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Advocacy Alert

San Luis Obispo Advocacy Alert

Stand up for the Broad St. Bike Boulevard and Safe Routes to School

The San Luis Obispo City Council will be meeting on Tuesday, August 15 to discuss three proposed concept plans for making the Broad/Chorro/Lincoln Street corridor safer for bicyclists. This project ties into the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) connections that will make our children safer. Your help is needed to help make sure that the streets of our community are safe for people who ride bikes, people who walk and people who drive cars – everyone.

How can you support Safe Routes to School and the Broad St. Bike Boulevard project?

1. Write a letter of support (see template below for a sample – please add your own personalization).
2. Attend the city council meeting (Tuesday, August 15. Items 15 and 17 on the agenda) — your simple attendance at the meeting and indication of your support will send a needed message to the City Council.
There are some residents of the neighborhood that want no change. The City Council is listening – let’s make sure we voice our support for safe riding for cyclists of all ages.
Sample  Letter Template (you can email it to the Mayor and City Council Members by clicking this email address:  emailcouncil@slocity.org )
Dear Mayor Harmon and City Council Members

On August 15, you will be asked to consider plans for a Broad Street Bike Blvd and other Safe Routes to Schools Plan improvements proposed for the Bishops Peak/Pacheco Elementary School area of town.  These plans are important to the long term residents and homeowners of the immediate area surrounding the two schools, Broad and Chorro Streets, as well as to people throughout SLO seeking to access the Foothill area from downtown and beyond. The Broad Street area and the SRTS Plan (which includes safe crossing options for Foothill Blvd. at Ferrini) should accommodate cyclists and pedestrians safely.

Through your leadership, this area can become safer for residents, cyclists, and pedestrians and help meet many City goals, including Vision Zero and those in the Climate Action Plan.  The planning has continued long enough and staff have done a great job of creating a thoughtful and participatory process. Now is the time to act on their work. If the City is serious about increasing multi-modal transportation and reducing car trips by 20%, we must connect downtown and the Foothill area with more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly routes.

Thank you

(Your Name)
(City of Residence)

SLO City Council Meeting
Tuesday August 15th Meeting begins at 6 PM
City Council Chamber, City Hall, 990 Palm Street, SLO (map)

Bike Kitchen Hours Expand

Keep the Bike Kitchen Cooking

This week we’re highlighting 5 different Bike SLO County programs and efforts that need your support. Our 2017 Annual Fundraising Campaign is scheduled to conclude at midnight tonight, Friday June 16th and we still have a long way to go to reach our fundraising goal of $30,000.

Women's Program

Day 5: The Bike Kitchen

Support the Bike Kitchen

Earlier this week we featured Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen and RideWell, two great programs made possible in part by the Bike Kitchen. 

The Bike Kitchen opened seven years ago in 2010. Since then more than 6000 people have visited the Kitchen and learned how to fix their bike. From day one, Bike SLO County committed to creating the Bike Kitchen as a safe space for everyone, where there are no stupid questions and all are welcome. As we always say “Come fix your bike! Don’t know how? We’ll teach you!”

Every day that the Bike Kitchen is open, people are empowered to learn and empowered to use what they learn with the tools we share. Currently we’re open Thursday through Sunday, and we’re exploring the possibility of expanding our hours to provide more access to even more SLO County residents. 

Finally, the Bike Kitchen accepts donations of used bikes which are refurbished for the RideWell program or sold to the public to help cover operating costs and partially fund other Bike SLO County programs.

Please support the Bike Kitchen – your one time donation of $100 or more will help the Kitchen thrive and grow. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated as we strive to reach our goal to raise $30,000 by midnight tonight, Friday, June 16th.

Click here to make a one time donation.

Prefer to make a recurring monthly donation? Click here to make a monthly donation.

Already support Bike SLO County? Thank You!

Support Bike SLO County’s Women’s Program

This week we’re highlighting 5 different Bike SLO County programs and efforts that need your support. Our 2017 Annual Fundraising Campaign concludes on Friday June 16th and we still have a long way to go to reach our fundraising goal of $30,000.

Women's Program

Day 4: Women’s Program

In 2016 Bike SLO County received a request to host a weekly Women’s Night in our Bike Kitchen. Although we didn’t have the capacity to staff Women’s Night, we worked with a team of dedicated volunteers who cared enough to donate their time and energy to take Women’s Night @ Bike Kitchen from a great idea to an even better reality.

