Posted January 30, 2011 By Frank
By day, he’s planning a greener future for California’s cities; on weekends he rides with some serious cyclists and once a month he contributes as a member of the Newport Beach Bike Safety Committee.
For the interview we’re in his office; it’s like a museum, the walls are covered in photos and vintage Tour de France posters.
Meet Tony Petros, perhaps one of the more professional members of the committee, based on his profession – he manages transportation projects at LSA Associates, Inc. in Irvine. He covers state, county and city agencies, public transit agencies and a couple of ports and airports thrown in for good measure. This all adds up to a comprehensive perspective when it comes to adding bike lanes and other safety improvements.
Although he’s an avid cyclist, he describes the pros and cons of implementing Sharrows in Corona del Mar. Do the legal issues relating to Hwy 1 and the fact of the prevailing conditions, i.e. the traffic volumes, preclude the City from making any changes to this thoroughfare? “We could be raising expectations that cannot be met.” Listen and make up your own mind.
Show #11 (25:28) Listen now or subscribe via iTunes
Posted January 29, 2011 By Frank
You know you’re turning into a transportation crank when you’re driving up the San Diego Freeway and all of a sudden, there they are – one after the other, there must’ve been 5 in only a mile: 1-800-GET-THIN billboards with their siren song, offering the modern day equivalent of taking a pill, or in this case, going under the knife to lose a few pounds, or a hundred. And at that moment I wanna erect my own billboards that say 1-800-GET-OUT-OF-YOUR-CAR-IF-YOU-WANT-TO-LOSE-WEIGHT.
I’m sure Allergan, proud parent of the lap band, knows the numbers; there must be hundreds of thousands of motorists sitting there in traffic every day, dreaming of a more svelte figure and contemplating just about any desperate act to achieve it. Then I calmed down and remembered all the times I felt compelled, in the form of trying to earn a living, and was stuck in those traffic jams wishing my life away. Calming down transformed into thankfulness; I was glad I had choices. I could live my life closer to home and avoid the rush hour madness and get on my bike instead.
Posted January 28, 2011 By Frank
See the comments stream at coronadelmartoday.
To this day I can remember quite clearly… I was moved; it affected me emotionally like nothing had at that point in my life. No, not what you’re thinking; I’m talking about my first time riding my bike on Green Sharrows.
Belmont Shore’s Green Sharrows are 20 miles away, so it’s a trip I’d planned for awhile. All the way up there I’m filled with anticipation, but then the transcendent reality; it was surprising! The neighborhood is much like Corona del Mar, lots of retail with 2 lanes of traffic in both directions and parallel street parking. It’s the classic definition of where Green Sharrows belong, because there isn’t space for a bike lane. In Long Beach they’ve painted the right lane green and placed the Sharrows insignia on top; it’s striking and a bold statement: cyclists have the right to the traffic lane.
So my first time riding the Green Sharrows, how did it feel? Joyous, wouldn’t be too over the top; it’s like now, for the first time, I’m a legitimate vehicle, entitled to my place on the roadway. I knew no one would blow their horn; through traffic had long ago figured it out, if they wanted to move through town without impediment they would politely pass me or travel in the left lane. Yes, politely, because many of the motorists were themselves bicyclists and they knew what it felt like to ride 2nd Street. Long Beach is ahead of just about every city in the Southland; they’ve been implementing bike safety features, building bike lanes and installing bike racks for a few years now and what they find is, like every other city that preceded them, if you build it they will come; trite, but true.
Continue reading “My First Time” »
Posted January 27, 2011 By Frank
Stylish bike racks ooze civic pride at City Hall in Huntington Beach.
Thanks to Sean Matsler, member of the Newport Beach Bike Safety Committee, for pointing out this beautiful example of an artistic, functional bike rack.
Come to the next meeting, 4:30pm Monday Feb 7th in the Fire Conf room at City Hall, where I’ll present “New Ideas in Bike Racks”, with photos from around the world.
Posted January 25, 2011 By Frank
Arguably, the most notable bike safety advocate in Southern California, Charlie Gandy’s whereabouts are tracked by several biking blogs. Here’s a memorable one-liner attributed to Charlie on BikesideLA:
“Green lane Sharrows cost 20-30 cents per foot. That’s decimal dust.”
Read other quips aggregated by blogger Mihai Peteu here and interviews with Charlie here and here.
Posted January 24, 2011 By Frank
What are Sharrows?
