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Original post made
on Nov 20, 2012
While I am all in favor of better bike/ped safety, I am also aware that the bicyclists and the pedestrians are at least half of the problem themselves. Cross a street while texting and never look up. Coast around a corner at 15mph and make cars swerve as you go into the car lane. Start across a street at the end of the walk signal. Some recently witnessed examples.
I am a driver and a walker and most cars are very cooperative and patient when things are done in a courteous manner. Mountain View is way better than some cities but the entire public needs to be on board to make safety happen. More lines, buzzers and lights will not solve the entire problem!
Just last night I saw a collision between a cyclist and motorist on Plymouth St near Shoreline - the driver apparently turned right into the movie theatre across the cycle lane without yielding to the cyclist who looked pretty visible to me. He hurt his leg but was otherwise OK. The problem is *not* speed - it's cyclist and motorists not obeying very simple road rules. In my opinion, the driving test is way too easy, and cyclists don't have to take any kind of test. Separating the cyclists from the motorists as described in the article by putting parked cars between is one way to go but it addresses a symptom and not the cause.
I would love to be honestly surprised by lawmakers addressing the real problems here, but I know they will just lower a speed limit or two and call it a day.
Motorists - why don't you look before you turn right across a cycle lane? Why? You have a mirror right there!
Cyclists - why on earth do you think it's OK to run red lights? Don't be fools.
@Simon: "You have a mirror right there" but I don't think many motorists use their right side mirror very frequently.
If the bike lane was on the other side of parked cars then wouldn't there be more of these right turn accidents? It would be hard to use the right side mirror to see bikers when there's a row of parked cars blocking the view as you turn right across the bike lane rather than merging into the bike lane before turning.
I agree, I think it could potentially cause more of those types of accident (but possibly less of others.) Again, I don't think that addressing one of the symptoms is the solution.
Motorists must use the right side mirror. It's there for a reason. Cyclists should ride defensively and assume that a car will turn in front of them when they approach a right turn.
I just finished riding my bike. I feel great. Its even more fun in this blustery weather. I obeyed all the applicable traffic laws and also was treated with consideration by every motorist I had direct interaction with...finishing with waves and smiles each time (stop sign "you go. no, you go" type stuff.
Its really not so bad out there, but the very fact that all the posters here are interested in bettering the situation and have ideas on how to do so is a testament to the further caring this community shows to all. Way to go MV.
While cycling home from my shop last night I saw a cop writing a cyclist a ticket. It's about time. Many cyclists in this town are very arrogant and constantly flout the law. Sure, most accidents are still likely caused by motorists, but when two parties do as they please, they eventually going to meet in a bad way.
I encourage the council to continue working on the issue of bicycle and pedestrian safety, but in a reasonable fashion. Don't just toss money at the problem. We have laws in place and police to enforce them. That's a good start.
Next step. Paint and signs. They're pretty cheap. You can always change things back if something doesn't work. As a start, we can get rid of all these asinine two-way stops in Old Mountain View. Who came up with those? Limited visibility intersections in a residential neighborhood where people avoiding the arterial routes fly through with reckless abandon or fail to stop and yield to those with the right of way.
What we really need is a new traffic engineer. They've been botching things in this town for years...
A recent article here, showed that in the last 5 or so years, the MAJORITY of accidents between bicyclist and motor vehicles was the fault of the bicyclist.
@kman: Source? I searched, but couldn't find the article you mentioned.
I love the trend this city is on!
It's saddening that Laura talks about "accidents" rather than crashes, and the article refers to the aged "bike boulevard" name rather than "neighborhood greenways" (which has sparked a revolution in Portland these past few years).
It only reinforces that, while Silicon Valley may be the home of high tech, it's a decade behind in progressive thinking about how we use streets to create livable places.
City Council should watch videos like this and go visit Seattle, Vancouver BC, or Chicago and learn what real cities are doing on a shoestring to make it easy and safe for people of all ages and abilities to walk and bike.
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