Friends of CV Link Citizens Group Urges CVAG to Proceed With Life-Saving Alternative Transportation

October 13, 2015

Whereas Friends of CV Link is a volunteer citizen group that serves to advocate on behalf of the CV Link and to further enhance the project once it is built, as well as provide input to the CVAG governing body on the project, FCVL supports the following resolution:

As it appears to us that no matter what concessions and compromises are made to the City of Rancho Mirage; no matter that the City originally signed on to support the CV Link as well as funding it and now opposes almost every issue related to advancing this life-saving endeavor, our organization strongly supports the CVAG governing body to proceed with all CV Link plans with Rancho Mirage not currently being a part of the project but to continue with scheduled EIR reports as planned.

FCVL recognizes that the City of Rancho Mirage has cost CVAG hundreds of thousands of dollars by it’s change in plans yet never discusses that aspect of their fiscal irresponsibility.

FCVL recognizes that the Mayor of Rancho Mirage has never asked CVAG or FCVL to provide an objective analysis of the CV Link proposal (presenting both sides) when he has used City resources to send out 6 email blasts urging residents to write letters against the CV Link, while distorting the issues. As a lawyer he should recognize the necessity to allow both sides to present arguments in favor or against in his diatribes.

FCVL has been approached by many Rancho Mirage residents who say that their Mayor does not represent them and they are wholeheartedly in support of the CV Link in spite of the Mayor declaring at one meeting that 90% of RM residents oppose it and at a subsequent meeting saying that residents oppose it 90 to 1 (1.1% in favor) without offering any proof of this.

FCVL finds it highly deceptive for the Mayor to propose an advisory vote on the ballot worded as, “Do Rancho Mirage residents approve or disapprove of about two miles of Highway 111 being used as a CV Link route through the city?” This is ridiculous, has never been proposed and leads voters think that an automobile lane is going to be taken from them on Highway 111.

FCVL finds the Mayor of Rancho Mirage to be disingenuous when he complains that the original route behind the RM Library would be disruptive to the Library because a charging station for the CV Link was planned nearby, when the Library just completed a solar shade-parking project that included installation of 6 charging ports for vehicles!

FCVL finds it inconsistent when the Mayor of RM objects to the Board of Supervisors which represents about 2.3 million people having 5 votes on the CVAG Executive Committee because this does not fairly represent the population of the Coachella Valley. Yet he does not object to Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells each having a vote on the Executive Committee while every other city in the Valley has far greater populations but only has one vote. Indio for example has about 16 times the population as Indian Wells but still only has one vote.

FCVL finds the Mayor to be highly misinformed when he makes public statements at the June 1st and September 28th CVAG Executive Committee meetings that only 1/3 the number of volunteers from FCVL partook of a Clean Up Day in Rancho Mirage in 2015. Furthermore after numerous route compromises by CVAG he is asked where should the route in RM run and he suggests running it up Da Vall or Date Palm Dr. and then east on Ramon to a major intersection. Due to his being misinformed the Mayor of Cathedral City has to inform him that Ramon does not intersect a major named intersection. Minutes later the Director of CVAG needs to school the Mayor once again when the Mayor declares that golf carts are not allowed on a certain portion of roadway in Rancho Mirage when in fact they are. The Mayor laughs it off and says, he will have to confer with his City Manager to get that changed tomorrow. After suggesting this alternative route which takes bicyclists and pedestrians many miles out of the way, he acts surprised and accusatory as to why CVAG used his suggested route in their planning as presented at the September 28th CVAG meeting.

FCVL knows that the CV Link will create local jobs, improve the health of the Coachella Valley, bring in millions in tourist revenues, increase property values in the Valley, assist disabled and able-bodied individuals by providing a safe alternative transportation route, and save lives by reducing the number of pedestrian/bicycle run ins with cars. For these reasons and the obstructionist actions of the Mayor of Rancho Mirage we strongly encourage CVAG to grant Rancho Mirage it’s desire to not be a team player in this Valley-wide project, and proceed with the CV Link as soon as possible.


Bike Lanes & Property Values: Is There A Correlation?

Thursday, August 8, 2013, by Josh Green

Bicycle bells could soon sound like cha-chings for buyers and sellers living along the projected 15 miles of installed bike lanes connecting parts of Midtown to the Beltline and beyond. As Curbed Atlanta reported last month, paint and asphalt crews have been hard at work finishing new two-way lanes on the 10th Street corridor. The new dedicated biking lanes are only the first phase of a 26-item project list approved by the City of Atlanta, expanding bike infrastructure from Monroe Drive (at the Eastside Trail) and eventually running a more central route along Peachtree Street. But it’s hard to hear the implications for homeowners and house-hunters — either positive or negative — over the public’s overwhelmingly triumphant bells and whistles. When bike-friendly infrastructure breaks ground, how can we expect property values to respond?

Read the entire article at: Curbed Atlanta


More and More Towns Are Falling in Love With Golf Carts

citygolfcartsFrom the Atlanta suburbs to Palm Springs, golf carts and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) are increasingly found off the links.

One of the promotional videos for The Villages, Central Florida’s city of the old, is all about golf carts. Picture a Boomer’s take on Pimp My Ride: Some carts are souped up to look like Model Ts, fire trucks, or Thunderbirds, or colored to rep a hometown sports team. In a city with no native sons, the carts are expressions of identity.

Read the entire article at: The Atlantic CityLab


Park City Utah And Their Trail System

As Park City grows and develops there is an increasing need and demand for recreational hiking and biking trails, trail-head parking, neighborhood trails and connections, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, signs, and maps. There is a desire in the community to better identify, develop and preserve pedestrian and bicycle access as the land becomes developed. In addition to encouraging recreation, the development of a non-motorized trail system can help reduce vehicle trips and traffic congestion. The result will be a community resource providing transportation alternatives, recreational opportunities, environmental aesthetics, open space preservation and increased property values.

