Metro Launches Bold New Campaign to Increase Bicycle Safety in L.A. County
Monday March 18, 2013
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is launching a bold new campaign to increase bicycle safety in Los Angeles County. The campaign, called "Every Lane is a Bike Lane ... Bicyclists may need a full lane; Please share the road" will include messages on the back of 75 Metro buses, 135 billboards and spots on 21 local radio stations throughout the region. The campaign will run between March and May, leading up to Bike Week L.A. May 13-17
With bicycling increasing in popularity as a viable transportation mode, more biking events like CicLAvia and more new bikeways being installed on a regular basis, Metro's extensive campaign will help raise motorist awareness that cyclists have equal rights and responsibilities to the road per the California Vehicle Code.
"The breakneck pace of bikeway construction demonstrates that Los Angeles is riding fast on its way to becoming a truly bike-friendly city," said L.A. City Mayor Antonio Villariagosa. "As more cyclists take to our streets we need to ensure that safety and awareness are of utmost importance as our riders share the road."
The California Vehicle Code Section 21200 stipulates that bicycle riders may use any lane in the street since they have the same rights and must follow the same laws as car drivers. Bicyclists may need the full lane to safely navigate specific road and traffic conditions. In addition, the state vehicle code sets out several situations in which bicyclists are specifically permitted to leave their usual position on the far right of the street:
· To avoid obstacles and unsafe conditions (including the door zone along parallel-parked vehicles)
· To pass another bicyclist, car or bus
· To prepare for a left turn
· To avoid an area where right turns are made
· When traveling as fast or faster than other traffic at that time and place
· When the lane is too narrow to share with a vehicle
It is becoming increasingly important for motorists and cyclists to safely co-exist on the region's roadways. In L.A. County, 19 percent of all trips are made by walking and biking, but bicyclists and pedestrians make up 39 percent of roadway fatalities.
In the Southern California region, nearly four percent of all traffic-related fatalities involved cyclists, and 4.3 percent of all traffic-related injuries involved cyclists.
"At the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, we know that education is needed for both drivers and bicyclists on how to properly share the road," said Jennifer Klausner, LACBC's Executive Director. "We're working hard to educate bicyclists to ride with traffic, use lights at night and other ways to avoid the most common types of collisions. We're excited to see Metro help with the other half of the equation by making sure drivers know to expect bicyclists on any street and to pass only when it's safe. Thanks, Metro, for so clearly saying that every lane is a bike lane!"
As part of its overall bicycle safety campaign, Metro also plans to begin <http://www.metro.net/news/simple_pr/Metro-Launches-Bold-Campaign-to-Increas…> traffic skills courses <http://www.metro.net/news/simple_pr/Metro-Launches-Bold-Campaign-to-Increas…> for bicyclists to help ensure cyclists know their responsibilities for riding safely on local streets. Cyclists interested in participating in these future classes <http://www.metro.net/news/simple_pr/Metro-Launches-Bold-Campaign-to-Increas…> should e-mail Metro's Bicycle Program at bikeinfo(a)metro.net.
Additionally, Metro is planning to sponsor 20 bike rides to further promote safe cycling in Los Angeles County.
"We're thrilled at C.I.C.L.E. about Metro's 'Every Lane is a Bike Lane' campaign," said Dan Dabek, Executive Director of C.I.C.L.E. "This attention-grabbing campaign will be significant in improving motorist and bicyclist relations and creating safer streets for all users. When about 60 percent of trips in Los Angeles County are less than five miles, making our roads more friendly to bicyclists is the fastest and most cost-effective way to reduce traffic, improve air quality, and make Los Angeles County a more enjoyable place to live."
This bicycle safety campaign is made possible by Metro's Bicycle Program, which has worked closely with the bicycle community on numerous initiatives related to bicycling and transit. Since 1993, Metro has funded more than $100 million in bicycle improvement projects in the county.
For more information about Metro's Bicycle Program, please visit metro.net/bikes.
_ ( \ _
Green Action Centre invites you to join us for a local viewing of the
following APBP webinar at the EcoCentre (3rd floor, 303 Portage Ave). This
will be followed by group discussion of local applications.* *Detailed
description provided below.
*Women's Work: Bicycle-Friendly Communities by Design
Wednesday, March 27th | 2:00-3:30 p.m. CDT*
RSVPs are appreciated but not necessary. Hope to see you then!
