Share the Road this May: National Bike Month 2017

National Bike Month 2017 San Francisco

Every month of our calendar year is full of so many nationally recognized days, weeks, and months that the honorable ones (the Friday before Mother’s Day is National Military Spouse Appreciation Day) get a bit diluted behind the amassment of others (I would like to know how May 3rd became National Lumpy Rug Day – seriously?).  However, May is a month near and dear to us here at Rahman Law because May is National Bike Month 2017!

See, we are more than just Paso Robles and San Francisco bicycle accident attorneys here at Rahman Law PC because we ride, too.  And we advocate, which is why National Bike Month is exciting for us.  Each Year, National Bike Month is a little different because it isn’t only about bicycle safety or bicycle commuting advocacy, it is meant to be about all things bicycle-related for children and adults, commuters and weekend-warriors.

Why National Bike Month is important:

A 2013 survey by SLOCOG in San Luis Obispo County showed only 26% of the population as uninterested in riding a bicycle (it was noted this percentage increased by age demographic), yet do you see the other 74% out there on bikes?  No.  The next 28% from the survey were interested but uncomfortable with traffic speeds and volume so they need bicycle paths and roads with wide bike lanes.  In a place more urban like San Francisco, this group will have a harder time feeling safe.  National Bike Month is about awareness for riders of all interest levels to enhance the enjoyment of riding along with the advocacy for change to make it possible for all ability levels to ride safely.

Here are some of the things going on this May in National Bike Month 2017:

 

There are many more events going on in your area to celebrate National Bike Month 2017; it’s just a matter of getting connected to your local bicycle advocacy and/or riding group.  You can join this community on Google+ or look for a group on Facebook or Meetup that is closer to you.  Remember to wear your helmet and be safe, then get out there are ride!

A Bicycle Accident Attorney Who Rides, Too

If you’ve been injured while on a bicycle, you want a bicycle accident attorney who rides, too.  We’ve spent over a decade representing cyclists and motorcyclists who’ve been injured.  It’s simple, really.  In my office, we ride, so we know what it’s like out there and we know how to tackle issues that are unique to two-wheeled collisions.

 

The number of cyclists in California increases each year, and with this increase comes an increase in collisions both with other vehicles and single bicycle collisions caused by roadway defects. While some public entities have tried to evaluate increased safety measures to decrease conflicts between cyclists and other modes of transportation, by and large these efforts have not gone far enough.  We advocate on behalf of cyclists (because remember, we ride, too!) for increased efforts in safety by sponsoring local bicycle coalitions, attending City hearings, and helping to educate the public on ways to reduce the number of bicycle accidents in California.

 

There are a lot of personal injury lawyers, but my firm is different.  At Rahman Law, we guide you through the legal process and we listen; we get to know you and we fight for your rights.  I have successfully litigated hundreds of cases and I am skilled at getting cases settled.  I am devoted to taking on insurance companies and big corporations to get injured people the compensation the law says they are entitled to.  I’ve been a lawyer in San Francisco for 17 years and now am also part of the central coast community with a second law office in Paso Robles bringing the resources of a big city law firm to you.  Rahman Law PC handles personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis; you don’t pay attorneys’ fees unless we get a monetary recovery for you.  If you’ve been injured, call someone who truly cares and get a free consultation with Rahman Law at rahmanlawsf.com.

When Adding Bike Lanes Actually Reduces Traffic Delays

In New York, smart street design helped the city have its safety and its speed, too. 

A great article on Mother Jones about “level of service” and how California is a state that is leading the charge against it. “Level of Service” is the argument against implementing bike lanes for fear that less road space for cars will cause more traffic and delays. Mother Jones explains a new report by the New York City Department of Transportation which shows car traffic can be maintained while increasing rider safety.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/adding-bike-lanes-reduces-traffic-delays-new-york-city

 

The Status of Bay Area Bike Share

bikeshare

(Source: http://thecityfix.com/blog/bike-sharing-the-newest-mode-of-public-transport/)

Happy belated one-year anniversary to Bay Area Bike Share!

Unfortunately, financial problems at the program’s operator and supplier have held up plans to add bikes and locations. According to representatives of SFMTA, the response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive, and is considered a success. The system has 5,000 annual members and 28,000 “casual” members with the bikes being used an average of 3 times a day.

Despite the popularity, reported success and plans for expansion, the program is facing financial problems. The city currently has approved funding to add 1,000 more bikes system wide to 17 new locations, including stations the Castro and the Mission. On top of that, the SFMTA is seeking $25 million in private funding in order to add 3,000 more bikes at 250 more stations. However, talks with private companies are stalled because Bay Are Bike Sharing’s bike and bike software supplier—Public Bike System Company (PBSC)—has filed for bankruptcy and been sold to another company.

