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Bike accidents spike by 480 percent

Original post made on Dec 11, 2015

Bike and pedestrian accidents soared in the city of Mountain View this summer including several injury accidents reported along some of the city's busiest streets.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 11, 2015, 12:00 AM

Comments (54)

7 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Dec 11, 2015 at 8:27 am

We need to look at ways to scale and automate enforcement especially for speed. Automatic Speed Enforcement (ASE) is in place in many countries and cities with great success in enforcing speed limits and reducing casualties.

San Francisco is studying ASE and its Office of the Controler released a very compelling report this past month:

Web Link


24 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 11, 2015 at 10:16 am

Guess which roads in town have the worst problem with speeding and reckless driving? Middlefield, San Antonio, Shoreline, El Monte. Not a coincidence that these roads also have the most injuries and fatalities.

Don't call a collision an "accident" if it involves speeding, reckless driving or other obvious negligence.


13 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 11, 2015 at 10:51 am

Guess which roads in town have the worst problem with speeding and reckless driving? Middlefield, San Antonio, Shoreline, El Monte. Not a coincidence that these roads also have the most injuries and fatalities.

Don't call a collision an "accident" if it involves speeding, reckless driving or other obvious negligence.


20 people like this
Posted by Its takes MONTHS not just 4 hours
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2015 at 11:06 am

If we had more officers dedicated to traffic enforcement doing prolonged campaigns of months long focused enforcement, not just 4 hours, we would see an improvement.
That is the problem, a woefully low number of cops tasked to enforce traffic laws.

The last time I saw radar being regularly used around St Joe's on Mirramonte was when they were trying to sell the new town homes built there. THEN we had a radar cop parked there each and every day for weeks. Guess what? People slowed way down regularly because they knew they risked a ticket.

There is essentially zero risk in speeding in MV at this time, unless you have the bad luck of breaking the law during their 4 hour enforcement period.


16 people like this
Posted by Duh
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 11, 2015 at 11:15 am

This is what happens when you add more people to a finite space. Apparently we have 1600 more units coming. Consider it the negative side effects of higher density. Get used to it. Thanks to our city council this is Mountain View's new normal.


3 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Dec 11, 2015 at 12:13 pm

We need to look at ways to scale and automate enforcement especially for speed. Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) is in place in many countries and cities with great success in enforcing speed limits and reducing casualties.

San Francisco is studying ASE and its Office of the Controler released a very compelling report this past month:

Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 11, 2015 at 12:13 pm

On Sept. 19th I was struck by a car from on behind while trying to merge from a bike lane that became a right turn only onto a through bike lane. Two cars refused to let me merge, the third hit me, fracturing my leg. The Palo Alto police took the drivers word that I had failed to signal. I have never been asked for my side of the story. Until law enforcement takes cycling seriously, these type of accidents will continue to rise. Why does it seem so hard to use law enforcement to PREVENT accidents by writing tickets? I have been cycling daily since 1971, but I'm done riding on the streets. BTW, this accident occurred at 1230 pm, at Stanford shopping center. Brilliant sunshine, dozens of cars, many cyclists, ONE BAD DRIVER. (It only takes one). By late May I might be able to walk again.


6 people like this
Posted by Sue the drivers...a lot
a resident of Bailey Park
on Dec 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Oh yah, those drivers ego's are controlling those cars. I'm not surprised one bit about their refusal to allow a merge. I see it all the time around here: selfish egotistical drivers with a "Me first" attitude. That's all that matters to them, until they are sued.

I had a similar incident in 1999 and sued the driver who hit me. I was awarded $120K for medical, lost work, pain/suffering. I still the the guy that hit me around town. He drives better now, oh you betcha he does! ;)


16 people like this
Posted by Paul Berry
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:15 pm

I know "480%" sounds dramatic-- but why not just say "last year there were 5, and this year 29" ?


