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Tag Archives: bicyclists

California: More Bicycle Friendly Than Ever

A photo of a woman cycling near the Golden Gate Bridge

A photo of a woman cycling near the Golden Gate BridgeCalifornia continues to shift higher in its statewide efforts to improve conditions for cyclists. Two years ago, the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) ranked California as the eighth most Bicycle Friendly State℠ based on the amount and effectiveness of the state’s activities toward creating a safer and more welcoming space for bicyclists. California has now risen to number three in the national ranking.

California was recognized by LAB for getting more serious about biking and walking, citing the state’s first-ever bicycle and pedestrian plan being adopted three years after a report calling for radical reform at Caltrans. LAB’s Bicycle Friendly State Report Card said, “With a state DOT [Department of Transportation] that is increasingly committed to ensuring the safety and comfort of people who bike rather than maintaining a status quo, the state seems on the verge of establishing new standards and practices that will be a model for other states, both through its size and its efforts. In particular, watch for California’s actions on bicycle-related data including facilities, crashes, and counts to be potential models for other states.”

Another key factor in the leap in ranking cited by Streetsblog California “is the increase in funding for the Active Transportation Program, S.B. 1, the new gas tax, almost doubled the size of that program, from $130 million to $230 million annually. This is still a puny portion of the state’s overall transportation budget, but nevertheless California is doing better than most states: the League ranks California sixth out of the fifty states in terms of dedicated bicycle funding.”

There is still much work to be done in order to make California a safer place to bike and walk. A larger emphasis on data research, a repeal of California’s mandatory bike lane law, and the general establishment of safer, more inclusive infrastructure are some of the ways California can try to nab that number-one spot next time!

Just as our state has become more bicycle friendly, you may recall UCLA in recent years has moved up in its ranking as a Bicycle Friendly University.

For more information about how California got to where it is now and where it’s going in the future, check out this article. Let’s keep going, California!

 

20 is Plenty: UCLA Changing Campus Speed Limit

Twenty-Is-Plenty-Blog-Header

Twenty-Is-Plenty-Blog-Header20 is Plenty. That's UCLA Transportation's new campaign to promote a campuswide speed limit change.

Effective September 26, 2017, UCLA is lowering its roadway speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph. The goal is to make the campus even safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Plus, lowering the speed limit encourages more people to use active transportation modes, which will, in turn, make UCLA a healthier campus.

Studies have shown that the chances of a serious injury or death for a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle rise rapidly as speed increases. A motorist traveling at 16 mph, for example, has a 10% chance of sustaining serious injuries, while a motorist going 31 mph has a 50% chance.

The risk of death for a pedestrian also increases as vehicle speeds increase. A pedestrian faces a 10% risk of death when struck by a vehicle traveling at 23 mph and a 50% chance at 42 mph.

“For years, UCLA Transportation has worked with its campus partners to transform the car-centric campus built environment to a more walkable, bike-able, livable campus,” said Dave Karwaski, senior associate director of planning and traffic.

The effort to reduce the campus speed limit has occurred incrementally over time. UCLA first reduced campus roadways speeds from 35 mph to 25 mph in 2005. Lower speed limits have in recent years been introduced in several cities as well.

 

How to Avoid the Most Common Cycling Accidents

Road accident

Road accidentAs the cost of gasoline and the awareness about the damage of fossil fuels both increase, more and more people are deciding to use alternative modes of transportation. Given that Los Angeles benefits from bicycle-friendly weather all year long, bicycling is a common and a viable choice for UCLA students, staff and faculty.

However, many cyclists have to share the road with cars where there is no practical access to bike paths or protected lanes. This means potentially dangerous encounters with motor vehicles.

To avoid common cycling accidents, every vehicle operator should read about their state's official DMV handbook, whether they are on four or two wheels. Although cyclists do have to understand and comply with the same rules of the road as cars, they also have unique challenges. Being aware of and knowing how to avoid the three most common cycling accidents may save your life.

Right Cross Accidents

Right cross accidents occur when a cyclist, who has right of way, is struck Dangerous city traffic situationby a car exiting a side street, driveway or parking lot and attempting to turn right or left. This may also happen when a driver pulls out far enough to block the cyclist's path. This is usually caused by a driver failing to notice the cyclist coming from their left.

As a vehicle, a bicycle has full right of way when it is going straight along the side of a road. The driver, in this case, is failing to provide this right of way.

