Donate to Connect SLO County, Get a Bell!

Connect SLO County Bells

Receive one of these limited edition bells with your donation to Connect SLO County!

These fun, new, shiny bells could be yours with a donation to our Connect SLO County initiative!

Connect SLO County is an initiative of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition. Your contribution today funds the work that is making the completion of our bike paths a reality. Through your special contribution to Connect SLO County, we will be able to complete the paths that will help more people of all ages, from eight years old to 80 years old, move around SLO County by bike.

Bicycle Barriers Survey

BikeBarriersSurveyIn order to know more about bicycles in SLO County, we have been working with the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) on a “Bicycle Barriers Survey“, which is now available online for your input!

We encourage you to take the survey, regardless of your bicycle riding habits.

  • Do you want to ride more, but are deterred by motorists? Take the survey.
  • Do you ride 40 miles everyday? Take the survey.
  • Do your children not ride to school because it is too difficult? Take the survey.
  • Do you not ride a bicycle at all? Take the survey.

The purpose of the survey is to understand how people ride bicycles in SLO County, what types of barriers exist prevent people from riding, how we can make riding better, and more.

Take the survey and share it with your friends and neighbors so we can help make SLO County better for bicycles! View it here.

This online survey is a follow-up to a previous survey that was mailed to a random sampling of the community and will be used to further inform SLOCOG about San Luis Obispo County residents’ views and priorities for the region. It was funded by SLOCOG and the Air Pollution Control District and carried out by the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition. Data gathered from the mailed survey will be made available to the public on the SLOCOG website in August 2013 and used to develop programming and infrastructure investment priorities.

Sign the People for Bikes Pledge

PeopleForBikesWhether you’re a bike commuter, a roadie, a mountain biker or just a casual rider, by uniting your voice with a million others, we can build a national movement to improve bicycling in our country. We can make a statement through our sheer numbers by raising public awareness and demonstrating our passion to our leaders in Congress and in cities and states throughout the country.

People for Bikes is hosting a national competition to see what state can recruit the most new supporters, help us propel California to victory! Their goal is to get one million people across the country to sign the pledge to support biking. Sign the pledge.

The goal of People for Bikes is to speak with one powerful voice of one million supporters—to let policy makers, the media and the public know that bicycling is important and should be promoted. As more of us join together, we can win more funding, better bikeways, and communities completely connected with safe bike routes comfortable for everyone.

Rand Paul Attacks Federal Funding

Just yesterday, July 24, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment to the Transportation Appropriations Committee that will strip all Federal funding for biking and walking facilities. Please help us maintain the Transportation Alternatives (TA)* program – that will help build a bikeable and walkable SLO County.PaulAttacksFederalFundingPaul’s amendment would prohibit ANY MONEY from being used for TA*, and to redirect it all towards bridge repair. Contact our Senators and ask them to save Transportation Alternatives by voting NO on amendment 1742. It’s quick, painless, and will help ensure the Bob Jones Trail is completed in your lifetime.

Caron Whitaker, the League’s Vice President for Government Relations, told POLITICO that the amendment is off the mark. TA represents just 2 percent of transportation funding, and that percentage would hardly put a dent in bridge repair.

“Stripping the Mayors of this funding and putting the entire TA program funding to bridge repair couldn’t fix our country’s bridges in 40 or more years […] However, putting this 2 percent put towards transportation needs in our cities, towns and counties can make transportation in those communities more safe, efficient and accessible.”

-Caron Whitaker, VP for Government Relations
League of American Bicyclists

Obviously repairing our bridges is important, both for safety and economic development reasons, but dedicating the small amount of TA funding to bridge repair would not be highly effective. Taking this small amount of funding away would dangerously undermine efforts in communities to provide safe and efficient transportation options for everyone. With rates of bicycling and walking fatalities on the rise, this is a trade we can’t afford to make.

The Senate hopes to finish this bill today, so please act soon!

Read more from our national partners at the League of American Bicyclists here.

*In 2012, Congress passed a new transportation bill, MAP-21, that dismantled dedicated funding for biking and walking by combining Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails into one program, Transportation Alternatives (TA), and cut the funding by 30%. The only saving grace was a local control provision to ensure that Mayors and communities could access dollars to support their local transportation priorities.

Bike Theft Prevention & Tips

A stolen bicycle sucks. Nothing compares to the brutal feeling of having something stolen from you, especially if it is something as beloved and useful as a bicycle. Too often, the Bicycle Coalition hears stories of bicycles being stolen from backyards, garages, and public racks.

Earlier this year our Executive Director’s bicycle got stolen and through the magic of social media, craigslist, and constant communication with the police department, it was found and returned to him in a few weeks! While the recovery rate is traditionally low, there are a few steps you can take to make it easier to get it back into your loving arms.

4e4c27a1ca620.missing bike

Sometimes making a flier is better than therapy.

Register Your Bicycle

  • Registering your bike won’t keep it from being stolen, but it greatly aids in its return to you if it is recovered by the police. The police will not give you back your bike unless they have proof that it belongs to you, so a serial number and photo are essential.
  • The SLOPD just launched an online bicycle registration system for residents, which we encourage you to do here.
  • If you are a Cal Poly student, UPD has an online bicycle registration system for students.
  • If you do not live in San Luis Obispo there are still a few simple steps to take, as illustrated below.

Preventing Theft

  • Lock your bike – it’s the easiest way to deter a thief!
Locking

Basic tips on how to lock your bicycle. Locking the front wheel with the frame to a rack is most essential.

How to Document Your Bicycle

  1. Download & fill-out our “Freezer Form” and keep the information yourself.
  2. Take a photo and type in your serial number and email it to yourself. That way, it’s stored in your email inbox forever.
  3. Use the National Bike Registry for a fee.
  4. Whether you are a renter or homeowner, many insurance plans cover the loss of a bicycle — anywhere in the city. Check in with your Insurance provider to see if your bike is covered.
  5. Follow our 2011 Bike Hack trick to help provide proof that it is your bicycle.

By keeping your serial number and photo handy, you can easily file a police report — or prove the bike is yours if you find it for sale somewhere.

Bike-Photo

Photographing your bicycle doesn’t need to be this serious, but you get the idea.

What to Do if Your Bike Has Been Stolen

  1. Find your serial number and photo of the bike (as mentioned above)
  2. Look to see if there was a camera nearby. If so, contact the building owner to see if they can provide you with footage, to help identify the thief.
  3. File a police report with the local police department.
  4. Post the theft as STOLEN: on craigslist. The craigslist community is amazing, do not underestimate them!
  5. Social media is your friend in this instance, the more you share, the more eyes are on the ground to help recover your beloved bicycle.
  6. Come to our Bike Kitchen and provide a brief description of your bicycle. We do our best to make sure the bikes that come through our doors are not stolen and can notify you if we see them in here.
  7. File a claim with your insurance company, if you are covered. Call your agent to see if you will need a police report and coordinate as appropriate.
  8. Check out the local Flea Markets. Some people have reported finding their bike at various local markets. If you do spot your bike, call the local police immediately and ask them to assist in your recovery. They can find your police report once they begin the investigation. Do not approach or confront the seller for your own safety.

Paso Robles Named Bicycle Friendly Community

Paso_BFCWe’re thrilled to be a part of the process of naming Paso Robles an official Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists!

With this, the League’s most recent round of designations, there are now 259 BFCs in 47 states across the country. The Bronze Level  award recognizes Paso Robles’s commitment to improving bicycling with investments in the promotion of bicycles, education programs, infrastructure and policies.

This is just one more example of your Bicycle Coalition being hard at work making all of SLO County better for bicycles. Horray for another step forward for a bicycle friendly SLO County!

To help the Bicycle Coalition continue to do amazing things countywide, become a member. The more members we have, the stronger our ability is to advocate and achieve victories like this, we couldn’t do it without you!

You can read more about Paso Roble’s Bronze Level BFC designation in the Paso Robles Daily News here.

Next-Gen Bike Lanes

The following was originally published in our Spring 2013 Spoken Wheel newsletter.

BIKE LANES 2.0
The next generation of bike facilities will blow your mind

BikeLanes2.0key

In all corners of America, we are seeing innovative solutions for bicycles on our roadways. The goal of many of these facilites is to create a safer more inviting space to get more people comfortable riding bicycles.

To share this incredible progress, we put together this quick guide for you. We hope it will inspire you to think big as we shape the future of bicycles in SLO County together!

GETTIN’ IT DONE IN SLO COUNTY

The road towards innovative spaces for bicycles in SLO County is long, but the Bicycle Coalition is in it for the longhaul. We are determined to make our communities beacons for bicycles in the golden state of California. Unfortunately, the drive and energy to pursue these successful strategies won’t come from our local leaders and government staff – it comes from you!

With your help, we can make these visions a reality. Join the Bicycle Coalition today to strengthen our voice for bicycles countywide. The more members we have, the faster we can move towards completing our bike paths and putting these innovative solutions to work in your neighborhood.

BikeBox

A bike box is a designated area at the head of a traffic lane at a signalized intersection that provides bicyclists with a safe and visible way to get ahead of queuing traffic during the red signal phase.

SEEN IN: Boston MA, Austin TX, Madison WI
COST: $
PROS: Greatly increases visibility of bicyclists.
Helps prevent ‘right-hook’ conflicts with turning vehicles at intersections.
Facilitates bicyclist left turn positioning during red signal.
Pedestrians benefit from reduced vehicle encroachment into the crosswalk.

