On Tuesday, March 16th, the Marin County Board Of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the creation of a Bicycle Master Plan for Marin County. This marks a major turning point in the effort to further integrate cycling as an everyday mode of transportation and recreation in the County.
The funding will come from the 1999/2000 Transportation Development Act (TDA) Article 3 fund, which is about $182,000 this year.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition has worked continuously for the past year to urge policy makers to create such a Plan, which will result in a blueprint for the future for funding needed bicycling projects for the County and local municipalities. The Master Plan will also bring government agencies, city councils, public works departments, and local citizens together to discuss and agree upon goals, raising awareness and public participation regarding the promotion of bicycling as a viable method of transportation.
Appearing before the County Board Of Supervisors on Tuesday were MCBC Board Member Bob Snyder, Advisory Board Member Joe Breeze, and Executive Director Debbie Hubsmith. They each outlined various needs and benefits for the Plan -- including the fact that millions of dollars are available each year for bicycle infrastructure projects. Bicycling was presented as being an effective and efficient transportation choice, and as a cornerstone to creating safer streets, less congestion, and healthier communities.
At the meeting, several members of the Board of Supervisors stated that it will be essential for bicycle representatives to be actively involved in the small group that will be creating the Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP will outline the work to be done by hired consultants; it will have a big part in dictating the outcome of the Plan.
Supervisor Steve Kinsey, who is also Chair of the Congestion Management Agency, expressed that it will also be important for bicycle advocates to have an active role in creating the Bicycle Master Plan itself.