Every roadway project should be a bike project, and a walking project, and a transit project, and not just a car project.
When the streets you ride on or walk across are repaved, a bike lane should be striped, crosswalks upgraded, traffic speeding issues addressed, and transit improvements incorporated from the start.
Before roadway projects start, planners should first consider how to spend your city’s transportation dollars, considering the needs of everyone who uses the streets, including people like you who walk and ride. They should also consider how proposed projects meet the City’s goals for better roadways and better communities. The result would be streets that look more like Photo A (A vision of Telegraph Ave as a "complete street") and less like Photo B (East 14th Street in San Leandro today).
Good news! The days will soon end when planners and engineers devise ways to move more cars and speed them up on the roadways without regard to the impacts on pedestrians, people on bikes, and transit users. In the coming years, these transportation professionals will be required to sit down with community stakeholders and ask what improvements to the streets people would like to see, what problems they are experiencing, what goals should be set to increase the number of people walking and using a bike. And the day is coming sooner rather than later thanks to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approving a new Complete Streets Policy on May 17, which will govern future transportation projects in the Bay Area.
Despite Tea Party distractions, our elected officials are committed to directing more transportation money towards in-fill, transit-oriented development, and they are committed to ensuring these dollars are spent for the benefit of all, drivers and bicyclists alike. Every city in the East Bay is now required to adopt a Complete Streets Policy by Council resolution no later than January 31, 2013. Your Bicycle Coalition will be working with local bicycle/pedestrian advisory committees and planners in each of our cities to start the challenging work to develop these policies and seeing that they are implemented, so that they result in new bike lanes and safer streets for you to use everyday.
What you can do:
Attend an upcoming meeting of your city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and provide your input on what improvements you want to see in upcoming roadway projects:
• In Berkeley, the next meeting is from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, June 11, at the North Berkeley Senior Center at Hearst Avenue and MLK Jr. Way.
Here's the schedule in neighboring cities:
• Oakland: The Complete Streets Policy is on the July agenda. Oakland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meets from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month in Hearing Room 4 of City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.
• Emeryville: The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meets from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the first Monday of every month in the ground floor Garden Room of City Hall, 1333 Park Ave.
• Richmond: Meetings are held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the second Monday of every month on the second floor of City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza.
If your city is not listed here, please contact Dave Campbell, EBBC Program Director, and help us form a Bicycle Advisory Committee in your City.
The East Bay Bicycle Coalition works for safe, convenient and enjoyable bicycling for all people in the East Bay. Visit our website: www.ebbc.org to learn more about our efforts to encourage more people to try bicycling.