Also mark your calendar for the fourth and final APBP bicycle parking
webinar on Institutional and Campus-Based Bike Parking Programs, taking
place Wed, April 10th, 2-3 pm. More info to follow but if you don't want to
wait, check out it out
This series is hosted locally by Green Action Centre and Stantec Consulting.
* * * * **
Women's Work: Bicycle-Friendly Communities by Design
Wednesday, March 27 | 2:00 to 3:30 pm CDT
APBP's fourth annual Women Cycling Project webinar features brilliant women
working to make communities more bicycle-friendly. Join us as we profile a
few of the many outstanding professionals who develop bicycle plans,
projects and programs for communities, encourage children to bicycle to
school and inspire girls to consider careers in transportation. Whether you
are a student or a professional, a woman or man, this webinar will motivate
you to address key reasons keeping people from bicycling for
transportation: speeding cars and inattentive drivers.
This year's APBP webinar incorporates the 2013 National Women's History
Month theme, "Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination." The theme
honors generations of women who throughout American history have used their
intelligence, imagination, sense of wonder, and tenacity to make
extraordinary contributions to the STEM fields. (APBP encourages you to
visit www.nwhp.org to learn how to incorporate this theme into your 2013
Women's History Month celebrations. STEM stands for Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math.)
New law means kids need a lid on it Warnings issued first but fines possible
By: Bruce Owen
Looking forward to getting back in the bike saddle this spring with your
Then expect to pay a $50 fine if you don't have bicycle helmets strapped on
The province's new mandatory helmet legislation goes into the force this
summer. It requires all Manitobans under the age of 18 to wear a helmet
when riding a bicycle or riding in anything attached to or towed by a
The impending law is the NDP's way of protecting children from preventable
head injuries, but it comes at a time when groups in other countries argue
bicycle-helmet legislation makes cycling appear dangerous.
These groups, which include the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation, also
claim mandatory helmet laws do not reduce head injuries because police
generally do not enforce them.
RCMP and Winnipeg police said Thursday they're waiting until the province
sets a date for Bill 37 to come into effect.
"When it's law, we'll enforce it," RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish said,
adding she believes Mounties will have an initial grace period in which
they'll issue warnings instead of fines.
The bike-helmet law states children under 14 will not be given a ticket or
fine. It also gives police discretion if they're dealing with a first-time
"Those fined for a first offence can avoid paying the fine by completing a
bicycle-helmet safety course about the fundamentals of helmet safety," a
spokeswoman for Healthy Living Minister Jim Rondeau said. "This... safety
course, available online or in paper format, will be a first of its kind
and an interactive way to educate youth and parents on helmet safety," the
That will include a new online safety quiz, which the province has not yet
Rondeau's office would not say when the law will come into effect other
than sometime this spring.
During the last eight years, the province has distributed 82,000 helmets in
Manitoba, including more than 7,000 at no cost to children of low-income
families, the spokeswoman added.
Rondeau has said the new law will be accompanied by a public-education
campaign to make cyclists wear helmets as automatically as motorists wear
When the law takes effect, Manitoba will join provinces such as Ontario and
Alberta, where minors are also required to wear helmets. Laws in Nova
Scotia, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island apply to
adults as well.
Dave Elmore, director of safety and education for the cyclist lobby group
Bike to the Future, said the Winnipeg group has not taken a position on the
helmet law as many cyclists are split on the issue.
"We are, however, disappointed that the Manitoba government sees this as a
primary method of making cycling safer," he said. "There are many factors
that need to be taken into account when it comes to cycling, many of which
would be far more effective in reducing injuries."
Elmore said these include defining in law the passing distance for
motorists passing cyclists to three feet or one metre and defining the
distance from the edge of the road for cyclists. Currently, the Highway
Traffic Act indicates "as close as practicable" which is misunderstood by
both drivers and cyclists.
"Cycling is not inherently dangerous," he said. "Part of what makes it
appear dangerous is the lack of knowledge, skills and confidence on the
part of cyclists as well as a lack of understanding on the part of drivers.
"Many people do not cycle because they are afraid of riding next to tons of
steel, but if they understood their place on the road and if drivers also
understood what represents reasonable cycling behaviour, the roads would be
a better place to ride."
International groups, such as the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation and
the European Cyclist's Federation, say mandatory helmet laws discourage
cycling by portraying it as abnormally dangerous.
The ECF says on its website a person is less likely to be killed during a
mile of cycling than during a mile of walking. It also says helmets provide
a small protective effect, as they are designed to withstand minor knocks
and bumps, not a collision with a vehicle.
