On Civility and Cycling

(UPDATED 6:48 PM 4/23/2108: In response to our request, Cal Coast News removed the comments of SLO_Children_at_play and “added a short leash” to the user and apologized for the trouble.)

On March 19th a Cal Coast News reader using the pseudonym SLO_Children_at_play posted a number of highly disturbing, inappropriate, threatening and illegal suggestions in response to an editorial about the proposed Anholm Bikeway. The comments included the following:

  • “…I suggest sabotaging the current bike freeway that exists on Morro Street.”
  • ”At night clandestinely place tacks and small nails in the intersections where only bikes can pass through. ”
  • ”String fishing wire at about handlebar level between the signs at the bicycle-only intersection.”
  • “If you want to put some money into the resistance, dump large quantities of ball bearings wherever the bicycles traverse. Do the same at Broad Street when it’s complete.”
  • “Make the new bicycle freeways as dangerous and unappealing to bicycles as possible.”
  • “I would even suggest that we start slashing tires on all bicycles in the city.”

Bike SLO County reached out to the moderator of Cal Coast News to ask for the comments to be removed and the comments have been taken down.

While we understand that some people are frustrated by the prospect of change, speech threatening harm is never, ever acceptable in a democratic, civil society. Bike SLO County strongly condemns these irresponsible, inflammatory comments. While we encourage civil engagement and urge everyone to participate in local government (at City Council meetings as well as at the ballot box), suggesting sabotage that will cause physical harm to the children and adults that ride bicycles in the City of San Luis Obispo crosses a line that should never be crossed.

As of yet there are no reported incidents matching SLO_Children_at_play’s suggestions. Bike SLO County urges people on bicycles at remain alert and if you see something suspicious, call the SLO Police Department at 781-7317.

If you have any additional information about SLO_Children_at_play making other threats or following through on their threats, please let the police know. You can ask to speak to an officer about case number 180420054.

Bike SLO County encourages members of the bicycle community to continue to engage in civil dialog and resist sinking to the depths demonstrated in SLO_Children_at_play’s inflammatory comments. Please continue to be the change you want to see as we all work to make SLO County a better place for everyone.

Bike Safe! Drive Safe!

Bike Safe Everyday

While you should always bike and drive safe, on Thursday October 5th, 2017 the San Luis Obispo Police Department will step up bicycle safety enforcement operations with focused enforcement on collision-causing factors involving both people driving cars and people riding bicycles. Special patrols will be deployed to crack down on all people who violate traffic laws meant to protect all roadway users.

The SLO Police department has mapped out locations from over the past 3 years where bicycle involved collisions have occurred and noted the violations that led to those crashes. SLOPD officers will be looking for violations made by people driving automobiles and people riding bikes that can lead to life changing injuries.

The following safety tips can save lives and traffic citations:

People who drive Motor Vehicle Drivers:

– ‘Share the road’ with people on bicycles
– Be courteous; California law now mandates at least three feet of clearance when passing a bike rider
– Look for people riding bicycles before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space
– Yield to people riding bicycles at intersections and as directed by signs and signals
– Be especially watchful for bicycle riders when making turns, either left or right

People who drive bicycles:

– Wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. If under 18 years of age, it’s the law
– A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash
– People riding bicycles are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other people driving motor vehicles, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
– When cycling in the street, people riding bikes must ride in the same direction as traffic.
– People riding bikes should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at dawn and dusk
– To be noticed when riding at night, the law requires a front light and a red reflector to the rear
– For additional safety, use a flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing

Help stop Distracted Driving

Bike SLO County’s 2017 Annual Fundraising Campaign concludes on Friday June 16th and we still have a long way to go to reach our fundraising goal of $30,000.

This week we’re highlighting 5 different Bike SLO County programs and efforts that need your help.

DAY 2: Distracted Driving

Bike SLO County is committed to making Central Coast roads safer for everyone. Whether you ride a bike, walk or drive a car, Distracted Driving affects us all.

In the coming months and years, Bike SLO County, working with partners from the Central Coast business and government sectors, will develop and implement a series of campaigns to help educate members of our community on the dangers and costs that Distracted Driving. You may already have heard our Distracted Driving messages on KCBX radio.

Distracted DrivingAdditionally, we’re reaching out to state and local lawmakers to encourage them to significantly raise the penalties for distracted driving. Deaths and injuries resulting from distracted driving are on the rise while current penalties for distracted driving are too low to dissuade drivers from multitasking behind the wheel.

Your donation of $25 a month will fund twenty Distracted Driving radio spots a year.

A one time donation of any amount will help expand our Distracted Driving efforts at the state and local level.

If you agree that Distracted Driving should be a thing of the past, please donate today.

Click here to make a one time donation.

Prefer to make a recurring monthly donation? Click here to make a monthly donation.

Already support Bike SLO County? Thank You!

 

Bicycle in Bike Lane on Santa Rosa St

SLO PD to focus on Bike Safety

Bike and Drive Smart on Thursday, February 4th (and every other day of the year…)

The San Luis Obispo Police Department will step up their bike safety enforcement operations on Thursday, February 4th, with focused enforcement on collision-causing factors bike safety stop signinvolving motorists and bicycle riders. Special patrols will be deployed to crack down on drivers and bicyclists who violate traffic laws meant to protect all roadway users.

The Police Department has mapped out locations from over the past three years where bicycle-involved collisions have occurred and noted the violations that led to those crashes. Officers will be looking for violations made by car drivers and bike riders alike that can lead to life changing injuries.

The following safety tips can save lives and should be practiced every day, not just on days of increased police enforcement, and not just in the City of San Luis Obispo:

Car Drivers:

  • Yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. Failure to yield is the #1 reason for accidents when cars are at fault
  • ‘Share the road’ with bicyclists
  • Be courteous; California law now mandates at least three feet of clearance when passing bike riders
  • Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a driveway or parking space
  • Be especially watchful for riders when making turns, either left or right
  • Be predictable, use turn signals
  • Obey traffic signals, speed limits and stop signs

Bicycle Drivers:

  • When cycling in the street, cyclists must drive in the same direction as traffic. Wrong way cycling is the #1 reason for accidents when bicycles are at fault
  • Don’t ride on sidewalks. People and cars aren’t looking for you there (and it’s illegal in the City of SLO)
  • Be predictable, signal turns and stops with your hands
  • When possible, make eye contact with drivers
  • Bicycle Drivers are considered vehicle operators; you are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, stop signs, signals, and lane markings
  • Bicyclists can increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at dawn and dusk
  • To be noticed when riding at night, the law requires a front light and a red reflector to the rear
  • For additional safety, use a flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing

Bike safety, and road safety in general, is something to strive for 24/7, 365. Let’s make the roads safer for everyone.

Like bikes? Join us! It’s free!

Light Up SLO County

The San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club (SLOBC) and the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition are using Rideshare’s Bike Month and the region’s bicycle and pedestrian safety campaign, #LetsGetVisible, to kick-off a unique bike safety program, Light Up San Luis Obispo County!

The SLOBC and the Bicycle Coalition have partnered to purchase a supply of bicycle lights that have been provided, LightUpSLOCountyLaw440without cost, to all of our local law enforcement agencies. Patrol officers will have the opportunity to give a free set of lights to any person riding a bicycle at night without the legally required lighting equipment. SLOBC President Will Benedict said, “This effort will help cyclists be lawful and more visible at night and greatly improve safety for all users of our roadways.”

Cal Poly Chief of Police George Hughes said, “This program will give our police officers a positive way to encourage students to comply with bicycle lighting requirements on and around our campus.”

“The community support for Bike Month is overwhelming”, said Stephanie Hicks, Program Manager for SLO Regional Ride Share. “Light Up San Luis Obispo County”, in conjunction with Bike Month activities and the region’s new bicycle and pedestrian safety campaign #LetsGetVisible underscores our region’s commitment to safe roadways for all users.

Participating agencies include the Police Departments of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, CHP, Cal Poly PD, Cuesta College PD, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.

The SLOBC, founded in 1971, is a non-profit organization that promotes safe and legal bicycle riding for recreation and transportation. For more information about the club and our activities, please visit our website at www.slobc.org and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/slobc.org

Let’s Get Visible and Light Up SLO County!

Like Bikes?

Become a member of The Bike Coalition – it’s free to sign-up and we’ll keep you informed every month about bike events and issues in SLO County. Click this link to join: I Like Bikes!

