Bicycle Plan - Part 9
Go to Part 10
This chapter presents an overview of bicycling safety/education programs. It presents detailed outlines of two programs that the City could implement: the first on children's bicycle safety education and the second on motorists' awareness of bicycle issues. Lastly, this chapter presents a discussion and recommendations for enforcement techniques.
BICYCLE SAFETY AND EDUCATION OVERVIEW
Most of the goals and objectives of bicycle safety and educational material developed in the last 15 years reflect the influence of A Study of Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Accidents: Identification of Problem Types and Countermeasure Approaches, conducted by Ken Cross and Gary Fisher. The Cross Study, as it has come to be known, was originally published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 1977. By identifying bicycle/motor vehicle crash types and the median age of bicyclists involved in each, countermeasures can now be targeted to the age group most affected. For example, collisions between motorists and bicyclists in the road beyond the end of a driveway, identified as driveway rideout, primarily involve child bicyclists. Collisions between on-coming left-turning motorists and bicyclists riding straight through an intersection usually involve adult bicyclists and are a common crash type in college towns.
Most bicycle safety efforts target elementary school-aged children and their parents. Intervention for young, beginning bicyclists between the ages of five and eight is most appropriately focused on parents and the role they play in selecting the proper size and type of equipment, in supervising their child's use of that equipment, and in teaching the basic mechanical skills needed to start, balance, steer, and stop a bicycle. Parents may be reached through parent-teacher associations. One resource for those presentations is Pedal Programs; A Hands-On Bike Safety Planning Guide.()
Before the age of nine, most children do not have the maturity and developmental skills required to ride a bicycle in traffic situations. These include the development of wider peripheral vision, the ability to judge whether an object is moving, which direction objects such as cars are moving in and how fast. For these reasons, children under nine should have direct supervision if riding on the street.
There is a critical window for learning and integrating traffic skills defined by children's development on one end and the age at which they are most at risk for crashes and injuries on the other end. Children between the ages of nine and ten are the optimal target for these interventions which include among others, entering and exiting the roadway; scanning ahead, behind and to the side while riding straight; and communicating and cooperating with other road users.
There are few materials and programs that focus on the teenage rider or the adult rider. Most of these bicyclists have not had any formal bicycle education in childhood outside of learning the basic mechanical skills. At the same time, there are misconceptions, myths and outdated advice that further challenge adult bicyclists' safety. For instance, some believe a bicyclist should ride facing traffic, and it is still rare to see a bicyclist at night using the required headlights and reflectors.
Safety and Education Programs and Materials
Bicycle safety and education programs and materials for any age bicyclist can be divided into two major types: those that develop awareness and provide information, such as posters, brochures and videos; and those that change behavior and/or develop skills, such as programs with on-bike instruction.
Motorists and bicyclists of all ages share rights and responsibilities for the safe and proper use of the roadways they both use. However, motorists too often do not accord bicyclists respect as legitimate users of the same roadway. By the same token, some bicyclists do not observe the rules of the road, endangering themselves and others through reckless movements in traffic.
"Life-Cycle" Program - Most of the successful bicycle education programs in the United States have been public-private partnerships. This concept involves the grass-roots bicycle organizations in a pro-active role within established programs conducted by public agencies. A full "life-cycle" program of education might consist of the following elements:
* Kindergarten Through Third Grade - Pedestrian and bicycling safety education/safety training (Florida DOT has developed pilot programs; The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, TIRR, has produced a bicycle helmet video and is promoting it to area PTOs; Triametic has produced a video entitled, Bicycle Safety Camp).
* Fourth and Fifth Grades - Basics of Bicycling curriculum (developed by Bicycle Federation of America) or other classroom/on-bike program.
* Middle School and High School - Focus on sports and recreational uses, touring, racing; conducted by volunteer cycling advocates.
* Local Universities - Promote cycling on campus, introduce effective cycling as physical education course (similar to racquetball, tennis, etc.).
* Adult Bicyclists - A modified version of League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Effective Cycling course would serve the public need for cycling education, offered at bike shops and community centers; promotional events such as Bike to Work Day, and Bicycle Houston Week also serve education needs.
* Motorist Education - Emphasize sharing the road techniques and add bicycle awareness to the Department of Motor Vehicles' Driver's Manual and all state and private driver education courses. State of North Carolina includes a Driver's Manual chapter on Sharing the Road.
* Public Awareness and Bicycling Encouragement - Outreach to non-English speaking adults; helmet promotion campaigns; outreach to parents of child bicyclists through speakers at parent-teacher organizations.
The initial bicycle education programs should concentrate on addressing the most effective intervention opportunities.
Children pose a special safety problem as they learn to ride bicycles. Learning to ride by the rules, look for traffic and use hand signals are not second natureCthese skills must be taught. To avoid mishaps, the building blocks for safety must start early, as children learn to ride.
The following Education Plan is divided into two programs for the two distinct audiences:
* Children's Education Program: To provide school-age children with a strong foundation for safe bicycling,
* Motorist/Cyclist Education Program: To promote the safe sharing of roadways between motorists and cyclists.
CHILDREN'S EDUCATION PROGRAM
The Bicycle Federation of America (BFA) has produced a curriculum for elementary level bicyclist training entitled The Basics of Bicycling, with assistance from the North Carolina Bicycle Program and Bikecentennial. The program has been piloted and subsequently expanded in the Alamance County School System (North Carolina). According to Mr. Alec French, Health Educator for Alamance County Schools, the program has been well received by students and parents in the pilot schools, and they are expanding the program to include all 12 elementary schools in the district. The program is gaining a reputation as one of the best bicycle education curriculums in the country.
The program curriculum, available through BFA, consists of an instructional videocassette tape and an instructors' manual. The program is targeted at fourth and fifth graders and requires seven class periods; the first two for in-class lessons, and the last five for on-bike lessons. In Missoula, Montana, teachers have the kids bring their own bikes and helmets; in Bartow, Florida, the school district provides bikes and helmets that are time-shared and transported from school to school by the "Bike-Bus", a modified school bus. Donations of bikes, helmets, and bike upkeep may be sought from a myriad of sources. Volunteers can assist in special instructions, setting up courses, fitting helmets and bikes, and assisting with on-bike instructions.
The objective of the Children's Program is to provide school children with a strong foundation for safe bicycling practices. The children who participate in the program will be given specific strategiesCsuch as traveling with the flow of traffic, making turns at busy intersections and avoiding road hazardsCto ride their bicycles safely. Graduates of this educational program will be imbued with the knowledge and confidence needed to operate a bicycle safely in the City of San Francisco.
It is acknowledged that this safety education program will reach only a small fraction of San Francisco's school children. A more intensive program to reach all school children would require the commitment of the San Francisco Unified School District or the State of California. Still, providing safety education for the children and their parents who want it should be considered a public service and should be given high priority.
After researching and assessing existing educational programs geared towards children, we feel that the following three components will be needed to make the proposed plan successful:
1. An Action-Oriented Teaching Approach - Learning must take place on a bike rather than in a classroom-like setting. When each child is on his/her own bicycle, it will allow them to learn safe/riding techniques more readily than by a classroom presentation alone.
2. A Repetitive-Practice Teaching Process - Sessions will emphasize a short list of concepts at each session and will repeat them for reinforcement. Riding a bicycle under the supervision of an instructor on numerous occasions will increase the students' level of comprehension and retention.
3. A Sense of Accomplishment for Completing the Program - Rewards in the form of discounts for bike-related goods and certificates of completion will be handed out at the end of the program. Incentives for completing the program will not only boost the initial interest in the plan but it will also help to keep children interested throughout the four-week course.
Program - A four week program of three two-hour weekly learning sessions and one bicycle rodeo will be designed to give participants hands-on knowledge of how to travel safely throughout the City of San Francisco on a bicycle. The program is also designed to promote bicycling as a fun activity for youths, who in the future could choose bicycling as a transportation alternative. It is timed to coincide with the conclusion of the proposed "San Francisco Bicycle Safety Week" (see Motorist/Cyclist Plan) in June.
Target Audience - The Children's Program will target elementary school age children in San Francisco. This age range Cthird through sixth gradesCwill reach children who are still in the formative years of bicycle riding. Even within this limited age span, a fairly wide range of bicycle ability among the participants will exist; the children will probably need to be broken into two groups due to the difference of aptitude. Staff will need to work with the San Francisco Unified School District as well as with private schools to promote the program in the elementary schools.
Sponsors - To maximize impact, sponsorship should be sought from companies that provide public service, manufacture bicycle equipment, and provide health care, as well as retail bicycle stores. Examples of the kinds of sponsors which could be interested include:
Media Sponsor - A media sponsor, such as a local newspaper, television or radio station, is vital to the success of the Children's Program. The media sponsor will provide the program with much needed publicity. A sponsor of this nature will be able to reach a wide audience and provide the following:
_ Generate interest among children to participate in the program.
_ Generate positive coverage for the organizers of the Children's Program, which will attract other companies to serve as a sponsor.
_ Provide a relationship with the media which could lead to Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on bicycle safety.
Health Maintenance Organization/Local Hospital - A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or a local hospital could serve as an underwriter of the campaign for administrative costs. The main cost would be working with the local bicycle store to pay for bicycle equipment for the children who complete the program.
A health care company will see this as an excellent opportunity to align itself with a healthy activity that's targeted at children.
Since the program will be for the children of San Francisco, one of the City's hospitals will be able to promote safe bicycle riding practices. In turn, the hospital won't be seeing the program's participants in their emergency room as a result of a bicycle accident.
Bicycle Helmet Manufacturer - By aligning itself with a bicycle helmet manufacturer, the program will be able to generate interest among parents who are purchasing helmets for their children. In return for some media coverage, the manufacturer might be willing to donate helmets to the children who participate in the program. With the recent California legislation that all children must wear helmets when biking, this is a program that will interest the manufacturer.
Local Bicycle Store/Equipment Manufacturer - The Children's Program will be able to attract participants through advertisements in local stores. The stores can also donate prizes and redeem coupons for bicycling equipment. In return for their sponsorship, the store will be establishing itself as a bicycle equipment supplier to the program's participants and their parents.
Instructors - For the children to get the most out of this safety program, a student-to-instructor ratio should be targeted at 8 to 1. With this 8:1 ratio in place, each child will have the opportunity to have a good level of interaction with an instructor. The San Francisco Police Department produced a bicycle rodeo in 1993 which used this 8:1 ratio, with 150 participants and 18 teachers.
Despite the fact that this project is an educational program, it will not be implemented in conjunction with the San Francisco Unified School District. It has been the experience of the San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Committee that the school district historically has not been interested in and/or able to institute a bicycle safety program. The financial hardships faced by the school district also play a part in the decision to develop the Children's Program independent of the School District. However, it should be a goal of the City to include more bicycle safety instruction in the school curriculum, and this should be the subject of another study.
A cooperative team approach to staffing the learning sessions will pull together trainers from groups already prepared to teach bicycle safety. These instructors will be asked to volunteer their time to train and teach. The program will be taught in conjunction by:
* An Entity of the San Francisco Police Department - The San Francisco Police Department is ideally suited to lead the children's safety program. This educational program will expand on existing police traffic safety and bicycle registration programs to produce the four weekly educational sessions that will culminate in a citywide bicycle rodeo. The Police Department contact is Officer Jim Miranda of the Safety Patrol.
The Police Activities League (PAL) is a volunteer group of police officers which sponsors local youth activities, providing both leadership and financial backing. Staff will need to write a letter describing the Children's Program to the PAL Board of Directors so that they can consider participating in the four-week program.
* Volunteers from the Bicycle Community - The San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Committee (SFBAC) and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) are two bicycle groups that could provide the program's participants with practical knowledge of riding a bicycle in the City. Their participation in this program will also provide valuable relationships with the Police Department, with whom they'll be teaching the educational sessions.
The SFBAC is an 11-member group appointed by the Board of Supervisors that advises the City in the development of a plan for bicycle-related improvements. The Committee is staffed by Peter Tannen, Bicycle Coordinator/Planner.
The SFBC is a bicycle advocacy group whose mission is to promote the bicycle for everyday transportation. This organization has a membership of 380 bicycle riders. Staff should contact SFBC's executive director Dave Snyder at 431-BIKE.
Both the San Francisco Police Department and the City's bicycle organizations are the most logical groups to instruct the children in riding safely, since they have expertise in safe bicycle practices as well as practical biking knowledge of San Francisco. Since they will be asked to volunteer their time for this project, these two groups will prove to be the least expensive mode of training. Staff will need to ask these entities for their help.
Promotion - To encourage participation in the Children's Program, staff will produce 20,000 flyers and distribute them in San Francisco's elementary schools. The flyers will describe the program and have a sign-up sheet on the bottom portion. The children will return this sign-up sheet to their school principal. These sheets will be picked up by staff.
Course Length - The plan calls for a four-week program that will meet on Saturday mornings. The first three weeks will be two-hour educational sessions, with the fourth week being a city-wide bike rodeo for graduates of the Children's Program. The rodeo will serve as a graduation of sorts where the children will be able to show what they've learned on their bicycles and will be able to compete against other children their age in cycling events.
The length of the program is perhaps one of the most crucial elements to this education campaign.
It is much more intensive then a one-time bicycle rodeo, and in fact provides approximately the same number of hours of instruction as some of the school district-sponsored curriculums of other states.
Studies have shown that "while videos, flyers, posters, coloring books, assemblies and bike rodeos are effective at introducing traffic safety rules, unfortunately, they have little bearing on children's behavior. Bicycling safely requires physical skills that can best be learned through repetitive practice..."
Taking this information into consideration, it's imperative that children participate in all three of the educational sessions. The students will learn things more thoroughly since the instructor will be able to revisit some elements introduced in the previous session. The three educational sessions will allow instructors the opportunity to evaluate the level of proficiency each group of riders has reached and, if needed, re-teach some elements. In turn, the children will be able to see their improvement, which will give them a positive feeling about bicycle riding.
Due to the fact that the program's instructors are volunteers, Saturday mornings are the ideal time for these sessions. This time period also allows working parents to participate with their children and in many cases could re-introduce the joy of biking to the parents.
Location - To include as many children as possible in this program, the plan calls for the three-week educational sessions and the bike rodeo to be conducted at a site that will be able to accommodate a high volume of bicycles.
For the educational sessions, there will be a need for a wide open space that will allow both the instructors and the children enough room to participate in bicycle exercises in a safe manner. With this in mind, local school playgrounds and city parks are the recommendations for these sites, such as Candlestick Park.
School playgrounds not only provide the needed space, but they will also provide a safe atmosphere in which to practice riding without the danger of automobiles.
For the bike rodeo, either Justin Herman Plaza, Crissy Field or Golden Gate Park are the recommended sites for the rodeo.
Justin Herman Plaza is a centrally-located site that is accessible by public transportation. The concern about this site is the size of the area needed to conduct the rodeo. The availability of parking is an issue for those parents who bring their children in an automobile. Staff will need to contact the Embarcadero Center for availability of Justin Herman Plaza.
Another option for the bicycle rodeo site is Crissy Field. The rodeo activities can be safely conducted in the parking lots surrounding Crissy Field. This site is in close proximity to public transportation, while at the same time having adequate parking facilities. Staff will need to contact the Golden Gate National Recreation Area for the availability of Crissy Field.
The San Francisco Police Department's Safety Patrol designed a course in Golden Gate Park for its 1993 bike rodeo. On this course, children rode on streets with some automobile traffic, which could be a positive way for the children to finish their training program. Depending on the ability of the rider, a Golden Gate Park course could be a liability, unless the street is closed. Staff will need to work with the San Francisco Police Department and the Parks and Recreation Department.
