Planning Commission support for prioritizing safety over cars in the Master Plan

Bike Concord’s primary advocacy target at the moment is to obtain an explicit commitment in the Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Safe Routes to Transit Master Plan that all the projects and studies which implement the Plan will be conducted in compliance with existing General Plan Policy T-1.9.5 by prioritizing bicycle and pedestrian safety over motor vehicle level-of-service. Such a commitment would in effect require that a shared travel lane be converted into bicycle lanes where this is necessary to promptly assure safe bicycle travel on a street.

We received clear support on that point at tonight’s Planning Commission meeting from three out of four Commissioners. Thanks to Carlyn Obringer, Jason Laub, and Ray Barbour for lending their voices to help us get this important commitment for a safer, healthier, more equitable Concord. (Commissioner Lamar Anderson offered no comments on the Master Plan, either in support of or opposition to our request.)

We now have majority support on this point from Planning Commission, two strong supporters on City Council (Councilmembers Helix and Birsan), and ambiguous support from a third Councilmember (Vice-Mayor Leone). We will continue working to build more support and ensure that this crucial commitment is included in the final Master Plan draft.

Bike Concord considers this explicit priority commitment an essential element and will not support the Master Plan without it. We have made City staff aware of this, and hope to be able to speak well of the Master Plan when it comes before Council for adoption in September.

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