The ECF says authorities should focus more on promoting cycling and traffic
safety, including dedicated bike routes.
*Helmets prevent deaths: study*
An Ontario study says cyclists who die from a head injury are much less
likely to be wearing a helmet than bike riders who die from other injuries.
The study analyzed 129 accidental bicycle-related deaths in Ontario between
2006 and 2010 and found cyclists who didn't wear a helmet were three times
more likely to die from brain trauma than those who wore protective
headgear. Researchers say there are about 70 cycling deaths in Canada every
year and about 20 could have been prevented by the wearing of a helmets.
Most who died were adults. The study was published in the Canadian Medical
*Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2013 0*
It's Not About The Bike Or Car -- It's About Better Cities
This week, I watched with concern Canada's largest city have a
rhetoric-heavy debate about removing the relatively new separated bike lane
on Jarvis Street
They even originally had the intention of using bike-lane funds to remove
Bike-lane debates have been going on for some time in Toronto, as they have
in many cities like Vancouver. In recent years, exaggerated and polarizing
phrases <http://daily.sightline.org/2011/01/03/war-on-cars-a-history/> like
"anti-car" and "the war on the car" have been thrown around irresponsibly by
media and politicians alike, making me wonder more than a few times if Fox
News had moved to the place once called "The City That Works."
I suppose it illustrates part of the problem, that I feel the urge to point
out I don't consider myself a "cyclist." Calling myself that would seem as
odd as calling myself a walker, a transit-rider, or a driver. I'm an
urbanite, someone who loves living in cities, and an urbanist who has
studied how cities work all of my adult life. Really, I'm a citizen.
I point that out because there is too much pitting of self-described
"drivers" and "cyclists" against each other. Most North American families
are actually multi-modal - they drive, walk, and probably take transit and
bike in at least certain circumstances, if not routinely. Certainly many who
cycle, also drive, and visa versa.
We need a more sophisticated discussion about how we get around in cities,
and it starts with this -- it's not about loving your bike. It's about
loving what biking does for cities. If more cars make cities worse, the
opposite is true for bikes. Expanding urban biking is about making better,
fiscally smarter, healthier, more flexible and resilient cities. Bikes are
hardly a silver bullet, but they can be a big part of better city-making.
Canadian cities aren't alone in recognizing the opportunities urban biking
provide. In fact, we're behind. Inspired by successful cycling mecca's like
Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Bogota, cities like New York, Chicago, Minneapolis
and Portland in the U.S., Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, Paris in
Europe, and Montreal here in Canada are transforming themselves around urban
cycling. They aren't doing half-measures. They're making big moves.
City-builders across the globe understand the relative cheapness of the bike
mobility option, in both cost and space. Dollar for dollar, bike lanes move
people more cost effectively from a return-on-investment perspective than
any other way of getting around, especially once a tipping point of cyclists
is reached -- and that doesn't even factor in the well-documented public
health cost savings that come from widespread biking. Global studies have
shown investing in cycling infrastructure actually saves society public
money per kilometer cycled! The math is enough to make any real fiscal
conservative hop on a two-wheeler.
Most pragmatically, city-builders understand that bikes make cities work
better because they take a lot less space. Even if cars were clean in
emissions, the biggest challenge with car-dependency is a space problem.
There isn't enough room on the roads and parking lots of cities, to have
everyone drive. They just don't fit, and our failed efforts to make them
fit, cost a staggering amount. This striking picture
ng.html> illustrates the point. If all the people we anticipate coming to
our cities try to drive, cities fail, our public life fails, and our
Even if they prioritize driving, global city-builders recognize the best
thing those who feel they need to drive could hope for, is for OTHER people
to be able to walk, bike and ride transit. Multi-modal cities make it easier
for EVERYONE to get around - including, counter-intuitively, drivers.
For us in Vancouver it's been about becoming more multi-modal for decades, a
city of choices and options, and a city where the local economy and quality
of life is impervious to the growing car congestion paralysis seen in too
many world cities. It hasn't been about being anti-anything. It's been about
being pro-mobility freedom. Pro-city.
We've understood in Vancouver for years that mobility flows from smart land
use choices, and the best transportation plan is a great land-use plan.
Mixing uses, in complete communities. We know that trying to address
congestion through more roads always fails, because of the "law of
congestion <http://www.planetizen.com/node/53659> ." As the saying goes,
trying to address congestion by adding more roads is like trying to solve
obesity by loosening your belt.