Regardless, it seems that expansion of the program is going to happen, but it might not be as fast as SF bike riders want or need.

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.

(Source: http://ww2.kqed.org/news/2014/08/29/bay-area-bike-share-expansion-stalls/

Three Feet for Safety Act

Three-Feet-for-Safety-Act (Source: http://theavtimes.com/2014/09/15/three-feet-for-safety-act-takes-effect-tuesday/)

This is the moment all bicycle advocates have been waiting for- after years of joined effort by advocates, the “Three Feet for Safety Act” signed by Governor Jerry Brown finally came into effect September 16, 2014. This act ensures that motor vehicle drivers give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing them. The following are the newly implemented rules in the “Three Feet for Safety Act”:

21760. (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Three Feet for Safety Act.

(b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the requirements of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the highway.

(c) A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.

(d) If the driver of a motor vehicle is unable to comply with subdivision (c), due to traffic or roadway conditions, the driver shall slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle, taking into account the size and speed of the motor vehicle and bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and surface and width of the highway.

(e) (1) A violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) is an infraction punishable by a fine of thirty–five dollars ($35).

(2) If a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle, and the driver of the motor vehicle is found to be in violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d), a two –hundred–twenty–dollar ($220) fine shall be imposed on that driver.

(f) This section shall become operative on September 16, 2014.

Added Sec. 3, Ch. 331, Stats. 2013. Effective September 16, 2014.

As a rider and supporter of the biking community, Shaana Rahman anticipates that the “Three Feet for Safety Act” will aid in making San Francisco a truly bike-friendly city.

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.

(Source: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21760.htm)

Study Confirms Cyclists Feel Safer in Bike Lanes

 

Protected-Bike-Lanes-Mean-Business-e1398201572990

(Source: http://www.sfbike.org/news/protected-bike-lanes-mean-business-in-sf-and-around-the-country/)

This June, the National Institute for Transportation and Communities released the final report of the first intensive study conducted on “Evaluating Protected Bike Lanes in the U.S.” The growing presence of various bike-friendly communities around the U.S.  and consequently  increasing bike traffic undoubtedly led the institute to compile and evaluate data that will aid in developing safer biking communities.

The study included data that examines protected bicycle lanes from five cities: Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C. This study purports to indicate the effects of protected bike lanes through surveys, video observation of ridership and interaction between bicyclists, motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians. The study gives strong indication that the vast majority (approximately 91%) of residents in a particular city support the presence of bike lanes: “residents and bicyclists indicated that any type of buffer shows a considerable increase in self-reported comfort levels over a striped bike lane…”  The following are few of the various data revealed in the report:

  • Nearly all cyclists (92%) who used the intersections with separate bicycle signal phases agreed that they felt “safe” when riding through the intersection. This exceeded all other intersection designs and is the only design evaluated where the protected lane carries all the way to the intersection.
  • Designs with more physical separation had the highest scores for cyclist comfort. Buffers with objects (e.g. flexposts, planters, curbs, or parked cars) had higher comfort levels than buffers created only with paint
  • Nearly every intercepted bicyclist (96%) and 79% of residents stated that the installation of the protected lane increased the safety of bicycling on the street. These strong perceptions of improved safety did not vary substantially between the cities, despite the different designs used.
  • Three in four residents (75%) said they would support building more protected bike lanes at other locations. This support was strong even among residents who reported “car/truck” as their primary commute mode —69% agreement).
  • Overall, 91% of surveyed residents agreed with the statement “I support separating bikes from cars”. This includes primary users of all modes (driving, walking, transit, and bicycling).

The report is full of data that generally indicate one clear message: Protected bike lanes are good and wanted by not only bikers, but also by pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers. This report is extensive in its research and, fortunately, includes surveys conducted on our very own San Francisco residents, solidifying the reasons why this city’s movement for a more bike-friendly environment is not for nothing.

 

(Source:  http://ppms.otrec.us/media/project_files/NITC-RR-583_ProtectedLanes_FinalReportb.pdf)

Bay Area Bike Share Coming to Life

The Bay Area Bike Sharing Program set to launch in August is slowly, but surely coming to life. The company that is managing the program, Alta, and the SFMTA recently released a series of infographics containing a wealth of information about the system including information about the bikes, the pricing and the structure of the stations. The release of information coincided with the New York City bike-sharing launch. New York’s 6,000 bike Citi Bike program, managed by the same company handling the Bay Area’s system, has been an early success. The Bay Area’s 350 bike program will be starting at a much smaller scale, but advocates hope that it will expand quickly. For now, advocates of the system and potential patrons can prepare for the August launch by commenting on the initial launch sites and providing input for future expansions and additional stations at the SF Bike Share Sites website, by getting all of the detailed information about the project in this online PDF Guide, and by attending the June 14th SFMTA Public Hearing on the Station Approvals to voice their opinions.

