SLO City Planning Commission to Address Key Bicycle Projects this Week

The San Luis Obispo City Planning Commission is set to consider two important bicycle issues at their Wednesday night meeting, and the Bicycle Coalition would love to see your support! There is no speaking required, but you can if you would like. The two issues to be reviewed at the meeting include:
  • The preferred trail alignment of the Bob Jones Trail from Los Osos Valley Road to the Octagon Barn
  • The Draft 2013 Bicycle Transportation Plan

When: Wednesday September 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm
Where: City Council Chambers, 990 Palm St, SLO (map)

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Your Bicycle Coalition has been hard at work with our team of advocates as we continue the positive progress of the Bob Jones Trail for users countywide. In addition to the future of this popular trail, the commission will also be considering the Draft 2013 Bicycle Transportation Plan – the blueprint of future bicycle facilities in the City of SLO. Both issues are key as we work together to make SLO County an incredible place for bicycles!

View the September 11, 2013 Planning Commission agenda.

Bob Jones Trail

There is no need to speak in support of the proposed alignment, just being there to show the bicycle community’s overwhelming support for the alignment along the scenic creek is very helpful.

If you would like to speak:
-Urge commissioners to support the preferred alignment along the creek and creek setback (read more about the preferred alignment).

Draft 2013 Bicycle Transportation Plan

The Bicycle Transportation Plan creates a guiding blueprint for increasing bicycle ridership and future infrastructure improvements to improve connectivity and safety for all road users. Your Bicycle Coalition will be asking commissioners to recommend approval of the draft plan to the SLO City Council.

If you would like to speak: (We encourage you to do so!)
-Urge commissioners to recommend approval of the plan to the SLO City Council.
-You can also view the plan online (planned projects start at page 52, Appendix A, all are sorted by area of SLO City) and take note of the specific projects that are important to you and your family.

If you cannot attend:
-Take a look at the plan online, and send a quick email the Deputy Director of Long Range Planning, Kim Murry (kmurry@slocity.org) the specific projects that are important to you.

 

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Next-Gen Bike Lanes

The following was originally published in our Spring 2013 Spoken Wheel newsletter.

BIKE LANES 2.0
The next generation of bike facilities will blow your mind

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In all corners of America, we are seeing innovative solutions for bicycles on our roadways. The goal of many of these facilites is to create a safer more inviting space to get more people comfortable riding bicycles.

To share this incredible progress, we put together this quick guide for you. We hope it will inspire you to think big as we shape the future of bicycles in SLO County together!

GETTIN’ IT DONE IN SLO COUNTY

The road towards innovative spaces for bicycles in SLO County is long, but the Bicycle Coalition is in it for the longhaul. We are determined to make our communities beacons for bicycles in the golden state of California. Unfortunately, the drive and energy to pursue these successful strategies won’t come from our local leaders and government staff – it comes from you!

With your help, we can make these visions a reality. Join the Bicycle Coalition today to strengthen our voice for bicycles countywide. The more members we have, the faster we can move towards completing our bike paths and putting these innovative solutions to work in your neighborhood.

BikeBox

A bike box is a designated area at the head of a traffic lane at a signalized intersection that provides bicyclists with a safe and visible way to get ahead of queuing traffic during the red signal phase.

SEEN IN: Boston MA, Austin TX, Madison WI
COST: $
PROS: Greatly increases visibility of bicyclists.
Helps prevent ‘right-hook’ conflicts with turning vehicles at intersections.
Facilitates bicyclist left turn positioning during red signal.
Pedestrians benefit from reduced vehicle encroachment into the crosswalk.

BikeCorrals

On street bicycle parking spaces allow bicyclists to ride straight up to park their bicycles. One vehicle parking spot can accomodate over 10 bicycles. These corrals can be easily branded to promote neighboring businesses or areas.

SEEN IN: Long Beach CA, Missoula MT, Seattle WA
COST: $$
PROS: Decreases sidewalk conflicts between bicycles and pedestrians by preventing bicycle riding on the sidewalk and improper bicycle parking. Increases storefront visibility for businesses. One vehicle parking spot can accomodate over 10 bicycle customers.

