UPDATE No. 2: And now we have a story from George Hostetter. You can and should read it, but suffice it to say: None of council member Brandau’s arguments hold water with me. This post from the people at Sunnyside Bicycles quickly explains why. Do you want to know why no one bikes on Fruit Avenue, council member? BECAUSE THERE ARE NO BIKE LANES.
(That’s twice today I’ve used all caps).
It’s naive to think everyone is going to (or should) care about bicycles and bike lanes as much as I do. It’s equally naive (and a bit elitist and annoying) to think cars are the only means of viable transportation.
UPDATE: (12:15 p.m. May 23) It looks like the city council ignored the Bicycle Master Plan and voted down the Fruit Avenue road diet. It should be noted that it was a 3-4 vote. Council members Xiong, Quintero, and Baines voted for the bike lanes. Brandau, Brand, Caprioglio, and Olivier voted against them.
Are these guys goldfish? The Bicycle Master Plan was approved two years ago. Is that too far back for them to remember? I feel guilty for waiting until hours before the vote to raise a fuss, but we shouldn’t have to have this discussion EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. a road diet comes up to vote. I suggest Brandau, Brand, Caprioglio and Olivier read the Bicycle Master Plan. AND THEN STICK TO IT. Of course they won’t, because they don’t have to apparently. Ugh.
ORIGINAL POST: (9:45 a.m. May 23) News on the fight to get bike lanes on Fruit Avenue has been all over my social media feeds this week, but I’ve been late on getting a post up.
I’ll do it now, with a reminder that the issue goes before the council today.
Some back story (taken from the Fresno County Bike Coalition):
On Thursday May 23rd, city staff will be asking City Council to approve a cooperative agreement with the County of Fresno to convert Fruit Avenue from four lanes to three lanes between Shaw and Herndon (Council District 2). This will add bicycle lanes on both sides of the street! Staff first asked Council’s approval on May the 2nd, but Council continued the item for two weeks to gather more information.
It boils down to this. The lanes are part of the Bicycle Master Plan, which was approved in 2010, but now that the time has come for implementation of the plan, district’s council member is getting cold feet, fearing that neighborhood drivers will be angry about having to share their roads with bicycles. This isn’t the first time we’ve had this discussion.
This vote is important because it sets the tone moving forward. Either the city defers to the master plan (which was created for a reason), or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, bicycle advocates will be forced to scratch and fight for every new mile bike lane installed and the Bicycle Master Plan will have all been for naught.