Mesa Mayor and Police Chief join forces to promote bike safety

The City of Mesa is a League of American Bicyclist “Bike Friendly Community.” While bicycling in Mesa is generally safe we can always do a better job educating motorist and bicyclists about traveling safely. Mayor Scott Smith and Police Chief Frank Milstead are putting City of Mesa resources into action to make streets as safe as possible for bicyclists. The timing is just right with the weather cooling down, days getting shorter and lots of new bikes on the road after the holidays.
“The City of Mesa is committed to making streets safe for bicyclists. This is a matter of life and death,” Mayor Smith said. “We will use whatever resources we have at our disposal to educate both motorists and bicyclists about how to safely share the road.”
The City of Mesa, several local Mesa bike shops, the Not One More Foundation and Mesa Brumbys cycling club are a part of the new campaign called MesaRides!
“The Mesa Police Department recently developed a training bulletin on State bicycle laws to keep our officers up-to-date on what is required of both motorists and bicyclists,” Chief Milstead said. “The bulletin included special focus on the three foot rule, which states that motorists must maintain a three foot separation from bicyclists while passing. This is law and our officers are trained to enforce it.”
MesaRides! is a multi-pronged education campaign that includes:

        Multiple Public Service Announcements running on Mesa Channel 11 and YouTube about the three foot rule and cycling safety equipment Articles in City newsletters including OpenLine, which goes out to 155,000 Mesa residents and 10,000 businesses Partnerships with local bike shops and non-profits to distribute safety information Participation in community events including City Hall at the Mall, Building Strong Neighborhoods and City Council Pancake Breakfast Growing Mesa’s Bike4Life and Bike2Work community bike events during Valley Bike Month in April

To emphasize the importance of bike safety, accident victim Dara Schulenberg shared her heroic story of being hit by a car while riding and how she overcame the physical, emotional and financial impacts of her recovery. Her experience led to her co-founding the Not One More Foundation with her friend and founder of the Mesa Brumbys Sterling Baer. The goal of Not One More is to have not one more cyclist killed or injured on Arizona roads.
“I was hit while riding midday less than five miles from my home in East Mesa,” Schulenberg said. “My inexpensive cycling helmet proved to be my life-saver, along with the amazing care of the City of Mesa Fire Department medics of Station 214.”
MesaRides! is a grassroots effort using existing resources and building community partnerships across the City. The safety of bicyclists is a City of Mesa priority and part of a successful, safe and livable community. For more information about cycling in Mesa visit http://www.notonemorecyclist.com , http://www.azbrumbys.com/index.php and http://mesaaz.gov/Transportation. Current State bicycle laws can be viewed at http://azbikelaw.org/excerpts.html

Office of the Mayor

For Immediate Release: November 29, 2010
Contact: Melissa Randazzo
Public Information and Communications Specialist
480.644.3219

melissa.randazzo@mesaaz.gov

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