I launched a contest yesterday asking people to send in copies of the letters they submitted to public officials about the proposed bicycle parking code changes. Get all the details about the contest to win a free breakfast at our sponsor, The B Line.

I’ll post one of my favorite letters each day. So far I’ve had these people submit their letters:

  • Dan M. 2 entries
  • Janet M. 2 entries
  • Marysue S. 2 entires
  • Ezra R. 1 entry
  • Aida A, 1 entry
  • Frank T. 2 entries

Today I want to highlight Dan’s letter. Here is what he sent me, which makes me feel good:

Thanks for doing this contest; it’s a great idea!  This is the first time I have ever written to an elected representative and it felt great.

By the way, I just want to say that I really love your blog and I read it every day (sometimes multiple times a day).  Keep up the great work!

Here is what he sent his councilwoman and the Mayor:

As I’m sure you are aware, there is a rezoning proposal that will be discussed in a public meeting on Tuesday, March 8.  The new zoning proposal states that bike parking does not need to be placed within 50 feet of a building and that it could be placed 75 feet away instead, providing extra security (cameras, guards, etc.).

Tucson is trying to sell itself as a bike friendly city.  In order to do that, it needs to meet or exceed national bike related standards.  Most cities in the nation, especially cities that are trying to be bike friendly, have a 50 ft. distance minimum written into their bike parking codes (including but not limited to San Francisco and Portland, Oregon).  If Tucson wants to be bike friendly, it must at least use the minimum distance requirements that other bike friendly cities are using.

The main point I want to drive home is this isn’t just an issue involving bikes and bicyclists; this is an issue that has an impact on everyone, including (or especially) automobile drivers.

Think about it this way: quality bike parking encourages people to bike.  More people biking means less people driving.  Less people driving means less traffic on the roads that we all have to share everyday.  Therefore, this is a decision you should think seriously about.  Do we want to encourage or discourage people to use their bicycles?

I am currently a student at the University of Arizona.  I am not currently planning on staying in Tucson after I graduate in a year, but maybe I would consider it if the city decided to more aggressively pursue bike friendly policy.  One of my favorite aspects of Tucson is the fact that it is relatively easy to bike everywhere.  Since I do not own a car, this is my primary method of transportation.

However, the city is far from perfect in regard to being bike friendly.  Passing this new zoning policy would be very regressive and it would make me even less inclined to stay in Tucson after I graduate.

I strongly encourage you to think about the effects of this policy before voting on it.  Thank you for your time.

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