For many people in the Orange County area, biking is a way of life. People who are serious about bicycling know that it is important to invest in good equipment, including a proper helmet and quality pads. Even for the casual bike rider, safety should always be the top priority. Sometimes, however, other circumstances, like a negligent motorist, foil the precautions of even the safest bikers.
Roughly a month ago, a car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway resulted in the death of a bicycle rider. That was just one of more than 600 bicycle-related accidents that have occurred in Newport Beach since 2008. In almost 30 percent of those incidents, a motor vehicle was also involved.
Because of the high number of bicycle accidents in the Newport Beach area, the City has been working on a comprehensive plan to make safer bikeways. At the end of last month, the City Council approved a plan that has been on the drawing board since 2009. The $23 million plan includes improvements to all of the bikeways in the city. In addition to improving the existing 93 miles of bikeway, the plan calls for adding even more mileage to the existing bikeways. The large investment in bicycling also calls for focusing on safety education for both bikers and motorists.
The planned investment in Newport Beach shows that communities in Orange County are committed to supporting bicycling and bicycle safety. Likewise, every biker and every motorist must understand their role in improving bicycle safety. Any time that a car or truck is involved in an accident with a bicycle, the biker can end up with devastating injuries.
Everyone in Orange County should help to promote safe bicycling on the area's bikeways and roadways.
Source: Orange County Register, "Newport adopts plan for bikeway construction," Nov. 5, 2014