I while back I wrote Caltrain a ‘passionate’ letter about how they’re focused on the wrong issues when it comes to bikes and Caltrain. The situation has evolved a little since then, a little good clarification and a little new nomenclature.
- The bike plan they’re developing is no longer called the ‘Bicycle Master Plan’. Which is good, because it never was a bicycle master plan. It’s now called the ‘Bicycle Access and Parking Plan’. Again, good, because this means that we can forget this non-problem sooner rather than later and move on to developing a sorely needed ‘Bicycle Master Plan’.
- The first draft of the plan is out. Some of the URL’s and such still say ‘Master Plan’, but if you search that pdf, the word ‘master’ never comes up in there. Read it, comment about it, but don’t get your hopes up for a response.
- Why is Caltrain focusing on this non-issue right now? Strings! They’re attached! On page 7 of the draft:
In 2006, Caltrain secured a federal grant from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to develop the agency’s first plan to address station access and parking issues for bicycles…
Well, I’ll give you that in 2006 there wasn’t such a problem with bikes on board. But something is wrong with the system when we’re spending money (even if it is federal hand-me-downs) on a non-problem when there are other, very closely related, much bigger and more pressing problems. Is it the responsiveness (or lack thereof) of the system? 2006 to now – that’s a time scale of years between decision and action. Is it the locality (or lack thereof) of the decision makers relative to the issues? This is federal money, which was allocated to Caltrans for bike/pedestrian/transit, then Caltrans at the state level decided what specific local issue the funds were to be spent on. To much focus on infrastructure improvements when service improvements are what’s really needed? I’m not sure. But it is clear the system is running in a state that is far from optimal.
The final plan will be presented to Caltrain’s Joint Powers Board on October 2nd for approval/rejection. Stay tuned.