Ventura Master Bike Plan Passes! Now What?

Ventura Bike Union leader Rachel Morris says, we rocked the house Monday night! And I agree!

Here she is at the meeting and next is the Ventura City Council discussing the plan before it unanimously passed the Ventura Bicycle Master Plan which includes input from three years of VBU effort, as well as every item on our 27 point addendum with the exception of lights at Leighton and Warner on Ventura Avenue.

The story was covered by the local press in these three articles–so far!

Ventura to become more bicycle-friendly

Ventura master bike plan hits high gear

Ventura commits to improving bicycling in the city

What made this victory possible? Here are some reasons:

The formation of the Ventura Bicycle Union.

Lots of people showing up – for years.

People spending days and evenings in meetings, answering surveys, rousting their friends, writing letters, in mass at City Council.

Parents involving kids.

Organizing money from generous personal donations, the McCune Foundation, and ASERT.

And more!

At the podium, when Rachel said “Please stand if you came to support safe streets for bicyclists,”  the whole room stood up, side to side and all the way to the back of the chamber–around 70 bicyclists came to support safe streets for cyclists. Thanks especially to Channel Islands Bicycle Club members and Patagonia staff for the strong showing.

Council member Brian Brennan reminded us that five years ago the Bike Master Plan update was about eight pages long, and two or three people showed up at council to discuss it.  And look at us now! It’s clear the bicycling for recreation and transportation is important to many more people in our community.

If we didn’t get involved, it would have been a very different plan than the most excellent one we have today. Then, in a tough economic climate, city traffic staff would have been left to stand alone in defense of bicycle improvements.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, there were a number of disparaging remarks (and unsubstantiated!) from a minority of Council Members concerning resources going to make our roads safer for cyclists. How would that conversation had gone if the room was not been packed with supporters? We made the difference together!

Special thank you to the kids!

There were eight young people that attended in support of safe streets for bicycling. This section is for YOU. I want you to understand how important and powerful you were last night, and how much having you there made a big, big difference. You helped make bicycling safer for everyone! Way to go:  Zander, Isabella, Evangeline, Reed, Walkeen, Marin, and two other young people. Thank you!!

What’s Next? First, celebrate!!!

Now that the plan is adopted, the real work begins. Rachel points out that bicycle improvements need to be hand-held every step of the way. She suggests we request a meeting with Tom and the new Bicycle Coordinator, and find out more about the bicycle advisory committee mentioned in the Plan.

If you have friends who attended last night’s hearing who are not on the mailing list – please have them contact Rachel so we can grow and get stronger!

We also need help at our annual Kids Bicycle Safety Rodeo.

Street bicycle-parking on Main could be ready to roll. Perhaps we can meet with Tom or Derek to encourage that and give our support. We have educational pieces, grant opportunities, and fun bicycle events we could do.

VBU could use a monthly meeting like we used to have. Does anyone know a Ventura bike-friendly location where we could meet, possibly on the 4th Wednesday of the Month at 6:30pm?

To make Ventura a true Bicycling City – we MUST stay in the game.

Ride On!

logo_vccool_blue_no_text VCCool is a Ventura County global warming action group. Our mission is to engage all people of Ventura County in promoting a healthy climate.

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