Advocacy Alert

3 Feet for Safety Law goes live!

On September 16th The San Luis Obispo Bicycle Coalition held an event to inform the press and general public about California’s new bicycle-passing law, “Three Feet for Safety”. P1010551The law states that motorists must maintain a distance of at least three feet when passing a bicyclist.

California joins 24 other states with similar laws. According to Dan Rivoire, Executive Director of The SLO County Bicycle Coalition, “Bicyclists have a legal right to be on the road in California, even on streets that don’t have bike lanes. More and more people of all ages are discovering that bicycles are an easy, healthy, economical and fun way to get around, especially for short trips. Bike riders are vulnerable when motorists pass too closely. This new law is a reminder that sometimes motorists will need to slow down and wait to pass a bicyclist until it is safe to do so.”

Helping Rivoire spread the word were members of the San Luis Obispo Police Department and the California Highway Patrol. After officers discussed the law with local media, a SLOPD patrol car demonstrated the correct distance to give to bikes by driving past Vanessa Amerson,  3ft2pass_300the Bicycle Coalition’s Interim Education Director, as she rode her bike down Pacific Street in front of Bicycle Coalition headquarters in San Luis Obispo.

Some things to remember:

  • To help estimate what three feet is, motorists can think of how much room they give when parking in order to fully open their door without hitting another parked car or a wall.
  • The law applies on all roads: those with bike lanes as well as those with no bike lane.

If you would like more information or have questions about the new law, please contact the Bicycle Coalition at 805-547-2055.

 

Advocacy Alert

Fired Up Friday! Raise your Voice in Support of Safer Streets!

Sign the Petition Backing the Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act

Fired Up Friday is a great time to take a moment to sign the petition in support of California’s Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act (AB 2398). The act will protect Californians who ride bikes, walk, run, ride horses, scooter, skateboard and work on our streets.

The Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act brings much needed attention to the issue of distracted driving and protects all road users by raising the fines for hitting Vulnerable Road Users, assigning points on the offending motorists’ license and suspending the offender’s license for six months.

Please take a moment to sign the California Bicycle Coalition’s Petition and let your elected representatives hear your voice as we ask for safer streets for everyone.

BoysOnBikes

(Photo by Jonathan Roberts)

Bicycle Corral Demonstration Friday at Kreuzberg in SLO

BikeCorralsWe’re happy to announce the installation of a temporary bicycle corral (on-street bicycle parking) at Kreuzberg Coffee Company in SLO. These corrals are popping up all over the country, and serve to encourage the use of bicycles for short trips, reduce traffic congestion and improve the overall quality of life.

Bicycle corrals are specifically established for bicycle parking. They are identified by roadway striping, bollards or other protective barriers and signage. A corral can be as simple as a series of bike racks surrounded by painted lines or a unique, artistic creation that enhances a vibrant commercial area. Existing bicycle racks in San Luis Obispo use part of the sidewalk.

When: Friday, January 17th  9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Where: Kreuzberg Cafe, 685 Higuera St, SLO (map)

Why: The Bicycle Coalition and Bicycle Club invite the public and local business owners to see how a bicycle corral can make our downtown more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.

  • Bicycle Corrals provide a 10-to-1 customer-to-parking space ratio, generating greater business patronage. Corrals keep sidewalks and walkways free of bicycles and for better pedestrian mobility and business access.
  • Corrals improve restaurant and outdoor seating environments by removing parked bicycles from sidewalk areas.
  • The city of San Luis Obispo’s recently updated Bicycle Transportation Plan calls for increased bicycle parking throughout the city. Bicycle corrals will meet the need for convenient and safe bicycle parking downtown.

Kreuzberg co-owner Chris Tarcon noted that he and partner James Whitaker explored cafés in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood by bicycle in early 2010 for ideas for the coffee shop they opened in San Luis Obispo. Although customers often lock their bicycles to the railing in front of their downtown business, adding to the décor, Tarcon said a designated parking area for bicycles makes a lot of sense.

“A bicycle corral will be more inviting for those who ride bicycles,” Tarcon said. “We have no designated parking area for cars, so more and more people are turning to bicycles because they are convenient and a great way to get around. If the bicycle corral demonstration is successful, we will follow up by submitting a request to the city for a permanent corral.”

We invite you to come down and park at the corral to show your support for better bicycle parking in downtown!