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March 2015
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GoBigGoHome
Bikeable Communities is offering the Go Big or Go Home T-Shirt in memory of our dear friend Mark Bixby whose life ended tragically in an accident on March 16, 2011. Mark's favorite motto was "Go Big or Go Home" and in that spirit we will continue the pursuit of his mission for bicycle advocacy. 
Click HERE to Join, Donate and Buy T-Shirts.


El Dorado Park Race Series – Presented by BIKEable Communities

2015 race series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the most recent information on the El Dorado Park Race Series including results, go to the El Dorado Training Race FaceBook page.

For general information on the series, the location and schedule see below.
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Westminster to be repaved with bike lane…BUT…

Honorable Mayor Deaton and City Council Members,

As you are no doubt aware on Monday the City is beginning a repaving and restriping project on Westminster between Seal Beach Blvd and Bolsa Chica. 

The project is funded by a bicycle grant with the intent of improving safety for bicyclists.  Yet the current plans do little more that repave and duplicate the existing, inadequate bike facilities.

While we applaud the City’s effort to add improved bike facilities…the city can do better. 

A 6 foot wide bike lane is planned for both sides of the roadway.  This simply is not adequate space for most bicyclists to feel safe when they have 60 mph vehicles whizzing by them.

There is sufficient room to provide an additional 3 foot buffer between the bike land and the travel lane as is now becoming standard practice throughout Orange County whenever there is adequate room as there is on Westminster.  

Over the past 6 years there have been 20 crashes on this stretch of roadway…and 1/4 of them have been bike related.  Please help us make sure that this newly repave road, which is being funded by a bicycle grant, is indeed safe for bicyclists as well as motorists.

Below is a e-mail that I sent to the Public Works Director, Sean Crumby laying out both the need for buffer as well as how it can help slow traffic on the street and make it safer for both bicyclists and motorists.

We recognize that the project is starting on Monday and that it would have been good to have had this conversation several months ago. However, in spite of our asking to be involved in a public outreach process when this project was launched over 3 years ago, there has been no outreach.  It was not until yesterday that we found out about the final plans.  The project can still start on Monday and have the re-striping plans redone in time to keep the over all project on schedule.

Once again, we applaud the City’s effort to improve bike facilities and look forward to working with the city to ensure that the dollars that are invested in bike infrastructure provide the safest designs for all users.

I have copied several Seal Beach residents who bike this street on regular basis and know the need for truly safe facilities for all users on this high-speed arterial.

Don’t hesitate to call me or send me an e-mail should you have any questions.

Regards,

Allan Crawford
Executive Director, BIKEable Communities
310-994-1619
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1st Bike Roundtable

BIKEable Communities and Molina Health Care hosted the 1st Long Beach Bike Round table last week where attendees got to hear from a variety of people who are helping to make Long Beach one of the most bike friendly cities in the US.  As I think that you will see from the notes below what people in Long Beach are doing is truly impressive.

Looking forward be sure to mark Wednesday March 4 on your calendar for the next Long Beach bike round table where we will have at least two speakers including the new executive director of the LACBC, Tamika Butler.  We will also have updates on how you can be involved in the Beach Streets and Bike Fest events.

As we talked about at the meeting it takes much more than just efforts within City Hall to make a Great Bike Friendly City.  It truly does take the work of a dedicated community.  And from what was so evident last Wednesday…we do have that dedicated community.

Below are some of the events that stood out for me.

Over the next few days I’ll add a few more highlights to the list including the soon to come Long Beach Bike Share (hopefully), some very cool new bike storage options offered through Bikestation, what is happening with Bike Education in Long Beach via Kellie Morris and her colleagues in North Long Beach and the Bicycle Worlds Fair coming in 2017 courtesy of Charlie Gandy and the California Bicycle Coalition.

Once again…save the date….Wednesday March 4, 6:30 pm…Molina Center (6th and Pine)

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Get your lights here…Operation firefly comes to Long Beach

firefly IIRiding in the dark….need a light!!!!

How often have you been out in the early morning or in the evening and encountered someone bicycling without a light.  Or maybe you have done it.  You know it’s not safe, but people do it anyway. Some do it because they just haven’t gone out to buy lights.  Some do it because the ones they have is broken. And for some it is financial.

