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For the biker who nearly died today . . . . . .

Original post made by driver and biker, Downtown, on Aug 21, 2009

I was driving north on Main St today at 5:30 AM, just approaching Stanley. My traffic light was, and had been, green but I was traveling at less than 25 MPH in expectation that the light might turn red. I saw rapid movement from my right on Stanley. It was a man on a bike who blew right through the intersection from Stanley heading west onto Main St heading south. You moron. I slammed on my brakes and you flew in front of my car -- ON A RED LIGHT! If you keep riding like that you will die, I only hope I don't hit you as the damage to my car could be substantial.

Comments (37)

Posted by Tennesse Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Aug 21, 2009 at 7:53 am

That nothing! Yesterday around 9:30 a.m. as I was approaching the stop sign at the south end of Hopyard road at Del Valle Parkway, a group of 12-15 ADULT cyclers, all wearing logo laden spandex jerseys, blew by the line of cars at the stop sign, 3 abreast, at full speed, and went thru the intersection, ignoring the stop sign. A vehicle on Del Valle Parkway was making a left turn to head into the downtown area and nearly plowed into the group. It was sheer luck now one was hit. Several of the cyclist turned to the driver as they ran the stop sign and gave the 1 fingers salute to them. Nimrods!

Posted by Former Pleasanton Resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:15 am

Bicycle riders are just plain arrogant! They think the roads belong to them and there are no rules. It happens everywhere...not just in Pleasanton. They need to wake up...while they still can.

Posted by JohannM
a resident of another community
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:19 am

Weird to see suicidal people traveling packs like that! Maybe there's another explanation. Like people in their cars, talking on the phone, drinking coffee, playing with the gps, playing with the mp3 player, texting, shouting at the kid in the back seat might not have been paying attention when the pack of 15 brightly colored cyclists enjoying an evening ride enetered the intersection.

Posted by Laurie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:20 am

For every driver that makes a mistake (bike or car), remember you have too. Sometimes cyclists don't time lights correctly. Send them white light to make it home safely. You don't know, maybe this could be a friend of yours.

Posted by bike rider
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:41 am

don't you know that when a person gets on a bike there brain jumps out of their head.

Posted by Jane Smith
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:41 am

I don't live in Pleasanton but I drive Valley and Santa Rita to work. I sooo understand what this driver is talking about. People on bikes ride in the streets when there is no room for them. I thouht bikers had to use the crosswalks not the car lanes!!!! I know one of these days I will see one on the side of the road under a sheet because they thought they could ride anywhere they wanted.

Posted by Just obey and enforce
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:48 am

Under the Road Rules, bicycles are considered to be vehicles. As such, like drivers of other vehicles, the riders of bicycles must obey traffic signals, stop signs and give way signs.

Cyclists must stop at red traffic signals

A cyclist who is approaching a set of traffic lights or who is at a red traffic light, and is travelling in the direction indicated by the light, must stop at the intersection.

A cyclist who is approaching a set of traffic arrows or who is at a red traffic arrow, and is turning in the direction indicated by the arrow, must stop at the intersection.

Cyclists must stop at “Stop Signs”

A cyclist who is approaching or who is at a place with a stop sign, must stop and give way to any vehicle or pedestrian at, or near, the stop sign.

Cyclists must give way at “Give Way Signs”

A cyclist who is at an intersection with a give way sign, must give way to any vehicle in, entering or approaching the intersection. The cyclist must also give way to pedestrian at, or near, the intersection.

21200. (a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, and by Division 10 (commencing with Section 20000), Section 27400, Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 39000), Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1), and Division 18 (commencing with Section 42000), except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.

Bicycles on Roadways VC 21650.1

A bicycle operated on a roadway or highway shoulder shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to drive upon the roadway.

Bicycling on Freeways VC 21960

a) The Department of Transportation and local authorities may prohibit or restrict the use of freeways or any portion thereof by bicycles.

b) Such prohibitory regulations shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the freeway and the approaches thereto.

Hand Signals. VC 22111

All required signals given by hand and arm shall be given in the following manner:

1. Left turn-hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle.
2. Right turn- left hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle or right hand and arm extended horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.
3. Stop or sudden decrease of speed signal- left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.

Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:49 am

I feel sorry for bicyclists and motorcyclists who seem to feel they are immune to the rules of the road. Their wives and children will miss them, and we will all lament their passing.

As I travel around the Bay Area each day, I try to remember that the dumbest, or least coordinated, kid in my high school is out there somewhere with a drivers license (or riding a bike). A very scary thought!!

Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:51 am

To Jane Smith,

I understand that bicyclists have the same rights as cars. We are allowed to ride on city streets, unfortunately Valley & Santa Rita do not allow much room for riding. Please take care a give these riders some room to spare. Some are actually going to work the same as you, but they are not cutting through Pleasanton. They live here!

