Community Workshop report

Thanks to everybody who turned out for the Community Workshop last night. Based on BC’s conversations with staff, it appears our input and community backing are succeeding and we’re on our way to get the best results we can in the Master Plan – including an explicit commitment to conduct the Complete Street Studies in compliance with Policy T-1.9.5 by prioritizing bicycle and pedestrian safety above motor level of service.

Our conversations with staff over the next couple of weeks, and the City Council study session this Tuesday, will be crucial to figure out whether this is true. Staff plan to finalize the plan after May 23, just over two weeks from now. So let’s keep the pressure on until then.

Bike Concord’s Advocacy Committee will continue talking with staff to hammer out the details over this time, and will alert BC members, our partners, and the public if it looks like important things are going to be omitted. If you see something that needs to be fixed in the Master Plan draft and would like BC’s support in bringing it to staff, please let us know.

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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.

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Input given on 2277, but outcome still needs scrutiny

Thanks to all the Bike Concord members who set aside their Wednesday evening to come to the public meeting tonight on the Downtown Corridors plan and Project 2277 (Downtown Bike Lanes). We turned out at least 18 people. At the previous meeting for the Downtown Corridors plan there were about 3 or 4.

The outcome is still unclear. Project staff presented Project 2277 to attendees without acknowledging that Bike East Bay and Bike Concord had met with them weeks ago to go over a detailed proposal for changes. In order to get any response to our proposal, we had to speak to staff in separate conversations after attendees were dispersed to look at displays around the room.

Attendees were reconvened at the end of the meeting to hear reports from staff on what they had heard from attendees in the separate conversations. But our detailed proposal was still not acknowledged, and no mention was made of several of its proposed features. We were given an opportunity for a few very brief comments after the staff reports, and asked to restrict our comments to things we had not talked about yet with staff, even in the separate conversations.

I (Kenji) got up to inform the group about our earlier meeting with staff and detailed proposal, gave a brief summary of the features in our proposal, and said we are expecting a detailed public response. This was contrary to the request from the facilitator, but I felt it was important to make that proposal a public matter, since staff had not chosen to do so in their own presentation.

We were told in our separate conversations with staff that our proposal is being looked at, that there will be another public workshop on Project 2277, and that we will receive some kind of response to our proposal at that workshop. Cynthia Armour of Bike East Bay and I will be following up with staff in a couple of weeks to ensure that this is on track to happen, that the response will be in detail, and that we will have an opportunity to make a second-round proposal to try to address any objections to what we’ve already proposed.

Thanks again, everybody, for turning out. In spite of the vague assurances we were given, I think it’s important to keep the pressure on, and turning out a lot of people at the meetings is a big part of that. It makes it harder for nice-sounding words to simply evaporate without accountability, when a lot of people hear them. That is also why it’s worth insisting that staff hear and respond to our input in a public forum, and not just in private conversations.

Countywide Bicycle Advisory Committee 2015-12-07 official minutes

Official minutes from the last meeting of the Countywide Bicycle Advisory Committee (CBAC) are available, as recorded by Contra Costa County Public Works staff member Mary Beth Taylor.

The CBAC consists of representatives of different parts of Contra Costa County.  Their function is to comment on bicycle-related matters that concern CCC.

So far, the CBAC has been meeting only once a year, and its focus has been limited to giving feedback to city and county staff when they submit applications for very small bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects to receive grants from the County’s share of money from the Transportation Development Act (TDA).  These grants are generally around $100,000 or less.

The committee’s comments are conveyed to applicants by Jerry Fahy, a CCC Public Works staff member who is the staff liaison to the committee.

Most projects submitted for this money in Contra Costa have been pedestrian projects:  sidewalk gap closures and signalization of crossings. There have been few bicycle projects.

New members have now been appointed to fill empty seats on the CBAC.  One of them is a Bike Concord organizer, Kenji Yamada.  All CBAC meetings will be posted on the Bike Concord calendar, available either at calendar.bikeconcord.org or under the Events page at this blog.

At the last meeting, CBAC members agreed that the committee should begin meeting more often, probably at least four times a year.  It was also agreed that the committee should become more proactive in advising local jurisdictions about opportunities to improve safety and access for bicycle transportation.

Minutes from the sixth PAC meeting

Here are Bike Concord’s minutes from the sixth meeting of the Plan Advisory Committee, which was held on Monday, August 24.

The meeting agenda and staff’s PowerPoint presentation are available online from the City: http://www.cityofconcord.org/pdf/projects/transit/10192015.pdf. As the discussion in this meeting concerned the details of project prioritization criteria in the presentation (listed on page 13) compared to an alternative version presented by Bike Concord, it is important to read both in order to understand the following record of the discussion.

Bike Concord’s audio recording of the meeting is available for download.
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