Posts Tagged ‘de anza trail’

This morning the Board of the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) unanimously adopted the feasibility study over the Corridor that will eventually contain the Edna Price Canyon trail between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach.  This will eventually become a segment of the Anza Historic Trail.  This study has been ongoing for the last year or so and is the result of a CalTrans Community Based Transportation Planning Grant.  It was developed by Questa Engineering.

Next steps are the creation of various Environmental Impact Reports (EIR’s) that will cover the various segments of the trail.IMG_2603

The Feasibility Study identified  opportunities and and constraints along various trail segment options.  There are preferred routes… secondary options etc… all of which need to be analyzed in great detail taking into consideration all the various constraints so as to be able to create the best ultimate alternative given the constraints.

It has been about 8 years of work so far.  I started chatting with stakeholders circa 2008.. and that work led to an initial mapping outlined in previous posts… and then advocacy work with the various communities and stakeholder groups along the route.  There are many steps still to go… but we have started… and we are well along the way.

thank you to all the jurisdictions, individuals, and groups that have lent their support.


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ShowImageBy Eric Meyer (with Dan Rivoire) spring 2015

Eight years of careful planning — and a bit of luck — paid off last year in a big way for bicyclists in San Luis Obispo. We amended our transportation plan (known as the “Circulation Element”) in three very innovative ways.

First, we revised our transportation mode objectives, dramatically increasing the bike and pedestrian trip goals.

The new mode split goal:

50 percent motor vehicles
12 percent transit
20 percent bicycles
18 percent walking, car pools, and other forms

This is one of the most pedestrian- and bike-centric modal split objectives in the United States.

Second, we changed our roadway analysis from Level of Service (LOS)to Multi-Modal Level of Service (MMLOS).

San Luis Obispo rejected Level of Service — an outdated standard that measures transportation projects only on the basis of automobile delay — in favor of Multi-Modal Level of Service. MMLOS puts all modes on a level playing field so that the needs of one mode may only trump the needs of another in a manner designated by the modal hierarchy given to that location.

With this MMLOS objective in mind, we re-prioritized the modal hierarchy of all of our streets. Some high-traffic arterials are automobile-focused, then transit, then bikes, then peds. Other streets have different hierarchies. Residential neighborhood streets are prioritized for pedestrians first. Major arterials are prioritized for transit first. It is a complex “complete streets” effort that will balance the needs of all modes in the city over time as streets are rebuilt or modified.

Third (and most important!): We created a policy that allocates general fund transportation spending by mode to match the mode share percentage goals desired.

If you remember only one thing from this article, this is it.

This policy mandates that our city must allocate general fund transportation spending at the same ratio as the mode share goal desired. Meaning 20 percent of funding needs to go to bicycling.

This is a huge shift from business as usual in America.

These changes didn’t happen all at once. They happened over the course of about eight years under the guidance of many minds at Bike SLO County and with the help of many hundreds of citizens. If we citizens had tried to make this all happen at once during a Circulation Element update, we would have failed.

It happened because we focused on the smallest relevant plans first. Our first opportunity for meaningful policy change came when the City Planning Commission was approving the Climate Action Plan, with the aim of reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. One of the suggested strategies in this plan was to decrease single occupancy vehicle trips. One way to do that is to encourage an increase in the mode share of alternative modes such as biking and walking. I was on the city planning commission at that time and pitched the idea of pushing the bike mode share goal to 20 percent, thinking that we might get 15 percent as a compromise. But in a surprise vote, the balance of the planning commission agreed to the new 20 percent bike mode share goal.  The City Council later approved the new Climate Action Plan.

But other older city plans, like the Bicycle Master Plan and the city Circulation Element, still had the old 10 percent bike goal. (Note that the current bike mode share is only about 6 percent.) So a year or two later, when the Bicycle Master Plan came up for review, it was modified to match the new 20% from the Climate Action Plan. Since city staff were able to explain that they were merely updating the bike plan to match the more recent climate action plan, it went through without a hitch.

A few years later, the city’s transportation and land use plan, known as LUCE (for “Land Use Element and Circulation Element”) came up for updating. Because I was a current City Planning Commissioner I was appointed as chairman of the citizen task force dedicated to overseeing the update. The task force debated where to go with the modal split percentage goals in this new Circulation Element.  But the simple fact that the Planning Commission and City Council had already approved the 20% figure in the Climate Action and Bicycle Master plans led to the task force agreeing 20% bike mode share should also be the goal in this new Circulation Element.

In addition to this new modal split objective, the new MMLOS policy, and the requirement to allocate transportation funding in the same ratio as the desired modal split were all incorporated into the new Circulation Element Update.

This 20 percent mode bike mode share goal would never have been approved in the LUCE had it not already been part of the two smaller plans.

