Sunday, April 06, 2008

Marin: Bike crashes down, commuting up

Image of the CalPark tunnel in Marin, former railroad tunnel planned for bike use
From the Marin County Bicycle Coalition e-newsletter, 04.03.08:

Bicycle Crashes Decline by 34% in Marin over Past Decade
While Bike Commuting Increases 66%

The recent deaths of two bicyclists in Cupertino once again highlight the need for aggressive timetables for projects and educational programs that make Marin County roads safer for bicycle riders. However, a positive piece of data from the California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWTRS) shows that Marin County bike and car crashes declined by 34% over the past 10 years, while bicycle commuting has simultaneously increased by 66%.

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition's efforts continue to help make the road safer...Through our collaborative efforts with law enforcement and public works departments we have raised awareness and changed the physical environment to make our roads safer for bicycle riding. Each time we secure new bike lanes, Complete Streets policies, fiscal support for non-motorized transportation projects, etc. we are helping to make the roads safer for bicycle commuters and recreational riders in Marin County.

Check out MCBC’s Share the Road page on our website for more information about bicycle education classes, safety tips for both bicyclists and motorists, and more.
(Visit MCBC website.)
Bicyclists in California's Marin County are among the luckiest riders in the world: great weather, bike shops, bike facilities, reasonably bike friendly public transit (Golden Gate Transit ferries and buses), great bicycling community, and outstanding terrain--including my favorites Mt. Tamalpais, Marin Headlands, Point Reyes, and the rural roads in the western coastal part of the county. And bicyclists in Marin also have one of the most effective advocacy organizations in the country, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC).

The MCBC pioneered the Safe Routes to School program, and their advocacy played a huge role for Marin County's selection as one of four communities in the country awarded a $25 million Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program grant, passed by Congress in July 2005. (The other communities are Sheboygan County, Wisconsin; Columbia, Missouri; and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.)

Also, as a Bike Commute Tips Blog reader recently reported, the daily Marin Independent-Journal has had a bicycle columnist for five years, Christine "Peanut" Vardaros. The Boston Globe's new bike columnist is a relative newbie.

Image: Marin County Bicycle Coalition. Abandoned CalPark railroad tunnel, future bicycling route.
Visit: Feds report on Marin's cycling progress, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Biking Innkeeper: Interview with Amanda Eichstaedt, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site
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Fritz said...

Hurray for Marin County. Traffic is a bit crazy on Mt Tam and on Hwy 1, but yeah otherwise Marin is a great place to cycle.

PEANUT said...

Thanks for the Marin County props!!!
I do agree about mt tam and hwy 1 traffic. The problem is that those road are built on the side of a clif - hard to make the roads wider i suppose! I do periodically write articles on how to safely coexist with traffic on those roads. Marin County surely works hard to keep their riders safe and encourage them in every possible way to commute by bike.
:christine 'peanut' vardaros