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Posts Tagged ‘SLO’

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!

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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.

Here’s a link to the city council’s email addresses

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This is a map showing where water meters have turned over frequently.

According to city-data.com the northern 93405 zip code section of San Luis Obispo is 36% owner occupied while the southern 93401 portion is 43% owner occupied housing.  Contrast this to a +/-60% owner occupied average state wide.

It would be interesting to know the evolution of this over time.  I know that in my own neighborhood Downtown… there are less and less rentals and more owner occupants ever year.  But this has only been happening for the last 10 years or so.  Prior to this my area was almost entirely rentals.  The areas seeing the largest increase in rentals appear to be those surrounding Cal Poly.

It is akin to squeezing a balloon… when the rentals leave one area… they pop up in another.  Cal Poly has suggested that they are interested in seeing all first and second year students live on campus.  This would be warmly received by the long term residents of SLO.

It is a two edged sword living in a college town.  I love the vibrancy, life, and financial stability that the college provides.  I also love having so many talented professors and the knowledge and experience they bring our city.  But the landlords that do not maintain their properties and the tenants that do not respect their neighbors act as a sort of cancer around town.  The neighborhoods most affected by lack of maintenance on the part of some owners and lack of control on the part of some tenants… are those on this heat map that appear the most red.

Most tenants are awesome I should comment…. it is usually only a percentage that cause issues.   90% these issues can be resolved through better lease language, better property management, and higher property maintenance standards on the part of landlords.

If you own a rental in town… this a basically a business you are profiting from.  I personally believe that businesses should be treated differently than residences.  Owner occupants usually care for their properties far better than landlords…. but when the landlords outnumber the owner occupants… and their lack of maintenance impacts the balance of the community so greatly… it becomes a serious issue for the  long term viability of that city.

Something we all need to think about.

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Well… I suppose it had to happen eventually.  That damn book on happiness has outed San Luis Obispo, California big time.  We were on Oprah a couple of days ago. Jenny McCarthy interviewed a bunch of people… and toured around the city and general environs….  talking in that kinda goofy odd “Crest toothpaste spokesmodel” way she has.

I know EVERY SINGLE person interviewed in this segment!   I suppose that it is these social connections that make you feel good about a place.  You can go anywhere and find a conversation almost anytime you like.

Of late I am starting to see more saccharine smiles on tourists around town… Very Stepford wifey.  Wandering around… looking up a lot… as though this were New York maybe… or perhaps like animals that have just been let of of the cage… in a kind of happiness stupor.

The wine and  cheeze places are no doubt doing bang up business… and it is hell to rent a bike I bet.  Oprah Effect they call it.

Here’s kind of a cool overview of SLO and the surrounding area  (a “tilt shift” video)… for some reason a shot of Morro Bay is the first image though!

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