BikeCorrals

On street bicycle parking spaces allow bicyclists to ride straight up to park their bicycles. One vehicle parking spot can accomodate over 10 bicycles. These corrals can be easily branded to promote neighboring businesses or areas.

SEEN IN: Long Beach CA, Missoula MT, Seattle WA
COST: $$
PROS: Decreases sidewalk conflicts between bicycles and pedestrians by preventing bicycle riding on the sidewalk and improper bicycle parking. Increases storefront visibility for businesses. One vehicle parking spot can accomodate over 10 bicycle customers.

Continue reading

BIG Win for Bicycles in San Luis Obispo

Earlier in 2013, the San Luis Obispo City Council made expanding our bikeway network a major city goal. Later, on Monday, June 17th, the Council approved a two year budget that makes incredible strides towards strengthening our investment in safe biking and walking infrastructure.

The next budget cycle will include unbelievable investment in our bikeways. The Bicycle Coalition is excited to announce the increase in general funds towards bikeway improvements from $25,000 to $100,000 a year. That’s 4x the previous annual investment!

4xfunding

This full list of projects below illustrates the dedication and partnership between the City Council, Staff, and your Bicycle Coalition over the next two years:

  • Bicycle Traffic Counts
  • Bicycle Education
  • SLO City Bike Rodeo
  • Bike Parking
  • $1,759,000 for the Railroad Safety Trail
  • $600,000 for the Bob Jones Trail
  • $120,000 for path maintenance
  • $200,000 for bicycle facilities improvements
  • $50,000 for sidewalk repairs
  • $220,000 for sidewalk ramp construction
  • …and more!

We know that we are joined by tens of thousands of people in our community in saying THANK YOU to our council for believing in the positive impact of complete bikeways in our lovable city.

You too can take a moment to send City Council members a thank you note for quadrupling funding for bikeways. Find their contact information here.

Receive a Bell With Your Donation to Connect SLO County

Connect SLO County is an initiative of the Bicycle Coalition, aimed at completing the major path projects in SLO County. Donate today and receive a limited edition bell!

Throughout California people have formed lifelong memories on paths in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Monterey, Lake Tahoe, Ventura, and countless more. In San Jose, a ride from downtown on the Guadalupe River Trail is a total breeze as you cross underneath numerous freeways, taking you all the way to the bay or the new 49ers stadium. Even in Bakersfield you can enjoy a family ride on the Kern River Parkway, a 30 mile separated path which connects multiple county parks with the university campus and the downtown.We are all on the path

In SLO County, local governments approved plans for paths decades ago, but very few miles have actually been built. Connect SLO County shares your experiences with local leaders, intensifying efforts to complete more incredible paths on the Central Coast. More people deserve to feel safe creating memories on paths in their own backyards.

Everyone can reconnect with the joy of riding a bike when traffic is out of sight and the sound of children’s infectious laughter fills your ears. No matter what your ability, age, choice of sport, or type of bicycle, paths will provide you a safe space to experience the happiness of SLO County.

ConnectSLOCounty_badgeLG

Bike Valet @Blarney at the Beach

avilabeach_blarneyatthebeach

Sunday, June 9, 2013
1:00 – 6:00 pm
1st annual Blarney at the Beach
Avila Beach Golf Resort

We’re thrilled to be parking bikes in the beautiful Avila Beach for the 1st annual Blarney at the Beach!

Featuring music by the Dubliners, food from Rooney’s Irish Pub, and more! This fun event is a benefit for the Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center.

Tickets and more here.

Preventing Collisions by Addressing Distracted Driving

With summer fast approaching and more bicycle riders than ever on our roadways, we have been hearing of multiple avoidable collisions between bicycle riders and motorists. In response to a personal experience one of our members wrote an incredible letter to the editor in this week’s Tribune.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Lea for letting us publish it here and wish a speedy recovery for anyone who has been in an crash recently. If you or someone you know has been in a crash, the Bicycle Coalition has resources available for you to assist in asserting your rights on a bicycle. Contact us at crash@slobikelane.org.

The following originally appeared in the May 22, 2013 issue of the SLO Tribune.

Plea from an injured cyclist’s wife: Drivers, pay attention
By Lea Brooks

Anxiously waiting outside the emergency room at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, I tried not to speculate about my husband’s injuries. All I knew is that he had been hit by a car while bicycling on Highway 1 in Morro Bay and that the trauma team was still evaluating the damage.

California Highway Patrol Officer C.L. Hawkins, who was investigating the crash, emerged from the trauma center’s closed doors carrying a black plastic garbage bag containing the tattered clothes and other belongings of my husband, Myron “Skip” Amerine. She also handed me his cracked, blood-stained helmet.

