Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Action Alert: Newark City Council to vote on Bicycle Plan, Monday 2/24


A bicyclist's presence is called for at an upcoming Newark City Council meeting, to ensure smooth passage of the long awaited Newark Bicycle Plan. The meeting takes place on Monday,  February 24th and starts at 7pm. The Plan is fairly early on the agenda (Item 4), however, the Public Comment section near the beginning of the agenda has been taking a lot of time as a result of the Data Center controversy. So it is hard to predict how soon the NBP will be considered.

On Tuesday 2/18, the Newark Bicycle Plan achieved a strong endorsement from the Newark Traffic Committee. Everything appears in our favor, as most, if not all, Council members view bicycling very favorably and see it as something we should encourage both as a transportation choice and for recreation. So we don’t expect any automatic opposition. However, it is very important to encourage many bicyclists to attend - preferably dressed to ride - and to have them prepared to speak in support of it. This is important because even if a few people show up to speak AGAINST adopting the Newark Bicycle Plan, if there are not enough people present to speak for it other than City Staff, the Council could choose to table or even vote it down.

Among the concerns:
  • Some other localities, when considering Bicycle Plans, have had an attendance of “Agenda 21” opponents, and that could very well happen in Newark. For those of you who do not know what Agenda 21 is, it's a non-binding U.N. resolution that promotes a more livable and sustainable way of life. With that comes a fringe political movement that thinks it's a U.N. sponsored, socialist government takeover. Increasingly, members are showing up at these meetings - and attempting to derail multi-modal transportation plans.
  • There are people who think the roads are only for cars and that bicyclists are a nuisance. A number of these were present at Newark's Comprehensive Plan workshops, and may be speaking here as well.
  • And finally, there could be someone who is a bicyclist who is well intentioned but wasn’t involved in the planning process, and they could speak against it because they perceive that something in the Plan is less than perfect.
All of the above have happened before with other City projects and plans, and without area residents there to speak in favor, we could see the adoption of the Bicycle Plan delayed or even derailed altogether.

If you are available this coming Monday, 2/24 at 7pm, we strongly encourage you to come. You do not have to stay for the entire meeting - just through the Bicycle Plan approval process. A map to the Newark Municipal Building, at 220 South Main Street, is below.


View Larger Map

2 comments:

  1. Frank,
    Bold text says 3/24 - I think you mean this coming Monday 2/24/14 from article.
    (I'm working in Richmond VA and can't attend, but hope it goes well.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Corrected, Steve! 2/24 it is. Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete