Town Square

Post a New Topic

Bicyclist suffers critical injuries in collision

Original post made on Jul 13, 2015

A bicyclist was critically injured in Mountain View on Friday evening after he was struck by a car on San Antonio Road.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 13, 2015, 1:33 PM

Comments (66)

Posted by Commuter
a resident of Gemello
on Jul 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm

This is poor reporting as the article did not mention whether the person was riding the bicycle or walking with it, but states the person was not in the crosswalk. The fact that the bike was not in the crosswalk is irrelevant unless the person was walking. Bicycles are considered vehicles, and must obey all vehicle laws when on roads. The fact that the bicycle was not in the crosswalk is irrelevant. Bad driving by the person with the person with the car or the person with the bike likely caused the collision.


Posted by Yes
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 13, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Agreed. The crosswalk statement seems to be made to try and soften the fact that the driver hit the cyclist. Cross walks have no relevance to bikes unless the bike is being walked by a pedestrian. The driver or the cyclist messed up.

Was the car out of the crosswalk as well? Same exact relevance.


Posted by Marti Wright
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jul 13, 2015 at 3:32 pm

My comment is Why Did the bicyclist not wear a helmet??? TOO many cyclist don't have helmets on… I see high school kids each day from MV High School without helmets even tho it is the law. I see many parents riding with their kids who do have a helmet on but the parents Don't… What kind of an example are they setting for their kids…
I had a bike accident and was taken to Mills Hospital Emergency room by a police officer. I went over the handle bars and landed on my head….. I had a Bell helmet on… The emergency room Doctor told me after he treated me, THAT IF I DID NOT HAVE A HELMET ON, he would have no work to do… He said, THE HELMET SAVED YOUR LIFE…. and to buy a new helmet because the Bell had a crack in the front. Parents, make sure your kids are wearing their helmets and parents who ride with the little ones, make sure you set a good example for your kids by wearing a helmet...


Posted by Look at the Picture
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2015 at 3:56 pm

This bicyclist appears to have been crossing pretty far from El Camino Real, not merely barely outside the crosswalk. You have to wonder what happened. It's not even clear that the bicyclist was crossing. He could have been riding in traffic and been in the process of changing lanes. People forget that there is no law at all that requires bikes to ride in the bike lane. Another detail is whether the car had just turned left onto San Antonio Northbound from Eastbound El Camino Real. In such a case he would have appeared without warning to the traffic already on San Antonio Road, including bikes.

So not all is as obvious as some of the comments seem to imply.


Posted by BikingInTrafficTooDangerous
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Bicycles and cars are dangerously incompatible when sharing roads, and particularly intersections on major thoroughfares like El Camino and San Antonio. These streets were not designed and are not suited for bicycle traffic, only cars. I stopped riding several years ago except early on Sat and Sun mornings after a few too many close calls. I ride only on residential streets like Covington and Springer, Stevens Creek trail, and Foothill Expressway (where the exit and entry ramps are quite dangerous for bikers). Drivers have a lot of distractions, so as a rider it is vital that you assume that you are invisible to automobiles. Get aggressive or stupid or go out in heavy traffic and you'll get hurt. One last word of advice to bikers. Never, ever commute on El Camino or Central Expressway unless you have a death wish. The same is true for Grant Rd, Miramonte Rd, El Monte Rd, and any major thoroughfare north of El Camino Real.


Posted by Want to share
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:17 pm

@Mark if I could "like" your comment 100 times I would. Just today I was stopped at red light on San Antonio heading north, I was about 5 cars back. Cyclist blew past me and just then the light changed, he swerved in front of the cars that had been waiting, and then impeded traffic by taking a whole lane of San Antonio.

It is UNACCEPTABLE for a cyclist who cannot keep with the flow of traffic to take a lane and impede traffic. I see this way too often now, riding down the center of a traffic lane slowing down all the cars. These streets are meant to transport cars at higher speeds, not cyclists who in no way can ever match a cars speed. Why aren't cyclists allowed on freeways? Because they can't keep up with traffic. This same LOGIC should apply to side streets,

I want to share the road and am happy to do so in sitiations that make sense. But this notion that cyclists can ride on city streets, impede traffic and create these horrific traffic accidents is just plain WRONG.


Posted by BikingInTrafficTooDangerous
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

One last comment that I forgot. Hard core bikers and politically-correct city officials tell bikers that they "share the road" as equals. That is not true. Automobiles own the roads and bicyclists on major roads are unwanted and endangered "guests". Those "share the road" signs mean nothing during rush hour or school drop-off and pick-up hours. Bicyclists are rolling roadblocks, particularly if they insist upon riding in traffic lanes to protect their tires. When I realized this, I decided to ride only when and where I didn't have to deal with fast and heavy traffic.


Posted by Matthew Self
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:32 pm

The statement that "It is UNACCEPTABLE for a cyclist who cannot keep with the flow of traffic to take a lane and impede traffic" is not correct. The Vehicle Code says that a cyclist has the same rights and obligations as other vehicles. Think of a bicycle as a slow tractor using the lane. It may be annoying to have to follow behind one, but the road is for them just as much as it is for you.

When you see "sharrows" on the road (the pictures of a bike/arrow, such as there are on San Antonio), these show cyclists where they should ride and alert cars that there will be bikes mixed in the traffic with cars (because the lane isn't wide enough for cars to safely pass cyclists).

If you need to pass a cyclist who is riding in the lane and there isn't enough room to give 3' of clearance, you must change lanes to pass just like you would a slow car or truck.


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:38 pm

This is very ambiguous. Was the bicyclist crossing the street or was he changing lanes to turn left? It sounds to me that the plea for witnesses shows that there is some confusion as to who was to blame or at fault.


Posted by San Antonio Road
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Selfish car drivers need to realize that there is a large portion of San Antonio Road which is SPECIFICALLY designated that bikes will ride within one of the traffic lanes. This was the decision of the Palo Alto Traffic engineers and the bicyclist is just following their design to do what Mr. TooDangerous describes. Naturally a bike is not going to stop between 2 waiting stopped cars as that is even more dangerous. At least when moving, the bike can swerve if needed.

So keep this in mind when considering the 2-lane-wide section of San Antonio Road running through Palo Alto.


Posted by I a a typical driver
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 13, 2015 at 5:19 pm

The information in the news article is vague, so I will automatically assume the cyclist is completely at fault. Now I will proceed to vent:

I don't like bikes, because it is difficult for them to race over the speed limit like I do. Sure, the road bikes can easily go the speed limit, but who wants to travel at a safe speed? My car can easily go over 100mph and these selfish bikes are keeping my car from reaching it's potential.

Thank you for your attention. I feel better now.


Posted by MV Pedestrian/Driver
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2015 at 6:08 pm

When you all are having this "bicycles are the same as vehicles" discussion, please consider that:

1) Cyclists can choose to ride in a bike lane or the street, cars cannot. Cyclists who alternate between (sometimes on the road, sometimes because they are forced to at an intersection without a bike lane), especially when doing so unpredictably, create a hazard by their transitions to/from that protected zone.

2) The Voice published an article a couple of years ago about how in MV's bicyclist/vehicle collisions, bicyclists were more often at fault. Obviously better enforcement and separation is still needed.

3) There are a lot of things allowed by the vehicle code and there are also many encouragements to drive or cycle defensively which include the individual going beyond the vehicle code's minimum safety standards. When walking you have a chance to stop and watch things happen in a way you don't while driving and on average, I see a lot more brazen and aggressive behavior by cyclists than I see from drivers. The oft-repeated reasoning from cyclists is that the best defense is a good offense yet that _always_ comes off as an excuse considering how vulnerable cyclists are and how much less maneuverable cars are. Cyclists can complain and complain, but their credibility is shot until their behavior adjusts to the reality of sharing space with multi-thousand pound vehicles.

No matter the situation, I sincerely hope the cyclist recovers and lives to cycle, more carefully and helmeted, in the future.


Posted by why?
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 13, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Moderator, why did you allow "I a typical driver" comments to stay yet remove mine mocking his ridiculous statements? There was nothing offensive or derogatory in my statement. Just called him out for what he said. Please explain


Posted by MV Pedestrian/Cyclist/Driver
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Yes, I use all three forms of transportation: walking, cycling, driving.

A basic rule of the road is that vehicle operators cannot deliberately cause a dangerous situation to themselves and/or others. Yes, bicycles do share the road with autos, but if there's a bike lane, that's typically safer than the motor vehicle lane, and the former is where the bicycle rider should remain.

The vehicle code -- like many laws -- is focused toward public safety. This is why pedestrians have the right of way. Many automobile drivers and bicyclists seem to forget that navigating a public roadway with a vehicle is a PRIVILEGE, not a right.

Note that this ties into the concept of impeding traffic. If you are impeding the normal flow of traffic by slow velocity when there is an alternate path, you are doing it wrong (plus you are probably putting yourself into danger). But if motor vehicle traffic is moving around the same pace as bicycle traffic, the two can intermingle. The latter is a frequent situation in many foreign cities.

So you're a cyclist and you want to cross a street. You can ride in the crosswalk as long as you don't endanger pedestrians, otherwise, ride out in the street. Not comfortable crossing a major throughway outside of a crosswalk? Well, then walk your bike until you get to a place you feel safe riding.

This is the crux of all laws prohibiting bicycle riding on sidewalks. Mountain View and Palo Alto have them. They are there to protect pedestrians.

As a bike rider (or automobile driver), when you blow through a stop sign or light, you are greatly increasing the likelihood of wounding pedestrians. That's a no-no, and that's why the laws are written the way they are.

Motorized vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles), bicycles, and pedestrians can live in relative harmony, but each party must follow the rules and be aware of their surroundings. This is largely adhered to in Asia and Europe, much less so in the USA.

