It’s ON in Newport – Thanks OC!

20121028a

Sea of riders flood Fashion Island

Thank You one and all!!

Late word is that the police quit counting at 1,200 riders – AWESOME!

More photos here.

 S3R   S3R

Thanks to all who signed up and are riding this morning!

If you’re not signed up – show up anyway and join the 52 mile “unofficial ride”.

With over 600 signed up, meet your new best friends on two wheels for a coastal tour of Newport,Huntington Beach, and Long Beach.

Ride respectfully and safely, and have a great time!

S3R S3R

A Slice of Huntington Beach

As Newport’s neighbor to the north, Huntington Beach shares the “road of dreams”, better known locally as PCH or Coast Highway, or formally known as The Pacific Coast Trail.

Garden Grove edged out Huntington Beach in a tie with Newport Beach for “bronze” or third place in the most dangerous cities to ride a bike in the county leaving HB to “improve” to 4th place.

10 bike riders were killed with 1,055 injured since 2001.

The deadly streets of Huntington Beach:

HB Deadly StreetsRT 1, or PCH and Brookhurst are two roads where half of fatal rider collisions occurred.

The most current Huntington Beach records are from 7/28/12 which shows at least some county records are making it to the CHP.

Abbreviations used:

FTS = Failed to Stop, FTY = Failed to Yield, FTR = Far to the Right

And now for the pie charts!

HB Dead

According to the assigned fault as shown, bike riders were responsible for their own death 49% of the time although 20% of the fatality’s fault was undetermined so it could range as high as 69% .

Rider faults seem evenly split until you notice that 2 are due to BUI or Bicycling Under the Influence, with another DUI/BUI listed in the “unknown” category making 3 riders dead thanks to the impairment of some intoxicant.

Drivers in  Huntington Beach failed to stop, signal, or drive on the right side of the road resulting in another 3 riders dead.

HB Injured

Riders were responsible for just under 75% of their injuries by colliding with other vehicles.

Just like in Santa Ana and Garden Grove, riding on the wrong side of the road, or not far enough to the right to suit the citing officer is the predominant cause of collisions. Given the tourist factor and beach-side flavor it is more likely that wrong way riders aware of the proper rules of the road, choose to ignore them to make their way about HB.  Better signage and road treatments like sharrows could help direct riders to “go with the flow”.  Selective enforcement actions also would help reduce rider collisions perhaps by issuing warnings, then citations for repeat (observed) offenders.

Certainly an educational outreach is needed and in fact, rumor has it that a class is scheduled this coming November 15th with the on-road portion on the 17th at the Rodgers Senior Center. We could not confirm the class schedule or registration because it’s not listed on the calendar as yet, and at press time the online registration system was out of service.  Should things get back to normal, online registration will be available at www.hbsands.org. Check the City’s calendar for updates, or see the class announcement here.

When is it safe to ride?

The following chart is a compilation of injuries as they occurred in 3 hour segments over the course of a year.

HB Collision Time

One third of collisions occur between 6 a.m. and noon, with 50% happening from noon till 6 p.m.  which might indicate too much sun and suds for clear riding judgement. 17% of collisions happen from 6 p.m. to midnight, while the hours from midnight to 6 a.m. account for the rest at less than 3%.

Types of Collisions:

Shown here are the types of collisions for Huntington Beach:

HB Collisions

With almost half of injury collisions occurring due to riders riding “against the flow”, we see an almost perfect correlation to the expected outcome with 53% of riders being broadsided.  Again, it would be wrong to to notice broadside collisions, with a predominate wrong way riding to infer that riders are getting broadsided because they aren’t where they’re expected to be, as drivers aren’t looking for traffic coming from the right. That would be just wrong so we won’t do it.

Huntington Beach has a tough challenge to make the streets safer for everyone, from the busy tourist beach scene, to the bustling inner streets of the city. We’re encouraged that they are almost midway through the development of a draft City Bike Plan, however much can be done before the plan is complete to mitigate behavioral causes for collisions as noted above.

We welcome working with city and county staff and other agencies to develop an effective outreach program to better meet the safety needs of all bike riders in the city.

A Slice of Garden Grove

Garden Grove edged out Huntington Beach in a tie with Newport Beach for “bronze” or third place in the most dangerous cities to ride a bike in the County.

11 bike riders were killed with 583 injured since 2001.

The deadly streets of Garden Grove:

GG Deadly StreetsNo street  stands out as having a majority of collisions except Brookhurst and Garden Grove Blvd with 2 and 3 fatalities respectively across their length.

The most current Garden Grove records are from 12/29/11 which is laughable considering the current date of 10/25/12.

On the other hand, maybe there was nothing to report!

As much as we may wish that no collisions occurred between then and now, somehow we just know that the reality will sadly prove otherwise. It would be interesting to know the reason why and if someone want to leave an anonymous tip to the editor we’ll start a discreet investigation.

Abbreviations used:

FTS = Failed to Stop, FTY = Failed to Yield, FTR = Far to the Right

And now for the pie charts!

 GG Dead

According to the assigned fault as shown, bike riders were responsible for their own death 55% of the time. The major rider fault is riding on the wrong side of the road. For the second time, Bicycling Under the Influence makes an appearance accounting for 18% of the fatalities, although the technical nuance between a citation for 23152 and 21200 are too fine for this writer’s eyes to discern. With almost one third, or 27% of collisions in the “unknown / not stated” category, even though 1/3 of those were attributed to speeding by at least one of the parties in the fatal collision, perhaps being able to figure out who was at fault for the collision is trickier in Garden Grove than in other cities.

Since 27% could swing either way, it’s feasible that bike riders could be 82% at fault which is terrible, but better than Santa Ana’s 92%. Drivers in Garden Grove failing to stop or failing to yield contributed the remaining 18 or 45% depending on the final assignment of fault.

GG Injured

Riders again were responsible for over 75% of their injuries by colliding with other vehicles.

Just like in Santa Ana, riding on the wrong side of the road is the predominant cause of collisions. Given the demographic makeup of Garden Grove, could cultural traditions or mores also be in play for this behavior? Perhaps better enforcement of the rules of the road to violators is in order.

Certainly an educational outreach is needed and we look forward to partnering with agencies to work with to improve the understanding of the rules of the road.

According to the CHP population index, Garden Grove could have more than twice the population of Newport Beach, so maybe it’s commendable that despite the greater number of people in the city, fatalities are on par with a city half its size (at this point in time),  while bike riders injured in Garden Grove are less than Newport Beach at 583 and 740 riders injured respectively.

So how can the 2 cities be tied for 3rd in a race given their population differences and injury counts? The simple answer is the kill count – both are the same, and without an obfuscating rosy board of tourism or chamber of commerce statistical sleight of hand, this absolute number is the final arbiter at this time.

Yes it is possible to have parallel rankings for death and injury, and it is possible to add death and injury totals to create an index to rank the cities, however, indexing by absolute numbers of riders killed and providing the resultant data on injuries as a byproduct speeds our delivery of actionable material to get the death count down across the county.

When is it safe to ride?

The following chart is a compilation of injuries as they occurred in 3 hour segments over the course of a year.

GG Collision Time

One quarter of collisions occur between 3 and 6 p.m. but the hours before 3 and after 6 indicate a 19% rise and a 18% fall from the 25% peak. The morning commute is easily spotted with 16% of collisions happening from 6-9 a.m.

Two thirds of collisions occur in the 12 hours from noon to midnight,  which also might indicate bike riders not being visible to others on the road, and it is close to Santa Ana’s 72%. Is there a cross commute going on here?