Posted by marie
a resident of Happy Valley
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:52 am

NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION........... WE ALL need to SLOW DOWN and consider the consequences of our actions, we can not blame, get angry and just/only scream about it.... unless you are a mind reader and know exactly what is going on. what a shame no one, not the bikers, not the drivers can be humble enough to understand that a KIND WORD is better than a mean word about the situation... yea, the selfish person riding a bike at train speed in front of you is gonna kill himself one day...... and its good you said something,maybe, but you seem more concerned about your car, an inanimate object............ sad. no wonder no one cares, no wonder our children have problems becoming adults, the immaturity level of the community needs to be raised in agape, not in anger and hate........... you my friends, give satan a job, that's worse than a pack of bike riders not paying attention ........... because then things happen. HAS ANYONE THOUGHT OF CALLING THE POLICE DEPT AND SEEING WHAT YOU CAN DO TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE? rather than ranting and raving like a child? GEE WHIZ !!

Posted by CARS/bikes
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 21, 2009 at 8:54 am

Bikers, the road is not just for you! Share the road!! Cars are bigger than you!

Posted by Paul
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 21, 2009 at 9:27 am

I see this is a sore subject and everyone has a story.
Mine is driving across the bay bridge motor cycle rider coming behind me in the mirror cuts in front of me lost his balance and put his hand on the hood of my car, gets his balance and speeds off....IDIOT!
On another note where are the cops...have you ever seen a cop give bike riders a ticket for breaking the law (riding thru a red light) for I have seen them ticket auto drivers! But NO bike is that fair? I think not!

Posted by Mike
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 21, 2009 at 9:38 am

Pleasanton Police need to start enforcing the rules of the road for bikers, I cant tell you how many times i've seen them run red lights.

Posted by Lee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 9:43 am

Bikers and cars..there is always a power struggle. Common sense says that bikers should be careful around cars..they have no protection from those heavy metal cars! Bikers, follow the rules of the road, and be aware that not everyone sees you! If Pleasanton Police start enforcing the rules perhaps there will be a bigger awareness on the part of the bikers and fewer close calls between them and the cars!

Posted by OMG
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 9:46 am

To Marie from HV: You appear to be the only one "ranting and raving" and screaming on this blog. Did you not know that using all caps is the web equivalent of screaming in our faces?? Please take a chill pill and keep the 'noise' down. Thx.


Posted by Steve Rosefield
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 21, 2009 at 9:54 am

Conveniently lost in the “some cyclists occasionally circumvent the law” discussion is the fact that all motorists occasionally break the law as well. In fact it is rare that anyone drives any significant distance without speeding, changing lanes in the intersection, passing on the right, rolling through a stop to turn, stopping beyond the limit line, neglecting to signal, etc. And the phone to the ear law is consistently ignored by many of the same people that are the first to accuse cyclists of arrogance. Most cyclists are motorist too. And we are ALL GUILTY of bending the rules of the road on a daily basis.

At the intersection of Hopyard and Del Valle (headed toward Main Street) there is not a limit line in the bike lane. That is probably an omission by the traffic department, and there should be one in place. There are also several lines that are in place that serve no sensible purpose (the north bound intersection of Ruby Hill and Vineyard comes to mind). These are examples of the type of confusing markings and road obstacles that cyclists deal with on every road ride.

Let’s all attempt to slow down and show a bit more courtesy to others. Whether you are struck while riding a bicycle, or are the one driving the automobile in a car/bicycle accident, I promise you, your life will be changed forever.

Posted by newbie
a resident of Dublin
on Aug 21, 2009 at 9:56 am

well, I ride my bike, pay attention to the rules of the road and attempt to make eye contact at intersections so that the person driving the car is aware of my presence. What baffles me is the sheer ignorance of the people in this blog that seem to think they have a god-given right to rule the road just because they drive a car. If you, who lambaste bicycle riders, have NEVER talked on your cell phone while driving, nor have you searched through your purse or bag, as well, have NEVER been eating or drinking while driving.. then I think your comments might have some validity. I am appalled at the irresponsible behaviour of certain drivers here that pay more attention to what is going on IN their vehicle than outside. So as a cyclist, who appreciates that not all cyclists follow the rules of the road, I say, get off the phone, put down that bagel, and take a look around you!

Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 21, 2009 at 10:18 am

It's gotta be the spandex. Tight outfits cut off blood circulation to the brain, next thing they know they're Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France.


Posted by no name
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:10 am

Why don't bikers use the many bike trails and paths that are everywhere instead of risking their lives on the roads?

Posted by lyndalu
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:15 am

I love this posting!

These idiot bikers get what they deserve (to be run over)! I am so sick of them getting in the way of traffic. I have NO sympathy for the idiot bike riders (unless of course they are young children). I only feel sorry for the driver of the car who will probably have mental issues after hitting one of these idiots when the driver of the car did nothing wrong.

Posted by yomama
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:20 am

I dare one of these bikers to get in the way of my car.

Posted by driver and biker
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:27 am

Newbie, you cannot read -- "What baffles me is the sheer ignorance of the people in this blog that seem to think they have a god-given right to rule the road just because they drive a car."
Not one comment is from someone claiming to rule the road. This post is about cyclists who refuse to comply with the laws and put the rest of us at risk. The laws are for them as well as for us. I don't use a cell phone in my car or subject myself to any other distractions so keep your comments pertinent to the post, not your own personal rant.
If the PD would cite bikers once in a while we would not even be reading this post.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:57 am

Dare I comment? As soon as somebody get KILLED and I say I have no sympathy for the creep my post is ERASED! So, instead I'm say speed speed speed and transform into road meat...sooner than later!

Ambulance Torres RULES! VIVA!

Posted by safe ride
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I'm actually a cyclist who is offended by others who blow through stop signs and lights. It makes a bad name for those of us who obey traffic laws, and ride safely. It is also unbelieveably dangerous.

But these comments denegrating all cyclists are ridiculous. Chill out, share the road, ask the PD to enforce basic traffic laws for cylists. But stating you hope to kill humans who ride a bike for pleasure or transportation is embarassingly stupid.

I ride for my health. Some of you that believe all cyclists should be run off the road, should try cycling and find out what excercise can do for your mental state.

Posted by yolanda
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm

What about using the bike trails? You can ride from Martinez to Pleasanton on the Iron Horse Trail. Plus there are all kinds of bike trails around.

Posted by emanon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Despite the inflammatory reactions by some, this thread is about *lawbreakers*, on bicycles and in cars. Has anyone else who posted above - except the woman who spoke as if it were the norm - seen one of these lawbreakers just do it once? I think we've seen it over and over again by the same individual, if we're going the same route. Unfortunately, even the steady reports of carnage, where a lawless bicyclist pays with his life or future, hasn't appeared to make any difference. Gets one thinking the city ought to hire folks whose responsibility it is to snag these people who act like the laws don't apply to them and get them off the roads. Wait a minute...we already are doing that, arent't we? Wouldn't know it, though, from what we read here.

Reminds me of the time in another town where I almost flattened a bicyclist tearing through a red light. A motorcycle officer was parked nearby writing a report. I pulled over and asked why he wasn't doing anything about what had just happened. He replied the he hadn't seen anything. I said that the individual was still in sight, and there was nothing stopping the officer from issuing him a warning. "It might save his life in the future, or somebody else's." I added. He did nothing.

Posted by SG
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Unfortunately, the problem has more to do with specific individuals rather than everyone who rides a bike or everyone who drives a car.

At 7:30 this morning five us on bicycles were crossing the old bridge on Bernal. Although we were riding at close to the speed limit and legally, a woman in a white Toyota Forerunner crossed the double yellow line to pass us on the bridge. I'm sure if the five of us were in a car travelling at the same speed she wouldn't have felt the need to pass only to wait a few more seconds in line at one of the four stop lights she had to make it through as she headed toward downtown.

Posted by k
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Bikers ... the car always wins. But more importantly, we all lose with your bad behavior. When one of you dies, it makes us all weary of your insubordinate actions.

Posted by Nazi Bikers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 2:35 pm

This is an increasing problem - more and more bikers are becoming very aggresive and choose not to obey the law. I guess it was just a matter of time until the Critical Mass Nazi Biker mentality spread to Pleasanton. Main Street, First Street, Old Stanley and Stanley are particularly prone to arrogant bikers, as are Bernal and Vineyard. About six months ago I pulled into the parking lot at the downtown Bank of America lot to use visit an ATM. There were about 50 bikers there (assumedly to start a ride, rally or race). They were milling around doing curly ques in the partking lot, and were being very aggressive toward anybody that pulled into the lot in their car to go to the bank. If that's the way its going to be, then the police that barracade streets for these bike events need to be diverted to policing biker mobs. It would also be helpful if the police ramped up their enforcement of the laws regarding bike riding. If they don't crack down on this stuff, its only a matter of time until we start having Crical Mass doing Nazi rides in Pleasanton.

The bikers' arrogance also shows when a large group of them take virtually all the parking spaces in the parking lot at the Stanley McDonald's and head out on long bike rides, depriving those businesses' customers of parking places. I'm sure they think its only right to do that, since they likely regard McDonald's patrons and people driving automobiles as lower class citizens.

Posted by easyrider
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Hey Nazi,

Like so many, you lose much of your argument by the childish labeling of others as Nazi's. This type of commentary might work for Rush Limbaugh but is pretty weak in your text. Your complaints might be valid but labeling others only dumbs down your postion.

Posted by Jim Van Dyke
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm

It is altogether ignorant to believe that either those behind steering wheels or handlebars have a monopoly on bad driving. I get behind both on a regular basis, and the group that scares me most are those that take sides. Auto drivers, when you make comments about desiring to hit cyclists or "spandex going to someone's brain" you just come off as unintelligent and jealous. I've certainly ridden with some cyclists that ignore traffic laws, but who among us hasn't seen an auto driver do the same? C'mon people...if you're able to read this than you're smart enough to understand this concept! Be safe and courteous out there, regardless of what you hold onto when you travel.

Posted by A Regular Biker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

There's always two sides to each story. Both bikers and motorists are guilty of bad behaviour. Some of the comments here don't warrant a response, I just hope if you're the one who can't wait to run a biker over you think about it for maybe...oh... a second. Yes, bikers lose in the war of biker vs. car but for all the motorists who insist on owning the rode...tap a biker much less run that biker off the road or over them...and you lose...lots. Hopefully you'll eventually see the biker as a human doing something good, like not polluting our air, etc.

For those who think bikers should stay off the roads or use trails...we pay for the roads too but if you can convince our bankrupt state to forgoe my taxes or build "real" bike roads...oh, I sign up now.

And as it bad apple does spoil the rest of the barrel. Next time you have that near death experience where you might have killed the arrogant biker....try to remember how many other bikers who are trying to navigate our roads that are respectful, that don't blow though lights and stop signs. You can check my computer....I stop every time. Do you? Funny thing about being on a bike nearly everyday...if I were a cop with a camera I could write a hundred tickets a day....each way from home to work.

Share the road. The arrogant riders and motorists will, eventually, genetically, weed themselves out of the picture.

Also...we have a Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee here in Pleasanton, plus a Trails Ad Hoc committee, plus a Parks & Recreation Commission and gee....a Public Works Department...let them know what is working and not working...

Share your ideas....share the road....share what we all enjoy in Pleasanton, a great "Friendly" community

Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Play nice so everyone can enjoy the game.

Posted by Mellow
a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Aug 21, 2009 at 4:55 pm

We all need to follow the rules and ... CHILLAX....

Posted by Bonnie
a resident of Country Fair
on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Daily I am appalled at both bikers and pedestrians. I drive a full size American car...heavy, heavy, heavy. I am super cautious...yet I have blind spots and get really angry at fools who put themselves in my blindspots...they should be educated walkers or riders. They can stop a lot easier & faster than I can. I am amazed that they value their own lives so little. In parking lots when I'm trying to back out of a space, I oh SO carefully back out. I have a luxury car with sensors telling me that something is behind me. Yet there is usually a Mama's BIG SUV sticking out feet behind me on both sides, & since I lack eyes in the back of my head, I can only slowlyu roll straight back (like Safeway) slanted, angle spaces would be SO much better, but stupidly S had to make it difficult (apparently) for hurried SUV Moms to PROPERLY park. Anyway, seemingly intelligent Moms, kids running ahead dart behind my 4,000 vehicle...remember I am constantly looking, but I AM blocked on both side...without cryptonite I can only guess. Do people value their own lives SO LITTLE, that they feel zero PERSONAL responsibility for their own survival. They rudely cut across, people of younger adult ages don't look....assuming the world will STOP FOR them, walk in crosswalks, with human decency would call for pausing. I always pause, wave on, etc. More mannered older generation UNDERSTAND driving and weight of vehicles, etc. and demonstrate manners. I'm alway amazed at the 35 yr old Mom that charges right along on foot...demonstrating to her kids to disregard the world around them and go ahead and put your life at risk. Sadly, as one has mentioned some driver are overly cautious and could be charged for the RUDNESS, & STUPIDITY of people who should know better and exercise some suvival skills, if not common decency. The same applies to bikers ( I have a son who rides hours every day commuting to work on motorcycle) Large luxury cars have blind spots....small cars are not visible either. I guess it's their choice to gamble with their own lives...if they want.

Posted by A. Cyclist, not A Biker
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm

A "biker" rides a motorcycle. A cyclist rides a bicycle. I didn't decide this, it's just the way it is.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Aug 26, 2009 at 9:37 pm

The large spandex wearing, bicycle riding group Tuesday night around 6:30 pm or so, driving south on Foothill Road was a rude bunch. Rather than ride single file or even double, they took up an entire lane of traffic, reducing car traffic to one lane between 580 and Stoneridge mall area. How about you share the bicycle lane! I'm sick of hearing the bicycle lane has broken glass or gravel and you have to ride outside the lane to avoid it. Certainly the street cleaner gets out there...

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