Countywide Bicycle Advisory Committee 2015-12-07 official minutes

Official minutes from the last meeting of the Countywide Bicycle Advisory Committee (CBAC) are available, as recorded by Contra Costa County Public Works staff member Mary Beth Taylor.

The CBAC consists of representatives of different parts of Contra Costa County.  Their function is to comment on bicycle-related matters that concern CCC.

So far, the CBAC has been meeting only once a year, and its focus has been limited to giving feedback to city and county staff when they submit applications for very small bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects to receive grants from the County’s share of money from the Transportation Development Act (TDA).  These grants are generally around $100,000 or less.

The committee’s comments are conveyed to applicants by Jerry Fahy, a CCC Public Works staff member who is the staff liaison to the committee.

Most projects submitted for this money in Contra Costa have been pedestrian projects:  sidewalk gap closures and signalization of crossings. There have been few bicycle projects.

New members have now been appointed to fill empty seats on the CBAC.  One of them is a Bike Concord organizer, Kenji Yamada.  All CBAC meetings will be posted on the Bike Concord calendar, available either at calendar.bikeconcord.org or under the Events page at this blog.

At the last meeting, CBAC members agreed that the committee should begin meeting more often, probably at least four times a year.  It was also agreed that the committee should become more proactive in advising local jurisdictions about opportunities to improve safety and access for bicycle transportation.

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Christmas Eve ride

Bike Concord logo - Full wheel green for Christmas Eve - 300pxBike Concord is going for a well-lit group ride this Thursday, Christmas Eve.

We will assemble at Pleasant Hill BART at 4:30pm and roll out around 5:00pm.  Our route takes us along the Canal Trail all the way to Walnut Ave, where we will head east for a stop at the well-lit house of the famous Mr. Christmas. From there we’ll turn back west along Turtle Creek Rd and Cowell Rd to end up at Todos Santos Plaza.

Light up your bike for fun and safety and join us!  The chance of rain looks low for the evening, but bring your gear, because the ride goes ahead in any event!

Participants will receive a special-edition Bike Concord 1-inch pin, as shown in the image above.

Detailed route:  mapmyride.com/routes/view/945445469.

Facebook event: XmasEve.BikeConcord.org.

Operacion Luz Lights up the Night

On Monday, November 30 2015, a day on which the sun set at 4:49pm, a handful of volunteers from local community groups were distributing free sets of bike lights to riders. Monument Impact and Bike East Bay joined forces with Bike Concord, helping to buy and distribute bike lights to riders without any.

Bicycling at night can be dangerous – especially without good lights. In Concord, where bike shops are few and far between, many people ride without a light. The event, called Operación Luz, was the first of its kind in Concord and specifically aimed to help low-income community members who ride out of necessity.

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Monument Impact, Bike East Bay and Bike Concord are all part of the HEAL zone initiative (Healthy Eating, Active Living) designed to help people in under-served communities make healthy choices.

Two dozen bicyclists and curious community members stopped by to talk to us. In addition to giving lights to those who needed them, we also spread the word about the brand new bike lanes coming to Detroit Ave this winter. Construction on the city of Concord’s first ever green bike lanes are set to be completed early 2016.

As we wrapped up at 7pm, we still had a couple dozen more lights. We will be distributing them come 2016 at future education and community events!

I-680 / Treat Blvd bike/ped project discussion at CCC Transportation, Water, and Infrastructure Committee (TWIC) meeting

Contra Costa County is developing a design for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on Treat Blvd from the I-680 overpass to slightly east of Pleasant Hill BART.

CCC staff came up with several design variants.  Only one of them, version 1B, includes continuous bike lanes and sidewalks, separate from each other, along the entire length of the street.  Staff recommended a different version, 4, which omits bike lanes on some segments of the street – an unfortunate choice, given that this segment of Treat Blvd is a conduit into the major transit hub of Central Contra Costa.  Bike Concord, Bike Walnut Creek, and Bike East Bay all submitted letters to the County in support of 1B instead of 4.

Staff reviewed the feedback they received, discussed it with Alta Planning + Design (the consultant on this project), and determined that they would need to do an additional traffic study costing around $20,000 in order to justify including bike lanes throughout the entire project scope.

This afternoon the matter came before the TWIC, a subcommittee of the CCC Board of Supervisors, which currently consists of Sups. Andersen and Piepho.  At today’s meeting, the Supervisors assented to Bike East Bay and Bike Concord’s request for them to authorize staff (Jamar Stamps) to obtain the additional $20k of project funding to do a traffic study to see if they can add the segments of bike infrastructure that are missing from version 4 of the project.

Staff reported a high volume of public comments in favor of complete mode separation (bicycle, pedestrian, and motor traffic each in its own space) along the entire length of Treat within the project scope. This was key. If you submitted a comment or signed our petition on this subject (either in person or online), thanks very much. It mattered.