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  CALBIKEREPORT

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MARCH 2011

AT THE STATE CAPITOL 


CBC seeks more representative Caltrans standards


cycle trackWhen bicycling facilities help people feel safer, more people of all ages and abilities ride bikes. Yet the current statewide design standards keep California cities from building the kind of facilities envisioned by the Urban Bikeways Design Guide released earlier this month by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

To give cities the tools they need, CBC is sponsoring Assembly Bill 345, authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins of San Diego, to require Caltrans to consult with all road users when developing statewide design standards. At a State Capitol hearing next month, the bill will be amended to ensure that this requirement applies to the membership of Caltrans advisory committees that help create those standards, such as the California Traffic Control Devices Committee.

Caltrans is making progress. In 2008 the agency adopted a complete streets policy that calls for accommodating the needs of all road users, not just motorists, in state highway planning, design, construction and maintenance. buffered bike laneYet that progress has not trickled down to the CTCDC, which advises Caltrans on standards for traffic signals, signs and pavement markings such as bike lanes and crosswalks. Motorists are the only roadway users represented: the California State Automobile Association and Automobile Club of Southern California each have a seat on the committee.

"We salute cities like Long Beach and San Francisco that have been willing to design the best possible facilities for bicycling regardless of what's in the official book, however, most jurisdictions aren't comfortable being that bold," said Dave Snyder, CBC's Relaunch director/CEO. "Residents of every city deserve to have the best infrastructure, and this bill will make that possible."

Safe passing bill gets specific

Motorists would be required to slow down and give bicyclists more room under legislation being cosponsored by CBC and the City of Los Angeles. Senate Bill 910 was amended this month to specify that motorists must pass bicyclists no closer than three feet and no faster than 15 MPH above the bicyclist's speed of travel.

responsiveThe bill imposes a base fine of $250 for violations. Violators would also face misdemeanor charges if their actions caused a bicyclist to be injured or killed.

CBC sponsored similar legislation in 2006 but the bill quickly stalled in the face of strong opposition from the California Highway Patrol, trucking interests and transit operators. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for reviving the bill last summer after he fell and was injured while bicycling when a taxicab cut him off in traffic. Last fall the City of Los Angeles launched the Give Me 3 Please campaign to educate more Angelenos about safe passing.

PHOTOS: (from top): NACTO; Bike Around Bend; www.sfist.com

AROUND THE STATE 

Is it something in the water?  The bicycle movement seems to be accelerating in a region known far better for its love affair with the car. Late last month the LA City Council approved a major and long-debated update to the city's bicycle master plan. Meanwhile, the city attorney gave the go-ahead for a proposed ordinance that would allow bicyclists to sue motorists who harass, threaten, endanger or harm them.

LACBCThis month, the LA Police Department issued a video to train its officers on the rules of the road as they apply to cyclists, a product of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's bike summit last summer. And early next month the LA City Council will take up a proposal to fund a citywide Safe Routes to School program, as called for in the recently approved LA Bike Plan. The proposal is meant to provide for more comprehensive programs to protect the safety of school children who walk or ride bikes between home and school.

 

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition continues to play a central role in shaping all these initiatives.

 

Yes, that's billion with a B  The San Diego Association of Governments set the bar high this month by allocating $2.58 billion for regional bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure improvements over the next 40 years as part of its 2050 Regional Transportation Plan. The $110.7 billion plan calls for san diego bicyclespending $450 million on bike and pedestrian improvements over the next decade and double that amount over the following 10 years.

 

By contrast, the City of Los Angeles plans to spend $50 million to implement its recently updated bike plan over the same period, while the Bicycle Transportation Account within the Caltrans budget contains about $7 million for bike improvements statewide, not quite 0.3% of the amount SANDAG will spend.

 

Two reasons for SANDAG's big investment? San Diego's full embrace of Senate Bill 375, which closely links land use and transportation planning, and the growing clout of San Diego's bicycle and pedestrian advocacy communities.

 

Pathway on the chopping block  The Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit 

agency suggests closing a budget shortfall by cutting one-third of a bicycle-pedestrian pathway planned for the commuter rail system linking Sonoma
smart trainand Marin counties. Bicycle advocates in both counties say the multi-use path is integral to the system because many of the proposed SMART stations have been designed specifically with little or no parking for cars. Bicyclists are already using a segment of the pathway through a tunnel near San Rafael that will eventually also carry SMART trains.

 

Complete Streets for Redding  This month the Redding City Council named complete streets as its top policy priority as it prepares to cut the city budget by 25%. At its priority-setting workshop last month, the council also gave priority to extension of a main cross-town road and privatization of city services.

 

Francie Sullivan

Francie Sullivan

"I want to be able to use my bike for transportation," said City Council Member Francie Sullivan about why she supports a complete streets for Redding. "But I also have neighbors who can only get around in electric wheelchairs, and neighbors who can only afford to get to their job on a bike. As a society, it benefits every one of us to make it safe and pleasant to use nonmotorized transportation."

 

Meanwhile, Redding is getting set to host its first ciclovia event on Saturday, Apr. 23. The city will open streets along the Sacramento River to residents on foot, bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades as part of the annual Whole Earth Festival. The open streets event is being organized by Shasta Living Streets, for which CBC serves as fiscal sponsor.

 

Bike-friendly California   Four more California businesses have joined the 14 others from California already recognized as bicycle-friendly businesses by the League of American Bicyclists. The League announced first-time awards for the California State University Long Beach (gold award), Sacramento restaurant Hot Italian (bronze award) -- the first California restaurant to receive a League award -- and the Path Bike Shop in Tustin (bronze award). Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chio renewed its silver award. The League currently recognizes 252 businesses throughout the U.S.

