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Regional Bike Safety Education & Awareness Program

By on June 18, 2014 in Recent News

Barnstable County and the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) Announce a Regional Bike Safety Education and Awareness Campaign

Accidents on the Increase

This campaign is driven by the rise in Cape bike crashes. Available statistics show an increase from 53 in 2006 to 92 in 2011. In fact, 2011 saw 29 more accidents than 2010, a troubling increase. According to The Cape Cod Times, in 2013 the Yarmouth Police Department reported 18 bicycle-related accidents between June 1 and August 14, compared with just six during the same period in 2012. Other towns have seen similar increases. Fatalities have also been recorded.

The popularity of biking for both recreation and transportation is obvious to anyone driving Cape roads—day or night—during the summer. For many of the approximately 3,000 seasonal workers visiting from other countries under the J-1 and H2B visa programs, bicycles are the only option to walking. In many cases, these workers are unfamiliar with the local rules of road and at risk of injury in traffic accidents.

“Barnstable County wants to promote the many benefits of bike riding, but we have a responsibility to educate motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists—residents and visitors alike—about sharing the road safely.” County Commissioner Sheila Lyons

 

A Growing Concern

According to Lyons, last summer the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) received calls from several Cape and Islands police departments expressing a growing concern about workers biking home from work late at night with little or no visibility to on-coming traffic. “Our police departments are worried about the lack of awareness around safety and the bike/motorist transportation law that has been recently updated,” said Commissioner Lyons. “The Regional Bike Safety Education and Awareness Campaign is all about reaching out to the public and getting them to join us in the very important public safety effort.” This goal was echoed by many members of the public at a Regional Bike Summit sponsored by Barnstable County Department of Human Services in autumn 2013.

That led Barnstable County and the CCRTA to kick off the safety campaign in October 2013 with the assistance and resources of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)—a J-I sponsor. Phil Simon, CIEE Vice President, Work & Travel, USA said, “CIEE is delighted to support Barnstable County’s Cape Cod Bike Safety initiative and is very grateful for the work that our community partners are doing.”

 

Educational Outreach and Safety Equipment

Since November 2013, County Commissioner Lyons, CCRTA staff and stakeholder groups from across the region have met to explore and identify opportunities for education and the distribution of safety equipment to those in need. This ongoing effort has resulted in several deliverables including an educational video produced by MassBike and distributed to all Cape and Island police departments and available online; a bike safety pamphlet available in 10 languages; the procurement of high-quality front and rear LED light sets supplied at wholesale cost by vendor sponsor, Planet Bike; and a survey sent to local Chambers of Commerce to distribute to members to better gauge the extent of worker bike use and employer bike policies.

According to Commissioner Lyons: “Many motorists view bicyclists as a nuisance, and vice versa. To be successful this campaign has to be an on-going effort because we are promoting cultural and behavioral change. The safe and courteous sharing of the road needs to become a habit for drivers and riders alike.
Across the Cape, each town’s police department is currently planning and scheduling community bike safety trainings (formerly known as “rodeos”). At those safety trainings, there are plans to have bike route maps provided by CCRTA, printed safety rules and lights and reflective tape for participants. The Council on Churches is sponsoring a series of beach parties in June and July for J-1 workers in several Cape towns and on Nantucket Island. These gatherings will provide the opportunity to distribute printed bike safety information to workers in their own language and to distribute bike lights to those who need them.

 

Safety Information For Participants of the J1 Program

The locations below are for the beach parties where j1 workers are provided with information regarding their stay here and bike safety info.  Visit this link to access the j1 worker Cape Cod Handbook or view the Cape Cod Handbook 2014 here.

June 12, Thursday 6-9 PM Harwich Community Center100 Oak street Hello Summer J1(Rev. Catherine Boyle)
June 15, Sunday7:30-8:30 PM Brant Point Light House, Nantucket Cape Cod Council of Churches(G. Thomas Ryan)
June 19, Thursday7:00-8:30 PM Rock Harbor, Orleans Cape Cod Council of Churches(G. Thomas Ryan)
June 24, Tuesday 6-9 PM Oyster Pond, Chatham Lower Cape Host Housing(Linda Smith)
June 24, Tuesday 6-9 PM Outer Cape Christian Church17 Pond Rd, Truro Hello Summer J1(Rev. Catherine Boyle)
July 2, 6:00 – 7:30pm Veteran’s Beach / Park Ocean Street, Hyannis Cape Cod Coucil of Churches(G. Thomas Ryan)
Regional Bike Safety Program Lights

Police officers on night patrol will be able to dispense safety tips and lights to un-illuminated bikers.

Barnstable County, CCRTA and CIEE have all contributed to the bike light campaign. Approximately 1,800 light sets are on order and each police department will be supplied with 100 sets. Police officers on night patrol will be able to dispense safety tips and lights to un-illuminated bikers.  *Update* Lights have arrived and 600 lights have been distributed across the Cape.  There will be more available during the week of July 16th.  Please contact your local police department for more information.  (See Police contact list below.)

 

Cape Cod Commission Helpful Transportation Links

Find out more information about this initiative by clicking any of the links above or contact us directly.  We look forward to future updates of success on this regional initiative.

Cape Cod Police Departments

BARNSTABLE           1200 Phinney’s Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601 508.775.0387

BOURNE                        175 Main St, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532   508.759.4451

BREWSTER                 631 Harwich Road Brewster, MA 02631 508-896-7011

CHATHAM                  249 George Ryder Road, Chatham, MA 02633 508-945-1213

DENNIS                          90 Bob Crowell Road, South Dennis, MA  02660 508-394-1315

EASTHAM                    2550 State Highway, Eastham, MA 02642-2544 (508) 255-0551

FALMOUTH                750 Main Street, Falmouth, MA 02540 508-457-2526

HARWICH                    183 Sisson Rd. Harwich, MA 02645 508-430-7541

MASHPEE                     19 Frank Hicks Drive, Mashpee, MA 02649 (508)539-1480

ORLEANS                      90 S. Orleans Road, Orleans, MA 02653 508-255-0117

PROVINCETOWN   26 Shankpainter Rd., Provincetown, MA  02657 508-487-1212

YARMOUTH               1 Brad Erickson Way, Yarmouth MA 02673 (508) 775-0445

SANDWICH                 117 Route 6A, Sandwich, MA 02563 (508) 888-3343

TRURO                           344 Route 6, Truro, MA 02666 (508) 487-8730

WELLFLEET             36 Gross Hill Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667 (508) 349-3702

 

MASS. STATE POLICE,  BOURNE     Bourne Rotary Rte 28, Bourne, MA 508-759-4488

 

 

 

 

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