12 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Major cities like Amsterdam and New York have separate, dedicated lanes for pedestrians, non-motorized conveyances, and cars.
A crash is a crash, whether it results in death, injury or property damage.
I have seen people, their ears plugged with headphones and staring at a device, step into a busy traffic lane completely oblivious to traffic passing. It is scary.
Perhaps the pedestrians and cyclists could be citing for violating traffic laws.


23 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm

I can't believe that people like @Robyn are blaming the victims for these collisions. The article clearly states that car drivers are ignoring pedestrians in crosswalks wearing high visibility clothing, even when the car drivers have plenty of time to stop. Police say "The vast majority of pedestrian accidents come down to the driver not paying attention."


9 people like this
Posted by NeHi
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I know I feel a lot safer NOT walking in front of moving vehicles.


21 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm

@NeHi - if you're going to cross the street in a crosswalk, you have to walk in front of moving vehicles. The streets that are mentioned in the article are so wide and so busy and have such high speed limits that there will never be a big enough gap to cross without any car coming near you. Pedestrians need to have some faith that car drivers are driving legally and paying attention. This applies whether or not there is a traffic light, since car drivers can ignore those. Car drivers in Mountain View have also been known to ignore curbs and drive onto sidewalks to kill pedestrians.


5 people like this
Posted by Tim Phelps
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2015 at 3:03 pm

I'm sad we don't have enough officers to ticket the violators. I work in Shoreline and every day see more than a dozen (Google) drivers speed down the center left-turn-only lanes because they can get away with using them as main traffic lanes without ever turning. There is almost an accident every day as cars rush head long toward each other in the same lane or someone tries to make a legitimate left turn. The few times our police have been present to hand out tickets non-stop, it did get attention and the violators curbed it for a couple weeks. Maybe we could start a Shame-On-You column here to publish the violators' names and employer name. That might get attention enough to stop at least a few of the future accidents. Maybe we can require that employer to formally warn these employees of unacceptable behavior and require mandatory in-house driver education classes with those grisly videos of people all chewed up in accidents when you drive like these violators do. Sad that some people make a choice to drive like this and disrespect the safety if not lives of others.


3 people like this
Posted by Tim Phelps
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2015 at 3:04 pm

I'm sad we don't have enough officers to ticket the violators. I work in Shoreline and every day see more than a dozen (Google) drivers speed down the center left-turn-only lanes because they can get away with using them as main traffic lanes without ever turning. There is almost an accident every day as cars rush head long toward each other in the same lane or someone tries to make a legitimate left turn. The few times our police have been present to hand out tickets non-stop, it did get attention and the violators curbed it for a couple weeks. Maybe we could start a Shame-On-You column here to publish the violators' names and employer name. That might get attention enough to stop at least a few of the future accidents. Maybe we can require that employer to formally warn these employees of unacceptable behavior and require mandatory in-house driver education classes with those grisly videos of people all chewed up in accidents when you drive like these violators do. Sad that some people make a choice to drive like this and disrespect the safety if not lives of others.


10 people like this
Posted by More people on bikes
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm

More people on bikes, more people in cars and more people on the streets and more and more development, that is the result. More accidents. At least in a car you are protected.

Bikers ride like they own the roads and car drivers drive like they own the roads and pedestrians walk like they own the roads. So accidents will happen. Lets just try and get along and not be shocked that more accidents are happening.


10 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm

To many people are walking and talking on there I-phones and not paying attention to where they are going. I myself have seen people walking against a red light and almost getting hit by car or one time a bus. Bike riders have run red lights and I have been almost hit by these bikers more than once. I feel we need a full-time police officer just patroling down town all the time.


3 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm

For the purpose of safety, many of our streets should have lane reductions.

Streets with two lanes each way should be reduced to one lane each way with a turning lane in the middle. As a result, bike lanes could be created or widened, plus residents along the street could pull out of their driveways in a safe manner. And crosswalks are safer with only one lane each way.

I live south of El Camino. Current dangerous areas are along Miramonte at McKelvey Park, St. Joseph and Saint Francis schools, also along Castro at Graham School.

The people most offended by lane reductions would be those from other cities speeding through our neighborhoods.


