Below is a template for contacting your Santa Clara County Supervisor regarding the proposed Encroachment Permit. Please read through it and replace the emboldened text with your information. To keep up to date on SVBC’s actions on this issue visit the webpage at http://bikesiliconvalley.org/sccpermit.
Honorable Supervisor ________,
I am writing you regarding the proposed changes to the encroachment permit ordinance that you will be considering at your December 9 and December 16 meetings. This ordinance is unfair, excessive and unnecessary. It gives too much authority to the Director of County Roads and does not provide a fair process for applicants. There is no reason that existing laws cannot be used to cover special events.
The ordinance says it will apply to organized bike rides of more than 50 riders unless they are conducted in accordance with the California Vehicle Code. Most organized rides want their events to be conducted in compliance with the law, and many require riders to sign forms agreeing to obey the law. Once the riders are on the road, though, their behavior is out of the hands of organizers. It is unfair to punish the organizers and all the law-abiding participants just because one rider breaks the promise and violates the Vehicle Code. Ordinary enforcement against those who violate the Vehicle Code should be adequate, but this ordinance would allow the whole ride to be declared a public nuisance and shut down based on the behavior of one person. This would deprive law-abiding citizens of their right to use public roads.
Bicycling is a healthy and environmentally-friendly activity. Many people use organized events as a way to motivate themselves to meet bigger physical challenges than they would by themselves, using the support and enthusiasm of the group to spur them on. Charity rides raise millions of dollars every year for worthy causes such as fighting diabetes, cancer, lung disease and multiple sclerosis. People organize and enter these events in order to make life better for those who are seriously ill. The participants get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from knowing that they are contributing to a noble cause. Our society could use more of these contributions, and you should be looking for ways to support and encourage them rather than devising ways to impede them and punish those involved. Raising money to fight an incurable disease is worth a little public inconvenience every now and then.
Please vote against this anti-bicyclist ordinance and help to preserve the rights of law-abiding citizens to use our public roads and to raise money for charities.