicycle Coalition’s Petition and let your elected representatives hear your voice as we ask for safer streets for everyone.

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(Photo by Jonathan Roberts)

Advocacy Update: City Council Divided over Sales Tax

On the evening of Tuesday, April 1st, SLO County Bicycle Coalition staff joined the Downtown Association, Chamber of Commerce, and various members of the public in asking the City Council to prepare language for a sales tax measure to be placed on the ballot in November. The current sales tax, Measure Y, is set to expire in March of 2015.

With a long list of bike-friendly infrastructure projects still incomplete and awaiting investment, the Bicycle Coalition is proud to support the City’s effort to maintain strong revenues in future years. Despite ongoing concerns in the community about how sales tax revenue has been spent historically, we continue to work to amplify the voice of families and young professionals that believe an improved network of bikeways is essential to community-wide well-being. The Bicycle Coalition always aims to make absolutely sure that the City Council continues to make building better bikeways the highest priority in the City Budget.

For more information about the Council’s divided stance, check out the tribune’s report online here: https://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/04/01/3001483/divided-slo-city-council-takes.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1

To learn more about our Advocacy efforts check out our Advocacy Page.

 

National Bike Summit Recap

2014BikeSummitIt’s been a literal whirlwind of a week in Washington DC. Amid several inches of snowfall and high winds, the brightest minds and leaders of the national bicycle movement converged to advance efforts towards a more bicycle friendly America.

Day One – Women Bike

The week kicked off with the third annual Women’s Bicycling Forum. Everyone came together to address the gender gap in the bicycle world. With amazing speakers from government, advocacy, industry and culture, the forum had one goal – getting more women on bicycles.

There is great leadership from women in the bicycle world and amazing progress has/is being made towards the common goal of encouraging more female leadership in the bicycle world and even more women out riding! Follow the progress from Women Bike and the forum on their Twitter feed below.

Day Two – Presentations

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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Image courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists.

It was an early start to a day full of presentations and speakers who are doing amazing things to promote bicycles across the country. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Texas Senator Rodney Ellis (TX), and Pittsburgh Mayor, Bill Peduto were all present to fire up the crowd in the early morning opener.

Anthony Foxx is in his first year as Transportation Secretary, and filling the shoes of former Secretary Ray LaHood is something he is proud to do. LaHood has long been an ally in the administration, being very vocal about his support for biking and walking, lucky for us, Anthony Foxx continues to carry that torch.

On the new $302 billion dollar transportation proposal released that same day:

“We made sure that this plan increases resources to step up bicycle and pedestrian programs and the resources we need for our public transit systems, which are so important to people who walk and ride bicycles… I’ve made investing in bicycles and pedestrians a priority in the president’s plan… We need to make sure Congress acts on this plan.”

We’re looking forward to working with Secretary Foxx in the future, and thank him for his continued support of biking and walking as key components of our country’s infrastructure. Read more from Foxx’s appearance at the Summit on the Bike League’s blog.

Douglas Meyer

Douglas Meyer. Image courtesy of Streetsblog.com

After Foxx, we heard from Douglas Meyer on a study conducted on the perspectives of mayors  on bicycles. Interviews with 40 mayors from across the country revealed that”Everyone is bought in and support is increasing” for biking and walking. This is true for cities of all sizes where mayor after mayor said that those who oppose bicycle infrastructure are now in the minority.

Quality of life was often cited as a main reason for support bicycle projects. Economic development is also closely related to quality of life issues, and bicycle infrastructure has shown to be an incredible opportunity to attract young talent and businesses to cities of all sizes. 

One of Meyer’s best lines from his talk is something we believe at the Bicycle Coalition as well:

“If you have a One Less Car t-shirt, burn it. Anything anti-car adds fuel to a fire you don’t want to stoke.”

You can view his presentation below, and read some fascinating takeaways from his presentation on the on the Bike League’s blog.

Day 3 – Advocacy Day on the Hill

Lois Capps and advocates from SLO and SB counties.

Lois Capps and advocates from SLO and SB counties.

It was a warmer day than last, making for much easier trekking on Capitol Hill for our annual advocacy day. We had a meeting set with local representative Lois Capps (D-CA, 24th District) who has long been a supporter of better biking and walking on the Central Coast.