Avoiding this type of accident requires making yourself more visible to drivers. Adding a headlight to your bike or helmet and turning it on during the day is one effective measure. Wear bright colors (orange is the most noticeable color), and don't hesitate to wave, yell, use your bell, and make eye contact with drivers. Riding further to the left of the road, when possible, may also help prevent this accident.

Right Hook Accidents

Right hook accidents occur when a cyclist, riding to the right side of a car, is struck by the car attempting to turn right. In other words, the cyclist, going straight through an intersection, is hit by a car turning right at the same intersection. This can also happen when a driver deliberately overtakes a cyclist through an intersection, and then makes a right turn, wrongly assuming that they have driven a safe distance away from the bicycle.

You can avoid this type of accident by driving further left from the curb, which makes you more visible and more memorable to drivers. It can also give you headway for avoiding a collision. Pay attention to the turn signals of surrounding vehicles, and stay back if necessary.

Door Collisions

Door collisions—also called "the Door Prize"—happen when the driver of a parked car opens their door in the path of a cyclist. The cyclist, who didn't have enough notice to swerve or stop safely, collides with the open door. Door_zone_openThis is an error on the driver's part, not the cyclist, since cyclists have the same rights as cars. A parked car door opening in the way of another car would also be the parked driver's fault.

Cyclists can avoid this common accident by riding a safe distance away from parked cars. You should also pay attention to potential drivers sitting in parked cars; if you see someone there, you can swerve to the left to avoid the door potentially opening in your path.

In general, bicycle accidents happen because cyclists are smaller, and therefore less noticeable, than motor vehicles. Having a headlight turned on even during the day and wearing bright clothing are effective passive measures to increase your visibility to drivers.

 

 

Our New BruinBikeSmart Program Launches Oct. 10!

bruinbikesmart_blog

bruinbikesmart_blogUCLA Transportation and the UCLA Police Department (UCPD) have partnered together to launch BruinBikeSmart, the first program of its kind in Los Angeles County. Similar to traffic school, BruinBikeSmart allows cyclists who received a moving violation citation issued by a UCPD Officer to have their citation dismissed by completing an online bike safety course and paying a $75 course fee.

At the discretion of UCPD, UCLA students, staff and faculty who are cited while cycling for a moving violation will be given the opportunity to complete UCLA’s new online Bicycle Citation Diversion Program (BruinBikeSmart). Leading up to the launch on October 10, UCPD will be educating bicyclists on campus about the new program and the importance of bike safety.

Successfully completing BruinBikeSmart keeps the citation off a cyclist’s DMV driving record. They also benefit from getting a significant amount of bike safety education, which, in turn, can benefit pedestrians and motorists on campus paths and streets.

California Vehicle Code states every person riding a bicycle on a street or highway has the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of a motor vehicle. UCPD is responsible for strictly enforcing traffic laws both on and off campus. Bike riders may be cited for running stop signs, riding at unsafe speeds, riding on the wrong side of the road or on sidewalks, not having legal brakes, etc.

Developing the BruinBikeSmart program required an extensive amount of coordination between Transportation, UCPD and the LA County Superior Court. In doing so, “we’ve heard interest expressed by local municipalities in establishing their own like-minded programs,” said Karwaski.

Santa Monica’s Bike Share Lowers Cost for Riders

breezebikeshare
 breezebikesharePhoto by Serena Grace

Starting Monday, August 1, 2016, Santa Monica will lower costs for most riders using its Breeze Bike Share system.

Under the current pricing structure, users can choose between a basic, premium or student plan. A basic plan costs $20 a month, $119 a year for nonresidents or $79 a year for residents, and includes 30 minutes of ride time per day. A premium plan costs $25 a month, $149 a year for nonresidents or $99 a year for residents, and includes 60 minutes of ride time. A student plan costs $47 for six months or $6 per hour with a ride time of 60 minutes.

The pricing overhaul will replace those plans with four options: $99 a year, $25 a month, $7 a month for students or $7 an hour for casual users. Additionally, the annual and monthly passes include 90 minutes of ride time, and the student membership no longer needs to be purchased in six-month increments.

The new pricing structure will include a special rate for employers purchasing memberships for their employees.

“The new Breeze Bike Share Employee Benefits Program allows employers to bulk purchase Breeze Bike Share plans for their employees for as little as $19/year,” according to a press release.