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Old 03-24-08, 11:59 AM   #1
jonathanb715
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Another cycling death (in San Ramon this time)

Damn - this one was a kid in my children's school. He was hit by a shuttle bus at the corner of Veracruz and Montevideo in San Ramon last Friday. Lots of flowers and people gathered on the corner today. He was heading east on the sidewalk on Montevideo and crossed Veracruz (which has a stop sign) - the bus was turning off of Veracruz onto Montevideo and hit him as he was crossing. The article in the paper didn't say if the bus came to a stop or if the kid was wearing a helmet. http://www.contracostatimes.com/search/ci_8654769

This really sucks.

JB

edit: since he was going east, the bus may not have expected to see him there - still, he was on the sidewalk, and there's a crosswalk - drivers are supposed to yield to anyone in the crosswalk.
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Old 03-24-08, 12:48 PM   #2
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We were just having a conversation about riding on sidewalks and in crosswalks on another forum I participate in. I'd have to dig up the statistic, but I remember reading a few years back that 80% of car/bike collisions happen when the bike is on the sidewalk or in the crosswalk. The problem is that bikes are faster than pedestrians, and even if a drive looks left/right/left, and the sidewalk is clear on first glance, the bike moves so fast that they're suddenly in the path of the vehicle. Manytimes, the bikes are also going the opposite direction of traffic.

I'm terribly sorry for the boy and his family, but I can also see how a collision like this can take place.
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Old 03-24-08, 01:35 PM   #3
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I used to attend the same elementary school and my best friend back then used to live a couple hundred feet away. Traffic around that area at the end of a school day was always crazy so I can imagine what it's like today. I'm not saying it's the driver's fault but whenever I'm with my kid at an intersection waiting to cross, I always remind him to look at the car who's about to make a right turn and, soon enough, that driver proceeds to turn into our crosswalk even with the white "okay to cross" symbol staring him/her in the face. This intersection only has a stop sign on Veracruz. This is definitely a sad situation.

Last edited by alainp; 03-24-08 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:36 PM   #4
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In 1994 in Rosemead, CA, I was riding on the sidewalk, going against traffic (this is in front of a community center where kids play around all the time). A truck was exiting a bank parking lot to my left, where a bunch of bushes grew and neither of us saw each other. It was a low speed collision, but it managed to total the bike. I was not injured too severely.

The cop told me afterwards that because I was riding on the sidewalk, I was lucky not to get a ticket. Since then, I've made it a point to ride on the street/road, unless otherwise mandated. It seems to me that bicycles get the least amount of rights when it comes to road usage.

Be attentive out there.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:50 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about another cycling death. Prayers go out to the family.

As my daughter is getting old enough to ride and it's a conflicting message to tell kids to ride on the sidewalk but grown-up cyclists are supposed ride in the road.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:54 PM   #6
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Guess I should show this to my daughter.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=cQgAMkMmsfg
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Old 03-24-08, 08:12 PM   #7
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Great video.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BlastRadius View Post
Sorry to hear about another cycling death. Prayers go out to the family.

As my daughter is getting old enough to ride and it's a conflicting message to tell kids to ride on the sidewalk but grown-up cyclists are supposed ride in the road.
+1

JB
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Old 03-24-08, 08:47 PM   #9
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I got hit by a car 8 years ago. I was on the sidewalk. Learned my lesson at a younger age.
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Old 03-24-08, 09:00 PM   #10
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This is truly sad -- there's something about smaller kids on bikes that scares me; not just because I have two of my own.

I was driving Moraga Way through Orinda the other day and saw a young girl can't have been more than 9 or 10 riding a MTB solo down the narrow shoulder. Anyone who lives in the area can probably relate - I don't enjoy the road as an adult, but that kind of thing just sends shivers down my spine.
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Old 03-25-08, 02:51 PM   #11
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When I was in middle school in Pleasanton the cops were giving tickets all the time to kids on bikes for riding on the wrong side of the road, riding in the crosswalk, not stopping at stop signs, etc. At the time it seemed kind of chicken of the cops, but not so much anymore.
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Old 03-25-08, 07:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetnsourbkr View Post
Since then, I've made it a point to ride on the street/road, unless otherwise mandated.
In California, except for staying off of freeways, you cannot be "mandated" by a town, county, etc., off the road and onto a sidewalk. There is a published appellate court decision interpreting the Vehicle Code that nuked Walnut Creek's and Pleasanton's efforts to do exactly that. (The California legislature could do it, but local government cannot - it's a legal doctine called "preemption.") It's why the signs along Ygnacio Valley Blvd in and near downtown Walnut Creek say that bikes may use the sidewalk, not that they have to.

P.S. Under California law, you can even ride on freeways that do not have signs at the on-ramps saying that bikes are prohibited. For example, you can ride on 24 in either direction between the Orinda exit and Fish Ranch Road. (Why you'd want to is another story, but it is legal.) Bikes will be allowed on, and the little white signs at the on-ramps will reflect it, when it has been determined that there is no other reasonable alternative. I have ridden on I-5 between Lake Shasta and Dunsmuir - not my favorite, but the shoulders are wide and the riding is safe (although you have to be veeeeery careful crossing on-ramps and off-ramps) albeit loud and unpleasant.
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Old 03-25-08, 07:34 PM   #13
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I have ridden on I-5


I've seen it, though. Mostly away from big cities. Bikes on the shoulder of I-5 either in way-North California or Oregon somewhere (I forget). I saw one or two guys riding along I-70 way up in the mountains of... Colorado, I think it was, too. Dang.
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Old 03-26-08, 12:40 AM   #14
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I accidentally ended up on the shoulder of a couple of highways in Singapore by mistake. Made sure to get off at the next exit!
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