From Siskiyou Velo – Please consider attending and testifying at the Medford Planning Commission’s transportation plan, public hearing on Thursday, October 11 at 5:30 pm, Medford Council Chamber, 3rd floor City Hall. Siskiyou Velo will be there to testify. The Velo’s testimony, however, focuses exclusively on bicycle transportation and doesn’t address the potential for people riding bikes to significantly reduce local carbon emissions.
You’ve all read the recent report on climate change and the necessity of making changes NOW to avoid cataclysmic impacts on people, plants, animals and the earth itself. This is your chance to influence local transportation policy and help to reduce the region’s carbon footprint.
I maintain that the provision of a safe and convenient bicycle transportation system can lead to a 10 percent bicycle mode share (that is, 10 percent of all regional vehicle miles of travel – by bicycle). That change in travel behavior will also reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector by 10 percent. I don’t know of any other locally based initiative that can have that large of an impact on local carbon emissions.
Residents of the Rogue Valley want to bicycle but the existing transportation system is too dangerous for most people to do so. It doesn’t have to be that way and State law requires local governments to provide a “safe and convenient” bicycle transportation system and to reduce the share of single occupant motor vehicles. The law is on our side!
Oregon’s land use planning law also includes Goal 6, which states:
AIR, WATER AND LAND RESOURCES QUALITY OAR 660-015-0000(6)
To maintain and improve the quality of the air, water and land resources of the state. All waste and process discharges from future development, when combined with such discharges from existing developments shall not threaten to violate, or violate applicable state or federal environmental quality statutes, rules and standards. With respect to the air, water and land resources of the applicable air sheds and river basins described or included in state environmental quality statutes, rules, standards and implementation plans, such discharges shall not (1) exceed the carrying capacity of such resources, considering long range needs; (2) degrade such resources; or (3) threaten the availability of such resources.
There is little doubt that climate change will adversely affect all the resources protected under Goal 6. Tell the Planning Commission that local carbon emissions will be unnecessarily higher (without a viable, safe and convenient bicycle transportation system) and that such an outcome violates the requirements of OAR 660-015-0000(6). Then explain the implications of climate change on the Rogue Valley.
If you can’t attend the public hearing your can send your testimony by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add the November 1, Medford City Council Public Hearing on the draft transportation plan to your calendar.
Thanks for your support and efforts to make the Rogue Valley a better place to live,
Siskiyou Velo Education Chair,
Siskiyou Velo Advocacy Co-chair