Author Archives: Jim Baross

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

John Forester, founding member of CABO, died April 2020

John Forester, M.S., P.E.
Cycling Transportation Engineer, Consulting Engineer, Expert Witness & Educator in Effective Cycling, Bicycles, Highways & Bikeways, &Traffic Laws
1. https://www.amazon.com/Effective-Cycling-Press-John-Forester/dp/0262516942
An updated edition of a classic handbook for cyclists from beginner to expert.
Effective Cycling is an essential handbook for cyclists from beginner to expert, whether daily commuters or weekend pleasure trippers. This thoroughly updated seventh edition offers cyclists the information they need for riding a bicycle under all conditions: on congested city streets or winding mountain roads, day or night, rain or shine. It describes the sheer physical joy of cycling and provides the nuts-and-bolts details of how to choose a bicycle, maintain it, and use it in the most efficient manner. …

2. https://medium.com/@peterflax/a-sunday-conversation-with-john-forester-f997e053d0db
“If you ride a bicycle or care about the design of modern cities — or even if you hate bike lanes — you should care about the life’s work of John Forester. After all, probably no individual in American history has had a greater impact on how US cyclists experience riding on the road.”

3. Acknowledging John Forester — the game changer
Posted on June 7, 2013 | 13 Comments
Cycling educator John Forester gets a lot of flak from people who reject his advocacy of cycling skills, preferring a populist, facilities-based “paint and path” approach.
Forester has brought abuse upon himself with his abrasive, confrontational style. But let’s not anybody forget that Forester was a game changer. His book Effective Cycling, first published in the 1970s, pioneered with its advice on crash avoidance maneuvering, lane positioning, preparing for turns, nighttime equipment needs — supporting this advice with a review of research literature.
Recently, Forester also has been criticized from another side, for not recommending assertive enough lane positioning. (I understand that he has revised his advice in the recent 7th edition of his book, Effective Cycling — though I haven’t read that yet.)

4. https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/03/02/a-brief-history-of-how-american-transportation-engineers-resisted-bike-lanes/

5. John Forester web site – http://www.johnforester.com/
“The right of cyclists to cycle properly and safely is disappearing. If you don’t fight to preserve it, it will disappear.”
Since 1944, American society has disapproved of lawful, competent cycling. It was then that bicycles were removed from the class of vehicles and became “devices” whose riders became subject to three discriminatory laws prohibiting cyclists from exercising the full rights of drivers of vehicles. These laws prohibited cycling away from the edge of the roadway, from riding outside of bike lanes, or for using the roadway at all if a path usable by bicycles was nearby. The bikeway system was devised by motorists to provide the physical enforcement of these laws that, motorists think, make bicycling safe by keeping “their” roads clear of bicycles. The environmentalists were suckered into this bogus safety argument and now demand bikeways to make bicycle transportation safe and popular. With the government spending more and more money on bikeway programs, lawful and competent cyclists are being more and more limited to operating on bikeways that are unsuitable for lawful and competent cycling. As long as bikeways are tied to the three discriminatory laws, bikeway promotion is carrying out the motorists’ intent of discriminating against cyclists for their own convenience.
Most of the rest of this website explains the advantages of lawful, competent cycling and the engineering and safety defects inherent in doing anything else. That is all support for what must be done now, fighting for repeal of the three discriminatory anti-cyclist traffic laws. Vehicular cyclists and bikeway cyclists must join forces to reform the national policy for bicycle transportation so that it serves cyclists rather than serving the convenience of motorists.

6. From Widipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Forester_(cyclist)
From early childhood, Forester had been a passionate cyclist.[3] Forester first became a cycling activist in 1971, after being ticketed in Palo Alto, California for riding his bicycle on the street instead of on a recently legislated separate bikeway for that section of the street, the sidewalk. He contested the ticket and eventually the city ordinance was overturned. His first published article—the first of his many publications on alternatives to bikeways over the following four decades—appeared in the February 1973 issue of Bike World, a regional Northern California bimonthly magazine.
In May 1973, his focus broadened as the Food and Drug Administration (later the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC) issued extensive product safety regulations for bicycles. Originally intended only for children’s bicycles, the regulations were soon expanded to include all bicycles except for track bikes and custom-assembled bicycles. In October of that year, Forester published an article in Bike World denouncing both the California Department of Transportation and the CPSC.[9] He targeted the new CPSC regulations, especially the “eight reflector” system, which required front, rear, wheel and pedal reflectors. The front reflector is placed at the location for a bicycle headlight, which it replaces. However, motor vehicle drivers who are about to cross the path of the cyclist would not see the approaching cyclist because the headlights of their motor vehicle do not shine onto the front reflector of the bicycle, often resulting in a crash. (Only if the bicycle is directly in front of the car and only if the bicycle is headed the wrong way, will the car’s headlights illuminate the bicycle’s front reflector, until the inevitable head-on crash.)
After the rules were finalized, Forester sued the CPSC. Acting as his own lawyer (pro se), Forester did not understand that United States federal law did not grant jurisdiction to the appeals court to review the technical merit of the rules (a so-called “de novo” review) unless the procedure used to create the rules was flawed. The CPSC argued that a challenger must prove the process was “arbitrary and capricious.” The judge ordered a de novo review of the rules; threw out four of them, but left the “eight reflector” standard untouched.[10] Forester, emboldened by this partial success, proceeded to launch further challenges to administrative rules in court, but did not duplicate that early success. His legal advocacy remains highly controversial.
In addition to legal advocacy, Forester is known for his theories regarding cycling safety.[13] His Effective Cycling educational program, developed subsequent to his research claiming that integrating motorists and educated cyclists reduces accidents more than creating separate bicycle lanes, was implemented by the League of American Bicyclists (formerly, the League of American Wheelmen) until Forester withdrew his permission for that organization to use the name.[13]

San Diego Police get it right. How about in your city?

Frank Lehnerz provided this about a presentation I did last night in San Diego.

Jim Baross, CSI, LCI and long-time member of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition presented some information last night at San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Council of Clubs Meeting. His topic, in particular, was to present issues and solutions between cyclists and law enforcement.
One of the items he handed out to the meeting participants was this brochure from the San Diego Police Department.

A lot of educational materials from LE organizations and other government organizations tend to leave out that bicyclists can use a full traffic lane when the lane is too narrow to share which as many of us know is the case for most traffic lanes in CA. They typically state something such as “must ride as far to the right as possible” (mistaking possible for practicable) or mention that we must ride close to the “right edge,” but no exceptions are listed. San Diego PD released an “alternative vehicles” pamphlet last year that targeted scooter riders, human-powered bicyclists, and e-bike riders and it was riddled with errors. So this is quite an improvement!

We’ve sure come a long way here on multiple fronts. Jim has trained lots of LEOs through the Smart Cycling program and we have fewer problems (bad tickets, stops, etc) than we used to riding on the roads. We still have a ways to go but if Jim’s (and others) keep up the good work full lane use will be further accepted and understood by local law enforcement.

It was also a pleasure to see a two-sided Cycling Savvy brochure and multiple participants of the group had the CVC21202 flow chart either on their phones or printed out as small business cards. Those can be seen here, along with an excellent video put together in partnership with the Orange County Bicycle Coalition. https://cyclingsavvy.org/cvc21202/
They also have an excellent video intended for law enforcement: https://cyclingsavvy.org/cycling-law/
Getting law enforcement “on our side” is very important if we want to continue getting cycling to become a more accepted and normal occurrence on our roadways.

Frank

Bike Lane and Cycletrack confusion

Are you aware that the new Separated Bikeways (Class IV)(sometimes called Cycletracks and sometimes erroneously called “protected bike lanes”) are not Bike Lanes? Can you tell the difference between the two? Hint, there are no official signs or pavement markings for Cycletracks.

We care about the distinction because our use of Bike Lanes in California is required (with a few exceptions) per CVC 21208. Cycletrack use is NOT required! For whatever reason, we may choose to use the adjacent general travel lanes.
But, we are hearing that there have been instances of harassment against people bicycling next to a Cycletrack. Sad, disturbing, and illegal harassment.
Have you been harassed – by motorists or police – for choosing not to ride IN a Cycletrack?

