UCI Transportation Forum explores bicycling politics

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Like-minded people are gathering to chart Orange County’s embrace of walking and biking. And you’re invited, if you RSVP.

activetransportahocogoPoliticians, city planners, traffic engineers and bicycle and pedestrian activists are scheduled to introduce themselves to each other at the Alliance for a Healthy Orange County Active Transportation Forum Oct. 18.

The professionals and activists are doing more than shaking hands at the gathering, subtitled, “Complete Streets and Active Living for Orange County!” The flyer reads organizers intend the forum to “identify challenges and opportunities, share best practices and develop priorities for Active Transportation as a region.”

The all-day Friday forum is being held at the University of California Irvine University Club from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is a free lunch if you give the required RSVP.

Veggie Biking has registered to attend and intends to report the conference live on @veggiebiking.

Below is the agenda:

9:00 a.m. Registration 

beju_ucipublichealthnoseal2_110:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Opening Remarks, Oladele A. Ogunseitan, PhD, MPH, Professor of Public Health, UC Irvine 

10:10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Welcome, Barry Ross, Chairman, Alliance for a Healthy Orange County (AHOC) 

10:15 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. Active Transportation Recognition Awards 

10:25 a.m. – 11: 25 a.m. Panel 1: Why Complete Streets 

This panel will showcase recent research on complete streets, best practices and identify the opportunities and challenges today and in the future at the local and regional level.

beju_srts_4Panelist: Rye Baerg, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, America Bracho, Latino Health Access, Rock Miller, Stantec

Moderator: Leah Ersoylu, Ersoylu consulting

11:25 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Charles Gandy, Livable Communities Inc., is a nationally recognized consulting firm focused on community design, trail planning and design, bicycle and pedestrian advocacy, and creating charismatic, vibrant and economically successful communities.

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Networking Lunch 

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. What is the future of Complete Streets and the pathways to implementation? 

This panel session, will discuss areas of common ground for implementation for all modes of transportation that are safer, more livable and sustainable for all users. The panelist will also provide input on who must lead the charge in redefining the function of streets. Lastly, the panelist will discuss support in developing and adopting new guidelines to support complete streets.

Panelist: Hasan Ikhrata, Southern California Association of Governments, Ryan Chamberlain, California Department of Transportation, District 12, Charlie Larwood, Orange County Transportation Authority, Moderator: Victor Becerra, UCI’s Community Health Action Network for Growth through Equity and Sustainability (CHANGES)

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Break- Out Sessions 

1. Advocacy at the grassroots level with Community Members and Elected Officials 

Panelist: Frank Peters, Newport Beach Advocate, Ava Steaffens, Kidworks

Moderator: Sergio Contreras, United Way of Orange County and Councilmember, Westminster

2. Connecting the dots with Engineers and Planners for Complete Streets 

Panelist: William Galvez, Acting Public Works Director, City of Santa Ana, Pam Galera, Planner, City of Anaheim

Moderator: Brenda Miller, PEDal

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2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Funding and the Political and Public Process for Complete Streets 

This session will discuss the challenges and how to build public and political support for Complete Streets. Additionally, this session will provide information on new funding sources like Cap and Trade and financing strategies to pay for new infrastructure and programs.

Panelist: Councilmember Tony Petros, City of Newport Beach, Councilmember Gail Eastman, City of Anaheim, Jennifer Klausner, LA Bicycle Coalition Moderator: Pauline Chow, Safe Routes to School National Partnership

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks- Vision for Active Transportation in Orange County 

beju_stjoe_4Other sponsors of the event include: St. Joseph Health Community Partnership and The California Endowment.

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?

 

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.

Bike Coalition members advocate Fullerton pursue easy bike safety fixes ASAP

Fullerton Sharrow Logo

The City of Fullerton is looking at “low-hanging fruit” improvements in bicycle transportation safety, including painting signs to create sharrows–traffic lanes in which motorists are informed bicycles by law have full rights to use traffic lanes. It would be the first improvement in 15 months.

By Jane Rands, North Orange County Bicycle Advocates Coalition
Fullerton City bicycle advocates are pushing for inexpensive initial improvements now in bicycle safety in the city while pursuing larger projects.
A long overdue North Orange County Bicycle Advocates Coalition (NOCBAC) gathering of the usual crowd with the usual fare (pizza and beer) met Aug. 5 at Davis Barber’s office at the Villa Del Sol in Fullerton.
Among the attendees were OCTA Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) members, Vince Buck, Roy Shahbazian, and Laurel Reimer, and Alta Planning consultant, Paul Martin, who is assisting OCTA in developing the Districts 1 & 2 Bikeways Strategic Plan, which is currently in public review.
The Fullerton City Council will be discussing bicycle issues at an upcoming meeting, possibly August 20.  Vince Buck thought that NOCBAC should recommend some inexpensive bicycling facilities such as signage and sharrows.  NOCBAC members shared ideas, such as signage to fill gaps in class II and class III routes, sharrows where bike lanes abruptly end and should be placed outside of the door zone, and resurfacing roads, especially the shoulders.
Cities are adopting a common nomenclature to describe biking facilities. Class I bike routes are completely separate from traffic. Class II bike routes have on-street, outlined bike lanes. Class III bike routes are streets with signs denoting that it is a bicycle route; which can be the hash-marks-and-bicycle icon, sharrow, painted on the street.
CAC members noted that $4 million in federal Clean Air funds will be available in the fall as grants through Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for projects that are “shovel ready,” like segments in the Bikeways Master Plan that just need paint or signage.
Fullerton Mobility Planner, Jay Eastman, has applied for a grant through the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to fund the planning phase of the Wilshire Bike Boulevard.  The bike boulevard will help riders traversing between California State University-Fullerton and downtown Fullerton via the upcoming “BikeLink” bike sharing sponsored by OCTA.  Buck expressed concern over waiting for another grant to implement the bike boulevard.  Instead, NOCBAC can advocate for inexpensive initial improvements.
Wikipedia has more information on bicycling infrastructure around the world.

ALERT! Free Metrolink ride to OCTA bike rally 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Orange

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Alert courtesy Marcia Jeffredo

The Orange County Transportation Authority is sponsoring a bike ride 7:30 p.m. Thursday from the Metrolink Station, 194 N. Atchison Street, in the City of Orange to the OCTA headquarters, 550 S. Main Street, Orange. You will be riding with local elected officials, so get your biking wish list ready.

This is part of its celebration of National Bike Month.

As you can read on this poster, OCTA writes it wants to show you the new bicycles and bicycle parking equipment being introduced by the OCTA for the new BikeLink System. Because Metrolink is offering free train rides to anyone boarding with a bike, you can jump aboard at any Metrolink station and arrive at the Orange station in time for the rally.

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OC County Supervisor Nelson’s bike gathering canceled

An AIDS charity bicycle event scheduled at the Meridian Sports Center in Yorba Linda Sunday, April 7, was canceled after ticket sales were slow, according to any email shared with the Veggie Biker.

The author of the email is being contacted.

The Veggie Biker had ridden to the event, publicized in the newsletter of Orange County Superviser Shawn Nelson, but found no bike gathering. The event had been canceled after Supervisor Nelson’s newsletter was published, it appears.

The sports center staff said they had gotten phone calls but know nothing of any event.