Look Left...Look Right...
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Look Left...Look Right...

On most days in Foster City, as in other cities all over the world, people young and old are riding bicycles. Some for transportation to and from work, some for weekend outings or exercise, and others just for the FUN OF IT!

Remember the song "Bicycle Race" by the rock group QUEEN?

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

This chorus says it all... or does it?

When I first learned to ride a two-wheeler many, many moons ago... I wanted to ride everywhere and every moment I could. Day or night, it didn't matter! Back then, my bike riding was for pure fun. Today, my wife and I ride our bikes on the weekend to get coffee or to enjoy the levee in Foster City (which is used quite a bit by many people, some on bikes, some walking or jogging). Riding around town took us on the sidewalks or in the street - using the bikes lanes when we could!

Now to my point. Having a full understanding of the bike law in our city and state is incredibly important, and it recently occurred to me that I might not be following the law completely. When I ride on the sidewalk (no bike lane available), and I would come to an intersection and use the crosswalk to get to the other side. When a car comes to the stop sign at a crosswalk, I watch very closely to see if they saw me. Most people looked only in the direction of where they were turning – they looked right or left, but not back again. So many times I would have to yell at the driver to look my way for fear I would go and they might hit me!

As a city council member, and most important, as a resident of Foster City, I took my concern of car vs. bike safety to our Police Department and called our chief, Matt Martell. He stressed the importance of being well aware of the bike laws and where you can and can't ride your bike. How many of us reading this and who ride bikes really know the law? He also shared with me some facts on bike vs. car accidents.

In 2013, Foster City had 13 injury reports. Most of these took place on weekdays. No injury reports took place between June and September. Ready for this – half of the accidents were the bicyclist's fault. This really hit home with me - I need to be a more responsible rider! Chief Martell mentioned that anyone wanting to be sure they know the bike safety laws should contact the FC Police Department at (650) 286-3300. I also found this great website for more information on bike safety: http://www.bikelink.com/law_safety.asp. I know I am reaching out!

Lastly, I have spoken with the Director of Public Works and inquired about the number of miles of bike lanes we currently have and the possibility of adding more lanes in the future. At the present, we have 2 miles of bike lanes in Foster City. I also learned that the city might consider doing a study to evaluate the possible need for additional bike lanes, based on the layout of our city, to access more of the pedway, and to help those who ride their bikes get around better. What do YOU think?

We all share our city and roads, so it's imperative we be mindful of pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. Remember, in Foster City, we strive to work hard, play often and live well as a community. Let's all look out for each other!

Contact me with comments: gpollard@fostercity.org or 650-286-3505.

Council Corner

February 05, 2014
Look Left...Look Right...
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