Category Archives: Southern California

CABO trains CHP in LAB Bicycling Street Skills

Previously the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition sponsored one course, and now CABO is providing LAB Traffic Skills 101 training for the CHP; so far three courses and approximately 30 CHP folks have been through the classroom, bike skills, and road riding experiences with more to come.

One of the officers provided these comments for evaulation of the course, “I currently review traffic collision reports for my area, and have since applied my new found knowledge in three separate incidents. I now understand proper lane positioning, bike lane configurations, and other bicycle movements when it come to cyclists trying to achieve their destination goals at/through an intersection.” and
“This course provides the philosophy, logic, and sound reasoning behind bicycle placement/movement, as well as addresses right-of-way issues.”

Marie Schelling of the CHP wrote and was successful at getting funding from OTS to pay the training costs, and she was instrumental to getting several CHP area supervisors to allocate the officers and staff time for the day and a half of training. Cudos to Marie!

I provided the standard League of American Bicyclists Road 1 “Street Skills” material, half classroom and half on the roads and paths nearest the class sites. The participants previous bicycling experiences varied widely, a few had club and event riding experiences, all had ridden as children, but many had not been on a bike – especially not in general traffic – for YEARS or EVER. What an awakening it can be for some/most people to hear, see, and then experience that “roads are for people, not just for people in cars!”

Although at one four-way Stop intersection I learned something. It happened just as a motorist who had the next turn to go – right of way – waited and waved for our group of bicyclists to go ahead even though we’d come to the intersection after her – it was the motorist’s turn to go. You may have experienced this? I call it the “let the poor person on a bike go first” response. Anyway, the inappropriate hesitation causes unnecessary delay, confuses others expectations, and can lead to collisions. Long story short, when the CHP student bicyclist with the gun on her hip waived the motorist on, the motorist was quick to comply! Teachable moment – an authoritative presence can straighten out some situations quickly. (No, I will not start riding armed… yes, even if “open carry” is allowed.)

I see nothing but good coming from helping law enforcement personnel to become competent bicyclists. Next maybe we could get some judges and magistrates to learn too that bikes belong, even “in the way.”

Jim (couldn’t be prouder) Baross
CABO President

CABO Supports Safe Passing Bill, AB 1371

AB 1371 Sept 2013 Governor

The effort to reduce close, fast passing of people on bikes by people in cars that sometimes initiates a crash, often endangers the bicyclists, and too often discourages people from using a bicycle at all in normal traffic is facing a third try with Assembly Bill 1371. CABO is acting to support this latest version despite controversy about its likely effectiveness. On balance we think passage of the bill will be helpful. A more thorough explanation of our reasoning for support will be posted soon. Meanwhile, we encourage those in agreement to communicate to Governor Brown that you request that he sign the bill into law.

CABO Comments on Santa Ana River Trail

Below are comments from the California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO) on the RRTAC July 19 agenda items relating to the Santa Ana River Trail (SART):

1. First and foremost, we applaud the county’s efforts in reaching out to and working with the cycling community to come up with a SART detour well in advance of the widening of the 91 freeway.  Furthermore, we appreciate the county’s commitment to come with a long term solution that will most likely be more attractive than the original concept of a bikeway adjacent to the freeway.

2. When cyclist access to State Route 91 was severed due to conversion to a freeway in the 1970s, the section of the SART between Gypsum Canyon and Green River was constructed to provide an alternate transportational route for cyclists in accordance with Streets and Highways Code Section 888. Continue reading

City of LA Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Engineering Policy Problems

The current draft of the City of Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) gives up on bicyclist use of the vast majority of the roads in the city and focuses on bikeways. In effect, this plan allows LA Dept. of Transportation (LADOT) to simply ignore the overwhelming majority of roadways as facilities that bicyclists will use and relieves them of any obligation to make the surface standards, intersection designs, and signal detection support bicycling on this majority of roadways. What follows is a re-write of the top level policies with existing policies augmented and a small number of important new goals and policies added. My changes are identified by [square brackets]. Continue reading

Proposed Bikeway in Long Beach – Letter to CBAC

September 29, 2009

Ken McGuire, Secretary
California Bicycle Advisory Committee – MS1
P.O. Box 942874, Sacramento, CA-94274-0001