Curriculum - Police officers and members of the bicycle organizations will lead these weekly two-hour sessions that will educate children in different safety aspects related to bicycle riding. These sessions will be conducted with an action-oriented teaching approach.
Under this method, each child who participates in the program will be on his/her own bicycle to help augment the exercises they will be taught. This method will prove to be beneficial in many different ways.
* First, as opposed to school assemblies, each child will be able to interact with a bicycle and incorporate what they are being taught into their riding practices.
* Second, the children will be introduced to the fun of riding a bicycleCin a safe manner. Getting children interested in riding bicycles is one of the major goals of the Comprehensive Plan's education component.
Since the instructors have practical bicycle knowledge, staff can work with them to prepare a listing of topics that will need to be addressed in the four educational sessions. Some topics could include:
_ Traffic laws
_ Riding in traffic
_ Making turns at busy intersections
_ Keeping bicycle under control when checking traffic
_ Riding next to parked cars
_ Avoiding dangerous obstacles in the road
_ Bicycle maintenance tips
In the weekly sessions, the instructors will teach the children two or possibly three new aspects of safe bicycle riding practices. They will then have the children practice the new element, while offering one-on-one instruction if needed.
Incentives - Since a four-week program is a serious time commitment, an incentive is required for the children to complete the program.
This incentive comes in the form of a bike rodeo for only the children who have completed the three-week education sessions. As said earlier, this event will be the culmination of their training and will serve as a graduation from the program.
Staff can organize the bike rodeo from materials provided by Adventure Cycling, formerly Bike Centennial. Along with the information provided from these materials and the instructors' previous rodeo experience, the staff will be able to produce an event that will encompass all of the aspects learned in the three-week educational sessions.
The bike rodeo is not only the culminating event for the participants, but it is the event where the Children's Program's sponsors will get the most exposure. With a media sponsor on board, the rodeo and its sponsors will most likely receive some media coverage. The rodeo also provides all of the sponsors a forum to reach their target audienceCbicycle riders and their parents -- with their products.
Aside from the bike rodeo, perhaps the biggest incentive for the children to complete the Children's Program is the opportunity to buy bicycling equipment at discounted prices through the help of the sponsors. All rodeo participants will receive coupons for discounted items at the local bicycle store sponsor, while the other sponsors can donate prizes for winners of the bike rodeo.
Bicycle Safety Education Plan
Estimated Program Budget
* Program Sponsor
Search, Prize Solicitation and Coordination in Four Categories:
_ Bike shop
_ HMO/medical facility
_ Equipment manufacturer
* Promotional Flyer
Design, Development, Distribution and Promotion at Schools
* Event Development
Set up, location arrangements, amenities, banners, liaison with Police Department and Bike Coalition for four events
(3 training sessions and one bike rodeo)
Develop and coordinate PSAs and promotional messages with media sponsor
Total Labor: $34,150.00
Banners (2) 1,627.50
Photocopy for flyers (20,000 @ .08) 1,736.00
Water stands at 4 events 434.00
* Miscellaneous Expenses
Deliveries, copies, fax, telephone,
postage, authorized local travel 1,800.00
ODC costs @ 17.65 percent 987.96
Program Total: $40,735.46
* Site rental, insurance to be arranged by the City
* Site set up, equipment/cones, curriculum to be supplied by the Police Department
The Motorist/Cyclist component of the Education Plan is a program designed to promote the safe sharing of the roadways between motorists and cyclists. Bicycle riders and automobile operators share responsibilities for causing and avoiding bicycle accidents.
Accidents involving bicyclists and automobiles are by nature potentially serious. "Dooring"C a bicyclist colliding with the opening door of a parked carCis among the most common accidents in the City of San Francisco, with 86 reported occurrences for the years 1991-1993, according to Chapter 2. Over the same period of time, bicyclists caused 69 accidents by traveling at an unsafe speed for the prevailing conditions. These statistics indicate that both bicyclists and motorists need to improve their cycling and driving behavior.
The goal of the Motorist/Cyclist Program is to educate cyclists about their responsibilities for safe operation of a bicycle and to teach motorists about bicyclists' rights and responsibilities and appropriate methods for sharing the road with bicyclists.
Mass distribution of the Motorist/Cyclist Program message is the key to the successful increase in awareness of the rules. Many of the existing strategies, such as the AAA Sharing the Road video used in high school drivers education classes, and various brochures produced by AAA and others, do a good job of educating new drivers about safe road sharing practices. However, these don't reach a wide enough demographic audience to educate the majority of the drivers on the road.
The Motorist/Cyclist campaign is designed to reach a mass audience through direct mail which reaches residents at home, a pro-active media campaign to drive awareness and awareness outreach events intended to get people more involved.
Direct Mail/Mailer Add-Ins - An annual mailing of a simple brochure or pamphlet on safe bicycle practices would be included in existing mailings from a variety of agencies and companies. We recommend that the pamphlet to be developed for this purpose be simple black type on colored paper sized to fit into the envelope size used by the groups listed below. The prototype for this mailer could be the "Don't Be A Road Warrior" brochure produced by the Southern Bicycle League and the Georgia Department of Transportation, or the Don't be a Bubbasaurus/Beastasaurus brochure produced by the Texas Department of Transportation (see Appendix H).
Partnering with entities such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and PG&E will allow wide distribution of materials at a minimal cost.
For example, the City of Palo Alto works with the local utility company to include information on bike safety in the utility company's billings. The city was able to deliver its message to its target audience, and the utility company is able to provide community service.
