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Casa Verde near Fremont in Monterey, and other developments; also, Monterey County Fair & Event Center bicycle parking

Short link to this post: https://bit.ly/BikePedInput09Jan2019

For the January 9, 2019 TAMC Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Advisory Committee meeting, below are two public comments offered by Bicycling Monterey’s founder. Both are related to an item not on the agenda: a January 7, 2019 Monterey Herald article by Carly Mayberry, “New North Fremont hotel development in the works” – https://www.montereyherald.com/2019/01/07/monterey-new-north-fremont-hotel-development-in-the-works/.

(Don’t know about TAMC’s Bike-Ped / BPC meetings? Click here.)

Thank you for your consideration of these comments. If you have any questions, please feel free to phone anytime: https://bit.ly/ContactBikeMRY.

According to the TAMC website on January 8th, among vacancies (as highlighted in https://bit.ly/MtgsBikePedMRY), there is no representative or alternate for the City of Monterey on TAMC’s Bike-Ped Committee. For that reason, I request the full committee’s attention to two concerns.

The first concern is safety of bicycling on Casa Verde in Monterey.
  1. Bicycling Monterey emphasizes on bikemonterey.org (e.g., in https://bit.ly/ShopByBike and https://bit.ly/WhyBike)—as well as in Bicycling Monterey’s social media and other communications, and through its projects (e.g., https://bit.ly/HHTQuickLinks)—the economic benefits of more people biking.
  2. On June 25, 2011, a comment was made by Susan Ragsdale-Cronin (formerly BPC rep for Del Rey Oaks) on a Bicycling Monterey post about City of Monterey’s June 28-30 transportation and parking charrettes. Susan stressed the need for a dedicated bike lane on North Fremont Street in Monterey. Below she’s pictured biking Fairgrounds Road as an alternate route—a route that meant missing out on seeing, and having easy access to, the many businesses along the parallel section of Fremont Street.
  3. In 2018, construction of Class 4 bike lanes with physical barriers began on North Fremont. (Yay!—including because Bikes Mean Business – https://www.advocacyadvance.org/the-economic-benefits-of-bicycle-infrastructure/.)
  4. On June 29, 2011, Kaki Cheung (then TAMC’s bike-ped coordinator), a consulting engineer for City of Monterey, and I biked North Monterey as part of on-the-bike audits during the three-day charrettes. The two transportation professionals absolutely agreed that bike lanes are needed on Fremont Street. Unfortunately, my understanding is that, due to street width, they identified (to my knowledge) no feasible solution regarding the challenge of tight conditions for biking on Casa Verde in the section immediately leaving North Fremont and heading toward the coastal trail.
  5. That section of Casa Verde Street has high-density housing, and although some apartment buildings along Casa Verde have parking lots, Casa Verde’s on-street parking spaces in that vicinity are typically full. People who bike (especially the inexperienced) could easily be injured, e.g., doored (click here and scroll down for video on that topic), in that stretch of Casa Verde.
  6. Casa Verde is well-traveled by local bike commuters, bicycling visitors, and people touring by bike. Many bike from the coastal trail to North Fremont Street, with many continuing on to the Monterey County Fair & Event Center, or Mark Thomas, Garden Road, Highway 68 – Monterey-Salinas Highway, Olmsted Road, Jacks Peak (to bike paved roads, not trails), Aguajito, and other destinations.
  7. In 2016 a green lane was added (see https://bit.ly/MontereyFair) on Casa Verde at Fairgrounds Rd, helping alert drivers to expect the presence of people who bike Casa Verde. 
  8. Most of Casa Verde is comfortable, although not ideal, for experienced people who bike. The section of Casa Verde nearest the proposed hotel is the most challenging section.
  9. I respectfully request that the committee direct TAMC staff to address with City of Monterey how best to mitigate the existing challenges for biking Casa Verde near Fremont, in light of increased motor vehicle traffic that would come with a new hotel.

In addition, with any new development, the committee may wish to direct TAMC staff to confirm with the City of Monterey and other local municipalities that they require bicycle parking as part of a development’s approval—convenient bike parking, as well as aesthetically pleasing. It was surprising to see bicycle parking removed when the new Monterey Conference Center was built, and—to my knowledge—no new bike parking options substituted there.

The second concern is that encouraging more biking in the North Fremont neighborhood brings up again the need for bike parking at Monterey County Fair & Event Center in Monterey.

This need has previously been brought to the attention of TAMC staff and fairgrounds staff, including in response to the annual call for “Bicycle Secure Program” applications (https://bit.ly/FREEBikeRacksAndMore).

  1. In 2008, the first (to my knowledge) bike valet parking station in Monterey County was provided at the Monterey fairgrounds, offered at the Monterey Jazz Festival. (And MJF has continued to have bike valet service at the annual festival every September since then.)
  2. Since 2008 many events at the Monterey Fair & Event Center have included bicycle valet parking one or more years—e.g., Green Pedal Couriers and friends have provided bike valet parking at California Roots Festival, Monterey Bay Reggae Fest,Monterey Beer FestFirst City FestivalMonterey County Fair, and some other events at the Monterey County Fairgrounds & Event Center. 
  3. On September 2, 2017, Michael Baroni of Green Pedal Couriers posted publicly on Facebook:“Every event [at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center] [that has attendance above] 1,000 people requires the bike valet now.”
  4. I am not aware whether the fairgrounds indeed now requires bike valet service for every event expecting more than 1,000 attendees. And if so, whether Green Pedal Couriers or others are available to provide bike valet parking service for all such fairgrounds events.
  5. Regardless, anytime that bike valet parking is unavailable at the fairgrounds, bicycle parking is problematic. There are, to my knowledge, no bicycle parking racks, or bicycle lockers, anywhere on the fairgrounds property.
  6. Per fairgrounds staff, people are not to lock bicycles to the fairgrounds’ fences (although occasionally some people do). Bikes locked to fencing there would also be prone to theft.
  7. Optimal theft-prevention is, of course, an important factor in any fairgrounds bike parking. Perhaps bicycle lockers are a good solution for the fairgrounds, such as the lockers at the Monterey Regional Airport (see https://bit.ly/MontereyAirport).
  8. Or perhaps corrals are a good solution for the fairgrounds, such as those at Naval Postgraduate School (see https://bit.ly/NPSCC) —of course carefully considering location and lighting.
  9. Or perhaps bike parking similar to the CSUMB bike bunkers added to CSUMB campus in 2013 (mentioned in https://bit.ly/BackToBikes), or other CSUMB bike parking solutions would be appropriate at the fairgrounds.
  10. In addition, even if fairgrounds admin determines their best solution is to require bike valet parking at events, at minimum a bicycle parking rack is needed near the fairgrounds admin office as well as near the ticket-purchase building on Fairgrounds Rd near Casa Verde.
  11. As mentioned above, there is apparently no rep or alternate for City of Monterey on TAMC’s Bike-Ped Committee. I respectfully request that the committee direct TAMC staff to address with the fairgrounds administration the need for secure bicycle parking at the fairgrounds.

Thanks again for your consideration of these comments.

Questions? https://bit.ly/ContactBikeMRY.

 

For related info on this website, start with “‘If you build it, they will come’: Helping visitors, and residents, use sustainable transportation.”
For more info specifically about bicycle parking, start with section 13 of the 20-section Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide, “13. Bike Valet and Other Bicycle Parking–including Etiquette and Laws.”

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