Sean Matsler to Write a Resource Plan
Sean Matsler is a 3-year member of the Newport Beach Bike Safety Committee. He recently volunteered to work with other members to make a Resource Plan recommendation for the City Council. Like every city, we’re constrained by time, money and resources, in this case that means people. Half a staff person can only take a city so far in terms of improving cycling safety on city streets. Some have even suggested that the Bike Safety Committee might retire because our to-do list exceeds staff’s ability to deliver in any timely manner. The solution? We need more staff, but what kind, how many and for how long? This is Sean’s short term charter as he works to craft a Resource Plan. I shared a few thoughts…
The new sub-committee you volunteered for, to come up with a Resource Plan, of course, I have some ideas.
I reached out Rock Miller and Charlie Gandy recently. They were both prominently featured at the recent Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference; Rock was on the agenda at least 3 times and Charlie the host. Both men attended our most recent Bike Safety Committee meeting.
You know of Charlie; he’d be great for bringing consensus within the bicycle community. Hiring him would be the equivalent of “a shot across the bow”; the whole country would learn of Newport Beach’s renewed commitment to bike safety.
Rock Miller was the guy who actually did the work in Long Beach that Charlie gets credit for. They’ve recently worked together in Riverside, too.
Rock explained one interesting feature: Newport Beach could quickly hire him — he has a standing Emergency Services contract on file with the City. It could be activated in only a couple of days. Then Rock could sub-contract to Charlie.
Of course the biggest challenges we continue to face are two-fold, one is what I hear everywhere there has been a notable improvement in bike safety: it takes commitment from the top, the political will to want to make changes for the better. Secondly, there is tremendous resistance to change in our community. Newport Beach, like many other cities, is completely entrenched in the automobile culture. This is apparent on the City Council, in staff and even in our Committee. We need the best and the brightest to assist us.