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Assembly approves amended standards bill
First women-only LCI training
Around the state
Monterey advocate receives excellence award


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Assembly approves scaled-back bikeway standards bill


The California Assembly has approved a completely rewritten version of our bill to modernize bikeway standards in California and sent it on to the Senate.  


Connecting the City
Proposed cycle track in San Francisco

Earlier this month the Assembly Transportation Committee amended Assembly Bill 819, authored by Fremont Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski, by removing our proposal to allow communities to follow standards such as those developed by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.


In its place the committee required Caltrans to create a process for authorizing the experimental use of bikeway designs not contained in Caltrans' increasingly outmoded Highway Design Manual, which governs local bikeway design in California. Such a process would likely include collection of data to evaluate the designs. Caltrans estimates the cost of implementing the process at $240,000.


We don't think California needs an experimentation process in order to implement modern facilities like cycle tracks, bike boxes, and raised and buffered bike lanes that have already been approved and implemented by transportation officials in such major American cities as New York City, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Austin and Portland, Ore. Yet we share the Assembly's interest in gathering data that can help us design even safer facilities. 


Our next step is to work with Caltrans and the Legislature to define a process that will free California communities to create the safest possible bikeways while providing the data we need for developing better bikeway standards. 


Meet John Ciccarelli, a new voice for bicyclists


Last month Caltrans appointed transportation engineer and former CBC board member John Ciccarelli and Bryan Jones, Carlsbad's deputy

John Ciccarelli

transportation director, to two new seats on the California Traffic Control Devices Committee, which sets Caltrans standards for traffic signals, signs and pavement markings such as traffic lanes, bike lanes and crosswalks. 


Caltrans added the seats to give so-called "nonmotorized" interests, including bicycling and walking, a voice in committee decisions. Caltrans acted in response to Assembly Bill 345, the legislation we sponsored last year to add those two seats. We suspended the bill when Caltrans reformed the committee on its own. 


The committee's first meeting since the appointments will be on Feb. 16 in San Diego. This is the first of a two-part article to introduce the two new committee members.


"There's a rapid pace of adoption of European-inspired innovations around the U.S.," Ciccarelli said recently. "Some of them translate directly and others require some consideration based on differences in context."


A recent transplant to San Francisco, Ciccarelli is eager to gain a new perspective on bicycle safety in a city "that's on the forefront" of accommodating this surge in bicycling, and where morning bicycle traffic on Market Street exceeds 400 bikes per hour.


"I just used the Alemany buffered bike lane on the way to the farmer's market and I loved that facility," he said. "It's nice to have the comfortable space separate from expressway-speed traffic." Buffered bike lanes are normal bike lanes with extra space on the edges. With the extra space, "it's very easy to support two-abreast cycling and passing, supporting that social aspect of cycling without creating a space that's attractive to illegal driving," said Ciccarelli.


"No other city, except perhaps Portland or New York, has had such a rapid increase in bicycle volumes. San Francisco is a great place to be to inform my service on the CTCDC."


NEXT MONTH: Meet CTCDC member Bryan Jones


Proposed state park closures threaten bicycle access


This summer the state could begin closing 70 state parks, many of them popular for bike touring, bike camping and mountain biking. That's why we've joined the campaign to help keep them open


Nearly a third of the state parks that provide special bike camping sites would be closed.

There's a lot at stake for bicyclists. Eighteen parks could be closed along the Pacific Coast Bike Route, an international bike touring destination and California's only state-designated bike route, including two in Mendocino County that are crucial stops for bike tourists. Five parks popular for mountain biking, including Annadel, Brannan Island, China Camp, Henry Coe and Sugarloaf, are also on the closure list. Nineteen of the 58 state parks that offer low-cost "hike or bike" campsites for those arriving by bike or on foot are set to be closed.


Tell your legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown there are better solutions to the state's budget crisis than closing state parks. Make the case in person at the 10th annual Park Advocacy Day on March 20 in Sacramento. If you own a business that would suffer due to the proposed state park closures, join the California State Parks Foundation's "Closing Parks is Bad for Business" campaign.