6 people like this
Posted by Practical
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm

The root cause is partly that people are distracted - mostly by smartphones.

The other key factor is that traffic, especially rush hour, is getting much worse, which frustrates drivers and makes them more likely to speed when they finally get out of the mess.

Unfortunately, many of the so-called solutions will make traffic worse. Taking away lanes for cars (like Council voted to do on El Camino) or for bike lanes means that car traffic gets worse.

Rather than making car traffic worse, they should only be doing lane changes when they can be added to existing roads (perhaps by taking away street parking).


7 people like this
Posted by MV biker
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 11, 2015 at 4:06 pm

As officer Jaeger states, everyone needs to pay better attention. Drivers have all kinds of obstacles blocking their view, while bikers and pedestrians seem oblivious to what's going on around them. Would be interested in seeing how many accidents occur at night. I have come close to hitting pedestrians who wear dark clothing and walk in the middle of the street.


8 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 11, 2015 at 4:38 pm

The statement about people simply not paying attention is the greatest truth in a pretty straightforward article.I do agree that drivers are not paying attention, but they have plenty of company.

I can't tell you the number of times this year that I have seen pedestrians, drivers and cyclists(!) using cell phones while they are going around town. Is it incredible how little awareness they have of how dangerous this is. Pedestrians step off the curb while staring intently at their phones and seldom, if ever, look up. Cyclists jet through my neighborhood (which is really Monroe Park) on the way to the Palo Alto bridge with no hands on the bars, punching madly away on their phones and oblivious to the mothers pushing children in strollers or toddlers learning to ride. Drivers, in hurry to get home or to work, weave through side streets trying to shave a few minute off their commute. Scary.

I don't know how to get people to be more aware, but our city makes things worse with their peculiar rules at stop lights. At the entrance into San Antonio Center from Fayette, there are two lanes. The left lane is for left turns only, while the right lane is for through traffic and right turns. I think this is a recipe for disaster. Those wanting to make a right turn are often unable to do so because they are behind a car waiting to go straight into the center. They are only allowed to turn when the light changes, which is also when the pedestrians are signaled to cross. How is this rational?

Doesn't it make more sense for the right lane to be for right turns only, which would allow turns when pedestrians are not allowed in the crosswalk? If the left lane also allowed through traffic, nobody is impeded, since they both need the light to proceed. As it is, those making left turns can often only turn when the pedestrian light is also on. This often sets drivers and pedestrians in the crosswalk at the same time, which seems foolish.

This isn't the only corner like this in the city. If we really want to do something, doesn't changing this make sense? Am I missing something here?

I don't know how to get people to pay more attention, but shouldn't we reduce the possible places where they might have problems as much as we can?


24 people like this
Posted by Think Thanks
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2015 at 5:49 pm

It's not just car drivers who seem to have issues with distraction...

A couple of weeks ago, a little after 6pm, I was in the center lane of El Camino Real and had recently passed a bicyclist in the right lane. The bicyclist was tough to see because she had only a rear reflector on her seat and no other source of light or reflectors on her or her bike. I needed to move into the right lane to make a right turn in a couple of blocks but I was uncomfortable moving over to the right lane because I could no longer see the cyclist in my mirrors or when looking over my shoulder, and I was almost certain she was still in the lane beside me somewhere because we had not crossed any other intersections or driveways...but I just couldn't see her. Because I couldn't see the cyclist, I opted to stay in the middle lane missing the right turn I had planned to make and instead went one block further up to make a right. As I approached the light I could once again see the cyclist in my mirrors coming up in the right lane (far enough behind me that I was able to safely move into the right lane) and while I was sitting at the red light and watching the cyclist approaching from behind I could not believe what I witnessed -- this young lady had no helmet on, no headlight or other reflective gear on, was wearing her "beats" headphones and was holding her phone with one hand, fiddling with it with the other hand and, shockingly, she slammed into the curb, flipped right over the handlebars & rolled onto the sidewalk. She then jumped up and rubbed her knees and elbows, looked around, got on her bike adjusted her headphones, grabbed her phone & began fiddling with it again(!) and started pedaling on down the road -- phone in one hand & fiddling with the phone with her other hand.

