On Monday, June 13th at 12:00pm, the San Diego City Council will meet to vote on the finalized Fiscal Year 2023 budget. This will be our last chance to get a doubling in funding for the city’s quick-build bikeways program, so we need as many many people as possible to contact their Councilmembers in advance of that meeting, and to speak at the meeting.
Last June, Mayor Todd Gloria provided a groundbreaking $1.1 million in funding for a program that would build nine miles of safe bikeways per year. This program, known as the Sustainable Transportation for All Ages and Abilities Team, or STAT, is mandated to use “quick-build” techniques such as road restripings and flex-post installations to rapidly expand San Diego’s network of bikeways that are safe for people of all ages and abilities.
The Bike Coalition enthusiastically supports this program, and sees it as the best option San Diego has to rapidly improve the safety of cyclists and the number of people who feel comfortable riding bikes. However, since receiving funding in June 2021, this team has not begun building safe bikeways. We think the city needs to invest more in the STAT to ensure that it has the resources it needs to get to work. Moreover, we think its goal of building only nine miles of bikeways per year is far too low, considering the ambitious goals that the city has set for increasing bicycle mode share and improving road safety.
Since December 2021, we have been asking Mayor Todd Gloria and the City Council to double funding for the STAT team in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, and to double their yearly mileage target for bikeways from nine to eighteen. Despite support from six of eight Councilmembers, this request has still not been funded after two rounds of negotiations. The budget hearing on Monday, June 13th is our last chance to show the city the importance of this funding.
How can you help?
#1: Email Your City Councilmember:
Let your City Councilmember know that you support increased funding for quick-build bikeways. Only a few emails can be enough to convince a councilmember to support a funding request at this stage in the process. Simply send a quick email to the city councilmember for your district. If you don’t know your district, you can find it here.
District 1: Joe LaCava – JoeLaCava@sandiego.gov
District 2: Dr. Jennifer Campbell – firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3: Stephen Whitburn – StephenWhitburn@sandiego.gov
District 4: Monica Montgomery-Steppe – email@example.com
District 5: Marni Von Wilpert – MarnivonWilpert@sandiego.gov
District 6: Chris Cate – firstname.lastname@example.org
District 7: Raul Campillo – RaulCampillo@sandiego.gov
District 8: Vivian Moreno – email@example.com
District 9: Sean Elo-Rivera – SeanEloRivera@sandiego.gov
If you’d like, you can copy and paste our template email below. The more you can modify it, make it your own, and infuse it with your personal experiences, the better!
Dear Councilmember __________
My name is __________ and I am a resident of District __
I am writing to ask you to support increased funding for the City of San Diego’s quick-build bikeways program, or Sustainable Transportation for All Ages and Abilities Team (STAT). As the city encourages many more of its residents to commute by bike in order to meet its Climate Action goals, it needs to ensure all of these new riders that they will be safe. Right now, many of the crucial roads connecting neighborhoods in San Diego are high-speed, multi-lane arterials with either no bike infrastructure at all, or only narrow painted bike lanes. Not only are these roads dangerous for bicyclists, but they dissuade most inexperienced bicyclists from even attempting to use bikes for transportation.
To make riding a bike a practical and comfortable transportation option for more San Diegans, the city needs to act rapidly to install high-quality bicycle infrastructure on the many miles of dangerous roadway in our city. While traditional Capital Improvements projects like the Bayshore Bikeway are wonderful, these projects have been moving far too slowly towards the goal of creating a comprehensive network of safe bikeways throughout San Diego. By using low-cost, low-impact materials to construct bikeways in a matter of weeks, rather than months, the STAT can build San Diego’s all ages and abilities bikeway network with the urgency that it deserves.
Currently, with $1.35 million in funding, the STAT is mandated to build nine miles of new bikeways per year. To allow this team to rapidly build out San Diego’s bike network, its funding should be doubled to $2.7 million for Fiscal Year 2023.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this request.
#2: Speak at the Final Budget Hearing
The final budget hearing will be on Monday, June 13th at 12 noon, with options to both attend in person and call in virtually via Zoom. The budget discussion is the last item on the agenda, so you do not need to join the meeting until 12:45. You can view the agenda here.
Once you have joined the Zoom meeting, wait for the discussion of Item 604, Approval of the City’s FY 2023 Budget, to begin, then use the reactions feature at the bottom of your screen to raise your hand. When the moderator calls on you, please be prepared to speak for one minute,
A sample script is below. At public meetings, personal stories are always the most impactful, so try to include as many of your own experiences as possible.
Good afternoon Council President Elo-Rivera and members of the City Council,
My name is __________ and I am a resident of District __ and a bike commuter/ avid cyclist/ someone interested in riding my bike more often.
Today, I want to ask you to double the funding for San Diego’s quick-build bikeways program from 1.35 to 2.7 million dollars, which would allow the program to build 18 miles of safe bikeways per year.
San Diego’s new bicycle infrastructure has transformed my mobility patterns. New bike lanes, trails, and Class IV bikeways have made me much more comfortable riding my bike on a daily basis, and have allowed me to go places where I never would have gone before. Nonetheless, to get to most places in San Diego, I still have to ride on several sections of dangerous roadway where no bike infrastructure exists to speak of.
These unfilled gaps are a huge safety hazard and will inevitably cause more serious injuries and deaths if they are not filled soon, especially as the city encourages more people than ever to ride bikes as part of its Climate Action Plan. The City needs to double funding for the quick build program to ensure that these dangerous gaps are filled as soon as possible.
Thank you for helping us advocate for better bicycle infrastructure in San Diego. This might not be as exciting as advocating for a new bike lane in your neighborhood, but it could be our most important public meeting of the year.