All hands on deck – Fill the CCTA meeting and call for at least 15% of Measure J reauthorization funds to bike and ped infrastructure

The next meeting of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority is this Wednesday, October 21, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  The meeting room is 2999 Oak Rd #110 (CCTA office, across from PH BART and next to Embassy Suites).

Our regional partner Bike East Bay is requesting our help to fill the room.

Our target: Secure at least 15% of funds from the upcoming Measure J reauthorization for non-motor transportation infrastructure.  This would mean hundreds of millions of dollars.  Lack of money is a justification we have frequently encountered in refusals to make our streets safe for walking and bicycling.  Let’s seize this opportunity to remove that justification.

Here is BEB’s suggested comment.  Please edit it to suit your own experience and inclinations, but keep in the crucial point of at least 15% of Measure J reauthorization funds for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

“My name is ___ , speaking on behalf of ___ (e.g. Bike East Bay, Bike Concord, etc.) and I support designating more funds, at least fifteen percent, for Complete Streets projects. I use ___ Street/Ave/Blvd/Trail to commute across town and it is severely lacking in terms of safety, convenience and connectivity to to public transit and is in dire need of Complete Streets design guidance and implementation.”

To prevail, we are going to have to bring a lot of political pressure to bear. That means bodies in the room. If there’s no way you can be there, please send a letter. But your physical presence will help a great deal more.

We are hoping for support in particular from Karen Mitchoff and Federal Glover, CCC Supervisors who sit on CCTA.  The Board of Supervisors, represented by Karen Mitchoff, officially expressed support for Bike Concord and Bike East Bay’s work on Bike to Work Day this year.  Allocating at least 15% of Measure J reauthorization revenue to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is a big opportunity for them to translate that support into action.

Bike Concord organizers will be wearing our BC nametags, and will have BC pins to hand out.  Please come to the meeting, say hi and take a pin!  We need you at this meeting, and look forward to seeing you.

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Bike Concord asks for support from CCC Supervisor Karen Mitchoff

At Bike Concord’s Bike to Work Day event this year, we were delighted to host Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff among the speakers on our stage.  She delivered a proclamation of support for bicycle transportation on behalf of the Board of Supervisors.

We are now asking for her support on a specific decision that matters for non-motor transportation in Central Contra Costa.

Treat Blvd from I-680 to Pleasant Hill BART is soon to be redesigned to encourage walking and bicycling.  There are a few different options for the design, some better than others.  The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), on which Sup. Mitchoff sits, will make the final decision about the design.

We have asked her to support a design that keeps motor, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic separate from each other down the entire streetspan in the project.  This is important for the safety of pedestrians from bicycles, and the safety of bicyclists from cars.

(Yes, Bike Concord is concerned about danger to pedestrians from bicycles.  We care not only about the needs of bicyclists, but our responsibilities too – especially our responsibilities to more vulnerable parts of traffic.)

107 residents signed our petition calling for full mode separation, some in person with Bike Concord volunteers at Pleasant Hill BART, and some online.  You may have been one of them!  We’ve delivered that list of signatures both to Jamar Stamps, the CCC staff member responsible for the project, and to Sup. Mitchoff in particular.

The Supervisor has declined to make any promises to us on this point, so we will have to wait until the matter comes before CCTA to see if she agrees that safety for all users of the street should be a higher priority than maximizing the volume of motor traffic that flows through Treat Blvd.

Here is the text of the proclamation that Sup. Mitchoff delivered.

In the matter of: Resolution No. 2015/159
Honoring Bike East Bay in partnership with Bike Concord on May 14, 2015 – Bike to Work Day
WHEREAS, Contra Costa County is dedicated to promoting safe and healthy communities; and
WHEREAS, bicycling is a sustainable, healthy, and efficient mode of transportation that also incorporates physical activity into everyday life; and
WHEREAS, safe streets are an essential element to promoting more transportation by bicycle; and
WHEREAS, Contra Costa County envisions a balanced, safe and efficient transportation network that promotes healthy transportation choices, this includes the encouragement of bicycling and walking in Contra Costa County; and
WHEREAS, Contra Costa County supports the implementation of a growing comprehensive and safe bicycle network using a mix of existing local roads, collectors and bikeways which prioritizes bicycle movement from residences to key attractors while minimizing automobile presence on the network; and
WHEREAS, in March of 2002 the Contra Costa Transportation Authority launched a collaborative effort to work with local jurisdictions, agencies and special interest groups to produce the Contra Costa Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. This effort produced a comprehensive plan that was adopted by many City Councils and the Board of Supervisors; and
WHEREAS, on May 5, 2015 the Board adopted Resolution No. 2015/136 proclaiming May 14, 2015 as Bike to Work Day in Contra Costa County; and
WHEREAS, many of the 19 cities in Contra Costa County are hosting Energizer Stations celebrating biking to work, with over 40 stations, and all bike commuters are encouraged to stop by an Energizer Station for snacks, drinks and cool swag; and
WHEREAS, Bike East Bay in partnership with Bike Concord is hosting an event in honor of Bike to Work Day on May 14, 2015.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors does hereby honor Bike East Bay in partnership with Bike Concord, recognizing their Bike to Work Day efforts and encouraging cycling as a healthy and fun commute option.

Contra Costa Transportation Authority board meeting

I (Kenji) attended today’s CCTA meeting to make a comment on behalf of Bike Concord in support of a strong commitment for active transportation funding in the prospective transportation sales tax measure that CCTA is considering putting before voters soon (a renewal of 2004’s Measure J). Report below.

The full meeting packet, including agenda and attachments, is available online.  You can also get the agenda alone, a much smaller file.

Comment

Board members and members of staff, thank you for the opportunity to comment.

My name is Kenji Yamada.  I live and work in Concord and I’m here on behalf of Bike Concord, an organization of Concord residents working to make bicycle transportation safe and convenient in our community.

We are eager to see the Transportation Authority dedicate more resources to the mainstreaming of active transportation in our county.  We welcome and are prepared to spend considerable volunteer hours to support the Authority’s upcoming effort for a new county transportation sales tax measure.  In order to ensure that this revenue, if the measure is approved by voters, will support the quantity and quality of infrastructure necessary to make active transportation mainstream in Contra Costa – not just a supplement – we ask that the Authority commit to dedicate at least 15% of the measure’s revenue to active transportation infrastructure projects.

We learned at the community meeting recently held in Walnut Creek by Supervisors Andersen and Mitchoff that the County still uses Level of Service as the primary engineering criterion for the design of roadways.  This approach is not conducive to the goal of mainstreaming active transportation, as it privileges motor traffic flowthrough above other factors.  It thereby encourages the continued dominance of single-occupancy vehicle travel.  Instead, we urge the Authority to shift to Vehicle Miles Traveled, a measure which integrates other transportation modes and directly encourages the choice of modes other than single-occupancy motor vehicles.

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