Because San Francisco's population is so much larger than Palo Alto, we suggest partnering with different entities to reach as wide ranging an audience as possible. Examples include the following types of organizations:
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - Working with the DMV will allow the campaign to reach driversCa key target audience for this campaign.
An add-in brochure would be enclosed in the annual renewal notice for automobile registration. This mailing would only go to the owners of cars registered in San Francisco. Since cars need to be registered every year, this would serve as a great way to reach all of San Francisco's car owners on a yearly basis.
The DMV would benefit from participation in this campaign because it will provide them with another way to inform the state's automobile operators about sharing the road safely with bicyclists. There is a precedent for DMV mailer add-ins, since they already include items on insurance and alcohol consumption limits.
In addition, it is recommended that the DMV work with the California Bicycle Advisory Committee staffed by Rick Blunden (Chief, Office of Bicycle Facilities, Caltrans, Division of Highways), to revise the Driver's Manual to include more information for motorists regarding bicycles on the roadwayCwhat to expect and how to respect their travel space.
Finally, it is recommended that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors request that the DMV review and revise as appropriate their written questions developed by the League of American Bicyclists, for the driver's exam relating to bicycle issues. Sample test questions developed by the League of American Bicyclists are contained in Appendix H.
Public Utility Company - A partnership between San Francisco and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) would provide an ideal mass audience, since most households in the City have an account with PG&E.
A mailer add-in that promotes safe road sharing practices could be sent out annually to San Francisco residents.
Gasoline/Oil Company - A partnership with a gasoline/oil company would provide an excellent opportunity to reach motorists in San Francisco who patronize these companies. Since a good portion of motorists have charge accounts, including a brochure in their monthly billing once annually would help spread the message of safe road sharing practices.
As with the DMV, this mailer add-in would only be directed at San Francisco addresses.
Chevron, being one of the largest employers in San Francisco, would be an ideal candidate for this promotion. The company is very community minded and it already promotes safety in its industry, so promoting safety for its customers would be something that would be of interest to them.
Media Campaign/Public Service Announcements (PSAs) - The PSA component will be a key element in the success of the Motorist/Cyclist Program. The PSAs should simultaneously be broadcasted on television or radio. The message should be "safe road sharing" and it will reach a mass audience with support from the mailer portion of the campaign.
In conjunction with the San Francisco Bicycle Safety Week proposed in the "awareness/outreach events" portion of the plan, we suggest the PSAs be broadcast the week before and during the Bicycle Safety Week.
The PSA program should build upon the relationship initiated with the media sponsor of the Children's Program. That television or radio station would be the most likely partner interested in continuing to educate the public in bicycle safety.
The PSAs will be written and provided to the station ensuring that the main message is put across. The television or radio station will be approached to designate one of their on-air talent personnel to serve as the spokesperson in the PSA. In the case that an on-air media person is not available, a local celebrity, an actor, politician or athlete, could be used to deliver the message of safe road sharing.
Topics which could be covered in the PSAs include:
_ Respect the bicyclists' right to the road
_ Open car doors with caution to avoid "dooring" accidents
_ Motorists need to use their right turn signal to avoid accidents with bicyclists
_ Don't double park in bicycle lanes
Awareness/Outreach Events - Another way to promote the Motorist/Cyclist Program will be the proclamation of "Bicycle Safety Week" by the Mayor of San Francisco. This week of safety programs will be an excellent way for the proponents of bicycle safety to receive media coverage throughout the region.
"Bicycle Safety Week" will be a series of events leading up to the AYH Great San Francisco Adventure, an annual bicycle fun ride which is held on the second Sunday of June.
A "Bicycle Safety Week" banner will be used at the events throughout the week to help promote bicycle safety and roadsharing.
The week of activities would include:
* Mayor's Press Conference - A press conference held by the Mayor where he/she proclaims the week as a "San Francisco Bicycle Safety Week" will be an excellent opportunity to discuss the Motorist/Cyclist Plan with the media, and in turn, the public. This event will take place early in the week. As part of the activities, a bicycle safety demonstration will be presented.
* Bicycle Safety Demonstrations - Throughout the week, members of the SFBAC and SFBC could present bicycle safety demonstrations during lunch hours. These could either take place at specific companies, schools or at public places throughout the City like Justin Herman Plaza. These demonstrations would allow the general public to learn some basic bicycle safety tips quickly and easily.
* Employer Outreach Event - As a component of the Employer Outreach Campaign discussed in Chapter 10, a bicycle ride for the ten participating companies through the Financial District will be created as part of "San Francisco Bicycle Safety Week."
This comprehensive outreach program stresses bicycle safety to the employees while promoting bicycles as a viable transportation solution. This Bicycle Safety Week event will bring both of these components together in an actual riding atmosphere for the participants.
* Children's Program Bicycle Rodeo - The highlight of "San Francisco Bicycle Safety Week" would be the Bicycle Rodeo part of the Children's Program. As stated in the plan, the citywide rodeo will take place on Saturday.
With the help of the media sponsor of the Children's Program, this bicycle rodeo will again send the message of bicycle safety and roadsharing to the general public through the media.
* AYH Great San Francisco Adventure - "Bicycle Safety Week" has been planned to coincide with this well-attended event. The American Youth Hostel Great San Francisco Adventure is a bicycle fun ride that goes through the streets of San Francisco on the second Sunday of June.
