SLO City Planning Commission to Address Key Bicycle Projects this Week

The San Luis Obispo City Planning Commission is set to consider two important bicycle issues at their Wednesday night meeting, and the Bicycle Coalition would love to see your support! There is no speaking required, but you can if you would like. The two issues to be reviewed at the meeting include:
  • The preferred trail alignment of the Bob Jones Trail from Los Osos Valley Road to the Octagon Barn
  • The Draft 2013 Bicycle Transportation Plan

When: Wednesday September 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm
Where: City Council Chambers, 990 Palm St, SLO (map)

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Your Bicycle Coalition has been hard at work with our team of advocates as we continue the positive progress of the Bob Jones Trail for users countywide. In addition to the future of this popular trail, the commission will also be considering the Draft 2013 Bicycle Transportation Plan – the blueprint of future bicycle facilities in the City of SLO. Both issues are key as we work together to make SLO County an incredible place for bicycles!

View the September 11, 2013 Planning Commission agenda.

Bob Jones Trail

There is no need to speak in support of the proposed alignment, just being there to show the bicycle community’s overwhelming support for the alignment along the scenic creek is very helpful.

If you would like to speak:
-Urge commissioners to support the preferred alignment along the creek and creek setback (read more about the preferred alignment).

Draft 2013 Bicycle Transportation Plan

The Bicycle Transportation Plan creates a guiding blueprint for increasing bicycle ridership and future infrastructure improvements to improve connectivity and safety for all road users. Your Bicycle Coalition will be asking commissioners to recommend approval of the draft plan to the SLO City Council.

If you would like to speak: (We encourage you to do so!)
-Urge commissioners to recommend approval of the plan to the SLO City Council.
-You can also view the plan online (planned projects start at page 52, Appendix A, all are sorted by area of SLO City) and take note of the specific projects that are important to you and your family.

If you cannot attend:
-Take a look at the plan online, and send a quick email the Deputy Director of Long Range Planning, Kim Murry (kmurry@slocity.org) the specific projects that are important to you.

 

Advocacy Alert

Advocacy Alert: 3ft Passing Bill on Governor Brown’s Desk

Our statewide partners at the California Bicycle Coalition are one step closer to victory in their latest Give Me 3 campaign.

Give Me 3 is a Bill to get drivers to give a safe three feet of clearance when passing a bicycle rider. Assembly Bill 1371 amends the Vehicle Code to specify three feet as the safe passing distance. Twenty-one other states have enacted similar legislation.

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The bill has been passed by the California State Assembly and as of August 27th, 2013 it passed the Senate on a 31-7 vote! Now it sits on the Governor’s desk awaiting final approval.

The legislation would “require a driver to pass a bicycle at a distance of at least three feet”, but when drivers cannot leave that much room due to road conditions they must slow to “a reasonable and prudent speed” and pass only if doing so would not endanger the cyclist’s safety. A violation would be punishable by fines starting at $35. It also sets a base fine of $220 (that’s $959 once court fees and other expenses are added) for injuring a bicycle rider in violation of this statute.

This current version of the bill is an attempt to address the concerns raised by the governor in vetoing previous 3-foot passing bills over the past two legislative sessions. This has given him the distinction of becoming only the second governor to do so – joining Texas’ Rick Perry.

Over 40% of fatal bicycle collisions are caused by motorists passing unsafely. And yet, Governor Brown has vetoed CalBike’s previous two “3 foot” bills. With your help today, the third time could be the charm.

AB 1371, if signed into law by the governor, could become an effective educational tool in making roads safer for all users. Please send a note urging Governor Jerry Brown to pass this important piece of legislation, and require California drivers to give a safe distance when they pass you on your bicycle.

Donate to Connect SLO County, Get a Bell!

Connect SLO County Bells

Receive one of these limited edition bells with your donation to Connect SLO County!

These fun, new, shiny bells could be yours with a donation to our Connect SLO County initiative!

Connect SLO County is an initiative of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition. Your contribution today funds the work that is making the completion of our bike paths a reality. Through your special contribution to Connect SLO County, we will be able to complete the paths that will help more people of all ages, from eight years old to 80 years old, move around SLO County by bike.

Sign the People for Bikes Pledge

PeopleForBikesWhether you’re a bike commuter, a roadie, a mountain biker or just a casual rider, by uniting your voice with a million others, we can build a national movement to improve bicycling in our country. We can make a statement through our sheer numbers by raising public awareness and demonstrating our passion to our leaders in Congress and in cities and states throughout the country.

People for Bikes is hosting a national competition to see what state can recruit the most new supporters, help us propel California to victory! Their goal is to get one million people across the country to sign the pledge to support biking. Sign the pledge.

The goal of People for Bikes is to speak with one powerful voice of one million supporters—to let policy makers, the media and the public know that bicycling is important and should be promoted. As more of us join together, we can win more funding, better bikeways, and communities completely connected with safe bike routes comfortable for everyone.

