The Bicycle Civil Liberties Union

Bicycle Civil Liberties Union
Box 15071
Berkeley CA 94712-6071

Phone: (510) 273-9288
FAX: (510) 486-1528

Web: http://www.bclu.org/

 

June 26, 2000

The Honorable Gray Davis
Office of the Governor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Please Support Bicycle and Pedestrian Legislation and Provide Direct Funding

Dear Governor Davis:

Thank you for using your leadership to emphasize transportation and traffic congestion relief. These important issues affect the health, environment, use of time, family, and quality of life of every citizen in California. Transportation infrastructure also directly affects land use, which either encourages or limits sprawl the driving factor that increases traffic congestion.

In the June 16 edition of the San Franciso Chronicle you were quoted as saying, "Im a great believer there should be something for everyone in the budget." This contrasts with the fact that your $5.3 billion Transportation Plan for five years includes no funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure despite a request from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for $80 Million for the San Francisco Bay Area Region alone, and a request from the Legislative Smart Growth Caucus which asked for $250 million statewide.

Your commitment to multimodal transportation, public health and safety, community, mobility for seniors, youths, and those with special needs, and congestion relief is not complete without sincere attention to the walking and bicycling trips which weave together the fabric of any truly multimodal system -- facilitating connections to transit as well as local travel.

In the Bay Area, bicyclists and pedestrians make up at least 11% of all transportation trips (by conservative estimates), yet suffer 25% of fatalities and presently receive less than 1% of funding. Throughout California, the total number of trips by bicyclists and pedestrians is also substantial, but the potential has only begun to be tapped. It is within our reach to increase walking and bicycling while reducing injuries and fatalities. To this end, we the undersigned, are writing to respectfully request the following:

  1. SUPPORT CALTRANS COORDINATORS AND THE ABANDONDED RAILROAD ACCOUNT FUND IN BUDGET: Please keep the budgetary inclusions for the 14 Caltrans bicycle coordinator positions, and for the $5 million for the abandoned railroad account.
  1. SIGN PRO-BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN LEGISLATION INTO LAW: There are seven bills currently pending in the Legislature which we expect will reach your desk for your signature. We are asking for you to please sign the following bills into law: SB1629 (Sher), SB 1772 (Brulte), SB 1809 (Johnston), AB 1885 (Correa), AB 2140 (Keeley), AB 2522 (Shelley), and AB 2767 (Jackson).
  1. OPEN BAY AREA BRIDGES TO BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN ACCESS: Bicycle and pedestrian access on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been requested and desired since the 1970s. Thousands would use such access daily, providing true congestion relief and a major tourist attraction. We are asking for you to direct Caltrans to immediately open the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to bicycle and pedestrian traffic. There is a 12 wide shoulder on the bridge which is currently grossly underutilized. Immediate access could be provided cheaply by merely striping a multiuse sidewalk, putting up signs, and covering the expansion grates. We are also requesting immediate bicycle access to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge by re-configuring the auto lanes (reducing their width slightly from 12 feet to 11 feet). This would provide enough space for a five-foot bicycle lane/motorist safety lane: more width than bicyclists and pedestrians currently enjoy on the Antioch bridge (another 50 MPH Bay Area toll bridge). We are also requesting full funding for the West Span path on the Bay Bridge, which would connect with the proposed new East Span's multiuse path.

Passing legislation and providing funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects now is a good idea because:

We are hopeful that you, Governor Davis, will embrace bicycling and walking and usher in a new era of transportation policy in California that will encourage and fund bicycle and pedestrian-friendly planning. This is long overdue in California. You are in a position to make bicycling and walking an integrated part of 21st century transportation policy.

We look forward to working with you in the future to help provide mobility and access to all Californians regardless of age, ability or income level. Please contact us at any time for further assistance. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

PLEASE SEE THE UNDERSIGNED SIGNATURES

cc: Senator Burton
Senator Brulte
Senator Johnston
Senator Karnette
Senator Kelley
Assembly Member Hertzberg
Assembly Member Baugh
Assembly Member Florez
Assembly Member Jackson
Assembly Member Keeley
Assembly Member Mazzoni
Assembly Member Shelley
Assembly Member Torlakson

Assembly Member Wiggins

Printed on 100% Post-Consumer Content, ReCYCLED Paper


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