Bike Month 2017: Week 3

Bike Month 2017 continues with a fun filled week, including Bike to Work Day, the Bike Month Blow Out, a special guest at Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen, the AMGEN Tour of California and the Downtown SLO Bock Party.

Tuesday May 16th: AMGEN Tour of California, Downtown SLO Block Party

Our Bike Valet will be at the start of the AMGEN race in Pismo Beach and in San Luis Obispo for the Downtown SLO Block Party. We’ll be in Pismo Beach from 9 AM – 12:30 PM near the intersection of Cypress & Pomeroy, then we’ll run Bike Valet from 2 – 6 PM in front of Sanctuary Tobacco on Chorro St in SLO (map). Ride your bike to the Downtown SLO Block Party and leave it with us! More info on the block party: https://www.facebook.com/events/1208757802567645/

Thursday May 18th: Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen presents: An Evening with Karen Aydelott

Join Coeur Sports Ambassador Karen Aydelott for a special evening in the Bike Kitchen. Karen, a San Luis Obispo resident, is an avid cyclist having completed 60 double centuries and the Paris-Brest-Paris event. In addition she is an experienced triathlete and has completed 31 Ironman distance races; 5 since her amputation on 2008.  More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1901656286790237/

Friday May 19th: Bike to Work Day, followed by the Bike Month Blow Out/Bikes & Beauty Fashion Show

Bike to Work Day starts early with Commuter Stations galore and ends with the Bike Month Blow Out/Bikes & Beauty Fashion Show at the Guild Hall in SLO. Visit any of the Commuter Stations around the county to get your raffle ticket, then bring your ticket to the Bike Month Blow Out for your chance to win a 7-speed Linus Commuter bike.  Tickets for other bike raffles and giveaways will be available for purchase at the Bike Month Blow Out.

Find Commuter Stations here: https://rideshare.org/events/bike-to-work-day/

More info on the Bike Month Blow Out/Bikes & Beauty Fashion Show here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1185750391548494/

Saturday May 20th: Street Skills 101 

Bike Month is a fantastic time to brush up on your street skills. Our fun, informative course gives you in-class and on-the-road experience to make sure you know how to bike safe and bike smart. Noon – 4 PM on Saturday May 20th in SLO. Reserve your place here: https://bikeslocounty.org/events/#!event/2017/5/20/street-skills-101

Get the full Bike Month calendar of events over at Rideshare: https://rideshare.org/bike-month-events/

Come to the High Street Block Party!

Kids! Adults! Inbetweens! Don’t miss the High Street Block Party, May 12, 13 & 14, part of the Better Block project.

Scroll down for details!

High Street Block Party

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

Hard Core Cider Tour 2016

Like cider? We’re excited to announce that on October 22nd, The Hard Core Cider Tour is coming to El Chorro Regional Park and Bike SLO County will benefit from every ticket sold. If you like bikes and cider, this is a win – win! You’ll get to taste some of the best ciders around and contribute to the future of better paths and safer streets throughout SLO County.

The Hard Core Cider Tour’s mission is to celebrate the revival of craft hard cider making. The tour began in 2015 with stops in Santa Cruz and Pasadena and the 2016 tour adds a stop in San Luis Obispo. Hard Core Cider TourSLO County is currently experiencing a cider revival of its own. Local cider producers include Reef Points Hard Cider, Jean Marie Cidery, Bristols Cider, Tin City Cider Co and See Canyon Hard Cider Co.

In addition to the cider producers mentioned above, the tour will include cider from other parts of California, Washington state and from as far away as Herefordshire, England.

Food will be available from two tasty food trucks, Cubanissimo and The Pairing Knife. To make the Festival even better there will be live music, with performances by Bear Market Riot and Medicine Hat.

While car parking will be available for $5.00, our Bike Valet will be on hand to park your bicycle for free!

Tickets are $40 and include unlimited 2 ounce tastings (please imbibe responsibly) and a signature keepsake mason jar. All ticket sales to the Hard Core Cider Tour benefit Bike SLO County, but some ticket sales benefit us more than others. Here’s how it works:

  • Tickets that are sold in the Bike Kitchen give us the highest benefit (50% of ticket price).
  • Tickets sold online also benefit us (12.5% of ticket price), but not as much as the tickets we sell ourselves.

To purchase tickets at the Bike Kitchen: Come by Friday, Saturday or Sunday between the hours of Noon – 5 PM. We’re located at 860 Pacific St, San Luis Obispo, 93401 (map).

Want to purchase a ticket from us but those hours aren’t ideal? Call Steve at 547-2055 and we’ll do what we can to work with your schedule.

To purchase tickets online, go to http://www.hardcorecidertour.com/events/san-luis-obispo/

What: Hard Core Cider Tour

When: October 22, 2016 1 – 4 PM

Where: El Chorro Regional Park, 2910 Dairy Creek Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (map)

Why: Cider!

