Supervisor Miley is holding a Town Hall regarding local MACs on Thursday, October 18th at 7pm at the Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Avenue. This is your opportunity to share your concerns about the Castro Valley MAC.
The Castro Valley MAC has made it clear in two meetings earlier this year (March 19 and May 21) that they do not support improvements to safety for students, commuters, or anyone else who wants to ride bikes in Castro Valley. Even more alarming, they have shown themselves to be ignorant of the current infrastructure available to cyclists in Castro Valley.
In March, when Public Works brought the vision of greatly improved protections for people riding bikes in Castro Valley (including protected bike lanes) and the entire unincorporated Alameda County, as part of the proposed Updated Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan, Marc Crawford (the MAC chair) and the rest of the MAC said they opposed any cycling improvements, especially if they come at the cost of even one parking space. Even though the updated plan is only a vision – and every project would be vetted through the community, the MAC refused to share the vision that Public Works and the consultants developed through an extended public process of over 50 public meetings and over 1,000 public comments.
In May, the MAC continued to push back on Public Works’ revised proposed Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan Update, despite the fact that Public Works heavily reduced the extent of bicycling improvements. Although 25 speakers spoke in favor of cycling improvements and 2 spoke against, Chair Marc Crawford stated that the MAC gets to determine what is good for the community — and that doesn’t include bicycling improvements. The MAC also refused to accept a proposed design for Stanton Avenue, which was also developed by Public Works and agreed to by the residents on and around Stanton in their own public meeting. That plan included a “climbing” buffered bike lane on the uphill side only, due to the limited width of Stanton Avenue, and would have included removal of only 9 parking spaces in exchange for this buffered bike lane for a full mile along Stanton Avenue. According to Crawford, the loss of one parking space is too high, no matter the benefit for students and others in the community who want to safely ride a bike.
Please come to the Town Hall on October 18th and let Supervisor Miley know that you want a MAC that genuinely represents all the interests in Castro Valley, including people who ride bikes. Riding bikes is good for health, it’s good for business, and it’s great for the environment. And we need a MAC that understands, protects and even promotes bicyclists, whether they are students, commuters, leisure or recreational riders. Hope to see you there!