 

California dominated a new award category for bicycle-friendly universities. Of the 20 U.S. universities recognized, Stanford University received the only platinum award, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara received the only gold awards, CSU Long Beach and UC Irvine received silver awards, and UCLA received a bronze award.

 

PHOTOS (from top): LACBC, Clintus McGlintus, SMART, Francie Sullivan 

PEOPLE


Advocates remembered  

 

Bicycling in California lost two influential voices this month. Mark Bixby , a leader in efforts to make Long Beach a showcase for innovative bicycling  

facilities, died in a plane crash at Long Beach Airport. Late this month, Charles McGlashan, who championed a long list of bicycle, transit and

environmental quality initiatives as a Marin County supervisor, suffered a fatal heart attack during a skiing trip.

 

mark bixby

Mark Bixby

"Mark's hallmark was big-picture and bringing together the diverse range of people to get it done," said Andrea White-Kjoss, CBC board member from Long Beach worked closely with Bixby (top right). A driving force behind such projects as the Long Beach Bicycle Festival, the Gerald Desmond Bridge bicycle-pedestrian path, and the Santa Monica to San Clemente Connection, Bixby was working with White-Kjoss to help organize a fundraiser for CBC in Long Beach at the time of his death.


"He was such an inspiration that many others will pick up where he left off, and his legacy will continue, dedicated to serving the people who bicycle in this great state," said White-Kjoss.

 

McGlashan

Charles McGlashan

"Charles' work for bicycling had nation and statewide impacts," said Deb Hubsmith, advocacy director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. "We walked the halls of Congress together to advocate for better bicycling, and he supported bicycling through his leadership role on the board of Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit. Through his work as a member of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Charles approved numerous projects upon the condition of pathway access."  

 

A ride in McGlashan's memory will be held on Friday, April 22.

CBC NEWS 


Record Bike Summit attendance  Californians made up the largest-ever state delegation and held more meetings on Capitol Hill than ever before during the National Bike Summit this month in Washington, D.C.

 

NBS 2011

California's delegation at the National Bike Summit

Advocates from throughout the U.S. implored their representatives in Congress to preserve the progress made in federal transportation spending over the past decade - a modest request given the current state of the economy and the fact that bicycling and walking represent 14% of all trips but only 1.5% of federal transportation funding

 

Republicans from the House of Representatives stepped forward to support some key bike initiatives despite the House leadership's vow to cut federal transportation funding. Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) announced that he would join California Democratic Rep. Doris Matsui as a co-sponsor of Matsui's national complete streets bill. And addressing a meeting of the Bike PAC, House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica (R-Florida) endorsed bicycle and pedestrian funding in the federal transportation bill currently awaiting reauthorization.

 

CBC coordinated Capitol Hill meetings for Bike Summit delegates from California. 

   

Welcome aboard  Alexis Lantz, planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, has joined the CBC Board of Directors.

alexis lantz

Alexis Lantz

Lantz holds a masters degree in urban planning from UCLA, where she co-created the first ever bicycle and pedestrian planning course for the UCLA Department of Urban Planning.

 

"As an advocate in the largest county and city in the state it's important to me to have a CBC that can fight for the changes I need at the local level in Los Angeles County," said Lantz. "As a board member I'm interested in working with the CBC to represent the needs of local and regional bicycle coalitions at the state level. A strong CBC needs the support and input of local bicycle coalitions and I hope I can help facilitate that."

  

Stepping up  Longtime CBC Board Member Jim Baross is serving as interim executive director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. A member of the SDCBC board, he succeeds Kathy Keehan, who recently took a job with the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District after directing the coalition for 11 years. Baross also serves as president of the California Association of Bicycling Organiations and vice-chair of the California Bicycle Advisory Committee.

CALENDAR

APRIL

 

San Mateo and San Jose

Apr. 6 & 8: Silicon Valley Bike Advocacy Summit 

Sponsored by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition

 

Chico

Apr. 10: Tour de Ed

Hosted by the Chico Cyclists Care Fund

 

Los Angeles

Apr. 10: CicLAvia 

Apr. 10: Volkswagen City of Angels Fun Ride 

 

San Francisco

Apr. 10: Sunday Streets 

 

San Ramon

Apr. 11-13: California Trails & Greenways Conference

 

Monterey

Apr. 14-17: Sea Otter Classic 

 

Napa

Apr. 16: Wine Valley Cycle for Sight

 

Sacramento

Apr. 16: A party to benefit the California Bicycle Coalition  

 

San Rafael

Apr. 22: Charles McGlashan Memorial Ride

Sponsored by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition

 

Redding

Apr. 23: Shasta Living Streets

 

Conejo Valley

Apr. 30: Cruisin' the Conejo 

Sponsored by Conejo Valley Cycling Club

 

MAY

 

Chico
May 1: 30th Annual Chico Wildflower Century
Sponsored by Chico Velo Cycling Club 


Moraga

May 1: Grizzly Peak Century 

Sponsored by Grizzly Peak Cyclists

 

San Francisco

May 8: Sunday Streets 

 

Costanoa to San Luis Obispo

May 12-14: Quality of Life Plus RideABLE Tour 2011 

 

Sacramento Valley

May 12-15: NorCal AIDS Cycle

 

Statewide

May 16-22: Amgen Tour of California 

 

Fresno

May 21: Fresno Classic Century 


San Diego

May 21: San Diego Century  

A benefit for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition