Make your voices heard on Jan 21st for long overdue improvements

Jim Baross, spokesperson for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition sent out this message to the San Diego bicycle community which we are reposting here.

There are four bicycling issues to be heard at this special San Diego meeting of the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC). This committee is the officially accepted body to provide direction/recommendations to Caltrans about all roadway signs, signals, pavement markings, etc. Yes, there will be a bunch of “suits” but come as you are; looking like bicyclists who support our issues would be good.

Item 10-1, Traffic signals and timing for bicycists – Have you ever had trouble getting a traffic signal to change for you or been caught when a traffic light that changed from green to yellow to red before you could make it across the intersection?

The State passed a requirement two years ago (AB 1581) to require that on-demand/traffic-actuated traffic signals work for bicyclists (and motorcyclists) and that the signal phasing/timing should allow for our safe passage. The requirement applies to all new or major-modified signals BUT ONLY after specifications and guidance was developed by Caltrans. After two
years of work, study and discussions Caltrans has adopted the required specifications BUT a lot of Traffic Engineers are objecting – allowing time for bicyclists will make motorists wait longer; oh no. Show up to make it clear to them that the safety of bicyclists is more important than the convenience of motorists! Just being there as a bicyclist will help. You
could speak up too, especially if you have or know someone affected by non-reacting traffic signals – there have been several crashes, traffic tickets and fatalities in SD County related to signals that didn’t work for bicyclists. Help protect the requirement to have them work for us. We have no problem with some tweaking and further study, but the requirements for these things to work for us should stay in effect!

Item 10-2 Accommodating bicyclists in roadway construction zones – approval of this would add drawings and specifications where no adequate directions have existed before in official Caltrans documents for more safely accommodating bicyclists through construction zones.

Item 10-4 request to experiment with a Bicycle Box at a signalized intersection in San Luis Obispo. The question is whether a special area just for bicyclists at the front of the lane at an intersection should be allowed to be tested. Whether it’s a good idea or not, we think it should be tested, right?

10-6 Proposal to have bicycling represented on CTCDC – We are requesting that bicycling interests and concerns be fairly and officially represented on this committee. Right now there are 8 members; 2 from the Auto Club (AAA), 1 each from CHP and Caltrans, and 2 each representing cities and counties. We want bicyclists represented on an equal basis as motorists.

For more information or for advice to organize presentations, singing or signs – 619-280-6908.

Please attend this event. Numbers count.

Having bicyclists and supporters of bicycling at this important meeting will help get four improvements – long overdue -approved for us. Please plan to come. Tell your friends. The room seats 100.

Jan. 21st beginning at 9 AM at the Old Town offices of Caltrans, near the Old Town Trolley station.

4050 Taylor Street, 92110 in the large Garcia meeting room

Bike parking is only allowed outside on a limited number of racks; bring a lock.