I was gobsmacked, mostly because I had spent the last several minutes of my drive concerned about the very real potential of me hitting this bicyclist, while evidently she didn't seem to have a care in the world. She was SO lucky that when she crashed - because she was fiddling around with her phone - that she rolled up onto the sidewalk and not out into the traffic on El Camino Real. She was in dark clothing, no helmet, no headlight and no reflective gear, and wearing headphones - while peddling down El Camino Real in the dark during rush hours.

I am thankful you are not reading about me being a driver who hit a cyclist on ECR, as I have no doubt if that had been the case the comments that would follow would be endless comments excoriating distracted drivers, speeding drivers, selfish drivers, greedy drivers and what not. Instead, I am only commenting about...a really really stupid bicyclist who was lucky she didn't wind up seriously injured, or worse.

Walking, cycling, driving -- please, pay attention and focus on the road and traffic around you. I do NOT want to have to live with the burden of having injured or killed someone because they couldn't be bothered to pay attention to the road and their surroundings.

Think.

Thanks.


6 people like this
Posted by Victor
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Dec 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Lower the speed limit to 25 moh in Shoreline and Rengstoff. Can be done tomorrow. That should help immediately. During commute hrs cars will not arrive later because of this. Now they speed nervously and dangerously when there is a bit of room but five seconds later lights and traffic will stop them inexorably. Let's do this easy change. Why Eembarcadero in Palo Alto is like that?



8 people like this
Posted by Laws need an enforcement arm
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2015 at 7:25 am

So they will speed if the limit is 35 but won't if it's 25?
Not without the previously stated enforcement needs. If there is no fear of a ticket, it doesn't matter what the speed limit is set at.


6 people like this
Posted by RightTurnHazards
a resident of another community
on Dec 12, 2015 at 8:55 am

ALWAYS check your rear view mirror before making a right turn. While cars have to stop and wait for pedestrians to leave the intersection before making a right turn, fast moving bicycles can come up quickly from behind and pass you ON THE RIGHT. This is espacially hazardous at dusk and dark with bikes that don't have lights.

I think ALL passing on the right should stop. More bike lanes should be painted in where the bikes going straight are steered to the left of right-turning traffic.


11 people like this
Posted by rainbow38
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Dec 12, 2015 at 10:21 am

I drive to work when it's dark. There are many pedestrians and bicyclists wearing dark clothing which make them hard to see. It would help everyone if the pedestrians wore something light colored and carried a flashlight that would make them more visible. The bicyclists should have bike lights and reflectors or reflective strips on their bikes.


7 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 12, 2015 at 11:34 am

True is a registered user.

Everyone (drivers, cyclists, pedestrians alike...but mostly drivers) needs to take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are being as attentive and safe as they can be.

Now, quit staring at yourself in the mirror and pay attention to your driving.


5 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 12, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Gee more accidents? I also noticed there are more bikes on the road from last year. There are also a lot more Yellow bikes on the road (none have any lights). I also see lots more drivers on the phone. Drivers who seem to make last minute lane changes and turns as if navigation system informs them and they must follow. The right side of the road in in such poor condition that cause ... people to veer to the left.


5 people like this
Posted by Cherie
a resident of Jackson Park
on Dec 12, 2015 at 11:31 pm

Safe Mountain View is a group of MV residents who advocate for safe roads for all. We would love to see the end of traffic-related deaths. If you'd like to follow us, like us on Facebook (Web Link) or subscribe to our newsletter on the form at the bottom of our website's home page (www.SafeMountainView.org). Ride on!


13 people like this
Posted by Rebecca F
a resident of North Bayshore
on Dec 13, 2015 at 5:45 am

MVPD needs to start ticketing bicyclists as well for infractions. My information is that bike laws aren't enforced. Living next to Google we constantly see bicyclers running lights/stopsigns, driving on the wrong side of the rode or on the sidewalk (even tho there are bike lanes). And not using handsignals, nearly hitting pedestrians on sidewalks... CARS aren't always the problem!


