Friday, October 22, 2010

Follow Up: The Fight For Bike Infrastructure Funding

According to an email from one of my favorite people in SD--Kathy Keehan, Bike Coalition Executive Director--there has been some progress in the fight for bike infrastructure $.

Apparently, there was some constructive discussion amongst decision makers at a big SANDAG (SAN Diego Association of Governments) meeting yesterday.

But the battle isn't over.

Here's Kathy's email synopsis of the meeting yesterday and a follow up to the previous blog entry Urgent Action Needed: Your Phone is a Mic--Help Fight for $ for Bike Infrastructure:

Thanks! We're on our way but we're not done yet...

Hi all,

THANK you to everyone who called or emailed SANDAG this week! I heard comments from several members of the board that they heard from their local constituents, and they were definitely paying attention today.

The SANDAG meeting went fairly well today – thanks to Jim, Hans, Nicole, Nick(?), plus support from Move San Diego, Walk San Diego, Sustainable San Diego, and others. Thank you all for being there! It was terrific that all the people who stood up to speak today supported dramatically increasing the amount of money spent on bicycling and walking.

The good news is that staff claims they will be ‘fully funding’ the bicycle and pedestrian program. The bad news is that they carefully did not establish what ‘fully funded’ means. It could mean that they are fully funding the regional bike plan. That would be nice, but that’s only $430 million. We just don’t know yet. It’s almost certainly not 3%, though, so we’ve got more work to do.

The other good news is that many of the board members spoke up questioning staff about the bicycle and pedestrian program. We definitely got their attention, and they want to do the right thing. I’m hopeful that if staff gives them the option to spend significantly on bicycle and pedestrian programs, they will vote to do so. We’ll be working on getting a meeting with staff to clarify what ‘fully funded’ means next week, and we’ll be counting on you all to make some noise leading up to the November 12th Transportation Committee meeting, where they will be deciding on their ‘preferred alternative’. We need the preferred alternative to include significant money for bicycling and walking, and we’ll be trying our best to make that happen in the next three weeks.

For right now, we’ll be holding off on asking you to call or email your representatives again until we find out more about the staff recommendation. Thank you for reaching out! It made a difference. One board member actually said to me ‘ok, I get it! They can stop calling me now!’ So rest your dialing and typing fingers, but be ready for another big push in the next couple of weeks.



Kathy Keehan

Executive Director

San Diego County Bicycle Coalition

740 13th St, Suite 502

San Diego, CA 92101


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