Exciting times for Active Transportation in the SGV! Phase 1 of the SGV Regional Bicycle Master Plan Initiative, which includes the Cities of Monterey Park, Baldwin Park, El Monte, South El Monte and San Gabriel, is well underway with a first draft set to be released end of this month, and final version by September 2014.
With funding for the first phase of the project set to sunset prematurely at the same time, BikeSGV organizers have been hard at work identifying potential sources to continue and expand regional active transportation planning and implementation efforts in the SGV. To that end, the BikeSGV Board identified the SGV Regional Waterways Project and Phase 2 Regional Bike Plan as organization priorities for 2014.
Imagine our region had long stretches of unused right-of-way that could with relative ease be transformed into separated, protected bicycle and pedestrian ways. Imagine that these rights-of-ways spread across the valley, and linked to an existing network of protected bicycle paths. Imagine that over 100 miles of such corridors existed in the San Gabriel Valley. Fortunately for residents of the SGV, this is our reality, our opportunity, and our vision for a safe active transportation superhighway by 2025!
Regional Collaboration: SGVCOG, BikeSGV and more!
On Wednesday, April 9, BikeSGV Program Director Javier Hernandez joined Marisa Creter and Caitlin Sims of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG), and Claremont Council Member and SGVCOG Transportation Vice-Chair Sam Pedroza to present the SGV Waterways Project and Regional Bike Plan proposal to LA N’ Sync.
A broad-based coalition that brings together LA's diverse academic, civic, nonprofit, business and philanthropic sectors to pursue and win major funding opportunities, LA N' Sync solicited presentations from 8 active transportation projects from around LA County to consider for technical and funding assistance.
On Thursday afternoon LA N'Sync representatives informed SGVCOG officials that the regional proposal had been selected for funding! The award will allow project organizers to hire a professional consultant to write the formal application to the CA Active Transportation Planning (ATP) program by May 21st, as well as provide supplementary funding down the road. Although all the specifics of the ambitious regional proposal have yet to be finalized, key components include the development of Pedestrian and Bike Master Plans for SGV Cities that currently do not have them (SGV Regional Plan Phase 2), design planning for SGV waterway paths, and funding for selected infrastructure projects such as a multi-use path along the San Jose Creek in the City of Pomona.
The regional scope of this proposal drew the attention of LA N’ Sync representatives, who noted that the SGVCOG's partnership with BikeSGV on the proposal was a model for Council of Governments in the realm of regional active transportation efforts.
Stay tuned for updates!
Could donning a costume before heading out on two wheels improve the chances you reach your destination safe and sound? According to researchers at the Karl-Franzens Universtitaet Department of Transportation Safety in Austria, the answer is a resounding YES (depending on the costume).
Published in the European journal Transportzeit, Der Einfluss des Kostuems auf Sicherheit beim Radfahren (Influence of Costumes on Safety while Cycling) examines the impact various costumes have on the relative safety of persons riding bicycles on public roadways.
The overall results are unequivocal, stated Principal Investigator Dr. Klaus Meier. "Costumed riders were noticed by motorists at greater distances, resulted in slower passing speed differentials and wider passing distances, all key safety indicators for people on bicycles."
The study focused on 10 different types of costumes, including a chicken suit, panda outfit, traditional Austrian Krampus garb, Waldo costume and video game character Mario getup.
Of the costumes tested, Austrian researchers found that the brightest, largest and/or most popular characters had the greatest positive influence on safety, with the chicken coming out on top, followed closely by Mario and Waldo. Researchers surmise that the latter was particularly effective among motorists who grew up keeping an eye out for the candy striped and blue-jeaned Waldo. However, Dr. Meier stressed that more research needs to be done to prove this and other potential safety benefits, as well as to determine what costumes are most effective in different parts of the world.
According to BikeSGV Safety and Education Director Bob Campbell, the implications of this new research are tremendous, especially in the San Gabriel Valley where safe bicycle infrastructure is limited. "Rather than wait years for protected bike lanes and paths to be implemented, local bicyclists can use this information to improve their safety on any street, at any time, now. This is a low-cost, common-sense and fun response to roadways that were not designed to accommodate bicyclists."
Costume Tips: Dr. Meier and his team recommend utilizing costumes that:
Want to learn more? Check out ActiveSGV's new podcast, ActiveLab