LaRita on March 9th, 2017

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If you get around by bicycle you’re looking forward to warmer weather and more riding.  A bicycle is an incredibly efficient and safe form of transportation and exercise if you remember these important safety tips provided by our legal friends.  Bike Walk Nampa has persons who are certified bicycle safety instructors who would be happy to meet with you or your group to share more.  Contact us at bikewalknampa@gmail.com

 


Top Five Dangerous Situations to Avoid While Bicycling

The number of cyclists across the country continues to grow. If you are a member of this growing crowd, you know the importance of making sure you are visible in both daylight hours and after dark. You also know that there are situations that make cycling even more dangerous and when at all possible, you should try to avoid them. Here are the top five dangerous situations to avoid while bicycling so you can avoid an accident and prevent serious injury to yourself and major damage to your bike.


1. Passing Too Closely

One concern is a vehicle passing you too closely and coming into contact with you.This can be avoided by positioning yourself out away from the curb or shoulder in the center of the lane so you have room to get out the way if necessary. By riding in the center of the lane you are holding your ground and making yourself more visible as well.

2. Cars Turning Right
Another issue is the result of cars making a right hand turn and not seeing a bike and running right into it. If you are stopping at a traffic light or a stop sign, you need to make sure you stop behind the car. You should stop behind the car even if there is a bike lane. Otherwise, the driver’s limited visibility, because of a blind spot, could completely block you out and they could make a right turn straight into you and your bike.

3. Do a Double Take at Intersections
Intersections are the leading spot for crashes, but most of the time these crashes can be avoided.  If you have the right-of-way at an intersection, don’t zoom right through. Slow down and make sure the drivers see you. Always make eye contact and that way you know that the driver has seen that you are making your way through the intersection as well. By slowing down, you can drive defensively if necessary and get out of the way if a driver makes a move that puts you in danger.

4. Don’t Get Doored!
You know where people are more likely to open their doors, so stay alert!  In downtown areas or residential neighborhoods, you will find people who are opening their cars to go about their business or just get inside their house. These people might not look for cyclists, so you need to stay alert and stay away from cars. The best way to avoid being doored is to ride 3’-5’ from cars parked at the curb so that an opening door won’t hit you. Always be sure to listen for the faint clicking noise before the car door opens, so you can get out of the way. If someone is sitting in a parked car, expect them to be opening a door.

5. Don’t Get Rear-Ended!
If people don’t see you, there is a good chance you are going to get hit!Visibility is important for cyclists. Making sure motorists see you during the day and the night is important. When riding after dark, Idaho law requires that you have a headlight that can be seen for 500 feet and a rear reflector.  It is recommended that you also  have a red taillight that is visible for several hundred feet. Make sure you have adequate reflectors on the fenders, pedals, and on your back and the backs of your legs. Wear bright colors for daytime visibility to prevent a collision.

This article was created by Personal Injury Help, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice or opinion, and is intended for informational use only. To find out more about them, you can go to www.personalinjury-law.com or contact them at help@personalinjury-law.org 

Eric Minghella
Outreach Specialist
Personal Injury Law

 

Bruce Wiley on November 23rd, 2016

Thanks to the city of Nampa this has been a good year for new safety enhancements in our city, both for cycling and walking.

RFB Crossing

The road maintenance each year includes following the Bicycle and Pedestrian plan to add signage and lanes wherever possible. The engineering staff consults with your Nampa Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee several times during the year to address issues with following the plans. Sometimes we are limited, for example when there is not enough width to include bike lanes or not enough funding to follow through with a project, all of that must be taken into account. The city engineering staff goes out of their way to include whatever they can!

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Bike Lanes 11th Ave N Extension

Pedestrian signaled crosswalks are installed where the engineering department finds safety problems such as at schools, pathway crossings or very busy streets crossings. The busiest locations get HAWK* crossings while smaller streets with less traffic may be eligible for simpler (and much less expensive) RFB* crossings. These plans are also presented to the NBPAC committee for our input.

Pathways are a whole different ball game! Two things have to come together to extend our pathway system, funding and the right of way (ROW). Often property owners don’t realize that

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Lloyd Square Pathway

having a pathway behind them increases the value of their home and is a desirable asset, not an invitation for theft or mischief. The Idaho legislature recently took away the use of eminent domain (only for pathways!) which was rarely used but was a radical option so we must depend on the generosity of property owners or have the ability to purchase the ROW. Funding is mostly procured for the pathway itself via various grants perhaps with matching city funds.

Here are the highlights of what’s been added this year.

2016 PEDESTRIAN PROJECTS COMPLETED
*(RFB: Rapid Flashing Beacon, HAWK: High-Intensity Activated crossWalK beacon)

  • RFB crossing installed at Canterbury Lane & 11th Avenue North to BirchElementary. Solar school zone flashers also installed.

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    HAWK Crossing

  • RFB crossing installed on 6th Street North at Idaho Arts Charter Elementary School.
  • HAWK pedestrian signal at Amity Avenue & Chestnut Street.
  • RFB crossing at Greenhurst Road & Stoddard Pathway. Includes improved parking lot. Estimated completion date: Fall 2016.
  • RFB crossing on Greenhurst Road at Skyview High School. Estimated completion date: Fall 2016.

CYCLING ENHANCEMENTS THIS YEAR

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16th Ave N Sharrows

  • Birch – More bike lanes, Sharrows and signage to complete the stretch between Northside and Idaho Center Blvd.
  • East Karcher – Sharrows and signage between Madison and Franklin
  • 3rd- 4th Ave N – Sharrows between 6th St. N and Franklin
  • 1st St N – Sharrows and signage between 11th Ave N and Railroad.
  • 11 North Extension – Sharrows, bike lanes & signage from just south of the freeway overpass to Cherry.
  • 16th – Sharrows and signage from the overpass bike lanes to Garrity.
  • 6th St N – Sharrows and signage from 16th Ave N to Northside

PATHWAYS

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1st Ave N Signage

  • Lloyd Park Pathway -Between the train depot and 15 Ave S. Part of our downtown access route was completed. Will be extended to 17th Ave N next year!
  • Edwards Pathway – The first section was opened between Middleton/ Iowa (behind the gas station) to just past S. Herron Dr.

We want to thank Mayor Henry and the city council for their concern with the safety of our Nampa pedestrians and cyclists. Also a special thanks goes out to Engineering project manager Jeff Barnes for making this all a reality and for promptly addressing any safety concerns that may arise during the year.

The Bike/ Walk Nampa volunteers and members of the Nampa Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee are working for you!
-Bruce Wiley

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Edwards Pathway