Friday, November 13, 2009

Random Ride Report

Yesterday morning heading south on Murray I pass two people sleeping across the railroad tracks in sleeping bags. One has his/her arm over the other in a tender manner that juxtaposes nicely against the scattered bits of trash and newspapers.

Tuesday night by Soquel and Frederick, some douche in a big black SUV with his cell phone up his ass, coming in the opposite direction, makes a left right in front of me. I brake enough in time and he speeds up to get out of my way. I get home and recharge the batteries for my lights.

Saturday morning by Broadway and Ocean, in the bike lane (as usual), no helmet (not as usual), bright beautiful day - white compact on my left slows to turn into driveway, i assume he sees me, he doesn't. I brake and fumble for my bell, i miss the bell, and end up yelling the first thing my brain can come up with: "Whoah, whoah! WHOAH!" He slows down just in time for me to pass - maybe a foot away.

Whomever said separate bike paths (i.e. away from car dominated roads) aren't necessary is clueless.


Yokota Fritz said...

But but but... those separate facilities don't help with the crossing movements you're writing about. Even Danish studies show that left crosses and right hooks increase significantly after "cycletracks" are installed. Where cycletracks help is with some of the more dangerous collisions -- you no longer need to fear the rear ender -- but you'll have more encounters with the clueless SUV and white compact drivers.

The Danish study shows that cycletracks increase the perception of safety (hence increasing the number of cyclists), while collisions and injuries increased 9 to 10% after the construction of segregated cycletracks.

Haven't you ever nearly nailed the side of a car while coming down the hill on West Cliff?

Bicicleta Bandito said...

Fair enough. But this isn't simply an issue of safety, this is an issue of being able to ride in a nice quiet environment, away from exhaust, noise, and yes, the potential for left crosses and right hooks.

i'm not making an argument for exclusively solving transportation issues via bike paths - I'm making an argument for more options for bicyclists. Like the levy trail adjacent to East Cliff Dr and Ocean St - There's a bike lane on the street AND a path on the levy.

And yeah, I come down West Cliff on a daily basis and no, I've been pretty lucky to not have any close far.