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Bike Seaside: Highest Number of Bike Commuters in Monterey County

Seaside Post Office is at 1093 Broadway Avenue (also known as Obama Way).

Many people are already familiar with the Seaside section of the Monterey Bay Coastal TrailClick here for some views enjoyed by intergenerational riders; some of those are in the Seaside city limits.

But did you know? The City of Seaside has the highest number of bike commuters in Monterey County, according to figures compiled from participating local cities for the Transportation Agency for Monterey County’s 2011 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.  For Seaside’s own Bikeways Transportation Plan, scroll to the end of this post.

These young women were biking Seaside in June 2013. (For tips on biking in skirts and other dress-up attire, see “How to dress” in the Bike Fashionistas post on this site.)

Seaside young women - June 2013

Among the places people bike in Seaside are the growing number of HER Helmet Thursdays spots. Below is a list of the first 13 Seaside spots giving discounts on Thursdays to people who bike.

Below, avid cyclist Bobbi Kamil of Monterey at Seaside’s Fishwife/Turtle Bay corner.

Where else do people bike in Seaside?

To the Seaside Boys and Girls Club–even on a rainy day….

To do shopping with the family–while learning bike skills….

To run errands….

To meet up for an interview….To attend community functions…

[photo courtesy of Seaside resident Jan Valencia, Velo Club Monterey's Answer Man]

To be rewarded by the views along General Jim Moore Boulevard….

To show my little sister how it’s done….

To go to a job site….

To teach bike skills on the Seaside City Hall lawn….To learn bike skills, at the Seaside Police Activities League (PAL) Bike Fair….

To support community activities….

To attend a special event….

To meet up with a traffic engineer and discuss infrastructure needs….

To help keep the peace…

.

To take the kids to the beach….

To bike out to do the banking….To go out to Erik’s Delicafe, where I can save money on a Thursday….

Seaside HER Helmet Thursdays spots

The HER Helmet Thursdays Project gives discounts for males and females, locals and visitors, who bike.  This long-term project to encourage bicycling supports Seaside’s and our entire county’s economy and environment.  Below are the first participants in Seaside.  Find additional Seaside participants among over 200 participants countywide; click here.

Click on the names below to go to their HER Helmet Thursdays listings:

  1. Baan Thai
  2. Bayside Coffee Co. at Embassy Suites
  3. Breakfast Club
  4. Embassy Suites Monterey Bay
  5. Erik’s DeliCafé
  6. Fishwife
  7. Jose’s Mexican
  8. Marisco’s Puerto Nuevo
  9. Monterey Donut
  10. Pacifica Café & Bar
  11. Rosa’s La Villa Restaurante
  12. Lucky’s Roadside
  13. Turtle Bay Taqueria

Kirsten Bachofner puts her growing bike skills to the test…

in a Stryder event in July 2012.  Kirsten is the daughter of Seaside Mayor Felix Bachofner, who–along with his wife, Sat–is an avid bicyclist.  It won’t be too long before their one-year-old son, Lucian, is out of a parent’s carrier, for he’s now starting to pedal his own tricycle.  Sat decided to sell her car and now walks and bikes almost exclusively–an excellent roll model for her children!

Below, a May 2013 update on little Kirsten and family. They are shown here on the 2013 Intergenerational Ride that included the Seaside section of the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail. Sat and Felix Bachofner had pedaled Kirsten and Lucian from their Seaside home to the Intergenerational Ride’s departure point at Fort Ord Dunes State Park, and in this photo were about to reach the ride destination point, Custom House Plaza in Monterey.

IMG_0066

Frequently biking the streets of Seaside and Monterey
are Del Rey Oaks resident Susan Ragsdale-Cronin and family.
Pictured above are Dharma, Susan, Tara, and Sydney Ragsdale-Cronin.

(Photo courtesy of Susan Ragsdale-Cronin.)

Want to stand out like Susan and her kids? See “More Bicycle Safety:  High Visibility.”