Here in the USA, bicyclists should stay as much as possible in bike lanes or near the shoulder. That is the safest place to ride a bicycle due to the limited dedicated cycling lanes in this country.

As a pedestrian, your primary responsibility is to not put yourself in undue danger. That means stop looking at your stupid smartphone and watch where you are going. That also means that perhaps you should pull one earphone out so you can get audio clues about what is happening around you.

Until people around here collectively assume responsibility for their actions on the road or sidewalks, these unfortunate and largely preventable roadway incidents will continue.

My prayers to the injured cyclist for a quick and full recovery.


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 14, 2015 at 7:47 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Well said, particularly in regards to impeding flow of traffic. It's just not safe, for car or bicycle. And not to be contentious here but as a previous poster commented from a study done several years ago, the majority of the time the traffic rules are being broken are by the cyclists.

Thoughts and prayers to the injured man, and to the poor gentleman who was driving the car, I'm sure it's weighing heavily on him as well.


Posted by Mtn View resident
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 14, 2015 at 9:37 am

Lots of good comments here. As an observation I take my wife to the Mountain View train station every morning around 8:30am. There are always cars going well over the speed limit (like 60 in a 35 mph zone) weaving in and out of lanes, running red lights and pretty much oblivious to everything around them. That combined with folks on bikes running every red light they encounter is a recipe for disaster. I'm kind of surprised we don't hear about these kind of incidents more often. It would be nice if the Mountain View PD would set up more observation of this reckless behavior. My 2 cents.


Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 14, 2015 at 10:35 am

Last year a Mountain View POLICE CAR struck a cyclist when turning left onto San Antonio. The cyclist was ticketed for riding in the crosswalk. (illegal in Palo Alto) The policewoman driver was distracted when accessing her computer...


Posted by Dennis Feick
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2015 at 10:59 am

I have been committed on my bike for over 30 years and have
my fair share of car vs. bike problems. Mainly passengers that
open their car doors or turn right, cutting me off.

As previously stated. Bicycles have all the rights of a motor vehicle
and also must follow all DMV regulations applied to motor vehicles and
are subjected to the same fines if they violate the same.

I always stay in the bike lane unless there is tire damaging debris,
chuck holes or illegally parked cars. I also have an absolute right
to be in a car lane under those conditions. I also signal for all right turns.

I am extremely happy that the DMV implemented the 3 foot law, especially
when there are no bike lanes.


Posted by New Commenter
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm

I was near the scene of the accident when this happened. From what I heard witnesses say, it was a homeless man riding his bicycle trying to cross San Antonio, and was almost at the median. He was not near the bike lane when this happened. This may add some perspective though it is horrific no matter the specific circumstances.


Posted by Stomper
a resident of Castro City
on Jul 14, 2015 at 2:11 pm

I'm so glad I've moved beyond these petty sorts of discussions regarding "bikes are bad" / "cars are bad."
I'll evaluate you all individually. Some of you are real jerks and some of you are great people.
Anyone who wants to talk or point blame on entire groups as being better or worse than the other...try that thought process with ethnic groups instead of cyclists or drivers.
If you don't feel twinge of incorrectness about it, you're likely a huge bigot.


Posted by @BikingInTrafficTooDangerous
a resident of Castro City
on Jul 14, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Anyone who takes your advise will lose big time in any court of law.

The simple solutions is:
Obey the law, drivers
Obey the law, cyclists.

The rest is just opinion, and usually from people who are generally angry about something, always.


Posted by Pedestrian and biker
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 14, 2015 at 3:59 pm

@MatthewSelf, totally disagree. For a biker to take a lane on a road meant for 35+ speeds absolutely IS unacceptable. It may be legal in the pure sense but that doesn't make it right.

Your example of a tractor is interesting but not applicable, we aren't living in the country. But let's use that example and see if you feel the same applied to a different situation. while walking Stevens Creek I have the right to walk in the middle of my lane and using your logic I should expect cyclists to slow or even stop until they can safely pass. now, I'm not a jerk and I stay as far to the right as possible so cyclists can pass easily, it's easy for me to do and it's the right thing to do.

Same should go for cyclists trying to ride on streets where they can't keep up with speed of traffic. They should move off, not expect everyone else to make way for them. It's common sense and the RESPONSIBLE thing to do.

as a previous posted stated, collective responsibility.


Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2015 at 12:54 am

Sparty is a registered user.

you can probably see all the markings on the street from the police. The cyclist was hit right by the center median


Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 15, 2015 at 2:59 am

I'm surprised to see only one comment so far about the bicyclist's lack of a helmet. With even a relatively mild bike accident, a helmet can mean the difference between a headache and a permanent traumatic head injury or death. Helmets are to biking as seat belts are to driving: essential safety gear that's foolish to leave off.

Please, bicyclists, WEAR A HELMET!


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2015 at 8:11 am

Wearing a helmet doesn't help you to be seen, it only helps if you are hit.