Continue reading

BIG Win for Bicycles in San Luis Obispo

Earlier in 2013, the San Luis Obispo City Council made expanding our bikeway network a major city goal. Later, on Monday, June 17th, the Council approved a two year budget that makes incredible strides towards strengthening our investment in safe biking and walking infrastructure.

The next budget cycle will include unbelievable investment in our bikeways. The Bicycle Coalition is excited to announce the increase in general funds towards bikeway improvements from $25,000 to $100,000 a year. That’s 4x the previous annual investment!

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This full list of projects below illustrates the dedication and partnership between the City Council, Staff, and your Bicycle Coalition over the next two years:

  • Bicycle Traffic Counts
  • Bicycle Education
  • SLO City Bike Rodeo
  • Bike Parking
  • $1,759,000 for the Railroad Safety Trail
  • $600,000 for the Bob Jones Trail
  • $120,000 for path maintenance
  • $200,000 for bicycle facilities improvements
  • $50,000 for sidewalk repairs
  • $220,000 for sidewalk ramp construction
  • …and more!

We know that we are joined by tens of thousands of people in our community in saying THANK YOU to our council for believing in the positive impact of complete bikeways in our lovable city.

You too can take a moment to send City Council members a thank you note for quadrupling funding for bikeways. Find their contact information here.

2012: A Landmark Year for Bicycles

The following is a letter from our Executive Director, Dan Rivoire, originally published in our Winter 2013 Spoken Wheel newsletter. As we are approaching a beautiful spring season, full of bicycle fun and events countywide, we are reminded of our ambition, innovation and commitment to make SLO County a great place for bicycles – and it’s all possible because of our dues paying members, volunteers and donations from community members like you!

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In January 2010 the Bicycle Coalition quietly launched a campaign designed to respond to the question: “what does the Coalition actually do?” Our goal was to make it painstakingly clear that we work extremely hard to achieve the mission laid out by our founders; to improve the quality of life in San Luis Obispo County through bicycling advocacy, education, and inspiration. Our strategy revolved around creating strong programs with tangible benefit to the community while improving communications across the board. In order to succeed, we needed to get the respect of the bicycle riding public while capturing the attention of everyone else in the Central Coast. 

“Our goal was to make it painstakingly clear that we work extremely hard to achieve the mission laid out by our founders; to improve the quality of life in San Luis Obispo County through bicycling advocacy, education, and inspiration.”

Three years have passed since we took the first step towards accomplishing our goal and moved into our headquarters at the corner of Morro and Pacific in downtown San Luis Obispo. With the move we brought on the most ambitious addition to our empowerment focused programs while giving the community an image to visualize every time they think of the Bicycle Coalition. Becoming established at our prominent home on the Bill Roalman bike boulevard has been transformational. It is no mistake that 2012 was the strongest year on record for the Bicycle Coalition.

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These three years have built upon the foundation laid by the staff, board, volunteers, and members during our creation in 2001. The foundation is not subsidized bicycles, valet parking, education, or advocacy efforts; it is the understanding that residents are driven by their desire to make San Luis Obispo County an incredible place live, work, and play. Our success is connected directly to the fact that every effort of the Bicycle Coalition relates to that foundation.

Recently, while reflecting on the three years spent in our headquarters, I caught myself thinking, “where has all the time gone?” Before I could blink, a list of epic proportions began to accumulate in my mind. Approved bike plans in every jurisdiction in the County, new active transportation infrastructure projects constructed, increased state and federal funding for active transportation projects, incredible impact through our four programs, and membership numbers growing at lightening speed. Emphasizing direct service and communication has resulted in the best financial position in our history.

“All of this hard work has primed the Bicycle Coalition for incredible growth. We dream of a Central Coast connected by regional paths, filled with bike lanes, and engaged by unbelievable community events. We believe that the Bicycle Coalition will become the strongest voice for community well being on the Central Coast.”

