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Rio Road, Carmel vicinity bike lanes get the green light!

Thanks to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors for voting unanimously to approve ORD 15-009, giving the “green light” to bike lanes on Rio Road. Like that? Express gratitude to the Supervisors for helping to create a more bike-friendly county!

Over a hundred people signed an online petition supporting ORD 15-009. In addition to other communications from the public received by the Supervisors, some members of the public attended the 7/21 meeting to offer comment. Of those, approximately two individuals spoke in opposition to ORD 15-009, and about five, including Mayor Jason Burnett of Carmel, spoke in support. The affected roadway is in an unincorporated area of Monterey County, in the Carmel vicinity.

A follow-up public meeting will be scheduled to include representatives from County of Monterey Resource Management Agency-Public Works, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County, and City of Carmel. At this meeting, traffic-calming concerns will be addressed that were raised at the July 13 community meeting (ref: end of this post).

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Bike/walk advocates are urged to attend the Tuesday, July 21, 2015 9 a.m. meeting of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, or to otherwise communicate their wishes to the Supervisors in advance . (What time will the Rio Road topic come up? Refer to agenda item “ORD 15-009 – Consider adoption of an ordinance Rio Road.”) Can’t attend? Write or call the Supervisors; click here for contact info.  You may also wish to sign an online petition, which will be shared with the Board of Supervisors: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/rio-rd

County staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors adopt this ordinance. The California Highway Patrol concurs with that recommendation. Read the report for financial impact and other details.

Rio Road is a key link to several other bike/ped links that are already built or pending.  These include the Hatton Canyon trail, a Rio Park connection to two elementary schools, a safer connection between the Mission and Mission Trail Park, linkages to Palo Corona and Point Lobos, and the eventual completion of a Carmel River trail, including possible links to Carmel Middle School and under Highway 1.

Support for the Rio Road project is widespread, yet there is a small amount of opposition too.

Please speak up, and check the bulleted list below for others you may want to alert about this July 21 Supervisors meeting, such as health care professionals, school teachers, tourism leaders, and others.

Short link to this post is https://bit.ly/BikeRioRd

Support bike advocacy with a financial contribution, or help in other ways.

Do you bike Carmel and vicinity, or want to?

What’s up

with Rio Road?

Neighborhood residents and visitors who enjoy active transportation want bike lanes and better pedestrian access.
Some residents in the Rio Road area are concerned about the impact of bike lanes on motor vehicle parking.

Children - Mom Says Okay to Go - 019

The County of Monterey is repaving a portion of Rio Road from Highway 1 to Atherton (near the Carmel Mission) and proposes to narrow the motor vehicle travel lanes to make room for bike lanes. The Transportation Agency for Monterey County is in support of this project as it will fill an important gap in the bicycling network identified in the TAMC Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan. It would provide a safe route to school for local children attending the Junipero Serra school.

The Carmel City Council is unanimous in their support of these bike lanes on Rio Road, and a letter stating that is being sent to the County of Monterey by Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett. These bike lanes are something that has been worked on for quite some time under the umbrella of Connect Carmel, an effort to help link trails to transit and people to places. Click here (see pages 23, 87-88) for some current info from the City of Carmel. Related information: Fiscal Year 2014-15 projects. For some additional history, see Sara Rubin’s 10/17/13 story in the Monterey County Weekly.

A small number of residents along Rio Road—locals who are concerned about a possible adverse effect on the neighborhood’s needs for on-street motor vehicle parking—are expressing opposition to the plans.

Why? The ordinance establishes “no parking at any time on the north side of Rio Road from the centerline with Oliver Road easterly to the centerline with Atherton Drive for a distance of 1,500 feet.”

It is important for decision-makers to also hear from people who bike or otherwise recognize the multiple benefits of biking to residents and visitors. These include environmental, economic, public health, and many other benefits, including strengthened community relationships.

Monterey County is a place where a broad coalition of people work to improve transportation for people who take the bus, drive, walk, bike, skate, or otherwise get about. While we love to see it easier for people to use active transportation, such as walking, bicycling, and skating, we also recognize and support that most people use motor vehicles regularly, or at least some of the time. We want things to keep improving in a way that allows everyone to get around with greater safety, harmony, and ease.

Bicycling Monterey encourages everyone to respectfully listen to the concerns of others, especially neighborhood residents, even if you disagree. It makes sense that a change in the neighborhood brings questions and concerns, and community meetings can be a positive place for these to be addressed.

Join TAMC, the California Highway Patrol, County of Monterey staff, the Carmel City Council, and Bicycling Monterey in supporting the planned bike lanes on Rio Road by attending the July 21 Supervisors meeting if you can, or otherwise promptly voicing your support.
Also,  invite others to the July 21 meeting. Consider people you know who may want to share their thoughts on the benefits that bike lanes bring. You might invite people such as:

For more information about this project, contact Ariana Green, Transportation Planner and Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Transportation Agency for Monterey County; ariana@tamcmonterey.org – 831-775-4403.

Below, Australian visitor Carey Beebe, who bikes to Carmel Bach Festival venues annually for the past 16 years.

 Below, locally owned Carmel Bicycle.

Below, locally owned Bay Bikes.

Below, a popular spot for picnic lovers

near Highway 1 and Rio Road.

Some people bike-and-ride in this vicinity, using Monterey-Salinas Transit/MST bus.

The info below was previously published July 10.

A community meeting will be held Monday, July 13, 2015, beginning at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the Rio Road proposed bicycle lanes, improvements for pedestrian access, and possible parking restrictions.

See flier Rio Road meeting plus background and details below. The meeting will be held at Carmel City Hall (Monte Verde Street between Ocean and 7th, Carmel-by-the-Sea).
The meeting is being hosted by the County of Monterey Resource Management Agency-Public Works, District 5 Supervisor Dave Potter, and TAMC.
Questions? Email Ariana Green, TAMC’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator: ariana@tamcmonterey.org

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Archived
The Master Calendar often includes action alerts, such as the September 28, 2015 community meeting about potential traffic calming and safety measures for Rio Road (Carmel vicinity).

(Click image to enlarge)Rio Rd trafficDownload 9/28 poster PDF: Rio Rd Traffic Community Mtg

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