Monday, December 30, 2013

VICTORY: San Diego City Council Approves $312 Million Bicycle Master Plan Update


San Diego County Bicycle Coalition applauds City for long-term bicycling vision  

SAN DIEGO, December 9, 2013 – Today San Diego City Council approved its Bicycle Master Plan Update, citywide policy to guide the development and maintenance of San Diego’s bicycle network including roadways, support facilities and non-infrastructure programs through the next twenty years.  The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, an organization protecting the rights of all people who ride bicycles, says this is a historic step toward a regional bicycle network of interconnected corridors, support facilities and programs to make bicycling a viable form of transportation in the county.

Bicycling transforms our city and our communities, and we need safer routes to encourage more people to ride to their jobs, local business districts and for everyday travel,” says Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition. “Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council continue to be strong advocates for bicycling in San Diego and I want to thank them for seeking the input of our members.” 

San Diego’s current bicycle infrastructure includes approximately 500 miles of bike-friendly roads, routes and paths. The new plan includes an assessment of the existing infrastructure and recommends increased bicycle parking, improved bicycle signage, bicycle safety courses and approximately 878 miles of proposed bike lanes and bike routes throughout San Diego County.

Highlights for the Bicycle Coalition include:
  • Bike share – San Diego County unanimously approved the implementation of a bike share system with DECO Bikes to implement as early as January 2014
  • CicloSDias – In the recent success of San Diego’s first-ever open streets celebration, the plan incorporates an outline for future CicloSDias events
  • Safety enhancements – The plan increases safety precautions for bicyclists such as green and expanded bike lanes
The projected improvements to the current bicycle infrastructure provide anyone on a bicycle with better access to local businesses, transit centers, shopping districts, parks and other amenities for locals and tourists alike. With approval of this plan, Hanshaw says San Diego ensures twenty years of bicycle advancements and that bicycle commuting is a trend that is growing, not going away.

To learn more about the Bicycle Master Plan Update, click here. For more information on the Bicycle Coalition’s strategic initiatives, visit www.sdcbc.org.

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SAN DIEGO COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION: (SDCBC) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for and protects the rights of all people who ride bicycles. They promote bicycling as a mainstream, safe and enjoyable form of transportation and recreation.  For more information, go to www.sdcbc.org.  


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bicycle Coalition Celebrates San Diego’s Big 13 of 2013

Two-wheeled momentum builds from Coronado to Oceanside

On December 12th, people who love bicycles rolled into SILO in Makers Quarter to spin joy for the county’s top 13 bicycle achievements in 2013. The third annual Holiday Joy Ride showcased achievements such as major route and parking improvements, government and agency bicycling plans, open street celebrations and events attended by everyday people on two (and sometimes three) wheels.

In no particular order, the Bicycle Coalition notes the big 13 of 2013 as: 
  • CicloSDias – San Diego’s first open streets celebration celebrates car-free streets
  • New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat raises more than $40,000 for local bicycling nonprofits
  • Thousands of bicycles cross the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge for sixth annual Bike the Bay and raise more than $62,000 for the Bicycle Coalition
  • Mayoral Candidates address plan for livable streets and communities
  • The Bicycle Coalition hosts dozens of classes and public workshops to prepare anyone bicycling with safety tips
  • SANDAG approves $200-million for regional bike plan Early Action program
  • San Diego’s first-ever bike share program with DECO Bikes unanimously approved (scheduled to launch in 2014)
  • Bike to Work Day gets a record number of participants in 2013 (over 9,000)
  • Cities across San Diego County install bike corrals, green bike lanes, sharrows and other infrastructure enhancements
  • The Bicycle Coalition hosts free bicycle valet at over twenty community events in San Diego County
  • Regional Bike Walk Alliance created by the Bicycle Coalition represented by Bicycle and Pedestrian groups in Oceanside, Coronado, Chula Vista, Encinitas, Vista, Escondido, Solana Beach and San Diego City Council District 2
  • Partnership with San Diego Business Improvement District Council holds Monthly Bike Local Sundays to encourage folks to ride and shop at local businesses
  • San Diego City Council Approves $312 Million Bicycle Master Plan Update 
In addition to bicycling improvements throughout the county, the Bicycle Coalition honored the winners of its Golden Gear Awards for those who went above and beyond to make San Diego more bicycle friendly in 2013. The winners include:
  • Advocate of the Year: Randy Van Vleck of City Heights Community Development Corporation
  • Volunteers of the Year: Julie Hocking and Robert Leone
  • Community Partner of the Year: KPRI Radio
  • Public Partner of the Year: San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
  • Bike Friendly Business of the Year: New Belgium Brewing
For more information on the Bicycle Coalition and how to get involved in its successes in 2014, please visit www.sdcbc.org

Monday, December 16, 2013

Robert's Mini Bike Book Review

Four Childrens' Bike Books!

By various authors
reviewed by Robert Leone

Yikes! Bikes! (Ready, Freddy! Series) by Abby Klein, illustrated by John McKinley. This series chapter book, suitable for individual reading by those from about 2nd to 4th grade level, has a perfectly appropriate title. Shark-infatuated Freddy Thresher has to put his body where his mouth was and learn to ride without training wheels in time for the big charity ride. His older sister enjoys telling him how much he'll fall learning to ride. Dad's teaching technique: Hold Freddy upright and then when moving at some speed, letting go. Don't expect much in the way of positive bike image – they're depicted as objects of pain to be mastered, not aids to enjoyment.

