ALL HANDS ON DECK – Please attend Planning Commission on Wednesday, August 3

ALL HANDS ON DECK for next week’s Planning Commission meeting.  It’s on Wednesday, August 3 at 6:30pm in the City Council chamber.

For the past year in conversations with staff, at Planning Commission, and in front of City Council, Bike Concord has been asking for one crucial change in the Master Plan draft:  the addition of an explicit statement in the Master Plan that General Plan Policy T-1.9.5 (Prioritize pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety over vehicle speed and level-of-service at intersections and along roadways) means the recommended studies in the Master Plan cannot use possible impacts to motor traffic as a basis to rule out bicycle or pedestrian facilities that are necessary for safety.

Without such a commitment, we can be sure most of the studies recommended in the Master Plan will end just as most street projects have in this city so far: a conclusion that safe bicycle infrastructure is “infeasible” because it could cause motor traffic backup.  Minimizing motor traffic backup (“level-of-service”) has been and remains a higher priority in practice for the City than bicycle safety, in spite of its official General Plan policy to the contrary in T-1.9.5.

No commitment to break with the City’s history of ignoring Policy T-1.9.5 has been added to this final draft. We will be sending an official policy letter to Planning Commission in advance of the meeting, calling on them to adopt a resolution recommending to City Council that the commitment be added. Bike Concord will not endorse this Master Plan without that commitment. If you support Bike Concord’s work for safe, convenient bicycle travel in our city, please help us pack the room on August 3 (Wednesday next week).  Your presence is crucial.

After the Planning Commission meeting, our focus shifts to City Council itself, for their final Master Plan meeting on September 27.  We will provide details on that meeting, our preparation for it, and what you can do to help as the date approaches.

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