This is a key point and may be a pathway that others can follow to create similar changes in other jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, Dan Rivoire (Executive Director of Bike SLO County) was elected to City Council shortly after the City Planning Commission approved the LUCE update, so when it came before the council, his was the deciding vote that approved it and he is now in a position to help shepherd the new prioritization of funding.

Together these new policies create one of the strongest funding mechanisms for bicycle infrastructure in the nation. We hope that other cities might be able to learn from our efforts.

None of this would have been possible without the efforts of hundreds of members of the public and the tireless efforts of many Bike SLO County Advocates who showed up at City Planning and City Council meetings to voice their concerns and desires. It is the public that creates the demand and the advocate’s job is simply to help the public and the city find the way forward.

And our efforts have been recognized!  Last month the City of San Luis Obispo was awarded gold status by the League of American Bicyclists.  This ranking puts SLO amongst the top 30 cities nationwide for bicycling. Thank you SLO bike advocates!



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Here is a link to the latest info on the BOB JONES TRAIL.  skip to page 3, project 5 for the latest info.



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Every so often the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG)looks at the unmet transit needs across the county.  There is a comment section online where you can list what transit needs you feel are important.  This includes Bicycle improvements you would like to see in the COUNTY.  Regional trails are obviously big on my mind so I posted my comments on the the SLOCOG site.

Anyone’s comments are welcome… So I encourage you all to post your thoughts on unmet cycling needs (or any transit related needs) at:      http://www.slocog.org/Join/Unmet_Needs.php

Please mention the ANZA trail… and any other improvements you are interested in… such as a trail from SLO to Morro Bay, SLO to Los Osos etc.Remember… this is for the COUNTY… and unincorporated cities…  not so much for inside the incorporated city limits.

SLOCOG will be meeting in early 2013… so get your comments in now.


BTW…Thank You! to my friend Dallam Oliver-Lee for these links!

More info at:  http://library.slocog.org/PDFs/Agency_Mtgs_Agendas/TTAC_CTAC/2012/September%202012%20TTAC%20CTAC%20Agendas/D-3%202013-2014%20Unmet%20Transit%20Needs%20Schedule,%20%20Methodology,%20Definitions,%20and%20Criteria.pdf

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UPDATE… My wife and I ended up buying one of these parcels on our own… and placing an easement for the Anza trail over it… which we gave to the SLO county Land Conservancy.   We then resold the parcel with the easement over it at our cost to a neighboring landowner late in 2012.  So the following post is sort of a non issue.  Feel free to ignore it as no money from the county needed to be spent… we got the trail right of way effectively for free.

Today the San Luis Obispo County supervisors voted 4-1 (Supervisor Mechum opposed) to allocate funds for appraisals, title searches, phase 1 environmental assessments, and other data related to the possibility of purchasing the bike path parcels in Edna along the Juan Batista de Anza Trail route.  This is great news.  HOWEVER… they also stated that they would only pay a minority share of the cost of these parcels rather than the full amount as recommended by the Parks Commission.  So this means that parties interested in seeing this bike path come to fruition… like me… will need to fundraise to the tune of approx 225k. (a bit more than half of the property cost.)  They have the right to do this… times are tough at the county… so I understand… but I don’t have to be happy about it.

So we have our work to do… and the various advocacy groups are proceeding now with the options available for obtaining the funds we didn’t know we were going to have to raise until today.  We have approx 4 months to do it so it will be a real push.

I guess I should try and remember… this is California… soon the state will be telling drivers that if they want roads without potholes… then get some asphalt and a shovel and go fix them yourself.

We somehow seem to have plenty of state funds around for more prisons though…  end of rant.

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Note… this meeting has been cancelled and moved to August 21July 24th is the date that the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will be discussing the bike path property purchase along the “de Anza Trail” corridor between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach.  I don’t know the exact agenda yet… so cannot give a time.   If you cannot attend please at least fill out a comment card in support of purchasing properties that will lead to the trail at: http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Page8417.aspx

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This is an update listing the various letters of support that we have from agencies around the County urging our San Luis Obispo County Supervisors to spend the Parks Facilities Funds that the Parks Commission has asked them to spend… for the various parcels for sale along the Juan Batista de Anza Trail between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach:

City of San Luis Obispo

Pismo Beach Parks and Recreation Commission

the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County

the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition

San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Advisory Committee

San Luis Obispo County Trails Advisory Committee

Heal SLO (Healthy Eating Active Living)

San Luis Obispo COunty Association of Parks and Recreation Administrators (SLOCAPRA)

San Luis Obispo Parks, Open Space and Trails (SLOPOST)

San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club

Safe Routes to School

National Parks Service

Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers

San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District

Action for Healthy Communities Coalition


A letter of support from the City of Arroyo Grande is on their Consent agenda for their June Meeting… and I am on the Agenda of the June Pismo Beach City Council in the hopes of getting a letter of Consent from them as well.




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