5 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Dec 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm

if you make a proper right turn you cannot be passed on the right by traffic on the road.

california driver handbook
Web Link

Right turns–To make a right turn, drive close to the right edge of the road. If there is a bike lane, drive into the bike lane [etc]


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 14, 2015 at 7:27 am

I commute by bike and live in the neighborhood. I've only been biking to work for about a year from this neighborhood, but in this year, I've had half a dozen near misses, a couple of times where I had to intentionally jump the bike up the curb onto the sidewalk to avoid being killed.

It's not speed which leads to cyclists getting hit, it's inattention from both drivers and cyclists. Drivers generally don't see bicycles, they're looking for other cars. I see cyclists making risky moves every day too, running red lights or cutting off traffic, generally assuming that cars will yield.

As a driver here in Mountain View, look for cyclists, especially when you are turning right. (All my near misses were drivers trying to turn right, worst ones were pinching me between the curb and their car). Other places which are super dangerous for cyclists are the cross-over bike lanes overpasses, like Shoreline at Central and at 101. It's positively frightening to cross there since commuters are frustrated and angry, it seems, and willing to risk lives to save two seconds.

As a cyclist, do not under any circumstances assert right of way over a car, it's going to win in a collision, and stop where you have to. Don't run stops or red lights because you may not see what's about to hit you. I understand that stopping on a bike is annoying because you have to use your muscles to start again, and even though it's illegal here, consider something like the Idaho Stop, where you're slowing way down as you scan the traffic, then just roll through it if its safe, stop all the way if it's not. I've lost count of how many people just blatantly run the stop at Church/Calderon.


10 people like this
Posted by MP Resident
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Speaking as somebody who used to bike commute into Mountain View (I don't anymore - new job):

Inattentive behavior is everywhere, but the consequences of your inattentive behavior. If you are piloting a 1.5 ton vehicle with the kinetic energy of a small missile, you should be held to higher standards than somebody trying to cross at a crosswalk.

At the same time, the infrastructure is pitiful - even basics like contiguous bike lanes pretty much don't exist, bike routes are few and far between, and Mountain View takes the incredibly short-sighted view that the bay trail is a recreational trail that can be closed at will, not critical commuter infrastructure that should be maintained as such.

Finally, there is some shared blame. There are far too many "stealth" cyclists and pedestrians. Wear visible colors, get real lights and use them, there is a lot of safety in visibility. You need to give drivers and other cyclists time to react to your presence. How about enforcing requirements for bikes to have working lights at night? (It would be a good 'give and take' with actually enforcing speed limits on drivers)


12 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 14, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Quick question from someone who grew up on the East Coast. In elementary school, we were taught that bicyclists have to obey the same rules of the road as cars. That included signalling before turns, obeying traffic lights and road signs (such as Stop Signs), riding on the correct side of the road (with traffic, not against traffic), and having lights for driving at night or in 'weather' conditions (such as rain). Are Californians taught these rules?

While it is impossible to argue against the proposition that drivers of automobiles need to pay better attention and not look at their phones, anecdotally, I have seen plenty of bicyclists endangering themselves and others with their disregard of traffic safety laws. I could cite many examples as a driver, a pedestrian, and a cyclist in Mountain View, but sometimes it really seems like the basics are missing.


7 people like this
Posted by Downtown Greg
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2015 at 4:54 pm

@Brian, yes we were all taught bike safety on the west coast as well, at least in my school they did. We were also taught about laws in drivers ed: using turn signals, driving at/under the posted limit and as pedestrians we were taught to always look both ways before you cross the street. You see where this goes...People are people, the mode doesn't really matter.

So the map doesn't show an obvious hot spot but I wonder if a type of accident was more prevalent, for instance right hand turns crashes, left handers...That info might be somewhat helpful in heightening people's awareness as they begin to make that maneuver.