Andy Shane: Hero at Last by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, illustrated by Abby Carter. This picture-dominated book, suitable for read-along with kindergarteners and individual reading by 1st and 2nd graders, depicts our hero decorating his bike for riding in the big parade. In a moment of gentle heroics, saving the big parade with a timely retrieval of a bass drummer's drumstick. Sign up Andy for the youth Madison races, and please let me know whether they really make bike helmets for cats!

Every Cowgirl Loves a Rodeo by Rebecca Janni, illustrated by Lynne Avril. Forget the bike content for a moment – this is a kindly introduction to that troublesome problem of first person perspective, the unreliable narrator! Your young child reader will thrill as Nellie Sue's descriptions and the accompanying illustrations switch between a pink 10 gallon hat and matching pony to a vented helmet and matching coaster brake bike. Don't expect the agonistic, zero sum contest of pride depicted in Yikes! Bikes! – it's about fair play in an actual competition, with some incidental livestock herding thrown in.

Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes. The World War II in Italy setting for this mostly domestic drama features no illustrations at all, which is a departure for author Hughes. A Florentine family (with a missing father) has to cope with the alternate, conflicting demands of friendship, the German occupiers, the Resistance, finding food and hoping young teen Paolo doesn't get into trouble with his nightly bike forays into town. Suitable for middle school readers.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Monday: San Diego City Council to Hear $312 Million Bicycle Master Plan Update

San Diego County Bicycle Coalition supports City’s long-term bicycling vision  

WHAT:
San Diego is looking into its bicycling crystal ball – what will the future hold for our growing two-wheeled community? On Monday, City Council will vote to approve or deny the Bicycle Master Plan Update, a citywide policy document to guide the development and maintenance of San Diego’s bicycle network over the next 20 years.

With support from the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, the new plan includes an assessment of the existing infrastructure in San Diego and recommends increased bicycle parking, improved bicycle signage, bicycle safety courses and approximately 878 miles of proposed bike lanes and bike routes throughout San Diego County.

WHY:
Approval of this plan ensures San Diego will see twenty years of bicycle advancements and that bicycle commuting is a trend that is not going away but growing. The projected improvements to the current bicycle infrastructure will ensure that cyclists have better access to local businesses, transit centers, shopping districts, parks, and other local amenities to make San Diego a bicycle-friendly destination for locals and tourists alike.

WHERE:
San Diego City Council chambers: 202 C Street, San Diego, 92101

WHO:
·    San Diego City Councilmembers
·    San Diego County Bicycle Coalition
·    All people who ride bicycles in San Diego


WHEN: Monday, December 9

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bike Walk Oceanside Meets with North County Transit District


Mike Wygant (NCTD Deputy Chief of Operations, bicyclist and Oceanside resident) and Johnny Dunning (NCTD Deputy Chief of Operations) shared the following information related to bicycles and public transit within NCTD. 

1.  NCTD accommodates bicycles on all modes of public transit except the lift used for para-transit. Buses have a capacity of either 2 or 3 bicycles, depending upon the equipment. The Breeze bus line includes 161 buses that travel 6.5 million miles annually. A large number cyclists make use of those buses every weekend, he said.

(a) A primary barrier to increasing bicycle-carrying capacity of buses has been the extension of the on-bus bike rack from the footprint of the bus vehicle, for which there are legal limits that must be observed. Also of importance is the rack manufacturer’s recommendations.

2. NCTD drivers are trained to respect bicyclists as if they were cars. He cited Calif. Vehicle Code section 21750 as allowing vehicular passing of a bicyclist only when it can be done safely. Drivers are instructed that, if 3-4 feet cannot be accommodated, then they must wait to pass.

(a) Mike commented that SD County Sheriffs aren’t supportive of the sharrows lane because they believe the markings conflict with Calif. Vehicle Code sections 21202 and 21208, which he said mandates bicyclists ride as “far to the right.” Nevertheless, NCTD drivers are told to surrender the lane to the bicyclists and wait to pass them.

3. Accommodating bicycles on trains have created some disputes regarding interference with wheelchairs.

(a) The Coaster and Sprinter lines are heavily used by bicyclists, but not in the
quantities experienced on buses.

BikeWalkOceanside: Have any complaints been received from NCTD drivers about bicyclists on the roadway?

NCTD: There have been a few incidents in which bicyclists have punched windows of buses. All Breeze buses have cameras on all sides for verification of complaints and incidents. 

BikeWalkOceanside: What specific training do drivers receive, especially pertaining to wind blast hazards created by buses passing bicyclists? 

NCTD: The minimum buffer of 3-4 feet is required, with preference given to changing lanes whenever possible to avoid them. 

BikeWalkOceanside: Are there any procedures for reporting unsafe bicyclist behaviors? 

NCTD: There is NCTD's own internal reporting system, which launches an investigation of incidents. 

BikeWalkOceanside: Does NCTD driving training include education on bicyclists' right to use  the full travel lane and sharrows? 

