Street Smarts tackles bicycles, cars & Fishhook landscaping

Bicyclists who received a citation for violating traffic laws can turn to the Community Traffic Safety Coalition for help in brushing up on the rule they broke. The class is offered once a month and teaches cyclists the proper way to conduct themselves on the road, including giving advice on protective gear, as well as ways to be visible to motorists. In attending the class, first timers caught doing something wrong on a bike will not have to pay the fine for their moving violation. A cyclist who received a traffic ticket would have to stand before the traffic court judge and ask to be allowed to sit through the two-hour class that’s taught by a certified bicycle instructor. To register, cyclists must get a registration form from the court clerk and pay a $35 non-refundable fee. Cyclists have 30 days from the court date to register for the class. The bicycle rider would then have 60 days from the sign up date to complete the class For information, call 454-7551. Sharing the road Last week, Street Smarts published a list of rules for cyclists to follow as found at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/curriculum/Unit%209.pdf. Below is a list of sharing the road rules for motorists from that same link.
  • Be careful when driving near bicycles because a bicycle rider could be seriously hurt in an accident. When passing, allow a minimum of three feet of space between the side of your vehicle and the bicycle when passing.
  • When driving near cyclists, look for hand signals from the rider that indicate the cyclist’s intentions to make a turn or stop.
  • Check your blind spots before you turn or change lanes. The small size of bicycles and motorcycles means they can easily hide in your blind spots.
  • Vehicles must not drive in a bike lane unless they are turning right at a corner or at a driveway entrance or exit. When making a right turn under these circumstances, drivers must enter the bike lane to start their turn, but can do so no sooner than 200 feet from point at which they will make the turn. Motorist should watch for bicycles before they enter a bicycle lane.
  • If you are parked on the street with a bike lane along the left side of your car, use caution when you open a door on the left side of the car. Always check for cyclists and motorcycle riders before you open a left side door.
  • Drivers of motorized bicycles, such as mopeds, should use care when traveling in bicycle lanes to avoid crashes with bicycle riders.
  • Motorists may park in a bike lane unless it’s posted otherwise.
  • It is dangerous to drive fast near a cyclist.
  • Be careful when driving close to bicyclists. Pass on the left when attempting to overtake a slower moving vehicle or bicycle that’s traveling in your direction. When passing a bicyclist in a narrow traffic lane, wait until traffic is clear in the opposite lane before you change lanes and pass the cyclist.
  • Patience is necessary when passing a cyclist. Slow down and pass only when it’s safe to do so. Don’t try to squeeze by a cyclist and do not force the cyclist off the road.
  • Do not pass vehicles, including motorcycles and bicycles, on two-lane roads.
  • Watch carefully for bicycles you make a turn.
  • As you make a right turn, don’t try to speed up and cut ahead of a cyclist. Simply, merge behind the bike rider until you can safely make your turn.
  • When making a right turn, watch for motorcycles and bicyclists as you get close to the right edge of the road, into the bike lane and next to the curb.
  • When turning left, scan for motorcyclists and bicyclists. Be aware that they can legally use left turn lanes for their left turns, too.
  • Do not make U-turns when a bicycle, or any other vehicle, that’s coming from the opposite direction is close enough to pose a hazard.
Fishhook landscaping With money in the bank, work is to begin soon on the long-awaited landscaping project at the Highway 1/17 interchange. The landscaping has been delayed almost a year due to the state’s funding shortfalls. It was part of the Highway 1/17 Interchange Merge Lanes project, which was complete in November 2008. On Wednesday, the California Transportation Commission approved $1.5 million in state funding to plant more than 3,700 plants that are proposed for the roadside. The foliage includes approximately 1,700 vines to cover soundwalls, as well as 7-acres of native grasses and wildflowers. Caltrans also will install a mix of native tree and shrub species and use 3-acres of mulch as a surface treatment. Water for the plants will be provided by an automated irrigation system on a declining basis. After six years, the landscaping project should require no further irrigation, officials close to the project said. For information about the Highway 1/17 Interchange Merge Lanes Landscaping project, visit www.sccrtc.org or http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/projects/scr_1_17/ or call 831.460-3200.
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