All hands on deck – Please attend Monday night’s I&F meeting

This is an “all hands on deck” call. Please turn out for the Infrastructure & Franchise meeting this Monday night if you possibly can. July 13, 5:30pm in the Garden Center Conference Room in the city offices at 1950 Parkside Dr.

We have a good number of people signed up to attend on our Facebook event for this meeting (thank you all!) but more will help.

The important matter at issue is the elimination or retention of green paint treatments in the upcoming work on Detroit Ave. Green paint has been shown to substantially reduce collisions between bicycle and motor traffic at points of conflict and high-frequency crossing.

Unfortunately, one of the two City Council members on the Infrastructure & Franchise Committee will be putting forward a recommendation to the rest of Council to direct staff to remove green paint from the project altogether. This amounts to putting a small cost savings ahead of safety, while money continues to be allocated in other projects for alleviation of motor traffic delay.

We are calling for the green paint to be kept in the plan for conflict points on Detroit Ave, although it can safely be removed from parts of the street with low conflict potential (e.g. in front of single-family homes).

Please attend and join the queue for public comment after committee discussion of the Detroit Ave item.  (There is another item on the agenda concerning bus stops.)  When it’s your turn to speak, say something like this:

“The point of the Detroit Ave project is to improve safety, and the City has rightly committed in the General Plan (Policy T-1.9.5) to put safety ahead of motor traffic flow. Green paint at conflict points is critical for safety. If money is unavailable for it in this project, then money should be reallocated from other projects where it targets Level of Service rather than safety.”

Every additional person strengthens the signal.

It’s worth fighting for this project, not just for the sake of Detroit Ave (as important as this street is for its residents and school community), but also to start effectively resisting some city officials’ and staff’s practical policy of putting bicycle and pedestrian safety at a lower priority than motor traffic flow. General declarations (e.g. Policy T-1.9.5) are worthwhile and useful, but they mean nothing unless we compel their observance on specific projects. Here is the right place to start doing that.

Policy T-1.9.5 is part of the Circulation Element of the General Plan, the top-level policy document for the City. It commits the City to:

Prioritize bicycle, pedestrian, and automobile safety over vehicle speed and level-of-service at intersections and along roadways.

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