NCTD: Yes, and instruction occurs annually and monthly. Sharrows are a regular topic of discussion during training. 

BikeWalkOceanside: How will traffic calming and lane reductions for the Pacific Coast Highway Vision Plan affect buses? 

NCTD: We don't have detailed knowledge about the Vision Plan, but roundabouts present turning radius concerns, while reverse-angle head out parking also presents challenges. 

BikeWalkOceanside: If there is a problem with buses cutting into bicyclists space when both pull to a stop at a traffic light, how can we report that? 

NCTD: Advise bicyclists to take down the vehicle (bus) number. All NCTD vehicles have multiple cameras- some with audio- so there are multiple perspectives from which to review an incidient. Bicyclists' safety is very important to NCTD. 

BikeWalkOceanside: Would NCTD be interested in one of the committee's League Certified Instructors presenting a class to staff and drivers as a guest instructor? 

NCTD: Yes, definintely interested. The NCTD meets weekly to discuss events, anticipate future issues, and general safety concerns. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mayoral Candidate Speaker Series Q & A

The Livable Streets Coalition* hosted a Mayoral Candidate Speaker Series in October to speak with them on important issues related to livable streets and to get specific answers on 5 questions. Three events were held, one each with candidates David Alvarez, Nathan Fletcher, and Kevin Faulconer. Results from the Q&A are below.
1.      How would you implement the goals of smart growth and provide a mix of transportation options amidst fears of parking loss and traffic congestion that arise from infill development, bike lanes, and pedestrian improvement projects?
D.A. – We must build up and not out. We can accomplish this through Specific Plans and through Community Plan Updates. We need to move forward with the remaining Community Plan Updates to ensure there is no impediment to development.
K.F. – We need new political will to move this forward and flexibility to know that one size does not fit all. We need to let communities know how this will benefit them. We have 30,000 residents in downtown currently, but the Downtown Community Plan calls for 90,000 residents. We cannot build enough parking spaces (to accommodate new growth). Downtown is one of the few areas where people don’t oppose growth, they embrace it. I want to encourage walkability and smart growth in our downtown, make the right decisions to make transit convenient so people will adapt. Another example is the Bayshore Bikeway. I worked on this and prioritized balancing business needs with bikeway vision.
N.F.— Smart growth is right on. It requires us to do things differently. We need to invest in our neighborhoods. I can talk about what other cities are doing, but no one is talking about San Diego. How do we get other cities to want to be like San Diego? Everything should align with these goals whether it be infrastructure, public safety, density. Land use policy is important in moving these things.
2.      As mayor, what goals would you set and what steps would you take to make San Diego’s streets safe for everyone and reduce the City’s higher than average pedestrian fatality rate?
D.A. We need to focus on implementing the Pedestrian Master Plan. The City needs to invest in small inexpensive projects with big impacts. I will adopt a Vision Zero platform with the goal of zero bike and pedestrian fatalities. We currently don't have the culture of a walkable and bikeable city but this is changing with the bike share program and sharrrows being added throughout the City. Walkability and bikeability go together, and together they tell drivers that they have to watch out for people not in cars.
K.F. – We need human scale (design) to interact with each other and our environment. I championed the North Embarcadero Plan, a portion of which is now under construction. This will make the waterfront more pedestrian friendly and help activate the public space we have there. I have also championed the new world class public park at Horton Plaza. This will be a major gathering space for our downtown. As much as we need the big projects, we also need smaller projects. I helped to install a new traffic light at Mission Bay to make it safer. It was not expensive, but it made a lot of sense to do it to promote greater safety.
N.F. – Without a goal there is nothing to measure success with. New York City said we are going to cut deaths in half. Others have said zero deaths. I’ll assemble a Mayoral dashboard to gather ideas. I’m willing to work with you. There will be a series of steps.
3.      How would Neighborhoods First fit into your administration?
D.A. I was the one who originally proposed neighborhoods first. The City must respect Community Planning Groups, make transit first, and build Safe Routes to School projects. I have supported the funding of these kinds of projects as a Councilmember and will continue to do so as mayor. The State of the City’s infrastructure, such as roads and public buildings, has been allowed to deteriorate. We have the opportunity, through smart planning, careful prioritization of resources, and a better long term vision, to rebuild San Diego into the world-class city we know it can be.
K.F. – The pension debacle was bad for our city and we are still paying it off. We need smart governing decisions to get our city back on track and I am doing this on the Council. We repaved 500 miles of street last year. We will continue to prioritize this work. We need simple economic choices. We have ignored critical issues like infrastructure, sidewalks for too long. I will prioritize bringing back funding back for these.
N.F. – Our city has neglected its neighborhoods. In the past several years, our roads have gone from the eighth worst in the nation to the fourth worst, responses to 911 calls were late more than 37,000 in the past 2 years alone, and sidewalk and pipelines are years behind on their repair and maintenance schedules. As Mayor, I will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the backlog of neighborhood needs, develop a way to consistently receive public input on needs, and implement the plan with city leadership in partnership with communities. It’s important that each neighborhood develop their own culture and identity yet that we find solutions for them together.
4.      What steps would you take as Mayor to ensure that a variety of projects in the Bike Master Plan are completed, in a timely fashion, and that bike ridership increases in the City?
D.A.— Steps include increasing expenditures on bike projects from $500,000 to $1 million and leveraging more grant funding for bike projects. I will lead an effort at the City to get people passionate about walking and biking.
K.F. – I’m a cyclist myself. Having a mayor who is also a cyclist will help. I understand the issues. We need new dedicated bike lanes and plans that are actionable. We have the Bike Share program coming to San Diego which is going to take off and promote more cycling. I will lead political will to make sure the Bike Plan is implemented.
N.F. – I will set clear goals such like doubling the miles of bike lanes in San Diego by 2020, and increasing the number of San Diegans choosing to commute by bicycle to 65,000. The failure to move common sense solutions for bike commuters forward is not from lack of funds, but from failure of leadership. I’m committed to bringing together the people and the organizations that are dedicated to improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians to get things done.
5.      Describe your vision for San Diego’s public realm and how you plan to catch up to other cities that have embraced Livable Streets as a way to improve the urban environment. Will you appoint a full time manager to oversee the transformation of San Diego’s public realm?
D.A.— San Diego's leadership has been lazy and relied on tools that made their jobs easy, for example redevelopment. We need to challenge ourselves to find other financial tools, especially in our neighborhoods and not only through major projects downtown. Every part of the City wants to see reinvestment in their neighborhoods. For example, we have wide streets that can be redesigned as public spaces. We can look at our trolley line and focus on Transit Oriented Development. I want to include neighborhood residents in the decision making process to make these things happen.
K.F. – I believe in world class public spaces. Yes, I will bring on great staff to create public spaces. I gave the North Embarcadero project example earlier – this is now funded and under construction. It will be a transformative project. We need to match this with more trees, innovative ideas like parks on rooftops. May be more expensive but it is worth the investment. Bottom line, let’s try something. Let’s see some action.
N.F. – I would consider appointing a manager to oversee the public realm. The City is more than its structures. It’s about the people. We want to create an environment where people feel connected. We are always going to have cars but we need to provide options. Our question is how do we support these options? Who are we as a city? We don’t want to build structures for the sake of building. We need a vision and the public realm is a big part of that.
* The Livable Streets Coalition is a coalition of transportation non-profits, planners and designers, representing thousands of San Diego residents passionate about rebuilding our city’s streets and neighborhoods. Read more about our vision for livable streets in our 5 in 5 Plan which outlines 5 strategies to achieve livable streets in San Diego.
To read more about the candidates’ platforms and visions for San Diego, click on the plans below.
David Alvarez, Blueprint for San Diego

