On Tuesday May 2nd, Tacoma City Council will be declaring May as Bike Month in Tacoma. This is a great opportunity to give public comment on the importance of investing in safe infrastructure for cyclists throughout Tacoma. A safe and connected network of good bike infrastructure throughout Tacoma is a life saving investment. It meets Tacoma’s goal of increasing sustainable transportation in the Climate Action Plan, is a necessary step to reach the Vision Zero goal of zero deaths or serious injuries from traffic crashes by 2030, and helps to address historic disinvestment in South and East Tacoma. Investing in bike infrastructure is an obvious choice.
Join us on May 2nd at Tacoma City Council to give comment! The more Council hears from biking advocates, the more investment we are likely to see. Share your stories of biking in Tacoma – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Speak to a specific location in Tacoma that needs to be made safer. Share your vision of what our city could look like. Your voice and your perspective matter and can influence what decisions the City makes.
The Council meeting begins at 5pm Tuesday May 2nd at City Hall (747 Market Street), but Downtown On the Go staff will be outside Council Chambers at 4:30 to help you get signed in or help you with your testimony. Bring a friend and make some new ones! Plan to have 90 seconds to speak. Write out your comments (or main points) ahead of time and be sure to practice to ensure you’re within the 90 second time limit. Optional RSVP on Facebook. For help writing your comments, check out our advocacy page, contact our Advocacy Manager Laura directly at LauraS@downtownonthego.org, or keep reading for tips. The most effective testimony is personal, specific, and connected to City priorities and planned projects.
To testify over Zoom, use this information and raise your hand for the budget public hearing (not regular public comment!): www.zoom.us/j/84834233126 Passcode: 349099
To testify over the phone, use this information and press *9 to raise your hand for the budget public hearing: 253-215-8782 Meeting ID: 848 3423 3126
If you’re busy during the meeting time, you can email your councilmembers directly. Contact information here.
Why is funding for bike infrastructure important?
- Vision Zero! In 2020, Tacoma City Council committed to a goal of zero traffic deaths or serious injuries by 2035. To meet this ambitious goal, we need to transform the way we think about traffic violence, how we prioritize funding, and how we design our streets. Quality bike infrastructure is necessary to create better, safer, more accessible infrastructure for those walking, rolling, and biking.
- Climate! In 2021, Tacoma City Council committed to the Climate Action Plan and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The plan has many goals related to active transportation and cycling, including hosting active transportation events and updating street design standards to prioritize bicyclists and pedestrians. We can’t reach our climate goals without reducing how much people drive, so we need to build a Tacoma where it is safe, convenient, and accessible to walk, bike, and use transit. A lot of that work happens in active transportation; to reach these goals, we need a fully funded and staffed department. We also need enough “grant match” dollars to fund the construction of projects. Most grant funding that the City receives needs to be matched with City funds, which are very limited for bike projects.
- Fight traffic violence! Traffic deaths and serious injuries are increasing across the country, and we’re seeing that trend reflected here in Pierce County. To reverse this, we need to design roadways where cars slow down and bicyclists have connected and safe facilities like protected bike lanes, shared use trails and paths, and intersections that prioritize the safety of people over the speed of cars.
- Safe mobility for all! We know that low income, BIPOC, and disabled individuals are more likely to rely on active transportation like cycling, face transportation overburden and insecurity, be impacted more by traffic violence, and be displaced away from services into neighborhoods with insufficient infrastructure and connectivity. Better infrastructure makes everyone safer and investing in historically underserved communities and neighborhoods helps to right historic inequities. This City goal of decreasing inequality is reflecting in the Tacoma Equity Index Map.
- And more! Storytelling and personal experience is the core of good public testimony. Talk about what’s most important to you and your communities.