Fast forward to 2017. In response to a continuing need, Bike SLO County created a part-time staff position to coordinate and run Women’s Night, hiring Women’s Night superstar volunteer Audrey Surprenant. In April Audrey and a team of 3 Women’s Night volunteer mechanics wrenched at two different stops on this year’s Eroica California, the first women to ever provide mechanical assistance at any Eroica ride.

The successes of Women’s Night led to the creation of our new Women’s Program. In July Audrey will take over running the Bike Kitchen from departing Operations Director Tyler Jamieson (farewell Tyler!) and move ahead with our Women’s Program, working to build a strong, safe caring community for women who bike.

Please support our Women’s Program – your one time donation of $100 or more will significantly help the Women’s Program grow and reach more SLO County women. Donations of any amount a greatly appreciated as we strive to reach our goal to raise $30,000 by Friday, June 16th.

Click here to make a one time donation.

Prefer to make a recurring monthly donation? Click here to make a monthly donation.

Already support Bike SLO County? Thank You!

Help us Connect SLO County

Our 2017 Annual Fundraising Campaign concludes on Friday June 16th and we still have a long way to go to reach our fundraising goal of $30,000.

This week we’re highlighting 5 different Bike SLO County programs and efforts that need your help:

DAY 3: Advocacy

Connect SLO CountyA large part of Bike SLO County’s core mission is to advocate to connect the entire county with safe paths and roads for everyone. Whether you ride a bike, walk or use a wheelchair, safe paths raise quality of life, encourage a healthy lifestyle and create opportunities countywide.

Since 2001, Bike SLO County has advocated and will continue to advocate for the completion of the Bob Jones Trail.  We’re excited by recent progress on the next phase of the Bob Jones trail, and are equally excited to advocate for the Templeton Connector, a multi-use pathway that will provide a much needed one mile non-motorized connection between northern Atascadero to southern Templeton between the Salinas River and Highway 101.

Additionally, Bike SLO County is focused on making sure that the youngest bike riders and pedestrians have the opportunity to safely ride or walk to school. To that end we advocate for sidewalks, bicycle paths & pedestrian-friendly infrastructure to create Safe Routes to School countywide.  

Connecting SLO County is not an overnight endeavor and we need your help to make sure the job gets done. Please give what you can – your donation today is an investment in a more bike and pedestrian friendly future. 

A one time donation of $100 or more will significantly help drive our Advocacy efforts forward. Donations of any amount a greatly appreciated as we strive to reach our goal to raise $30,000 by Friday, June 16th.

Click here to make a one time donation.

Prefer to make a recurring monthly donation? Click here to make a monthly donation.

Already support Bike SLO County? Thank You!

Advocacy Alert

Advocacy Alert: Bob Jones Trail Extension

Stand up for the Bob Jones Trail

Write your Supervisors & show up!

On Tuesday, May 9th the Board of Supervisors will meet to decide whether to move the Bob Jones Trail Extension project forward, or not.  At least four Supervisors need to vote in favor for the project to move ahead. Bob Jones TrailWhile the San Luis Obispo County Parks & Rec Department has found most of the funds needed to move the Bob Jones Trail forward, it is up to the county Board of Supervisors to approve the use of the money. 

If the Supervisors approve the funding, it will put SLO County in a strong position for additional funds and we could see actual construction of the Bob Jones Trail extension in the next 18 to 24 months.

Please help to move this project forward by doing the following three things:

  • Email or call your Supervisor expressing your support for the additional funding needed to move the Bob Jones Trail project forward. 
  • Show up at 9 am for the May 9th hearing to express your support for this project. We will need a large turnout for the Board of Supervisors so that the minimum four votes are obtained. The Bob Jones Trail item is currently on the consent agenda. If it stays on the consent agenda, there will be no public commentary. This is a great opportunity for signs reading “Support the Bob Jones Trail” “I <3 the Bob Jones Trail” etc. If the item is taken off of the consent agenda for discussion, public comment is encouraged. As always, be polite and respectful. 
  • Forward this request to your friends and family, especially in Arroyo Grande, Nipomo and North County.

Key points to express are:

  • Support the remaining BJT funding necessary to issue the RFP, allowing the project to move forward and become shovel-ready. 
  • SLO County will be applying for a portion of the 200+ million dollars available through ATP grants in early 2018. Having the project shovel-ready will enhance our chances of receiving $10 million in state funds for construction of the BJT extension. 
  • We have already lost significant grant money for this project due to delays, and are at risking of losing an additional $250,000 grant if progress is not made soon. 
  • Funding for this RFP will not impact the County’s progress on the Nipomo Parks projects that are in the works.  

Below is the contact information for the Board of Supervisors.

District 1: John Peschong, jpeschong@co.slo.ca.us
District 2: Bruce Gibson, bgibson@co.slo.ca.us
District 3: Adam Hill, ahill@co.slo.ca.us
District 4: Lynn Compton, lcompton@co.slo.ca.us
District 5: Debbie Arnolddarnold@co.slo.ca.us

Advocacy Alert

SLO City Alert! ACT TODAY!

Tell SLO City Council

Keep bike projects moving forward

Tonight SLO City Council will be reviewing staff budget recommendations that put the brakes on bike projects which were deemed high priorities in the budget priority process two years ago. It is important to reach out to City Council before 11 a.m. TODAY, or to attend the second part of the SLO City Council meeting this evening starting at 8 p.m. to comment directly to City Council to make sure that these projects don’t stall.

Whether you are sending email or commenting in person, please always remember to be respectful and to thank the City Council for the previous work to connect and expand the city’s bicycle transportation network.

Talking points:

  • I am part of the 20 percent dedicated to helping the city meet its 20 percent trips-by-bike goal.
  • In the last budget cycle, the City Council funded feasibility studies for three projects: 1) Safe Routes to School for Pacheco and Bishop’s Peak Elementary Schools, 2) a bicycle/pedestrian crossing on Foothill Boulevard at Ferrini Road and 3) the Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard. Please follow through and allocate funding for improvements recommended in the studies. Finish what has been started to provide a more safe and convenient connection for people living on the north side of the city to downtown.
  • Please delay the Penny Lane bridge over the Union Pacific RR tracks project and allocate the funding to the Safe Routes to Schools, Foothill/Ferrini crossing and Broad Street Bicycle Boulevard projects. This project is a temporary fix and the funds are better spent on shovel ready projects.
  • Thank you for securing the grant for the Railroad Safety Trail segment from Taft Street to Pepper Street, including the bridge over the railroad tracks behind California Highway Patrol headquarters. Support staff’s recommendation for a feasibility study for the next segment from Pepper Street to the Amtrak station. Complete the Railroad Safety Trail to provide a complete network for people on bikes and pedestrians between Cal Poly and downtown and eventually Orcutt Road.
  • Support staff’s recommendation to place a higher priority on the Bob Jones Trail segment between Oceanaire and Calle Joaquin over the segment from LOVR to the Octagon Barn because of limited funds. But please insist that the next budget cycle must fund the segment from Los Osos Valley Road to the Octagon Barn in anticipation of the opening of the Octagon Barn for public use, pending approval of the Avila Ranch and San Luis Ranch developments and extension of the county’s segment of the trail from the Octagon Barn to the Ontario Road staging area.
  • Please fund a feasibility study of a Highway 101 at Marsh Street Crossing to determine the best fix to the gap in the bicycle transportation network between downtown San Luis Obispo and the Laguna Lake area. Without this vital connection in the City’s bicycle transportation network, more people will choose to travel between downtown and the Laguna Lake area by personal motor vehicle for safety reasons even though the distance is easily covered by bicycle or on foot. The existing crossing to the Madonna bike path is so perilous that experienced bicyclists avoid it, and Laguna Middle School students rarely consider it as a viable option for safe travel to school. The proposed San Luis Ranch development is only responsible for its fair share of transportation improvements, and fixing this gap is not included.
  • Support continuation of $100,000 annually for miscellaneous bike projects and $60,000 annually for maintenance of bike/pedestrian facilities.

If you cannot attend the hearing, please e-mail the Mayor and City Council at: emailcouncil@slocity.org, preferably before 11 a.m. today. Address your e-mails to Mayor Harmon and City Council Members Christianson, Gomez, Pease and Rivoire.

