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!

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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!

Building a Bicycle Advocacy Force

Your Bicycle Coalition has big plans for our expanded advocacy efforts in 2014 and needs your help to make it happen! We ask you to make a year-end donation to help the Bicycle Coalition build this stronger advocacy force. 

Advocacy makes it happen, if we don’t show up and ask, bicycle projects will not get built. Thanks to our dedicated advocates we completed major victories this year:

  • Achieved adoption of a new Bicycle Plan in San Luis Obispo including $64 million in projects.
  • Maintained that future Bob Jones trail segments be removed from roadway traffic.
  • Rallied community support for new bike lanes on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach.
  • Secured 4x funding for bicycle projects in San Luis Obispo.
  • Supported installation of new bike lanes on Rambouillet Road in Paso Robles.
  • And even more!

LeadingTheCharge

In 2014 we will inspire decision makers to lead the charge for better bikeways or otherwise be replaced. Our plan for next year is to focus on advocacy, directing our energy to move more projects from concept to completion. We will:

  • Cultivate an army of families advocating for young riders and safe routes to school.
  • Influence elections to achieve a bicycle friendly majority serving in elected bodies countywide.
  • Innovate our advocacy efforts through unique online tools and communications.

Make a donation of $25, $50 or $100 today; invest in the Bicycle Coalition and our ambitious vision for incredible bikeways in SLO CountyYour generous support will make you an integral part of this shared vision. We are committed to making you a proud supporter again in 2014.

Read more about our Advocacy Force plan for 2014.

Advocacy Alert

Help Approve the SLO Bike Plan on Nov 5!

Join the Bicycle Coalition to pack the San Luis Obispo City Council chambers and get the latest SLO City Bike Plan approved! The plan is a blueprint for future bikeways including 26 miles of new paths, 17 miles of bike lanes, and 6 miles of bike boulevards all aimed at getting more people riding bicycles. Bicycle Coalition advocates will stand together to show the City Council how important bikeways are to our community.

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We will be gathering from 5:00 – 5:45 pm for some snacks and socializing in our downtown SLO headquarters (860 Pacific St, Suite 105, SLO – map) before riding to the meeting together!

What: San Luis Obispo City Council Meeting
When: Tuesday November 5, 2013, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Where: City Council Chambers, 990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (map)
Why: Ask City Council to approve the Bike Plan Update

Advocacy Alert

Advocacy Mini-Summit This Sunday

The advocacy efforts of the SLO County Bicycle Coalition have gotten more sophisticated over the past year, with a special team of behind the scenes advocates representing all corners of San Luis Obispo County. Join our expanded advocacy team by attending our 2nd annual Advocacy Mini-Summit on Sunday, October 20th, 2013, from 1:00 to 4:00pm.

Ongoing conversations with passionate advocates, families and local leaders have led to numerous victories in 2013 and help set the stage for a great Advocacy Mini-Summit!

2013AdvocacyMiniSummit

Our annual Mini-Summit is designed to help you become a better bicycle advocate and learn how to help make bicycle friendly improvements in your community. The program for the afternoon includes:

  • Q&A with an expert panel of local leaders
  • A copy of our custom advocacy toolkit
  • Interactive brainstorming session for future projects
  • Light refreshments
  • …and more!

With more people on the ground advocating to complete planned bicycle projects, the easier it is for all of us to create a bicycle-friendly SLO County! Sign up below, it’s free, and invaluable in helping us complete our bike paths. Our expert panelists include:

  • Bruce Gibson, Board of Supervisors
  • Jessica Berry, Planner, SLOCOG
  • Jamie Irons, Mayor, Morro Bay
  • Derek Johnson, Community Development Director, San Luis Obispo

If you are having trouble with the form below, you can use this link to sign up online.