Posted by what?!?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 10:34 am
A cyclist going 30 mph on a wet road with many curves, drifts over the double yellow. If the guy had any brains at all he would never have done that. My sympathies are entirely with the poor driver of the car.
For the Mustang driver: feel NO GUILT, you did nothing wrong!
Posted by Steve Rosefield, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 10:36 am
One of my teammates and I were training on this road about that time (side note – the time is slightly wrong as we turned off of Kilkare back to Foothill/Railroad at 1:40 to 1:45 PM and there was no accident at that point. It takes about 5 minutes to go from the top to the bottom). Other friends riding in that area have reported that an approximately 50 year old male wearing a black helmet, yellow jacket, and riding a white mountain bike was involved in the crash. My prayers are for a speedy and full recovery for all.
Posted by H. P., a resident of the Sycamore Heights neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 10:38 am
I used to drive that road daily a few years ago. I love the view and the peacefulness, until a bicyclist, turkeys or deers are in the road. I wouldn't recommend that road to ride a bike. My prayers are with the man.. God Bless.
Posted by Steve Rosefield, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 10:55 am
At the risk of sounding less than partial and insensitive to the mental anguish that will likely ensue for the driver involved, I would like to point out is quite possible that the only eye witness that has currently registered a statement is the driver. And #1) the road was not wet, #2) up to the speed limit is a perfectly safe speed on that road, assuming some level of bike handling skills and a well maintained and safe bicycle, and #3) there is a likely equal chance that the car was traveling well above the speed limit, was distracted, and/or drifted across the line. Hopefully the cyclist will soon make a full recovery and be able to register his testimony.
That said the activities of cycling and driving do involve risk. Let’s all do our best to respect each other on the road and throughout life.
Posted by Miguel, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:50 pm
Yesterday I was headed toward Safeway ... yep, there in front of me was a bicycle rider with no helmet at least three feet into the road ... I gotta tell you it's tough on drivers to see these guys ... I always lift my eyes heavenward because I know the law of probability isn't on their side ... someone is going to hit them. Incidentally, there was a sidewalk available. Big force against little force. Scary.
Posted by Steve Rosefield, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm
I am going to assume that you are referring to the Safeway on Santa Rita Road. If so, three feet into the far right lane is exactly where a cyclist should ride on a road without a dedicated bicycle lane (or three feet out from the parking lane, if that is applicable). When we are on the road, we are vehicles subject to the rights and responsibilities of the road. There are some additional requirements regarding location in a substandard width lane, but suffice to say that is the correct location from a safe and legal perspective if you chose to ride on that road. If he was over the age of 18, he is also legally allowed to go sans helmet, though I agree that this is a foolish move. It is illegal for an adult to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. If you are traveling less than 5 MPH no one will usually say anything, but above that a cyclist is required to ride on the road.
Posted by what?!?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm
SR thanks for your informative responses. I do take issue with your first comments about perhaps the driver being the one to cross the line. The CHP marked and measured the marks on the road and from that can determine, with accuracy, where the cyclist was when hit.
Perhaps you can get your fellow cyclists to follow the laws as you seem to know what they are. That includes stopping for all red lights and stop signs, not just blowing through. That includes riding single file on First Street on Saturday mornings, not 3 and 4 across. There is a good deal of hostility toward cyclists and sometimes it is justified. I had a bumper sticker on my truck that says "share the road". It was covered (not by me) with a sign saying "cyclists make good roadkill". Yeah, I took that one off. My point is that when cyclists do dumb things people in vehicles get angry. Never a good thing for the cyclist.
Posted by Steve Rosefield, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm
Thanks for your response. However I must disagree, in some cases strongly, with couple of your points.
#1) “I do take issue with your first comments about perhaps the driver being the one to cross the line. The CHP marked and measured the marks on the road and from that can determine, with accuracy, where the cyclist was when hit.”
This is perhaps accurate, and perhaps not. It does not state how the information was derived. However I will state that there are only a couple of places on that road that are divided by a double yellow (my recollection, I will check and follow up). I also know that there is only one or two of those sections that someone on a mountain bike (known from another local eye witness source) would likely have reached 30 MPH, and they are certainly not within the first mile up Kilkare from the corner of Railroad and Kilkare.
#2) "Perhaps you can get your fellow cyclists to follow the laws as you seem to know what they are. That includes stopping for all red lights and stop signs, not just blowing through."
Agreed, though treating stop as yield by cyclist is certainly less prevalent than motorists exceeding the speed limit, holding the phone to their ear, texting, crossing the double lines when convenient, and yes, treating stops as yield. Cyclists are often faced with the inability to trigger signals also, which legally allows the cyclist to treat the signal as broken after a full stop and two full cycles. Do we wait for two full cycles on the local signals we know to not respond … honestly no.
#3) "That includes riding single file on First Street on Saturday mornings …"
Have to disagree with you there from the legal and practical standpoint. More info if you would like, but I would have to search for the links.
#4) "… not 3 and 4 across."
Well, technically you are correct. Though from the practical side, it is really immaterial in the example you sighted.
First Street is divided by a double yellow and is (in the section I assume you are referring to) a single lane. It is legal to ride two abreast, but illegal to lane share or pass without sufficient clearance. As it is technically illegal and certainly unsafe to pass two riders on the downtown section of first street, it really doesn’t matter if they are three or four wide at that point. A bit of a technicality, but your statement is probably a bit of an exaggeration as well. I am well aware of the group rides you are likely referring to, and they are usually “two up’ through that section. From a practical and courteous point of view, most groups will attempt to “single up” and let you pass on busy streets, but it is a more difficult skill set than you probably appreciate and they are under no legal obligation to do so. You are, however, under legal obligation to wait until it is clearly safe to pass before doing so. And that means waiting until the street once again becomes two lanes in each direction.
