Avalon Police Chief William McCormick and Avalon Home and Land Owners Association (AHLOA) met on September 26 to discuss the Bike Safety initiative.
AHLOA President Michael Matt shared with the Chief that many members of AHLOA were chagrined that there was no obvious apparent effort being put forth by the Police to improve Bike Safety in the Borough.
The areas of most concern were: the sidewalks in the business district, especially the 28th to 29th St , and 21st to 23rd St areas, Avalon Avenue and First Avenue, especially on weekend mornings, and the Boardwalk, after 10:00 AM. It was emphasized that there may have been Police presence, but that presence was not readily observable.
Separately, Bike-mounted Police at night, have oft times been observed not using their lights; thereby setting a poor example.
On the positive side of AHLOA observations, the electronic sign on Avalon Boulevard that presents a short, direct, Bike Safety message was felt to be an exceptional way to get people’s attention as they enter town.
Chief McCormick indicated that he is always happy to get feedback. He presented some notable statistics regarding the Avalon Police Bike Safety effort.
Year to date for 2016, Avalon Police have had 1132 bicycle violation contacts, compared to 230 for the same period for 2015, a 392% increase. Bicycle accidents to date for 2016 are 4, and for 1015 were 7, a 43% decrease.
During each bike violation stop, police explain the violation and give to the cyclist a card with the following information:
- Walk your bike on all sidewalks in Dune Drive business district
- Follow the law-obey all traffic signs and signals. Ride on the road in the same direction as traffic
- See and be seen-wear a helmet and bright colors, reflective gear, use head and tail lights, and have an audible bell/device
- Remove headphones and stay off cell phones
- Communicate your intent-look, yield to traffic and signal before changing lanes.
Additionally Chief McCormick indicated that his philosophy is, to the best of his ability, make each visitor’s experiences, positive ones. AHLOA concurs with that goal.
AHLOA representatives concluded that, as best as practical, they would still like to see uniformed police, either on bikes or on foot, more often in the aforementioned areas during the summer months, and that perhaps another electronic sign could help call attention to the Borough’s Bike Safety effort.