Monday, November 4, 2013

Robert's Mini Bike Book Review: Half Man, Half Bike by William Fotheringham

Half Man, Half Bike: The Life of Eddy Merckx, Cycling's Greatest Champion
by William Fotheringham

Review by Robert Leone

San Diego's bicycle racing fans are in for a few months of quietude before spring, or at least the Boulevard road race and the Red Trolley Classic criterium of 2014. Until the derailleurs start shifting in anger again, deprived sprint train junkies can find solace in Half Man, Half Bike: The Life of Eddy Merckx, Cycling's Greatest Champion by William Fotheringham.

It is part history, part hero-worship, with an occasional unfortunate, sometimes hilarious combination of the two (one example states Merckx was perhaps the only man who'd looked good wearing flared pants). There is good, solid stuff in here, including extensive commentary on the role of appearance money in athletes' race choices, a compelling but somewhat source-free narrative about the endemic bigotry and ethnic divide in the Belgian bicycle racing scene in the 1960s, and a numbingly long record of Merckx's phenomenal racing results. In the course of describing “The Cannibal” in the Tour de France, Fotheringham doesn't shy away from noting and criticizing Jacques Goddet's conflict-riddled combined role of race organizer, newspaper publisher and working sports journalist, The racer's hour record success, and the subsequent division of the hour track record into two separate events, is recounted with particular insight. Unfortunately Half Man, Half Bike is written with a hindsight-powered voice of pompous omniscience reminiscent of an NFL Films documentary, or an article by the overly-prescriptive Jacques Goddet.

The 2013 Chicago Review Press edition is edited and designed with those little touches that scream “enthusiast press” to the observant. These include printing the photo captions as fore matter (“List of Illustrations”) far from the two sections of pictures on glossy pages in the depth of the book, serially numbering that illustration list without noting one of the descriptions applies to a two picture sequence, and the frequent archaic use of “crutch” instead of “crotch” with reference to the human anatomy. Still, despite those criticisms, Half Man, Half Bike by William Fotheringham is an enjoyable and illuminating book worth reading.



THE THREE FEET for SAFETY ACT: “Proving a Violation”



By: Richard L. Duquette, Esq.
© 2013 All Rights Reserved.

In an effort to increase Safety on California roadways, Governor Brown recently signed into law AB1371, effective September 16, 2014.  The new law requires a three-foot buffer by motorists passing a bicyclist.  It will be codified in California Vehicle Code Section 21760(b).

If a motorist cannot pass with three feet clearance, he must slow down to a reasonable and prudent speed before passing.  In other words, no tailgating or reckless passing is allowed.  This is critical as 40% of all fatal crashes between a bicyclist and a motorist are caused by collisions from behind.

