Encouraging Point Loma and OB Kids to Ride Bikes

by on May 31, 2012 · 4 comments

in Culture, Life Events, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Walk, Ride or Roll to your Next Destination

By Nicole Burgess

Have you seen this biking crew? These students from Dana Middle School and others are becoming active and riding to and from school on a daily basis. They have fun, explore their neighborhoods, and are becoming less reliable on the normal means of transportation, the car. They have traveled to local distances such as Shelter Island and around Mission Bay as well as a few making the trek to Knott’s Berry Farm for spring break. These kids know how to ride.

They especially want to thank the City of San Diego for the installation of Sharrows on Voltaire and Chatsworth as it brings awareness to cyclists on the streets and makes it a bit safer for their daily commute.

 Sharrows are shared lane markings on the pavement, towards the center of the lane, and are used to remind motorists that bicyclists are allowed to lawfully use this portion of the lane. Sharrows help facilitate the direction cyclists should be riding and are most useful when a lane is too narrow for a bicycle rider to share a lane safely side-by-side with a motor vehicle. This is especially important in the presence of on-street parked motor vehicles so that bicyclists are reminded to avoid the “door zone”, a common accident for cyclists. Appropriate signage is added for awareness. As a motorist, please be cautious of others as we all occupy the streets together.

Encourage other to protect our planet and become more sustainable.

Bike to School Day at Dana Middle – Friday, June 1

Bike to School Day at OB Elementary and Bike Rodeo – Thursday, June 7

Bike to the Beach – Everyday!!

 District 2, under Kevin Faulconer, now has a District 2 Ped/Bike Advisory Committee – Become active and join us. For more information, contact Nicole Burgess at nicole23@cox.net

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar dave rice June 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Cool story…bike to school (or somewhere else) day happens 3-4 days a week around here.

A thought I’ve been grappling with lately: my daughter is now 8, and has been riding with me around OB for the last 3 years, to the point where she now follows all the basic rules of the road on her own and is attentive to my guidance. I still ride on the sidewalks when I’m with her, though I make sure she knows they’re for walkers and that we need to give up our right of way at all times. Am I being overprotective/rude by keeping her on the sidewalk, and is it time to take her out into the street?

PS: AAARGH! Captchas!!!


avatar Citizen Cane June 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm

I ride on the sidewalk at lowrider speed. I’d rather stay alive than be legal.

Riding my bike gives me time to ponder things. I’ve been thinking lately about how bikes and pedestrians might do a better job of sharing the sidewalk. Basically it involves the bikers and pedestrians staying (mostly) on their side of the street. Sure you might have to walk a short distance from your house to your car on the bikers sidewalk. And bikes might have to travel a short distance on the pedestrian side of the street, but travelling long distances on the wrong sidewalk would be frowned upon.

I don’t think we need a thousand metal signs on poles to do this sidewalk sharing. You just have to remember N.E.W.S. and that bikers get the first two…North and East. Pedestrians get the last two…West and South. Example: if you ride your bike on the Cable Street sidewalk, then you must try to stay on the East sidewalk regardless of your direction of travel (coming from or going to the Farmer’s Market.) Another example: Walking your dog on Saratoga Avenue would be done on the South sidewalk if you plan on walking more than one block.

Or maybe we just focus on one street, like Abbot Street. We call it the East Side Bicycle Sidewalk. We just can’t lose any car parking to make new bike paths here at the beach. I think the best solution is for pedestrians to give up some sidewalk…at least on some streets.


avatar billdsd June 24, 2012 at 7:47 am

The sidewalk is actually more dangerous for bicyclists than the road is. Most collisions between bicycles and cars occur at intersections and driveways. Sidewalk bicyclists still have to cross all of the same intersections and driveways that road riding bicyclists do and the sidewalk riders are far less likely to be seen (noticed) by drivers than their road riding counterparts. This is partly due to being obscured by buildings, trees, bushes parked cars etc. It is also due to the fact that people notice things better when they are closer to the center of their visual focus. Since most drivers are looking at the center of the lane in front of them most of the time, the closer you are to that spot, the more likely you are to be seen (noticed).

The fact is that bicyclists being hit from behind accounts for roughly 3%-8% of all collisions between bicycles and cars, depending upon which study you’re reading. Most of the collision reports that I’ve read about bicyclists being hit from behind involve a driver veering out of his lane and into a bike lane or onto a shoulder or the Single Witness Suicide Swerve (SWSS), where the driver claims that the bicyclist suddenly swerved in front of them, which I tend not to believe and suspect is a result of the driver being inattentive and drifting out of their lane or trying to pass too close and misjudging.

People who guess at bicycle safety never get it right. It is simply not obvious enough, especially since most people have been taught false premises about bicycle safety since they were children. You have to study bicycle safety in order to understand it.

Effective Cycling by John Forester, ISBN 0262560704
Cyclecraft by John Franklin, ISBN 0117064769


avatar john June 24, 2012 at 8:50 am

Bill’s certainly done his homework. As for Dave and his daughter well are we talking 8-10 years old, I can see a place for a child riding on the sidewalk. Once she’s a full fledged “cyclist” it isn’t the safest thing to have her on and off constantly for reasons Bill describes well.
I stay off the sidewalks completely with a few notable exceptions:
Most of Sunset Cliffs Blvd, though I don’t generally ride on it either- if I have to be on it it’s a block or less.
W. Pt. Loma directly in front of CVS (was Long’s) drug store, in either direction. I was almost killed there about 5 years ago, a car nudged me from behind into the tailgate of a parked pickup truck as he was too impatient to wait so tried to squeeze by. He didn’t stop, luckily the car behind him did as I was laying in the lane when I was done rolling. Front wheel was fully taco’d, Bernie’s bike shop straightened it like new for $6!
Any stretch of Midway but again I stay off it if possible.
W. Pt. Loma on the first block west of Sunset Cliffs going west.
(In my experience, any street where all the motorists are passing through to distant destinations- take Midway drive for instance- is very dangerous, they are looking past everything in front of them and you’re just an obstacle to get around)
Two pieces of safety: Adults, wear a helmet as it’s not only good for your benefit but sets an example for the youngsters, AND get a bell on those handlebars! Gets their attention better than the loudest yell.
How about an article on the lack of bike racks at some businesses around town… or those that have them we should patronize?
For instance, Goodwill! Bike Friendly! A rack right in front!
Salvation Army, right up the street? Nary a post nor pole on the premises, so for a few years I carefully placed my very clean ti hybrid inside the door unobtrusively until recently a new manager insisted it was verboten due to liability someone could fall on it. I asked her if this applied to the bikes they had for sale in the store, if not could I put it with them? She got angry so I smiled, left- and never returned, not in my car either. Then again their prices have soared and merchandise quality plummeted, so maybe she did me a favor.


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