Prioritizing Walking & Biking in Sunnyvale
Success! Due to our advocacy leading up to the Jan 28th meeting, the City Council
On Jan 28th 2021 the City Council voted to prioritize walking and biking infrastructure by adding "Active Transportation" to the City Council's Strategic Policy Priorities (SPP). Specifically, they added "Active Transportation" to the "Ability of Infrastructure to Support Development & Traffic".
Ability of Infrastructure to Support Development & Traffic & Active Transportation
You may have noticed that the city council chose not to add "Implement the Active Transportation" specifically to the SPP. I view this as a good thing because the city has multiple walking/biking safety plans (the ATP, the Vision Zero Plan, and the Roadway Safety Plan), and this language enables the SPP to cover all of them. I think that by making this part of the "Ability of Infrastructure to Support Development & Traffic" SPP, it changes the focus to be more centered on sustainable mobility.
So what does this mean? The SPP is a statement of the city's values. It is a signal to staff to prioritize projects that support walking and biking. There are many hurdles to implementing the ATP, Vision Zero, and the Roadway Safety Plan (financial, practical, time), and by prioritizing it we tell staff to accelerate addressing these hurdles. This is also a step forward towards getting the city to fund these types of projects and dedicate staff towards them.
The vote passes 6 to 1 (Watch the for 1 min): https://youtu.be/mINwDaQxfgw?t=29377
I would like to take a moment to appreciate how we were able to accomplish this. Through our outreach and posts on social media, we got 40 letters sent to the city council. FOURTY LETTERS!! That's huge, and that's not even counting the emails that I could not track. I want to give everyone a high-five for this team effort. Russ Melton complemented our email writing campaign during the meeting today (watch for 3 min): https://youtu.be/mINwDaQxfgw?t=28624
Build better walking and biking opportunities in Sunnyvale
We are a group of residents who want to see better walking and biking in Sunnyvale. The city recently set the goal of having 10% of trips done by walking and biking by 2030. We can make this goal a reality by implementing the city's Active Transportation Plan.
What is the ATP?
The Active Transportation Plan (ATP) is Sunnyvale's new pedestrian, bicycle, and Safe Routes to School plan. This plan includes many projects that will make walking and biking safer and more enjoyable in Sunnyvale, such as the East Channel Trail, a planned 6-mile creek trail for walking and biking that will go North/South from Homestead Road to the Bay Trail near Moffett Park. It will connect multiple residential neighborhoods, major employers like Google and Lockheed Martin, the Sunnyvale civic center, multiple parks, and the Bay trail, benefiting thousands of Sunnyvale residents. The Active Transportation Plan also contains projects to build a city-wide low-stress bicycle network so residents of all ages can safely and comfortably bike to their destinations.
Creek trail example
How to build a better tomorrow
In order to build these projects, we must start implementing and funding the ATP in 2021. The ATP is predicted to cost as much as $98 million over 10 years, and this cannot be paid for by only outside grant money in a timely manner. The city needs to commit significant funds from its budget to implement it. Every year, the City Manager makes the budget based on the city's Sunnyvale City Council's Strategic Policy Priorities list (SPP). By adding "Implement the ATP" to the SPP, we can accelerate the implementation of ATP projects.
How you can help:
Write a letter to the city council to urge them to start funding the ATP in FY 2021/2022 and add "Implementation of the ATP" to the Strategic Policy Priorities.
Choose one of the following four pre-written emails to send to the City Council, or send one of your own! Scroll to the bottom for ideas. The more personal the letter, the more impact it has.
If you are a...
Don't forget to sign your name at the bottom!
Write your own letter. Ideas to include:
Open your email