Tags : safety

17

Sep

Bike Safety and Maintenance Classes: Gain Confidence on the Road and in the Garage

Did you know that the number one reason people don’t bike is a lack of confidence riding with motorized traffic? This oft-cited 2009 report by the Portland Bureau of Transportation split up the general population into four types of cyclists: less than 1% were “Strong and Fearless” , 7% were “Enthused and Confident”, 60% were “Interested but Concerned”, and 33% were “No Way No How”.

We want to reach and support that 60% – those who would like to bike for transportation and recreation in and around Newport, but don’t. These hesitant cyclists would benefit from many basic skills that can improve bike safety, road sharing, and confidence. Are you “Interested but Concerned”, or do you know somebody who might be? Overcome your worries and start down the road to a car-light life by signing up for a class. Bike Newport offers a variety of educational programs at our Bike Garage locations as well as on-road. Or, gather a group of eight or more and we’ll come to you! Sign up here.

The post Bike Safety and Maintenance Classes: Gain Confidence on the Road and in the Garage appeared first on Bike Newport.

27

Jan

Be Your Own Best Defense.

(above graphic: www.looksavealife.com)

Two pedestrians died this week in Newport – in two separate incidents – both were hit by cars while crossing in a marked crosswalk. Robert Silvia, 56, was in his wheelchair crossing Memorial Blvd. Sharon Gerlach, 58, was crossing Bellevue Avenue in front of the shop she has co-owned with her sister for 32 years. Our hearts and prayers are with their loved ones.

While total traffic deaths nationwide are decreasing, the numbers of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths are increasing. This statistic can be attributed to many factors combined – more people walking and cycling, conditions at the moment, as well as increasingly distracted behaviors by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. We are off-season at the moment, but it is highly relevant that in Newport we experience the added complications of high-season tourism – visitors on holiday, excited, confused, distracted, and unaware of local ordinances.

Newport’s pain is felt in cities across the country – 2013 saw record-breaking numbers of pedestrian fatalities in Tucson and San Jose, while in NYC there were seven pedestrian deaths in the first 12 days of 2014.

The most important thing we can do in the wake of these tragedies is to be aware and pay attention – in our cars, on our feet, and on our bicycles. As drivers, we need to keep our eyes on the road. As cyclists and pedestrians, we must pay attention, and we MUST not assume that we are seen. We must be in the habit of making eye contact before trusting a stop sign or crosswalk to protect us.

Ultimately, we are all our own best defense. Be aware, vigilant, visible and predictable. 

Please pledge to follow, model and teach these common sense rules of the road – regardless of circumstance, mood, or condition. Review these practices with the young people in your life. In this way, we can prevent more tragedies.

Motorists:

Expect and respect cyclists on the road.
Leave plenty of room when passing cyclists and pedestrians – at least three feet.
Approach crosswalks with extra caution. Expect pedestrians to use crosswalks.
Never use a cell phone or other device while driving. It can wait!
Be prepared for all driving conditions. If it’s sunny, wear sunglasses. If it’s icy, check brakes and tires. Adjust your speed to the conditions, including slowing down to the speed you need for control and visibility in ice, rain, snow, fog and sun.
Never honk at cyclists.
Be attentive and focused.
Foster a better relationship among all road users by being considerate, friendly, and polite.

Pedestrians:

Pay attention. Make eye contact.
Don’t use your cell phone while crossing the street and avoid dulling your perceptions with headphones.
Look up and make eye contact with drivers.
Do not assume that cars will stop even when you are in the crosswalk.
Enter the street only once you are certain that the car is stopping.
Foster a better relationship among all road users by being considerate, friendly, and polite.

Cyclists:

Follow the rules of the road. Always ride in the SAME direction as traffic.
Ride on the right side of the road as far to the right as practical and safe.
Do NOT ride in the door zone. Check cars as you approach them to avoid any possibility of being hit by a suddenly opening door.
Ride single file when on narrow, curvy, and busy roads.
Be as visible as possible to traffic – wear reflective gear and proper lighting in the dark.
Communicate with the drivers on the road – use hand signals.
Make eye contact whenever possible before turning or crossing in busy traffic.
Understand and obey the laws regarding stopping and yielding at stop lights and stop signs, which are, in Rhode Island, the same for cyclists as for motorists.
Wear a helmet on every ride, not just in group rides and races.
Foster a better relationship among all road users by being considerate, friendly, and polite.

Bike Newport is working with all stakeholders to make every effort to improve the safety and education of all road users. Both Deanna Casey (Board Chair) and Bari George (Executive Director) sit on the newly formed Newport Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission. Additionally, Bike Newport works closely with the Highway Safety Program of the RI Department of Transportation on the statewide Vulnerable Road User Safety Action Plan currently in progress. This statewide project uses Newport as the model and pilot for statewide recommendations.

We welcome your comments, suggestions, and participation as we work to improve both the frequency and safety of cycling – and walking – in Newport. All are invited to attend our monthly Community Meeting, which takes place from 8:00 – 9:00 am in our office at 435 Thames St. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Please also remember that we offer FREE Smart Cycling workshops to any group of 8 or more – tailored to all ages and abilities. For more information, please contact Bike Newport at (401) 619-4900; or email info@bikenewportri.org.

Look both ways before crossing. Ride safe. Ride happy. Ride!

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15

Nov

Bike Garage North: Miantonomi Park Adventure!

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons, the Bike Garage North, a shipping container located in the parking lot of the Florence Gray Center, sees youth from throughout Newport learn to live and love bikes! Whether learning basic mechanic skills, safety training, participating in the Earn-A-Bike program or going on woodsy group rides through giant piles of fall leaves, the Bike Garage North is a safe place for youth and community members to hop on the saddle and ride!

Join us on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30 – 5 pm and Saturdays from 12:30 – 3 pm.

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03

Sep

Night Bright Safe Cycling Initiative

It’s 5:30 p.m. on a weekday summer evening on Broadway, and the sidewalk in front of Leo’s Market is bustling with bikes and bike paraphernalia. Boxes of helmets, locks, lights, reflective vests, and bells line the popular storefront where, according to owner Juan Campos, 80% of the clientele arrive by bike. The swishing of tire pumps, jangling of bells, and laughter of cobbled Spanglish fills the air as bicycles in all manners of style and function get outfitted for safe night riding.

This is Night Bright – an initiative of local advocacy organization, Bike Newport. The organization aims to make nighttime bike commuting safer for both cyclists and cars. “When an invisible cyclist suddenly appears, it’s a pretty scary encounter for both the cyclist and the motorist,” says Bari George, Bike Newport’s Executive Director. “We’re always encouraging cyclists to have equipment to see and be seen at night.”

Not only is it safer to have lights on your bike, it’s also the law. A Newport city ordinance requires a bicycle operating at night to have a white lamp on the front and a red reflector on the back. The problem is, not everyone can afford the equipment. That’s where the annual Bike Newport Night fundraiser came in – when local cycling supporters gathered for a mid-winter party at Thames Street’s SpeakEasy and raised the needed funds. Generous donations from NewportFed and the RIDOT Highway Safety Program will make even more equipment possible – up to 300 sets in total. Each set includes a helmet, front light, rear light, reflective vest, bell, lock, and vital “Rules of the Road” information cards.

Tom Kearns, owner of Ten Speed Spokes, supplied the lights at cost. He emphasizes the importance of proper lighting and reflection, no matter what the weather.

Kearns says, “Lights are important no matter what. As much as you think you’re in a bike lane, the guy in the car might not realize it. You can’t think you’re in this cone of protection – you have to be aware of your surroundings all the time. Always ride on the defensive.”

For the bicycle-dependent workers of Newport, Night Bright is supplying that crucial defense. Tonight is the second week of the distribution at Leo’s, and it’s going superbly. Bike Newport staff and volunteers install the lights and bells, make sure helmets fit properly, and hand out Rules of the Road cards printed in both English and Spanish. There are many familiar faces from last week – riders whose bikes were already outfitted bring a spare, bring the bike of a friend or relative, or just come to hang out and chat. Julio, who works in the kitchen at the Viking Hotel, was here last week. He stops at Leo’s after his day shift atop a shiny black mountain bike. He says the lights he received “have been great for riding home.”

The vast majority of the cyclists are men who, like Julio, work in the hospitality or restaurant industries. Yolando, who’s employed at 41° North, says he “loves riding home from work” after a long shift. Like all service industry jobs, the busy night shifts don’t get out until around midnight or later, making for a dangerous ride home.

Campos smiles as he dons a bright yellow Night Bright reflective safety vest. Safety is a big concern for him. “Last year alone, there were several accidents,” he says. “Not major accidents, but they ended up in the hospital. Wear a helmet, because it’ll save your life.”


While adjusting the elastic straps on a cyclist’s helmet, George says, “It’s been exciting to see this dream turn real. And the support of the bike shops makes it happen. It’s a really fine indication of what we can do together as a community. Hopefully we’re modeling it for other communities as well – let’s just get people lit! If you know there’s a problem, deal with it, address it, and make it better.”

Night Bright will continue throughout the fall at Leo’s Market, neighborhood churches, and places of employment. Suggestions from the public for distribution locations and times are welcome and may be emailed, along with requests for more information, to info@bikenewportri.org.

George stresses that Night Bright is a reminder that every rider needs to be visible at night. Bike Newport urges all cyclists to be safe, smart, and legal by riding with lights, bell, helmet, and reflective apparel. Local suppliers include Ten Speed Spokes and Newport Bicycle in Newport, and Pedal Power in Middletown. See and be seen!

 

The post Night Bright Safe Cycling Initiative appeared first on Bike Newport.

03

Jun

Register to Win – 12 tix to Common Fence Music 21st season!

This just in! Everyone who registers for the Fathers Day Ride – or makes a donation of $50 or more – by midnight, Friday, June 7, will be entered to win TWELVE TICKETS to Common Fence Music’s upcoming season: “Six Shows for Two” – selected from shows listed on the 21st season membership show list – value over $250. You and a date get to see six great shows! Season schedule to be published in August.

One chance for every registration and one chance for every $50. So, if you register 5 people, you get 5 chances to win. If you donate $100, 2 chances to win, and so on.  HUGE THANKS! to Tom Perrotti and our friends at Common Fence Music for your support of local cycling!

REGISTER or DONATE to the FATHERS DAY RIDE. All funds raised support educational outreach by Bike Newport and improved sharing of the road.

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25

Apr

Announcing the First Annual Elliot Kaminitz Fathers Day Ride – June 16

CHANNELING GRIEF INTO PROGRESS

(4/24/13) At a press conference attended by journalists, community leaders, bike advocates and the friends and family of the late Elliot Kaminitz, Bike Newport Director Bari George and supporter Renee Kaminitz today announced the first annual Elliot Kaminitz Fathers Day Ride – to take place on Sunday, June 16, 2013. The event will raise funds through donations and registrations to support Bike Newport’s extensive bicycle advocacy, education and improvement initiatives. Registration opens today on the web site www.FathersDayRide.org.

Elliot Kaminitz tragically lost his life in a bicycle accident on Memorial Blvd near Easton’s Beach just one year ago. His family decided to guide their grief into progress by working to make the Newport area safer for cyclists. Partnering with Bike Newport, the Kaminitz Family wishes to build the awareness and the funds needed to improve education, support engineering, and provide encouragement for more, better and safer cycling.

Renee Kaminitz explained. “We’re putting our efforts and energy into improving the situation so people can enjoy our beautiful island and its history on two wheels. This is how we can honor my late husband and the city he loved. We’re encouraging our friends and our community to join us in making cycling safer for everyone. We’re partnering with Bike Newport because that’s where we see action and progress.”

Elliot’s children, Ilicia Kaminitz Strasser and Adam Kaminitz, participated in the press conference by Skype from Wilmington, DE and Santa Monica, CA respectively: “My father practiced and preached safe cycling,” Ilicia shared, “starting with his granddaughters. We’ve planned from the start for this event to include our youngest riders. Safety Town will be great fun for the kids and they’re going to be better bicyclists because of it. It’s like a kick start to all-important Bike Ed.”

“We could lose some road riders to the fun of Safety Town,” Mark Chesterton mused at the display of kid-size traffic signs made possible by VHB (the firm responsible for the Aquidneck Island Transportation Study). Chesterton is Bike Newport’s new Director of Youth Programs, and he’s galvanizing Bike Newport’s corps of Smart Cycling instructors to deliver on Ilicia’s vision for Safety Town. “Imagine – this is the first road ride for many of our youngsters – three times around the Fort is a complete mile.  We’re creating our own temporary Bike Path for our kids and families in the amazing location of historic Fort Adams.”

