Advocates Succeed in Saving Bicycle and Pedestrian Committees in the Bay Area!

Marty MartinezBay Area advocates for active transportation came together to successfully defeat an attempt to weaken bicycle and pedestrian requirements in the region. In May, staff from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), released a proposal that would eliminate a requirement that cities and town maintain a bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee (BPAC) to receive certain state funds.

Seventeen organizations came together to submit a letter to the MTC Commissioners expressing our opposition to any attempt to weaken the requirement. 

Due to our efforts, members of MTC’s Programming and Allocations Committee unanimously voted down the plan to eliminate the requirement. We applaud the committee members for supporting bicycling and walking in the Bay Area!

At the committee hearing, advocates from the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, and the Marin Bicycle Coalition explained how important BPAC’s are to receive community input and ensure policymakers are taking seriously Complete Streets policies or other plans that are on the books. We also testified that in a time when MTC and the region are struggling to reach our goals for safety, physical activity and climate protection, now more than ever we need a real commitment from MTC to support active transportation.

The proposal reviewed by the Programming and Allocation Committee yesterday was part of a revision of the TDA-3 program guidelines. The next stage in the process is a full vote of the MTC Commission on June 26. We need to monitor this process, though with the clear committee vote our BPAC’s should be in a strong position!

Efforts like this prove how crucial and effective networks of stakeholders can be in strengthening regional policies and advancing the needs of active transportation. Our effective monitoring of proposed MTC policy changes, relationships with fellow advocates, the tangible product of our sign on letter, and our ceaseless communications with commissioners made all the difference!