Sharrows Are Not
Used when there is not enough space for a bike lane.
Bike lane designations.
Only used in existing lanes.
A hindrance to existing
on-street parking. The City is not
considering removing on-street parking.
They do not decrease space available for parked cars.
Are a cost effective bucket-of-paint option for improving cycling safety.
Not expensive to implement.
Pavement markings in
paint, or plastic-based thermoplast which lasts longer than paint; typically
white in color, sometimes green.
Posted on poles and do
not create more sign pollution.
Reminders to both drivers
and cyclists that the law requires them to share the road in places where it
is unsafe for a cyclist to ride too much to the right.
Likely to affect speeds
on Coast Highway.
Well suited to roadways
that slow due to traffic congestion, like in CdM.
The second choice, when
there’s not enough room for a bike lane.
In use today in Long
Beach, San Francisco, Montreal, Boston and New York City.
Anything more than
acknowledgment of the law today: cyclists have the right to use the full lane
when conditions require.
A way to encourage more
people to get on a bike which will reduce congestion on the roads and
competition for parking places.
Click here to download the PDF.
Sharrows will protect cyclists by keeping them out of the door zone.
Posted January 20, 2011 By Frank
I guess he wants to be known as “Junk Yard” Jason, or is this photo a reminder of the wastefulness of our
Paris has the Velib, Montreal the Bixi, Barcelona the Bicing, New York is considering them, Boulder’s announced the B-Cycle; they’re called 3rd generation bike shares. They’re located in the central city, available in lieu of a taxi ride, and they’re popular: the Bike-sharing Blog counts 238 of them around the world in 2010, up 49%!
Meet Jason Meinzer, CityRyde co-founder; he’s from a family of entrepreneurs: Mom, Dad and twin brother. His CityRyde created software for these 3rd generation bike sharing systems to monitor usage and the carbon offset credits they accumulate. Customers include the University of Chicago, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and maybe UC Irvine’s ZotWheels.
He’s funded by Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
His software creates a potential revenue stream, based on the sale of carbon offset credits and any additional funding is appreciated.
If Newport Beach were to implement a bike share program, where would you want to place them? Fashion Island, in Corona del Mar along Coast Hwy, at the beach near the piers, the Wedge and Big Corona all come to mind. How about at CdM High School? But without mass transit moving the public into town, would it get used, or would it all be a waste of money?
Show #10 (25:08) Listen
Posted January 14, 2011 By Frank
When you ride to work, do you wish you had a place to secure your bike for the day?
Commuters in many cities now have such a facility: BikeStation where you can store your wheels, change your clothes, take a shower, stow all that in a locker, and more.
I met CEO Andrea White-Kjoss a few years ago as she approached Tech Coast Angels for funding. At the time I wondered, is this social entrepreneurship? Is there a big exit somewhere in the
future? Or is this the kind of deal that is best suited for a frothy
economy when investors have money to burn?
Could it be that BikeStation is leading a
modern revolution in transportation systems and will be perfectly timed
for rapid adoption?
And is it just a coincidence that the company is headquartered in Long Beach, CA?
Come meet her: Andrea will speak at the 7th Annual UCIrvine Entrepreneurs Conference Feb 11th. I’m a Platinum sponsor.
Show #9 (18:35) Listen
Posted January 6, 2011 By Frank
Still riding like a 6 year old?
That’s when most of us learned to ride, or stopped learning.
“Stay out of the way of the cars!” your mom advised. Do we have to un-learn some of these old messages?
Know your emergency maneuvers? Can you make an emergency right turn if a car turns in front of you?
Meet the man who taught me. He’s the Director of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition, Pete Van Nuys. He’s taught me much of what I know about safe riding. Pete was the instructor for Traffic Skills 101, a certification for cyclists that I completed last Spring.
How do you encourage more cycling when some feel unsafe going out, even in their own neighborhood? “Venture past your street onto a collector street and many people worry that they’re gonna be run over.” Listen as Pete offers his suggestions to overcoming these concerns: “let’s go for a ride when traffic is light,” and other insights.
Posted January 1, 2011 By Frank
I start to see bicycling references everywhere, maybe even where none are implied, but Oliver Sacks’, This Year Change Your Mind op-ed piece in the New York Times today had me slapping 5 in the mirror:
“I have had many reports from ordinary people who take up a new sport or a musical instrument in their 50s or 60s, and not only become quite proficient, but derive great joy from doing so.”
Get on a bike and feel like a kid again!