Subject: Proposal by City of Long Beach to Experiment with Separated/Protected Bikeway on the Left Side of Two One-Way Streets

by email to (email address deleted)

Dear Mr. McGuire:

The California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO) has reviewed the documents prepared by the City of Long Beach in support of a “protected bikeway” and notes that it fails to comply with the guidance and standards in the California Streets and Highways Code and Vehicle Code and in the Caltrans “Highway Design Manual”. In light of this noncompliance and the resulting potential problems of traffic safety, traffic operations, and the failure by the City to address the status of bicyclists as legitimate highway users, CABO hereby requests that CBAC adopt a finding that the Long Beach proposal fails to comply with these references and to forward this finding to the City of Long Beach. The reasons for this request are detailed below. Continue reading

Proposed Bikeway in Long Beach – Letter to CTCDC

September 21, 2009

Devinder Singh, Secretary
California Traffic Control Devices Committee – MS36
P.O. Box 942874, Sacramento, CA-94274-0001

Subject: Item 09-21 on 9/24/09 CTCDC agenda
Request by the City of Long Beach for Permission to Experiment with Separated/Protected Bikeway on the Left Side of Two-Way Streets (Rte 9-112E)

by email to (address deleted)

Dear Mr. Singh:

The California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO) has reviewed the subject Request to Experiment (RTE) and notes that it fails to acknowledge previous trials in California of separated bikeways, particularly in the City of Davis and the City of Palo Alto, both of which were abandoned in favor of the standard bikeways now defined in the California Streets and Highways Code, the Caltrans Highway Design Manual, and the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. In light of this previous negative experience with separated bikeways and the potential problems of traffic safety, traffic operations, and the status of bicyclists as legitimate highway users, CABO hereby requests that CTCDC reject the subject RTE or, if the CTCDC feels that the RTE may still have merit, refer it to the California Bicycle Advisory Committee for a recommendation on action by the CTCDC. The reasons for this request are detailed below. Continue reading

Bike/Bike Collision on Dana Point Path

Below are photos that were sent to us from a bike/bike crash on the sidepath adjacent to Coast Highway in Dana Point. At this time we have no idea how the riders involved are doing. We envisioned the possibility of a high speed bike/bike crash during our presentation to the city Traffic Subcommittee two years ago, the video clip from our presentation is at this link:

Dana Point Bike Lane Sign

As posted here:

On that blog, the city Public Works director explained:

“Here’s the explanation. The sign belongs to the new median construction contractor who was warning vehicles of the median construction and lane narrowing further up ahead. Coincidentally, the City was also installing new bike lanes on PCH. The bike lane striping subcontractor striped the bike lanes at night and then moved the other contractor’s sign to the location you see it. (Not smart.) The City inspector then noticed the sign and had it moved.”

Actually, that’s quite a reasonable explanation. But then he continues:

“The good news is that the majority of PCH is now striped in Dana Point. The striping was done in concert with the California Association of Bicycling Organizations who reviewed the plans.”

To which CABO replied:

“Thanks to the Public Works director for being on top of the situation – and thanks to him for giving CABO a chance to review the plans, even though we agreed to disagree on some of the plans.”

CABO did indeed review the plans – but we weren’t in agreement with the city. Before they did the striping there was already a wide shoulder which was just fine. Now they’ve got a narrower bike lane by the gutter, which is going to fill up with debris in no time, and gore striping to the left which is technically illegal for cyclists to use or cross. A net loss for cyclists in this writer’s opinion. At least the city agreed to move the bike lane away from the edge of the road at intersections, in order to minimize turning/crossing conflicts.

State Route 241: The Case for Bicyclist Access

In recent years in Orange County, new travel corridors have been provided in the form of toll roads through locations where no other paved roads previously existed. These provide shortcuts for motorists, but currently bicyclists must take the long way around to get from Point “A” to Point “B” in many cases.

State Route 241 in Orange County, California, provides the only direct access between the new Portola Springs community in Irvine and the residential/commercial areas of Foothill Ranch. The direct route via SR241 is 1.6 miles and is prohibited to bicyclists, while the shortest legal alternate route for bicyclists is 8.4 miles. This four minute video, created by League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor, Brian DeSousa, makes the case for allowing bicyclist access to this section of SR241.

The video is also available directly on YouTube here: – for those who can’t access YouTube, the video is the second from the top in the following page: