Share the Road
Should a cop flag you down this weekend, here's hoping it's to hand out literature aimed at enhancing safety on increasingly congested and oft-contested thoroughfares used by motorized vehicles and bicycles, alike. The Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) hosts the final two in its summer-long series of Share the Road checkpoint events this coming weekend. Local law enforcement agencies are co-sponsor participants.
"We've been doing this for several years," says Marin County Bicycle Coalition database and activities coordinator Jo Ann Richards. "Some years we have it on a bike path. Most of them are on road intersections."
On Saturday, July 26, a checkpoint will be set up between 8:30am and 10:30am on Pt. San Pedro Road in San Rafael. The "1000" block of Bridgeway in Sausalito will be the site for a second checkpoint during the same two-hour time slot the following morning on Sunday, July 27.
Last year, close to 2,000 motorists and 600 cyclists made their way from these banner-identifiable checkpoints with printed safety tips ranging from California vehicle code pamphlets to info aimed specifically at either bike riders or those behind the wheel.
"Most years, we've had four to six checkpoints," Richards says. "This year, we've had more response. We intend to have nine events [spread over the summer]. We always pick sites that are along a commonly used bike route."
According to MCBC executive director Kim Baenisch, "With rising gas prices and concerns about traffic congestion and global warming, we are seeing a definite increase in the number of cyclists on the roads. All road users need to be aware of each other's presence. The Marin County Bicycle Coalition provides the checkpoints, as a friendly means to communicate life-saving safety information."
In addition to the checkpoint program, MCBC recently launched a membership drive. The goal is to double its numbers by means of the Recruit One Member campaign. Each current member is asked to sign up one new member. They've also set up recruitment stations along popular Marin County bike routes, accounting for 50 new members in April and May, alone.
To find out more about the MCBC checkpoints program, or for membership information visit www.marinbike.org or call 415.456.3469.