Bike Route Pilot Late Meeting Notice is Par for the Course

Traffic & Parking Aug. 4th, 2011Were you seeking official notice for tomorrow’s Traffic & Parking Commission Bike Route Pilot meeting but couldn’t find it? You’re not alone: it simply wasn’t posted online. Not on the Bike Plan Committee’s documents page; nor on the Commission’s agenda page; and not even listed on the city’s web calendar. This meeting seems to have disappeared into a black hole like much of the public input given to Transportation to date.

Until advised of the oversight this morning, a member of the public couldn’t find out anything at all about the meeting being held by the Traffic & Parking Commission tomorrow night. The city says that notice was posted on the cork boards that are the officially-designated posting locations, and we’ll take officials at their word. But not to post it anywhere on the city’s website?

Traffic & Parking Commission Pilot Agenda 2012-5-9
Better late than never?

Looking at the agenda that was belatedly posted today at 11 am, we can see that the agenda is marked ‘revised’ and dated today. The revised version adds several agenda items evidently not on the original agenda. (Which we didn’t see because we don’t go to corkboards to keep up with city business in the Internet era.) Those added items are:

  • Bicycle Ad Hoc Committee Comments
  • Traffic & Parking Commission Discussion
  • Recommendation (“Staff proposes that the Traffic & Parking Commission recommend up to five Pilot Bicycle Routes for City Council Consideration”).

Now, if those items were added only today, what was the purpose of the meeting to begin with? The only items on that pre-revised agenda were 1) staff and consultant presentations and 2) public comments. These comprised the agenda of both the Pilot public meetings on April 11th and April 25th. Commission discussion and recommendation evidently weren’t on the agenda!

Two problems related to the posting ‘oversight’ come to mind from our perspective. First, there exists a general disregard for public input throughout this bike planning process; and second, there is exhibited a clear contempt for public participation on the part of the Public Works Department.

The failure to post advance notice for public meetings has characterized this bike planning effort since the very beginning, for instance. Notices routinely came as late as 5 pm the day before each meeting, which gave us little time to get the word out to other cyclists. Requests for earlier notice were disregarded, and pleas to hold bike meetings later, in the evening when more folks could attend, were summarily dispatched with a succinct, “We’ll see.” (It never happened. Read more about our take.)‘‘‘