Wondering about a Seaside bicycle license/registration?  Residents of the City of Seaside can swing by the Seaside Fire Station, 1635 Broadway Avenue, Seaside and purchase a bicycle license for one dollar ($1). Such a deal!  Why register your bike?  Having it registered is a good idea in case of theft.  (Also see this site’s bicycle security tips.)  The Seaside Fire Department provides public education on bicycle safety.  (Also see CA Bike Laws and Personal Safety on this site.)

Sustainable Seaside

At a Sustainable Seaside meeting, you may meet up with people who are ready to join forces with you to help make a more bike-friendly Seaside!

Here’s just one idea:  Help get Safe Routes to School maps together for Seaside schools–like they have in our neighboring county of San Benito–so bike racks like those pictured below at one Seaside school will get more use….

Get acquainted with biking mom Susan Ragsdale-Cronin (above, with daughters) and other cyclists and sustainable transportation enthusiasts at a Sustainable Seaside meeting.  Usual meeting location is the Peace Resource Center, 1364 Fremont Boulevard, Seaside; bike-there tips and bike-and-ride tips later in this post.

Help make a more bike-friendly Seaside and Monterey County!
  1. At the bottom of this post is information about Seaside’s Bikeways Transportation Plan.
  2. Consider attending a Traffic Advisory Committee meeting to show municipal leaders your support for making Seaside more bike-friendly, and to offer helpful input. While agendas for any month may not include specifically bike-related topics, pedestrian and other topics will likely also be of interest to many people who bike Seaside. Questions? Contact assistant city engineer and staff liaison Leslie Llantero (email preferred).  Meetings are usually the third Tuesday of the month from 5-6 p.m. and are held at the Seaside City Hall conference room. Agendas are posted online (click here).
  3. Want better bicycle parking, bike lanes, and other infrastructure needs for Seaside?  Learn some of the most effective ways to help make infrastructure better. See a few Seaside infrastructure notes at end of this post.
  4. Bike laws and bike safety are an important part of the mix in a bike-friendly place!  English and Spanish speakers alike are often unaware of laws and safety guidelines.  And due to a limited supply of Spanish-language bike resources–and that lack of awareness about what is available–many local cyclists who speak Spanish only are particularly missing out on knowledge of California bicycle laws, bike safety info, tips on biking with children, and other helpful information.  Hispanic / Latino residents make up 39.6% of the population in Seaside, and  countywide, comprise nearly 54% of the population.  (Here are the last census figures.)  Help get the word out to local residents, including the 55% of Monterey County students who speak Spanish as their primary language at home.

Biking to a Sustainable Seaside meeting

Sustainable Seaside’s priorities include water, nature, parks, and energy–all areas where bicycling can help. If you aren’t biking already, come to the meeting anyway. You may leave with new inspiration to consider biking–whether occasionally for nearby errands, daily for a lengthy commute, or when you want a fun way to celebrate with loved ones on special occasions.

If you are doing the bike-and-ride using an MST bus, refer to the Peace Resource Center’s “How to find us” page regarding the MST bus lines that serve this address.

Get inspired for night ridingand avoid a possible ticket on that return trip after nightfall.  Charge up your bike’s headlight. For the rear of your bike, a reflector is required, at minimum.  See 21201 (d), items 1-4 for further night riding requirements. (Requirements in Spanish are not available on the DMV website but are available in this PDF found in Bicycling Monterey’s Spanish resources page:  SPANISH RESOURCES – Leyes de ciclismo de California

Here are some bike-there tips, coming from the Monterey Bay Coastal (Bike/Multi-Use) Trail:

From the bike path at Roberts Lake, the Peace Resource Center is less than a 1.5  mile bike ride.

