June 27, 2003
Hon. Beth Labson Freeman
Judge of the Superior Court
Hall of Justice
400 County Center; 2nd Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063-1655
Dear Judge Freeman:
Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the findings of the Grand Jury related to Bicycle Safety in San Mateo County. It is very obvious that the Committee of the Grand Jury that studied this issue spent considerable effort and did extensive research on this issue. As the Committee has discovered, C/CAG has a very active and forward thinking Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) that provides advice and guidance to C/CAG on these programs and issues. Although we have come a long way in addressing bicycle and pedestrian issues, clearly there is much more that needs to be done. The following are responses to each of the Grand Jury’s recommendations including the steps that will be taken to implement the suggestions where appropriate.
Within one year, San Mateo County and every city without a long-term strategic bicycle safety and transportation plan should develop one that includes:
- The priorities set forth in the San Mateo County Comprehensive Bicycle Route Plan.
- Abicycle advisory committee.
- At least one city employee whose job responsibilities involve bicycle transportation and safety issues.
- Coordination of roadway construction projects with neighboring cities.
Response to Recommendation 1.
C/CAG commissioned the development of the San Mateo County Comprehensive Bicycle Route Plan in 2000. It represents a long-term vision of bicycle programs and improvements for all of San Mateo County. Copies of the Plan in paper and electronic form have been provided to all of the cities in San Mateo County.
- C/CAG will encourage all local jurisdictions in San Mateo County to adopt the Comprehensive Bicycle Route Plan and make modifications to the Plan that reflect the unique characteristics of the local jurisdiction.
- The Transportation Development Act (TDA), Article 3 Program is the major funding source available to C/CAG for the funding of bicycle and pedestrian projects. C/CAG is now making it a requirement that local jurisdictions applying for TDA Article 3 funding must have approval from its local bicycle advisory committee. C/CAG will develop guidelines for the establishment of such committees and provide them to all local jurisdictions.
- San Mateo County is composed of 21 local jurisdictions, many of which have extremely small administrative structures. In fact some jurisdictions contract out some of the city services including Public Works. C/CAG will work with the jurisdictions to ensure that each jurisdiction identifies a contact person for issues dealing with bicycle safety. In some instances this individual may be a contractor.
- As one of the major funders of roadway construction projects in San Mateo County, C/CAG will incorporate into its funding criteria the requirement that projects must be coordinated with neighboring cities.
The county and cities should seek grant funding to support bicycle projects and programs in their communities.
Response to Recommendation 2.
C/CAG will assist the County and cities in seeking grant funding for bicycle projects and programs by notifying them of available funding sources and offering guidance where appropriate in preparing grant applications. At least once each year C/CAG will prepare and distribute to the County and the cities, a comprehensive listing of potential sources of funding for bicycle projects and programs.
C/CAG should increase its efforts to address bicycle issues within the cities by:
- Developing a community outreach program for bicyclists that includes the distribution of designated bicycle route maps and safety tips, and provision of free maps to local bicycle shops and the non-profit bicycle organizations.
- incorporating in its Congestion Management Plan the requirement that consideration must be given to bicycle safety during new construction and roadway improvement projects.
Response to Recommendation 3.
- C/CAG does not directly implement programs. It is primarily a planning agency and a source of funding for bicycle improvements. In the past C/CAG has encouraged one or more local jurisdictions to sponsor projects such as the development of a countywide bicycle route map. Funding for such efforts however, has been diminishing. This recommendation will be taken to the C/CAG BPAC for consideration as it develops plans for the 2004-05 TDA Article 3 Program in the fall. This will include consideration as to whether free bicycle maps or maps provided at a nominal fee should be made available.
- C/CAG is currently in the process of updating the Congestion Management Program for 2003. This recommendation of the Grand Jury will be incorporated into the Program.
C/CAG should prioritize and fund projects that demonstrate inter city coordination of bicycle projects, e.g., bicycle lanes and paths.
Response to Recommendation 4.
The TDA Article 3 Program includes criteria that promote the connection to and continuity of other significant bicycle routes. The C/CAG Board will request that its BPAC consider strengthening this criterion when it develops the scoring and application process for the 2004-05 Program. This process generally begins in the fall.
If there are any questions about the items contained in this response, please do not hesitate to contact Walter Martone at 6510 599-1465.
Michael J. King