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Meeting to Address Bike Safety Fund

Members of the community have helped raise more than $76,000 for the Newport Beach Bike Safety Improvement Fund.

The Bicycle Safety Improvement Fund will likely be front and center at today's Newport Beach bike safety committee meeting.

At 4:30 p.m. committee members will gather to discuss several topics, including the issue of maintenance vehicles parking in bike lanes on Newport Coast Drive and an update on the bike safety improvements fund. According to newportbeachmemorialride.com, $76,500.25 has been raised for improving bike safety in Newport Beach.

In October the city council said for every dollar raised by the community, the city will match three additional dollars in bike safety expenditures up to $450,000.

According to April Morris, a bike safety fund organizer, two areas that have been identified as needing safety improvements are the pinch point at northbound PCH and Dover Drive and the right turn lane on southbound PCH and Bayside Drive.

Attendance is encouraged at the meeting to help the committee determine which projects should be paid for through the fund.

"Your voice matters in terms of prioritizing how the money is spent," Morris said in an email about the meeting.

The bike safety fund was established following the deaths of two cyclists.

In October more than 1,200 bike riders from around Orange County participated in October's memorial bike ride held in honor of cyclists Sarah Leaf and Catherine "Kit" Campion-Ritz who were killed one day apart in bicycle-related accidents in Newport Beach.

Leaf, 29, worked as a nutritionist in Corona del Mar. She was killed in a bicycle collision on the morning of Friday, Sept. 14 when she was cycling on Pacific Coast Highway and the driver of a stake bed truck turned right onto Bayside Drive. In October police announced the driver of the truck was not at fault.

Campion, a doctor who treated patients in Newport Beach for close to 30 years, was killed during a fatal hit-and-run on Saturday, Sept. 15 as she cycled on Newport Coast Drive with her husband. Michael Jason Lopez, 39, of Anaheim, was arrested three days after Campion died. If convicted, Lopez faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison for the deadly hit-and-run crash.

The Newport Beach Bicycle Safety Committee will meet today at 4:30 p.m. in the Friends Room of the Central Library.

AviationMetalSmith January 07, 2013 at 05:48 PM
It's good they figured out it's just a "Pinch Point". Now they can concentrate on that one area, and they don't need to build a Bike Lane along the entire PCH.
Catherine Coccomo-Cleary January 07, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Are they going to use any of the fund to teach the cyclists proper riding laws and proper etiquette. I find that some of the people on bikes don't want to share the road they feel they own it and have no respect for the fact that you are in a car. They are rude and don't obey the laws of the road. They ride multiple people across, slow down traffic and don't stay in the bike lanes. They make it very difficult for drivers to maintain proper speed and are very scary. I hope some of this money goes into teaching them how to behave properly as well.
Erick Brian January 07, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Yes, bike lanes are for cyclists, but there are some areas where it is necessary to take a lane for safety (such as avoid pot holes, road hazards or people opening their vehicle doors) and it's also much safer to make yourself noticeable by taking a lane sometimes. So please forgive us if we've made you late to your destination by 20 or 30 seconds because you had to slow down for us. As a cyclist, I read TONS of complaints from people saying cyclist don't follow the rules, but don't forget how many horrible drivers there are on the road, and though most of us would like to consider ourselves good drivers, we probably aren't. (I'll admit, even I'm a jack ass sometimes on the road.) One thing that should be taken into consideration though, is most riders on the road that driver's complain about aren't probably avid cyclists that ride often and know proper bike etiquette or are probably youngsters being reckless (which the same can be said about young car drivers) and are not interested in learning the rules of the road or bike etiquette. They DO NOT represent all cyclist. If they did, the same can be said about drivers: You all break the speed limits, you don't make full stops are stop signs, you don't signal when turning, you drive drunk, you're rude and you can kill someone with ease. I hope that inspires you to stay cool on the road and still show courtesy to other drivers and riders on the road we share.
Erick Brian January 07, 2013 at 08:25 PM
I ride on PCH here all the time now since I moved back down from LA, and I must say the sections in Newport Beach aren't too bad compared to Los Angeles where there is much less respect, consideration and courtesy for riders on sections of the PCH. There's a section in LA that is a sub-standard width and riders must take the lane, which causes havoc and pisses everyone off. At least down here there is much more room and the roads seem better maintained, but there will always be a handful of jerks who do no and will not share the road with cyclists that love to honk at me, drive as close as possible to me, or give me the finger and yell "faggot!" or "Get off the street!" for no reason what-so-ever. Then you have those girl drivers who love to text while driving, do their makeup, talk to passengers and not pay attention, that love to nearly hit you and act surprised — "Why are you riding on the street? Get on the sidewalk!" Riders: BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! ;)
David Huntsman January 08, 2013 at 07:54 AM
Catherine, it would be good for you to get better educated on the rules of the road. What you are complaining about is not illegal. It is only inconvenient to an uneducated, selfish motorist.
David Huntsman January 08, 2013 at 07:57 AM
Newport Beach is a triage situation. The pinch-point at PCH and Dover is one of the worst sections of road - the likeliest location for the next death, in the opinion of many. But there are many, many others.
CDM May 11, 2013 at 02:26 AM
Catherine, for someone who has a couple DUIs, you sure are concerned about safety on the road.LOL

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