So what does this mean when riding the streets?  Let’s walk through a few scenarios that allow you to enforce the law.

Assuming you’re riding single file and no bicycle lane exists.  In theory, any bus or vehicle that “buzzes” you or fails to decelerate before safely passing can be cited.  This clarification in the law is helpful because motorists often misjudge distance between their vehicle mirrors or a bicyclist’s speed when passing the bicyclist.  Instead of allowing to pass at a “safe distance without interfering with the over taken bicyclist” under CVC 21750, the new statute adds objectivity, a yard stick if you will, to the distance. 

Bicyclists know how frightening it can be to be nearly side-swiped (or buzzed) by a passing bus or a large vehicle.  Bus violations can be proven by recording the license plate, bus number, route and time.  Newer busses have windshield and side-mounted digital cameras as well as Zonar GPS data systems and black box electronics that record driving patterns.  If you are “buzzed” by a bus or if you witness a clear violation and have a witness to corroborate your story, write North County Transit or First Transit and demand the violation be placed in the driver’s personnel file.  Ultimately, these entities become liable for negligent retention of bad drivers.

A reasonable interpretation of the new statute is that the three-foot law may be applied when a motor vehicle unsafely passes a bicyclist, as well as when the motorist repositions himself into a lane.  A common situation arises when the motorist begins a pass, then prematurely moves back into the lane but fails to correctly judge the vehicle’s right rear quarter panel in relation to the bicyclist.

A three foot violation may also occur when the motorist fails to correctly estimate the speed of the bicyclist he passes, and then makes an illegal “right-hook” turn in front of a bicyclist.

In each of these cases, the new three-foot law is triggered in conjunction with other Vehicle Code violations, including unsafe turning movements and violating the right of way of the bicyclist.  Remember, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as a motorist, so it helps if the bicyclist is law-abiding when asserting his rights.  This includes lawfully riding as far to the right as practicable and not unreasonably impeding traffic behind you.

The legal effect of such Vehicle Code violations is to create a presumption of negligence when alleged in a negligence lawsuit.  This is a powerful tool in litigation because fault becomes easier to prove.

Another way to prove a three-foot violation, (besides using a Go-Pro or Contour helmet video camera or credible witnesses), is documenting physical evidence such as a scratch, dent, or a paint transfer on a motor vehicle to establish the vehicle’s unsafe position.  This proves a violation when the motorist is in denial.

Many expert Accident Reconstructionists also look for gouge marks in the roadway that correspond to scrapes on bicycle parts. Again, this shows the location of initial impact, thereby proving a violation of unsafe passing statutes.

This law has further legal ramifications.  Violators can suffer DMV points which implicate the negligent operator suspension laws.  Too many points means the loss of license.  If caught driving on a suspended license, the result is a misdemeanor with large fines and jail potential.

Should the crash be serious enough, the violator may also undergo a license re-exam, initiated by a reporting bicyclist or officer.  (See my article “DMV Justice – Motor Vehicle Re-Examination Process” explaining that procedure.)

In the end, this new three-foot law helps limit the defenses that insurance companies and violators can use to escape responsibility.  I hope the above analysis will assist you in obtaining justice and ensure that motor vehicles safely share the road with us.


Mr. Duquette has 30 years of Experience serving the Bicycling Community and has successfully settled and tried to Jury Verdict numerous cases. Visit www.911law.com for informative articles on Bicyclist Rights or give him a call at 760.730.0500, as he’s always happy to discuss your case free of charge.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Back and Roll On- Bicyclists Prepare for Days of Less Light

Police Department teams up with Bicycle Coalition for bicycle light giveaway in anticipation of this weekend's Daylight Savings Time Change 

What: 

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and the San Diego Police Department are embracing darkness coming with this weekend's Daylight Savings time change and taking bicycle safety into their own hands. 

Before we fall back, the Bicycle Coalition is giving away free sets of front and rear bicycle lights to prepare bicyclists for the upcoming change in hours. Anyone riding by the Police Department Headquarters at this time will receive complimentary lights (while supplies last), important safety information about riding in the dark and other Bicycle Coalition goodies to trick out their bicycle.

Why: 

California state law requires bicycles be equipped with very specific lights when riding in darkness, which is defined as a half hour after sunset or a half hour before sunrise. The Bicycle Coalition knows the safety of our citizens is top priority.

By joining forces with the Police Department together they can uphold cycling laws while also ensuring bicycle commuters are visible and safer on the road without sunlight.

Where: 

In front of San Diego Police Department Headquarters: 1401 Broadway, San Diego, 92101

Who: 

San Diego Police Department and San Diego County Bicycle Coalition are providing these lights for any and all bicycle commuters.

