Burbank secures money for bike safety classes

The City Council this week agreed to accept more than $100,000 in state money to offer adult bike safety classes.

The classes are a major step for the city, which established a Bicycle Master Plan in 2009 with goals of encouraging bicyclists to take to the streets safely and more often.

“I’m glad we are getting a grant like this,” Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy said, adding that she was glad experts would be teaching the classes.

The classes will be offered in Burbank each month on Saturdays through September and taught by licensed instructors with the nonprofit Sustainable Streets. Classes begin Feb. 18.

“We want to help people get on their bike, ride safely, legally and with confidence, to whatever destination they want to,” said Sustainable Streets President Ron Durgin.

Burbank drafted its master plan in 2009. That year, 49% of those surveyed by the city said concerns about safe riding kept them off the streets.

“There’s a need for it,” said transportation planner Cory Wilkerson of the classes. “All of this bicycle education is the No. 1 top priority project in the Bicycle Master Plan.”

Classes will be taught indoors and in the streets. One such class, “Confident City Cycling,” teaches students how to repair flat tires or discern various traffic conditions to prevent collisions.

Bicyclists are taught to follow the rules of the road as any motorist would.

“That’s where safety begins,” Durgin said. “If you don’t follow the rules of the road, you’re taking on unnecessary risks.”

Participants can register for classes online by visiting www.sustainablestreets.org.

Burbank Leader staff writer Maria Hsin contributed to this report.

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