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.

Source: http://sf.streetsblog.org/2013/05/31/meet-bay-area-bikeshare/

Section of Market Street to Receive Much Needed Repair this Weekend

This weekend starting today, Friday June 7, at 7:00pm the Department of Public Works will re-pave a section of Market Street between Van Ness Avenue and Sixth Street. The DPW estimates that the work will last 24 hours.

This much-needed repaving, the first in about 30 years, is the first in a series of re-pavings on Market Street. The next section scheduled to get a much-needed makeover is between Steuart and Third streets. Then the section of Market between Third and Sixth. The repairs are tentatively scheduled for June 21-22 and mid-July respectively.

“This will be a major improvement to the city’s most important bicycling street,” said SF Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum in a statement. “For the growing number of people biking on Market Street — whether traveling to work or connecting to regional transit or visiting neighborhoods connected by our city’s main artery — this repaving could not come soon enough.”

Logistics:

The repaving will only be to the outer lanes of Market Street (those used by cyclists). According to Sfstreetsblog, ‘During construction, bikes, automobiles and trucks will be detoured off of Market. Muni and other public transit vehicles will still run in Market’s center lanes, and all boardings will take place on the center islands.’

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.

Source:

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2013/06/05/dpw-to-re-pave-a-major-stretch-of-market-street-this-weekend/

Bike to Work and Improve Your Health and Well-Being

Biking to work has numerous health benefits. Most people are aware of this fact, but few people can visualize what this really means. America Bikes, the nationwide cycling advocacy group, has compiled a series of graphics to really put biking into perspective. Here are a few of the most powerful (for the full article and all of the infographics go to AmericaBikes.org):

BART Approves Additional Test Period for Bikes

Thursday night the BART Board of Directors shied away from lifting the ban on bikes during rush-hour, voting 6-3 to instead implement a 5 month testing period starting July 1. The vote means that between July 1 and December 1 bikes will once again be allowed on all but the first 3 BART cars during rush hours. However, the move appeases the opposition more than supports the cyclists and leaves the Board with an easy way out.

The test period will include “careful monitoring and a review in October”. This review will determine whether or not the ban is lifted permanently. The six Board Members who voted to implement the test period instead of permanantly lifting the ban argued that the two 5-day test periods in 2012 and 2013 did not provide enough data to make an informed decision.

The legions of bicyclists who filled the boardroom and the overflow room disagreed. They spoke of the hardships posed by the ban and the benefits of lifting it. The two test periods, especially the most recent week-long test in May 2013, produced overwhelming positive results. A large marjority of BART riders supported the lift of the ban and a very small percentage reported problems with cyclists or disruptions in their daily commute as a result of the bikes.They argued that the blackouts during rush hours deter many cyclists from taking public transportation at all in the Bay Area since they often get stranded in San Francisco during the evening rush hour. A lift on the ban will likely increase the number of people commuting by public transportation as it will allow those who would prefer to ride their bikes, but can’t work around the blackout times, to again ride BART to and from the city.

The test period will be an important indicator of the negative impact of bikes on the trains during rush hours. The success of the program will largely depend on ridership numbers and whether the positive numbers observed during the week-long test periods (“about 25 percent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to ride BART if they could take their bikes along, while 11 percent said they were less likely to ride if they had to share the trains with bikes, six percent of those surveyed brought their bikes on BART during the experimental period, and 3 percent said they avoided BART because of the test”) are proved accurate.

Cyclists in the Bay Area can help make the lift of the ban permanent by taking advantage of the test period. Take your bikes on BART, participate in the experiment, but be courteous to your fellow BART passengers. Its true that right now the burden of proof is falling on the shoulders of the cyclists. For the next five months cyclists will have to make the extra effort to ensure that the ban is lifted permantly. In the meantime, brush up on your BART etiquette. Refresh your memory by participating in a cycling etiquette class or simply reading the BART Bike Rules. It might be a bit tedious, but in the end it will benefit all cyclists in the Bay Area.

Bart Bike Rules: http://www.bart.gov/guide/bikes/bikeRules.aspx

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.

Source:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-plans-another-test-for-bicycles-4544867.php