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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

Bike Kitchen? Car Kitchen!

Ready for the Car Kitchen?

Our donors are amazing! Bike SLO County thrives because of the generosity of so many dedicated members of the bike community.

And the car community.

At this point you may be you scratching your head saying “Wait…car drivers support bikes?”

Almost everyone we know who rides a bike also drives an automobile. Some drive a car every day, some drive multiple times a day, others not so often. While Bike SLO County doesn’t own a car, we sometimes need one and when we do we use a local car-share service.

Historically our Bike Kitchen has been a maintenance/education space to teach people how to fix their bicycles. We have all the parts, tools and knowledge anyone might need to fix a bicycle. The Bike Kitchen has provided guided instruction to over 6,000 people since opening our doors in 2010.

But what about cars? As far as we know, there isn’t currently a maintenance/education space to teach people how to fix their cars anywhere in SLO County. While there are lots of commercial mechanics, up until now not a single non-profit organization has worked to provide the parts, tools and knowledge you would need to fix your own car. That’s why we’re so very happy to announce that today is April Fools Day! Yes! We’re sorry! But we had you going for a minute!

While we like the idea of a Bike Kitchen for cars, we aren’t going to be the ones to get that started. Our focus will remain on Advocacy and Education, endlessly working for safer streets for everyone, whether you are a person driving a bicycle, a person driving a car, a person walking or, depending on the day, all of the above. Bike SLO County will continue to educate people of all ages, in schools around the county, in our Street Skills classes and yes, in the Bike Kitchen.

We’ll say it again. Our donors are amazing! Bike SLO County thrives because of the generosity of so many dedicated members of the bike community, the pedestrian community and yes, the car community. Safe streets are no joke. Donate today and help grow the movement for safer streets for everyone. It’s easy to donate – just click the donate link below:

       → → → https://bikeslocounty.org/donate ← ← ←

Thank you!

(P.S. For every donation we receive, we promise not play any more April Fools Day pranks until sometime next year.)

California State Bike & Ped Plan

Triple California Bicycling by 2020?

On Tuesday, October 27th, 2015, Caltrans Director Michael Dougherty joined us at the California Bicycle Summit in San Diego. During his plenary session speech “Pedaling Toward a Low Carbon Transportation System: As Easy As Riding A Bike”, Director Dougherty announced the csbpp600creation of the first ever California State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (CSBPP), which aims to support and encourage active transportation while increasing safe bicycling and walking opportunities across the state. California has set a target to triple bicycling and double walking by 2020 by improving these options for all Californians.

The CSBPP will take two years to complete and will include the following phases:

  1. Developing goals and objectives (Fall 2015/Winter 2016)
  2. Assessing implementation needs (Winter 2016)
  3. Identifying gaps in the bicycle and pedestrian networks (Winter/Spring 2016)
  4. Creating recommendations (Summer 2016)
  5. Reviewing the draft and final CSBPP (Fall 2016/Winter 2017)

Input from the public is needed. To get started, take the survey at cabikepedplan.org. Throughout the two year process there will be additional opportunities to help shape the CSBPP. Sign up for email updates to get the latest information about CSBPP: Email update sign up.

 

Advocacy Alert

Help Secure Cap and Trade Funding for Safe Routes to School and Bike/Ped

SRTS_NationalThe California Air Resources Board will be holding public hearings for input on the investment of cap-and-trade auction proceeds to support the State’s effort to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) that contribute to climate change.  Active transportation offers unique advantages to reduce GHG emissions and improve public health, reduce congestion, and improve public safety.

Increasing investments in Safe Routes to School programs, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and first-last mile connections to public transit will support the goals of AB 32 and SB 375.  We encourage the administration to set aside a significant portion of the cap and trade revenues for these purposes.

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Increased levels of bicycling and walking must play a part in reducing GHG emissions if
California wants to meet the targets set by AB 32.

A shift of automobile trips to bicycling or walking trips has a direct, positive impact in that trip emissions are reduced by 100 percent.  Approximately 60% of trips in California are under one mile, and are currently taken by automobile. These trips can easily be accomplished by walking or bicycling, drastically reducing GHG emissions.

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Join us in providing comments to the administration on this important topic.  The Safe Routes to School National Partnership has developed the following talking points and nexus document for your information. (They are jam packed with information! Check them out).

We encourage you to submit a written comment here by March 8th to show your support for these funds to be used to help fund our bike/ped infrastructure and programs!

Grover Beach – W Grand Ave Improvements Underway

Construction signs are up, and the City of Grover Beach will be starting very soon with phase 2 of the West Grand Avenue Enhancement Project.

This project will be a major improvement for street and pedestrian conditions on West Grand Avenue between 8th and 11th Streets. Components of the project include sidewalk and street repairs, accessible pedestrian corner ramps, new striping, landscaped center medians, lighting, and more. The goals of the project are to enhance and clearly define the City’s downtown core.

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Construction is set to last about three months to complete (weather permitting). For further details and contact information, you can view the City’s announcement here.

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

Take Action, Save Bike Funding!

Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding under Attack AGAIN, Contact your Senators to Save Transportation Enhancements Funding

It’s happening again… Just one month ago, Sen. Coburn (R-OK) failed in his efforts to strip funding for Transportation Enhancements from the six-month transportation extension.

Now, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is taking the lead to destroy Transportation Enhancements. On November 1, the Senate will finalize the transportation appropriations bill. Sen. Paul has proposed an amendment to redirect all funding for Transportation Enhancements to bridge repair.

Send an email to your Senators now to ask them to vote against the Paul amendment that would eliminate Transportation Enhancements. We agree on the need to keep our bridges safe, but the lives of pedestrians and cyclists are important too.

If Sen. Paul’s amendment succeeds, it would eliminate $700 million in federal funding in 2012 that is used to construct sidewalks, bike lanes, bike paths, trails and other infrastructure that makes our roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Even if every penny of these funds is actually diverted to bridge repairs, Senator Paul’s plan will still take 80 years to fix the backlog of bridge repairs we have today. Keep in mind that:

  • The TE program represents less than two percent of federal transportation fund. These projects help alleviate traffic congestion, improve safety, get people active, and create more jobs per dollar than highway-only projects.
  • Last year, states gave more than $530 million dollars of bridge repair money back to the federal government last year.
  • Thirteen people died when the Minneapolis bridge collapsed in 2007: since then, close to 20,000 pedestrians and 2,800 cyclists have died on our nation’s highways, largely as a result of poor highway design and a lack of safe non-motorized infrastructure – exactly what TE program was created to fix.

If the Paul amendment succeeds, it will make it much more challenging to sustain funding for TE, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails in the long-term transportation bill that the Environment and Public Works Committee starts debating just 8 days later on November 9.

We must turn back any amendment to strip Transportation Enhancements.  Last month, more than 75,000 messages were sent to Senators to ask them to stand strong for TE. That was an amazing turnout, but we must do better this time. Every time someone in Congress attacks bicycling and walking, we must push back even stronger. And, we will keep doing it until bicycle and pedestrian funding is protected.

This is the third time in a month that a few Senators have targeted Transportation Enhancements, using a different angle each time. It is a waste of the Senate’s time and taxpayer dollars to focus on this small and valuable program when we are in dire need of real and viable solutions to fix our failing transportation system.

Please contact your Senators today to ask them to vote against the Paul amendment (SA-821) to eliminate Transportation Enhancements.

And then forward this message to five others who care about the safety of people walking and bicycling on our streets. Thanks for your help, and for passing this along.