Over the last several months residents and members of the cycling community have raised more than $78,000 for the Newport Beach Bicycle Safety Improvement Fund, and there is still time to get more money in the till.
The city of Newport Beach has extended its pledge to give three additional dollars in bike safety expenditures for every dollar raised up to a maximum of $450,000 for the bike safety fund through March 31. Originally the city had planned to match contributions through December.
The fund was created in October after cyclists Catherine "Kit" Campion-Ritz, a longtime Newport Beach doctor, and Sarah Leaf, 29,were killed in separate crashes in Newport Beach. April Morris, a bike safety fund organizer, says so far $78,000 has been raised, with the city matching three-to-one or $234,000, for an approximate total of $312,000 in the fund.
"The city of Newport Beach has agreed to continue to match all funds raised through March 31 on a $3 to $1 basis," Morris said. "If we raise an additional $72,000, we will have $600,000 in the bike safety fund."
Morris says bike safety fund donations have been pouring in from all over Southern California and as far away as Iowa.
The bike safety movement began with the Share the Road Memorial Ride 2012 in October, and was followed by a silent auction and an Amazon.com partnership which have helped generate more money for bike safety improvements. Morris said the Amazon contributions have not yet been tallied but should reach the city over the next few months.
To shop on Amazon and donate to the bike safety fund through your purchase, visit newportbeachmemorialbikeride.com. The city is also accepting donations by check made out to the City of Newport Beach. The memo line on the check must include Bike Safety Improvement Fund.