VC Star: It’s spring — and that means bicycles are out: Be safe
VC Star discusses the HUB Club Youth Program and cycling partnerships for safety in Ventura County. (30 March 2017)
Springtime traditionally brings bicyclists out to enjoy the warm sunshine, and local bicycle advocacy groups want to make sure they ride safely.
At a recent launch of BikeVentura, Yvonne Adan, the group’s chairman, explained that the group formally known as VCCool — Ventura Climate Care Options Organized Locally — has changed its focus to safe bicycling in Ventura County. That covers everything from teaching kids bike safety and bike mechanics to pushing for master plans that emphasize bike paths.
At the Ventura Bike HUB, located at 1150 N. Ventura Ave., bicyclists can repair their bikes and youngsters can learn safety tips.
“We not only teach bike safety, we teach kids to be bike mechanics,” Adan said. “This also allows kids to interact with each other in a positive way in a group, and learn to respect each other.”
Working with the Channel Islands Bicycle Club, BikeVentura also sponsors a bike rodeo and bike inspections at the Ventura Unified School District’s annual Summerfest celebration.
Both BikeVentura and the Channel Islands Bicycle Club are pushing for better bike trails in Ventura County, such as the Santa Paula Branch Line, which has long been proposed to run through the Heritage Valley from Santa Clarita to Ventura. Right now, there are only two portions along an old railroad track — one running through Santa Paula and another in Fillmore.
“The Santa Paula Branch Line is in a stagnant place,” Adan said. “This is one of the projects we’d like to push forward because it has great potential to bring tourist dollars into Ventura County. Los Angeles is waiting for us to connect, so people can go from Santa Clarita to the beach.”
Kate Faulkner, treasurer and government liaison of the Channel Islands club, said more people would be bicycling if there were more paths separated from vehicular traffic, such as the trails that link Ventura and Ojai.
“There’s a big concern for safety when you’re on the road,” Faulkner said. “Something cyclists look for are places to ride that are the safest. There have been major improvements in the last decade in the cycling infrastructure. But we still have a lot to do.”
The new Rincon Bike Trail, which opened the corridor along Highway 101 from Carpinteria to Ventura, is proving a boon to bicycling tourism, Adan and Faulkner agreed.
“This was (Ventura County) Supervisor Steve Bennett’s brainchild, but we also have a number of tourism bureaus in the area that are completely engaged,” Faulkner said. “They know that more cyclists mean more visitors who bring more money into our area.”
In addition to pushing for more bike trails, the groups are focusing on improving signs and road markings on public roads so bikes and automobiles can move quickly and safely over shared routes.
For information about BikeVentura and the Ventura Bike HUB, call 641-2665 or go online to vccool.org/.
For information about the Channel Islands Bicycle Club go to www.cibike.org/.
For information about city of Ventura bicycle classes, which include safety and bicycle repair, call 654-7849 or go to www.cityofventura.net/bicycling-and-walking. A new series of classes starts Tuesday.
Ventura Breeze: BikeVentura is having a launch party
Ventura Breeze shared the launch party news! (1 March 2017)
VCCOOL, a grassroots climate change organization is launching a new initiative, BikeVentura. A launch party is planned at the Bell Arts Factory, 432 N. Ventura Ave., on Saturday, March 4th from 7-10pm. Entertainment will be provided by The Salty Suites and there will be hors d’oeuvres provided by Scratch Ventura. There will be a cash bar with beer provided by Topa Topa Brewery. All proceeds benefit BikeVentura, a 501(3C) organization. The public is welcome, please RSVP for the event on The Ventura Bike HUB’s Facebook page.
BikeVentura is a political action and advocacy initiative, tasked with coordinating with city and county government throughout Ventura County to insure bicyclist safety, bicycle-centered active transportation and road use. Readers may be familiar with The Ventura Bike Hub, another VCCOOL program, that is closely aligned with BikeVentura. “BikeVentura was created to serve the needs of our community through education, empowerment and advocacy,” said Yvonne Adan, acting Executive Director. “Through our Bike HUB, our Kids Club program or our collaboration with local government, BikeVentura brings the community together and is helping to build better bicycle culture in Ventura,” said Heidi Buccola, VCCOOL Board Member.
BikeVentura Advocacy Success: Ventura Avenue Upgrades Approved by City Council
13 January 2017 – Win for BikeVentura Advocacy! VCSTAR reports on the City Council vote to approve Ventura Avenue upgrades. Ventura Bike HUB Program Director, Toby Smith, spoke at the city council meeting and is quoted by the Ventura County Star.
“It’s all the kinds of things that add to smarter mobility,” said Toby Smith, a westside resident and program director for the nonprofit VCCool’s Bike Ventura initiative, dedicated to promoting bicycling.
The improvements can lead to safer conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians, encouraging more people to travel that way. That leads to less traffic and fewer parking issues, Smith said.”
Curb extensions are “part of a trend in designing streets to be safer for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Bill Sadler, California’s senior policy manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Drivers need to take more caution in making turns, and medians help prevent people from crossing the street illegally or in mid-block, he said.
The extensions will be at Ventura Avenue and Vince, Warner, Lewis and Kellogg streets, Forbes Lane and Leighton Drive.
Other improvements will include:
- A sidewalk and bicycle lane on the west side of Cedar Street between Prospect and Poli streets.
- Pedestrian flashing beacons added at the Avenue and Vince Street and Leighton Drive.
- New crosswalks at the Avenue and Sunnyway Drive and Forbes Lane.
- Bicycle lanes added to De Anza Drive near De Anza Middle School, between the Avenue and Cameron Street.
- A raised median between Sunnyway Drive and Lewis Street.
If you are interested in supporting safer cycling in Ventura County, please join our advocacy team. Calls to action are communicated via newsletters and also group meetings. Sign up for the newsletter!