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How BART makes your bike commute a little bit easier

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If you use BART when you bike commute to work, keep an eye out for new Velcro straps that will hold your bike upright in the front of the car.

BART recently rolled out a test program to try out two strap prototypes to make life easier for bike commuters. Look for them on 60 of BART's 700 trains.

The straps will help keep your bike from rolling away when the train lurches to a stop. It will also make it easier for you to commute with your bike. You won't have to hold onto your bike with your free hand, balance it with your leg, or whatever it takes to stay upright.

BART hopes the straps will make commuting by bike more comfortable and easier for riders, which will encourage more people to BART with their bikes.

To make BART even more bike-friendly, it teamed up with local advocacy organization Bike East Bay on a theft prevention program. From now until spring 2017, Bike East Bay reps will be hanging out at BART stations system-wide to talk bike security. Click here for the outreach calendar and more information.

When commuting by bike, remember to use a sturdy U-lock. Thieves can't cut them like they can with cable locks. Lock your bike everywhere you go, even on the AC Transit rack, as thieves have been known to take bikes right off the front of the bus.

When riding to BART, take advantage of the bike lockers and bike stations. At the Uptown Oakland Bike Station, you can store your bike for free from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and overnight for $5 per night. All you need is a BikeLink card, which you can order online.

Lastly, don't forget general bike safety when commuting to and from work. Ride predictably, stay visible with lights and reflective clothing, and always wear a helmet.

Stay alert to avoid potential vehicle hazards, such as a car that suddenly turns left or a parallel parker that flings open his door. Car doors can cause serious injuries to a cyclist.

A bicyclist client of mine that got doored was so disoriented from the accident that by the time he got his wits about him, the driver had left the scene. There were no witnesses.

Fortunately, the client had uninsured motorist coverage under his auto insurance policy, so we could make a monetary recovery. His insurer covered the claim even though he was traveling by bike and not with his insured vehicle.

The moral of my client's story? Make sure you have adequate underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy. Also consider medical payments coverage, which will cover you when an accident requires medical treatment.

For more tips on safe biking and walking to work, read some of my past blog posts. Stay upright and lock your bike!

Photo courtesy of Alison Chaiken, Flickr

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David G. Smith, Attorney At Law
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Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: 925-308-6484
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