This event is an excellent opportunity to distribute bicycle safety and roadsharing pamphlets. Information will be distributed by a staff member prior to the ride.
Other Outreach Opportunities
* Critical Mass Ride - As an option, consider distribution at Critical Mass, a gathering of bicycle enthusiasts who gather at Justin Herman Plaza, across from the Ferry Building, at 5:30 PM on the last non-holiday Friday of each month. Up to a 1,000 bicyclists ride up Market Street and end at different spots throughout the area, including Mission Dolores Park, Ocean Beach, the Marin Headlands or Candlestick Park.
This event is an excellent opportunity to distribute bicycle safety and roadsharing pamphlets. Information will be distributed by a staff member prior to the ride.
* Le Tour de San France-isco - As another option, we suggest a staff member distribute bicycle safety and roadsharing pamphlets at this yearly fun ride. City Sports Magazine sponsored this ride in the past, but it's under new sponsorship.
The Motorist/Cyclist Program is a broad plan that uses varying tools to reach mass audiences in an effort to promote the safe sharing of the roadways between motorists and cyclists. The different tactics implemented in this plan address the need to educate both bicyclists and automobile drivers so that bicycles and cars can co-exist safely on San Francisco's streets.
Bicycle Safety Education Plan
Estimated Program Budget
_ Develop, design, write, coordinate production/printing of 500,000 brochures
* Partner Recruitment
Solicit partnership with companies (DMV, PG&E, oil company) for distribution of brochure
* Media Coordination/PSAs
Recruit media partner, coordinate and develop promotional message for PSAs
* Mayor's Office
Contact to propose and arrange for official designation for Bicycle Safety Week and the Mayor's participation in a press conference
* Event Development
Coordinate for Bicycle Safety Week, including:
_ Mayor's press conference
_ Three safety demonstrations presented by the Bicycle Safety Coalition;
_ Banner, and information distribution during AYH Great San Francisco Bike Adventure; and
_ Le Tour de San France-isco.
Total Labor: $19,450.00
Photocopying for 500,000 brochures
(black on colored paper): 14,782.04
* Miscellaneous Expenses
Deliveries, copies, fax, telephone, postage,
authorized local travel 1,000.00
ODC costs @ $17.65: 2,935.56
Program Total: $39,495.76
ENFORCEMENT ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This section presents recommendations for increased enforcement efforts in San Francisco. The goal of enforcement efforts is to increase public safety. When the public is knowledgeable about the rules and perceives that they are being consistently applied, compliance increases. Since public safety is at the heart of the reason for enforcement, the targets of enforcement should be primarily motorists and secondary bicyclists.
Enforcement should be composed of several strategies: citations, traffic school, fix-it tickets, verbal warnings, note to parents (for juveniles), as well as positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards for proper or exemplary behavior.
Public Relations - Media Awareness
Before any of the following measures are adopted, the public should be informed as much in advance as possible. Strategies for publicizing the new programs and enforcement targets were discussed under motorist-education programs and include press releases, neighborhood and city-wide newspapers, radio spots, water bill stuffers, local cable TV, schools, civic groups, etc. The mayor's office's contacts with the media should be used to maximum potential to get news of any new programs out to the public. For example, the recommended "Bicycle Safety Week" would be an appropriate follow-up to a media blitz on dangerous bicycling, pedestrian and motorist behaviors and the upcoming "crackdown" on violators.
The intent of an enforcement program is not to increase the number of citations issued but to achieve voluntary compliance with the laws and thus to reduce the number of bike accidents. In order for the enforcement program to work most effectively, it must be two-pronged. Motorists in particular should be targeted, as their vehicles are the most deadly. Violations by bicyclists are often the cause of serious accidents, particularly when speed is combined with non-compliance at traffic control devices. (Needless to say, the steep grades in San Francisco contribute to bicyclists being able to attain high speeds.) Therefore, bicycle safety education about appropriate riding techniques and the reasons why they are safe should be given priority over increased enforcement against bicyclists.
Specific Enforcement Strategies
Citations - The most commonly thought of enforcement strategy is issuing tickets to violators of the Vehicle Code or Traffic Code. The SFPD issued 630 tickets to bicyclists in 1991-1993. It is unknown how many citations were issued to motorists for failing to yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist or otherwise causing or almost causing a bicycle accident. Indeed, a review of the most severe car-bike crashesCthose that resulted in a fatalityCrevealed that often, even when the motorist was deemed at fault, the motorist did not receive a citation.
In a city with many other serious enforcement priorities, however, there may not be the sense that bicycling violations are important, or that motorist violations are a significant problem. A recent article in Bicycle USA discusses the reasons for an enforcement program for bicyclists. The fact that motorists are responsible for 40 percent of San Francisco's bike accidents and 80 percent of bike fatalities is reason enough to increase enforcement against motorists who violate bicycle rights and execute other unsafe maneuvers that threaten all San Franciscans, such as speeding, running red lights, etc.
Based on our analysis of San Francisco's accident data presented in Chapter 2, the four behaviors of bicyclists and motorists that are most likely to result in a car-bike crash were identified. The four behaviors by motorists that cause bike crashes are:
1. Opening car doors when unsafe into the path of a bicyclist. (This is the single most common cause of bike crashes in San Francisco);
2. Failure to stop at traffic control devices;
3. Failure to yield when turning left;
4. Unsafe turns (presumably right-turns, since there is no specific code for unsafe right-turns as there is for turning left).
