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Daily Pilot

City ponders fundraising extension

Period set to expire Dec. 31 could be lengthened to March 31 to aid bike safety activists.

9:09 PM PST, January 16, 2013

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The Newport Beach City Council at its meeting Tuesday will consider extending the time bike safety activists have to raise money that will be matched 3-1 by the city.

The proposed extension would give fundraising organizers until March 31 to raise $150,000 to max out the city's pledge, which is capped at $450,000. The matching pledge was set to expire at the end of December.

Together, that would add up to about $600,000 for Newport's Bike Safety Improvement Fund, which will be used on projects to make city streets safer for cyclists, city spokeswoman Tara Finnigan wrote in an email.

A combination of fundraising efforts — including an October memorial ride for two cyclists killed in Newport and a partnership with Amazon — have netted about $77,000 since October.

If the council opts not to extend the deadline, the city would contribute about $231,000, for a total of about $308,000, Finnigan wrote.

Council members have said in recent meetings that creating a holistic bike master plan is a top priority for this year. That could mean a variety of improvements, like better signage and increased educational outreach about proper bike safety.

—Jill Cowan

Twitter: @jillcowan