Tag Archives: bicycles

SMART confronts crush of bike-toting commuters

J.D. Morris, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The North Bay’s new commuter rail line is proving popular among commuters with bicycles — so popular that SMART officials may eventually adjust the way they run trains to better accommodate passengers who bring their wheels on board.

Throughout September, SMART’s first full month of operations, trains usually carried about 250 to 300 bicycles daily on weekdays, and less than 100 daily on weekends, according to figures recently provided by the transit agency.

Those numbers scrambled expectations of some Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit leaders who thought more bicyclists would ride on the weekends and more commuters would choose to leave their bikes behind before hopping on a train.

“There are way more people riding their bikes than I expected,” said Deb Fudge, Windsor mayor and the chairwoman of SMART’s board of directors. “That’s a good thing. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do in Sonoma County, is get people out of cars. And they’re doing it. And they’re getting to the stations lots of different ways.”

Fudge expected to see more people use the system’s bike lockers, available at all 10 stations. But many of those lockers have sat empty as more commuters instead brought their bikes to use trains.

Read more at: SMART confronts crush of bike-toting commuters | The Press Democrat –

Filed under Transportation

Bike-share program coming to Healdsburg

Clark Mason, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Healdsburg is on the verge of becoming the first city in Sonoma County to offer a bike-share program to make it easier for people to get around on two wheels.

Described as a fun, low-cost, low-impact transportation alternative, the program was given the green light this week by the City Council.

The 30 short-term rental bikes spread among five “docking stations” is targeted at residents and workers for short trips, not tourists who want to head out to nearby valleys for scenery and wineries.

It’s envisioned for use by employees who might park at the train depot and take a bike into downtown, or for those who might want to use a bike to go to lunch from their workplace to the Healdsburg Plaza.

Vice-mayor Brigette Mansell described it as a “culture shift,” and a way to get people out of cars.

Read more at: Bike-share program coming to Healdsburg | The Press Democrat

Filed under Sustainable Living, Transportation

Bike to Work Day just another day for two Santa Rosa men 

Derek Moore, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

May 11 is Bike to Work Day in Sonoma County: Refueling stations will be set up across the county. Click here for more information.

With supplies for his kindergarten class strapped to his bicycle and a pacemaker keeping things orderly in his chest, Steve Bush leaves his home in Santa Rosa’s junior college neighborhood for his morning commute.

The 54-year-old schoolteacher pedals north on Old Redwood Highway before crossing over Highway 101 on Airport Boulevard. The 7-mile journey to Sonoma Country Day School near Windsor is one Bush has made daily for years, rain or shine.

He has few alternatives. About a decade ago, Bush and his wife, Meredith, sold their car. It’s been two-wheels traveling for the couple ever since.

“It’s nice to wake up in the morning with a bike ride and to relieve all the tension in the evening on the way home,” Bush said this week. “It makes my life better.”

Thursday is Bike to Work Day across the Bay Area. But for some, like Bush, it’s just another day to keep doing what they do as a matter of routine and passion.

In recognition of Bush’s dedication, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission named the Santa Rosa man Sonoma County’s bike commuter of the year.

Bush shares the honor with Shaun Ralston, regional program manager for Sutter Health, who cycles to work from his home in the McDonald Avenue area to Sutter’s hospital at Mark West Springs Road, a one-way trip of about 4.5 miles.

Read more at: Bike to Work Day just another day for two Santa Rosa men | The Press Democrat

Filed under Sustainable Living, Transportation

SMART seeks input on bike parking planned at train stations 

Derek Moore, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

View the report here. Input on where there should be more bike parking scan be submitted to LMeckel@SonomaMarinTrain.org.

In the not-too-distant future, the phrase “bike-to-train” will be introduced to the North Coast lexicon for the first time.

But as the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Authority ramps up for the start of passenger service later this year, there are concerns whether the rail agency has enough parking for those who will get to and from stations on two wheels.

Under current plans, SMART will offer parking for up to 100 bikes along the entire 43-mile route extending from north Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael. Each of the 10 train stations will have five inverted “U-racks,” with each rack accommodating two bikes, a total of 10 bikes per station.

SMART released a draft plan about 10 days ago outlining the need for additional bike parking. But some SMART board members, as well as cycling advocates, fear those proposed upgrades won’t happen in time to meet initial demand.

“We feel that it’s critically important that what’s proposed in the investment plan is on the ground at the start of train service,” said Alisha O’Loughlin, executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition.

Read more at: SMART seeks input on bike parking planned at train stations | The Press Democrat

Filed under Transportation

3-foot buffer zones for cyclists takes effect across California

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Californians will now need to take extra care to steer clear of cyclists.

Under statewide regulations taking effect Tuesday, drivers must give bikes a buffer zone of at least 3 feet while passing.

Cited violators will face a fine of $35, which could turn into $220 if a collision occurs in the buffer zone.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Edgar Figueroa tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1uFgV9K ) that officers will be watching cars and cyclists and have been trained to gauge distances by sight during their training.

Cyclists may legally use a full traffic lane on California roads but must follow the same laws as cars, including stopping at red lights and stop signs.

California is the 24th states to enact the 3-foot passing law.

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

via 3-foot buffer zones for cyclists takes effect across | The Press Democrat.

Filed under Transportation

Cyclists band together to track down stolen bikes

Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition Bike Theft page
Bike thefts jump in Santa Rosa

Jamie Hansen, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

When Janelle Rossi’s road bike was stolen earlier this year from the garage of her Santa Rosa apartment building, her response, aside from contacting police, was to launch a search on her own.

She posted fliers, listed the bike on a stolen cycle registry, and kept an eye out on Craigslist.

Other local bike theft victims like her have turned to another, new source of help, a web-based group that enlists the eyes of fellow cyclists to track down stolen wheels.

The effort, called Sonoma County Bike Watch, was launched last year on an open Facebook page that now has nearly 500 members.

Theft victims can post pictures or descriptions of their missing bikes. Others post sightings of suspicious behavior or bikes they think have been stolen.

via Cyclists band together to track down stolen bikes | The Press Democrat.

Filed under Local Organizations, Sustainable Living, Transportation