Rand Paul Attacks Federal Funding

Just yesterday, July 24, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment to the Transportation Appropriations Committee that will strip all Federal funding for biking and walking facilities. Please help us maintain the Transportation Alternatives (TA)* program – that will help build a bikeable and walkable SLO County.PaulAttacksFederalFundingPaul’s amendment would prohibit ANY MONEY from being used for TA*, and to redirect it all towards bridge repair. Contact our Senators and ask them to save Transportation Alternatives by voting NO on amendment 1742. It’s quick, painless, and will help ensure the Bob Jones Trail is completed in your lifetime.

Caron Whitaker, the League’s Vice President for Government Relations, told POLITICO that the amendment is off the mark. TA represents just 2 percent of transportation funding, and that percentage would hardly put a dent in bridge repair.

“Stripping the Mayors of this funding and putting the entire TA program funding to bridge repair couldn’t fix our country’s bridges in 40 or more years […] However, putting this 2 percent put towards transportation needs in our cities, towns and counties can make transportation in those communities more safe, efficient and accessible.”

-Caron Whitaker, VP for Government Relations
League of American Bicyclists

Obviously repairing our bridges is important, both for safety and economic development reasons, but dedicating the small amount of TA funding to bridge repair would not be highly effective. Taking this small amount of funding away would dangerously undermine efforts in communities to provide safe and efficient transportation options for everyone. With rates of bicycling and walking fatalities on the rise, this is a trade we can’t afford to make.

The Senate hopes to finish this bill today, so please act soon!

Read more from our national partners at the League of American Bicyclists here.

*In 2012, Congress passed a new transportation bill, MAP-21, that dismantled dedicated funding for biking and walking by combining Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails into one program, Transportation Alternatives (TA), and cut the funding by 30%. The only saving grace was a local control provision to ensure that Mayors and communities could access dollars to support their local transportation priorities.

Paso Robles Named Bicycle Friendly Community

Paso_BFCWe’re thrilled to be a part of the process of naming Paso Robles an official Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists!

With this, the League’s most recent round of designations, there are now 259 BFCs in 47 states across the country. The Bronze Level  award recognizes Paso Robles’s commitment to improving bicycling with investments in the promotion of bicycles, education programs, infrastructure and policies.

This is just one more example of your Bicycle Coalition being hard at work making all of SLO County better for bicycles. Horray for another step forward for a bicycle friendly SLO County!

To help the Bicycle Coalition continue to do amazing things countywide, become a member. The more members we have, the stronger our ability is to advocate and achieve victories like this, we couldn’t do it without you!

You can read more about Paso Roble’s Bronze Level BFC designation in the Paso Robles Daily News here.

BIG Win for Bicycles in San Luis Obispo

Earlier in 2013, the San Luis Obispo City Council made expanding our bikeway network a major city goal. Later, on Monday, June 17th, the Council approved a two year budget that makes incredible strides towards strengthening our investment in safe biking and walking infrastructure.

The next budget cycle will include unbelievable investment in our bikeways. The Bicycle Coalition is excited to announce the increase in general funds towards bikeway improvements from $25,000 to $100,000 a year. That’s 4x the previous annual investment!

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This full list of projects below illustrates the dedication and partnership between the City Council, Staff, and your Bicycle Coalition over the next two years:

  • Bicycle Traffic Counts
  • Bicycle Education
  • SLO City Bike Rodeo
  • Bike Parking
  • $1,759,000 for the Railroad Safety Trail
  • $600,000 for the Bob Jones Trail
  • $120,000 for path maintenance
  • $200,000 for bicycle facilities improvements
  • $50,000 for sidewalk repairs
  • $220,000 for sidewalk ramp construction
  • …and more!

We know that we are joined by tens of thousands of people in our community in saying THANK YOU to our council for believing in the positive impact of complete bikeways in our lovable city.

You too can take a moment to send City Council members a thank you note for quadrupling funding for bikeways. Find their contact information here.

Receive a Bell With Your Donation to Connect SLO County

Connect SLO County is an initiative of the Bicycle Coalition, aimed at completing the major path projects in SLO County. Donate today and receive a limited edition bell!

Throughout California people have formed lifelong memories on paths in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Monterey, Lake Tahoe, Ventura, and countless more. In San Jose, a ride from downtown on the Guadalupe River Trail is a total breeze as you cross underneath numerous freeways, taking you all the way to the bay or the new 49ers stadium. Even in Bakersfield you can enjoy a family ride on the Kern River Parkway, a 30 mile separated path which connects multiple county parks with the university campus and the downtown.We are all on the path

In SLO County, local governments approved plans for paths decades ago, but very few miles have actually been built. Connect SLO County shares your experiences with local leaders, intensifying efforts to complete more incredible paths on the Central Coast. More people deserve to feel safe creating memories on paths in their own backyards.

Everyone can reconnect with the joy of riding a bike when traffic is out of sight and the sound of children’s infectious laughter fills your ears. No matter what your ability, age, choice of sport, or type of bicycle, paths will provide you a safe space to experience the happiness of SLO County.

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