Saturday, May 17, 2008

BPAC Monthly Update, May 2008

This month was pretty much dominated by two topics: Bicycle and pedestrian enforcement, and the Oregon BPAC grant.

First up this month was a discussion with the Medford Police Department about enforcement of the laws pertaining to bicycles and pedestrians. The most notable discussions were about parking in the bike lanes.

The day of the meeting, I went out to Hedrick middle school and took some pictures of the problem. I spoke to the principal and many different staff members, all of whom are very concerned about the lack of safety on Jackson Street as it passes the school. The bike lanes out in front of the school were choked with oversize vehicles - minivans and SUV's - bumper to bumper, blocking not only the bike lane, but also half the car lane. Some were even there so long that there was no one in the car.

MPD told us that they were aware the situation was bad, but they were unaware that it was that bad, and that someone in traffic enforcement would take a look at the problem and see if there is anything that can be done. The officer also said that there is a problem in Bear Creek Park, as well, with cars parking in the bike lanes on Siskiyou.

The other item up for discussion this month was the state of Oregon's BPAC grant. This is $5 million that's up for grabs for projects involving bicycles and pedestrians. That grant has to be divided up among many different cities and counties, so the actual grant money we'd get for a project is probably in the neighborhood of $250,000. We're all thinking of projects that the money could be used for, and will bring our ideas to the table in June. If anyone in Medford has any ideas on how this money could be used to benefit our bicycle culture, please let me know.

Between those two issues, we ran very short on time, so we adjourned. Upcoming next month will be some discussion with RVTD about bicycle safety PSA's. We're going to be doing at least one focused on drivers. I'm not sure if we're going to do one focused on cyclists or not. I'd definitely like to see one, but we'll see what happens.

That's it from this month's BPAC. Remember - ride safe, ride sane, and share the road.


The Unabashed Blogger said...

I told my local PD that last friday I counted 20 cars parked in "No Parking" zones, forcing me into the left lane where traffic was whizzing by. They told me to call the non-emergency number. So, I guess my 12 mile commute home will take about +3 hours since I will be on hold because of all the 911 callers reporting dangerous cyclists ON the road in the right lane holding up traffic....