Buena Park Police not told of 3-foot bike buffer

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There is no evidence Buena Park police officers have been briefed of the Sept. 16 enactment of the 3-foot bicycle safety buffer zone.

The question about Buena Park Police training in bicycle law arose after an incident on Crescent in which the Veggie Biker believes a car came much closer than three-feet to him. A Buena Park police car was driving just behind and to the left of the silver compact sedan during the incident.

A violation of AB1371 would be punishable by fines starting at $35. If unsafe passing results in a crash that injures the cyclist, the driver could face a $220 fine.

Corporal Andy Luong, public information officer and police training officer said he is aware of the law. However, he has sent out no information about the new law as part of his training officer duties. He said, in a telephone interview Monday afternoon, if he receives such information from the police chief, he will disburse it.

Luong said he was unaware of any modification to the California bicycle laws by the Buena Park City Council. Fullerton has a law banning bicycles on downtown sidewalks, for example.

The police enforce the California traffic code as it applies to bicycles, Luong said. He cited riding on the wrong side of the street and not wearing a helmet by people under 18 years of age as common tickets.

The city of Buena Park, it appears when one consults the Orange County Transportation Authority Map, has never accommodated bicycle commuters in the city. There are no bicycle lanes and no share-the-road streets shown on the map. Cities surrounding Buena Park show large networks of such accommodations.

Riding across Buena Park at twilight some days is a series of missed opportunities to die.

Yet there is no training even as bicycle commuting becomes more common. Luong said, “No special training on bikes I’m aware of.”

 

Will Buena Park enforce 3-foot bicycle buffer law?

Buena Park Police Dodge Magnum

Buena Park Police Dodge Magnum

There ought to be a way to Yelp police departments. This is as close as Veggie Biking can get.

Facts:

The Veggie Biker waved at a Buena Park policeman while bicycling west on Crescent, east of Beach. The shaved-headed officer glared back from behind his Foster Grants. His vehicle, in which he was making a u-turn in a side street intersection, looked like the Dodge Magnum above. Bad day?

A minute later, 9:36 a.m., the Veggie Biker was passed rapidly by a silver compact sedan, which was much closer than 3 feet. The new Bicycle Buffer Zone Law requires California drivers to stay at least 3 feet away when passing bicyclists.

AB1371 went into effect Sept. 16. The previous law required a driver to keep a safe distance when passing a bicyclist but did not specify how far that was. At least 22 states and the District of Columbia define a safe passing distance as a buffer of at least 3 feet.

As the silver compact was passing, the Veggie Biker saw the Buena Park police car one lane over, and just behind the silver compact. The Veggie Biker pointed at the speeding silver compact as the officer passed. However, the officer not only went on by, but ultimately passed the silver compact. He continued on toward Beach Boulevard where he waited for the light and made a left-hand turn. The silver compact made a right-hand turn.

The Veggie Biker is sure the officer will say he had more important things to worry about than bicycles. Or just did not see the violation. The silver compact driver will say he or she did not know about the law. All could be true., particularly the latter.

However, Buena Park City Council members have stated bicycles are a traffic hazard. The council has refused to create bike lanes, as one can tell by examining the current Orange County Transportation Authority bike trails map.

A telephone call to the number listed for the captain’s desk at the Buena Park Police Headquarters went to a secretary’s voice mail. Veggie Biking saw no reason to leave a message at this time. There is no email one can easily access on the BPPD website.

Questions:

Have Buena Park police been trained to enforce the 3-foot bicycle buffer zone law? Or do they reflect their leaders’ disdain towards bicycle commuting?

 

Newport Beach needs people who count to count bicycles

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Press Release from: Brad Sommers, PE, Senior Civil Engineer, Public Works Department, City of Newport Beach. Email provided by Vince Buck, North Orange County Bicycle Advocacy Coalition (NOCBAC)

Wed, Sep 11, 2013–As part of the City of Newport Beach’s Bicycle Master Plan, the City is conducting bicycle counts to track bicycle usage in Newport Beach. We are currently looking for volunteers to assist with the count effort.