5 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Dec 14, 2015 at 5:46 pm

common bike accident scenarios:

- The motorist made a right turn across the bicyclist’s lane of travel;
- The motorist turned left at an uncontrolled or non-dedicated left-turn intersection;
- The bicyclist or motorist failed to stop at a red light or stop sign;
- A vehicle or bicycle passed on the right;
- The vehicle “doored” the bicyclist, meaning a motor vehicle driver or passenger opened the door into the biker’s path.
- The bicyclist runs into roadway issues (that sometimes pose no hazards to cars) such as potholes, improper trenching, loose debris, poor pavement transitions or even overgrown foliage or trees causing shadows in the road.

Quite a few of these cases can be avoided/diminished by riding bikes in the middle of a lane (especially at intersections). It places the bike in the area where drivers expect look for cars. Car drivers tend to not like this strategy though.


11 people like this
Posted by Rex Manor resident
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm

I was making a left turn on a fresh green light from Shoreline to Church, I had to stop and honk at an inattentive cyclist (on Shoreline) riding through a red light - alerting him that I was in the middle of a turn and that I almost hit him. He responded by flipping me off and shouting obscenities at me.

I've been road riding all over the bay area for over 40 years and I seen bad behavior from cyclists and drivers everywhere.

I get that we are busy, but please show some courtesy, obey the laws and be attentive.


3 people like this
Posted by Oh More Oh Less
a resident of another community
on Dec 15, 2015 at 2:22 am

"In elementary school, we were taught that bicyclists have to obey the same rules of the road as cars. That included signalling "

How many times do cars change lanes, turn right, turn left, etc. without signalling?

It's THESE violations that need to be corrected.

The bikes are so vulnerable that often the SAFEST thing they can do is to ignore the so called rules of the road that apply to everyone. What is paramount is that the bicyclist pay attention to his own safety. That means taking any safe opportunity to move, even if it is not legal. Waiting for a light to change can be DEADLY for a bike if he is sitting in the clear where a car can strike. DEADLY. What's better, a potential ticket, or DEATH? The key to riding is SURVIVAL. Absolutely the bicylist must not be distracted. this is a game of life or DEATH!


8 people like this
Posted by And Another thing
a resident of another community
on Dec 15, 2015 at 2:30 am

How often does a bicycle rider hit a car and KILL or SERIOUSLY INJURE someone in the CAR? Hmm? How can that happen? Realistically the bicycle is at a serious peril merely from being on the road. It's totally not safe to ride like a sitting duck and wait for a driver to strike. Passivity is danger. Aggressive riding is key, or at least Assertive riding on a bicycle. This clap trap about cops needing to enforce the rules of the road on bicyclists overlooks that they same detailed rules are not enforced on car drivers either. Which one kills the other due to the distraction? Sometimes a bicyclist manages to juggle a cell phone. HOW MUCH MORE FREQUENTLY does a driver use a cell phone, apply makeup, speak to a child in the back seat, fiddle with food or beverage, tune the radio, and take eyes off the road entirely??? Hmm? WHO DIES when accidents happen between car and bike?

OH, and this spike of 480 is a mistake. In the past MVPD has not even tracked no injury bike incidents, and now they are trying to count them in. So of course it spiked. It's not apples to apples number comparison.


12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 15, 2015 at 9:53 am

Aggressive riding has no place on the streets. You can be assertive and signal that you're taking the lane to protect yourself in a turn - I do it all the time, but this doesn't excuse running stops and red lights in traffic. I've commuted by bike for many years, and honestly have no issue with running stops or reds, if there is no traffic. Basically, if someone has to react to what you're doing, you're doing it wrong. If nobody saw you do it, then great, there's nobody to care and complain.


13 people like this
Posted by @And Another thing
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2015 at 6:50 pm

From: "City's data tapped to reduce bike, pedestrian injuries" Nov 9, 2012
Web Link

"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."

According to you:
"Aggressive riding is key, or at least Assertive riding on a bicycle."