Types of Collisions:

Shown here are the types of collisions for Garden Grove:

GG Collisions

Again, it would be wrong to to notice broadside collisions, with a predominate wrong way riding with the majority of collisions happening from noon to midnight by infering that riders are getting broadsided because they can’t be seen and drivers aren’t looking for traffic coming from the right. That would be just wrong so we won’t do it.

Garden Grove has a tough challenge to make the streets safer for everyone, and if they could get their data records in to Sacramento in a timely fashion, we would know sooner whether actions taken have had their desired effect, and if not, what course of action is best suited for the problem at hand.

While we can’t help move their data faster, we do welcome working with city and county staff and other agencies to develop an effective outreach program to better meet the safety needs of all bike riders in the city.

The OC Wins Bronze!

On 10/18/2012 Orange County was awarded a Bronze  Bike Friendly Community award from the League of American Bicyclists  as you can see from the snippet  of new awards. OC BronzeBFC

Despite our coverage of injuries and fatalities in the best and worst cities in the county, we’ve also been hard at work at some of the positive aspects of cycling in the County of Orange.

Moving from Honorable Mention to Bronze has not been easy, and required a lot of time and dedication on the part of many to get to this point.

Activities in District 4 under the leadership of Shawn Nelson calling for cities to collaborate on connected bikeways and actually doing something about it certainly helped in detailed league feedback.

Partnering with the OCTA, the OCBC brought stakeholders to the table to submit the application and guide the process forward.

Specifically, Dan Hazard (co-founder of the Huntington Beach bicycle Advocates (HuBBA)) and Pete Van Nuys of the OC Bicycle Coalition, Sandy Boyle, Carolyn Malmorado, and Wes Parcel of the OCTA formed the core, and brought a dozen or so local bicycling experts to review the application and make suggestions, with others that provided credible and enthusiastic endorsement for a bronze award.

Not one mayor was harmed by a taxi in our upgrade to bronze, although we note the City of Los Angeles also was awarded a Bronze award under the leadership of hizzoner Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as covered by bikinginla.

Teamwork Pays Off

Looking forward, there’s a lot of positive momentum here in the OC despite some recent setbacks.

For example; this week the City of San Clemente’s Planning Commission voted to adopt, with some minor amendments, an 88 point draft of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan that will be incorporated into the Circulation Element of San Clemente’s updated General Plan if approved by the City Council sometime early next year.

Once approved by the Council, the documents head north for legal review by the State Attorney General’s office and if everything is in order, sent back to the City Council for formal adoption probably around May at the earliest.

Any delay anywhere along the line slips the probable adoption date and the resultant benefits that the plan would provide.

Due to the lengthy time involved in crafting, negotiating, reviewing, amending, and all the other fun like public review and comment, cities in the OC  contemplating updating their circulation element with a bicycle plan as part of their General Plan update should quit the contemplation, and get started now.

With more cities adopting bicycle plans into their circulation (and even land use) plans, and coordinate and collaborate with their neighbors in connecting commuting bikeways, we may have a shot at earning a Silver!

What Does It Mean?

According to the people that hand out the awards, cycle-commuting in BFCs tends to increase faster than non-BFC’s, thus reducing pollution, decreasing congestion, and generally providing a healthier and more sustainable quality of life in addition to driving up the national cycle-commuting average ; which in turn leads to more BFCs, more cycle-commuting…well you get the idea.

In other words, a BFC designation increases the likelihood of a positive feedback loop to the betterment of all.

With that in mind, an award is not an endpoint, it is a degree of validation from an external source that confirms whether a community is on track or not with their measurement standards with respect to bicycle investment in the 5 “E’s”:

  1. EncouragementOCBronze
  2. Education
  3. Engineering
  4. Evaluation
  5. Enforcement

While it’s nice to have the whole County be recognized from the outside, we’ve got more work to do so we’ll get back to it.

Thanks to all who’ve helped bring the County to this point, clearly we’re on the right track, and we look forward to your continued support going forward.

Thanks OC!