Speak out for Bikes, Pedestrians Wednesday


An Open Letter to All Residents of San Clemente:

Do you like walking in the roadway with cars? Do you trust motorists to drive carefully? Have you ever ridden your bicycle over or under the freeway at Camino de la Estrella, Vista Hermosa, or Ave. Pico? Do you think the City and Caltrans did a good job planning those intersections? Would you let your kids navigate such freeway interchanges?

If you used a wheelchair, walker, or a cane, how would you feel navigating our streets and sidewalks? Do you want San Clemente’s infrastructure to remain as it is?

If you care about safe sidewalks that are fully ADA-compliant, Safe Routes to School for San Clemente’s kids, Safe Routes to the Beach, alternative modes of transportation, and economic vibrancy of our historic downtown and El Camino Real, then you need to make time to share your views with City Staff and appointed members of the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC). Here’s how:

At 5:30 p.m. this Wednesday evening (MAP HERE), the GPAC will be evaluating San Clemente’s first draft Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. City Planning Staff and consultants need your comments so that the draft will reflect our community’s desire to become more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, as 90% of surveyed residents declared back in 2009.

will be incorporated with the Transportation Element of our City’supdated General Plan. As such, it is the legally-binding policy document that governs how our network of bikeways, roads, railways, off-road trails, and pedestrian paths will function decades into the future. The in January, 2012, will frame the discussion. The specific content is up to us.

The draft document is NOT perfect, as it is just now entering the public hearing phase. Here’s the link to the 74-page excerpt of the draftHERE (just print Chapter 2 for the meeting).

There are a few things you need to know to prepare for the meeting:


  • the 5 pages of Chapter 2: that is the legal meatgoals, objectives, policies, and implementation programs–of the draft plan.


  • goals and objectives: these statements are the ones that endure to guide day-to-day decisions for the next 20 years. They are long term and are not easily changed except by amending the entire General Plan.
  • policies:  these are shorter term and ebb and flow with political sentiments. If you think something should be of supreme importance long-term, then it should NOT be relegated to policy-level language.
  • implementation measures/programs:  these are the shortest-term directives that fluctuate with funding and community progress.

KNOW the difference between “shall,” “must,” “should,” and “may.”

  • shall” and “must” are commands that require something be done.
  • should” and “may” are merely suggestive and don’t require anything.

Example: You SHALL clean your room! vs. You SHOULD clean your room. Which one does the speaker intend to carry expectations and consequences?

PARTICIPATE: our great republic–and our treasured Spanish Village–depend upon engaged San Clemente citizens.

Do not wait until the last minutewhen the BPMP reaches the City Council–to engage. That may be too late for meaningful changes. Come to the GPAC meeting and to subsequent Planning Commission meetings (yet to be scheduled) to express your opinions and passions. Do NOT leave the job to someone else.

Voices-in-real-time matter

You matter

Your kids and grandkids matter.

Do it for them.  

Make time to make a difference. Carpe diem.