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Passing-on-right bill becomes law
Bicyclists traveling slower than the flow of traffic must ride in a bike lane or to the far right
on roads without a bike lane. But when approaching a vehicle stopped ahead in the traffic lane, state law requires a bicyclist to pass on the left side
in most situations. That requires leaving the bike lane or shoulder and entering the traffic lane, even though passing on the right is often more consistent with where most bicyclists ride and sometimes might even be safer.
Starting next January, bicyclists can legally pass on the right thanks to the governor's signature on a package of technical changes to state law relating to transportation. Among other provisions, the so-called "omnibus" bill
authored by the Senate Transportation & Housing Committee amends the California Vehicle Code's provision that allows for passing on the right
under limited circumstances by clarifying that it does not prohibit the use of a bicycle in a bicycle lane or on a shoulder.
LA mayor proposes 3-foot passing law
California motorists could be asked to give bicyclists a little more room on the road under legislation being proposed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with assistance by CBC.
State law requires motorists to give bicyclists an unspecified safe passing distance. Villaraigosa intends to sponsor a bill next year to specify 3 feet as the minimum passing distance. Fourteen other states have similar laws. CBC sponsored a 3-foot passing bill in 2006 but it quickly stalled under opposition from the California Highway Patrol and the state's trucking lobby.
LEMONS INTO LEMONADE:
The Legislature has approved a bill to allow cities and counties to require driver's licenses for pedicab operators
. Concerned about the implications of licensing bicyclists, which is not allowed under current state law, bike advocates successfully pointed out that the California driver's test only covers the operation of motor vehicles, not pedicabs. So the bill awaiting the governor's signature also contains the option of requiring pedicab operators to show proof of completion of a certified bike safety course in lieu of a driver's license.
Two bills authorizing Amador County
and the City of Fresno
to develop plans for allowing neighborhood electric vehicles to use streets with speed limits over 35 MPH are headed to the governor. Neither bill would prevent such plans from forcing bicycles and NEVs to share a separate, segregated lane - a type of lane already in use under the Lincoln, Calif., NEV plan - so CBC and other bike advocates pushed through amendments that require both plans to be reviewed by the California Traffic Control Devices Committee within Caltrans. The committee sets statewide standards for traffic signs, signals and other pavement markings such as traffic lanes.
|Around the State|
Two new Westside groups turn up the heat
A new advocacy group calls America's most glamorous city the missing link in transportation planning on the Westside of Los Angeles. Better Bike BH Wiki says Beverly Hills fails to ensure safe passage to all road users because the city isn't connected to bikeway networks in neighboring communities.
Further to the west, Santa Monica Spoke
, a regional chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, seeks full bike access through an office complex being developed there. The development plan includes bikeways that would connect to a neighborhood bikeway network but requires bicyclists to walk their bikes. The group says the provision violates a city land use policy requiring bike access, inasmuch as the policy would seem to imply that bikes are ridden, not walked.More bike-friendly cities and businesses in CA
Huntington Beach, Menlo Park, Oakland and Santa Clara are among the 18 cities named as Bicycle Friendly Communities
month by the League of American Bicyclists. Each received the Bronze designation (other levels are Silver, Gold and Platinum). Merced was the only California community among 15 to receive an honorable mention. Brentwood and Thousand Oaks both renewed their Bronze designations.
Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, Specialized Bicycles in Morgan Hill, UC Santa Barbara, Wheelhouse Bicycles in Santa Barbara, and KTU+A Planning in San Diego were added this month to the League's roster of Bicycle Friendly Businesses
, which includes a total of 13 in California and 198 throughout the nation.
Southland's best traffic reduction programs honored
Caltech's robust rideshare program
in Pasadena and a UCLA "bike-u-mentary
on bike commuting are among the 18 Southern California programs honored this month by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Ventura County Transportation Commission and Orange County Transportation Agency.
Metro and its partners recognized Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange county employers that are making the big strides in encouraging ridesharing and bike commuting. Other award recipients include The Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles World Airports, White Memorial Medical Center, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Glendale Transportation Management Associates and Warner Center TMO.PHOTO CREDITS: (top) Better Bike BH Wiki, (middle) gonomad.com, (above) UCLA
Bike commuting rates hold steady
Defying predictions that many bike commuters would go back to driving after sky-high gas prices fell in 2009, the League of American Bicyclists reports that bike commuting rates in the U.S. held steady
at 0.55 percent overall.