Or you can send e-mails to each member individually:

Mayor Heidi Harmon: hharmon@slocity.org
Carlyn Christianson: cchristianson@slocity.org
Aaron Gomez: agomez@slocity.org
Andy Pease: apease@slocity.org
Dan Rivoire: drivoire@slocity.org

Remember, public comments on SLO City staff’s recommendations on the 2017-19 budget cycle will not be accepted until approximately 8 p.m. or later. The 4 p.m. session is for the staff presentation only. If you really want to attend and comment in person, a good strategy is to watch the meeting live from home on Charter Cable Government Access Channel 20 or streamed online via the City Council website at: http://www.slocity.org/government/mayor-and-city-council/agendas-and-minutes. Time your appearance on when the discussion on a petition to repeal or replace the rental housing inspection program is coming to a close.

Thank You!

Advocacy Alert

Finish the Bob Jones Trail Extension

Ask Parks and Rec to Move the Bob Jones Trail Forward

This Thursday, March 23, 2017, the SLO County Parks and Recreation Commission will consider “strategy for funding the Bob Jones Pathway Construction Documents and Right-of-Way consulting services” for the trail’s 4.4-mile extension from the Octagon Barn to the Ontario Road staging area.

At stake is grant funding for a Request for Proposals (RFP) for consulting services to prepare construction and right-of-way documents for the trail’s long anticipated extension. This work is needed to move the project to “shovel-ready” status and thus eligible for grant funding. Bike SLO County and other groups that support completion of the Bob Jones Trail disagree with the County Parks and Recreation Department staff recommendation to delay bringing any funding requests to the Board of Supervisors.

We take issue with any further delay for this project of regional significance for locals and visitors. The Bob Jones Trail extension is in the final stages of environmental study and review and needs to move forward. While the $775,000 in grant funding earmarked for the RFP are insufficient to cover its estimated $1.1 million cost, the Board of Supervisors can choose to cover the estimated $380,000 shortfall now with Parks Public Facilities Fees or funds from other sources. The important issue is for the SLO County Parks and Recreation Commission to recommend bringing the RFP funding request  to the Board of Supervisors. Failure to move forward endangers work already completed and paid for, adding additional cost and time to a project already years behind schedule.

The Bob Jones Trail extension has been promised for decades. Other pieces of the trail network, including the Octagon Barn and Bob Jones trailhead, are in the works.

The Parks and Recreation Commission meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors’ chambers in the county Government Center, 1055 Monterey St., SLO. Bob Jones Trail is item 9 on the agenda.

What can I do?

  • Attend the meeting and ask the Parks and Recreation Commission to recommend bringing the RFP funding request to the Board of Supervisors.
  • Email the Parks and Recreation Commissioners and let them know that you want the Bob Jones Trail to move forward now. Email addresses for the Commissioners:

Pandora Nash-Karner
pandora@pandoraandcompany.com

Bruce Hilton
bruce.hilton@post.harvard.edu

Connie O’Henley
connie@clarkcenter.org

Kenny Dahlen
kennydahlen@gmail.com

Whether you attend the meeting, email the Commissioners or both, here is some language that might help:

Dear Commission Chair and Members:

Please recommend that the Board of Supervisors allocate Parks Public Facility Fees or other funds to cover the estimated shortfall for the Request for Proposals to provide consulting services for construction and right-of-way documents for the Bob Jones Trail 4.4-mile extension.

This work is needed to move the extension project to “shovel-ready” status and thus eligible for grant funding. The county must fulfill its commitment to complete this stretch of the City to the Sea Trail. Further delays could cause work that has already been completed to expire, adding additional cost and time to a project already years behind schedule.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)

Additional Info:

WHEN:        Thursday, March 23, 2017 6 PM

WHERE:     SLO County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St., SLO (map)

WHAT:       SLO County Parks and Recreation Commission meeting to consider “strategy for funding the Bob Jones Pathway Construction Documents and Right-of-Way consulting services”.

Agenda: http://agenda.slocounty.ca.gov/agenda/sanluisobispo/822/QWdlbmRh/6/n/75506.doc

Staff Report: http://agenda.slocounty.ca.gov/agenda/sanluisobispo/7205/SXRlbSBEb2N1bWVudCAoUHVibGljKSA=/14/n/75504.doc

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