Here’s a year in review from the Gilroy Bicycle Pedestrian Commission that all Gilroyans can be proud of. Since last year we have had many accomplishments and put in motion many projects that will come to fruition in 2019. Gilroy BPAC’s strategic plan is our guiding document and changes throughout the year. It’s located on our website and contains our logo, invitation to the public, goals, action plan, grants, and bike/ped projects. It allows new Commissioners to come on board and get caught up before their first meeting. Our 2018 work plan was created in May and provides a forward look at what we are working on and its based off of the City Council goals.
Finance came to our October meeting to present the process for the upcoming City budget. In November we will submit our requests/projects and aligned them with City Council’s top 5 Strategic Plan Goals and our current work plan. We are asking that select Commissions/Committees be audio and video recorded for increased transparency. By live streaming, governments are demonstrating transparency and accountability; it also provides real-time and accurate information to citizens quickly and efficiently.
We applied and were awarded the League of American Bicyclist Bicycle Friendly Community Bronze Level for 2019-2022. Only 8 out of 15 cities in Santa Clara County have this award and we are one of them now. Our monthly award is a great way to interact with the public, recognize those that strive to make Gilroy a better place in regards to Bike/Ped activities. Nomination form is on our website. It’s a great tool for recruitment to Commissions.
For 2018’s Bike to Work Day on May 10 in our continued partnership with the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition, the City of Gilroy’s BPAC one again participated and cheered-on Bike to Work Day event participants and commuters located at the Caltrain Station. The goal is to begin to change the car culture within local business communities and folks that commute to work. 51 participants 2018 vs. 27 in 2017
We passed an amendment to our Commission’s Ordinance so that we could be more effective and have a voice for bike/ped projects, and ensure transportation projects include Complete Streets, which we believe, should be a way of life and not chosen just for specific projects. Thank you to City Council for approving these changes.
Every kids starts out on a BMX style bike and Gilroy has never had an official bike park for the community until on Oct 15, 2018 when City Council approved a motion to enter into a MOU with Garlic City BMX to operate a Bike Park Pump Track at Christmas Hill Park. Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco said it will be coming back to City Council for final approval 1st quarter of 2019.
Council approved a budget amendment for each Commission/Committee to have a $1000 training budget to include the purchase of business cards. The return on investment was three of the Commissioners along with our VTA BPAC rep Carolyn, and City Staff attended the annual SVBC Bike Summit. We made contacts, built relationships in the region, and received education to bring back to the Commission and City. trainings identified. We hope that this budget item will continue for our Commission in the next budget process. We have a mix of free and paid training opportunities that you can see in each of our agenda packets. We met the public affairs director for Bird E-Scooters at the bike summit conference and they want to operate here in Gilroy. Gavilan College is still onboard to launch, but is looking for the City to lead the way.
We have established a bike rack decal program for the decorative bike racks in Gilroy. The cost is $350 for 5 years and then that donor will get first rights for another 5 years. It’s a brushed aluminum decal that is purchased through TFB Designs in Downtown Gilroy. The funds go into a Public Bike Fund where we can support public bike projects. The fund can accept direct donations as well. We currently have 6 locations in Downtown Gilroy with active decals and 3 that are open. (7th/Monterey at Art’s Center, 4th/Monterey, & 4th/Eigleberry) We have 7 open locations for decorative bike racks. We currently have 100 bicycle parking spots in Historic Downtown and with all the current unused public spaces we could reach 300 bike parking spots, which includes all the Downtown Districts.
In 2018 we have closed down the streets around Downtown to automobiles and have opened them up to walkers/bikers more than in the recent past. Events like Downtown Live, National Night Out, Garlic City Car Show, and the CARAS Tamal Festival support the equity of our streets to other users besides an automobile. The Gilroy Bicycle Pedestrian Commission supports these open streets events, and we are advocating for the use of Measure B funds once released to host a variety of open streets events sponsored by the City.
We currently have 34 miles of bike infrastructure. We didn’t add any this year because the City has not taken over what you might currently see that’s new out there. There are plans to add approx. 15 miles of bike infrastructure next year. I’m happy to report that the recent repaving at Wren/Welburn Ave closed a gap in our bike route and you will see the first green paint on the streets in Gilroy. Sharrows inside green boxes have been placed on Welburn from Wren to Carmel.
HWY 152/1stSt will have bike lanes, ADA curb ramps, and high visibility crosswalks from Santa Teresa to HWY 101. More details of the final striping plan should be available soon. Town Place (Nob Hill/Starbucks/House of Bagels/Anytime Fitness/Pineapple Village) at Wren Ave/1stSt installed 16 bicycle parking spots for their customers after we advocated for it. Businesses along 1stSt should prepare for the addition of bike lanes by next summer. Contact us for help.
The Patio project, which was just presented at the Planning Commission, is the 2nd project that we believe shows where the future of auto vehicle parking standards are heading. Our parking policy and codes are outdated and don’t contain enough healthy language in them, and are skewed towards autos rather than providing equity towards other modes of transportation. We provided comments that mirrored what Caltrans and VTA are planning for the future. Caltrans District 4 is the first district in CA to have a Bike Plan and they are currently forming a Pedestrian Plan. This project has plans for a bike fix it station, short and long term bike parking. Hecker Pass trailhead at Santa Teresa/1stSt will be coming soon and will feature a bike fix it station, bike racks, access to water, trees, and benches. It will serve as a meeting location to ride the bike/ped trail along Hecker Pass and enjoy the new commercial ag-tourists destinations planned. This connection will continue along the recreation spine all the way to the sports park.
Once these bike fix it stations are installed Gilroy will have 6 of them. Downtown, Library, Gavilan, The Patio, Hecker Pass Trailhead, Hecker Pass Ag-Tourist Commercial, all will show up on an interactive map from Dero.com.
We begin our new session January 22, 2019 at the Gilroy City Council Chambers. https://www.cityofgilroy.org/280/Bicycle-Pedestrian-Commission Come join us! #GilroyBPAC