Among the 70 largest U.S. cities, bike commuting rates rose 9% from 2008 to 2009. The biggest overall gain - 28% - came from the 39 cities that have not sought the League's Bicycle Friendly Community designation. There was a 1% increase in the 31 BFC cities, where bike commuting rates are already as much as four times greater than in other cities. In San Francisco and Oakland, the two California cities ranked among the nation's top-10 bike commuting cities, the percentage of people riding to work jumped 10% and 18% respectively from 2008 to 2009.
The League's report, just out this week, also explains why census and other survey tools typically undercount the number of people who commute by bicycle.
Rails-to-Trails challenges AAA's call for funding cuts
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is rallying bicycling and walking advocates
to challenge AAA's call this summer to redirect federal funding for biking and walking facilities back into the federal highway system.
In an editorial, Don Gagnon, president and CEO of AAA Mid-Atlantic, blamed the $89 billion annual highway fund shortfall on federal investments that have helped build 19,000 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails and sidewalks across the U.S. Instead, Gagnon proposed directing the total amount spent on those projects - less than $1 billion - back into federal highway system. Earlier this year AAA Mid-Atlantic denounced the installation of bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington D.C.
has called on AAA for an explanation and also circulated a petition urging AAA to step back from its position.Gen Y + cell phones = less driving?
This month a New York Times
green transportation blogger floated an intriguing idea: Could the decline in miles driven by the under-30 Generation Y reflect the growing influence of cell phone technology?
Congregating physically with the help of a car may not be so important in an age when nearly continual social contact is possible via text messaging and cell phone, writes Jim Motavalli. Greater concern for the environmental costs and financial challenges of driving may also explain the decline in driving and car ownership among Americans under 30.PHOTO CREDITS: (top) San Francisco Chronicle, (above) Lendingtree.com
|CBC receives $30K advocacy grant |
The Alliance for Biking & Walking
has awarded CBC a $30,000 grant to help fund a full-time executive director's position, one of several capacity-building efforts currently under way at CBC.
CBC has already matched the grant with some $35,000 raised from bike industry leaders including Dahon
and Planet Bike
during the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C.
"California has historically been a leader in cycling culture and infrastructure, and one of the states where our movement really needs to be well organized," said Stan Day, president of SRAM. "We're excited to partner with other cycling companies to help re-energize the CBC."
Mobis CEO joins CBC board
Andrea White-Kjoss, chief executive officer of Long Beach-based Mobis Transportation Alternatives
, is the newest member of CBC Board of Directors. Mobis designs, builds and operates facilities for parking, renting and repairing bicycles under its flagship brand Bikestation
, and also helps communities and transit agencies plan multimodal transportation facilities. Fourteen Bikestations operate in California, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Earlier this year Business Week Magazine
named White-Kjoss one of America's most promising social entrepreneurs
for 2010. This month the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals named her its Private Sector Professional of the Year.
"We're honored to be able to welcome someone with Andrea's credentials and record of success to the CBC board," said CBC President Dave Snyder. "I look forward to working with her to bring CBC the same kind of success in promoting bicycling for transportation and recreation."Workshop to sharpen advocates' campaign skills
Sponsored by the Alliance for Biking & Walking and hosted by Walk Oakland Bike Oakland
, the Winning Campaigns Training workshop is based on tried-and-true campaign strategies customized for bicycle, pedestrian, and transportation activists. From the experienced trainers (and each other), participants will learn how to choose the right campaign, craft a winning plan, and carry it to victory. With the confidence and leadership skills you'll develop, you'll be able to help your fellow activists when you return home, and substantially expand the effect of your work.Sacramento Tweed supports CBC
Sacramento Tweed Ride
organizers Rick Houston and his wife 1 Girl, 2 Wheels
blogger Erin Houston donated $823 to CBC this month. The couple raffled two road bikes donated by the Bicycle Business
in Sacramento at the Tweed Ride held in May. Many thanks for their support and their efforts to promote the joys of bicycling!
|Rides & Events|
Oct. 1-3: Tahoe Trails Conference
Sponsored by the International Mountain Bicycling Association and U.S. Forest Service
A benefit for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and San Diego Mountain Biking Association
ClovisOct. 16: Valley Girls Ride A benefit for Camp Sunshine Dreams of Children's Hospital of Central California, Spirit of Woman, and the Central California Blood Center
FairfaxOct. 16: BiketoberfestA benefit for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Access4Bikes IrvineOct. 16-17: Bike MS: Bay to Bay Tour A benefit for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
San Luis Obispo Oct. 23: SLO GranFondoA benefit for San Luis Obispo ALPHA
Los Angeles Oct. 23: Tour de FatSponsored by Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange (C.I.C.L.E.), Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Bicycle Kitchen/La Bicicocina