Back to the police representative in the article:
"Lopez acknowledged that it can be a tough call to say who is at fault in such accidents, and that it is even a "shared responsibility" in some cases. It is clearly the driver's fault when he drives past a cyclist, fails to see them, and then turns in front of them, Lopez said. But such is not always the case, he said, and cyclists hit in a "right hook" can be found to be going too fast in slow traffic."

I hope your assertiveness isn't the cause of injury or worse to yourself. Wanting to be right won't matter when a cyclist and driver collide regardless of fault.

At some point cyclists have to recognize the nature of their vulnerability and ride accordingly. Bicycles are designed to do things most vehicles can't and vice-versa. Vehicles are intentionally designed to handle a high-velocity impact with another (potentially larger) vehicle. Cyclists who ignore the fact that they are on the road with drivers who are better protected than they are, probably shouldn't be allowed to ride, just as drivers who don't recognize the danger they pose to cyclists shouldn't be allowed to drive.

Police who ignore action on the cycling side of the equation will not help to solve this problem. BOTH sides need active prevention efforts and enforcement of behavior.


6 people like this
Posted by Assertive Biking
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2015 at 3:19 am

Sometimes optimizing the chances of surviving crazy drivers turning right without looking for a cyclist means the biker slows down and enters the pedestrian crossing to traverse the street intersection. In so doing, he has still to be careful that the typical driver behavior of turning right on red without stopping is not involved, but it can be safest to cross against the red, so long as there is no cross traffic at the time.

A cyclist can tell if there is someone who may turn right better from the vantage point of the pedestrian.

Unfortunately, pedestrians and cyclists are both still vulnerable to these illegal right turns on red without stopping, But they can minimize it by waiting and crossing when their lives are safe, even if it means a pedestrian walking against red. More likely not to get hit when knowingly taking a right of way not offered, if checks are made that there's no one actually in the perpendicular direction....

It's the exact same irespect for the law that the driver has in turning right on red without stopping, or on a "California stop" at the red light. Equal cheating is essential to survival. And pedestrians do it all the time, depending on the light involved and what it controls. Take a look at the Moffett Blvd/ Central Expressway intersection some time when the train signal has just come down. Tons of pedestrians crossing against the light, because it's the safest thing to do, and also the fastest.
Because they are cheating, they end up being very very careful.


10 people like this
Posted by RightTurnHazards
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2015 at 8:10 am

The right turn hazard is not always due to illegal nonstop rights turns. Take this situation: it's night, car stops at intersection and uses blinkers to signal a right turn, then waits for the pedestrians to cross. Meanwhile other cars or trucks wait behind him, their lights shining in his rear view mirrors. As he is about to turn, he checks one last time but sees only headlights and darkness in the rear view. He goes forward, then suddenly a bike flashes in front of him. No lights, rider in dark clothes, bike going at a fast, stealth clip.

This has happened to me 3 times over the past few months and thankfully MY slow speed and quick reflexives saved them all. Cars have headlights, use turn signals, stop at intersections. These bikes could see I was turning and still passed me on the right. That is plain reckless on their part.


3 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 16, 2015 at 8:16 am

People cross against the red light at the Moffett Blvd/ Central Expressway intersection when a train arrives/departs because their light gets skipped. The other traffic does get their green for that phase of the traffic lights, so there is enough time to cross the intersection.

For a northbound train its usually 2 cycles skipped (train arrive and train depart), add in a southbound train and you can get skipped 3 times, resulting in a wait time that can approach 7 minutes.


7 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

What ever happened to the requirement that bicyclists STOP. DISMOUNT and BECOME A PEDESTRIAN at busy intersections the way I was taught? That worked for me very well when I had to commute for Summer School using El Camino Real.

I really think it is past time to require the same Responsibilities of ALL VEHICLES AND OPERATORS using our roadways. That means a License, Registration and proof of Insurance.

The vehicle MUST have a working headlight and rear reflector ( or better yet, a working taillight ) OR IT FAILS THE REGISTRATION MANDATORY MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS!

The LICENSE makes sure that the driver is fully aware of the CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING THE LAW!