WHEN:  Counts will be conducted on Thursday Oct. 17 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

TRAINING: Volunteers must attend a mandatory training on the counting procedure the week before.  The training will be held Thursday, October 10 at 6:30pm in the Community Room at the Newport Beach Civic Center. At the training, volunteers will be assigned count locations throughout the city and given count forms and instructions.

HOW TO SIGN UP: If you are available to volunteer, please contact me by email at bsommers@newportbeachca.gov or by phone at (949) 644-3326 by Tuesday October 8.  Please indicate whether you can count one or both dates/times.

Thank you for helping to improve cycling within Newport Beach, writes Brad Sommers, who can be contacted at: BSommers@newportbeachca.gov949.644.3326.

 

Austin’s Scare for the Cure offers PG-13 frights

Scare for the Cure

Scare for the Cure

Press Release provided by Stephen Mercer, Austin Scare for a Cure

Austin always offers something seasonal for the visiting veggie biker to experience. For Halloween, it is the Scare for a Cure interactive haunted house.

The Veggie Biker has followed this from a distance for several years, listening to tales of saving old buildings for their ghost town and creating scary scenarios. He even accompanied two of the Scare for the Cure volunteers to research Neil Patrick Harris’ haunted mansion in Hollywood last year. They think Scare for a Cure can do it better.

Here’s the official word:

SCARE for a CURE presents Fairy Tale Nightmare???, “Murder at Ghost Town??? and “The Boneyard???

What’s new this year?  This year not only will SCARE for a CURE have our hour long haunted adventure “Fairy Tale Nightmare???, but we’ve added two new events!  “Murder at Ghost Town???, a murder mystery and the “The Boneyard??? fit only for the bravest of souls. 

 ftn-sm

What happens when there are not more happy endings?  It’s all gone horribly, horribly wrong in Fairyland.  You may be the last hope.  Or you may become twisted like all the rest.  Forget what you think you know about Fairy Tales.  Ours are far more grimm than you can imagine! 

murder-sm The year is 1883, and the small town of J. Lorraine, Texas is burning.  Or at least many of the folks who live there are.  Someone committed an unspeakable act of cruelty and murder.  The culprit was never caught and the dead cannot rest until someone solves the crime.  Help the residents of GHOST TOWN find final peace – SOLVE the mystery of the Murder at Ghost Tow

boneyard-smStep in the mouth of madness with The Boneyard, an all-new high SCARE attraction that will have you running for your lives.  Try to find your way out of a twisted pit of the most terrifying monstrosities imaginable! Navigate the cursed junkyard with your worst nightmares nipping at your heels. 

Run entirely by volunteers, SCARE for a CURE has become one of the most popular attractions in Austin, Texas during the Halloween season. But don’t be fooled by the name, while SCARE is definitely passionate about the creation of its unique haunt experiences, the emphasis is really on the word CARE. Each year well over three hundred volunteers come together with a passion to share their talent and make a difference in their community. Last year SCARE donated $20,000 to the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas, and a percentage of our 2013 proceeds from the interactive haunted adventure will again benefit the BCRC.
Contact:Norma Crippen, Co-Founder/Marketing Director, SCARE for CURE, 512-669-2581www.scareforacure.org

Strawberry planting cycle begins in Orange County

The strawberry fields of Orange County are taking shape. By February the Veggie Biker will be able to buy just-picked baskets of berries to take to campus for lunch.

The strawberry fields of Orange County are taking shape. By February the Veggie Biker will be able to buy just-picked baskets of berries to take to campus for lunch.

Strawberry season is coming.

In two weeks, the dusty, vacant strawberry field on Stanton, north of La Palma in Buena Park has been irrigated, shaped, treated with pesticides and herbicides, and covered in plastic. Next workers will poke small plants through holes the plastic . By February, the Gamboa Berry Farm should be selling boxes and boxes of strawberries, fresh-picked that morning as you bicycle past.

U-Lock saves Cypress College student’s bike

A quick clean cut is all it takes to steal a bike secured with a cable. For this bike owner, however, a cable was not enough. He used a U-lock also. He still has his bike.