To prevent a collision in the first place, please cyclists wear a high vis vest (like construction workers), lights and a bell. Don't dress in dark clothes at any time of day as shadows on sunny days are just like dark shadows at night.


Posted by Cherie
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

These types of collisions are preventable by good street design. Cyclists need a dedicated space to ride in, where they won't get squished between the crosswalk and moving vehicles. Here's an option: www.protectedintersection.com

The Federal Highway Administration's Separated Bike Lane Planning an Design Guide offers guidance for our city engineers on other intersection options that keep cyclists out of the way of cars as well:
Web Link

Let's move to these more bicycle-friendly road designs so people who choose to ride their bikes to their destinations have a safe way to get there.


Posted by Typical car driver
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 15, 2015 at 1:27 pm

I completely agree with the comments here. It really irks me that when I'm zooming at 50mph through the neighborhoods, texting my wife and chatting with my girlfriend, these stupid cyclists come out of NOWHERE and try to crash into my front bumper.

Please, if you want to share the road with me and the other drivers on this web forum, make sure you are in a CAR with seat belts and airbags to protect YOU! Get full insurance coverage, because you will need it! (I carry the bare minimum.). YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!


Posted by al
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

@Typical car driver

I am not sure your way of thinking will solve anything. I can but wont write the same entitled mess about cyclists/peds and their attitude.

Old dogs will not learn...all you can do is teach kids the proper way to ride and drive in school so they don't repeat our mistakes.

Fear needs to be instilled in all who could get hit by a car driven by someone who paid $20 dollars and spent an hour to take a test.

Turn your head and look when stepping of the curb even of you have the right of way....please?


Posted by New drivers ar worse
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 15, 2015 at 2:19 pm

"all you can do is teach kids the proper way to ride and drive in school so they don't repeat our mistakes. "

except the new wave of young drivers are all face down into their phones when driving. Instead of learning new way to be safe, they have invented new ways of being dangerous to everyone else who uses the roads.


Posted by Marti Wright
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jul 15, 2015 at 4:18 pm

I think everyone should wear a helmet when riding a bike. That said, I see many MV High School bike riders without wearing a helmet AND TEXTING on their phones…. OR talking on their phones….. Or runing through Stop Signs…We need a policeman when kids are dismissed from MV High School… The Law says: anyone under 18 must wear a helmet….


Posted by He's baaaack
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 15, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Typical driver, what specifically are you adding to this discussion? You're not helping cyclists, only making us look like we have attitudes while many of us do want to create a more harmonious environment.

Or perhaps you're just trying to make us look bad?


Posted by @Marti Wright
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 15, 2015 at 5:40 pm

The law says a lot of things about a lot of things. When we get that designated officer to keep people at the posted speed limit on Cuesta, Miramonte, Grant, and seemingly all surface streets during rush hour, then we can write some tickets to smug kids who will just take their helmets off a block from the cop.
It's one thing to have a pet peeve, but we don't need bend over backwards to please every crank that has one. There are more pressing priorities for our police force, beyond the frustrations of control freaks.


Posted by That Light
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2015 at 7:13 pm

The light at Carmel The Palaces is not coordinated with the one at ECR. It stays green too long too often for pedestrians. This causes a lot of speeding and road emotions on the part of drivers trying to make it through before the light goes red to cars.

Of course, this wouldn't matter if the pesky bicyclists would all bundle up and wear helmets so they couldn't possibly be injured by a 45 mph hour car strike.


Posted by Also, the sky is blue
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 16, 2015 at 6:19 am

How will my wearing a helmet stop people from driving like blind lunatics during a seizure?

I drive for the most part; 95% of my road travel time. I KNOW how bad car drivers are, petty emotions on full display everyday at anytime, just look around. They need fixing more than a cyclist wearing a helmet can bring.


Posted by Too true
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 16, 2015 at 8:16 am

And that is the unfortunate reason cyclists should not ride on heavily trafficked roads. I ride. But I don't ride on trafficked streets w/o bike lanes. I'm not stupid and choose not to put myself in front of bad drivers. Of which there are MANY.

We can argue that it's our right all we want but that will never take away the fact that there will ALWAYS be distracted drivers. And who's going to "win" in car vs bike? Not worth it.


Posted by Well, do what you need to
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 16, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Well, we all make choices based on our personal comfort levels. I'm sure someone out there won't walk because of cars too, or drive.
Agreed, though, the only real danger on the road are the bad drivers. Get them in line and it'll be a beautiful day for everyone.


