We hope you joined us on March 2nd for GSRP’s first ever bike tour of our area! More than 40 community members attended including councilmembers Ronit Bryant and Margaret Abe-Koga, Environmental Planning Commissioner Margaret Capriles, and Community Development Director Randy Tsuda. I could tell you all about it but we received three write-ups in local papers. Check out the articles and take a gander at the tour brochure to get a sense of the ride if you could not join us. If you did join us, you might want to read articles from the Mountain View Voice and the San Jose Mercury News to see if you are in the pictures or mentioned in the articles.
Special thanks to the speakers who shared their experiences on the tour: Valeria Craven, Howie and Dana Meyerson, John and Karen Farrell from Bumble Bee Health Foods, Elena Pacheco, Ariel T. Mendez, Thida Cornes, and Jack Miller. We would also like to thank Google for providing loaner bikes and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition for providing liability insurance. Safe Moves was also in attendance to share information on the city’s bike education program at schools!
At meetings on the Tuesday and Wednesday following the tour, Councilmembers and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee discussed funding for bicycle and pedestrian safety projects in the context of the crucial Capital Improvement Program (CIP) list.
CIP projects are items that City Council deems important to the City of Mountain View and are prioritized annually. The projects cost over $50,000 and cover needs such as improved Fire Department Communication systems and upgraded methane release valves in North Bayshore to street safety projects such as the potential road diet for California Street and bike lanes on Escuela Avenue.
During the Council meetings, elected officials and members of the public spoke strongly in support of projects that improve safety and livability, some even cited the bike tour and newspaper articles. Ultimately, California Street and Escuela Avenue made it into the CIP list! The city will examine a range of alternatives to improve the safety and aesthetics of both streets and the Great Streets Rengstorff Park road diet proposal for California Street will likely be in the mix.
Councilmembers also spoke strongly in favor of allocating funding for immediate short-term improvements such as new striping and improved lighting.
The CIP list must still go through a final round of Council review in May, but we’re over the first hurdle and are ecstatic with Council’s enthusiasm for crafting safer, more livable streets in the Rengstoff Park area along with other parts of the city.
We will need your help leading up to the critical City Council funding meeting in May (Date TBD). If you are interesting in meeting individually with councilmembers, please contact us. However, attending the meeting is the most effective way of voicing support for safer, livable streets in the Rengstorff area. We know it can be difficult to find time for a Council meeting, but they are usually scheduled in the evening around 6PM on a Tuesday. If you attend just one council meeting, this is the one to attend.
The city hasn’t nailed down the meeting date yet but we will let you know through our newsletter as soon as we know. Please sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already and we hope to see you in May!