Stand up for bikes in San Luis Obispo!
The San Luis Obispo City Council will be voting on the fate of the Anholm Bikeway plan (formerly the Broad Street Bike Boulevard) next Tuesday, September 4th.
What: City Council Meeting – Anholm Bikeway Plan
When: Tuesday, September 4th @ 6pm (Bike Valet parking will be available)
Where: 990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, 93401
The direction to city staff from the last City Council Meeting was to review a plan that would include diverters along Broad Street to reduce cars on Broad and create a safe shared street environment, and for Staff to see if they could build consensus around that plan. If consensus was not reached, city staff was to come back with a plan for protected bike lanes. Staff set up a community workshop around traffic diverters and the general outcome of that workshop was that many participants did not support the diverters. Staff then presented a plan to Planning Commission August 7th with minimal diversion that would still get the streets down to a safe shared street environment. Planning Commission denied a change to the general plan to reclassify the streets that would see increased traffic from a diversion plan.
Given that consensus was not met on a diversion approach, and that the Planning Commission did not recommend reclassifying the streets, Staff will be presenting three options to City Council.
- Traffic Calming Only;
- Traffic diversion for a shared street alternative;
- Two-way cycle track on Chorro between Lincoln and Mission, and a protected cycle track on Broad between Mission and Ramona by removing parking from one side of the street. Out of those options, only Option 3 has protected bike lanes that will give riders dedicated bike facilities protected from vehicle traffic. Additionally, there are a number of improvements to the sidewalks and crossings as part of this option that would benefit those walking through the neighborhood.
Bike SLO County has endorsed the third option for protected bike lanes that will give riders dedicated bike facilities protected from vehicle traffic. We ask that you please take the time speak up in support the plan for protected bike lanes.
Here are two great ways you can help:
Come speak at City Council
We need to give the SLO City Council as much support as possible to push this through. One minute speakers will be first in public comment. Bring your kids! Several kids spoke in support last meeting and it really makes an impact. Please feel free to give a personal experience as to why you think the city council should have protected bike lanes along this corridor and throughout SLO. If you want to keep it simple and short we suggest using the phrase “I support protected bike lanes and safe sidewalks because…” and fill in your reason why. Below are several suggestions for reasons why, but you are encouraged to use your own. Please fill into the main council chambers if there is room. Put on a bike shirt or bring your helmet to show support. Bike SLO County will provide bike parking at our free Bike Valet, set up to the left of the Palm St City Hall entrance.
Send an email to council by Friday, August 31
(Note: You have until Monday, September 3rd to send an email, but please consider sending it by Friday, as council members may be overwhelmed by messages when they return from the September 3rd Labor Day holiday.)
Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org A potential starter and subject line for your email: “I support protected bike lanes and safer sidewalks because…” You can just add onto that sentence with a couple of reasons why you support protected bike lanes (see our talking points at the end of this email) or use our template email to personalize and send.
Click the email address above to send the following email or copy and paste (feel free to edit).
Dear Mayor and Council,
I want to express my support for the Anholm Bikeway plan that includes protected bike lanes. As city staff have stated during several previous meetings, protected bike lanes are the most likely to attract more people to ride their bike. As a community we have made it a priority to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicle trips and give our community the opportunity to make healthier transportation choices. There is a plethora of reasons why more people biking benefits our community and environment. For a century our streets we designed only to accommodate cars which has led to some serious environmental and health impacts that need to be addressed sooner rather than later. I want to help make the shift for the greater good of our community and hope you will make the tough to decision to rethink the way we utilize our public right of ways.
Suggested Talking Points:
… protected bike lanes are the most effective way to encourage new riders.
… more bikes and fewer cars make the roadways easier to share for all users.
… kids should be able to get to school safely without contributing to climate change.
… I feel very unsafe, especially when I am with children, when I try and ride in middle of the car lane. I would feel much safer, and ride more often, if our city had more protected bike lanes for me to use.
… reducing car traffic around our schools will make them safer for families.
… we should be empowering our kids to use their own muscles for transportation—for their health and for the health of the planet.
… studies have shown that children who are able to get themselves to school are more likely to be successful in their future careers.
… as a city, we have committed to a Climate Action Plan, and fewer car trips forwards our goals, offering cleaner air for all.
… Out of the confines of a car, conversations can happen. Waving and smiling. Recognition and developing friendships. Teams of parents direct and follow children to school.
… will allow the timid more opportunities to be ride their bikes and walk, furthering the goals of our Climate Action Plan and community building.
… we all know that exercise is good for us, but we’ll be more likely to choose to walk or bike instead of driving if the streets and sidewalks are designed to make us feel safe and welcome. We know that is we want to make an impact on community health and promote a culture of wellness, we have to make the healthy choice the easy choice. We have the opportunity right now to do that. To redesign our streets to accommodate all users, and to make the healthy choice, the easy choice.
…More than one-third of Americans are overweight or obese and this continues to increase regardless of one’s sex, race, or income. Overweight and obesity impact a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health have found that both walking and biking to work are associated with lower body mass index in both men and women.
…Getting around by personal car is expensive and we cannot expect that everyone has the means or the ability to drive themselves from one place to another. Who walks and who uses bikes in this city? Do we care enough about them to design our public spaces to meet their needs and to help them get to their jobs, a friends’ house, the grocery store safely and conveniently? We hear a lot from those who do not want to design our roadways for anyone but car drivers. It’s time to share our public space, to design a transportation system that is equitable and meets the needs of all users, of all income levels.