Our friends at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) don’t care why people don’t have lights…they just want to make sure they get them.

The LACBC’s Operation Firefly is a program funded by the Laemmle Foundation to distribute lights throughout LA County.  Several evenings each week a crew of LACBC volunteers is somewhere in LA County handing out lights.

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Controlling traffic speed – it’s safer for everyone

As bicyclists we are all too well aware – bikes interacting with high speed vehicles can be a recipe for disaster for the bicyclist.

A recent traffic engineering development, where signals automatically go to red in all four directions when there is no traffic…and go to red if vehicles are approaching the intersection at a speed above the speed limit helps reduce traffic speeds making it safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The City of Long Beach recently installed several of these lights to help slow traffic in areas where we have higher pedestrian and bike traffic along with vehicles that frequently travel above the posted speed limit.

This short video shows how one of these signals on Wardlow Road works.

Where would you like to see these lights installed?

Janette Sadik-Khan talks making LA more livable and a transportation strategy that is also an economic development strategy

Janette sadik-khan

Janette Sadik-Khan, the former transportation commissioner for the City of New York, is now working with LA to help not only envision what the city could be…but to help make it more livable  by changing the way people move throughout the city and interact in people friendly spaces.

As commissioner she championed the very successful NYC bike share program and she famously led an effort to make the city more livable by creating more space for pedestrians (and bicyclists) in highly congested areas such as Time Square.

In this KPCC interview Ms Sadik-Khan talks about smart strategies for cities like LA (and Long Beach) to grow in affordable, sustainable ways. Ways that improve the quality of life for residents and are a sound economic development strategy.

Below are a few excerpts from her conversation with KPCC’s Ben Burgman (BB).

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Understanding bike infrastructure – roundabouts

vista street bike blvd-85Almost three years ago the City of Long Beach put in two roundabouts and five smaller traffic circles on Vista Street as part of making it a bike boulevard. Since installing the roundabouts and circles overall traffic accidents have fallen by over 50% and accidents at the two major intersections where roundabouts were installed have dropped by 75%.

In spite of this dramatic decrease there are people who argue that the roundabouts are unsafe because of the height of the landscaping (a 6 foot high pampas grass is used for decorative landscaping and to intentionally limit sight distance).  They argue that the landscaping limits sight distances and thus makes the intersections more dangerous.  As is discussed in the letter to the editor shown below, while this argument seems logical, in fact the reverse is true.  The landscaping focuses the drivers attention to the left and right where vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists are entering the intersection resulting in a safer intersection.

Let us know if you are facing opposition to various types of bike infrastructure and what you are doing to counter those arguments.

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California’s 3 foot law

I give 3 feetOne September 16, 2014 California’s 3 foot law goes into effect.  The law requires that motorists give bicyclists at least 3 feet of clearance when passing.

The intent of the law is to make is safer for bicyclists to use our streets and roadways.  Anyone who rides a bicycle is aware of the danger of a vehicle that passes to closely.  If the motorist or the bicyclist makes just a small move when the vehicle is too close the bicyclists safety can be put in jeopardy.

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Adding bike facilities…it’s just routine

bayshore sharrowsLong Beach continues to show its commitment to being a bike friendly city.

 

Bay Shore Avenue in the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach was just resurfaced…and of course they added sharrows.

 

In Long Beach there is close cooperation between the city’s bike staff, which is located in the traffic engineering section of Public Works, and the group responsible for routine street maintenance. As a result of this relationship when the streets are resurfaced bike facilities are simply included as part of the plan.  The result is that miles of new bike  facilities are added to city streets at minimal cost.

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Ride of Silence – courtesy counts

The ride of silence, now in its 11th year, honors those bicyclists who were killed in motor vehicle related crashes and reminds everyone of the importance of driving and riding safely.

2014-05-22_8-33-09In 2012 over 700 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the US. In Long Beach over the past 5 years in we have averaged over one death per year.

While the total number of traffic related fatalities in the US has been steadily falling since 2003, the number of bicycle fatalities has risen. This is in part due to the fact that more people are bicycling every year.  In Long Beach alone we have seen a doubling of the number of bicyclists on our streets since 2007.  However, just because we have more bicyclists doesn’t mean we need to have more crashes and more fatalities.

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