The Bikes & Beauty Bike Month Blowout!

Bikes & Beauty is almost here!

This year Bike SLO County’s annual Bikes & Beauty Fashion Show party is joining forces with SLO Rideshare’s Bike Month Blowout for a Bike to Work Day Afterparty Extravaganza! Join us on Friday May 20th from 6:30 – 9:30 PM at the SLO Grange Hall in SLO (map).

Bikes & BeautyCome groove to the satisfying sounds of DJ Malik, enjoy tasty food and beverages (beer, wine, cocktails, kombucha, soda) and watch the always fabulous Bike Fashion Show.

Rideshare will be giving away a Linus Commuter Bike. How can you win? Stop at any Bike to Work Day Station, collect a raffle ticket and bring it to the Bikes & Beauty Bike Month Blow Out for your chance to win!

Bike SLO County will raffle a fantastic Yuba Spicy Curry eCargo Bike (courtesy of Foothill Cyclery)! Whether you’re hauling coconuts, kids or kombucha, Spicy Curry is your jam! Retail for this bike is $4,200. Raffle tickets are $20 each or 5 for $100, available ONLY at Bikes & Beauty.

Parking at The SLO Grange Hall (map): Our free Bike Valet will be parking bikes from 6:15-9:30 PM, and there is also plenty of parking for cars

You can RSVP and Share the Event with your friends over on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1161083450620599/

Very special thanks to the bike-loving sponsors who make this night possible:

Super Spectacular Support provided by SLO Rideshare‘s Bike to Work Day.

Additional Awesome Support comes from Salon 544, Linnaea’s Cafe, Flanders Bicycle, Central Coast Brewing Company, Whalebird Kombucha, Peloton Cellars, SLO Natural Foods Co-Op, Barrelhouse Brewing Company, Mindbody, Rabbit Ridge Winery and Rosie’s Workwear.

Family Fitness Day

Ride your bike to Family Fitness Day!

Bike Valet at Family Fitness Day

Looking for some healthy family fun this weekend? Our Digital Media Sponsor Race SLO, the organizer of the San Luis Obispo Marathon + Half Marathon has announced that its Family Fitness Day on Saturday morning, April 30 will benefit Jack’s Helping Hand, a local non-profit providing assistance and programs to children with cancer and special needs. The 5th anniversary SLO Marathon + Half edition, an Endurance Town USA running tradition, will be held on April 30-May 1.

Family Fitness DayWant to ride your bike to Family Fitness Day? Our free Bike Valet will be there at the iconic Madonna Inn property to park and watch over your bicycle while you enjoy the day’s events. Bike Valet will be there Sunday as well, so ride on down to watch the Marathon finish and let us keep an eye on your bicycle.

“Our free Family Fitness Day event has something for everybody from fun games, activities for the children and their families to three short run or walk races,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO Founder & CEO. “This community event benefits our local non-profit Jack’s Helping Hand and its Camp Reach for the Stars that allows children fighting cancer and their family to attend Summer camp at no charge.”

Family Fitness Day Summary

The SLO Marathon + Half’s Family Fitness Day will have FREE activities for children of all ages and abilities, and on Saturday, April 30 the fun goes from 9:00am to 2:00pm at the iconic Madonna Inn property. Each family can participate in a variety of games and activities at no charge and will receive a Race SLO Champion sticker, play with all the local team mascots and get lessons in fun and sportsmanship from a variety of local sport teams and clubs. Food and vendors will be at the festival as well as all weekend long.

FREE activities for children and adults include:

    1. Soccer Ball Kick with Cal Poly and Musty Mustang
    2. Basketball Toss with Cal Poly
    3. Baseball Pitch with SLO Blues Baseball and Bluebelle the Bull
    4. Sack Race with Downtown Brown
    5. Cornhole, Ladder Golf, Croquet and Giant Connect Four with SLO Coast Shenanigans
    6. Golf Putt with Sunset Honda
    7. Rope-a-Steer with Cal Poly Rodeo

In addition, on Family Fitness Day, there are three running events:

    1. Kids One Mile (8:00am start)
    2. 5K Run / Walk / Strollers (8:15am start)
    3. Kids Quarter Mile Dash (9:30am start)

For more event information or to register for races before they sell out, go to: www.slomarathon.com/family-fitness-day

Plus, enjoy the food, beer and wine (adults 21 & older only!) garden all day!

 

How to Design Cities for People: An Update

Meredith Glaser revisits questions from “How to Design Cities for People”  

A few weeks back we heard from SLO-raised but Amsterdam-based urban strategy and sustainable mobility consultant Meredith Glaser on How to Design Cities for People.