Watching Toronto's debate, we in Vancouver might feel a big smug. Then we
might remember the steady level of controversy that bike-lane construction
has generated even here. I would remember that in past weeks of media
interviews, they've tended to start with questions like "When will we have
too many bike lanes?" or "Don't we have enough already?"
Like walking, transit and car-driving, a few separated routes through a
large, still car-dominated city and region, don't create a viable choice in
how to get around for people aged 8-80. For people of both genders and all
ages to choose a mode of movement, a system or network is needed - complete,
connected, efficient, predictable, and safe in both perception and reality.
We have a long way to go in Vancouver.
The pragmatic, cost-effective power of urban biking could go a long way in
getting Toronto that old nick-name back - "The City That Works." Keeping the
Jarvis bike infrastructure, and using that $300,000 to build more, would
have shown they're serious about that. Instead, the wrong discussion led to
the wrong decisions.
In a recent Globe and Mail article
ancouver-urged/article4558182/> , I called for an end to the oversimplified,
polarized debate on bike-lanes, and a start to a more sophisticated
discussion on how cities work. The article ended with my statement, "Bike
lanes are not a fad. They are part of a multi-modal city, a critical part of
the city working well in the future."
Let's have that more sophisticated discussion start now, in Toronto, in
Vancouver, and every city struggling to make their city work better.
_ ( \ _
Green Action Centre and Bike to the Future invite you to join us for a
local viewing of the following APBP webinar at the EcoCentre (3rd floor,
303 Portage Ave). This will be followed by group discussion of local
applications.* *Detailed description provided below.
*Dynamics of Effective Advisory Committees
Wednesday, March 20th | 2:00-3:00 p.m. CDT*
RSVPs are appreciated but not necessary. Hope to see you then!
Also mark your calendar for an additional webinar on Wed, March 27th,
2-3:30 pm – Women's Work: Bicycle Friendly Communities by Design. More info
to follow next week.
* * * * **
Dynamics of Effective Advisory Committees
Wednesday, March 20 | 2:00 to 3:00 pm CDT
Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committees are critical to making bicycling
and walking part of the transportation solution because they add
transparency and community engagement to the planning process. This webinar
offers guidance about committee structure, defines roles, and suggests
techniques and training to make a group more effective. Case study examples
balance the perspectives of staff and advocates, bicycle and pedestrian
focus, and regional and local committees. Presenters from the Nashville
(Tennessee) MPO and the City of Olympia, Washington, will discuss their
committees’ major initiatives and how productive, long-term working groups
achieved significant, measurable outcomes.
The Nashville Area MPO assisted in developing a regional bicycle and
pedestrian study and an award-winning regional transportation plan. As a
result of this work, the group was tasked to develop scoring and make
funding recommendations related to bike/ped projects. The City of Olympia's
Advisory Committee has successfully focused on improving the pedestrian
realm through its involvement with a far-reaching sidewalk funding
initiative, a pedestrian crossing improvement program, the redesign of the
4th Avenue bridge, and an innovative neighborhood pathways program.
Darren Flusche, Policy Director, League of American Bicyclists
Leslie Meehan, Director of Healthy Communities, Nashville Area MPO
David Kleinfelter, President, Walk/Bike Nashville
Sophie Stimson, Senior Transportation Planner, City of Olympia
Canada failing cyclists and pedestrians, U.N. report finds
Canada says the right things but needs to take action to protect vulnerable
road users, according to a new WHO report.
A United Nations' reports says Canada is failing behind when it comes to
developing policy to protect vulnerable road users.
By: Kristen E. Courtney Special to the Star, Published on Thu Mar 14 2013
Canada is falling to the back of the pack when it comes to policies aimed at
protecting vulnerable road users, according to a new report released by the
World Health Organization.
While 77 per cent of United Nations countries carry out safety audits to
ensure the safety of road infrastructure projects for cyclists and
pedestrians, Canada does not, and is contributing to a concerning trend of
countries promoting alternative forms of transportation without ensuring
their safety, according to the Global Status Report on Road Safety
While studies have consistently shown what types of walking and cycling
infrastructure are needed to improve road safety, including safe routes and
crossings for pedestrians, slower traffic speeds, and dedicated cycling
lanes, policies are not in place to ensure that these are incorporated into
road infrastructure projects, according to the report.