All of this hard work has primed the Bicycle Coalition for incredible growth. We dream of a Central Coast connected by regional paths, filled with bike lanes, and engaged by unbelievable community events. We believe that the Bicycle Coalition will become the strongest voice for community well being on the Central Coast. We will positively contribute to our community in the context of education, health, transportation, culture, and economy. Your support is the reason we exist and the reason we grow. Our gratitude is endless yet we know that your continued investment will best advance our cause. We ask you to look towards the horizon, realize our potential, and put your passion into action. 2013 should put 2012 to shame!

Dan_outofthesaddleBW05See you in the Bike Lane,

Dan Rivoire, Executive Director

NBS12 Day 2 Recap

We started day two with loads of incredible leadership from both sides of the aisle who have been able to make an incredible case and change for bicycles in their communities.

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Longterm champion Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) kicked off the morning by firing up the crowd yet again, his trademark bowtie and bike pin make him quite memorable.

“I have not been anywhere in our country where I have not seen your allies, or where your message does not resonate.”
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

His message was one that got our early morning crowd fired up, knowing that America is coming around to the concept of bicycles as a solution to lots of current and future issues we face. After a few more cups of coffee, we got even more fired up as the remaining speakers continued to inspire us 750+ advocates representing all 50 states and 3 Canadian providences.

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Bringing a fresh perspective from the midwest to the table, Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard (R) and his efforts to make his city more bicycle friendly, just because he knows it’s the right thing to do. This was particularly exciting to hear Mayor Ballard’s experience with bicycling in his city because our good friend from years at the summit, Jamison Hutchins, works for him and has helped implemented some amazing facilities.

Mayor Ballard’s message is something we think is most applicable to SLO County, in that it is heavily rooted in helping to foster a robust local economy and job opportunities.

“What is my job as mayor? I tell people very candidly, it’s all about talent attraction — it’s not because the Mayor likes bikes […] We’re all in competition for young talent and young families […] And young people, millennials are looking for bike lanes. They’re looking for trails. They’re looking for that connectivity — and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Mayor Greg Ballard (R), Indianapolis, IN

2013 National Bike Summit, afternoon and evening events—Sadik-Khan, Ray Lahood

Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) followed these impressive speakers with their continued message of a bicycle friendly America. Their amendment last year was pivotal in protecting biking and walking during last year’s transportation bill reauthorization.

“At the end of the day, we were successful with the Cardin-Cochran provision because of the people in this room. You’re smart. You figured out a strategy to win. Rather than just make a point, we won. The strategy is local control.”
Ben Cardin (D-MD)

After these opening speakers (and a few more cups of coffee) we split up to engage in many of the panel sessions which addressed bicycle riding at all levels. One big thing we took away from today: the future of bicycles in America is stronger, more inclusive and more sophisticated than ever, and the SLO County Bicycle Coalition is involved in all of it!

2013NBS_SLOCBC

For now, we need to fuel up with some dinner before a day meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill tomorrow. We will keep you updated tomorrow (including some more about the sessions today) wish us luck, and GO BICYCLES!

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Follow the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #nbs13 .

For more on the National Bike Summit and to hear more updates from our host, the League of American Bicyclists, view their blog here.

The Future of Bicycles in CA

Governor Brown’s 2013-2014 budget proposal includes a new funding mechanism of $134 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects – the new Active Transportation Program (ATP). Our partners at the California Bicycle Coalition have outlined specific requests for the ATP as part of their online petition including maintaining funding for Safe Routes to School, a wildly successful program that began in California and has since been adopted at the federal level.

Despite the growing numbers of Americans choosing a bicycle for transportation (a 43% increase in the last 10 years), the funding levels for these facilities are still at risk. Just last year, researchers at Princeton University found that 83% of Americans want to maintain or increase funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects – yet a lack of funding for these projects continues to be the norm.

Here in SLO County, we rank 9th of 58 California counties for bicycle fatalities over the age of 15. Governor Brown’s budget proposal will directly affect the local efforts to reduce these numbers and increase safety and mobility for all road users. Now is the time to tell Governor Brown that we know it is good for the future of our children, our economy, and our state.Petition

The petition will be closed Monday January 28th at 5:00 PST – before it gets transmitted to the Administration for review before the release of the bill on February 1st.

