Please keep the evening of Tuesday, Feb 9 available to come out and support Bike Concord’s efforts to get a good bikeway instead of a mediocre one on Grant St from BART to Todos Santos Plaza.
Bike Concord and Bike East Bay met on Dec 11 with City of Concord project staff to propose detailed improvements to an existing project (PJ 2277) for basic bike lanes on Grant St.
Our alternative design was favorably received by project staff. But senior transportation staff have rejected it – not for any specific design reasons, but because they do not want to make any significant changes to the project no matter what those changes are. Staff are planning to make their first public presentation of the existing project design at the Feb 10 public meeting on the Downtown Corridors Plan, and their direction from senior staff is to show the project as originally designed, with no possibility of meaningful public input.
The existing design is for unbuffered, unprotected bike lanes on Grant St, the showcase corridor for our city from our transit station to downtown. We can do much better.
- The stretch of Grant St between Todos Santos and BART is a representation of our city’s plans for active transportation to visitors arriving on BART, and for residents trying to reach BART from downtown. With the existing design, the project would indicate that our target is mediocrity. With the alternative design it would be a showcase project, demonstrating Concord’s serious intention of making active transportation a practical choice here.
- We need to get Grant St right the first time. It would be a waste of limited funds to build a mediocre bikeway in the hope of improving it later. The Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Safe Routes to Transit Master Plan, which the City is currently drafting with community input including that of Bike Concord, will commit the City to creating a comprehensive bicycle network, built to contemporary standards rather than the faulty designs of past decades. The existing project design of unbuffered bike lanes does not meet those contemporary standards.
- Grant St needs to be an inviting entryway from BART to downtown in order to entice risk-averse bicyclists, especially families with children on their way to a family-oriented event in our downtown such as the Music and Market Series, or KidFest. The existing design creates no such entryway.
- A great bikeway will bring more business to our downtown. Comparative data from many communities shows that people on foot and on bicycles tend to visit businesses more often and spend more money overall. An inviting bikeway is a path to a more prosperous Todos Santos Plaza.
Bike Concord’s Advocacy Committee and Bike East Bay are working to persuade our elected officials that a good, inviting bikeway on Grant St is preferable to mediocrity. If you support Bike Concord’s mission, please join us at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb 9 to make that message as strong as possible. Council meetings are held in the Council Chamber at 1950 Parkside Dr, usually starting at 6:30pm. We will post again here on the blog when a detailed agenda is available for the Feb 9 Council meeting.
If you’ve never gone to a public meeting before, your participation will be even more valuable because you will be a new face to our officials.
We hope to see you the evening of February 9!