The Importance of Bike Lanes and Accident Reports

After considering everything our group has gone through it gives you the opportunity to see how things will actually be in the field. Requesting information from the public is like pulling teeth and establishing something solid is difficult, especially when other groups are not concerned with your project. It feels as though we have had to change our project several times over.  Nevertheless in our report we developed mitigation measure that would create a safe environment. The map below illustrates the police report that indicates the bicycle collisions that occurred with the last year in the city of ClAccidentsaremont. The accidents occurred from May 2014 to May 2015. Clearly with the graphic representation the proximity to the schools is too hard to deny. Through the use of bike lanes the number of collisions can be reduced or even potentially eliminate the number of accidents. Through the grant that was provide the city of Claremont was able to educate the public about safe methods.

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Image provided by http://bikewalkkc.org/

Currently there is a big shift for cities to redesign their streets in a manner that would promote complete streets. The city of Claremont has been a leader in the use of bike lanes but there is still plenty of opportunities to create more safe routes for bike riders. Currently there are several grants that is provided by the states and the local transportation authority. There are several opportunities around the corner and the time to act is now.

One of the other things we were taking a look at was the idea of creating more cross walks that will provide the students at Claremont the opportunity to use the crosswalks instead of J walking. Also another thing to keep in mind is the idea of using temporary paint to create pilot programs and later evaluate if they pilot program is worth applying. This program would be a cost efficient way of creating the best program.

It would be great to see someone from the community take charge of the Safe Routes to school and create active group focused on setting up workshops with the students and parents. The purpose of our project is to focus on developing mitigation measures that would prevent any injuries. By establishing an infrastructure that would promote the safety of the students; parents might be more inclined to allow their children to take themselves to school. Overall we are in the final stages of our project and are looking forward to hearing feedback from the city of Claremont.

 

Cyclist Awareness

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The City of Claremont is concerned about the safety of their citizens. Currently working towards an increase in active transportation among their community, they are spreading awareness among people that want to make that change and make use of their bike for their everyday destinations.  Trying to push for a bicyclist community, Claremont is educating new riders to have a better understanding of the laws that apply while in the road to make their ride as safe as possible.

Most of the bicycle accidents are due to people not being educated about bicycle safety.  People may think riding a bike is easy and there is not a reason for them to be educated, but they are wrong because there are many things that a bicyclist could learn to make better decisions while in the road.  Knowing what to do in certain circumstances, could keep them away from future accidents.

When riding a bike make sure:

-Wear close-toe shoes

-Avoid skirts & flare pants

-Wear safety equipment, such as helmet, pads and bright clothing to be visible

-Lights when riding at night time

-Check bicycle before every trip

Much of the accidents are cause by riding off curbs or steps, carrying another person which interfere with balance, riding too fast, riding on the wrong side of the street, disregarding traffic control devices (signs, signals, markings), running into an opened door of a parked car and poorly maintained bicycles.

State Laws

RIDE ON RIGHT – Always ride in the right side of the road, just like a car bicyclist should ride in the right to avoid any unnecessary impact with cars coming towards the rider 21202(a)V.C.

HEADSETS– Wearing of headsets prohibited. 27400 V.C.

HITCHING A RIDE– Cannot attach himself to any streetcar or vehicle on the roadway. 21203 V.C.

CARRYING PACKAGES – No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package that could prevent them from keeping at least one hand in the handlebar. 21205 V.C.

HELMETS– Helmets are required for any person operating a bike under 18 years of age 21212(a) V.C. The helmet must meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute.  According to the National Safety Council, head injuries cause about 85 percent of all bicycle fatalities. It is recommended that people from all ages wear a helmet for their safety.

PARKING ON SIDEWALK– No person shall leave a bicycle lying on its side on any sidewalk, or shall park a bicycle on a sidewalk in any other position so that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian traffic 21210 V.C.

HAND SIGNALS– Hand signals should be given from the left side of the bicycle; however, bicyclists can extend the right hand and arm horizontally to the right side of the bicycle. 22111b V.C.

Did You Know?

There is a National Bike Registry (NBR) were people could register their bike. This is a national data based use by police officials in case of a stolen bike.  Many stolen bikes are recovered by police and return to their owner by a serial number that is given to every registered bike.  This is not a free program, but very affordable due to their low fees, charging $10 dollars for a 10 year registry.  This is an investment people tend to make towards their bike if it ever gets stolen.  NBR has a policy were they register your next bike for free if your previous bike is never find by the police. This program has been very effective and many bikes have been found and return to previous owners.