#5) "There is a good deal of hostility toward cyclists and sometimes it is justified."
No argument there, but in my opinion it is mostly based in the unfortunately natural feeling of invincibility and self granted power that the automobile instills in many drivers. And much of that aggression stems from motorists misunderstanding of the law and the lack of willingness of some to accept our right to be on the road in the first place.
#6) "My point is that when cyclists do dumb things people in vehicles get angry. Never a good thing for the cyclist."
I agree with this, though the same would more frequently be applied to motorists doing allegedly dumb things in the presence of other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. The truth is many people are frustrated by their lives/health/wealth/spouse/etc and drive angry. And many think that when it comes to cyclists, there are little or no consequences to those actions. However there was a recent case in the Los Angeles area worth noting. There is a Dr. that has been sentenced to ten years in prison, is in the process of losing his license to practice, and will likely lose everything he has saved or acquired over his lifetime because he was convicted of willfully endangering a cyclist on the road. Worth remembering when you are deciding if you can afford the extra 30 seconds or so to wait to pass safely.
Posted by what?!?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm
SR -- you state "less prevalent than motorists exceeding the speed limit, holding the phone to their ear, texting, crossing the double lines when convenient, and yes, treating stops as yield. " and "ALL motorists occasionally do the same thing. And most do it every time they climb behind the wheel."
Do not presume to be so right, it is insulting to me and to those who do not violate the law. I have had no tickets in nearly 40 years of driving. Had no accidents. Caused no accidents. I do not use a cell phone while driving and have pulled the the side of the freeway when phoning 911 to report an accident -- even with an earpiece. I do not knowingly ever violate the law while driving, surely I have other vices, but not that. I am not trying to sound sanctimonius, but your comments are insulting.
I will continue to drive in accordance with the law and I will continue to observe, and be angered by, cyclists and drivers who do not. Should I take the life of a cyclist who was not riding in accordance with the law you can be assured that I will lose no sleep over it. You do not need to point out the actions of a person in LA as someone who should not be respected. His actions had not one single thing to do with me so please spare me the veiled threat of what might happen to me should I do the same thing. That is simply not going to happen.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm
I agree with the comments just made by "What?!?"
There are plenty of cyclists who do not follow the law and some who even go so far as to exhibit behavior that seems to "taunt" drivers. The comments made by SR conveniently side step much of this.
In a bike vs. car incident, it's obvious that the car is going to win. However, plenty of cyclists observe behavior that is downright rude so I don't necessarily feel sorry when some of them get in accidents. Yes, I will say this even though I am a cyclist myself.
One type of rudeness that I see a lot of unfortunately are situations where a line of cars is held up by cyclists who deliberately make life difficult for drivers by riding straight down the middle of the road, even when it would be safe for cars to pass if they road single file or in the shoulder. There is a lot of this sort of behavior taking place on some of the country roads just outside of the downtown area.
I was in such a situation recently where a couple of cars were backed up behind two cyclists. It wasn't possible for cars to pass by going into the opposite lane because the road was slightly winding and also because the double yellow line indicated no passing. The cars could have passed safely had the cyclists ridden single file towards the right of the lane. They could have even ridden to the right of teh white line (ie slightly in the shoulder) since there was space there and no debris in the shoulder. Yet when the car in front tapped its horn to alert the cyclists to the presence of the cars, the cyclists responded not by moving single file, but by fanning out into the road and riding right down the middle of the lane.
This happens all too often unfortunately. The drivers had no other choice than to putter along for about a mile until the cyclists eventually turned off onto another road. All those cars could have passed by the cyclists easily had they singled up. This sort of rude behavior on the part of cyclists only serves to make drivers angry and less sympathetic. I was embarassed that fellow cyclists could feel justified in that kind of bad behavior. If I'm on roads, I do what I can to stay safe and make it easier for cars to get around me.
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2010 at 11:59 pm
From what I have observed, it would seem some cyclist have a death wish...
3 ton vehicle vs 30 pound cycle, 160(maybe more, maybe less)pounds of human flesh, 1/4 pound of spandex-----The winner is!!! You make the call...
I would venture to guess there are many, many more motor vehicles using public streets than cyclist, yet, I have observed more cyclist blowing through stop signs and intersections at a greater rate than motor vehicles...
I submit there should be a DMV exam, road test and license for cyclist, such as required by operator's of motor vehicles that use public streets...:):)
Posted by Wife of a Cyclist, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2010 at 10:46 am
Thank you Steve Rosefield for your intelligent & educated comments.
My husband rides every weekend & everytime he leaves the house I worry til he comes home safe. As a driver I have learned to be much more alert for cyclists. I don't care if they are resposible & follow the rules or not, that does not justify what would happen to them if we collided. A vehicle is going to cause MAJOR injury or DEATH to a cyclist. That bike is not going to kill or cause major injury to the driver of a vehicle.
What?: A cyclist breaking a rule or two is no excuse for running them over. Most skilled cyclist are very aware of the rules of the road & follow them to a T! They know that breaking those rules can result in death!
This is s stupid debate between drivers & cyclists. Please just be careful on the road. Losing someone close to you because a driver refused to share the road is a horrible feeling. Those cyclists have families that love them dearly!
We have lots of cyclists on Kilkare, and endure inconsiderate behavior in both directions (cyclist-> motorist and motorist -> cyclist). This accident was not a result of that behavior. It was simply a tragic accident.