The four behaviors that are responsible for about half of the cyclists-at-fault bike accidents are:
1. Passing on the right
2. Failure to yield
3. Wrong-way riding
4. Failure to stop at STOP signs and traffic signals.
In addition, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major factor in car-bike crashes for both the motorist and the cyclist.
These behaviors should be the emphasis of increased enforcement programs.
While running red lights and STOP signs is one of the causes of bicyclist at fault accidents, it must be recognized that many experienced bicyclists jump red lights for what they perceive to be safety reasons. By getting ahead of the traffic, they are able to merge across the travel lanes to turn left, they are able to stay out of the way of buses who constantly pull over to the right to unload and pick up passengers, and last but not least they are able to establish their place in the lane, which is important when travel lanes are not wide enough to share comfortably. Providing adequate width for bicyclists and buses to safely share the road will reduce the need for bikes to jump red lights. Providing bicycle priority streets will eliminate unnecessary STOP signs, and the temptation to run them as well.
While a bicycle passing a line of slowly moving or stopped cars is generally safe (and it must be admitted, one of the few joys of city cycling), passing on the right in other circumstances is a hazardous movement. In issuing citations, police officers must be able to distinguish between a bicyclist legitimately passing slow cars (either in a striped or defacto lane) and that of a bike passing on the right when he/she should pass on the left. These latter situations include: passing a stopped bus, passing a double-parked vehicle, and passing a right-turning vehicle. Bicyclists should also be educated regarding the dangers these maneuvers.
Traffic School - Once a bicyclist or motorist has received a citation, it should be viewed by the City as an opportunity to educate him/her. Traffic school curriculum should be developed that focuses primarily on bicycle issues from both the bicyclist's and the motorist's perspectives. As an alternative to the fine, violators should be given the option of enrolling in such a traffic school. It may be helpful to combine both bicyclists and motorists in the same class so a dialogue can ensue and they can learn from each other. (A balance between bicyclists and motorists should be maintained within each individual class.) Any motorist attending traffic school for any reason should be able to opt for the traffic school focusing on bicycle/motorist issues. (Why wait until they've committed a violation to educate them?) Motorists cited for bike infractions opting for traffic school would be required to enroll in the bicycle-issue oriented school if they opt for traffic school. Traffic school for bicycle offenders and motorist offenders would not go on their record. As with other traffic schools, they would be self-supporting.
Traffic school for juvenile violators should have a different curriculum than adult traffic school. Traffic school for juveniles could feature speakers with different perspectives: proper riding behavior from a police officer, consequences of unsafe riding from health care providers, serious injury survivors, paramedics, etc.
The City of Palo Alto's Fire Department operates a program for juvenile offenders wherein juveniles who receive a citation can attend traffic school in lieu of paying a fine or making a court appearance.
The Walnut Creek Police Department has a citation program for juvenile violators that does not use the court system. The program's effectiveness depends upon cooperation from the parents, its operating costs are negligible. Appendix H contains a sample letter and safety information that is sent to parents.
Modesto has a program for child offenders in addition to classroom education on bicycle safety. Enrollees are referred by the juvenile court and are required to bring their parent to a 1 to 1-1/2 hour session led by a police officer. The officer's salary represents the only cost to the city, and no program participants have repeated the program. The classes are held on a weekday evening, with enrollment averaging 1 - 15 students.
UC Davis has a traffic school program for university students who receive bicycle-related citations. The fees to attend traffic school stay within the UC Davis transportation program to fund the traffic school program and do not go to Yolo County as citation bails do.
Parental Notification Programs - A less onerous method of enforcing traffic and bicycle laws against juveniles would be a parental notification program. Under this strategy, the juvenile is not cited, nor must he attend traffic school, but a written notification of the violation is sent home to the juvenile's parents.
Fix-It Tickets - This program is essentially the same as the existing policy of writing a fix-it ticket when a vehicle is not equipped with the proper safety equipment or is not operating properly. The target of this enforcement should be reflectors, lights at night, helmets on children, and properly operating bicycles.
Positive Reinforcement - One way to foster good feelings between the police and the bicycle community is for the police to issue good behavior awards to bicyclists. Such positive reinforcement techniques are particularly effective with children. Donations can be solicited for awards such as fast food vouchers, movie tickets, ice cream, etc. Bigger items, such as trips to Disneyland, electronics, etc. can be included in the program as raffle prizes that all awardees are eligible for. This program could be spearheaded by the Police Department itself or by a group of concerned parent volunteers. The latter is more likely given existing budget constraints.
Other Enforcement Issues
Bicycle-Mounted Police Patrols - Many cities now have bicycle mounted police patrols, so many in fact that there is a professional organization called International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA).
Bicycles are used by almost every police station in San Francisco and the level of use is determined on a station-to-station basis by the police captains. Currently there are approximately 40 bicycles owned by police stations in the City and they are used primarily by officers who have been assigned a neighborhood beat. Their use is largely up to the individual officers, as there is currently no policy regarding when or how often they should be used. Obviously, when the weather is good, officers are more likely to use the bicycles that are available. Currently, the police department is attempting to standardize the uniforms to be worn by officers using bicycles in the City.
Bicycle-mounted police officers are more sensitive to bicycle rights and bicycle safety issues. In fact, there may be a case for placing all responsibility for increased bicycle enforcement solely in the hands of the bicycle-mounted officers.