Leaving the bike path at Roberts Lake/Embassy Suites (Del Monte Ave and Canyon del Rey Blvd intersection), cross Del Monte  and go up Canyon Del Rey.  At that point, here are two possible options:

(Option 1) To go through residential neighborhoods, take Canyon Del Rey a short distance until you come to Sonoma.  Make a LEFT on Sonoma, then a RIGHT onto Trinity.  Continue on Trinity to Trinity Park; just after the park, Fishwife, and the adjacent Turtle Bay Taqueria (both are HER Helmet Thursdays spots),  will be on your left.   Cross Fremont Street and head north; Peace Resource Center will soon be on your right.

Or, (Option 2) continue on Canyon Del Rey all the way to Fremont Blvd; you’ll see Walgreen’s your left, and you’ll also spot Safeway across Fremont Blvd, on your far right.  Make a left onto busy Fremont Blvd (wear high-visibility apparel and exercise extra caution).  Several blocks down, on your left-hand side, you’ll see the sign for Turtle Bay and Fishwife on your left, at the corner of Fremont and Trinity. Continue  on Fremont past those landmark restaurants; you’ll soon see the Peace Resource Center on your right.

Below:  Bobbi Kamil at the corner next to HER Helmet Thursdays spots the Fishwife and Turtle Bay Taqueria, landmarks near the Peace Resource Center (Sustainable Seaside 11/15/11 meeting location).

Bobbi, a Monterey resident, bikes all over Monterey County, as well as taking her folding bike on international trips with her husband, John Ittelson.

Fremont St Seaside CA 11-26-13

Update: Above, spotted on 11/26/13, someone had been stenciling on Fremont. Hey, Rick and Leslie: Larger stencils are needed. :)

Below, Rick Riedl, an associate civil engineer for the City of Seaside, at a Nov 12, 2013 Monterey County bike community potluck welcoming California Bicycle Coalition leaders. (Left to right: Rick Riedl, Megan Tolbert, Jon Wolf, Jim Affinito.)

Rick, Megan, Jon, Jim 11-12-13

Seaside municipal leaders want to make the city more bike-friendly, and budget cuts make that more challenging than ever!  Consider attending a Traffic Advisory Committee meeting  to show your support and share ideas.

How about new signs of a bicycling friendly Seaside?

If you know of one-way streets in Seaside where a “one-way, bikes excepted” sign could be helpful to cyclists in the neighborhood (e.g., Kenneth Street), please contact me or provide the names of such streets in a comment to this post.  For a photo of such a sign, go to the end of “Signs of a Bicycling Friendly Monterey County.” 

Other ideas:  “Share the road” signs on Noche Buena, and “Bikes may use full lane” signs on Broadway and Fremont would help make a more bike-friendly city!

City staff indicated there is a $50 application fee to have such a sign considered.  Contact Leslie Llantero, Assistant Engineer for the City to learn more.  You are also welcome to contact me to share ideas.

For more about Seaside bicycle infrastructure, see Kera Abraham’s May 10, 2007 story in the Monterey County Weekly. (Kera is a bike commuter and resident of Seaside whose workplace is in Seaside too.)

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City of Seaside

Bikeways Transportation Plan

Visit the City of Seaside website for any updated info. The below was excerpted from their Planning Division webpage and was current as of 11/26/13.

Bikeways Transportation Plan

“The purpose of the City’s Bicycle Transportation Plan is to establish a system of bikeways within the City that connect with and complete the region’s bikeway system.  In addition to serving the needs of existing City residents, anticipated growth on the former Fort Ord military base, including the California State University – Monterey Bay campus, will bring a significant number of new residents, employees and students to the community who will require safe and efficient bicycle transportation to and from businesses, schools and residential neighborhoods. Bikeways that connect residential neighborhoods with businesses, schools and services within the City are crucial to the health and vitality of the Seaside community.

“Download the 2007 Bicycle Transportation Plan (14 MB) to learn more about planned bicycle routes and facilities, or simply download the Plan’s map of existing and planned bikeways to find out where they are located throughout the City.”

  1. Kay Cline says:

    Hey Mari,
    This is way cool!!! I was just working on making flyer changes and saw what you have done!!! I think I’ll ride my bike to the meeting on the 15th!
    Happy biking!
    Kay

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