Better Bike was in the house for March’s Public Works Commission meeting. We wanted to share our vision for the city as a place that recognizes its responsibility to provide for the safety and accommodation of all road users – particularly cyclists, who experience directly the challenge of riding our roads where it hurts – right in the saddle.
In an address to the Commission, an advisory body to the department responsible for many of the major and minor projects in our city, we stressed several key points:
- The dearth of cycling-friendly facilities like back racks, especially in high-activity areas like the City Hall/Civic Center;
- The need for bike lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard as part of that corridor’s reconstruction;
- The need for crosswalks and signage to prioritize people-powered transit;
- The opportunity for a complete streets demonstration project (perhaps on one of the city’s secondary streets); and finally,
- Our desire to work with the Commission and the Transportation department to bring some of the innovations pioneered elsewhere to our own streets.
We received a warm welcome from the 5-member Commission. Two Commissioners nodded continuously though our brief presentation, and followed it with appreciation both for the need and the effort. Chair Steven Weinglass indicated that he, like Commissioner Fisher, are both cyclists. While Commissioner Fisher’s term ends shortly, the Chair is appointed through February of 2014 – sufficient time to oversee the Santa Monica Boulevard construction.
Touching base with the Commissioners was our latest step in making the rounds of the key city agencies and officials. Coming up next week we have a meeting with officials from the library to see if we can’t plant a bike corral at the Civic Center to replace the good ol’ wheel-bender rack there that has stymied cyclists (and probably bent many a rim) for so many years. Stay tuned!