 

 

Parking Subsidies and Other Incentives to Auto Commuting

The city of Claremont has a substantial amount of parking. In the down town area there is plenty of parking and at the packing house there is free parking in the parking structure for over crowding. Public parking is free in Claremont so there is no meters to worry about. The city of Claremont has a very vibrant feel and has character which other cities in the surrounding areas lack. There is also parking adjacent to the street that creates an artificial barrier for pedestrians and promotes safety. The parking in Claremont gives it identity of a small walkable neighborhood. It also is illegal to park overnight in public parking. This is a way for the city to control and prevent homeless from residing in the city. Even when you walk in the street there is little to no homeless people in the area. Considering the level of income the majority of people would rather not see any homeless living in their cars. Many of the parking spaces have a 2 hour parking limit which gives opportunity for circulation. During the peak of the social night life it is easy to find parking which makes it only that more inviting. There is also bicycle parking almost every thirty feet and it gives off a very artistic feel. The majority of the bicycle parking are different colors which are great identifiers.

Transit/Cleaner Mode Infrastructure

Transit/Cleaner Mode Infrastructure

 

A city that is easily accessed by freeway connections on the 210 or the 10 freeway has to encourage Transit/Cleaner Mode infrastructure. For Transi, It currently provides the services Get About Senior Services,Group Van Service, Foothill Transit,  Metrolink, Pomona Valley Transporation Authority , Dial-a-Ride, Group Van Service and The Pomona Valley Transportation Authority

It could Improve existing and adding new transit by implementing projects as the Gold Line Extension.  Also, charging stations around the city would highly encourage users to look into fuel efficient vehicles moving towards electric Vehicles. The city of Claremont has two stations in which it is promoting cleaner mode Infrastructure. Walking around the Streets it was not clear if there were clear cleaner mode infrastructure available in the City. Clearly, a pedestrian will be able to notice all of the built infrastructure provided for biker’s. Once more research is done, there are two available charging stations in the city.Located at  500 E 9th St and E 1st St

The goal for Claremont is to keep pushing for Cleaner infrastructure.  One spot that comes into mind would be the parking station in the New village. It has plenty of area and would be available. For more Charging stattions, this could incentivize more bus users as there are different bus routes around the station that users could take to differnt areas in the city. In my view, I felt that people who changed from Gas Guzzler vehicles were making the change mostly because of the price of Gas which had peaked over four dollars per Gallon.  Today the Gas prices seems to keep dropping and are now in the two dollars again. Many people are driving again but the city still needs to push for more sustainable infrastructure to create a regenerative system for cleaner energy. GM’s 200-Mile Electric Car For $30,000, has recently been an will be highly sought after for individuals who want cleaner transit but there are many strides that must be created to have infrastructure  provided for this type of movements.  Claremont is moving in the right direction but there is a need to add more Infrastructure and advertise it more, in the Directories I did not see these stations to be listed on there.

Transportation: Bicycle Enhancements and Education

Visiting the village in Claremont gave me a sense of extremely bicycle support between the city and the community.  Watching people make use of their bike early in the morning and also by the amount of parking racks in the Village.  Most of the parking racks were in a shape of a “0”, giving it a more exciting design to the streets.  It was extremely convenient for people bicycling to the Village due to the street signage and  high amount of bicycle parking throughout the Village.

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The City of Claremont is working towards better ways to provide a more safe and easy cycling experience.  Shared lane pavements or also called “Sharrows” is a great way to guide bicyclist to the best place to ride the road.  Sharrows are not bike lanes, but are compose of signs that guide bicyclist to the best place to ride in the road.  This is another way cities could go to prevent accidents in the streets because people that are driving will become more aware of their surrounding when they see the different signage meant to protect the safety of bicyclist on the street.

A Bike station was open at the Depot, this offers a safe place were riders could leave their bike without the worry of it being stolen.  This facility has room for 30 bikes and also carries bike repair tools as well as a clean-up area. This facility is not free to the public, so there is a membership people have to buy in order to use this station.  The membership fees go from $12 per month or $96 per year.

The city of Claremont also has something called the Bike Priority Zone (BPZ), within the village, Claremont Colleges and the resident neighborhoods south of Foothill Blvd.  This zone is focus on safe bicycle routes, bicycle access and bike stations within transit-orientated developments. This zone provides more signage and safety features to alert driver of cyclist in the roads.

The City also carries a document called Claremont Bicycle Transportation Account Compliance Document.  The purpose of this document was to make the City of Claremont eligible to apply for The Bicycle Transportation Account Funding.  This funding is offered for the construction of bicycle improvements in the State of California. To be able to obtain this funding the City must meet all BTA requirements.

Bicycle safety is enforced by the city of Claremont through the police bicycle team, were officers on duty ride their bicycles around the city enforcing safety in the community.    Besides promoting the use of bicycles around the City, this method of enforcement helps police officers enforce areas were a patrol vehicle might not be accessible.   The police bicycle team also conducts educational programs with local schools and clubs, teaching them about the importance of bicycle safety. The police bicycle team has been e extremely successful with the community due to more one- to-one face interaction with citizens of the community.