The INSURANCE pays for the damages to other peoples person or property WHEN YOU BREAK THE LAWS.

Yes, bicyclists, YOU DO CAUSE DAMAGES THAT MUST BE PAID FOR, even if you are suffering from damages caused by your lawless behavior!

ANY vehicle using public roadways must be treated as equals. That would be a good start to good relationships on a public roadway and stopping the subconscious arrogant behavior on both sides of this problem. Yes, FROM BOTH SIDES who feel " superior " on a roadway.

NEVER GET INTO THE HABIT OF BLOWING OFF STOP SIGNS! That is a symptom of the problems we face on this issue.

That is part of the RESPONSIBILITIES you have when using OUR roadways!
Think of that STOP SIGN as a policeman directing traffic with a whistle which was the case before lights and signs were made.

If you cannot do this, STAY OFF OUR ROADWAYS! YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!


13 people like this
Posted by All of us
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2015 at 1:28 pm

With the expected continual increase in non-car road users, esp bikes, I'm glad this has got the attention of the city. It should continue to help fuel the bike infrastructure projects going forward. Now of course that's not going to make the_punnisher any happier, but, well...you know ;)

Any spike like this when it comes to public safety anywhere should get the attention of the municipality. Job well done MV.


5 people like this
Posted by Right turns
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm

I'm confused about these comments about right turns. A car is stopped at an intersection (regardless if red light or stop sign), getting ready to turn right. doesn't it have the right of way to make that turn whether a bike is coming up on the right or not? The car has pulled up, made its stop, checked for oncoming traffic from the left, then moves to make its turn. Why would a bike overtake a car in that situation? Wouldn't said bike be required to "take its turn" per se and wait for car to turn?


4 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Right Turns. You have acted properly. The cyclist, doing 35 MPH and wearing a set of headphones and thinks " that's cool " and texting, slamming into the side of your car is NOT acting properly. Driving on our roadways require a vehicle operator to be aware of the surroundings. THAT IS THE LAW. It's called negligent operation of a vehicle. Yes a bicycle is a vehicle under the law.

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 17, 2015 at 5:57 pm

right turns have to be made as close to the curb as possible. Bikes can't pass you on the right if you do that.


8 people like this
Posted by Dave P
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2015 at 11:08 am

If the light is red, the cyclist by law must stop and the car has the right of way to turn.

If the light is green, the driver by law must yield to the cyclist as they pass on the right.

Now lets see everybody to that...that's the trick.


6 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I have seen bicyclists try to squeeze between a car already close to the curb while the person is in the bike lane making a right turn.

Many bicyclist try to justify this common behavior by claiming " I want to keep my momentum . it's a drag having to actually start and stop at every intersection." " We need laws that allow us to blow off stop signs ". Well, until you get those laws passed, YOU STILL HAVE TO OBEY EXISTING LAWS!!!


5 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 18, 2015 at 5:10 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Assertive biking:

Unless you dismount and walk your bike AS A PEDESTRIAN in the crosswalk, YOU ARE DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE INTO THE CROSSWALK! You could be actually cited if you stay riding your bike!
Denver had a problem with bike messagers breaking many laws like this one, even injuring pedestrians while breaking the crosswalk and sidewalk laws. After heavy enforcement of the crosswalk and sidewalk laws, bike messagers finally got their message and busy downtown pedestrians were safe again.

SO GET OFF YOUR BICYCLE TO USE A CROSSWALK....I DID!


10 people like this
Posted by Neighbor who cares
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 18, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Exercise really reduces stress and increases patience, tolerance and understanding or others. It really balances out the mind, reducing or eliminating any pent up anger that can fester and grow if gone unchecked. That kind of anger will then come out in much less productive ways.

Merry Christmas Punnisher. Things really aren't as bad as how you've imagined them. I hope you find peace once day.


5 people like this
Posted by Bike Messenger
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 18, 2015 at 11:47 pm

I'm one of the hundreds of bike messengers in Mountain View and I have to say this city has the best behaved traffic in California.


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