The driver, she said, was a 23-year-old woman from Cayucos who was running late to her job in Morro Bay. The driver didn’t see Skip until she collided with him from behind at approximately 65 mph. Officer Hawkins said the driver told her she “must not have been paying good enough attention” — a statement included in the official CHP traffic collision report.

The crash occurred on the tricky southbound stretch of Highway 1 between the Highway 41 onramp and Main Street onramp. Bike riders are supposed to follow the dashed white line to the right of the through slow lane and avoid weaving across the on- and off-ramps.

An image captured by Myron ‘Skip’ Amerine’s helmet camera as he was struck by a car.

An image captured by Myron ‘Skip’ Amerine’s helmet camera as he was struck by a car.

A digital video camera image of Skip and his bicycle flying horizontally over the dashed white line where he was supposed to be riding provided solid evidence the driver was at fault. The camera had been mounted on his helmet, but popped off on impact and kept recording until it was turned off by the investigating officers.

The video image is a chilling reminder of the risks people who ride bikes, pedestrians and other motorists face from distracted drivers. An appalling number of drivers are texting, talking on the phone, impaired by alcohol or drugs, or generally not paying attention while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

The driver was cited for violation of California Vehicle Code 21658(a), which states a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.

Skip’s injuries included a concussion, compound fracture of a lower vertebra and nasty bruises and abrasions from head to foot. I’m relieved he wasn’t killed or more seriously hurt, but am angry he was the victim of a crash that was 100 percent preventable. Distracted drivers need to realize the consequences of their actions.

In Skip’s situation, he faces weeks of painful healing and reliance on me and others for assistance with daily living. His activities will be hampered by a back brace for two months. Resumption of daily bicycle rides is a distant goal. Our plans for the rest of the year, including a bicycle tour, have been cast aside to focus on Skip’s recovery.

What a paradox that the crash occurred on May 1, the first day of Bike Month. This local and national celebration encourages people to bicycle to work, school, to run errands and for fun and exercise. As bicycle advocates for many years, Skip and I support Bike Month’s role in motivating people to try cycling, and were looking forward to participating in the myriad activities scheduled in San Luis Obispo.

So, how do you encourage people to bicycle when you are the victim of a distracted driver? Many people don’t ride because they are afraid of being hit by a motorist, especially from behind. While statistics show rear-end collisions are not common, they do happen.

My response is that there is risk in almost everything we do, including driving a car. The risk of bicycling is more than offset by its health benefits. Other benefits include reducing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, relieving traffic congestion, no gasoline or parking expenses and saving time by combining exercise and transportation. Plus, bicycling is downright fun.

Bike Month provides a platform to remind bike riders about steps they can take to improve their safety, including wearing a helmet and brightly colored clothing, signaling turns and obeying traffic signals and other rules of the road. For more information about bicycle safety and gaining confidence to ride in traffic, enroll in a bicycle education workshop offered by the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition at slobikeed.org. Joining the Bicycle Coalition by going to slobikelane.org is a constructive way to support efforts to improve the quality of life on the Central Coast through bicycling advocacy, education and inspiration.

Bike Month activities are posted on the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments’ website at rideshare.org/bikemonth2013. It’s not too late to dust off that bike in the garage and participate.

My plea to motorists: Pay attention! Put down that smartphone and other devices, avoid distractions and be alert for people who ride bikes on the road, especially before opening your car door or in blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic. Bicycles are a legitimate form of transportation and cyclists deserve your respect. And remember that distracted driving crashes are preventable.

Lea Brooks is a journalism graduate of Cal Poly. She recently returned to San Luis Obispo after living and working in Northern California for 30 years. She and her husband have been active in bicycle advocacy and advisory groups.

2013 Special Election – City of San Luis Obispo

A Special Municipal Election will be held in the City of San Luis Obispo on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 (mail-in ballots to be sent out in mid May). The election is being held for one member of the City Council to serve out the balance of the current term ending December 1, 2014.

The Bicycle Coalition sent the following questions to all candidates running for the open City Council seat in the City of San Luis Obispo:
  1. In your opinion, how do biking and walking fit into the transportation system in your community/district?
  2. Would you like to increase or decrease the number of people biking and walking for transportation and recreation in your community/district, why?
  3. What steps would you take to increase or decrease the number of people biking and walking for transportation and recreation in your community/district?
  4. What specific accomplishments/qualifications demonstrate your capacity to improve the transportation system in your community/district?
  5. What else should members of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition know about you before going to the polls?

All questionnaires returned to the Bicycle Coalition can be viewed/downloaded as a pdf by clicking here. (Simply click on the right hand column to view the answers from any given candidate)

The SLO County Bicycle Coalition does not and has not endorsed any candidate running for office.

The information contained in this pdf is intended for informational purposes only.