Advocacy Alert

LOVR Bikepath to City Council

Join us on Tuesday, April 10th, 7:00 pm
San Luis Obispo City Hall, 990 Palm St, to show your support!

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This bikepath project has been carefully thought out by City staff after a proposed bike/ped bridge connecting the Laguna & Oceanaire neighborhoods was shut down by a small group of neighbors failing to see the value in a safe route to the Laguna Middle School. The bikepath is important to improve visibility and safety of kids biking and walking to school between these two neighborhoods.

By giving kids a safe route to school without having to cross Los Osos Valley Road, we can help ease traffic congestion near the school, give our kids a safe and healthy way to get to school, and decrease accidents at this busy intersection.

The City of SLO has put together this helpful graphic to see the existing and proposed changes to allow for this important connection between two school neighborhoods:

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One of the main benefits this path will provide is increased visibility for the students biking and walking to schools in this neighborhood. As LOVR is a heavily used road for recreational riders, the bike lanes have been kept on the road for them to use without conflicting with the hundreds of kids using the path at peak hours.

Join the Coalition as we speak up to make sure kids are able to safely get to school by foot or bike between these two neighborhoods. Tuesday, April 10th, 7:00 pm at San Luis Obispo City Hall, 990 Palm St.

Spread the word!

Importance of Safe Routes to School

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The founder and champion of Safe Routes to School, Deb Hubsmith, shares some astounding statistics about kids biking & walking to school.

In 2005, the medical costs of treatment for kid’s biking & walking injuries, including fatalities, totalled $839 MILLION – 4.5 times what we annually spend on Safe Routes to School

10-14% of ALL road traffic is made of kids being driven to school

Only 13% of kids ages 5 to 14 walk or bike to school. In 1960 this number was over 50%

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One of the BIG reasons we’re in Washington DC is to fight to SAVE Safe Routes to School funding. We KNOW it’s important for our children to safely get to/from school for years to come!

We’re Going to Washington DC!

Next week, the Coalition Staff will is braving the cold and heading to Washington DC for the 2012 National Bike Summit, a gathering of bicycle organizations from all over the country. We will be advocating for biking and walking, and sharing your voice with our elected officials in DC.

Our message is clear: preserve dedicated funding for biking and walking. As more people choose these active modes to move around, it’s important we provide safe facilities for everyone.

You can follow our progress here on the blog to stay up to date with what we’re up to all the way across the country. We’re out there making sure your voice is heard!

If you want to add you voice to hundreds of others as we head to DC, become a member! We are proud to be YOUR voice representing bicycles in DC, and couldn’t do it without you.

Bicyclist Accident Report

If you’ve ever been in an accident, you know how difficult it catch your bearings and get the information of everyone involved. Luckily, Josh Zisson has thought about this, and created the Bicyclist Accident Report.

Carrying one of these little guys with you lets you easily get the basic information you need to get compensated for medical costs associated with your accident/collision. On the back they have included the laws that apply to bicycles as well.

They are specific to New York, where Zisson is from, but the idea is fantastic. Here at the SLO County Bicycle Coalition, we’ve adopted a similar idea and included steps on what to do if you’re in a crash on the back of our member cards.

Don’t have a membership card? Do you want one? Become a member and support THE voice for bicycles in SLO County!

Advocacy Alert

Save Our Streets: Act TODAY!

We need you to ask both chambers of Congress to save our streets.

The current Senate transportation bill is a serious threat to biking and walking programs. To improve it, we’re asking our senators to vote for the Cardin-Cochran amendment, this will give local governments the freedom to build sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that keep people safe.

In the House, we are asking representatives to oppose the House transportation bill. Despite the fact that walking and bicycling infrastructure is a low-cost investment that creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway spending, the House bill eliminates dedicated funding for walking and biking.

Contact our leaders TODAY and tell them how important dedicated funding for biking and walking is to you and our future.

Let our Senators know:

  • Safety matters. Bicycle and pedestrian deaths make up 14% of all traffic fatalities, but only 1.5% of federal funds go towards making walking and biking safer. These programs provide funding for sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that make streets safe for all users.
  • Local governments deserve a voice in transportation. The Cardin-Cochran amendment ensures that cities and counties have a voice in making transportation decisions for safer streets in their communities.
  • Active transportation is a smart investment. Walking and biking infrastructure is low-cost, creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway spending, and is critical to economic development for our communities.