Park City Utah-Trails Master Plan 2008 with map


Butler Trail Cleanup

Friends of CV Link (FCVL) have completed community Clean Up Events in Palm Springs and Cathedral City, picking up trash, sweeping sand off trails, etc. near where the Link will be built. Our next Clean Up is on Sun. March 22nd from 8-10AM in Rancho Mirage on the Butler Trail which runs between Country Club Dr. & Frank Sinatra. Please meet at 8AM near the corner of Country Club & Highway 111 (Trojan Plaza parking lot). The City has provided us with some garbage pickers and bags, but please bring some gloves, sturdy hiking boots, and if you have any push brooms or other clean up tools. All are invited and your help is greatly appreciated. In October we will head to D.H.S.


CVAG Meeting Focus on Hiking

Indio Typ Ped PathHikers and others: Come hear about the CV Link with a focus on hiking from officials from the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG).  The CV Link is a 50-mile transportation corridor running along the Whitewater wash from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea serving walkers, bikers, runners, and low-speed electric vehicles. Come with your questions about this important recreational addition to our valley.  Members of Friends of CV Link, a non-profit organization supporting the CV Link, will also be available.

Tuesday February 24th  4-6PM
Palm Desert Public Library
73300 Fred Waring Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Phone Mary Settle at 760-564-5370 for more info.


Friends of CV Link Award

FRIENDS OF CV LINK PROUDLY BESTOWS ITS FIRST ANNUAL SAFE BIKING & TRANSPORTATION AWARD TO THE CITY OF PALM SPRINGS & ITS NON-MOTORIZED TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE.

The 1-year-old non-profit organization, “Friends of CV Link”, made up of Coachella Valley residents exists to support and enhance the proposed 50-mile pathway proposed for the Valley. The Board of the Friends group recognized or rather was “blown away” by the tremendous work that the City of Palm Springs has been actively promoting for more bicycle safety and alternative routes for bike riders. Safety is but one impetus for building the CV Link that will help separate automobiles from bicycles, pedestrians, golf cart users, and hikers, hopefully cutting down on the annual double-digit casualty rate that currently exists for pedestrians and bike riders in our Valley. The City’s Non-Motorized Transportation Committee guided by Brett Klein, Vic Yepello, and Michelle Mician has been a role model for creative planning that stresses a culture of including non-motorized transportation into the daily work culture, working to update the General Plan to be more inclusive of “green” issues, and conducting numerous safe bicycling events open to the entire Coachella Valley. Their semi-annual “Cycledelic” bike festival includes a Bike Safety 101 class, health & wellness information, safety checks, plus giveaways of helmets and bike lights. Furthermore they support an annual kids bike to school day, and various bike safety demonstrations in the schools. The City is regularly present at various community events promoting their bicycle educational material as well as recently contracting to provide and educate the downtown business corridor on the implementation of a “Bicycle Friendly Business District”. This includes a safe walking corridor as well. Palm Springs continues to forge ahead with more bike lanes, safety signage & artistic bike racks and corrals throughout the City. The Friends of CV Link recognize the volunteer spirit of the City of Palm Springs and it’s Committees to help create a safer and greener environment for our Coachella Valley. The striking metal sculpture award was designed and created with the assistance of Friends of CV Link Board member, Jim Rothblatt and Palm Springs High School student, D’Laurence King. We invite you to attend the presentation of this prestigious and inspiring Award on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 in the Large Conference Room of the Palm Springs City Hall at 5PM during the P.S. Sustainability Commission meeting.

 

CONTACT: Paul Harris,  President, Friends of CV Link Cell: 760-969-0935 Email: harris4802@earthlink.net


Valley Voice: The health impacts of the CV Link

Silvia Paz, Special to The Desert Sun 6:35 p.m. PST November 7, 2014

desertsun-pazsiliva(Photo: Desert Sun file photo )

Building Healthy Communities Eastern Coachella Valley commends the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, the Southern California Association of Governments and the Riverside County Department of Public Health for their leadership to advance health outcomes of the CV Link through a health impact assessment.

An easy way to describe the role of the assessment is by comparing it to the role of a doctor.

Just as a doctor can advise patients on how to improve their health, a health impact assessment can provide recommendations on a project to maximize positive health impacts and minimize negative health outcomes.

The CV Link has been a topic of controversy for many across the Coachella Valley. Most of the disagreement has centered on whether the cost of the project is a worthy investment when we have communities across the valley with unique health concerns: poor housing and environmental conditions that exacerbate respiratory illnesses and poor planning that has left many of our low-income communities without access to parks, bike lanes or even sidewalks.

And while I tend to agree with these concerns wholeheartedly, it does not mean that the CV Link cannot be done right.

Supporters of the CV Link suggest that the trail will bring several benefits, including increased multimodal transportation, an opportunity for fitness and recreation, and economic development. The health impact assessment process, which begins with a series of scoping meetings, provides an opportunity for the public to influence the design of the CV Link to ensure its impact is understood and positive health outcomes are maximized, especially for communities of high need.

Building Healthy Communities anticipates robust community engagement and the publication of the health impact assessment’s recommendations to learn how its findings will inform the design of CV Link.

To find more information about the health impact assessment and related workshops, visit www.cvag.org.

Silvia Paz is director of Building Healthy Communities Eastern Coachella Valley, a health equity initiative of The California Endowment. E-mail her at spazbhc@gmail.com

http://www.desertsun.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/11/07/health-effects-cv-link/18679603/