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Posts Tagged ‘Sitka General Code’

MollGirlWithBalloons

A young cyclist with her strider bike gets ready for the Sitka Community Bike Ride in May 2015.

Children ages 3 and older who have never ridden a bike before are invited to a learn-to-ride bike clinic sponsored by Sitka Community Hospital and Sitka Community Schools. The clinic takes place from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, under the covered area at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

This workshop is for children who are on training wheels, using a strider bike, have never ridden before, or are just learning to ride and want more confidence. Each participant will need a bike, a helmet (Sitka has a youth helmet ordinance for everybody age 18 or younger), and an adult to help them. The cost is $5 per child and $5 per adult.

For more information or to register, please call Sitka Community Schools at 747-8670.

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Graduates of the first-ever “Bike Camp” gather at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School after completing a slowest-bike race. Campers going into grades 3-6 learned the basics of cycling safely in Sitka. The inaugural bike camp was a partnership between Sitka Community Hospital and Sitka Community Schools. (Photos courtesy of Wendy Fowler)

Graduates of the first-ever “Bike Camp” gather at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School after completing a slowest-bike race. Campers going into grades 3-6 learned the basics of cycling safely in Sitka. The inaugural bike camp was a partnership between Sitka Community Hospital and Sitka Community Schools. (Photos courtesy of Wendy Fowler)

Sitka Community Hospital and Sitka Community Schools recently hosted the first-ever bike camp for students going into grades 3-6. The hands-on camp took place on Monday-Thursday, Aug. 3-6, at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

Instructors Doug Osborne and Bill Giant, worked with students on the basics of safe and effective cycling in Sitka. Group rides happened every day. Campers needed a bicycle and helmet. (Sitka General Code requires helmets for all bike riders age 18 or younger.)

During the camp, the 13 participants had their bikes and helmets inspected for safety, learned about basic bike maintenance, and then learned basic bike safety skills. They also had group rides to the Moller Field track, Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop, and along Cross Trail. Osborne said response to the camp was positive, and he hopes there will be two week-long camps next summer.

A slideshow of photos (courtesy of Wendy Fowler) is posted below.

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KidWithSchoolRackFullOfBikes

Sitka Community Hospital and Sitka Community Schools are partnering to bring the first-ever bike camp for students going into grades 3-6.

The hands-on camp will take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Monday-Thursday, Aug. 3-6, at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

Instructors Doug Osborne and Bill Giant, will work with students on the basics of safe and effective cycling in Sitka. Group rides will happen every day. Campers need a bicycle and helmet. (Sitka General Code requires helmets for all bike riders age 18 or younger.)

For more information or to register, please contact Twila Keaveny at Sitka Community Schools at 747-8670.

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(NOTE: This article originally was posted in December 2009 on the Alaska Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance website.)

One of the problems with being a cyclist or pedestrian in Alaska is we have long, dark winter months. Not only is it dark, which makes cyclists and pedestrians harder to see than they are during the summer, but many Alaska drivers don’t scrape the frost off their windshields the way they should and that also makes it harder to see cyclists and pedestrians.

As part of its pursuit of a Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists, the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition started tracking how many cyclists used headlights and taillights during times of low visibility. During October and November 2008 and again the same months in 2009, several Sitkans completed forms describing what safeguards Sitka cyclists used to “Be Safe, Be Seen,” a local variation of a statewide campaign.

Sitka’s “Be Safe, Be Seen” program also includes an education component with radio PSAs (scroll down for PSAs) to remind cyclists and pedestrians to be visible during the winter. There also were health educators and injury prevention specialists who gave presentations at local schools. In addition, there was an encouragement component where local organizations donated more than $2,000 to by reflective tape and lights to give to local schoolchildren. And the Sitka Police Department increased enforcement of cyclists who used unsafe cycling practices that violate Sitka General Code (see Title 11.64 for pedestrians, 11.68 for bicycles, and 11.70 for Sitka’s youth helmet ordinance) or Alaska Administrative Code (see Title 13, Chapter 2, Sections 150-195 for pedestrians and Sections 385-420 for bicycles)

In 2008, just 32 percent of Sitka cyclists used a white headlight when they rode. This year, 60 percent were using headlights. Last year, 36 percent of Sitka cyclists had a red taillight and this year it was up to 57 percent. The percentage of wrong-way cyclists (those riding on the left, facing traffic) dropped from 11 percent to 6 percent. More details about the surveys can be found in this thank-you letter sent to local media outlets.

“The positive numbers we have seen is a result of using the recommended public health strategy that includes: education, encouragement and enforcement,” said Doug Osborne, a health educator with the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and member of the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition. “We are very grateful to all the groups and individuals who have helped with one of these three elements.”

While the surveys focused on cyclists, many of the “Be Safe, Be Seen” elements also apply to pedestrians. In good weather, the average driver needs 260 feet in order to come to a complete stop from 60 mph. A person wearing black or blue clothing isn’t seen until 55 feet away, while red is seen from 80 feet away, yellow is seen from 120 feet, white is seen from 200 feet, and someone wearing reflectors is seen from 500 feet away. The person wearing reflectors is the only person who gives a driver time enough to stop. Cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to use reflective vests, reflective arm or leg bands, put reflective tape on their jackets, wear reflective hats, etc., to make sure they are visible to drivers.

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