The common “ask” all of the advocates were making on the Hill was simple:

  • Co-sponsor the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act (HR3494 and S1708)
  • Co-sponsor the Safe Streets Act (HR3978)
  • Co-sponsor the New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act (HR2468 and S2004)

We have a great supporter in Lois Capps, who agreed to the first two and will be paying us a visit here in SLO County later this year, where we hope to highlight some of the new projects on the horizon. Read specifics about these bills and the collective ask from the Summit on the Bike League’s blog.

After meeting with Capps and a few other leaders from across the country to drop off information to their offices, we wrapped up another successful advocacy day with a reception on the Hill to celebrate our hard work! That’s all for 2014, cheers to a bright year ahead and to next year’s trip to Washington DC!

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View more from the National Bike Summit with the #NBS14 tag on Twitter and Facebook.


Advocacy Alert

Join Us to Support the SLO Circulation Element Update!

Main_VolunteerHelp approve unbelievable long term citywide focus on better bikeways this Tuesday night. Join us at the SLO City Council meeting or send an email to the City Council to let them know that the community supports the update to the Circulation Element’s increased focus building and incredible network of bikeways to get more people riding in San Luis Obispo.

The Bicycle Coalition and our members are happy to have been included throughout the update process and strongly support the Task Force and Planning Commission recommendation’s for approval of the General Plan Draft at the City Council.

What: San Luis Obispo City Council Meeting
When: Tuesday January 28, 2013, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Where: City Council Chambers, 990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (map)
Why: Ask City Council to approve the General Plan Draft

Advocacy Alert

Morro Creek Multi-Use Path and Bridge Moves Forward

On Tuesday January 14, 2014 the Morro Bay City Council approved (4-1 with Nancy Johnson dissenting) conditional use and construction permits for the Morro Creek Multi-Use Path and Bridge. The resolution, 7-14, accepts the negative declaration for an EIR and NEPA documents allowing for and approving the conditional use and construction permits.

The project will now move forward for final approval by the Coastal Commission before construction. There are no dates for the Coastal Commission meeting yet, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted!

MorroCreekBridge

Bicycle Corral Demonstration Friday at Kreuzberg in SLO

BikeCorralsWe’re happy to announce the installation of a temporary bicycle corral (on-street bicycle parking) at Kreuzberg Coffee Company in SLO. These corrals are popping up all over the country, and serve to encourage the use of bicycles for short trips, reduce traffic congestion and improve the overall quality of life.

Bicycle corrals are specifically established for bicycle parking. They are identified by roadway striping, bollards or other protective barriers and signage. A corral can be as simple as a series of bike racks surrounded by painted lines or a unique, artistic creation that enhances a vibrant commercial area. Existing bicycle racks in San Luis Obispo use part of the sidewalk.

When: Friday, January 17th  9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Where: Kreuzberg Cafe, 685 Higuera St, SLO (map)

Why: The Bicycle Coalition and Bicycle Club invite the public and local business owners to see how a bicycle corral can make our downtown more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.

  • Bicycle Corrals provide a 10-to-1 customer-to-parking space ratio, generating greater business patronage. Corrals keep sidewalks and walkways free of bicycles and for better pedestrian mobility and business access.
  • Corrals improve restaurant and outdoor seating environments by removing parked bicycles from sidewalk areas.
  • The city of San Luis Obispo’s recently updated Bicycle Transportation Plan calls for increased bicycle parking throughout the city. Bicycle corrals will meet the need for convenient and safe bicycle parking downtown.

Kreuzberg co-owner Chris Tarcon noted that he and partner James Whitaker explored cafés in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood by bicycle in early 2010 for ideas for the coffee shop they opened in San Luis Obispo. Although customers often lock their bicycles to the railing in front of their downtown business, adding to the décor, Tarcon said a designated parking area for bicycles makes a lot of sense.

“A bicycle corral will be more inviting for those who ride bicycles,” Tarcon said. “We have no designated parking area for cars, so more and more people are turning to bicycles because they are convenient and a great way to get around. If the bicycle corral demonstration is successful, we will follow up by submitting a request to the city for a permanent corral.”

We invite you to come down and park at the corral to show your support for better bicycle parking in downtown!