In a 5-0 vote, the San Gabriel City Council became the first of the five SGV Bike Plan project cities to formally adopt their city-level plan on Tuesday September 16, the same day the state of California's new 3-foot safe passing law went into effect.
Over 30 local residents and plan supporters attended the meeting, the vast majority of whom stuck until well after 9pm, when the item was finally heard by the Council. Following a staff report outlining the plan and process to date (e.g., previous 5-0 City Planning Commission vote in favor of adoption), the floor was opened up to members of the public. Speakers included San Gabriel locals Manuel Mabra and John Saliamonas, public health advocate and resident Scott Chan of the Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance, San Gabriel School Board Member Denise Menchaca, Alhambra resident Michael Lawrence, Project Manager Javier Hernandez, and Eastside Bike Club founder and President Carlos Morales.
The meeting was then turned over for Council discussion. Council Member Julie Costanzo, in underlining her support for the plan, shared that a cousin who did everything right as a cyclist (i.e., proper gear, riding technique) was killed by a motorist and that the City can and should do more to make its streets safer for people on bikes, especially children. Council Member Sawkins echoed safety concerns, and noted he would support the addition of Class II Bike Lanes to San Gabriel Blvd., if feasible.
Mayor John Harrington, a father of two girls, told those in attendance of his experiences riding with his family in the City. A strong supporter of the plan, he noted that San Gabriel should be a City where "we can hop on the bike with the kids and be safe". The Mayor also shared that "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
Council Member Chin Ho Liao thanked SGV Bike Plan Project Manager Javier Hernandez and city staff for all their hard work in developing the plan to date, and urged the City to continue to partner with BikeSGV and Day One on future grants to help fund plan implementation.
Vice Mayor Jason Pu closed out the comments by motioning to adopt the plan. After being seconded by Council Member Costanzo, the final vote was unanimous in favor, with the additional direction to staff to study the potential for adding Class II Bike Lanes to San Gabriel Blvd., an improvement not listed in the draft plan.
Many thanks to everyone who contributed to tonight's result and helped make the SGV Bike Master Plan project possible, including the consulting team at Alta Planning and the Day One and BikeSGV teams who dedicated countless hours to shepherding the vision for a regional bike plan in the San Gabriel Valley from concept to reality!