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Owner of Cycle Werks files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against city and state

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Owner of Cycle Werks files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against city and state

Old 09-17-14, 04:15 PM
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LGHT
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Owner of Cycle Werks files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against city and state

I recall reading about Paul Deem's wife being killed on PCH in Newport Beach by an 84 year old man who was turning right last year. Paul is the owner of Cycle Werks and was an Olympic cycling Athlete. His wife who was killed in the accident was a Senior Partner at a large law firm in Orange county. Not surprisingly I just read that Paul filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and state indicating they maintained an unsafe environment because the area she was killed on forces drivers to guess where lane separation is and has no safety features like most other intersections. The city Attorney for Newport Beach said they donít own or control the area where the accident took place so it may end up falling under the state directly. I donít think it was a coincidence that the case was filed yesterday the same day AB-1371 went into law in California.

Iíll probably keep an eye on the case as It may set some precedence on future cases. If the city loses it may also be a good incentive for other cities to start creating more biking lanes as well.
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Old 10-22-14, 03:24 PM
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Interesting. Thanks for sharing...Interested to see where this goes.
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Old 10-22-14, 04:08 PM
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As shown here
Our Deadly Free Right Turns | bikeNewportBeach

the problem is the (FRT) free-right-turn so popular in Newport.

Deem was killed while going through a FRT at Newport Coast and PCH, going NW.

There is another FRT from San Joaquin Hills Road (NW) onto Jamboree.
After making a left from PCH (going SE) onto Jamboree there is a FRT entering from your right. The one time I rode this I was caught off-guard when I heard the roar of sports cars coming up from my rear-right at 60 MPH. The average driver will accelerate through a FRT with no regard for possible riders ahead on their left that need to merge right.

The Jamboree FRT can be avoided by using `Bayside & Back Bay`, but the Newport Coast version is not easily avoided AFAIK. I always tough it out through there.

The FRT is considered to be an innovation for traffic throughput by Caltrans Designers. Look what they did recently in Santa Fe Springs. At first glance I like it too:
La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs officials celebrate opening of Valley View railroad underpass

They did a grade separation so the BNSF RR is up off Valley View and Stage. Before the GS, everyone had to slow down or stop for the tracks. For riders this was a mixed blessing.

Now that the tracks are separated we gain from not having to risk slipping on the tracks, but we lose the traffic calming effect. Now the drivers will accelerate down through the underpass and the speed difference with riders goes way up.

Last edited by marquhar; 10-22-14 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 10-22-14, 04:18 PM
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@marquhar

There is one of these FRT (never knew the name) on the way up to the university I did my grad work (https://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?msa=0...729&dg=feature northbound to eastbound). It was dangerous particularly in the morning with the sun in the drivers eyes. Most of the drivers were young, undertrained, and driving cars meant to go way to fast with neither a clue nor regard fir anyone. The area scared me and I tried to avoid it on my bike, I felt it was and still is an accident waiting to happen for cyclists.

There are probably others in area I just do not frequent places with them and most would not be at the speeds or road size of California.
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Old 10-23-14, 12:47 AM
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I took that road many times coming back up PCH, and on more than one occasion had to just hug the kerb and cross at the pedestrian crossing. Right-turning highway traffic doesn't want to wait for you to get across the lane. There needs to be a clear lane-change for turning traffic to execute which might force them to observe other road users.

The ones further north at MacArthur and Jamboree aren't as bad, but they're all scary to ride through.
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Old 10-23-14, 08:10 AM
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I don't agree with the lawsuit. I just don't think the state or city is responsible for drivers or cyclists that aren't paying attention to road conditions. We all know its dangerous out there and need to be prepared for situations like this. I know im in the minority but lawsuits are ruining America, go ahead let the bashing begin......
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Old 10-24-14, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by TJClay View Post
I don't agree with the lawsuit. I just don't think the state or city is responsible for drivers or cyclists that aren't paying attention to road conditions. We all know its dangerous out there and need to be prepared for situations like this. I know im in the minority but lawsuits are ruining America, go ahead let the bashing begin......

It is a bit complicated. There is an obvious design fault with these FRTs (especially one with a 65 MPH speed limit as the one on PCH and Newport Coast Drive). Having said that, cyclists should be very aware and take the inside lanes all the time before these deadly FRTs. I consider myself a very safety-conscious cyclist (taking lanes, using hand signals and looking back for cars before going thru FRTs), but even with all that, I was almost creamed by a speeding Jaguar at the FRT at PCH and Dover about a month ago.

Be safe out there.
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Old 10-24-14, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by marquhar View Post
The FRT is considered to be an innovation for traffic throughput by Caltrans Designers. Look what they did recently in Santa Fe Springs. At first glance I like it too:
La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs officials celebrate opening of Valley View railroad underpass

They did a grade separation so the BNSF RR is up off Valley View and Stage. Before the GS, everyone had to slow down or stop for the tracks. For riders this was a mixed blessing.

Now that the tracks are separated we gain from not having to risk slipping on the tracks, but we lose the traffic calming effect. Now the drivers will accelerate down through the underpass and the speed difference with riders goes way up.
In this case, safety conscious riders can use the nearby Coyote Creek trail as far north as Foster to avoid Valley View. Its still closed due to the ongoing construction, but sometime in 2015, you should almost never need to ride your bike on Valley View under that railroad crossing.
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Old 10-24-14, 04:44 PM
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Hello, before they did the linked `Dedicated Opening` I rode VV under this bridge twice, but only southbound. I noticed that it narrows at the lowest point until the road returns to level. Of course, this is where the Cars have the most speed, so if you ride it, be prepared to sweat it out a bit.

Just last night, I hear that there is a new `Yellow Caution Lit Sign` here, so maybe they are thinking the same things we are. It seems that there is a blind signalled intersection next to the bridge.

Don't get me wrong, I only rode this as a survey, to see what it is like and check rideability. Until CC bike path is reopened I have been going North/South on Escalona (near Stage) between Alondra and Rosecrans, and then La Mirada Blvd from there.
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