Look who’s onboard now!

CBC is now including “Protecting the Right to Ride” as a strategy. Good for them! Here’s their new statement on the subject; though still calling Cycletracks/Class IVs as “Protected Bike Lanes.”

The California Bicycle Coalition seeks to enable more people to bicycle in California, for healthier, safer, and more prosperous communities for all. Our goal is to enable triple the number of bicycle trips by 2020, and we use four strategies to get there. Strategy #3 is to ensure that Californians respect the rights to the road of people on bicycles and that the laws, regulations, and legal system promote bicycling and protect those who choose to ride. The surest way to increase that respect is to increase the number of people who bike, but the rules and regulations about bikeways and roadway use are also important. Those regulations are especially important on roads with adjacent separated bikeways, sometimes called cycle tracks or protected bike lanes.

While we hope that cycle tracks class are so well designed that everybody will choose to use them in place of the mixed traffic lanes because they’re superior, we also hope that even well-designed separated bikeways overflow with cyclists into the roadway. This is one reason why it’s important that cyclists continue to enjoy the rights to the road adjacent to a protected bike lane, as is the case thanks to the Protected Bikeways Act that we sponsored.
Most planners and officials consider cycle tracks to be a kind of bike lane and part of the roadway. If the Protected Bikeways Act had not designated them as a new type of bikeway, a “class 4 cycle track”, separate from the roadway, current laws about bike lane use and roadway positioning would have compelled their use. The California Bicycle Coalition will never support mandatory use of cycle tracks, and supports repeal of the unnecessary requirements to use a bike lane and to ride “as far to the right as practicable.”

It’s important to note that the rules sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition protect cyclists’ rights to the roadway regardless of what they are popularly called. For that reason, we refer to them as protected bike lanes because studies show that’s the easiest way to describe them to the public. Police officers will sometimes write tickets for behaviors that are not against the law, like riding outside of a cycle track, or riding side-by-side or not riding in the gutter. Changing that requires education of the cops and getting many more people on bikes so that more officers and their family members are regular riders, bringing us back to our goal: attracting twice as many “non cyclists” to cycling as those who currently cycle.

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About Jim Baross

I bicycled across the USA from East to West in 1976 leading groups of bicyclists for the “Bikecentennial ’76 “event and again in 2007 riding this time from West to East with my two sons. I was first certified as an Effective Cycling Instructor in 1986 by the League of American Bicyclist and have been an active League Cycling Instructor for the League since then. In 2002 I gained acceptance as a Cycling Instructor Trainer and since then have conducted 11 training seminars for certification of League Cycling Instructors held in San Diego, San Jose, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento, Morgan Hill, Fairfax, and Palo Alto. I completed the San Diego Police Bicycle Skills Menu Course in 2003 and I have been an expert witness for bicycling crash incidents. I presently serve on several bicycling advisory committees and advocacy organizations. Chair - Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Working Group for the San Diego regional association of governments since 1995 Vice Chair - California Bicycle Advisory Committee for the State Dept of Transportation, a member since 1992 President - California Association of Bicycling Organizations Board member - California Bicycle Coalition California State Ambassador – League of American Bicyclists Co-Chair California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Challenge Area 13, Improving Bicycling Safety Conferences, seminars and similar events at which I have attended and presented bicycling safety information and training include the following: Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Office of Traffic Safety, Summit “What to do about all these bicycles in Traffic”, 2009 ProWalk-ProBike Conference, Seattle WA., 2008 Attendee/Speaker, League of American Bicyclists, Bike Education Conference, Wisconsin and New York City, 2002 & 2007 Velo Mondial, Amsterdam. 2000 Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Office of Traffic Safety’s Summit “A Vision for Roads to Traffic Safety”, 2000 Speaker Autovation conference, San Diego 2005 Chair, California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, #13 - Improve Bicycling Safety Presenter, California Strategic Highway Safety Plan Summit, 2008 Anaheim Attendee, League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Summit, Washington, DC, 2006 & 2008 Presenter, Walk/Bike California Conferences, Oakland 2003, Ventura 2005, Davis 2007 Speaker, Making the Connection International Trails and Greenways Conference Presenter, Safety N Kids, Conference, “Children Learn Best by Good Examples From Those They Trust”, 2006 Speaker, ITE Conference 2006 Dana Point, Calif., “Engineering for Bicycling, From a Bicyclists Point of View” Exhibitor/Speaker, Lifesavers, National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, 2004 References familiar with my bicycling background and experience include: Kathy Keehan, Exec Director San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, Ph: 858-487-6063, Email: execdir@sdcbc.org Stephan Vance, Chair Calif. Bicycle Coalition and SANDAG Senior Planner, Ph: 619-595-5324, Email: sva@sandag.org Ken McGuire, Chief Bicycle Facilities Unit, California Dept of Transportation, Ph: 916-653-2750, Email: ken_mcguire@dot.ca.gov Preston Tyree, Director of Education, League of American Bicyclists, 1612 K St., NW, #800, Washington, DC 20006, Ph: 202-822-1333 x 227, Email: Preston@bikeleague.org