Minutes from the 2016-02-22 PAC meeting

Here are Bike Concord’s minutes from the meeting of the Plan Advisory Committee held on Monday, February 22.

The meeting agenda and staff’s PowerPoint presentation are available online from the City: http://www.cityofconcord.org/pdf/projects/transit/02222016.pdf.

Laura Hoffmeister called the meeting to order at 5:41pm. The following people were present:

  • Laura Hoffmeister (Mayor and chair of the committee).
  • Sergio Huerta (at-large member and vice-chair of the committee, Bike Concord).
  • Claire Linder (at-large member, Bike Concord).
  • Carlyn Obringer (Planning Commission representative on the committee).
  • Mark Sinclair (Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Committee representative on the committee).
  • Andy Mogensen (Principal Planner, City of Concord).
  • Cynthia Armour (Bike East Bay).
  • Ady Olvera (Bike Concord).
  • Adam Morrow (Bike Concord).
  • Brian Cory (Bike Concord).
  • Della Acosta (Bike Concord).
  • Smitty Ardrey (Bike Concord).
  • Kenji Yamada (Bike Concord).

Smitty announced that Surly Bikes has donated a Bill bicycle cargo trailer to Bike Concord. Also described our Park Tool grant application, which we did not receive this time. Mentioned that we are still raising funds and looking for locations for the Community Bike Shop, and that we can probably only afford about $500/month.

Andy thanked everyone who turned out for the Corridors Workshop.

Tonight’s meeting is about programs in the Master Plan.

In response to LH, Andy clarified that a recommended program will not necessarily be implemented just because it is in the Master Plan.

Claire suggested additional programs:

  • Light giveaways.
  • Partner with Bike Concord for launch parties and BTWD.

LH decided to take committee comments in order by program category (education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation).

LH suggested a program to teach people how to drive correctly on new types of infrastructure.

Carlyn noted that some adults don’t know how to ride a bike at all. Wanted to know if adult bicycling skill classes would include teaching adults how to ride in the first place. Cynthia said Bike East Bay’s adult education program includes a “learn to ride” class, which usually has more demand than they can meet. Mostly low-income residents in these classes. But urban cycling skills are the more common component that they offer. It includes both a classroom and practical component. In answer to LH, Cynthia said BEB has some funding through the HEAL Zone grant to provide classes in Concord. Always seeking new funding.

Sergio noted that a lot of people who will need these classes are primarily Spanish-speaking. Cynthia added that BEB has Spanish-language classes, and noted that Ady and Smitty are getting LCI training.

LH asked if education programs could be available via online video. Andy thought this was a good suggestion.

Mark suggested signage about how to use infrastructure properly. Andy said this falls more under infrastructure. Also raised the concern of distracting drivers with too many signs.

Sergio suggested using the City of Concord’s cable tv channel for education. Also the Farmers’ Market. Mentioned BEB’s education program about how to correctly lock a bicycle.

Ady commented that on Sunshine Dr and other places, there are bike route signs, but they are not clear about directions to destinations.

Cynthia mentioned professional drivers’ education.

Kenji raised the point that some of Concord’s marked bike routes lack bicycle signal detection.

Smitty suggested pamphlets to educate people about what different kinds of infrastructure mean.

A member of the public named Chris [last name?] suggested pictures to alert drivers to the presence of bicyclists. [?]

Encouragement

Claire suggested encouraging employers to add bicycle amenities such as showers and bike parking.

Mark suggested a “bike skills day” at schools. Andy noted that there are existing bike rodeo programs (those administered by Contra Costa Health Services), and said they will be included in the Master Plan.

Carlyn mentioned events such as Bike Concord’s Tamale Fest, said she had enjoyed seeing families out on their bikes, and suggested finding ways to encourage similar events.

Sergio suggested getting employers to encourage their employees to bicycle more. Noted that data shows that bicycling and other forms of regular physical activity bring down health costs. LH was not sure if there was much to be done about this at the city level, but suggested that the City might help support state legislation for the purpose.