On Friday, November 8, 2019, CABO Board Member, Scott Mace wrote on CABOforum:
Governor Brown signed AB 1193 on September 20, 2014. The state, and the badvocates who championed this legislation have had MORE THAN FIVE YEARS to come up with signage. At this point, I don’t think they intend to do so. We can see problems multiplying left and right because of this inaction. Nor has any other U.S. state taken needed action, to my knowledge.

Califorian nominated for election to League Board (me!)

I am reaching out hoping to encourage members of the League of American Bicyclists to cast a vote for me to be on the League Board.
I’m trying all the outlets I have access to to let people know I’m a nominee.
League members will receive a ballot next week. To join the League and thereby be eligible to cast a vote, visit www.bikeleague.org/join.
Please consider casting your vote for me.
Thanks.
……..

I, Jim Baross CABO President, am offering to serve on the League Board to promote my personal goal; to “help save the world by and for bicycling.” By that I mean that more and better bicycling can improve our world in several areas – reducing dependence on a fossil-fuel sourced economy, reducing negative traffic impacts – collisions and fatalities from motor vehicle crashes, congestion, and pollution; bringing back healthy active transportation and recreation; etc. As with the health of a “canary in a coal mine”, where there is little or no bicycling a community is at risk.

My qualifications include experiences as an instructor — Certified as an Effective Cycling Instructor 1986 (#185); — 2002, named as a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Coach conducting more than 45 training seminars certifying more than 400 LCI including 9 Smart Cycling courses to more than 75 Calif. Highway Patrol officers in five Calif. Cities, and certifying 11 Officers as LCI.

As an advocate, I have and continue to serve on bicycling advisory committees & advocacy organizations including – Chair, Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Working Group for the San Diego regional association of governments 1995 to 2013; –Vice Chair, California Bicycle Advisory Committee for the State Dept. of Transportation 1992 to 2017; –Current President. California Association of Bicycling Organizations; –Board member, California Bicycle Coalition 1998 to 2011; –California State Ambassador, League of American Bicyclists 2009; — Co-Chair, California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Bicycling Challenge Area.

1975, completed Bikecentennial transcontinental

1986, certified as an Effective Cycling Instructor by LAQ & League of American Bicyclists as a League Cycling Instructor (#185);

2002, named as a League Cycling Instructor Trainer/Coach more than 45 training seminars of League Cycling Instructors (LCI) including certifying 11 Calif Highway Patrol Officers as LCI & conducted 9 courses to more than 75 officers in five Calif. cities. In August 2018 I trained and certified 11 Calif Highway Patrol Officers as LCI.

2002 to present, League Cycling Instructor Coach for 40+ LCI training/certification seminars usually three per year, all but one in California. I have trained more than 400 League Cycling Instructors. I have conducted seminars in San Diego, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Alameda, San Luis Obispo, Oakland, Sacramento, Davis, Morgan Hill, Fairfax, Oceanside, Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Santa Monica, and Palo Alto.

2003, completed the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies Technology Transfer Program course “Design, Implementation and Operation of Bicycle Facilities”

2014, completed “Understanding Bicycle Transportation” provided by the California Department of Transportation.

2014, accepted as Cycling Savvy Instructor for the American Bicycling Education Association

1985 to present, providing bicycling instruction as a contractor for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

2011, Interim Executive Director – San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, www.sdbikecoalition.org.

1970 – 2005, Supervising Management Analyst with the City of San Diego; retired 2005

Expert Witness case experience from 2007 through 2019

Bicycling advisory committees and advocacy organizations I have served:

Former Chair – Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Working Group for the San Diego regional association of governments (SANDAG) 1995 to 2013. The Working Group was disbanded in 2013

Former Vice Chair – California Bicycle Advisory Committee for the State Dept of Transportation, a member of this committee since 1992 to 2017. The committee was disbanded in 2017.

Current President – California Association of Bicycling Organizations, www.cabobike.org.

Member since 1998. Currently President.