First women-only training: Later this year Long Beach will host the first women-only program to train certified bicycling instructors,

Photo by Adrienne Johnson

with funding from the California Bicycle Coalition. 


We're partnering with Bikeable Communities, Long Beach Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, CBC board member Andr´┐Ża White-Kjoss of Bikestation, Bike Long Beach, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and Women on Bikes SoCal to help increase the number of women trained as League-certified instructors or LCIs, bike safety instructors certified by the League of American Bicyclists.


With more women LCIs, we hope to see more bike safety classes tailored to women, who currently account for just 24% of the nation's bicycle ridership.


2012 National Bike Summit: Don't let Congress turn back the clock on decades of hard-fought progress towards creating a more bicycle-friendly America. Join us at the 2012 National Bike Summit to help defend critical funding programs. Early-bird registration -- $100 off! - ends Feb. 3. As in past years, we'll be arranging Capitol Hill meetings for California's delegation.


Anti-harassment ordinances: This month Berkeley became the second California city to enact an ordinance the penalizes drivers for language and behaviors intended to threaten bicyclists. Modeled after the anti-harassment ordinance enacted by Los Angeles last summer, Berkeley's ordinance enables bicyclists to seek civil damages from drivers who threaten them. The Sunnyvale Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee recently announced plans to study a similar ordinance for that city. 


Ride to protest Brown vetoes: The father of a victim of distracted driving has organized a bike ride from Sacramento to San Diego to protest Gov. Jerry Brown's vetoes of tougher cell phone penalties and our 3-foot-passing bill. The California Springtime Protest Pedal, April 12-22, is a fully supported ride with 11 legs from Sacramento to San Francisco and down the coast through Los Angeles to San Diego. Four years ago, ride organizer Bob Okerblom's 19-year-old son Eric was struck and killed on his bike near Santa Maria by a driver who was texting. 


Glendale advocates: One of Los Angeles County's newest bike advocacy organizations is now the 9th regional chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. Walk Bike Glendale formed last last year as the result of Glendale's Safe and Healthy Streets Initiative. Meanwhile, an LACBC member and intern from the Pomona, Claremont, La Verne and San Dimas area is rallying local bicyclists to form a regional chapter in that part of the county.


Facebook, Google bike commuters unite: Bike commuters from Facebook and Google are pushing for completion of the Bay Trail, a bike path along San Francisco Bay in Silicon Valley preferred by bike commuters. A one-mile gap in the trail near Menlo Park and East Palo Alto forces bike commuters onto congested streets. Completion of the trail would aid Facebook's efforts to get 50% of its employees to commute by bike, transit or walking as it moves to a new Menlo Park campus. Eighteen-hundred Google employees are members of a cycling club that commutes between San Francisco and Google's Mountain View headquarters.

Mari Lynch
Excellence award: Monterey bike advocate Mari Lynch, proprietor of the Bicycling Monterey blog, has been recognized with a Transportation Excellence award by the Transportation Agency of Monterey County. She was one of six award recipients.


Mari consistently advocates for bicycling in a part of the state that's great for riding but that has relatively little of the bicycle advocacy community seen in other parts of the state. Major kudos to Mari for all her great work!


Coming soon! The Bicyclist's Dozen is a new monthly e-bulletin from CBC that features a tasty selection of bike-related events throughout California for those who savor life by bicycle. To receive this curated calendar comprising equal parts fun and social benefit, subscribe here and follow the prompts. Bon appetit! 





Chico: Paskenta Century

Fairfax: Dirt Roll III

Benefits the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and NorCal High School Cycling League  

Los Angeles: Sea to Towers Sunday Funday Ride

Co-sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

San Francisco: Start of Ride America for Safe Routes (SF to Washington, D.C.)


San Francisco: Love on Wheels
Sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition



Palm Springs: Tour de Palm Springs



Los Angeles: 2012 LA Chinatown Firecracker Run/Ride 

Benefits the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition






Sacramento: North American Handmade Bicycle Show



Los Angeles: Tour de Taste 2012

Benefits the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition



Washington, D.C.: National Bike Summit