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Use your Common Sense

Original post made by UseCommonSense, Foothill High School, on Dec 7, 2011

Everyone heading to Foothill HS around 7.30am knows there will be a long line of cars heading towards the 4 way stop at Muirwood. It's just expected now and most people are patient. But yesterday I saw 2 cars driving along in the bike lane from the LP overpass to turn right at the 4 way stop. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and just hoped there were no kids on their bikes riding up towards the cars (heading towards Donlon/Hart) because they would have been hit for sure. Who do these drivers think they are? They were driving too fast to even get their license plate numbers. Have patience people - life's too short.

Comments (14)

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Posted by parent
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 7, 2011 at 10:13 am

I wonder why they dont just remove the island in the middle of that road to make it wider?

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm

that could prove a bit costly for drivers...wouldn't driver need to have wider tires so as not to steer off the road? duh...


please put on your thinking cap parent!

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm

substitute: motorists for driver

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Posted by Pam
a resident of Castlewood
on Dec 8, 2011 at 9:44 am

Does anywone know when they are going to activate the signal lights at Muirwood and W. Las Po?

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Posted by A Mom
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 8, 2011 at 10:29 am

It's all over, my student rides his bike to AVHS down Santa Rita. At the intersection at Alisal he almost always has some "mom" who comes up behind or cuts in front of him in the bike lane. 2 weeks ago one car actually nudged him, and the woman kept driving.

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Posted by stopintheirtracks
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 8, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Yep, I saw this along LP too. Idiot way to prevent them doing this is to drive as close to the bike lane as possible then they can't get past you. I simply don't understand what the rush is - it only takes a few minutes to get to the 4 way stop even when you're in a long line of cars. I just wish everyone would just take it easy, you'll get to your destination eventually without potentially wiping out the bicyclists or pedestrians who stand in your way.

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Posted by Westsider
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Cholo: your comments are unclear. The only island is on the West hill side of WLP--not the overpass portion. The description in the post is that the drivers were coming down the hill from the overpass, making a right on Muirwood toward Lydiksen. Thus the bicyclists would have to be riding uphill from Muirwood, in the bike lane on the wrong side of the road, in order to get hit. That's not to say that vehicles should be driving in bike lanes where they're obviously not supposed as the author describes.

WLP signal is supposed be turned on later this month, but could be next month as there is some sort of problem with the electrical and PG&E that is still being resolved.

Hopefully, the signal will help improve traffic flow to/from the schools once drivers get used to it. I hear it uses sensors so when vehicles speed up to it to 'make the light' it will turn red.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 8, 2011 at 10:36 pm

well, the way I see it is if you can't get around the bike lane, how can you get to your destination if you can't drive???

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Posted by Vanessa
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 9, 2011 at 9:29 am

It is really sickening to see what some drivers will do all in the name of saving time. I would do as what one poster suggested, hug the bike lane so none of those idiots can get past me and potentially hurt a child up ahead. As for the suggestion to remove the island - obviously it hasn't been done either due to money or the road not being wide enough to acccommodate the change. People just need to use their damn common sense and quit endangering lives for selfish reasons. Argh.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 9, 2011 at 10:38 am

Perhaps we need to emphasize that bikes DO NOT ride toward traffic. The bike lanes even have arrows to help us (and our kids) remember this.

Also, according to CA state law:

"When you are making a right turn and are within 200 feet of the corner or other driveway entrance, you must enter the bicycle lane only after ensuring there is no bicycle traffic, and then make the turn. Do not drive in the bicycle lane at any other time."

(Web Link)

So people that block bike lanes are actually preventing cars from doing what the law requires. Were the cars in the bike lane beyond 200 feet from the corner?

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Posted by UseCommonSense
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

@ Steve - These cars were coming from the top of the overpass - flying down the hill to the stop sign and turning right - probably u-turning also to go right or ahead at Muirwood. I don't blame the kids for using the bike lane in the wrong direction - have you ever tried crossing Muirwood - cars refuse to stop or almost clip the back wheels of bikes/heels of pedestrians. They simply have no patience/common sense full stop. I think the suggestion of the person who said drive closer to the bike lane (without driving in it) has a good point.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm

The problem with going the wrong way in a bike lane is that:

- the relative speed of approach is increased.
- cars don't expect a bike to be coming toward them so it could surprise a driver. It's never good to surprise a driver.

According to CA law, in the situation with a bike lane at a corner, a bike going straight MUST merge left so they are on the left edge of the bike lane, and a car going right MUST merge into the bike lane within 200 feet of the corner.

In this way, the bike can go straight ahead without a car cutting them off or hitting them, and the car doesn't have to follow the bike without knowing whether they're turning or going straight. Confusion is the killer on the roads.

By preventing a car from entering the bike lane, you are forcing them to cut in front of a bike to make the turn. If bikes are going the wrong way, then a car may not even see the bike because they are looking behind and to the right to clear themselves without noticing a quickly closing bike in the lane they're entering.

Please don't use offensive driving skills - like blocking lanes and cutting people off. Defensive is better for everyone. Read up on the laws, and teach your kids to walk toward traffic and ride with traffic. If it's too busy to ride with traffic, use the sidewalk (slowly, please).

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm

One more thing. When you drive very close to a bike lane, you are endangering bicyclists who follow the law by merging left at the corner. By trying to protect the bicyclist, you may just force them into the path of a turning car, or even hit them yourself.

You should open up the space and provide room for everyone to get where they're going.

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Posted by UseCommonSense
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm

@ Steve - I get what you're saying - I'm not talking about the 200 yards where the dotted line is for the cars to turn right - of course cars should be able to go there. I'm talking about when the cars are driving for 1/8 mile in the bike lane 'cos they don't want to wait their turn in the line of cars till they get to the dotted line to turn right. This has nothing to do with the dotted line section but to start driving in the bike lane from the overpass down towards the dotted line is simply dangerous. (You know it may not be 1/8 mile but I've never measured the length of the road from the overpass, down the hill and to the stop sign.)

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