On the other side of Congress, the House is considering a transportation bill (HR 7) that reverses 20 years of progress in making streets safer for people. Despite the fact that walking and biking make up 12% of trips but receive only 1.5% of federal funding, the House bill eliminates dedicated funding for walking and biking. It’s time to defeat this bill.

Tell your representative:

  • HR 7 takes us back to the 1950s by eliminating dedicated funding for biking and walking AND eliminating transit out of the highway trust fund. We need a transportation bill to meet our multi-modal 2012 needs, not auto-centric 1950 needs.
  • HR 7 doesn’t invest wisely. Federal transportation laws should invest our finite resources in cost-effective, efficient infrastructure solutions that create jobs and keep the economy moving. The House bill eliminates walking and biking, despite the fact that walking and bicycling infrastructure is low-cost, creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway funding, and is good for our healthy future.
  • HR 7 makes streets more dangerous for kids. By repealing the effective Safe Routes to School program, the House bill makes the streets more dangerous for kids on their walks and bike rides to school.

Congress needs to know that that finding effective, efficient transportation solutions to keep people safe on the streets should be a national priority. 

Please contact your representative and senators today.

For more information and great updates, visit America Bikes.

Advocacy Alert

New Bill Eliminates Bike/Ped Programs!

New House Bill Reverses Decades of Progress

It’s so much worse than we thought… Today, the House released its transportation bill, the American Energy and Infrastructure Act.

Last week, we knew the bill would be bad news for biking and walking. But we didn’t think it would go so far as to completely remove every reference to bicycling and walking in the federal transportation policy. Despite making up about 1% of federal funding and over 13% of fatalities, it’s on the chopping block…

House leadership is pressing to eliminate bicycling and walking in the transportation bill:

  • Transportation Enhancements is gone, the primary source for bike-ped programs
  • Safe Routes to School is gone, reversing years of progress in creating safe ways for kids to walk and bike to school
  • Allows states to build bridges without safe access for pedestrians and bicycles
  • The Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program (CMAQ) is less likely to support pedestrian, bicycle, and transit improvements because air quality is no longer the operative measure.
  • Eliminates bicycle and pedestrian coordinators in state DOTs
  • Eliminates language that insures that rumble strips “do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled”
  • Eliminates language that specifically includes traffic calming and bike-ped safety improvements as eligible for HSIP funding

But we can still save biking and walking in this bill!

The benefits of biking and walking extend into all aspects of everyone’s life:

  • We save money on commuting costs, which we spend elsewhere
  • We improve our health with every trip we take
  • We reduce congestion on our roads by driving less
  • We reduce our impact on the environment by not creating pollution
  • We connect with our communities by being outside and ringing our bells at our friends as we pass by
  • WE HAVE FUN!

After the bill is out of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee this week, hopefully with some amendments to reinstate bike-ped programs, we will need everyone to contact your Representative before it goes to the House floor for a vote!

If we lose here, we risk losing decades of progress. We know we are asking a lot of you and we thank you for all you’re doing to preserve biking and walking. Tell your friends!

Read more about the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act via AmericaBikes.org

Contact your Representative to ask them to support biking & walking via BikeLeague.org

Find your Representative to contact via AmericaBikes.org

Advocacy Alert

AG Bike Plan Public Workshop

This is your opportunity to affect the future of bicycle and pedestrian travel in and around Arroyo Grande! The Coalition will be there to share our ideas, and encourage you to share your voice too!

When: Thursday February 9th, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Where: City Council Chambers, 215 East Branch St, Arroyo Grande (map)

Why: Your voice matters! Help us shape a better future for bicycles as AG updates the bicycle and pedestrian plan, your ideas are our future!

The brief presentation will begin promptly at 6:00, with the public workshop immediately after. For more information, contact project planner Ryan Foster at (805) 473-5420.

Tools for Schools Meeting

Rideshare is hosting a free Safe Routes to School Resource meeting for anyone who wants to know the Tools for Schools.  The workshop is ideal for current School Champions and new volunteers who want to bring programs to their school. At the meeting you will:

  • Receive information on free local resources to boost your Safe Routes to School Program, including mini-grants, support and more!
  • Learn about other programs in SLO County
  • Get your specific questions answered

When: Tuesday, February 7 2012, 3:30 – 5:30 pm

Where: Community Room at the SLO Library, 995 Palm St, SLO (map)

This is a great chance to bring Safe Routes to Schools programs to your school, allowing our kids a safer, healthier way to get to school.