When: 

Public remarks from SDCBC and SDPD: Wednesday, October 30 at 5 PM.
Light giveaway: Wednesday, October 30 from 4-6 PM
Daylight Savings: Sunday, November 3 at 2 AM

Monday, October 7, 2013

Beginning Tonight: Three Mayoral Candidates Talk the Bike, Ride and Walk

Fletcher, Alvarez and Faulconer each spend one night addressing livable streets and communities in San Diego

WHAT:
Beginning today, October 7, 2013, our mayoral candidates tell us where they stand on livable streets and communities in their campaign for Mayor of San Diego. Nathan Fletcher, David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer have each reserved one evening at various local spots to address the growing momentum for walkable, bikeable neighborhoods.
WHEN: Each candidate will speak on their own designated day:
·   6 p.m. on Monday, October 7: Nathan Fletcher at Mission Brewery (1441 L Street)
·   6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9: David Alvarez at Mission Brewery
·   4 p.m. on Thursday, October 31: Kevin Faulconer at Wine Pub (2907 Shelter Island Drive #108)
WHY:
In the past year, San Diegans have shown repeatedly that they want a city structure that makes neighborhoods walk and bike friendly. With the unanimous passing of DECO Bike Share (to implement throughout San Diego in 2014), the city’s first ever CicloSDias, a series of Bike Local Sundays, $200 million passed for SANDAG’s bicycle projects and the largest bicycle friendly Business Improvement District in the nation, all eyes are on what San Diego does next to continue being a leader in open streets and livable neighborhoods.
The event is free and open to all community members.
WHO:
·   Mayoral candidates Nathan Fletcher, David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer
·   Livable Streets Coalition: Advocacy groups of the bike, walk and livable streets communities, including San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and Walk San Diego.
·   Anyone who is passionate about making San Diego a walkable and bikeable place to live – can RSVP here 
CONTACT:
Mia Bolton, Mia@jocommunications.com, 301-395-4145

For more information on the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, please visit www.sdcbc.org.
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SAN DIEGO COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION: (SDCBC) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for and protects the rights of all people who ride bicycles. They promote bicycling as a mainstream, safe and enjoyable form of transportation and recreation. For more information, go to www.sdcbc.org.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Robert's Mini Bike Book Review: City Cycling, Edited by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler

Review by Robert Leone

Twenty-one contributors combined to create fifteen chapters for this MIT published 2012 book targeting urban planners who believe bicycles are the new black. The overall emphasis is on separated bicycle facilities, but there's other stuff, too. For example, there's a chapter on the “Health Benefits” of cycling that's clearly based upon studies of folks who've integrated a little riding here and there into their daily lives, not enthusiast amateur athletes. A more oblique chapter only a cost accountant would love, “Effective Speed,” factors the time spent earning vehicle ownership into the question of how fast one travels. It's an idea whose earliest expression seems to come from Thoreau. Another surprising chapter focuses on the design of “Bicycle Equipment and Its Role in Promoting Cycling as a Travel Mode.” Separate chapters address the distinct concerns of women and children propelling themselves on roads and paths, safety, and combining bikes and public transportation. Surprise: Most European transit systems don't allow bikes on board, but have enough station parking that many people have bikes at both ends of their routine commute! Bike sharing gets a chapter. Most interesting for advocates are three separate chapters comparing development of facilities and ride share in small cities (including California's own Davis), big cities, and “Megacities.” One of the latter, Tokyo, is not a hotbed of separated facilities or traffic calming systems simply because surface street speeds are already quite low, but the more than 800,000 bike parking spots at rail stations attract 37% of the region's bike rides. City Cycling is a valuable and timely concentration of the past decade and a half of research on the impact of cycling, cycling infrastructure, and people who ride bikes. The well-stocked references are great aids to searching for the original papers and presentations. This book will date quickly, but for a frozen portrait of the best information and comparisons available now, I know of none better.


Monday, September 30, 2013

VICTORY: SANDAG Approves $200 million for Regional Bike Plan Projects

San Diego County Bicycle Coalition calls this an historic moment for the bicycling community


SAN DIEGO, September 27, 2013 – Today San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) approved scenario 1 for the regional bike plan early action program, which allows a $200 million investment in high priority bike projects over the next 10 years. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC), an organization protecting the rights of all people who ride bicycles, says this is a momentous step toward creating a regional bicycle network of interconnected corridors, support facilities and programs to make bicycling a convenient form of transportation.

“The momentum for bicycling as an active form of transportation in San Diego County is in high gear,” said Andy Hanshaw, Executive Director of SDCBC. “By approving scenario 1 for the regional bike plan, SANDAG has put into motion essential improvements that will enable folks to ride bicycles more safely on more direct and convenient routes that connect more cities throughout the county.”

In 2011, SANDAG’s board of directors made a commitment to active transportation with the adoption of the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan and its Sustainable Communities Strategy, which included integration of Riding to 2050: San Diego Regional Bicycle Plan previously approved in 2010. The board developed the bike plan early action program, and in April 2012, SANDAG’s transportation committee accepted its goals and began initial cost estimates. Following a recommendation by the transportation committee, today’s final action by the board approved scenario 1 for the early action program prioritizing projects included within the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan.

Some high profile projects in the list of early action priorities include the North Park – Mid-City bike corridor, the Uptown bicycle corridor, several Coastal Rail Trail San Diego bikeways, San Diego River Trail bikeways, additional Bayshore Bikeway connections and some downtown to southeast San Diego connections.

According the Hanshaw, these much-needed bicycling improvements in San Diego County complement the greater bicycle momentum occurring throughout all parts of the region. Earlier this week, Governor Brown announced that he signed a bill that will require cars to give three feet of space when passing a bicycle rider on the road. The City of San Diego and its bike share partner, DECOBIKE, are currently searching for input on locations for the new bike share system slated to open in 2014. Also, San Diego’s business improvement districts run the nation’s largest bicycle friendly program of its kind.

