At the January 31, 2009 Annual Retreat EBBC members adopted two new campaigns for 2009.
• American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (AKA: Stimulus Funds). By the time of the retreat, EBBC was already fully engaged in lobbying Congress for Transportation Enhancements to be part of the ARRA (we succeeded to get 3%) and for local jurisdictions to prioritize Tier 1 local street rehabilitation projects that have a "bicycle plan" nexus. Bicyclists win when jurisdictions combine resurfacing of rutted roadways and close gaps in planned bikeways. The short 90-day timeline to allocate funds after the Obama administration and Congress agreed on the ARRA funding really kept us hopping to submit projects to local agencies. As well, Tier 1 projects represented the first time that the MTC employed our long sought Routine Accommodation policy. Again, the short timeline left much to be desired. The Tier 2 or "Strategic Investments" will have a longer allocation deadline, but our advocacy is focused on insuring the projects incorporate bicycle access and safety. A State Allocation represents yet a third ARRA component and EBBC is busy lobbying Caltrans for a wide range of bicycle access and safety improvements on State routes in the East Bay.
• California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reform. Current environmental policies for transportation promote driving while creating legal barriers to build new bikeways, widen sidewalks or create dedicated bus lanes. Ironically, CEQA keeps cities from installing new bikelanes near Smart Growth and transit, because by 2035 the transportation guidelines suggest the future population growth will cause too much congestion to allow for bikeways! In the East Bay we can blame CEQA for an unbuilt Telegraph Ave bikeway in Oakland and the lack of bicycle access to MacArthur BART and Fruitvale BART. A frivolous CEQA lawsuit in San Francisco halted ALL bike plan implementation for almost three years. Oakland had to spend over a $250,000 to create a Bicycle Master Plan that addressed CEQA!