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Bicycle Awareness: Taking It To the Streets (+ City Hall!)

November 22, 2013

Ghost Bike with Flowers

Have you seen a ghost bike in your community?

Do you know what a ghost bike is or how to make one? See a list of locations of ghost bikes around the world here.

Pictured here is a ghost bike: simply, it’s a bicycle that has been painted white and placed where a bicyclist has died to remind us all of where and how they lost their lives–and to remind drivers to BE CAREFUL. (Learn about the Ghost Bike Film Project here).

In the past few years, far too many people have died or been seriously injured here in Ventura County as well as elsewhere by collisions between drivers and cyclists.

My friend Rachel Morris, the Executive Director of VCCool, recently let me know about a series of events here in Ventura to bring awareness and solutions to the traffic casualties that bikers and walkers are experiencing.

As more people ride the streets, and more drivers rush around without noticing bicyclists, more riders are getting seriously injured and even killed. This is a public safety issue and must be addressed. But there are no simple answers. Even the most careful driver can make a mistake or be in circumstances that create a dangerous situation. Even the most careful cyclists can get hurt. And honestly, I think that too many drivers and cyclists get lazy. That’s why safeguards need to be in place to protect both cyclists AND drivers as well as pedestrians and skateboarders too!

1459210_10151789175910924_902241168_nWhile people may be getting hurt and killed on our roads, many, many more people are sick and dying due to in-activity. Fear of active transportation is resulting in epidemic rates of heart-disease, diabetes, asthma, and obesity. And if we do the math, what’s actually more costly?

Everyone deserves safe roads –whether they walk, ride, take public transportation, or drive.

To accomplish this goal, three actions are being planned in Ventura, and if you check with your local bicycle advocacy groups, I am sure you will find actions in your area as well–or organize along these lines!

TAKE ACTION X 3

1.) Bicycle Awareness Ride
Saturday, November 23, 2:00pm-4:30pm,
Starting at the HUB Community Bike Shop
1150 N. Ventura Avenue, Ventura

Wear signs about the SOLUTION!!
This is not a ride of silence. What’s our message?
Same Roads, Same Rights, Same Responsibilities.
“We’re all in this together!” or “Bicycling Makes Life Wonderful.”
Or “Coexist!”
The Route: Ventura Ave/Main St/Loma Vista/Then Back

2.) Letters to the Editor
Share how our dangerous roads affect you, your family, and our community. What are some solutions that would serve all of us? What does the freedom to bicycle and walk in our City mean to you? Do you have a kind message that you think might educate readers? Please take a few minutes in the next day or two to write and email or snail mail your letter in advance of the council meeting and to follow-up awareness after the ride.

3.) Bring the Issue to City Council
Monday, December 2
6:00pm- 7:30ish (come early to get a seat and fill out a PINK comment form)
Ventura City Hall
501 Poli St., Ventura, CA

Please Show up and Let the City Council Know this is IMPORTANT to YOU!
You don’t have to speak – just be there! Wear your helmet so they know you’re a cyclist!
Short, optional planning meeting 5:30pm, Friday, November 29 1150 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura.
1 – 3 people will actually speak, but the rest of us will be there in support during the presentation. Our three requests will be:
– Start implementing physical barriers on key bike lanes – also called “Bicycle Tracks.”
– Do a Free Bicycle Light Give-Away. The HUB Community Shop will partner by doing installation.
– Enforce traffic laws when motorists injure bicyclists. (This hasn’t been happening.)

Please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, email, reblogging, etc. Let’s get the word out and get out streets safer for us all!

Have you seen this viral video of a bike crash? http://www.smh.com.au/national/cyclist-hit-by-car-challenges-police-over-fine-video-evidence-20130906-2tb68.html#ixzz2lOsk1dSq Sean Sampson of the Amy Gillett Foundation, which is campaigning under the slogan “a metre matters”, said: “This incident highlights the need for change to create a safer environment for bicycle riders, the type of behavioural and legislative change that can be delivered through the introduction of minimum passing distance laws.”

After months of public hearings and requests for submissions, a government inquiry into cycling in Queensland was completed last week. It is due to deliver its findings on November 29.

The inquiry follows a court case over the death of Mr Pollett, a virtuoso violinist, who was run over by a truck while cycling on Brisbane’s Moggill Road in September 2011. In May this year, a jury found the truck driver was not guilty of any offence under the available laws.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2013 11:42 am

    Reblogged this on Bikergo Gal and commented:

    Important ride in Ventura tomorrow Nov. 23, 2013 followed by other actions including letters to the editor and an appearance at the Ventura City Council meeting Mon. 12/2/13.

  2. November 22, 2013 3:10 pm

    Thank Gwen, wonderful post!!
    One thing I would add, is that VCCool’s effort is high-lighting Share-The-Road skills. We don’t want to scaring people off the streets and into cars. The numbers show – what’s really killing North American’s is that too few people bicycle and walk. So our focus is on solutions: slowing down, relaxing, wearing lights, looking for bikes… :->

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