“SANDAG’s approval for early action on these high-priority bicycle road and pathway improvements nicely wraps together bicycle-related projects and improvements occurring simultaneously in all parts of the county,” Hanshaw said. 


For more information on the Bicycle Coalition’s strategic initiatives, visit www.sdcbc.org

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pacific Beach Businesses Next on Bike Local Sunday Tour

San Diego's 5th Bike Local Sunday rolls through Pacific Beach on Sunday, September 22nd

SAN DIEGO, September 10, 2013 – The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and the San Diego Business Improvement District Council announce Pacific Beach as the next Bike Local Sunday destination. The Bicycle Coalition, an organization that advocates for and protects the rights of all people who ride bicycles, encourages folks to spend this day riding bikes to local businesses with family and friends while supporting neighborhood economies.

Bike Local Sunday rolls into Pacific Beach on Sunday, September 22, kicking off with an organized neighborhood ride at 11 a.m. Bicyclists will rendezvous at Pacific Coast Bicycle (1633 Garnet Ave.) for a leisurely group ride through some of Pacific Beach’s most quaint streets- cruising from Felspar Street up Cass Street, over to Turquoise and back. The route was designed to highlight local businesses such as Chocolate Haus, Hydrangea Cove, Mr. Frosty and Luelle Boutique, which will be welcoming an influx of two-wheeled customers for the day.

“We’re excited to see bike friendly businesses showing their support for everyday cycling in San Diego,” said Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition. “While Pacific Beach is no stranger to bicyclists, this Sunday businesses open their doors to families and friends on bikes for a day dedicated to supporting local businesses.”

Bike Local Sundays started with a goal to get more people riding bikes to support business in San Diego. Trends show that more people riding bikes versus driving improves community health, air quality and traffic congestion, as well as boosts business by relieving residents of the costs of owning and operating a vehicle, transferring those savings to the local economy.
In partnership with the San Diego Business Improvement District Council, Bike Local Sundays are a perfect way for everyone to enjoy riding local and shopping local.

The final Bike Local Sunday will take place in Ocean Beach on October 20.
For more information on Bike Local Sundays, visit www.bikelocal.org. Also visit www.sdcbc.org for more information on other local cycling events in San Diego County.

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SAN DIEGO COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION: (SDCBC) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for and protects the rights of all people who ride bicycles. They promote bicycling as a mainstream, safe and enjoyable form of transportation and recreation.  For more information, go to www.sdcbc.org.  


SAN DIEGO BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT COUNCIL: A 501 (c 6) organization. The Council is an association of San Diego’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) whose mission is to assist in the development and dissemination of information, resources, and expertise to its member BIDs, and to improve the physical, social, and economic environments of San Diego’s small businesses. www.bidcouncil.org

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tour de Fat Returns to San Diego on September 28th!

If dressing freaky, riding bikes, listening to bands and drinking beer are things you like, then don’t miss the most FUN fundraiser around…Tour de Fat is coming back to town! New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale and other award-winning beers, is bringing the 14th annual Tour de Fat to San Diego on Saturday, September 28 in Balboa Park.

Gather up your friends, family and neighbors and come enjoy eclectic entertainment and stellar beer, all while helping local bicycle nonprofits raise funds. The event is free, yet all proceeds from beer and merchandise sales and donations from parade participants will help make San Diego a better place to ride a bike. Last year, approximately 3,500 people came to the festival and raised nearly $30,000 for local nonprofits including the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

To properly kick-start the festival, Tour de Fat begins with a giant bicycle parade that weaves through city streets. Each parade route is designed for people of all skill levels; everyone is welcome and colorful costumes are encouraged. For the rest of the afternoon, the stages heat up with world-class acts like Reggie Watts and He’s My Brother She’s My Sister and the park becomes a celebration unlike any other.

Kids of all ages can ride funky bikes, eat delicious fare, relax in the grass, and participate in games and activities such as a “Thousand Person Dance Contest”, which will determine the winner of a 2013 New Belgium Cruiser Bike. Everyone 21 and older can sample new and classic favorites from New Belgium, including the brewery’s flagship brew, Fat Tire, this summer’s seasonal, Rolle Bolle, and selections from the acclaimed Lips of Faith series. 

Click here for more details.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Robert's Mini Bike Book Review: Shift Happens! Critical Mass at 20 Edited by Chris Charlsson and LisaRuth Elliott

Review by Robert Leone

If you feel your perspective on activism and advocacy rides, or just plain riding, is getting stale, you should rejoice in this book. Forty-one essays describing activism rides, not just from one city, but from several continents, give a vitally needed non-local perspective on how people ride in support of riding. It's also nice to read about some victories (as years of involvement and protest led to a bicycle facility in a Mexican city, as others celebrate the freedom to ride in Rome, and so on). One measure of how widely varied activism rides, and their riders, can be the essay-separating illustrations of activism ride promotional handbills and posters: They range from thickly hand-lettered examples of “xerocracy” to professional, profoundly thought-out models of graphic design. One sample, from Bilbao, Spain, not only appropriates a bicycle ideogram but even has sponsorship logos across the bottom! Again, if you're feeling stale about bike advocacy, get a copy of Shift Happens to read, rejoice, rejuvenate, and ride.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

6th Annual Bike the Bay Provides Extraordinary San Diego Sightseeing Opportunity

Community bicycle ride offers the only chance to pedal across Coronado Bay Bridge

Want the best view of San Diego County? Grab your bike and ride Bike the Bay-- the only opportunity to pedal across the renowned Coronado Bay Bridge as well as the newly expanded Bayshore Bikeway. Participants in this causal 25-mile ride will experience some of the county’s most breathtaking waterfront views during the 6th annual Bike the Bay ride on Sunday, August 25, 2013.