A quick clean cut is all it takes to steal a bike secured with a cable. For this bike owner, however, a cable was not enough. He used a U-lock also. He still has his bike.

A Cypress College student, a careful young man who locks up his bike with both a U-lock and a cable, got his money’s worth Wednesday night. Thieves cut his cable cleanly, but could not defeat the U-lock.

The bicyclist who parked next to him was not so lucky. Gone in 60 seconds. The bicycle rack is in a heavily patrolled plaza between the Science Building and the Art Building.

Cypress College security staff members keep warning careless bicyclists to use good locks. However, the officers still write about 10 stolen bike reports a month.

Future Fullerton Bikeshare memberships available

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OCTA has announced a new bike sharing program for Fullerton.

Basically, you rent a bike, ride it to the next rental station, and leave it. It has been proven effective in such large cities as Denver and Washington, D.C.

The are many questions that are not answered in this poster or the website. Here are some of the answers from OCTA BikeLink and other sources you need to understand the potential value of BikeLink in your life.

  1. There are said to be 10 stations initially planned in Fullerton: Fullerton Train Station, Fullerton City Hall Complex, Cal State Fullerton,  Fullerton College and College Plaza Shopping Center. But that’s only five stations on the list; and the map only shows eight stations.
  2. During the two-year pilot program, BikeLink bikes will operate only within the city of Fullerton.
  3. Meanwhile, Bike Nation, a Tustin-based company, which is the company it appears is installing the bikes in Fullerton (it is never stated clearly), has installed 10 kiosks and 100 bikes in Anaheim. Initial reviews from Veggie Biking audience members say that system is less than satisfactory.
  4. BikeNation’s 4,000-bike Los Angeles bike sharing program is reported by the Los Angeles Times to be on hold until a financial backer or an advertising program can be found to augment the program’s, rental fees.
  5. There is no mention of reciprocity between the Fullerton and Anaheim systems. So you cannot, it appears, take bikes from one city to the other, a natural thing for college students to do.
  6. You can buy a one-day or seven-day Fullerton Bikelink Access Pass* from any OCTA BikeLink station. It appears you must use a credit card for this, as a $100 refundable deposit is placed on the card every time you rent a bike. Can you charge a trip using your smartphone as in Washington, D.C., or do you have to use the Kiosk?
  7. A BikeLink Access Pass ranges from $5 for a one-day Pass to $12 for a seven-day pass.
  8. The first 30 minutes of riding on every trip is free.
  9. If your trip is longer than 30 minutes you will be charged overtime fees (see pricing).
  10. Or you can buy an annual pass which gives you an annual membership card with which you can simply tap the kiosk and remove a bicycle.
  11. Annual memberships are available for purchase online.
  12. If there are no empty docks, go to the kiosk, swipe your credit card and you will receive a 15-minute credit. You will then be directed to the nearest station with empty docks. (Do you get a free bus pass to get back to where you wanted to be?)
  13. You can check the BikeLink station map online prior to your ride for real-time information such as available docks and bikes.
  14. However, there is no mention of using the smartphone Spotcycle app which gives information for over 40 cities world wide, including Long Beach.
  15. The bicycles have easy adjusting seat posts with calibration marks to ensure the right seat height for you every ride. The bicycles also have step-thru frames for ease of use and low center of gravity.
  16. The BikeLink bicycle utilizes airless tires and chainless shaft-driven drivetrain.
  17. All the bicycles have baskets in the front for your personal belongings.
  18. DO NOT ABANDON YOUR CHECKED-OUT BICYCLE IF IT DOESN’T WORK!, warns OCTA. It remains your responsibility until properly returned. Return and lock it at the dock and push the red mechanics button on the dock.You can return the bike at any of the stations located in the city of Fullerton. Simply put the bike into any available dock, wait for the green light to blink to make sure it locks and you are done until your next ride. (Is there a pick-up service such as the bike rental shops provide?)
  19. Call the OCTA Bikelink 24-hour Customer Service Center at 800.980.7942 if you have any questions.

OCTA asks you share this information a friend or associate. If you want questions answered in person, you can bike to the Orange County Transportation Authority, 550 S. Main St., Orange, CA, 92863-1584.