OCTA's Quarterly Bikeways Newsletter - Winter 2013

In This Issue


Happy New Year!

Here we are in a brand new year, filled with new opportunities and resolutions. We thought the New Year would be the perfect time to introduce you to something else that’s new.

Welcome to the OCTA Bikeways Newsletter. This new quarterly publication from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is your source for Orange County bicycling information. We’ve put together a collection of the bike projects, events and bikeways planning activities currently under way in Orange County. You’ll find out about upcoming bike events, and learn about the latest bikeways projects.

If a topic relates to bicycling in Orange County, it will roll right into the OCTA Bikeways Newsletter. So pull up a chair, settle in, and find out what’s happening with Orange County bikeways. Get your fill of the news and views on biking as this New Year begins.

See you on the bike trail!


Motorist and Cyclists Share the Road with Sharrows

If you consider yourself a cyclist in Orange County, it’s likely you have ridden along the famed Pacific Coast Highway. With its beautiful views, rolling hills, and regional connectivity, it’s one of Orange County’s most popular bikeways.

Unfortunately, it’s not just palm trees and blue ocean; PCH can be a dangerous street for cyclists. Two key behaviors have lead to a number of accidents along the stretch. The first is “dooring”, which occurs when a motorist unknowingly opens their car door into the pathway of the cyclist. The other is unsafe passing, where a motorist tries to squeeze by a cyclist and risks overrunning them, driving them off the road, turning in front of them or making them invisible to approaching vehicles.

Recently, one stretch of PCH has undergone changes designed to improve the safety of cyclists traveling through the corridor. Special versions of Class III bikeways, called Sharrows, have been installed along PCH through Corona Del Mar from MacArthur Boulevard to Poppy Avenue. Although you may have rolled over them, you may not know what they mean or how to ride along them.

Sharrows are a combination of the words share and arrows. They are used to remind drivers and bike riders that the traffic lane should be shared to promote safety for all road users. Although Sharrows do not give cyclists any new privileges, they should be used as a guide to follow when traveling along PCH. They are painted on the right center of the traffic lane, which demonstrates the ideal lane position when riding down the street. This lane position is designed to make the rider visible to approaching traffic, at intersections, and to avoid being struck by the open door of a parked car.

Incorrect riding behavior

Correct riding behavior


Although such a centered lane position may be unfamiliar or seem dangerous to some cyclists, the position can reduce the risk of the aforementioned common accidents in cycling. When a bicyclist travels too close to parked vehicles, not only do they risk colliding with an open door, but they are inviting cars to pass them unsafely. When using sharrows correctly, cars approaching from the rear will slow down or pass when it is safe to do so.

An outspoken champion of the sharrows has been Corona Del Mar Resident Frank Peters, or CDM Cyclist as he is often known (www.cdmcyclist.com). We asked him for his thoughts on how the sharrows have been received thus far, “I've observed that motorists seem to understand the sharrows better than the cyclists, because too many of them are still riding in the door zone. In my opinion, they're more afraid of the traffic behind them compared to the risk of “dooring”. We still have some educating to do... "

The next time you find yourself riding along Pacific Coast Highway, be sure to ride safely, share the road, and enjoy the view!


Project Spotlight

In 2011, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) successfully completed a pilot planning effort for the Fourth Supervisorial District that identified more than100 miles of regional bikeways. The planning effort created consensus between cities in the Fourth District (Including Fullerton, Brea, Anaheim, Buena Park, and Yorba Linda) on bikeway projects in the region and positioned these projects for competitive grant funding opportunities.

One such funding source is the Bicycle Corridor Improvement (BCI) Program. The program is funded using a portion of federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds, which can be used for different types of transportation-related projects to reduce congestion and improve air quality. OCTA has dedicated 10% of Orange County’s CMAQ allocations for bike and pedestrian projects and distributes funds to local jurisdictions through a competitive Call for Projects.

We’d like to spotlight one project that has emerged from these comprehensive planning and funding programs to create a regional bikeway in the City of Anaheim. The newly completed bikeway will connect the future Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) to West Anaheim.


The bikeway will benefit existing transit by creating a safe bikeway between ARTIC and popular destinations centers like Disneyland, Angel’s Stadium, and the Anaheim Resort District. In addition to linking popular destinations, the trail will connect to Orange County’s premier bikeway, the Santa Ana River Trail. 


Regional Bikeway Planning in Orange County

Have you ever been riding along in a bike lane only to have it suddenly end well before your final destination? Or have you ever tried to plan a regional bike commute, but gave up when you realized you had to cross under a freeway or a city boundary? It’s certainly happened to us! Fortunately, OCTA is spearheading a new effort to unite local jurisdictions and create a regional bikeways network in Orange County.

December marked the kick off to the Regional Bikeways Collaborative for the 1st and 2nd Supervisorial Districts. Regional Bikeways Planning is a countywide effort involving OCTA, local jurisdictions, and bicycle stakeholders. The goals of the effort are to build consensus on key bikeways corridors and to assist local jurisdictions with project development.

The effort was first piloted in the 4th District, where 10 regional priority bikeway corridors were identified that connected major activity areas. The top ranking corridors were further defined through feasibility analyses. These were provided to implementing agencies to move forward with final design and construction. Thanks to the efforts of local jurisdictions, several projects quickly entered the design and construction phase. This planning process will be conducted throughout the rest of Orange County during the next 3-4 years.

Important News

OCTA is hosting a webinar series put on by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. The webinars will be hosted at OCTA headquarters from 12:00 – 1:30 pm.

  • Jan 16 Best Practices in Pedestrian Wayfinding
  • Feb 20 Driving Deaths Down: Proven Countermeasures that Work
  • Mar 20 Dynamics of Effective Advisory Committees
  • Apr 17 Economic Benefits of Walkable and Bike Friendly Communities
  • May 15 Bike Signals
  • Jun 19 What's in There for Me: Mining National Data for Information on Walking and Bicycling
  • Jul 17 From Paint to Preform: Getting the Most from Pavement Markings
  • Aug 21 Getting Better Data for Better Decisions: Improving Performance Measures and Outcomes
  • Sep 18 Integrating Spatial Data to Develop Community Priorities
  • Oct 16 Using Photo-enforcement to Improve Pedestrian Safety
  • Nov 20 Is There Safety in Numbers for Cyclists and Pedestrians?
  • Dec 18 Integrating Equity into Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning

Caltrans Transportation Grant Program Workshop

The Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Caltrans Transportation Planning Grant Programs and Workshop will be held at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) on January 31st.

The meeting will be from 8am – 12pm at SCAG’s Main Office:

818 West 7th Street
12th Floor Los Angeles
CA 90017-3435

The meeting will also be available via videoconference at satellite offices. Check the SCAG Website for satellite locations in your area.

The 2013-2014 Transportation Planning Grant application package is accessible on the Caltrans Division of Transportation Planning’s website at http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/grants.html

For more information, contact Alfonso Hernandez (213) 236-1897 and via email at hernande@scag.ca.gov


SRTS Youth Engagement Pilot Program! | Safe Routes to School in California

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership, in conjunction with the California Technical Assistance Resource Center, has developed a pilot curriculum that uses team building and leadership development to advance youth-led Safe Routes to School projects in the after school environment.

Click here for more information.