Advocacy Update, March 30-April 3

We all continue to adapt to the restrictions imposed upon us in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Sonoma County’s original Shelter in Place order specifically exempted outdoor exercise like bicycling from restriction. The new order, issued March 31, specifically lists bike shops as essential services. (The Bay Area was a pioneer in this designation; we supported and disseminated a Calbike petition that resulted in Governor Newsom naming bike shops as essential in his recent state-wide SIP order.) Many of our local shops are open and operating under social distancing rules; please call first!

The March 24 order closing all parks left multiuse trails like the Joe Rodota open to pedestrians but closed to bicycles. We have sent letters, made phone calls, etc. but given that we are in an epidemic, we are not pushing too hard on this. We continue to monitor the situation.

We received a few reports from cyclists saying they were told by law enforcement officers that cycling is prohibited under the SIP order. We have spoken with our local CHP Commander about these concerns and officers are being educated about the order. (If you’d like to print out a copy to carry with you, click here.)

We continue to engage in the planning process for the renewal of transportation Measure M. The current version dedicates 12% of funding to bikeways (the original Measure M had only 4%) as well as a larger amount to education and promotion programs like Safe Routes to School and Bike to Work Month. Given the state of the economy, it is still uncertain whether SCTA will move forward in putting this on the November ballot.