Meredith Glaser & Bike SLO County Executive Director Dan Rivoire at Bello Mundo Cafe

Meredith Glaser & Bike SLO County Executive Director Dan Rivoire at Bello Mundo Cafe

She works on a freelance basis with Dutch municipalities, on international projects with Copenhagenize Design Co, and as a guest researcher/lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. She curates and leads study tours for city leaders around the world. And with any spare time she blogs for Amsterdam Cycle Chic.

Her talk focused on three key ideas for more people-centered urban planning. First, we need to observe how people are currently using our streets and public spaces. Observing human behavior can provide valuable data for leveraging change. Second, providing choices for people makes them happy. Transportation and land use decisions that result in easily accessible services that are walkable and bikeable can change the way people move in and use their city. Finally, we need to hone and nourish our very human skill of imagining better streets that caterer more to people and places rather than cars and traffic.

Kinkerstraat Amsterdam

Kinkerstraat, Amsterdam. From top: 1981 via www.studiokoning.com; 2016 via @fietsprofessor; near future via City of Amsterdam

We had a packed house at Bella Mundo and after her talk many people asked some great (and tough) questions. Meredith took some time to write up more detailed responses to some of those tough questions.

What zoning changes would you prioritize if you were a SLO planner or policy maker?

I’m not a California zoning code expert, but in true cycling cities, like those in the Netherlands and Denmark, daily needs services are within close distances from where people live and work, and the zoning code is flexible enough to allow for uses to change and adapt with the changing needs of a neighborhood. Mixed use developments with grocery stores, pharmacies, child care and schools, doctors, and other specialty retail strategically placed on the ground level and concentrated on corner sites should be prioritized. Downtown SLO neighborhoods would greatly benefit from a full-service grocery store (or a couple) to support the daily needs of its immediately local residents. (The lot across from Bank of America would be an ideal location for a mixed use development with underground parking, ground floor services, and apartments above. Reminds me of several relatively new developments in Berkeley on University Avenue.) Downtown has ample space for infill and small scale, mixed use developments. Outside of downtown is a whole other issue. New housing developments (out off Broad for example) lack accessibility to services within walking or biking distance, which only perpetuates auto dominated lifestyles. New developments should be clustered near existing services; if they aren’t, then the developers need to provide logical and safe bicycle and walking connections to existing services, schools and other daily amenities. You can read a lot more about these kinds of examples in my new book The City at Eye Level, download it for free here.

Would you agree with the statement that we need to make driving more difficult? 

Right now our streets are set up in a way to benefit only one type of user – those driving cars.

Photo from Amsterdam Cycle Chic

photo from Amsterdam Cycle Chic

We’ve become very accustomed to the conveniences of an unbalanced transportation system that doesn’t reflect the actual costs on society – subsidized gasoline, wide streets, free or very cheap parking, and a ‘door-to-door’ righteous mentality. Modernizing our city streets means allocating some of that space to other users of the road. Best practice bicycle infrastructure that is safe and comfortable and gets people where they need to go has proved an effective way to calm traffic and ease congestion. (Imagine if those bicyclists were in cars!) Surveys from drivers in cities that have created more balanced streets showed that they appreciated the bicycle infrastructure: the infrastructure made the street easier to navigate because each user better understood their place, their role and how they should behave. So it’s not about making it more difficult to drive – it’s not a zero sum game – it’s about balancing out a very unbalanced system.

If we can’t have bike infrastructure, what’s the next best thing?

Amsterdam_Intersection

Photofrom Amsterdam Cycle Chic

Best practice bicycle infrastructure has been around for decades; it’s not new and we know how to do it. And compared to car infrastructure, it is low cost, low maintenance and benefits outweigh the risks. The next best thing to permanent bicycle infrastructure is temporary bicycle infrastructure – a trend that is already sweeping the nation. Pilot, pop-up, and demonstration projects are a great way to try out low-stress bicycle infrastructure. Plastic posts or planter boxes can create temporary protected bike lanes or sidewalk extensions. There no reason San Luis Obispo cannot try out some of the ideas that are already out there – no need to reinvent the wheel, especially with that budget surplus we heard about!

I’m not a planner or engineer; what’s my take away from this? What can I do?

Re-establishing the bicycle as a mainstream mode of transport means getting people just like you more involved. If you’re already using the bicycle as a daily transport mode, you are already doing a lot. Keep riding and keep smiling. Tell your friends to join you. Tell your colleagues to join. Have your company buy bikes to leave at the office so they bike to meetings instead of drive. You can advocate for better infrastructure and bicycle facilities by writing to the city council and showing up for city council meetings. Write letters to the Tribune. Join Bike SLO County.

How would you Copenhagenize our downtown streets?

Downtown streets were planned for cars and traffic; it’s time to give more space to people and places. There is ample space to play with and plenty of ideas already out there – just pick a couple and see what works. It’s not rocket science.

If you want more of an answer than that… The design of the streets downtown, for the most part, does not match the uses. Let’s take Higuera: three wide lanes of traffic plus parking on both sides.

