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!

Aliso Creek National Trail Dedication

The Aliso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trial was recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Interior as an exemplary local and regional trail as part of America’s national system of trails.

The dedication event was held on 10/18/12, and was well attended by local officials, county staff and hiking and biking enthusiasts of the trail with the highlight being the unveiling of the National Trail marker.
Thanks to Bill, our reporter in the field for providing pix from the event:

Aliso Creek Dedication

Aliso Creek Dedication

Opening Speech

Opening Speech

Marker Revealed

Marker Revealed

Looks Sharp!

Looks Sharp!

Great Turnout on the Trail

Great Turnout on the Trail

Thanks to Alicia Raish of OCParks for providing the above photo taken by Chad Yanagisawa, and spearheading the recognition of the trail as a National treasure.

Currently, the Aliso Creek Regional Trail has 15 miles of asphalt bikeway, and soft trail designed for varied recreational activities including hiking, bicycling, walking, running, birdwatching and horseback riding.  The soft trail is better suited to hikers, runners, horseback riding, and generally slower traffic. It runs for much of the length of the creek on the opposite bank, and there are plans to extend it the full length of the creek.

The trail links six schools, a community church, two skate parks, and ten community parks together and offers a wide variety of geography throughout its length from hard concrete channelized infrastructure to tranquil settings that soothe the soul.

The trail traverses five south county cities, extending from the foothills of Orange County near Cooks Corner, past the McFadden Ranch House, and follows Aliso Creek downstream all the way to the boundary of Laguna Beach within a few miles of Aliso Beach in South Laguna.

Moulton, Muirlands, Irvine / Trabuco, Portola, and Santiago Canyon / El Toro are great routes to link to this trail which is an integral link in the OC BikeBone.

Specialized “Globe” Bicycle Recall

A voluntary recall Due to Fall and Injury Hazards.

Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Bicycles
Units: About 12,000
Distributor: Specialized Bicycle Components Inc., of Morgan Hill, Calif.
Manufacturer: Kinesis, of China
Hazard: The front fork can break, posing fall and injury hazards to riders.
Incidents/Injuries: Specialized has received four reports of front forks breaking, resulting in facial fractures, head and shoulder injuries and cuts.
Description: This recall involves some 2008 and 2009 models women’s and men’s Globe model bicycles. Recalled models include the Globe Elite, Globe Sport, Globe Sport Disc, Globe Centrum Comp, Globe Centrum Elite, Globe City 6, Globe Vienna 3, Globe Vienna 3 Disc, Globe Vienna 4, Globe Vienna Deluxe 3, Globe Vienna Deluxe 4, Globe Vienna Deluxe 5 and Globe Vienna Deluxe 6 bicycles. The bicycles were sold in various colors, including gun, silver, black, khaki, navy, bone, blue, charcoal, burgundy and gold. The brand name “Specialized” is on the lower frame tube and the model name is on various locations on the bicycle frame.
Sold at: Authorized Specialized retailers nationwide from July 2007 to July 2012 for between $550 and $1,100.
Manufactured in: China
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop riding these bicycles and return them to an authorized Specialized retailer for the free installation of a free replacement fork.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Specialized toll-free at (877) 808-8154 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or visit the company’s website and click on Support/Safety Notices.

See pictures of all the affected models at the CPSC recall announcement page here.

h/t: CPSC

Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012

While not taking place in the OC, there will be a conference in Long Beach that might be of interest.

Taking place at the Long Beach Convention Center and at the Promenade, the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012  conference runs from 9/10-9/13 and will cover 100 presentations on six major themes such as:

There is a note on the site that standard registration ends 8/10, but whether prices go up or down from that date is unknown at this time.

In addition to the above, the League of American Bicyclists and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals in partnership with Women on Bikes SoCal and Pro Walk Pro Bike, will be hosting the National Women’s Bicycling Summit starting at 2pm when the PW/PB 2012 conference concludes.

After the Summit, continue to network at the Cycle Chic Fashion Show and after-party. Prices for the Conferences, Summit, and Show are listed at the respective sites but range from $15 — $595.

After attending the events, join the Orange County Bicycle Coalition to leverage your newly honed skills and increased knowledge into quick positive action in your community and county.