UPDATE>>> 6-12-2013 The City Council has quadrupled their budget for bike infrastructure… just last night. So this will raise the numbers in this post from 50k to 200k. Awesome stuff. THANK YOU CITY COUNCIL! Send them a thank you by clicking at the link at the bottom of this post!
After a long and vocal public discussion San Luis Obispo’s 7 major city goals were finalized a few months ago. Amongst these 7 major goals was one titled “Bikes and Pedestrian Paths” .
Having decided these major city goals the City is next supposed to build it’s two year budget in order to implement those goals. SLO is discussing this two year budget this week… so here is something to be aware of:
SLO City Council’s General Fund Budget for: SEE UPDATE AT TOP OF THIS POST
building new bicycle infrastructure for the public: $50,000 (25k per year) see update at top of this post
purchasing new automobiles for staff: $4,000,000
In a nutshell…. Your City Council has decided to spend just 1 penny on new public bike infrastructure… for every dollar they spend on buying new cars for city staff.
Nowhere in the public meetings was “new cars for everyone” brought up. Yet somehow new cars as a budget expense is almost 100 times larger than any funds directed toward bicycle infrastructure. (this same budget allocates the same money for lawnmowers as it does new bicycle improvements… it also allocates the same amount just to hire a company to count traffic… SLO spends more of it’s general fund dollars on firehoses than it does on bicycle infrastructure… SLO spends more on drain repairs at City Hall than it does on bike paths)
When you look at it… the budget does include a few large ticket bicycle expenditures that make it look like the city is spending lots on bikes… but in reality, when you dig into the details… 100% of the funds for these larger improvements come from entities other than our city. For instance:
Railroad Safety bicycle trail -Taft to Pepper
0 dollars from our General Fund,
$1,759,000 TIF funds (state transportation improvement funds) and “future” grants as yet undetermined
Bob Jones Trail Connection at LOVR
0 dollars from General Fund
600,000 from a State Highway Grant
Bob Jones Trail Octagon Barn Connection
0 dollars from General fund
165k from federal and state grants SLO is just now applying for
The only actual general fund dollars for bike infrastructure is a “misc bicycle improvements fund” of 25k per year (see update at top of post)… which mostly goes to painting “sharrows” onto streets. SLO will never realize it’s bike plan if our council continues to push bikes to the bottom of the list.