The Eugene City Council has called for a vote on a measure authorizing the issuance of a maximum of $43 million of general obligation bonds to fund street preservation projects and bicycle and pedestrian projects. The $43 million is the total for five years, and it represents $8 million in the first year, plus an inflation factor of 4% per year for the remaining four years.

City property taxes would be collected to pay for the bonds. The bond measure is expected to cost an average of $0.65 per $1,000 of assessed value each year for five years. For an average homeowner in Eugene, this would be about $127 per year. This rate is also the approximate average tax rate levied over the five years of the 2008 bond measure. The taxes would first be levied in November 2014, after the 2008 bond taxes end in 2013.

The Measure on the Nov 6 ballot would allocate an average of $516,000 annually for five years to support bicycle and pedestrian projects, guided by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, City staff, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Click HERE for details.

Monday November 28th 2011

GEARS will hold its annual meeting and Bike Swap on Monday November 28th from 6 to 8 pm at Hilyard Center, 2580 Hilyard St.  All GEARS members are invited to join for free Pizza and a soft drink ($5 for non members)!  We will vote on a By-Law change, have a presentation about the bRamble and elect and present the Executive Board. A Bike Swap, from 7-8pm, that will offer cyclists an opportunity to sell and exchange bicycles, bike parts and accessories, will follow this. Each “seller” who is not a GEARS member will be charged $5. Memberships are available starting at $12/year at the event or online athttp://eugenegears.org/membership

Both events are open to the general public.

Recycle Your Bicycle

 

General Meeting – Death Valley tour presented by Gary Cook Countryside Pizza, 645 River Road, Eugene

Ghost Bike

Ghost Bike in Death Valley. Via flickr: hluisi

This month we are pleased to have long time GEARS member and ride leader Gary Cook present his tour of Death Valley and the surrounding areas of California and Nevada, finished in Jan/Feb of 2010. Gary is a very familiar face to anyone that has been on a GEARS Recreational Ride. He is always available to help guide riders on the correct route, to help change a flat, or offer one of many stories about touring or recreational riding. To Gary, there is no bad ride or difficult hill to climb, he just puts the pedals in motion and moves to the next bend of the road! He is a master at telling touring stories and has a special story about a trip to the Kelso Ranger station in the Mojave Preserve. He mentions, “You will have to attend the General Meeting to get the whole truth.” It is always a pleasure to “live” a cycling tour through slides and stories and Gary will make that happen.

The month of March has been a busy one, indeed!   The Committee started the month off by looking at the proposed projects for the Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, and put together a list of 15 “Wish List” projects that we would most like to see implemented.  After creating an online poll, the projects were reduced down to just five:

  • Two-way cycle track from Amazon Creek to River Paths
  • Bike boulevard improvements on 15th Ave (Fairgrounds to campus)
  • Connecting the north end of the river path north of Beltline
  • Bike facility improvements on 18th Ave (better pavement, buffered bike lanes)
  • Coburg/Oakway bike safety improvements

The poll is still open!  You can fill it out here.  Pending the poll’s final results and the Board’s approval in April, these will be the official GEARs-endorsed projects for submission to the city’s Planning Department to include in the Plan.

Two weeks later, the committee got together to sort through the dozen bills that have been proposed for the 2011 legislative session to create recommendations on whether or not GEARs should officially endorse them.  In all, we decided to support the following bills:

  • LC 3905 – Bike Trailer Safety Standards bill
  • HB 2331 – Bike License Feasibility Study
  • HB 2332 – Gross Vehicle Weight Fines Amendment (with a suggestion to increase Class A violation fines as well)
  • HB 2712 – Maximum Automobile Fines Amendment
  • HB 2824 – Stolen Bicycle Trafficking Bill
  • SB 40 – Non-profit Funding Structures
  • SB 344/HB 3150 – Speed Limit Reduction (along designated byways)
  • SB 660 – Stop Sign Fine Amendment

This was in preparation for the upcoming Oregon Active Transportation Summit, which will be held on March 29th and 30th.  While there, at least four members of the committee are going to be advocating to our elected state officials from the southern Willamette Valley to support biking.  This list of positions on state bills is a huge step forward in that effort.

And finally, Price Armstrong (yours truly) just got back from Washington, DC for the National Bike Summit.  I wrote about it in more detail here, but suffice it to say, it was an amazing experience.  GEARs got a lot of name recognition, all kinds of networking took place, and our elected officials in Washington are definitely aware of the urgent need to defend bicycle-related programs and funding.

Once April rolls around, things are sure to quiet down a bit, though the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is going to continue having open houses and won’t be adopted until June 2011.  It’s been a productive advocacy year so far; thanks for all the support from the community, GEARs members, and the GEARs Board of Directors.  And, as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at pricearmstrong@gmail.com.

Bike Advocate Extraordinaire, Anya Dobrowolski

In our last GEARs Advocacy Committee Meeting on February 21 we discussed the proposed Eugene-Springfield Bike-Ped Masterplan, and talked about what we believe should be priority projects.  We also discussed several pieces of legislation that are up for debate in this year’s state legislative session.  Our next meeting will focus further on the state legislation.  The meeting details are:

Monday, March 14
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Coquille Room, Erb Memorial Union, University of Oregon (near the food court)

More »

We last held an Advocacy Committee Meeting on January 31 to get everyone up to speed on various bike-related issues, and think about initial steps for the committee to make. Now we are going to be having an action meeting, where the intention is to develop distinct actions for the committee to take. The details are:

Monday, February 21
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Coquille Room, Erb Memorial Union, University of Oregon (near the food court)

The meeting will focus on two items in particular:

1. Developing recommendations for priority bicycling projects for the Eugene and Springfield TSPs.
2. Developing recommendations for potential state legislation dealing with bicycling.

Other groups have already done a lot of analysis and commenting on the above items, and so our deliberations won’t be starting from scratch.  Once we have developed some recommendations, they will be taken to the GEARs Board in March so that they can be formally adopted, and then submitted to the cities/legislature. We can also use these as firm footing when we go to Salem for the Active Transportation Summit in March!

As always, let me know if you have any questions by emailing pricearmstrong@gmail.com.