Eleanor McMahon, founder of Ontario's Share the Road Cycling Coalition
<http://www.sharetheroad.ca/> , says she's not surprised that Canada is
falling behind, as all too often the debate over road infrastructure in
Canada becomes less about safety and more about playing politics.
This is a familiar refrain to Toronto drivers, cyclists and pedestrians,
where "war on the car"
ists_get_along.html> rhetoric seems to rear its head every time a new road
construction or reconstruction project reignites the battle for a slice of
the street. "We shouldn't be having this conversation about cycling
infrastructure as if cyclists were a special interest group. They are not a
special interest group; they are everyday people getting from point A to
point B. and all of these deaths are preventable," McMahon says.
The good news is that overall road deaths around the world are down
slightly, to 1.24 million per year from 1.3 million per year since the
previous Global Status Report on Road Safety in 2009
. Canada mirrors this trend, with overall annual road deaths falling to
2,227 from 2,889.
However, 27 per cent of global road traffic deaths are among pedestrians and
cyclists, which has Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health
Organization, concerned: "To date, these road users have been neglected in
transport and planning policy. The world must now increase its focus on
making walking and cycling safer, and protecting these road users from
One of the three key recommendations emerging from the report is that
concerted effort is needed to make road infrastructure safer for pedestrians
and cyclists, by taking the needs of these road users into account
strians_un_report_finds.html> earlier, when road safety, policy, transport
planning and land use decisions are made. The report places a particular
emphasis on the conduct of formal audits of new and existing road
infrastructure projects - by independent assessors not involved in the
planning or construction - to minimize crash risk and the potential
consequences for all road users. Such audits can produce important safety
gains for all, according to the report.
McMahon says she's not aware of any consistent policies that exist at the
national, provincial or municipal level in Canada that require such safety
audits or assessments of road construction projects
"As someone who lost their life partner to a cycling accident, safety is
absolutely paramount to me," she says, "but we need a carrot and stick
approach. Dedicated infrastructure funding and political will are also
essential." McMahon's husband, OPP Sergeant Greg Stobbart, was killed in
2006 while riding his bike on Tremaine Rd. in Milton.
While Ontario has a number of policies in place that are supposed to
encourage active transportation and ensure the safety of cyclists and
pedestrians, the political will necessary to implement these policies
effectively is lacking, says McMahon. "We're starting to see some progress.
you would think that having these things in policies would help, but we sure
have a long way to go."
The Global Status Report 2013 will serve as the baseline for Decade of
Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, declared by the U.N. General Assembly to
stem the rise in road accidents as one of the leading causes of death
Kristen Courtney is an environmental lawyer and a Fellow in Global
Journalism at the Munk School for Global Affairs.
_ ( \ _
Join us to help plan the 2013 Jane's Walk in Winnipeg! Please forward to
others who may be interested in leading or in helping to plan a Jane's Walk
*What*: Jane's Walk 2013 Planning Meeting
*When*: March 22 @ 6pm
*Where*: The Toad (112 Osborne Street)
For those of you less familiar with Jane's Walk, here is the link to the
Also, find attached the event poster from 2012 that lists the walks that
occurred in Winnipeg.
Green Action Centre and Stantec Consulting invite you to join us for a
local viewing of the *third* of four APBP webinars on bicycle parking. It
takes place at the EcoCentre (3rd floor, 303 Portage Ave) and will be
followed by group discussion of local applications.
Bicycle Parking and Transit**
Wed, Mar. 13, 2013 | 2:00-3:00 pm CST*
RSVPs are appreciated but not necessary. Hope to see you then!
* * * * *
Bicycle Parking and Transit
This webinar module introduces and describes techniques and programs used
by transit agencies to encourage and accommodate high levels of bicycle
access to a variety of transit modes. Particular attention will be paid to
use of higher security and capacity techniques, including staffed parking,
lockers and “in-line” station parking solutions. Forecasting demand will be
discussed, as will security and management concerns unique to transit.
Bicycle parking will be examined as a means to leverage other transit and
bicycle infrastructure development through thoughtfully designed and
managed parking programs. The session will also cover design, layout, and
management of lockers; bike stations; and adapting bicycle parking to
specific transit modes.
Who should attend? Municipal staff, transit agency staff, managers of
educational, corporate and healthcare campuses, and members of Bicycle and
Pedestrian Advisory Committees, as well as elected officials and staff of
bicycle advocacy organizations. Both the experienced agency manager and
those new to developing bicycle parking solutions will benefit.
*For future dates and topics in the Bicycle Parking Webinar series, see: *