Friday, November 20, 2009

ALERT: Save Our Bike Lanes!

I don't think I'm overstating anything when I say that the following email alert fromConsider Biking is important and may help to set a precedent that guides Columbus bicycle policy for a long time.

Whether you agree with the concept of bike lanes is pretty irrelevant here - we need to show support for ALL bicycle-friendly measures and this is the first big challenge we're encountering.

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Consider Biking Action Alert!
November 20, 2009
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The proposal to stripe bike lanes on W. Broad Street through the Hilltop Community is at a critical juncture. We need your help now!

Through a public input process over the last year, and in accordance with the City's Bicentennial Bikeways Plan, the Hilltop Community RESIDENTS have OVERWHELMINGLY expressed a desire to have bike lanes striped on Broad St.

However, as expected, some business owners along Broad St. have reservations about the subsequent loss of parking on one side of the road. (Despite the fact that additional parking will be marked on the south side and many more off-street parking alternatives identified.)

This bike lane project could set a precedent for the future of bike accommodations in Columbus. Residents across Columbus want bike lanes, and the Bike Plan reccomends them in many areas. If specific bicycle accommodations aren't included in this critical corridor...our past five years of work to develop and begin implementation of the Plan...will be compromised.

WE MUST TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION:
1) It is critical that bicyclists show up - in person - at the Hilltop Area Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Dec 1st at 7:00 p.m. at the Hilltop Branch of the Columbus Library - 511 S. Hague. This will be THE MOST IMPORTANT action pro-bike-lane activists can make. This will, in fact, be the most significant call for action for bicycling we'll make in 2009!

2) Please provide written comment to the project planning team here www.hilltopmobility.com as soon as possible. The deadline is Monday, Nov 23 - however, your comments will likley be collected for a brief period afterwards. We encourage you to support the option that recommends bike lanes on BOTH sides of Broad St. Obviously, this is a critical east-west corridor to provide safe accomodations for bicyclists. More importantly, the recommended "road diet" and addition of bike lanes will add to the livability and resurrection of this neighborhood.

More details, with some of the neighborhood input statistics, are available here.

We've opened the post on our website to comments. You might also find a dialogue about this proposal at Columbus Underground.

Please contact jeff@considerbiking.org if you plan to attend the Hilltop Area Commission meeting, and would like to be included in a distribution list of talking points for the Commission meeting.

Consider Biking is the local 501c(3) non-profit, bicycle advocacy organization that works to get more people bicycling. We promote and encourgae all forms of bicycling - sport, fitness, health, touring, andventuring, utilitarian, commuting, kids to school - if it's bicycling,we support it!

And most importantly, we're your representative voice that works hard to advocate for more trails, road improvements, better laws, more support from businesses, etc. We're working hard,so you can just ride.

Also, we'll continue to communicate breaking news and updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Please use this opportunity to follow Consider Biking on these two social media sites so we can activate our troops quickly to ensure the voice of the cycling community is heard at public meetings, legislative chambers, and in the appropriate judicial systems when needed.

Donate to Consider Biking via Workplace Giving Camapaigns
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Do you work for the The Ohio State University, State of Ohio, the City of Columbus, or any workplace that participates in the Combined Charitable Campaign?

Consider Biking has been a 501c(3) non-profit corporation for a number of years. But this past year, we've joined a workplace giving federation and are eligible to recieve your workplace giving donations!

Look for us in your giving guides as "Consider Biking." We live under the Community Shares of Mid Ohio federation.

Thanks for your support.
Contact Information
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Web site - www.considerbiking.org
Facebook - Facebook Page
Twitter - Considerbikeoh
Executive Director, Jeff Stephens - jeff@considerbiking.org 614-579-1127

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People, not speed.

2 comments:

  1. Is it really a good idea to frame business owners as the bad guy in all this? Shouldn't we be working to bring all voices to the table and addressing those concerns?

    My apologies if I read the note the wrong way.

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  2. I do agree with you that this is important- but I think we differ on why. It is important not because we MUST win this battle or we can expect to lose others along the way. It is important because as the bike plan is implemented we need leaders who can build consensus and are willing to do the work to engage communities.

    Now, that takes work- and most people are willing to make some kind of compromise. But you have to actually do that work and build those relationships within communities and earn trust to move things forward in a way that everyone can live with. I believe the complaint here isn't so much about the specifics of square-footage-of-pavement. It seems that this community feels like they did not have adequate input. Good or bad, right or wrong- if that is the perception let's get that fixed.

    If a workable consensus hasn't been created then storming city hall over the matter is going to do more harm than good to the big picture cause. Sure, you may cram some facilities down the community's throat- but then you'll have create an embittered community in the process.

    If this is our local flavor of advocacy it is going to be a long and arduous implementation for the bike plan... and at the end we may have more lines and arrow painted on the street by 2012 we are going to lose some serious capital with people and communities and businesses toward cycling in general. That would be tragic and actually would set back local cycling in a huge way.

    Getting combative is a poor contingency plan for failing to build a workable plan with a community. You can end up losing a war while winning every single battle that way.

    ReplyDelete