The town of Los Gatos, California has openings on the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC). Applications are due November 18, 2016, with interviews tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, December 13 at 7 P.M. I got really long-winded on this post so feel free to skip to the last paragraph for info on the application process and link to the online application.
As with other similar committees in California, the Los Gatos BPAC advises city council on decisions that can affect multi-modal travel. Because Los Gatos roads and bike paths connect to facilities owned by at least seven other agencies (city of San Jose, city of Monte Sereno, city of Campbell, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Santa Clara County Parks, Midpen Open Space District, and Caltrans), there’s a lot to track in spite of the small size of the town. The BPAC works closely with the town’s Youth Commission, Transportation Commission, Police Department, and Public Works.
I think the BPAC is responsible for those awesome “Don’t Text and Drive” signs you see around Los Gatos.
At least four people on bikes have been killed over the past decade in Los Gatos. They are:
- Car-free Los Gatos resident Joshua West was stopped on the side of Lark Avenue on February 1, 2010 when 50-year-old Kevin Derr, who continued to drive in spite of his two-year record of uncontrolled seizures, accelerated his Chevy Blazer to 50 MPH across a busy, narrow intersection, jumped the curb onto the sidewalk and killed West. The single dad left behind a seven year old daughter.
- Andrew Hale was killed at Los Gatos Blvd and Blossom Hill Road on February 27, 2008 when he apparently biked at high speed through a red light.
- SWITRS logs a solo cyclist fatality on June 26, 2015 at 119 Wood Road in Los Gatos, but I have no recollection of this and cannot find news of this crash.
- SWITRS classifies this as a “severe injury” since the victim succumbed to his injuries nine months after the collision: Professor Bahram Saghari was left-crossed on Los Gatos Boulevard by the unlicensed driver of a Ford Explorer.
Eighteen other collisions over the same period resulted in serious, life-changing injuries to twenty victims on bike. It’s perhaps no surprise to learn most of the collisions take place on Blossom Hill Road and on Highway 9.
The Los Gatos BPAC generally holds its regular meetings at 3:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of even numbered months, which is great for staffers who are required to attend these meetings but not great for commissioners who need to work for a living. This means BPAC membership is dominated by retired, semi-retired, and self-employed individuals.
Residency is required, and the membership is a little more complicated than I’m accustomed to seeing, with four of the committee’s seven members selected by and from among members of other advisory committees in town.