Photo by Amsterdam Cycle Chic

Photo from Amsterdam Cycle Chic

This layout is not congruent with the ‘Main Street’ atmosphere, the high amount of pedestrians, and lends to a poor shopping experience. The sidewalks are so narrow people are forced to shuffle around each other. The trees provide a cozy ambiance but the parked cars benefit more from their shade than people. And the traffic is as noisy and distracting as those hideous blinking crosswalk signs. Plenty of bicyclists use the street but it’s unclear where they should ride or park their bicycles. This street (and many others) would majorly benefit from sidewalk widening on both sides, giving people more space to walk and linger – plus restaurants could place more seating outside where people can people watch and enjoy the full sun of that street. Parklets can provide a temporary solution for bike parking or restaurant tables or just more space for people to sit. Raised bike ways (or at least 6′ bike lanes with buffers for car doors) on both sides could allow for increased accessibility to shops as well as through movement while remaining low-stress, comfortable, and intuitive for all users. Again, there are great bones here and lots of space to play with!

How do you convince engineers? Or rather, why are engineers in the Netherlands already “doing it right”?

For 7,000 years streets were designed for people and by people. 100 years ago that all changed and our streets were engineered for the first time in human history. It appears as though engineers aren’t going away any time soon, so it might be time to inject some real life and real design into the engineering curriculum. In the Netherlands where cycling is an every day, mainstream form of transportation, engineers are also bicycling so they experience their work on a daily basis. That’s not the case in other cities and towns, especially in the U.S. It might be very difficult for an American engineer to imagine (and design, no less) bicycle infrastructure if he or she has never experienced best practice infrastructure first hand. I think that’s why study tours are so important. Feeling and experiencing comfortable, safe bicycle infrastructure that’s been around for a century – plus talking to the experts themselves – is better than any PowerPoint presentation.

If you’re interested in study tours check out the Copenhagenize Master Class or contact Meredith for a custom study tour in the Netherlands.

Do you think Cal Poly should play a role?

Absolutely. University decision makers need to make bicycles and mass transit clear priorities, but again linking these networks and nodes seamlessly with housing, daily needs and services, and connections to the downtown core. Bicycle parking should be ample, obvious, and intuitively placed. Policies also must limit students from bringing cars into SLO – but that has to be combined with land use decisions that provide for the daily needs of students.

Cal Poly is not the only stakeholder though. In addition to transitional city officials, key decision makers from local hospitals, SLO school district, developers, Old Mission Church and schools, major employers, and the Chamber of Commerce need to get on board. As I said last Wednesday, this isn’t about getting more bicycles on the streets of San Luis Obispo, it’s about giving people more choices for how they get around. It’s about balancing out our streets and giving more space to people. And it’s about building a better, happier, more livable town for the children growing up here.

Meredith Glaser is an urban strategy and mobility consultant. She is originally from San Luis Obispo, holds Masters degrees in urban planning and public health from UC Berkeley, and has been based in the Netherlands since 2010. Meredith holds a guest appointment at the University of Amsterdam, where she co-leads a summer program on urban cycling and conducts research on cross-national policy transfer and knowledge exchange related to mobility. She hosts other university-level student groups and international professional delegations for cycling and mobility study tours. Meredith also directs the Amsterdam office for Copenhagenize Design Co., which advises cities and towns around the world regarding bicycle urbanism, reestablishing the bicycle as transport in cities, policy, planning, communications and general urban design. In her spare time she blogs for Amsterdam Cycle Chic. She lives in Amsterdam with her husband, daughter, 4 bikes and no car.

Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard Plan Kick Off

In late March of 2016, the City of San Luis Obispo will hold an initial community meeting to begin the process of developing the Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard Plan, which improves bike options along Broad Street from Ramona Street south to Monterey Street.

The meeting takes place on March 24, 2016 from 6-8 PM at the SLO County Public Library, 995 Palm St, SLO, CA 93403 (map)

According to the City of SLO’s Press Release:

SLO emblem_rgb_for dk bkgd_sm“The City of San Luis Obispo invites you to a neighborhood meeting on Thursday, March 24, 2016, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the City/County Library, 995 Palm Street, to kick of the process for developing the Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard Plan. The project is intended to provide a through route for bicyclists and pedestrians serving the downtown core and neighborhoods to the north. The Plan will look at Broad Street from Ramona Street toMonterey Street, including a future bicycle/pedestrian overcrossing of Highway 101. Your participation at this meeting is valuable and appreciated. To subscribe to project updates and/or provide feedback on the project, visit the City’s online forum at https://www.peakdemocracy.com/3444.

Project Managers Jennifer Rice and Luke Schwartz are also available and can be reached at JRice@slocity.org and LSchwartz@slocity.org, or via phone at (805) 781-7190.