Former Board member – California Bicycle Coalition, www.calbike.org 1998 to 2011

Former California State Ambassador – League of American Bicyclists, www.bikeleague.org, 2009

Co-Chair – California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Challenge Area 13, Improving Bicycling Safety; since it began through the present

Current Board member and former Executive Director – San Diego County Bicycle Coalition

Former Chair – Normal Heights Community Planning Group 2006 to 2018

Conferences, seminars and similar events at which I have attended and/or presented bicycling information and training:

Speaker/Presenter, San Diego Bicycle Summit 2018, San Diego CA

Attendee to several League of American Bicyclists National Bike Summits including 2019

Attendee, ProWalkProBikeProPlace Conference, 2014 Pittsburgh, Penn.

Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Association for Coordinated Transportation, “Working Together:

Bicycles & Transit” May 2014

Speaker/Presenter, Scripps Hospital Trauma Section, “Bicycle Commuting” May 16, 2014

Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Office of Traffic Safety Summit “Lawful and Effective Bicycling” 2011

Attended Velo Mondial, Copenhagen, 2010 and Amsterdam 2000

Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Office of Traffic Safety, Summit “What to do about all these bicycles in Traffic” 2009

ProWalk-ProBike Conferences, Seattle WA, 2008

Presenter, California Strategic Highway Safety Plan Summit, Anaheim 2008

Presenter, Walk/Bike California Conferences, Oakland 2003, Ventura 2005, Davis 2007

Attendee/Speaker, League of American Bicyclists, Bike Education Conference, Wisconsin and New York City, 2002 & 2007

Attendee, League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Summit, Washington, DC 2006, 2008, and 2011

Presenter, Safety N Kids, Conference, “Children Learn Best by Good Examples From Those They Trust” 2006

Speaker, ITE Conference, “Engineering for Bicycling, From a Bicyclists Point of View” Dana Point, Calif. 2006

Speaker “Autovation” conference, San Diego 2005

Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Office of Traffic Safety’s Summit “A Vision for Roads to Traffic Safety”, 2000

Co-Chair, California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Challenge Area 13 – Improve Bicycling Safety; currently serving.

Speaker, Making the Connection International Trails and Greenways Conference

Exhibitor/Speaker, Lifesavers, National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, 2004

CABO General Membership meeting May 25th

Our General Membership meeting is to be held, as usual, on the Saturday before Memorial Day. Many of us will meet in person in Paso Robles at the State Fairgrounds during the Great Western Bicycle Rally. Some members will participate via teleconference by calling in. The meeting will begin at 1 PM and continue until approximately 4 PM; usually followed by dinner together somewhere in Paso Robles.

Let me know if you have information and/or issues that might be included in the – still draft – agenda. Jimbaross@cox.net

Members in good standing are invited and encouraged to participate either in person, via teleconference, or by designating a proxy for any votes on issues or election of Board and officers. Let me know if you wish to participate and in what manner – in person, teleconference, or by the designation of proxy.

Thanks for your support!

Riding straight at/next-to/in RTOLs?

RE: Support for AB 1266
Dear Assemblymember Robert Rivas,
The California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO) appreciates your bringing this bill forward. We support this proposal for reducing friction, collisions, and hard feelings between people at intersections that have right turn only lanes (RTOL). CABO supports the intent to assist people – through education, pavement markings and/or signs – to enable bicyclists to get straight through when RTOLs are present.
The legislation at present seeks to modify part of existing CVC 22101 about right turn only lanes as follows,
“When official traffic control devices are placed as required in subdivisions (b) or (c), it shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle to disobey the directions of such the official traffic control devices. devices, except that a driver of a bicycle may travel straight through a right-turn-only lane when pavement markings indicate that the movement is permitted.”
We consider that it is preferable when space allows, that the RTOL remain an RTOL for all travel methods. We know that some people bicycling or scootering intending to go straight do so in an RTOL and would more be more likely to stay too far to the right in an RTOL if/when they are excepted from CVC 22101. Care must be taken that these errors are not encouraged.
We expect that this bill proposes that pavement markings be developed to allow bicycling straight through from an RTOL in a relatively safe manner. The type and placement of pavement markings should be tested, and guidance adopted for inclusion in the California Manual of Traffic Control Devices (CA-MUTCD). We recommend that details of the striping, pavement lines and markings, and signs be determined by Caltrans Traffic Engineers, not through legislation. The bill could perhaps include a one-year or less deadline imposed for Caltrans accomplishing CA-MUTCD guidance for “pavement markings” and signs for this purpose.
Sincerely, Jim Baross, President California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO)

CVC 21202 explained via ABEA video

A very well done video has been created to help anyone better understand California’s vehicle code 21202, the one that too many people think requires people bicycling to only ride as far to the right in a lane as possible. NOT!