2012 Bicycle Coalition Survey

It’s that time of the year… the time where the Bicycle Coalition reflects on the major accomplishments of 2012 and looks to the future for what 2013 has in store! We’d love your feedback as we move forward.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a member, volunteer, ride bikes, are afraid of heights, or enjoy anchovies, EVERYONE is welcome to take our survey. Thanks in advance for your help and support, we can’t wait for 2013 and the amazing things we have to look forward to.

Help Expand Our Bike Education Program with a Year End Gift!

2012 has been a year of incredible progress for the SLO County Bicycle Coalition. With 641 members and growing, the voice for bicycles in SLO County is the strongest it has ever been. This 20% increase in membership comes in tandem with an increased public interest in bicycles and the role they play in SLO County. We know that our work is certain to inspire more people to take to the streets on two wheels and we welcome everyone into our joyful community.

In our ideal world, people aged 8 to 80 would feel comfortable riding on streets and paths designed specifically to help everyone ride their bike more often. This is our vision, but we also know that knowledge is power. In 2012 over 30% of our members told us they want more bike education to empower people with the confidence to ride on our existing roadways. Help us expand our Bike Education program by making a year-end gift to the Bicycle Coalition.

The Bike Education program is our longest standing program. It has brought the message of safe riding to thousands of people through community workshops, business lunches, and school assemblies. Our plan for a bigger and better program has been in the works for months and recent developments have assured us we are on the right path. The Bicycle Coalition recently received numerous local grants, bolstering our ability to reach high-risk groups like college students and low-income communities. Your additional contribution will empower us to capitalize on the momentum created by grant funding.

We have ambitious plans for the Bike Education program in 2013 that will have a long lasting impact for bicycle riders of all ages and abilities in SLO County.
     ENHANCING the educational element of Kidical Mass will help make smart riding a family activity giving more moms the confidence to ride with her kids to the park.
     INCREASING educational efforts to Cal Poly and Cuesta will make incredible safety improvements for the age group that is most likely to be involved in traffic collisions resulting in injury or death.
     IMPROVING our existing materials and resources so they can be shared across language and socio-economic barriers to deliver important information to underserved populations.

Your donation will make you an integral part of the legacy that establishes bike education in schools, businesses, and throughout our great community. 

Our ambition, innovation and drive are on behalf of our members; we can’t wait to make you proud again in 2013.


Dan Rivoire
Executive Director

Click here to make your donation online, and to find information to mail your donation. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.

2012 Election Questionnaires

The Bicycle Coalition sent the following questions to all candidates running for office throughout the Central Coast:
  1. In your opinion, how do biking and walking fit into the transportation system in your community/district?
  2. Would you like to increase or decrease the number of people biking and walking for transportation and recreation in your community/district, why?
  3. What steps would you take to increase or decrease the number of people biking and walking for transportation and recreation in your community/district?
  4. What specific accomplishments/qualifications demonstrate your capacity to improve the transportation system in your community/district?
  5. What else should members of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition know about you before going to the polls?

All questionnaires returned to the Bicycle Coalition can be viewed/downloaded as a pdf, sorted by jurisdiction by clicking here. (Simply click on the right hand column to view the answers from any given candidate)

The SLO County Bicycle Coalition does not and has not endorsed any candidate running for office.

The information contained in this pdf is intended for informational purposes only.

Arroyo Grande Bike Plan


The City of Arroyo Grande is one step closer to adopting their Bicycle and Trails Master Plan! The plan is currently available for review on their website here.

Now is the perfect time to have your voice heard, and to provide any feedback or comments you might have with city staff.

Direct your comments to:
EMAIL: Ryan Foster, Associate Planner, rfoster@arroyogrande.org

MAIL
: Community Development Department
ATTN: Ryan Foster, Associate Planner
300 East Branch Street
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Please send comments before Thursday June 22nd.

City of SLO Circulation Update: More Bicycles!

The City of San Luis Obispo is in the process of updating the Land Use and Circulation element of the City’s General Plan. These parts of the plan relate specifically to creating a guide for future development, preservation and mobility (how we get around) San Luis Obispo.

This Land Use and Circulation update is part of the City’s General Plan, the blueprint for the future. It is representative of the values and vision of the community, and your opinion matters.

