Thursday, January 18, 2018

Motorists need to safely ‘share the road’

Two people, a woman in dark clothing and a man in light-brown sheriff's uniform, stand one on each side of a slide-projection against a screen. The slide reads, 'Shifting culture one cyclist at a time' and displays URLs for the websites WWW.BIKESONOMA.ORG and WWW.SONOMASAFEROUTES.ORG.' Below the text of the slide, it features an image of a child and a sheriff's officer, side by side each wearing a bike helmet and each poised on a bicycle.

Tina Panza, education and Safe Routes to School director with Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, recently made a presentation to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office about training and resource options. Her recent visit is the subject of a post by “Sonoma Sheriff” on Facebook.

Monday, January 15, 2018

BikeLink® card-access bicycle lockers

Cynthia M. Parkhill wheels her bicycle out of a BikeLink bicycle locker

One of the best investments we made was purchasing BikeLink® memberships. These card-access controlled bicycle lockers cost only a few cents per hour to safely lock up and store bicycles and gear; they’re infinitely preferable to park-at-your-own risk, which is still very much the norm.

(The picture above was taken a few months back, during warmer weather. It’s colder out today, and overcast, but I’m getting caught up with sharing.)

We’re fortunate that in Santa Rosa, Calif., there are numerous venues where we can stash our bikes. These include SMART Train stations near Coddingtown and in Historic Railroad Square near Santa Rosa’s downtown. There are also several BikeLink® locations on the Santa Rosa Junior College campus.

We’d love to see BikeLink® catch on in more U.S. communities, and hope that more businesses and organizations consider offering BikeLink® facilities.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

‘Urban Cycling Survival Guide’ by Yvonne Bambrick

Book cover, 'The Urban Cycling Survival Guide' by Yvonne Bambrick. Image depicts a city intersection, viewed through the spokes of a bicycle. The scene includes depictions of other users of the roadway, including a car, pedestrians, another cyclist, and a bus.
“[W]hether you’re left or right leaning, urban or suburban, rich or poor, bikes are simply one of the most accessible and efficient forms of urban mobility.”

That statement, for me, encapsulates the value of traveling by bicycle. It comes from a chapter titled “Advocacy and the future of cycling" in Yvonne Bambrick’s book, The Urban Cycling Survival Guide.

This book more-than lives up to its promise of “need-to-know skills and strategies.” It covers everything from selecting a bike, basic maintenance, common setbacks to cycling, as well as how to ride and coexist among pedestrians, other cyclists, and motorists.

As a rider, I believe it’s especially important to amplify sentiments like this:

Bicycling amenities are not just a perk for some small minority; by providing a clearly-marked space to safely ride, they enhance safety and predictability for all users of a roadway.

The addition of cycling amenities to roadways is the “single most important factor” for a growth among cycling ridership, and investment in bike lanes is considerably cheaper than adding more roads for cars.

Bambrick cites a statistic by April Economides, president of Green Octopus Consulting: As of 2008 in Portland, Oregon, a 300-mile bike network cost “the same amount as one mile of freeway.”

Bicyclists have an opportunity to shift the status-quo in transportation policy and planning, which for decades has been driven by car advocates and lobbyists.

Ultimately, then, Bambrick’s book is not just about how to ride safely in the city; by necessity, it’s about how to ensure that streets are ready for you, when you are ready to start riding. I checked it out from the library, but I’d consider adding this book to my personal collection.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

‘Walk and Roll’ to school today

Banner, attached to metal gate frame, reads, 'Walk and Roll Wednesdays,' Image depicts human figures, an adult-sized walking holding the hands of a figure with skirt and pony-tail who is holding a lunch box. In front of them, a third figure rides a bicycle and wears a backpack. The trio of figures are depicted in a landscape of trees and green hills, against a blue-sky backdrop

Here's a friendly reminder of "Walk and Roll" each Wednesday at Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts. If you haven't already, perhaps you'd give it a try?

The intention behind "Walk and Roll" is to promote alternatives to students commuting to school by car, which is why, every Wednesday, we close the gates to the school parking lot.

(Our school is located just a couple blocks away from bus stops on Mendocino Avenue -- a main corridor both for Santa Rosa CityBus and Sonoma County Transit. There are also places to park your vehicle just a couple blocks away, if you have a younger child or want to ease into the idea of not simply driving your child to school.)

With fewer cars pulling in and out of the driveway, safety is enhanced for those students (and adults) who want to travel to-and-from using "person-powered" transportation.

We admit after-school programs' vans, and people with disabilities who have DMV placards. But we ask that other motorists park safely and legally on the street.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Crossing guard at-risk from cars in Santa Rosa intersections

Santa Rosa crossing guard Mario D’Olivo says he “could have retired long ago if he had a dollar for every motorist who has zipped through the crosswalk despite the red traffic signal overhead and the stop sign in his hand, or who’s breezed by in clear violation of the no-cellphone-while-driving law.”

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Living in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Our first weekend in our new apartment in Santa Rosa, Calif.! Having secured a home in the same community where I work and where we like to hang out, we really enjoy our recovered ability to walk, ride our bikes, and take public transit.