We expect the Sebastopol City Council to authorize the creation of the Sebastopol Complete Streets Advisory Board at their May 3rd meeting. This body will serve as the City’s official advisory group on pedestrian, bicycle, bus and all other modes of transportation outside of private, single-occupant automobiles. Under California state law, all cities of 10,000 or more must have a bicycle and pedestrian advisory group, although it is optional for smaller cities. City Council member and former Mayor Sarah Gurney, local bicycle and pedestrian activists and others were interested in creating a board for Sebastopol, but not enough other Council members supported the proposal at the time. So the alternative was a citizen’s group, which became Bike-Walk Sebastopol–I’ve been part of that group since the beginning–but with the idea that eventually an official group could come into existence. With Patrick Slater’s election to the Council in November, there was now a critical mass. He gained the approval of the Council to draft a charter earlier this year and after a number of revisions and discussions over a name, numbers and makeup, the advisory group is finally within reach.

Bike-Walk Sebastopol suggested the name Sebastopol Complete Streets Advisory Board to reflect the language of the State statute mandating bicycle and pedestrian master plans for all jurisdictions and to broaden the focus beyond bicycles and pedestrians. We’re looking forward to having a greater say in making the City a better place for everyone who gets around town by means other than private cars.