Neighbors rally against protected bike paths in Grover Beach

September 29, 2019

By KAREN VELIE

Grover Beach City Council members traded barbs with residents of a Grover Beach neighborhood on Monday over the city’s ongoing to construction of a protected bike path in their neighborhood.

Several weeks ago, construction workers began reconfiguring Newport Avenue to include bike paths that run next to the curb, separated by an asphalt berm from parking spots which line the roadway. While staff and residents supported standard bike lanes for Newport Avenue, the council opted for protected bike lanes, at an estimated cost of $250,000 more than standard.

Mayor Jeff Lee, Councilwoman Mariam Shah and several city employees attended the meeting organized by neighbors in the Newport Avenue area to discuss safety concerns and design issues. Neighbors asked city officials to reconsider their plan for protected bike lanes.

The current plan requires vehicles to back up or down an incline, through a bike lane, through parked cars and into traffic.

Under construction, the bike path is separated from parking and traffic by an asphalt berm

“Newport Avenue residents sent a very clear and overwhelming message to city leaders Monday night at the street safety meeting: stop construction on Newport Avenue in its current design,” said neighbor Dan Shannon. “The residents said that the design is flawed and dangerous for all who live and travel Newport Avenue.”

Neighbors accused the council of ignoring community input in favor of the whims of several council members. Multiple neighbors said they had not seen anyone, other than councilwoman Shah’s children, riding bicycles on the street in years.

Mayor Lee argued that the design was selected to help address neighbors’ concerns with speeding, an issue residents said was already addressed by the standard bike lane design.

Greg Rey, the city engineer, admitted the city had performed no analysis of pedestrian, bicycle or car traffic on Newport Avenue before selecting the protected bicycle lane design. Rey said he expects more people to begin traveling on bicycles, which will lead to fewer accidents as the public becomes accustomed to protected bike lanes

During the meeting several speakers accused Shah of smirking while they complained of trash left in the neighborhood by noisy construction workers. Following the meeting, a neighbor confronted Shah saying she did not appreciate her rude faces and disrespectful attitude.

Shah responded by asking the woman if she wanted to throw a water bottle at her like neighbors did at construction workers.

“There’s a water bottle in my pocket,” Shah said. “You want to throw it at me?”


Loading...

16
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
DocT

When a person is elected, they are empowered to do whatever they want.


Who cares what the residents think? Who cares if no one uses the bike lanes and it costs more?


Elected people are supposed to make their mark on the city/county/nation and that often means residents, taxpayers and citizens won’t like it. Again, who cares?


People think America is a republic and that elected officials are supposed to represent us and safeguard our lives, liberty and property. Only naive idiots believe that anymore.


Elected officials are there to take. They do what they want and represent only power.


MrYan

Small correction Doc. When enough, like minded, PEOPLE are elected they can do whatever they want.


I don’t know of a single elected representative who, individually, can do whatever they want.


Promulgation of this kind of thought; is factually inaccurate and undermines the confidence in the system that you lament for being broken.


Personally, I appreciate when our representatives made a hard call, an informed call, on our behalf, and then defend it without concern for their future.


Granted this is a trait seldom seen in our elected officials. But is this a personal or systematic failing?


I will agree with you though; the apathetic are powerless.


Your resignation to the status quo ensures the outcome you rail against.


Believing in a system as it was designed is not naive; it is patriotic. It is also a requirement of citizenry in good standing. Otherwise what are you a citizen of?


The gap between the two? Hand wringing aside; is yours to help close.


Niles Q

When I was a kid, my mom yelled at me, “Don’t ride in the street! Ride on the sidewalk that’s what it’s for!”

Young children should be allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Instead we require that they have helmets for safety and then force them out into traffic where a helmet provides little protection when you get run over.


Ricky2

Sounds like GB has its own version of Heidi Harpoon, the meanest politician in town.


Unfortunately, people who live in neighborhoods are nothing but collateral damage when it comes to catering to the bike crowd. That set gets everything today.


The design’s stupid. Can you imagine a 7-year-old cyclist hemmed into a bike lane between a curb on one side and the raised asphalt barrier on the other and a car, whose driver can’t see you, backs out in front of you? There’s no place to go but into the car. “Planned” murder called “safety.”


kettle

“Can you imagine a 7-year-old cyclist” It’s called stopping to let the idiot driver pass. Or perhaps you think “There’s no place to go” so verve out into the traffic lane?


If you had ridden a bike on city roads you would know that you have to look out for cars, doesn’t matter the path layout, you don’t ride faster than conditions. Children know this, it’s part of learning to ride a bike.


sjdunbar

As opposed to instinctively swerving into the street and getting hit by fast moving traffic, or running into a car door?


I’ll take the “hitting a slow moving car I saw coming” over that thanks.


Chill

The street they need to address is Saratoga between 16th and Oak Park. It’s a Drag Strip! I talked to the city leaders and got nothing. How about speed bumps? A speed radar sign? Police presents? Maybe another 4 way intersection on Newport and Oak Park? Everyone knows Saratoga is an issue.


1965buick

‘Police presents’

Lmao


Russ J

Road diet. Get out your car everyone. We’ve gained too much steel and aluminum weight. California progressives DO NOT WANT YOU TO DRIVE CARS!


corvidae

What’s really appalling is nobody took her up on the water bottle proposal.


nunsense

“Rey said he expects more people to begin traveling on bicycles” – based on what?


the same tripe is spouted in SLO as well. wonder if they lead by example.


sjdunbar

Based on every other time other cities have installed protected bike lanes.


seeking truth

Jeff Lee and Mariam Shah are out of touch with the people of Grover Beach. Mariam Shah make a habit of rolling her eyes and making faces when the people of Grover Beach are discussing real issues. This condescending attitude has been present for a few years now. When asked questions her most common response is that she does not know or that she never read the subject matter that she is about to vote on. Twirling her hair and rolling her eyes while being disrespectful to the people that elected her is a good way to get recalled. Grover Beach needs some new people to run for City Counsel. The corrupt Mayor Jeff Lee and his inept City counsel has proven to be incompetent and the people are tired of it. It is clear that this street plan was Mariam Shah’s ” Pet Project ” she has wasted the tax payers money while creating real safety concerns. It is time for Grover Beach to clean house and get some new blood. Mariam Shah and Barbara Nichols need to be recalled and the others voted out in 2020 before more damage is done.


LameCommenter

From the article: “Greg Rey, the city engineer, admitted the city had performed no analysis of pedestrian, bicycle or car traffic on Newport Avenue before selecting the protected bicycle lane design.”


This is appalling. But with air-headed city councils enforcing their whim and pet-project will on long established streets, as the SLO council does in SLO, we can pretty much expect run-away, out-of-control progressivism and things like bike lanes and four story canyons everywhere.


Oh, and budget-busting crazy start-from-scratch sewer projects instead of 80% cheaper plant retrofits. Why do we keep electing airheads to high office?


Snoid

$250K more than standard what, bike lanes? So should we assume the crater laced dirt roads reminiscent of old Tijuana are all fixed and there is a $250K overage of cash from bond K14 to waste on bike lanes.