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San Luis Obispo, Spanish for “St. Louis, Bishop [of Toulouse]”, or SLO for short, is a city in the U.S. state of California, located 190 miles north of Los Angeles in Southern California’s Central Coast region. Founded in 1772 by Spanish Franciscan Junípero Serra, San Luis Obispo is one of California’s oldest European-founded communities. Serra’s original mission was named after the 13th-century saint and bishop Louis of Toulouse. The city, locally referred to as San Luis, SLO, or SLO Town (as its county is also referred to as SLO) is the county seat of San Luis Obispo County and is adjacent to California Polytechnic State University.
Bicycling is increasing as a mode of transportation. The Bill Roalman (Morro Street) Bicycle Boulevard gives priority to bicycle traffic while a special bicycle traffic signal (one of only a handful in the United States) allows bicyclists their own phase in traffic flow. The SLO County Bicycle Coalition offers a free bicycle valet service during the weekly Farmers’ Market. In 2007, the city was designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Gold level by the League of American Bicyclists.
The city provides parking in three multistory parking structures downtown. Street parking downtown is metered except on holidays. The city’s Racks with Plaques program has increased bike racks in the downtown area and has cut down on parking congestion.