On Saturday morning officers from the Burbank Police set up an information checkpoint on the Chandler Bike Path at North Keystone Street. According to Sgt Darin Ryburn, Media Relations Officer with the Burbank Police Department, the objective of the checkpoint was to educate motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians using the bike path and driving through the intersection.
“We’re here today to educate the public” stressed Sgt Ryburn, “The Chandler Bike Path is a wonderful area for our residents, and even people from outside the community to come and walk unobstructed with vehicular traffic, except for the stop signs.”
The intersection at Keystone and Chandler is confusing to many, as it is actually an 8 way intersection. “It is a horrible intersection, with or without the bike path” offered Kevin Stewart, a local resident. “People really don’t know whether to go through the intersection or stop.”
“You really have to be aware as a driver” advised Sgt Ryburn, “you can’t enter the intersection believing you have the right–of-way, you have to enter the intersection believing you have to be a defensive driving going all the way through the intersection. Driving a vehicle, riding a bicycle, it is the same thing – and you have to have great situational awareness.”
The summer months will bring out a lot more pedestrians, dog walkers, cyclists, and skateboarders. Wither higher numbers of people using public spaces like the Chandler Bike Path and other areas of the city, the need for awareness grows, as does the need to continue developing an attitude that all need to keep our eyes open for potential hazards and problems.
As a pedestrian or cyclist, there are defensive measures we can take in enhancing our safety. “Cars may not see you” advised Sgt Ryburn, “so you really need to make eye contact with a driver” when you are entering an intersection. Make sure the driver sees you, and furthermore “be considerate. Maybe you can wave that driver or pedestrian through the intersection ahead of you.” Another second or two will hurt nobody, reduce the potential of road rage, and we’ll all get where we are going safely.
Another thing to keep in mind for all cyclists and drivers is that it is illegal to use headsets with buds in both ears. You need to keep at least one ear free to hear emergency vehicles or other potential hazards.
As the morning conti9nued, an informal observation showed about half the cyclists entering the intersection did not stop. Sgt Ryburn chatted with each for a few moments, ensuring everybody understood the law, and the safety reasons behind the law.
Motor officers were also present, providing an added incentive to youngsters, offering Slurpee certificates contributed by 7/11. They also provided motivation in the form of traffic citations to motorists who failed to comply with traffic laws at the intersection.
The Burbank Police Department is committed to educating drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians on how to stay safe, reduce the number of collisions and injuries, and make the city a safer place.