A Pleasant Hill resident quoted in Tom Barnidge's column was incorrect in stating that there is no bicycle rack outside Pleasant Hill's City Hall.
If there was any doubt about the ubiquity of bicycles in California, it was put to rest this month. The state Department of Motor Vehicles, which, as the name suggests, oversees motorized transportation, has unveiled a website dedicated solely to bicycle safety. Pedal power has officially become a force too large to ignore.
This is not exactly a new phenomenon, and California has always been on the cutting edge. The first bike lanes in the U.S. appeared in Davis more than 45 years ago, thanks to a City Council mandate. Bike paths, bike routes and bike crossings have sprung up since then in nearly every community in the state.
BART now accommodates bikes on all trains. The east span of the Bay Bridge features a bike path (even if it ends at Treasure Island). The Metropolitan Transportation Commission extends transportation grants to cities that include bike paths in their development plans.
May is National Bike Month. Thursday was Bike to Work Day. Next weekend the Bay Area hosts the final stages of the Amgen Tour, which happens to be the nation's biggest bike race.
So the DMV is right. It's a good time to stress bike safety. A few of its tips, since you asked:
The DMV site also explains that bicyclists are subject to more than a dozen laws cited in the state vehicle code. If you want to read them for yourself, refer to sections 21200-21212 and 39000-39011. If not, here are some highlights:
You never know when a bicycle issue will come up. One arose last week at a Pleasant Hill City Council meeting, where the topic on everyone's mind was the dome theater.
Before voicing her support for the dome, a speaker said she had pedalled her bike to the council chamber and had a gripe to air.
"I was very disappointed," she said, "to find no bike rack outside."
Bicycles are everywhere these days. Even on a website operated by the DMV.