Council Celebrates Bike Week by Reforming Advisory Committee

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Activists Gather in Front of City Hall for Bike to Work Day 2007

Bike activists have long complained about the city’s official Bike Advisory Committee (LABAC).  In fact, I’ve never heard anyone that wasn’t on the committee say something nice about the committee.  Today, those complaints will be heard and amplified when the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee hear a motion to reform the LABAC.

The most common complaint is that the committee has neither the teeth nor the will power to enact major changes.  Streetsblog reader Ubrayj2 actually referred to the committee as an “April Fool’s Joke” in a post at his blog last month.  Other complaints deal with members who don’t show up for meetings and that by forcing people to sign-in, the meetings are in violation of the Brown Act.

The motion, put forward by bike activist’s go-to Councilmember, Ed Reyes, and Transportation Committee Chair Wendy Greuel, recognizes that “there are certain structural and operational changes which must be made at this time in order to allow the Bicycle Advisory Committee to reach its full potential” and makes the following changes. 

Will be jointly staffed by the Department of Transportation and the City Planning Department;

A liaison from the Department of Recreation and Parks will be assigned to assist the committee as needed;

Appoint an administrative staff person to be responsible to post meeting minutes, agendas, and other support services;

Establish that any member of the Bicycle Advisory Committee may make a motion for the election of a new Chair; and that upon
a majority vote of the members, an election for the Chair will be immediately held for a minimum term of one year; and

Require each member to have an assigned alternate member.

The motion, if passed, would address two major problems.  Adding staff members from the Department of Planning and the Department of Recreation and Parks should make the LABAC a stronger body, one that has the teeth to handle both short and long-term issues.  Second, assigning an alternate member will increase attendance and participation at meetings.

Assuming the motion is passed in committee, it must also be passed by the Transportation Committee before moving to the full Council.  Currently, the Transportation Committee does not have a hearing scheduled on the motion, although that could change as soon as the Planning and Land Use Committee move the bill this afternoon.

Photo: Ubrayj2/Flickr 

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