Whether the police bike patrols are used primarily for bicycle/pedestrian enforcement, downtown beats or for community policing, the consensus has been that they are as effective (and in some cases more effective) as patrol cars in the course of an officer's normal duties and they are good public relations for the police department. While patrol car beats and patrol car back-ups will always be required, the SFPD should evaluate the potential of expanding mountain bike patrols into more neighborhoods as well as into park and downtown settings.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit District has a bicycle patrol unit in their police division. The program has been very successful in areas such as Civic Center/United Nations Plaza. In addition, the BART Bicycle Police unit is involved in promoting bicycle units in municipal police departments.
Reduction in Bail for Bicyclists - AB669, passed in 1994, allows cities the discretion to reduce fines for infractions of the vehicle code incurred by bicyclists. The assumption behind the legislation was that some police departments are hesitant to enforce certain bicycle violations, particularly when no threat to public safety is involved, due to the extreme fines involved: between $50 and $200, and are typically $104. The intent of the legislation was to allow local jurisdictions to lower fines as they deemed appropriate in order to increase the number of citations issued. This will result in greater public awareness that certain behaviors are indeed risky and therefore illegal. The City of Davis requested this legislation and followed through by reducing fines to $27 from $54. All fines in Yolo County are consistent with the City of Davis. This authority that is being relinquished to local authorities should be embraced by the City of San Francisco, and it is recommended that fines for most bicyclist infractions be reduced to $25.00.
Training for Police Officers - Training for officers can take place through existing channels such as inter-office memos and correspondence, and also through peer education using the bicycle-mounted officers. Support from higher up in the administration will be essential if an increased enforcement program is to succeed. In addition, a video such as The Law is For All could be shown to all officers. This video, produced by Blue Sky Productions in Lansing Michigan, aims to sensitize police officers that enforcing bicycle laws should be part of their priorities as a public safety issue. Any video should be reviewed and approved by the BAC.
Additional training for police officers should occur to encourage them to include as much information on the police accident reports as possible for two reasons. The first is to be able to fully evaluate the cause of the crash. Reports should include information such as whether the motorist signaled a turn, whether the motorist or the bicyclist had the right-of-way, etcetera. The second would be from a public health viewpoint, and would help to determine whether lack of safety equipment, such as helmet and lights, contributed to the severity of the injury.
Innovations of Other Cities - The City of Seattle, well-known for its multi-pronged approach to being bicycle friendly, has two policies that ensure that violations are enforced. The first is a policy which requires each officer to issue one citation daily to motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, and to issue tickets for jaywalking every other day. The second is a procedure by which a "plant" is used, either a pedestrian or bicyclist, at a particular location which a police officer can monitor. Conflicts are intentionally created with the knowledge and consent of the police and the violators are subsequently cited.
Summary of Enforcement Recommendations
1. Begin the Enforcement Program with a media blitz including the designation of Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Week.
2. Target the four behaviors of motorists and bicyclists most likely to result in accidents for increased enforcement in addition to:
i. Enforcing motor vehicle speed limits on all city streets.
ii. Enforcing parking and double parking violations, particularly in bike lanes and on established bike routes.
3. Encourage police officers to contribute articles to neighborhood newspapers and bicycling publications to present their perspective and foster communication between the two groups. For example, Officer Lois Perillo, who patrols on a bicycle, focussed on bicycling issues in one of her POLICEBEAT columns for the Noe Valley Voice.
4. Support the Bike Patrol officers' membership in the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA), including its training sessions and conferences.
i. Consider expansion of the police mountain bike patrols.
5. Establish Traffic school for motorist and bicycle violators of bicycle -related laws.
6. Consider positive behavior reinforcement program to reward good bicycling and pedestrian behavior.
7. Establish training program for officers.
8. Reduce the bail for bicyclist infractions from $55 - $200, to $25.00.
) () Pedal Programs: A Hands-On Bike Safety Planning Guide, Minnesota Safety Council and the Minnesota Extension Service, 1992.
Minnesota Safety Council, Inc., 474 Concordia Ave., St. Paul, MN 55103.
. The program has been piloted and subsequently expanded in the Alamance County School System (North Carolina). According to Mr. Alec French, Health Educator for Alamance County Schools, the program has been well received by students and parents in the pilot schools, and they are expanding the program to include all 12 elementary schools in the district. The program is gaining a reputation as one of the best bicycle education curriculums in the country.
" () DiBrito, Roger and Sharon et al., Left, Right & Left Again, Volume I, Ride Safe, Inc., Warrenville, IL, 1994
0 () This figure represents labor for two account executives at public relations agency rates, $100 and $75, respectively, for approximately 340-350 hours of work.
0 () This figure represents labor for two account executives at public agency rates, $100 and $75, respectively, for approximately 200 hours of work.
A () The Law's For All, Bicycle USA, magazine of the League of American Bicyclists, September/October 1994.
, aims to sensitize police officers that enforcing bicycle laws should be part of their priorities as a public safety issue. Any video should be reviewed and approved by the BAC. ing 1-800-288-BIKE. (See Appendix H.)
. () Federal Highway Administration, National Bicycling and Walking Study Case Study No. 13, A Synthesis of Existing Bicyclist and Pedestrian Related Laws and Enforcement Programs, March 23, 1993.