CVC21202

Thank you, CABO members Pete Van Nuys and the Orange County Bicycle Coalition for making this possible, and to Gary Cziko for letting CABOforum know about it.

Gary say; P.S. I particularly like the concluding sentence of Keri’s video narration:

“Indeed, the exceptions to the far-to-the-right requirement of CVC 21202 provide clear recognition by the vehicle code that bicycling far to the right often exposes bicyclists to unnecessary risk, and makes it legal to avoid this risk by controlling the lane.”

CABO Membership & Board Mtg May 26th

Our annual meeting will be held, as usual, in Paso Robles on Saturday afternoon during the Great Western Bicycle Rally. “Held in Paso Robles, CA each Memorial Day Weekend this is the foremost and longest running bicycle festival in the USA. Featuring over 25 ride options and 4 days packed with on and off the bike activities this Cycling Festival has something for all types of cyclist and their families.”
Members intending to attend may respond to check in with us via email to cabobike@cabobike.org.

So, what about those e-bikes and, Gee, bike-share too?

A blog Well worth the longer-than-usual for email length, about one of the transportation transitions happening around us and by us.
I had to read slowly and/or backtrack for the effect and humor. As Gary C posted, “Both amusing and informative.”
[JB – Yes, I do subscribe.)

I hate your e-bike

Some of what he opined –
“… the reason I hate them is simple: They are an affront to my swollen and sensitive ego.”
[JB – don’t stop now…]

” When people first jump on an ebike, their face lights up. It’s exciting and joyful in a way that you don’t get from a regular bike.”

““Do all those idiots who look like idiots riding those idiot bikes actually get any health benefit from it?” And the heretical answer is yes, they do.”
“To sum up an article in Outside Magazine about e-MTB’s, e-bikes are new technology, they’re not going anywhere, so get used to it. People who use e-bikes to get from point A to point B, rather than those who cycle to make a social statement, show their superiority, improve their standing on Strava leaderboards, or to collect carbon, have bought into the e-bike not as an alternative to dinosaur bicycles, but as an alternative to cars.”

” Henry Grabar, in this fluff piece on Slate, accidentally nails it: “But it’s not the top speed that really differentiates the experience; it’s the speed with which you get there and the ease of maintaining it. It feels like you have superhuman strength, and that’s how people look at you, too (with a mixture of envy and anxiety).””

“But in ten years, tiny internal down tube motors with internal aero wiring will deliver huge watts, slim beauty, and a stake through the heart of traditional cyclist egos. Fortunately, I’ll be 64 and in the market for my first such bike. Hopefully they will also be made of carbon.”

“It took me a dang long time to write this. I hope you enjoyed it! And if you did, I hope you’ll subscribe! Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!”

Legislation to Improve Bicycling?

Here is a link to the text of the bill being promoted by the CalBike organization.
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB760

Likely coming from a good intent; increasing safety (comfort?). But it seems to need some modification, and some way to overcome city, county, state legislators objections due to fears including anticipation of significant costs.

No mention that I saw for allowing the use of the funding for non-capital programs/activities such as –
Education – of motorists, bicycle users, & pedestrians;
Enforcement – training and implementation;
Encouragement – promoting active transportation modes… was Equity as a goal/measure included?

Proposed HDM *guidance* appears to be needing edit/modification and is incomplete, too restrictive, and unsubstantiated (except perhaps by separation-focused advocates).

But, the intent seems to be good; to force roadway designs (and actions?) that will better accommodate bicycling and walking. Send money and then you might get involved in re-crafting the flawed bill.