Friday, June 8, 2012

Latest Developments on Recent Bicycle Fatalities and SDCBC Response

San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Responds to NBC 7 News Report Regarding
Recent Bicycle Fatalities

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC), the regions bicycle advocacy
and education organization has learned of the latest developments in cases
involving bicyclists David Ortiz and Charles Gilbreth, who were tragically
killed while legally riding to work.

According to the story, investigators from the San Diego Police Department
asked prosecutors to file misdemeanor negligence charges against a driver
who struck cyclist Charles Raymond Gilbreth in April on Montezuma Road.

Police said there is conflicting evidence in the March 22 death of another
cyclist, David Ortiz, on Balboa Avenue.

Link to complete story:

Source: Conflicting Evidence in Fatal Bike Crash: Police | NBC San Diego

Statement from the SDCBC

Sadly we are reminded by these tragic deaths that bicycling in San Diego too
often involves dealing with risky situations; situations of illegal and/or
inattentive behaviors, and situations where roadway designs are hostile to
people who choose to or must sometimes walk or use bicycles.

SDCBC provides information and training courses for people who make a
bicycling choice. We help people to ride lawfully, to choose routes and
places to ride that fit their skill level, to learn basic crash avoidance
techniques, and to be vigilant for the mistakes of others!

We strongly urge everyone who drives to pay careful attention - mistakes
with cars kill far too many Americans every day. Roads are for bicycling
too, not only for motor vehicle use!

Supporters of the SDCBC are fighting to improve conditions for bicycling,
but everyone using San Diego roadways benefits from safer conditions. Zero
deaths should be a goal for all of us.

San Diego County Bicycle Coalition

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2012 Bike Month Recap from SD Downtown News

Bike Month activities yield record-breaking results

Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Featured, News | No Comments
Over 8,500 local residents counted county-wide biking on Bike to Work Day
By Ashley Mackin | Downtown News
On May 1, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC), along with local elected officials and representatives from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), declared May as Bike Month in San Diego.
County Supervisor Greg Cox gave SDCBC a proclamation designating May as Bike To Work Month in San Diego and at the same time, voiced his support of biking to work year-round.
Also encouraging bicyclists to ride on a regular basis, SDCBC Executive Director Andy Hanshaw said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to bring greater awareness to the benefits of bicycling and encourage people of all ages and abilities to join the ride [with Bike to Work Month].”
Hanshaw identified a number of benefits to bicycling, including exercise and having a clean gas-saving mode of transportation, as well as the fact that San Diego weather makes bicycling suitable all year round.
District Three Councilmember Todd Gloria cited a statistic that 40 percent of vehicle trips are two miles or less. “Can you imagine what we could accomplish if we would simply substitute many of those trips for bicycle rides, instead? We could make a significant impact on the quality of life in our neighborhoods. … It would be a tremendous thing,” he said.
(left to right) District Eight Councilmember David Alvarez, San Diego Association of Governments Chair Jerome Stocks, District Three Councilmember Todd Gloria, County Supervisor Greg Cox, and San Diego County Bike Coalition Executive Director Andy Hanshaw, at the Bike Month kickoff. (Photo by Ashley Mackin)
District Eight Councilmember David Alvarez said he rides a bicycle to City Hall because driving to work would put him in that same statistic. “I do live … less than two miles away from where I work,” he said, adding that he rides his bicycle often, including to work. Alvarez also told the crowd that sometimes he leaves for work at the same time as a nearby trolley, and he often gets to City Hall first.
Gloria said as a city councilmember, issues surrounding parking make up the majority of complaints. “If I can just get more folks to ride bikes I could solve the parking problem …” he said. “We don’t need massive parking structures, we just need more bicycles.”
Jaime Ortiz, a SDCBC volunteer, said riding a bike on a daily basis is easy. “I think the important thing to remember when your talking about bicycling as a commuting option is that it’s a part of your life,” she said. “You wear what you wear in your car. … You don’t have to be dressed in any particular fashion or any particular attire to jump on your bike.
“You don’t have to wear spandex … you can be comfortable, you can wear jeans and have beautiful hair and you can wear makeup, you can look good on a bike and also get around,” she said.
On Bike to Work Day, SANDAG-sponsored “pit stops,” where volunteers dispensed shirts and snacks, yielded record-breaking results.
A SANDAG press release stated, “More than 7,000 bicyclists stopped at the 78 pit stops that have reported in so far. Last year saw a record 6,000 cyclists checking in at the stops. In all, there were 85 pit stops around the county on Friday, May 18. … Additionally, pit-stop volunteers counted 2,500 cyclists who pedaled by, opting not to stop.”
Dan Martin, a principal planner for SANDAG was quoted in the release, “It is probably a combination of things, from high gas prices to a healthier outlook on life. Many people look upon bicycling as a way of putting a little money back into their pockets each time they realize they don’t have to fill the car with gas, they don’t have to pay parking fees and tolls, and they don’t have to make car repairs.”
Hanshaw thinks the activities and support found during Bike Month will encourage people to ride bikes all year, which is what organizers intended. “The idea [behind Bike to Work Day] is they develop confidence and the skills to get out there and try it more and we want to see people do it as much as they can to help our traffic, environment and save money,” Hanshaw said.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bike to the Polls

Christina, Me and Patty at the Registrar of Voters.
They were very good sports to put up with me!
So I heard that you can actually vote on the Saturday before election day if you go to the County Registrar of Voters in Kearny Mesa. Since I have crazy work hours on Tuesday, and I needed a bike ride this week I figured I’d give it a try. Turns out you can!

I don’t like to vote by mail. I want to wait till the very end, then actually go to the voting booth and cast my vote and get my cool “I Voted” sticker. I’m probably the only one who misses those machines that made the kachunk” noise when it poked a hole in your ballot to make your selection (thanks, “hanging chads” for ruining that for me…). Usually I ride my bike to my neighborhood polling place in the morning to vote.
For me, riding my bike to the polls is an act of patriotism. What could exemplify the independent spirit of the US more than participating in our most civic act under my own power? No foreign oil, no polluting our spacious skies. This year was more of a chore since it would be about a 40 mile round trip, but it was a gorgeous day for a ride. So how could I resist?
When I got to the registrar, the sheriff deputies were kind enough to watch my bike for me when I went in to vote. The poll workers couldn’t have been nicer, and I got delighted smiles when they realized I rode my bike there. There were quite a few people besides me there to vote, and the folks in the office were pleasant and efficient when they walk us through the process. We should really thank all the hardworking people who will carry out this ritual of democracy – they work long hours and I’ve never seen any of them be anything other than happy to see so many people participating in the election. Big thanks to all of you for helping all of us get to vote!
(Not registered to vote?  Register right now so you don’t miss out on the November election!) 
The ride back home was great, warmed by the knowledge I had done my civic duty. Don’t miss out on that feeling. Ride your bike to the polls on Tuesday. We’d love to hear your story or see your pictures of riding to vote – share with us here or on our Facebook page. Happy Election Day!