LH said there should be a mention of adding more bicycle parking at the City’s parks.

Sergio suggested encouraging schools to be active on Bike to School Day. LH said Council is going to have a meeting with the school board in about a month, and they could bring this up. Cynthia clarified that there is a Bike to School Week to allow flexibility to schools, as well as Bike to Work Day. 511CC has a small Bike to School program, but it has not been active in Concord so far. Smitty asked for us to be informed of the date of the meeting of Council with school board, when the date is set.

Brian Cory noted that Clipper Card has an employer subsidy program. Wondered if a similar financial incentive might be possible for bicycling as well as transit. Kenji said the main incentive in the Clipper Card program is pre-tax payment for transit products. Suggested that the analogue for bicycling might be a subsidy for the purchase of a transportation bicycle, and noted that CalBike is already pursuing something like this at the state level. LH thought this was beyond the City’s financial means, but suggested a program to subsidize the purchase of bicycle locks. Cynthia said BEB distributes coupons for bike locks at selected bike shops during selected times.

Ady mentioned National Night Out as an encouragement opportunity, and that BC did a ride for the last NNO. Suggested that the Police Dept could help Bike Concord with rides, especially those involving children. PD also has stolen bikes that could be repurposed. Communication with PD about bike registration programs. WC is going to start teaching all their public school 3rd graders to ride a bike. Could Concord do this?

Cynthia suggested insurance premium discounts for people who bicycle.

Cynthia suggested that the City establish a systematic bike rack request program. Currently this has to be done on an ad-hoc basis by contacting City staff.

Ady suggested that the City support BC and BEB’s services at large events in Concord such as KidsFest or the 4th of July celebration, e.g. through signage.

LH mentioned that someone had said in her hearing that they had no idea where the Canal Trail went. Suggested rides to teach people about the Canal Trail.

Ady said when BC was planning our Kidical Mass, there was no way to know ahead of time if there would be construction on the Iron Horse Trail. We also felt like we could not call on City services in case of trouble, because they had discouraged us from doing the ride at all.

Kenji requested that a mention be made in the Programs section of the Master Plan of Bike Concord as an appropriate partner for the City in encouraging bicycling and walking, since we are an organization of Concord residents focused on that very goal.  Andy said he thought Alta might have mentioned Bike Concord somewhere in the Master Plan draft, but was not sure.  He did not make any commitments.

Enforcement

Sergio suggested targeting police enforcement based on motor speeds.

Carlyn noted that the police sometimes go out and enforce against unsafe drivers who endanger pedestrians. Wondered if this could be done to protect bicyclists too. LH said enforcement is mainly aimed at motorist behavior as such, rather than who is being endangered by it.

LH suggested that more police officers could be certified to patrol on bicycles.

LH thought RRFBs would be better than speed detection signs.

Cynthia reiterated that targeted police enforcement should be focused on behaviors that cause the most injuries. 4 East Bay cities have received OTS grant money for this purpose, but have been using the money to enforce against pedestrians and bicyclists.

Smitty said during BC, BEB, and Monument Impact’s bike light giveaway, we discussed distributing lights through the police when they stop people. But we were reluctant to do this because it’s an unpleasant experience to be stopped by the police, and even threatening for many residents.

Ady said as a cyclist she is not always clear on how federal or state laws affect bicycling in Concord. Would like for the City to make sure policies are in line with state and federal laws.

Ady said the detection loops for bicycles on the Canal Trail at Concord Blvd should detect a little sooner to accommodate bicycle speeds. Sergio asked whether the detection loops are installed and maintained by the City. LH said she thought they are, even though they are on East Bay Parks jurisdiction.

Evaluation

Andy said Transportation Division does an annual bike/ped crash data review.
Andy said he would have Alta put something in the plan about a program of prototype bikeways using chalk, planters, etc.

Andy invited emails from the public by the end of the week for any other program suggestions.

Month-long feedback period on the Master Plan draft between April and May PAC meetings. Community Workshop will be held during this time.

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