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Acrimonious meeting reveals traffic woes

Original post made on Oct 18, 2012

Following two collisions that killed pedestrians on California Street this year, the Shoreline West Association of Neighbors held an unusual meeting on street safety Monday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 18, 2012, 1:05 PM

Comments (54)

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm

The assertion that "speed was not a factor" in the death and dismemberment of Mr. Ware is a complete absurdity, given that witnesses put the speed of Pumar's car at 60-70 mph. Had Pumar been driving at 35 mph (the posted limit) or less, I suspect that Mr. Ware would not have been torn apart by the impact.

It sounds like they're getting ready to let Pumar slide. Money doesn't talk --- it SCREAMS.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Hey Ronit, we are beyond goal setting and waiting until next January to do it. We need concrete action now!

And as far as Officer Lopez's comments go, could we please have him reassigned or demoted to record keeping? He is completely out of touch on a solution.

Posted by Deniece Watkins Smith
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

The meeting our neighborhood association held last Monday night was a positive experience where residents were given an open forum in which to express their traffic concerns.

Three members of Public Works and two from Mountain View Police participated. We had three council members and one candidate also in attendance. All officials present were there for two hours listening intently to each person's complaint and possible solution.

We accomplished an unbelievable amount in a short period of time. Thanks go to SWAN's committed and cooperative residents, as well as members of three other neighborhood groups.

When the meeting ended it was touted as being "as good as any professionally organized meeting at the city level," by one council member. Another council member said they heard loudly and clearly the messages about bicycle and pedestrian safety needing to be in larger focus and would be advocating as such.

The only "acrimonious" part of our meeting was when some emotional residents chose to speak using less than respectful comments to get their point made. That is the choice of the participant, and was not the tone of the meeting, as this article states.

Traffic concerns and safety pertain to everyone. SWAN board members have been in communication with the city officials, including council, since the meeting and look forward to positive actions being taken with regard to safer crosswalks, bike lanes, and streets.

Deniece Watkins Smith
SWAN President

Posted by obey the law
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I think that intense and completely even handed enforcement of the law on California, Shoreline, Rengstorff, Esquela & Villa for a period of time would be a good idea.
I drive the speed limit, and I stop at stop signs.
When I'm riding, I STOP AT STOP SIGNS. Just yesterday, I was trying to drive home and I had 3 different bicyclists ride right through the stop sign at Villa & Escuela, even though I had the right of way, and had stopped at the stop sign, and was pulling out into the intersection.

It happened to me downtown at the intersection of Villa in front of the post office - a bike nearly hit me when he sped right through the stop sign at about 15 mph. He didn't even slow down.

Ticket J-WALKERS. They endanger everyone when they cross where there are no intersections, especially when they cross at night wearing exclusively black clothes. Do you know how many people have been saved by their white socks? They endanger themselves, the driver they step out in front of, and the drivers & pedestrians that driver may hit trying to avoid the idiot.

Ticket bikes that run stop signs.
Ticket cars that run stop signs.
Ticket bikes that ride on sidewalks.
Everyone should obey the law. People get hurt when you don't.

Posted by Jeff
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Would like to see more attention given to Calderon between Church and Dana. This stretch has a kink that hides moving vehicles; several changes in the width of the street; parking on both sides; many side streets and driveways with lousy visibility of oncoming traffic (some shrub pruning enforcement would be wise!); heavy vehicle, bike and pedestrian traffic re Landels School; and a lot of speeding drivers. It is also a main bike access route for the Stevens Creek Trail and the mass transit terminal on Evelyn.

Between Shoreline and Grant/237, Calderon is the main artery to go between El Camino and Evelyn, and as such is poorly designed for the volume and speeds that are evident.

Education, enforcement, calming measures (a few more stop signs, sigh) ... whatever combination it takes!

Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

"LaFleur said the accidents prove that even at legal speeds cars are going too fast on California street and Shoreline blvd"
If by 'too fast' he means being deadly to a pedestrian, then what he really means is vehicle speeds should be limited to 5mph. Does the majority here really want that? Common sense tells us to not step in front of a moving car, regardless of our imagined right to do so.
Mr. Ware's tragic death had nothing to do with the posted speed limit and everything to do with driving stupidly, as officer Lopez explained.

Posted by Biker chick
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm

That tree trimming truck in the bike lane near El Camino is a problem. Isn't there a 72 hour max for parking in one place?

Posted by Reduce big artery, then smaller arteries will suffere
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

@ Jeff,

The reason there is more traffic on Calderon is because they made the main artery (Castro) into a 2 lane street. Reduce big artery, then smaller arteries will need to take up the slack.

Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm

My husband and I left this meeting before it ended because we were so angered by what we heard. The city staff were polite and considerate, but their comments reinforced a "cars first" attitude that prioritizes car traffic over walkers and bicyclists.

I resented Lopez's emphasis that vulnerable street users must be deferential to cars since they are the ones who are injured in a collision. The people who come to these meetings are the careful ones. We're just tired of being bullied out of our right of way and we want the city's help.

I resented Lopez' insistence that speed was not a factor is these collision deaths. Speed always matters. A car going 40 mph takes almost twice as much distance to stop as a car going 25 mph. And to say that speed didn't play into the Ware case was an insult to our intelligence.

I resented Fuller's statement that we can't lower speed limits if drivers are comfortable driving faster without mentioning how narrowing vehicle lanes and reducing the number of lanes has been proven to slow down traffic without relying on enforcement.

Overall, the crowd was very polite considering how disgusted most of us were. When it comes down to it, I don't think most of us expect things to change much. Cars have been prioritized for the last 60 years and drivers squeal when any change is made that might cost them an extra 30 seconds driving time.

My biggest takeaway from this meeting was that if I get hit on my bike or crossing the road on foot, the MVPD will look to blame me first, not the driver. Especially if like Joshua and Erik I'm dead and can't speak for myself.

Posted by Citizen Kane
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm

MVPD doesn't enforce parking laws. It's beneath them. Not glamorous enough. When I called them on a similar truck, they said there was nothing illegal about it. I then looked on the city code against it and called the watch commander on duty and read it to him. The cops were there within 30 minutes writing a ticket. It took them almost an hour since apparently they haven't dusted off that chapter for quite some time. They are too busy either posing as crime fighters or setting up high revenue traps for rolling through stop signs at 2MPH.

Posted by Voter
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Well said Janet. We are just expected to pay high taxes and fees and put up with it. The Police exist only to keep us in line and hand out blame instead of protecting our right. City Hall is an organism that serves only itself in the end.

Posted by Someone with sense
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I totally agree with Mr. Lopez comment, "Lopez took an educational approach towards the issue, pointing out that though pedestrians and cyclists have the right of way, doesn't mean it's always safe." Good point.

Cars are not going away, learn to live with them by being more aware of the surroundings. Safety is not a rocket science.

Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Steve, we don't need 5 mph speed limits to reduce deaths. People hit by cars going 25 mph have an 85% chance of survival. At 40 mph, 85% will die. Then there's stopping distance: a driver going 40 who sees a person in the road 100 feet ahead and brakes hard will be going 38 mph at impact. A driver going 25 mph will stop before hitting the person. Don't believe me? Read this: Web Link

We have 25 mph speed limits on neighborhood streets for this reason. However, many times the streets are so wide the average speed is 30 mph or above. And when streets like California St, Shoreline and Rengstoff have 35 mph speed limits and average speeds approaching or above 40 you can see how they becomes deadly.

No one intends to step in front of a car. The problem is that the drivers don't always do what you expect. They come around a corner fast, change lanes or floor it as they pull out of a parking lot. And it's not easy to estimate car speeds, especially at night.

We want to be safer on the street. We just don't want to have to hop in a car every time we want to go 1/4 mile to pick up a gallon of milk, walk our kids to school or visit a neighbor.

(p.s. I'm a she.)

Posted by local cyclist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm

This meeting was not well run. Deniece Watkins Smith set a bad tone when she rudely interrupted a Latino neighborhood organizer for being "too specific" to start off discussions. She came off as hostile to the very people these efforts should protect. If SWAN wants to include the neighborhood's Latino residents this meeting was a very poor start.

It also speaks volumes that city officials were given most of the meeting to talk. The meeting was billed as a forum for people to discuss pedestrian safety, but instead of being heard clearly they were shuffled off into seperate groups where a lot of bickering went on and many great ideas were not well reported back to the rest of the group. This issue deserves better. It deserves an open forum and a moderator who is sensitive the social dynamics of the neighborhood.

Posted by Cars
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Janet is angered by the "cars first" attitude?

Earth to Janet: 95%+ of the people on the road are in cars!

I think most everyone wants improved safety. But many bicyclists come out with an attitude that despite being 5% or less of the overall traffic flow, their viewpoints are the ones that matter the most. Sure, you're doing great things for the environment, and the rest of us are evil...but you're still 5% In what society are things designed for the 5% minority at the expense of the other 95%?

If bikers would drop the attitude that they're somehow entitled some favored status, and that the roads should be designed primarily for their needs, they'd get a lot more support from the other 95%. Acknowledge that you do live in a "cars first" world, and then seek solutions for making biking safer in that world. I'm all for reducing some speed limits, and making bike lanes a bit wider and safer. Let's light all the crosswalks. But stop demanding reduction of least until car sales in America drop 35%-50% to justify the reduction.

We all want safe roads. But the 95% are more inclined to come to the table if the 5% act a bit more like they recognize the ratios.

Posted by earth to car drivers
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Car drivers are framing this as a war between cars and bicycles. That is false. In reality, all of the recent fatalities are pedestrians. The real battle is making our streets safer for all users, especially pedestrians.

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm

For all the whiners about the priority set on motor vehicles ...



When you PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE AND HAVE A LICENSE PLATE TO HELP THE PUBLIC ( not the typical MV cop ) IDENTIFY A LAWBREAKER, THEN you can have a say on what could be done to make MV a more alternative " transportation city "!

I suggest the whiners look up the saying TANSTAAFL.

Don't bring up the fact that you own a motor vehicle; THAT IS NOT RELEVANT TO THE ISSUE, proper law enforcement for ALL who use roads ( NOT SIDEWALKS ) should include a LICENSE ( learn and OBEY EVERY TRAFFIC LAW ), Registration ( FRONT AND REAR LICENSE PLATES FOR BICYCLES ) and PROOF OF INSURANCE ( If a cyclist on a sidewalk hits a pedestrian, THE BICYCLIST PAYS THE BILLS )

No more freebies, it's time to pay your fair share if you want any change.

In other bicycle friendly cities the use of bicycle cops to enforce laws on the trails is common; the many bicycle riding scofflaws get tickets just like the automobile scofflaws. Adding plates on bikes would make the job easier to do.

As I have said before, the Boulder County Sheriff Department wrote appox. 150 tickets in a shift for bicyclists blowing off just ONE stop sign on US36 just north of the bicycle friendly city of Boulder Colorado.

For all the cyclists that blow off stop signs A FOOT ON THE PAVEMENT DENOTES A FULL STOP. Just as a motorist must make a full stop at a limit line, A BICYCLIST MUST DO THE SAME!!

The abuse by many cyclist trail users ( excessive speeds and injuring other trail users ) has caused ONE WAY DAYS where CYCLISTS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO USE A TRAIL IN ONE DIRECTION ON ALTERNATE DAYS.

When I had to commute to summer school ( I wanted to graduate in 3 years ), I rode up to El Camino Real and down to Santa Clara. I made it a habit to follow the law and had no problems or issues BECAUSE I FOLLOWED THE LAWS along with a dose of common sense. When you dismount, YOU BECOME A PEDESTRIAN and that was the safest way to handle the commute.

Pay your fair share, then you will have an equal standing on use of roads. If not, then stay second class road (ab)users.

Posted by pedestrian
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Pedestrians may not pay license fees, but we do pay property taxes and sales taxes and the majority of road construction and road maintenance comes from these types of taxes. License and registration fees are so small that they barely pay for anything.

Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

@Cars I’m well aware that people who walk, ride bikes and take transit are a minority in our area. But together we are more than 5%, and if our streets were designed better for people who aren’t in cars those numbers would rise.

Why is that important? Because as our population grows, we won’t have space in our city for every person to make every trip in a personal vehicle. Some would say we don’t have space now. Our city leaders understand this and are spending a lot of time and effort looking for economical, effective alternatives. It’s not easy when residents are resistant to change.

I am not asking to eliminate cars from our streets. I am asking for a street design that makes it safer and more pleasant for people on foot, on bicycles and riding transit so that more people will choose these alternatives. Our city is not big and sprawling. We can do it.

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm

"We really have to study something like that very carefully," Fuller said. "We don't want to create unintended consequences."

In other words "we will sit on it until it blows over and we will end up doing nothing, because we don't care".

Posted by Riding while smiling
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:53 am

All you angry people are a sad way. I'm just going to ride my bike and focus on the smiling folks I encounter regularly. How can anyone be this crabby on such a beautiful day?
Oh well, won't affect me one iota.

Posted by Litigation Nation
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:59 am

Its OK really. The lawyers like the way drivers act towards cyclists. I have 2 friends who made out very nicely after being hit. Of course the motorists _were_ at fault. They may have been treated like second class on the roads by drivers, but they both got first class settlements.
The drivers learned a good lesson as well I would expect. Well, I would hope.

Posted by Wendy
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 19, 2012 at 9:38 am

Riding while Smiling:

How condescending. Dismiss other people's concerns without even attempting to understand or pause to reflect their reality.

I'd rather you focus on the rules of the road and pedestrians rather than having your head in lollipop land.

Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Oct 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

The following posts were made on a duplicate thread which has now been closed:

We need safe driving and safe biking. People who drive faster than the speed limit should be punished. But we should not force all the safe, law-abiding drivers to go slower than the speed limit. As just one example, the city stupidly put in 4 consecutive speed bumps on a nearby street that makes it impossible to go the speed limit. The reality is that the vast majority of people drive cars, and there are many who cannot use bicycles (families, the elderly, disabled, etc.) We should focus on improving bike options that do NOT in any way reduce the driving experience.
by Cuesta Resident Oct 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm

The deaths on California Ave all involved automobiles that were traveling greater than the posted limit. The reality is that it is actually legal to drive FASTER than the posted limit in many cases. As the article indicates, the traffic courts will no enforce a speed limit that is unreasonably low given the width of the streets. So, unless the police can prove that speed was a primary factor in the accident, there really is no issue with going over the posted limit. The other problem with fatal traffic accidents at night on a road like California is that there is likely only one witness available after the accident--and that is the driver. Even if the driver is at fault, as long as they don't incriminate themselves, it is unlikely they will be charged. "He came out of nowhere!" Personally, I would like to see cheap, brightly colored flags (and holders) posted along California, so people can grab one before crossing and get some instant visibility. Otherwise, I don't think the City is really going to do anything unless a young child, a "pretty woman" or the like gets hit. Then, you will see some action.
by SafetyFirst Oct 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

As someone who drives for a living, we slow down, watch out for each other. Mr Ware was waiting for a bus, you had a road crew working on the street, lots of crosswalks equals people, built up dense area. Speed limit is 35 but common sense will tell you to slow down. If you find yourself driving, walking or biking use common sense, stay aware, let yourself be seen by others. Most important keep an eye out for others too.

Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

We are near the 2nd anniverary of the death of a Mtn. View mother of 2 high school students on Alpine Road at the 280 underpass. The CHP at first blamed the cyclist, who was overtaken, struck from behind, and killed by a massive 18 wheeler, loaded with a massive load, that dragged her body along. The truck struck her with its left side as it attempted to use the 280 S. on ramp. Later, after much outcry, CHP changed its story to a trajic accident, not citing the truck driver,(his 2nd bike fatality). Law enforcement, and by extension government, treats cyclists and pedestrians like children, who should not be playing with toys on the roads. (BTW, I own and pay taxes on 2 cars.)

Posted by Riding while smiling
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Oh Wendy, being in a good mood does not prohibit one from obeying the laws, which is something I do all the time; every stop and every read light...hand signals as well. All the concerns I read do not address what I do o n the road, so yes, I dismiss them. They are obviously talking about OTHER cyclists so its not my fight. Let them rant and rave all they want, its invisible to me because it does not concern me
Have a GREAT day! :)

Posted by Fiona
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm

This group is focused on saving lives. Riding while smiling is focused only on his or herself.

Posted by Resident Bob
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm

One thing is clear: Even if cars kill numerous people, even if they start running over a kid per week outside the school for three weeks,
there is a segment of our community that will ignore that and try to shift the discussion to people on bikes.

That's like ignoring the actions of the Exxon Valdez skipper to complain about the pollution the guy peeing off the back of the ship is causing.

First focus on the group that is killing, then we can discuss the pet peeve type small issues that obviously frustrate some.

Posted by Riding while smiling
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Fiona, do you have an issue with me adhering to all the traffic laws?
Do you have an issue with me being happy?
Seems to me I'm behaving in the way the anti-bike people are demanding cyclists behave, yet you still feel the need to insult me as if I'm doing something wrong. That's very telling.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:31 am

You could start a whole thread on bad walking/biking, driving manners. The whole point is not getting killed or killing others. Don't forget injury also. We are car centered, our streets, our lives, work, even errand running is centered on cars. Bikes and walking are the odd person out.

Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2012 at 11:47 am

Some amazingly silly comments above from the anti-car people. Capt. Lopez and Mike Fuller seem like the only sensible people in the crowd. His comment about his niece was right on, she "would stand in front of a train and argue she has the right of way. Don't be my niece. Don't take that chance."

Roads are built for cars and accommodate others who must use common sense when interacting with larger bigger vehicles. Those that argue for better design are just as silly. You cant stop people from acting stupid when they use streets. Except for the Ware accident, no one has been charged with a crime. Maybe we should require pedestrians and bicyclists to wear helmets, reflective gear and lights (like cars are required) at night in order to use streets. Why not also add a user tax like a gas tax. Maybe this would help then understand the excessive impact of regulations and taxes on car owners. Or perhaps ban non-car users from all streets like we do for highways.

Posted by 100% bicycle commuter
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm

@Political Insider wrote: "Or perhaps ban non-car users from all streets like we do for highways."

I don't think you were serious in your final sentence, but the fact that you would write that at all, or the paragraph that precedes it, suggests that you're failing to appreciate a fundamental aspect of automotive transportation. Let me see if I can explain it simply and clearly.

Because humans can't naturally fly or burrow, we get around by walking on a two-dimensional surface embedded in our three-dimensional world. Streets divide that surface into separate pieces. It is impossible to get from one piece to another without crossing a street. Furthermore, property ownership precludes walking through most of a piece.

So a human walker is left to walk along piece boundaries -- implemented as sidewalks adjacent to streets -- and across streets. This human did not choose to live in such a world. He just ended up there and is doing as best he can. The same can be said of animals.

In contrast, motorists make an active choice to endorse and use this framework we have imposed on our two-dimensional surface. Since this framework is unnatural and imposed, its endorsers and users have a special responsibility to ensure it is not unduly destructive.

If roads were separate from the natural places of humans and animals -- say, built in the sky higher than birds fly or tunneled through the ground deeper than animals burrow -- then I would agree with what you wrote: motorists on such roads would have the priority over all peripheral users. But roads infringe on the natural movement of humans and animals. They take away from what we once had. For that reason, the takers carry a burden of responsibility not shared by others.

Posted by MV
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Maybe we just put it in a ballot measure to get California in 3-way lane. We the people need to tell the Governement what we want not the other way.

Lopez simply needs to go. Any ideas on how to get rid of the guy?

Posted by Seeing the Diversion
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 21, 2012 at 6:16 am

CLASSIC selfish driver behavior is on example here in the comments.
Here's the issue: Fatalities caused by drivers running over pedestrians and school children run over right outside their school weekly. The cars only crowd see the problem as being bikes and pedestrians. In other words: "Don't you dare suggest that I alter my behavior, its all your fault. Change the way YOU behave and get OUTTA MY WAY and GET OFFA MY ROAD"
God forbid drivers figure out what the big pedal to the left of the accelerator is for.
Lets keep those ticket books smoking MVPD. Its a beautiful sight lately!

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hmmmmmm. After we run every non car driver off the road, bike lane and sidewalk. Do we get to run other drivers off the same piece of pavement? Do we assign a point system, they made a film in the 70's. Death Race 2000.

Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2012 at 11:17 am

All the pro-bike people here need to do some research. Find a stop sign on a popular street. Sit and watch how many BIKES actually STOP at the stop sign.

You will find the number to be less than zero. I'm not saying cars are much better. Most roll through.. but they at least slow down and on occasion some do fully stop.

If you want the police to start handing out citations please make sure to include yourselves. Bikes break as many traffic laws as car do every single day.

Posted by Rose
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Otto, yes, virtually all bike riders roll stop signs at some point on their trip. But virtually all car drivers speed on every trip too. Ask Sgt Lopez, he used it as a reason that people in the audience should complain about speeders.

But the bike riders rolling through stop signs aren't killing people. Speeding car drivers are. If it weren't for fast moving cars, there wouldn't have been three deaths in the past few months, nor would there have been this neighborhood meeting to discuss them.

Posted by Rose
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Important correction to my previous comment: ... Ask Sgt Lopez, he used it as a reason that people in the audience should NOT complain about speeders.

Posted by Auto
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Otto, can you please post a quick tally of deaths in MV caused by all these bikes you see? Should be easy, right? Wrong, because its not happening.

Sorry, you're on the wrong side of the "which is causing true harm" argument.
Lets focus on what is causing the loss of life, then we can focus on what irritates Otto.
As soon as you can make a factual statement about bikes causing more deaths than cars on the road, you'll have a valid argument. Until then, you're pet peeve about bikes is background noise to the real issue.
Nobody is saying one group is breaking laws and one isn't, what we are saying is one group is breaking laws and killing people.

Posted by Safety
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Bikes cruising through stop signs may not kill anyone, but those bicyclists put themselves more at risk for getting killed or injured...which is really just as important.

The laws are the laws. You don't get to pick and follow the ones you like most. You can't use the law to justify bikers' presence in turn lanes, and then discount the laws about stopping at traffic stop signs, riding on the wrong side of the road, or blowing through a red light because no cars are coming. If a law seems trivial or unnecessary, work to have it changed.

I'd like to see more uniform and regular enforcement...both bikes and cars.

Posted by obey the law
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Yes, the bikes running the stop signs are endangering lives. I've had to slam my brakes on in the middle of an intersection to avoid hitting bike riders who think that stop signs do not apply to them.
That leaves me stuck in the middle of an intersection, trying not to get hit by the other cars.

When riding a bike, there are several times I've almost been hit by other BICYCLE RIDERS running stop signs or red lights! I stop. You can stop. It's happened more than once. But, I've never even come close to being hit by a car running a red light or stop sign while riding a bike.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I agree. Let's focus on what is really killing people:
Lack of common sense. Drivers travelling 70 on California street. Joggers straying into traffic at night on a busy thoroughfare. Otherwise innocent individuals jaywalking in the dark.
Making the streets idiot-proof would be a great idea, except for one thing: As soon as you succeed, Darwin will build a better idiot.

Posted by Rose
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Safety and Obey the Law - I'm not saying that bicyclists running through stop signs is lawful or advisable. I have them cut in front of me sometimes too and it's also plain rude if there are other people ahead of them at the intersection. What I'm saying is that in terms of danger to others it doesn't compare to the dangers of speeding, which was a factor in these deaths, regardless of what Sgt Lopez says.

Obey - if you've never been close to being hit by a car not yielding to you on your bike, then you must not bike much on busier roads. I regularly have cars try to turn left in front of me when I have the right of way crossing Shoreline and Rengstorff. Not all the time, but enough that I am on guard every time I cross.

Posted by Sparty
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Gee that's funny, last week it was all about MV city council being a biker friendly, drive thru averse group.

Now with the meeting done and certain people not feeling catered to, suddenly they are pro car.

Let's not even get into the SWAN folks whose shameless exploitation of 2 deaths is simply their disgusting and reprehensible method of sensationalizing tragedy for their own desires.

They are obviously NOT residents of area they've selfishly shoehorned into their "neighborhood." And as they've shown they are openly hostile to the people in that neighborhood who are of a completely different racial, economic, and housing make up.

Nice attitude by the bike crowd as well. "as long as nothing happens we are free to break the law."

Well if that's the case, maybe I'll go out in the back yard and fire off my guns now and then, as long as no one gets killed by ricochets or falling bullets, then I'll keep on doing it.

Posted by Daily Driver
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 23, 2012 at 6:42 am

3 lost lives and 3 weeks of school children being picked off like ducks in a shooting gallery. Obviously we should focus our attention riders! (LOL)
Given this logic, when Sparty shoots his gun in the air, focus on his neighbor shooting BB's.

Sorry apologists, you can't win this argument...not until some cyclists start killing people. In the past 3 fatalities and 3 children being struck by cars one thing is clear: No Bikes were involved at all.

Posted by huh?
a resident of Slater
on Oct 23, 2012 at 6:59 am

A bike commuter I know bikes to work everyday blowing through stop signs while listening to an iPOD. I won't get in a car with him. His driving is just as reckless.

There is a tendency here to think bikers are good drivers are bad. No one has stopped to think that it goes both ways. If you cheat the laws while driving, you are probably doing the same thing while riding a bike or even walking.

You have to change the human behavior.

Posted by Desmond
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 23, 2012 at 7:26 am

I agree. Since the VAST majority of cyclists are also drivers, a careless cyclist is just a careless driver using a different vehicle.
Lets keep the citation party going MVPD. White 'em up hard and often, then repeat often.

Posted by Change Happening
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

I saw a cop ON FOOT today in front of one of the hot spots; ticket book in hand. This is a great way to catch the scoff laws. I support and encourage more of this. These tickets not only make MV money, but also keep people safer as well as helping people behind the wheel (or handlebar) change their behaviors. Keep it up MVPD!
More radar patrols needed as well...why have there been so few radar cops around lately?

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

How about 3 wheel bikes for the ones that are going to and from work, school. The other day saw a cyclist who has bags around the handlebars and a backpack trying to stop and balance at the same time when doing a legal stop. He struggled to get back up to speed and deal with people pulling in and out of driveways.

Posted by Sparty
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm

>3 lost lives and 3 weeks of school children being picked off like ducks in a shooting gallery.

3 unnecessary deaths because kids haven't had it hammered in to LOOK before they cross.


Posted by 100% Car
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 24, 2012 at 5:47 am

Obviously, reading the above posts, its clear the ticketing campaign must continue. Go MVPD!

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 24, 2012 at 8:06 am

It's good to see the MVPD jumping on this. We need the money, and selfish "me-first" drivers need the lesson. It's a win/win situation.


Posted by Safe Driver
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

It will only work if the ticketing continues. Lets drive home the point that if you want to zip through a town, rolling stops, running red lights and exceeding the speed limits, you'll not be wise to try it in MV. We need people to think "Oh yah, I'm in MV now" and then lift their foot from the gas pedal.

WE SUPPORT YOU MVPD! Free Motrin for all cops w/ ticket writer's cramps.

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