A Top 10 List for the Bike Safety Committee [updated]

If you ran the NB Bike Safety Committee, what would be your short list of things to do right now?

Sharrows, as we’re learning, take a long time to generate consensus; meanwhile many modest improvements never get attention.

bikeNewportBeach is meeting next Wed at 2pm at Starbucks on Balboa Island. Our goal is to come up with a Top 10 list of simple things to do now; join us if you can. Here’s 2 on my list so far:

  • "They're useless," says one NBPD officer.

    Take for example, the Botts’ Dots laid crosswise on Bayside Drive; they’re supposed to alert drivers to slow down, but the yacht club crowd that zooms over them in their SUVs hardly notices. To a cyclist they’re a hazard. Where else can we find Dots? The road down to Big Corona has them and they’re doubly dangerous on the steep hill. Let’s get rid of them. Cost: negligible.
  • To me, one of the most important recent developments in bike safety is NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide, released this Spring at the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. Many municipalities want to move forward with innovative infrastructure to make cycling safer, but they feel handcuffed because the best ideas aren’t MUTCD approved yet. Enter NACTO, the National Association of City Transportation Officials; they’re not waiting for the feds, instead 16 major cities across the country have come together to create a new set of emerging standards. Want to add a bike lane, but not sure about painting the lane green, or blue? It’s all here in the UBDG. But our own Bike Safety Committee has never spent one minute looking into the designs. My suggestion: the UBDG breaks down into 5 sections, assign a section to each member of the Committee to review then give a presentation at the next month’s meeting. This would serve to create mini experts within the Committee while giving broad awareness of the latest bike infrastructure to the whole Committee.
    Cost: only time.

The NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide is based on the experience of the best cycling cities in the world. The designs in this document were developed by cities for cities, since unique urban streets require innovative solutions. Most of these treatments are not directly referenced in the current versions of the AASHTO Guide to Bikeway Facilities or the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), although many of the elements are found within these documents. The Federal Highway Administration has recently posted information regarding approval status of various bicycle related treatments not covered in the MUTCD, including many of the treatments provided in the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. All of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide treatments are in use internationally and in many cities around the US.

Got a simple bike safety improvement for your neighborhood?

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Frank Peters

listen to my podcast shows at cdmCyclist.com

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