Posted by FixThisIntersection
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 16, 2015 at 4:41 pm


I just saw this update from MV Police Department. Truly a tragedy. If you or anyone you know was a witness to this accident, please contact the MV police department using the contact information and case number listed below

Original post here with more photos:

Web Link

On Friday, July 10, 2015 around 7:33pm, we received several 9-1-1 calls about a collision involving a vehicle and bicyclist at the intersection of San Antonio Road and El Camino Real. Callers indicated that the bicyclist, who appeared to have a head injury, was unconscious but breathing. As officers arrived they found the involved vehicle, a 2002 Honda Civic, stopped in the number one lane of San Antonio Road north of El Camino Real and the bicyclist lying on the pavement a short distance away. Fire and medical personnel tended to the bicyclist who was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Unfortunately, the bicyclist succumbed to his injuries and was released to the Santa Clara Coroner's Office on Wednesday, July 15, 2015.

Based on our investigation, it appears the Honda was traveling north on San Antonio Road approaching the West El Camino Real intersection. The bicyclist, who was traveling west across San Antonio Road, crossed the roadway in front of the Honda and was struck causing him to hit the windshield which projected him forward and onto the pavement (see images above).

This collision remains under investigation and we continue to look for witnesses who saw the actual collision. If you have any information, please call Traffic Officer Dan Garcia at 650-903-6344 and reference case number 15-3916. Media inquiries can be sent to [email protected]


Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2015 at 1:34 am

An article about a bicyclist being hit bringing out a bunch of biased opinions about bicycle safety? Nah, that never happens.

I want to see sources when you quote that 'some study says bicyclists are mostly at fault in these collisions'. If you do some simple web searching you will find many studies to the contrary.

About taking the lane on 35+ MPH roadways: I've been bike commuting in heavy traffic for over 20 years and have had few close calls, but not once been in a collision with a car, much less killed. Five of those years were on Central Expressway, which one writer claims should have killed me. On Foothill Expressway, there are slip lanes where I watch my mirror for gaps, signal, and take the lane. I'm typically riding at about 25 MPH when I do this, though the speed limit is 45 MPH. The reason I do this is to avoid being killed in collisions like the woman a few years ago at Loyola where traffic does not yield to the bicyclist in the bike lane, but has to slam on the brakes after accelerating to pass once a driver realizes that it is stopped at a light around the corner.

Complain all you want that you are inconvenienced by it, but it is not only legal, it is a best practice for safety. It may be counter-intuitive, but if I am directly in front of you it's unlikely that you'll hit me. If I'm beside you, it's more likely that you will accelerate to get in front of me and then cut over, often without signalling, and sometimes having to brake to slow back down for the corner you're now taking too quickly or the cars that you now see stopped in front of you. If drivers didn't threaten bicyclists at intersections so much, you wouldn't see so many taking the lane.

Also, "cars own the road": there are many studies breaking down how infrastructure is financed and how much wear and tear cars and trucks do to roadways. For those of us who own cars (most bicyclists) yet choose not to drive them solo to be stuck in commute traffic unnecessarily, the math works out that we are paying more to not drive on these roads that your inanimate objects supposedly possess.

Lastly, helmets cannot be compared to seatbelts. We are forced to wear seatbelts because the insurance industry successfully pressured the federal government to mandate them when I was a child (and voters repeatedly repealed these laws until they no longer were given the choice). Helmets are relatively thin layers of stryrofoam meant to protect bicyclists in low-speed falls. They have saved my skull twice and I almost never ride without one (I've had them stolen, which dramatically impedes wearing one on a return trip). Riding without wearing one is not illegal for an adult, unlike a seatbelt, which will not protect your head in a collision - that's why airbags were invented.


Posted by Dennis Feick
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2015 at 3:29 pm

A few years ago I was returning a starter to Pep Boys after having a new one installed by my mechanic. It had just rained and El Camino Real was slick with water and oil.

I attempted to make a left turn going about 15 miles an hour and flipped
sideways. I use high pressure clincher tires at 120 PSI and have very
little tire road contact.

It hit the asphalt half way across the adjacent highway lane with my hands still on the handlebars and my feet in the pedal grips.

I wound up with a broken clavicle and three broken ribs and the left side
of my eye glasses were badly damaged.

My Bell helmet was badly scratched, but my head was in pristine condition.

Without a helmet I would have lost a lot of skin on the left side
of my head - or worse.

I also had biking gloves on which saved my left hand from road burn.

Helmets save lives and reduce or eliminate head injury.

Any biker not wearing one is extremely stupid and must have a death wish.


Posted by Double wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm

@wow while I appreciate your insight I frankly and respectfully disagree with your premise. Its great that you live close enough to commute via bike to work. That's wonderful for YOU even though you take a lane of Central, a 35-45mph street that's meant for cars traveling 35-45mph for your convenience, hell with safety or the impact it has on others.

Look, you can push it, advocate for it, insist on it all you want but these streets were made for CARS driving higher speeds than bikes can ever hope to go. And until there are extremely well designed bike lanes with no slip spots, bikes do NOT belong zig zagging in and out of traffic. there will ALWAYS be distracted drivers, I don't care want kind of licensing restrictions, tests, or whatever you put on driving. I can absolutely guarantee EACH AND EVERY SINGLE PERSON reading this has been distracted while driving their car, be it blatant misbehavior of texting or innocent distraction of looking for sirens In the distance or checking review mirror. Just one second is all it takes for horrific accidents with both bike and driver paying horrible price. Bikes just plain and simple are NOT safe for busy roads. We require air bags in cars surrounded by steel but a flimsy thin piece of metal can go flying down in and out of car traffic? this just does NOT make sense.

The biking coalitions have done a fabulous job advocating and for rights for bikers, it's a shame that it's been pushed beyond common sense in to many situations. Three foot law, great, I'll back that 100%. But there should also be a law that bikers are NOT allowed in lanes where they cannot keep up with traffic.


Posted by MV Pedestrian/Driver
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2015 at 1:00 am

@Wow from another community
"I want to see sources when you quote that 'some study says bicyclists are mostly at fault in these collisions'. If you do some simple web searching you will find many studies to the contrary."

I didn't say "some study", I said:
"The Voice published an article a couple of years ago about how in MV's bicyclist/vehicle collisions, bicyclists were more often at fault."

Here's the relevant quote from the article I referenced:
"Mountain View police find bicyclists at fault more often than drivers when the two collide. Of the 244 bike-related collisions in five years, bicyclists were at fault in 124 cases while drivers were found at fault in 92."

If you had done some simple web searching you'd have found this article regarding city-specific data provided by our own police department reported by our local paper on this very site.

I'm interested in any information you can provide that contains specific, localized data to the contrary, but simply being dismissive and trying to generalize others comments away isn't really helpful or respectful.


Posted by H8'n on the h8ers
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 19, 2015 at 6:24 am

Don't talk about fatality statistics. The haters minds will explode.

Skinned knees vs. traumatic brain injuries leading to death. Who's more at fault there? I'm guessing skinned knees are the cyclists issue, while killing people is a car/driver issue.
That is factually correct statement in MV. Anyone can do the web search and identify the REAL threat to health on the roads in MV.
I'm stating the VERY obvious though.


Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2015 at 3:41 pm

@Double Wow

It was 15 miles. I suspect most folks in silicon valley drive less than 15 miles to get to work.

"...meant for cars traveling 35-45mph for your convenience, hell with safety or the impact it has on others."

Hypocrisy. Many drivers break that speed limit, fail to signal, and do many other things that endanger all other road users, not just cyclists and pedestrians. If you're behind me while I'm taking the lane you're already slowed down by the car in front of you that's turning right - otherwise, I wouldn't be in the lane.

Traffic is caused by too many cars using the same roadway stretch at the same time, not by bicyclists slowing them down for mere seconds at merges. If I wasn't riding my bike, I'd be sitting in the car stopped in front of you, so don't lecture me on the impact I have on others.


Posted by Double wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 20, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Not lecturing, just stating that cyclists don't belong on "higher speed" streets, particularly the ones you mentioned, Central and Foothill which are designated as EXPRESSWAYS. They are designed specifically to move traffic more quickly and while that may not always be the case due to too much traffic it certainly should NEVER be the case because of a bicycle that can't keep up with speed limits.

you are correct, many drivers break the law, drive poorly, endanger other drivers. The massive difference is that an error between two STEEL ENCASED CARS results in much less harm than one between a car and a cycle with ZERO protection.

Again, you can argue, rationalize, justify all you want but thin metal frames with zero protection do NOT belong in traffic with cars. Period.


Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2015 at 5:45 pm

@Double wow

"...do NOT belong in traffic with cars. Period."

What you have stated here is your opinion, which is exactly what I called out in my original comment. You can argue, rationalize, and justify it with all the physics and fear you want, but Californians have a legal right to use their roadways with bicycles just as much as they do with cars, and that includes the expressways you pointed out (whose shoulders are designated as bicycle lanes in Santa Clara County VTA documents). Trying to make it sound like fact doesn't actually make it factual.


Posted by Double wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 20, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Therein lies the problem. Facts vs common sense


Posted by Truth bombs
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2015 at 11:16 pm

^^^ That right there is high comedy* ^^^

The fact is that on average most drivers are freaking horrible. Little to no understanding of how to actually control a motor vehicle in anything beyond ideal circumstances, oft distracted from the task and rarely held to meaningful account for their failures.

Common sense dictates that we make licensing requirements more restrictive and expensive, require more training, mandate stiffer penalties for transgressions.

Works elsewhere (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium etc) where collision rates (there's no such thing as an "accident") are far lower and cars/cyclists live in comparative harmony.

But instead you and many others abandon both facts AND common sense and instead call for the banishment from the roadways of the victims of poor driving. Entitlement....you're doing it right!

Which is more likely to be true:
a) The entitlement rich anti-cyclist loons are genuinely concerned about the safety of their fellow citizens or...
b) They're butt-hurt that they were made to wait to repost that funny cat video on Facebook and reduce their excessive speed and thus it took them 8 instead of 7 minutes to get to Whole Foods all the while being bent out of shape that some in shape, healthy and happy guy/gal is having more fun than they are


* By that I mean that you'd have to be pretty freakin high to post something that absurd without ironic intent


Posted by double wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 21, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Initially It amazed me that so many cyclists continue to insist that it's their right to put themselves in incredibly dangerous situations. however it is evermore apparent that you have the need to be right so badly you've lost sight of reality.

Fact
Thin metal frames cannot stand up to cars of steel.

Fact
bikes cannot keep up to speed with cars on expressways.

But you don't want to discuss facts, you just want to push this agenda of entitlement and class warfare. Oh, and last time I was in Germany, I didn't see bikes on the autobahn either. Cobblestone lanes in villages, yes. High speed streets, not so much.

But hey, keep pushing for your right to put
Yourself in harmful situations. Your life not mine


Posted by @double wow
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 21, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Get your facts straight: cars are the biggest killers of children in the US, and statistically pedestrians (particularly children and elderly) stand a much higher chance of getting killed walking in a crosswalk than a bicyclist riding in a bike lane. Cancer or heart disease will probably get most of us, but in the meantime some of us still want to enjoy our freedom to choose how to get around - even if it doesn't measure up to the standards you use to judge other peoples' intelligence. (Fortunately you don't get to make the rules or we'd all have to stay home where it's relatively safe).


Posted by Double wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:53 pm

I can see this is a difficult concept for you to understand. Let me try once again to clarify. No one is trying to take away "your freedom to choose how to get around". No one is saying you can't ride your bike, please do, as much as you want.

You just shouldn't do it on busy streets with cars that can kill you.

Is that simple enough?


Posted by @Double wow
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 22, 2015 at 2:40 pm

You haven't made a compelling enough case, sorry. Clearly you do not have much experience riding a bike on busy streets with cars that can kill you (but generally don't). Again, just because your opinion is that it's dangerous, doesn't make it fact. You stand a higher chance of getting bitten by a shark while swimming in Santa Cruz, but that doesn't mean it's not worth the risk.


Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 22, 2015 at 3:03 pm

True is a registered user.

@double wow

Yeah, Mountain View surface streets and the autobahn are totally similar. Awesome.

What's your concern, really, as an apparent non cyclist? My safety or your convenience?

Be honest.


Posted by Double wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm

I'll be honest. A but of both really. In total honesty I've been playing a bit of devils advocate. I don't have a problem with skilled cyclists in bike lanes on roads. I do have a HUGE problem with any cyclist darting in and out of traffic or taking a lane and impeding flow/speed of traffic.

Yes, the autobahn example was silly but no more than anyone trying to equate our cities to Asian/European cities. We are a very large, sprawling suburban area and will never be a biking commute community. Someone earlier said the majority of commutes are "probably" within 15 miles. I'd like to see a statistic on that, I have a feeling it's much more than that. So many people commuting from East Bay or down from SF.

Anyway, this can go round and round but I stand my ground that if a cyclist can't keep with speed of traffic they have no place on the road. I don't see how you can legitimately argue otherwise.


Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 22, 2015 at 7:43 pm

True is a registered user.

@Double Wow

The only argument I need is the California Vehicle Code.....which says you're wrong.


Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2015 at 2:20 pm

"We are a very large, sprawling suburban area and will never be a biking commute community."

The bike count numbers that SVBC does shows that this is not the trend. More and more people are choosing to ride bikes to work, typically in response to increasing traffic due to increasing population. If this trend continues along its current projection, many more people will ride their bikes to work next year. Even through the last recession we saw continued steady growth in biking - and when gas prices spiked we saw a big jump (though that won't happen again soon).

Many large local high tech companies encourage bike commuting, and need to in order to deal with the 'traffic congestion mitigation' portion of their expansion plans required to be addressed by the county. Google's plans are particularly aggressive, and you can find them online. Drivers should applaud this, as an employee riding a bike to work is typically one less car in commute traffic volume, which is what really adds to commute times.

"I don't see how you can legitimately argue otherwise."

That much is obvious.


Posted by Double wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 23, 2015 at 4:25 pm

California Vehicle Code
21202. A. Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway

*******
Bicycles do not belong in traffic lanes when they cannot keep with speed of traffic.


Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2015 at 10:06 am

You forgot the rest of it:

...except under any of the following situations:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.


Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2015 at 10:14 am

California has designed into their laws and streets a compelling reason for bicyclists to take lanes in certain places (like slip lanes), hence the last exception listed there. When you require drivers to drive in shoulders and bike lanes for several hundred feet before a right turn, you need to accept that bicyclists will be forced to take the lane at these intersections. If you are diving a car on a four-lane road and come up upon a slower driver, you either signal and execute a safe pass, or you slow and wait until the opportunity to do so. This is no different.

If you want to change the laws to match, say, Oregon, where drivers are not allowed to drive in bicycle lanes at all, you will minimize the number of time bicyclists will need to ride in traffic lanes to avoid right-turning cars, but you will back up traffic at stop lights significantly more than already is the case in crowded silicon valley.

You don't get to selectively apply or interpret the road rules, sorry.


Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 24, 2015 at 1:01 pm

True is a registered user.

@Double Wow

Cute little cherry picking of the CVC. Did you think we didn't know the law or that others were too lazy/dumb to go look for themselves?

The full passages that pertain to this discussion:

Bicycle Use. VC 21200

Every person riding a bicycle upon a street or highway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, including the provisions of law dealing with driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.

Duty of Bicycle Operator: Operation On Roadway. VC 21202

a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

When overtaking and passing another bicycle or motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

b) Any person operating a bicycle on a one-way street or highway with two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.

Permitted Movements from Bicycle Lanes. VC 21208

a) Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway, any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction shall ride in the bicycle lane, except under the following situations.

When overtaking or passing another bicycle, vehicle, or pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if such overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.

When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
When necessary to leave the lane to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions.

b) No operator of a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lane until it can be done safely and then only after giving an appropriate hand signal in the event that any vehicle might be affected by the movement.


Posted by Double wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 24, 2015 at 11:46 pm

I didn't forget anything, I supported my assertion that bikes do not belong in traffic lanes if impeding traffic. The rest is superfluous.

Look, I'm tiring of this game you seem to want to play. I'm not some PC pushover, I will stand my ground and not back down to incessant pushing by a very small minority for something THEY want but that Is unrealistic. You will never convince me that bikes riding approx 25mph should be on streets with cars traveling much faster. It simply doesn't make sense. And if politicians hadn't been bought off by a very well organized and well funded biking coalition we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Steel encased cars have to have seat belts and air bags. And yet you insist you should be on the same road, on thin metal frames, no seat belts, no airbags, nothing. Pure nonsense. Utter nonsense. It's absolute ridiculousness, how could anyone say otherwise!


Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2015 at 6:36 am

You didn't support anything but my very first assertion that articles on bicycle collisions bring out people with strongly biased opinions. Again, stating it as fact doesn't make it so, simply because you choose to selectively ignore portions of your society or laws you don't like or agree with.


Posted by Double wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 25, 2015 at 10:39 am

I'm not Ignoring anything. I feel very strongly that it is wrong. You feel very strongly that it's OK. Vehicle code is fairly ambiguous and leaves Room for both sides to argue their point.

What is more interesting though, is that you have no legitimate argument against the fact bikes arent adequately protected when on streets with cars.


Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2015 at 6:36 pm

"Vehicle code is fairly ambiguous and leaves Room for both sides to argue their point."

I was just thinking of you as I saw a boy riding his bicycle down a 25 MPH street with a bike lane. He came up to a vehicle illegally parked in the lane, glanced over his shoulder and moved out into the street around the truck. I was driving in the opposite direction and watched the driver coming up on him slow until the boy got safely around the truck. The boy was maybe 8-10 years old by my guess. By your arguments, that boy's behavior would be criminalized.

The CVC exceptions are written quite clearly, and they mirror those of most other states. If they were even remotely ambiguous, the All-Powerful Bike Lobby that you claim is so well funded would have had them clarified a long time ago. Many, many people will continue to ride bicycles for years to come, and there will always be reasons for them to have to move into lanes with traffic, whether you like it or not.


Posted by Joseph Blough
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 27, 2015 at 10:47 am

"Steel encased cars have to have seat belts and air bags. And yet you insist you should be on the same road, on thin metal frames, no seat belts, no airbags, nothing. Pure nonsense. Utter nonsense. It's absolute ridiculousness, how could anyone say otherwise!"

Motorcyclists don't have seat belts and air bags. They travel considerably faster than bicyclists on average. How can they insist that thye be on the same roads as cars and trucks?

Is your point that bicyclists shouldn't be traffic lanes if impeding traffic or that they shouldn't be in traffic lanes at all (even if making a left hand turn) or that they shouldn't even be in designated bike lanes on, say, Foothill Expressway for example? Or is this a safety issue for you? You keep changing your point even within the same post. Are you just trolling?


Posted by You're funny
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 27, 2015 at 1:36 pm

"What is more interesting though, is that you have no legitimate argument against the fact bikes arent adequately protected when on streets with cars. "
Well since no law exists stating such things need to be, all is well.

Seeing the death stats from highway accidents, it's clearly a fact that even cars are not adequately protected to be on the street with other cars. Undeniable.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Rex Manor

on Sep 26, 2017 at 4:01 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Mountain View Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Is California engaging in wishful thinking or rigorous planning?
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 5,870 views

New Austrian cuisine: Naschmarkt to replace Anatolian Kitchen in Palo Alto
By The Peninsula Foodist | 3 comments | 3,561 views

Please prioritize saving Palo Alto's emptying downtown
By Diana Diamond | 13 comments | 1,717 views

Holiday Hoopla in the City
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,067 views

“Attached.” by Amir Levine, MD, and Rachel S.F. Heller, MA
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,023 views