Fresh off the heels of San Diego’s first-ever CicloSDias, Bike the Bay presents another opportunity for folks of all sorts to pedal around town. Bike the Bay welcomes bicyclists 12-years and older of all cycling abilities to pedal through the very best San Diego County has to offer. The event begins at 7 a.m. at Embarcadero Marina Park South on Harbor Drive in San Diego, with an expected sell-out attendance of over 3,500 cyclists.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, a host and beneficiary of Bike the Bay, organizes the event to encourage biking as a fun and efficient alternative to automobiles.
“This is a unique chance for bicyclists of every level to see San Diego County as they never have before,” said Andy Hanshaw of the SDCBC. “There is no other opportunity to bike across the celebrated San Diego- Coronado Bay Bridge, and it is something you will surely regret if you don’t see it for yourself.”

The picturesque ride starts at the Embarcadero Marina Park South, and journeys over the 2.1-mile Coronado Bridge. One lane of the bridge closes to cars in order to accommodate the thousands of bicyclists expected to take part in the early morning event.

After crossing the bridge, the primarily flat course meanders along bike lanes through the quiet streets of picturesque Coronado and onto the Bayshore Bikeway; San Diego’s premiere bike attraction. This bicycling path surrounds the entire San Diego Bay, with vast additions since last year. Participants in Bike the Bay have a special opportunity to cruise on the completed parts of this premiere bike path. 

Riders continue through Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and National City on dedicated bike lanes and bike routes. The ride ends at Embarcadero Marina Park South for post-ride activities, entertainment, food and a New Belgium Brewing Beer Garden. Most riders can expect to complete the fairly flat course in 2-3 hours.

As well as refreshments along the route and bike repair stations, riders receive a commemorative t-shirt (exclusive Bike the Bay cycling jerseys are also available) and entry into the post-ride festival. Helmets are required and regular rules of the road will apply. Spectators are encouraged to support their riders at key mile markers sponsored by local companies and organizations.

Registration, course maps, and other information can be found at www.bikethebay.net or by calling 619-269-6873. Registration is required and should be done as early as possible as previous years have sold out. A portion of Bike the Bay proceeds go to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. 

For information about this year’s corporate sponsors and sponsorships, please call 619-977-2989 or email info@bikethebay.net.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

CicloSDias: First-ever Celebration Joyfully Embraced by Community and Local Businesses

Premiere open streets celebration surges neighborhood businesses and inspires livable communities

The City of San Diego proudly premiered CicloSDias this Sunday, August 11, to offer the community a break from the stress of car traffic, promote local business and establish San Diego as a bicycle-friendly city with open streets celebrations. 
Photo by K.C. Alfred / UT San Diego

A press conference featuring Coucilmembers Marti Emerald and David Alvarez and County Supervisor Dave Roberts kicked off the event at 10 a.m., and the 5.2-mile route of CicloSDias officially opened to all those who felt the urge to bike, walk, or dance in the car-free street. The course extended from Golden Hill through North Park and South Park to reach Cherokee Point Elementary School in City Heights, looping through popular parts of each neighborhood and including hundreds of local businesses.

“This free event gave the streets back to the people for just one day, and everyone loved it,” said Andy Hanshaw, executive director for San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC). “The local businesses were booming and grateful, participants were out riding around and running into people they knew - there was a contagious feeling of cheerfulness. The success of this event represents a shift toward a future of livable communities and shared streets.”

CicloSDias brought an estimated 10,000-15,000 friends and family members (including four-legged ones) out to spend their Sunday riding, walking, strolling and skipping though some of San Diego’s most picturesque parks, neighborhoods and districts at no cost. Local businesses saw a surge in activity as participants “shopped local.” Spontaneous bands played on the sidewalk, dancers put on performances, stores brought their products outside to sample and businesses offered specials to rejoice in all the activity of the first-ever event. 

“Surveys have shown that residents want to walk and bike more and spend less time in the car,” said Hanshaw. “CicloSDias brought people out of their homes and cars and into the streets to enjoy San Diego with neighbors. We hope to give our communities the same opportunity again next year.” 

Two more community friendly events will round out this year’s Triple Crown of bicycling events including the 6th Annual Bike the Bay on August 25 and Tour de Fat on September 28. 


For more information on CicloSDias, visit www.ciclosdias.com, or email info@ciclosdias.com. For daily updates, follow on Facebook and Twitter. Also visit www.sdcbc.org for more information on local cycling events in San Diego.