Francisco Lovera is PE Chief Civil Engineer at RIDOT. “The Rhode Island DOT is proud to sponsor the Children’s Safety Town,” he explained. “As we work together with Bike Newport and other local organizations to improve bicycle safety and reduce roadway injuries, we know that building knowledge of cycling skills and road sharing rules is paramount – and begins with our children.”

Beginning and ending at Fort Adams State Park, the road ride will offer 5, 10 and 25-mile options, and will include some of the island’s most beautiful views, circling the Ocean Drive and continuing to Sachuest Beach and Indian Avenue in Middletown.  25-mile riders will have the opportunity to pay respects at the roadside memorial bikes for Elliot Kaminitz and fellow cyclist Mike Strickland.

The Elliot Kaminitz Fathers Day Ride is sponsored by People’s Credit Union and RIDOT. Gray Matter Marketing, the firm behind the Pell Bridge Run and the Newport Ten Miler is producing the event, and VHB Consultants are providing the child-size Safety Town road signs. Fort Adams Trust is also an event partner – making the space available and encouraging participation.

The event web site is www.FathersDayRide.org and registration is open as of today.

     

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21

Mar

Well, that was fun!
Well, that was fun!

Thanks to all who came out for last night’s Bike Newport Night!  Together we raised over $3000 for “Night Bright”: our inventory of night safety equipment for our bicycle-dependent workers. Many Bike Newport supporters left with arms and pockets heavier with raffle and silent auction prizes – including Grand Prize Winner Jen Sannes and her beautiful Cannondale courtesy of Newport Bicycle! (pictured here – Jen with her Cannondale and Braden of Newport Bicycle)

We all know it takes a village to pull off any event – and no less for Bike Newport Night!  Please take a moment to read our list of friends and partners, and enjoy knowing that we are all in this effort together.

The Team at SpeakEasy:  Kevin, Michelle, Mike, Josh, Krista

The fab four of Anthony Road:  Tom Perrotti, Mike Fischman, Ed McGuirl and Greg Ferreira, along with guest  Jim McGrath.

Sponsor of Night Bright, Newport Fed; and sponsor of our pedal-powered generators, People’s Credit Union

Bike Newport Board of Directors: Deanna Casey, Tina Dolen, Christina Erwin. Steve Heath, Brian Hennessey, Allison McNally, Laura Murphy

Bike Newport Night Volunteers:  Lori Bates, Pat Clayton, Chuck Flippo, Paul Hoffman, Sam Jernigan, Sarah Leary, Tim Leary, Fr. Tom O’Neill, Peter Rice,

Bike Newport Staff:  Mark Chesterton, Casey Farley, Bari George, Mike Montas

And the generous and always bike-friendly businesses of our fair city:  Ace Hardware, Aquidneck Honey, Asian Caravan, Bellevue Wines & Spirits, Bike Stop Café, Brick Alley Pub, Brooks Brothers, Cadeaux du Monde, Carroll Michael & Company, Chuck Flippo, Coastal Storm Brewery, Common Fence Music, Cookie Jar, Diego’s Restaurant, Duris Studios, Empire Tea & Coffee, Firehouse Theater, Farmaesthetics, Gray Matter Marketing, Green Envy, Holy Smokes, Hungry Monkey , Island Pursuit, Jane Pickens Theater, Kristen Correia, Life is Good, Mark Simmons, Michael Hayes, The Mooring, Newport Bicycle, Newport Fed, Newport Festivals Foundation, Newport Historical Society, Newport Power Yoga, Newport Wine Cellar, Old Colony & Newport Railway, Pedal Power, People’s Credit Union, Pete Rice, Pleasant Surprise, Potter & Co., Portsmouth Yacht Rigging, Preservation Society of Newport County, Pulse Fitness, RI Massage, Salvation Cafe, Stop & Shop, Team One Newport, Ten Speed Spokes, Thames Glass, Tim Leary, Touro Synagogue, Vickers Liquors, Wag Nation, Wharf Deli, Wharf Pub

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