Our local governments know we people are interested in more bicycle connectivity in SLO and beyond, but they might not know that a majority of people want these improvements. This is your chance to have your voice heard and help increase the number of bikeways locally.

Wednesday May 16th is the first public workshop for this update, and you are invited to attend and speak up on behalf of better bikeways in San Luis Obispo. The Bicycle Coalition will be there, on behalf of our 600 members, to share our vision for better bicycle facilities in the city.

If you can’t attend the workshop, we’d encourage you to take their online survey to share your support for bicycles in the city. All responses are anonymous, and can have a large impact on the update of the plan. Take the survey here.

When: Wednesday May 16th, 6:30 pm
Where: The Monday Club, 1815 Monterey St, SLO (map)
Why: Help shape the vision of connectivity in San Luis Obispo

83% of Americans Support Federal Funding for Biking

A recent report from our national partners at America Bikes found that 83% of all respondents support maintaining or increasing the federal funding streams that pay for sidewalks, bikeways, and bike paths.

We know this is true, we see it everyday, with increasing ridership both locally, and nationally. Americans want active transportation options, a way to get around their communities safely, and while being active. The threat to eliminating funding for biking and walking is real, and would roll back the options in our transportation system back into the 1950s.

More and more Americans are turning to biking for transportation on a daily basis. In 2009, Americans took 4 billion bike trips, and the number of bicycle commuters has grown 43% since 2000.

One of the most noticeable parts of the report, is that support for biking and walking funding is bi-partisan, is not related to geography, and is strong across all age groups. In a time where biking trips are rapidly increasing, it is a mistake to put the safety of road users at risk by eliminating funding.

…Many lawmakers have zeroed in on eliminating funding for biking and walking as a wishful solution to our country’s fiscal woes, though cutting these critical but small programs has virtually no impact on the federal deficit. Currently, only 1.5% of federal transportation spending funds sidewalks and bikeways.

If you want to continue to see better bikeways and bike paths locally, support our Connect SLO County initiative, aimed at completing our bike paths. We are dedicated to making sure people of all ages can get around by bicycle, and are your voice for bicycles in SLO County and beyond!

You can view the entire report from America Bikes online here.

Announcing Connect SLO County!

Connect SLO County is an initiative of the Bicycle Coalition, aimed at completing the 3 main bike path projects in SLO County. The largest component of the initiative is an interactive website, which will be the main source for up-to-date information for these bike path projects.

Our residents and visitors have already to begun exploring our outstanding environment by bicycle in impressive numbers. Riding through wine country is the joyful activity of choice for healthy adventurers and training along the coast is all a racing cyclist could ever want. Meanwhile, pedaling a beach cruiser down the Bob Jones Trail is heaven for parents, kids, and leisure seekers alike.

We want more Bob Jones Trails. Connect SLO County aims to build bicycle network for everyone, from an eight-year-old child to an eighty-year-old grandmother, to provide a safe healthy access to shop, commute, and play by bicycle. San Luis Obispo County’s vibrancy is built upon our unique environment and economy of recreation, ranching, agriculture, and small city atmosphere. To develop that economy we need to Connect SLO County and complete our bike paths!

Visit the website today to see how you can get involved, show your support, share your story, and spread the word!
 

Safe Routes to School Grants Available!

SLO County Regional Rideshare just unveiled their new grant program for Safe Routes to School.  Beginning in the 2012/13 school year, there will be three levels of funding available:

  • Gold $700 – monthly programs throughout the entire school year
  • Silver $300 – 2 – 4 programs throughout the school year
  • Bronze $100 – for 1 program during the school year

If you are interested in bringing some of these funds to you school, or in increasing the number of students biking & walking to school, visit our local Safe Routes to School site to make it a reality! Whether you want to host a onetime event or kick off a year long program, Rideshare has the funds to help get you rolling.

We all know the benefits of getting more kids biking & walking to school. Safe Routes to School is dedicated to making sure more kids are able to use active transportation to get to school, it’s better for their health, helps them focus at school, and provides them with a great chance to get to know their friends and neighborhoods en route!