Tonight's city council meeting in San Marino had 3 bicycle related items on the agenda:
Bike Week Proclamation
Only formalized a few months ago by a group of San Marino residents and parents, the San Marino Rides Committee (SMR) was able to encourage City leaders to dedicate the week of November 17-23 as San Marino Bike Week for 2013. Mayor Ward presented the proclamation certificate to approximately 12 local youth and several SMR organizers. This was the first bicycle-related proclamation in San Marino's long history.
Bike & Pedestrian Master Plan
Assistant City Manager, Lucy Garcia provided a thorough synopsis of recent efforts to secure bids for the development of a City-wide bicycle and pedestrian master plan. Previous efforts to secure a consultant resulted in one proposal submission, which led to a Council decision to re-release the call for bids in an effort to encourage more applicants. Moreover, the Council approved an increase in funds, bringing the total to $30,000 to be allocated toward the project.
The second time around, the City received 8 proposal submissions of which only 5 were within budget. However, due to time constraints, City staff was unable to thoroughly evaluate the proposals and generate a recommendation for a planning consultant. According to a City Code, the City Manager has the authority to execute service contracts $30,000 or less thereby nullifying the need for a Council vote. Therefore, Vice Mayor Dennis Kneier motioned to move forward with a Bicycle Master Plan and allow the City Manager to determine the most suitable firm. The motioned carried with a 5-0 vote.
Lorain Road Bikeway
The most contentious issue of the evening was the consideration of installing a Class-II Bicycle Lane on Lorain Rd.
Despite the fact that a lane would not require any major changes to the roadway such as a loss of street parking or removal of a travel lane, an outspoken group raised concerns of reducing property value, maintaining community aesthetic and attracting non-residents. Those in favor highlighted the most important point...safety should dictate design! In this case, the striping of bicycle lanes would help improve safety by narrowing the automobile travel lane from over 15 feet to 11 feet (a step that dissuades speeding by motorists and would help address the dangerous, existing 35+mph speeds) and providing dedicated space for cyclists.
After hearing all the speakers and accounting for the numerous emails and phone calls, Mayor Ward motioned to defer the bike lane on Lorain Rd. until the development of the Bicycle Master Plan. The motion carried 4-1. No bike lane just yet.