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Meeting to Address Bike Safety Fund

Members of the community have helped raise more than $76,000 for the Newport Beach Bike Safety Improvement Fund.

Meeting to Address Bike Safety Fund

The Bicycle Safety Improvement Fund will likely be front and center at today's Newport Beach bike safety committee meeting.

At 4:30 p.m. committee members will gather to discuss several topics, including the issue of maintenance vehicles parking in bike lanes on Newport Coast Drive and an update on the bike safety improvements fund. According to newportbeachmemorialride.com, $76,500.25 has been raised for improving bike safety in Newport Beach.

In October the city council said for every dollar raised by the community, the city will match three additional dollars in bike safety expenditures up to $450,000.

According to April Morris, a bike safety fund organizer, two areas that have been identified as needing safety improvements are the pinch point at northbound PCH and Dover Drive and the right turn lane on southbound PCH and Bayside Drive.

Attendance is encouraged at the meeting to help the committee determine which projects should be paid for through the fund.

"Your voice matters in terms of prioritizing how the money is spent," Morris said in an email about the meeting.

The bike safety fund was established following the deaths of two cyclists.

In October more than 1,200 bike riders from around Orange County participated in October's memorial bike ride held in honor of cyclists Sarah Leaf and Catherine "Kit" Campion-Ritz who were killed one day apart in bicycle-related accidents in Newport Beach.

Leaf, 29, worked as a nutritionist in Corona del Mar. She was killed in a bicycle collision on the morning of Friday, Sept. 14 when she was cycling on Pacific Coast Highway and the driver of a stake bed truck turned right onto Bayside Drive. In October police announced the driver of the truck was not at fault.

Campion, a doctor who treated patients in Newport Beach for close to 30 years, was killed during a fatal hit-and-run on Saturday, Sept. 15 as she cycled on Newport Coast Drive with her husband. Michael Jason Lopez, 39, of Anaheim, was arrested three days after Campion died. If convicted, Lopez faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison for the deadly hit-and-run crash.

The Newport Beach Bicycle Safety Committee will meet today at 4:30 p.m. in the Friends Room of the Central Library.

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