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Bicyclists running stop signs
Original post made
by Ventura Resident, Ventura,
on Jul 16, 2008
I'm a 5 year resident of Palo Alto and I've grown very attached to my community. I'm a strong supporter of environmental conservation and public transportation. I've been very pleased to see more and more people take their bikes to work and it reminds me of my college days at U.C. Davis where the bicycle culture is very serious there. (Cyclists get ticketed for speeding or for not coming to a full stop at stop signs by bicycle cops).
With more cyclists on the road however, I have seen more and more cyclists taking risks on the road such as running stop signs and almost hitting pedestrians, while speeding through neighborhoods. I have noticed this frequently along Park Blvd (between the Mercedes Benz Service Center and Fernando Avenue).
As a cyclist myself, I strongly believe that cyclists have a right to share the road with motorists. But I also believe that the cyclists should at least observe basic traffic laws.
I understand that a full 3 second one-foot-on-the-ground bicycle stop at a stop light/sign would cramp the cyclists momentum but for the safety of the community as well as themselves is so important.
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Posted by Geoff
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 18, 2008 at 8:05 am
"Entitlement" is part of the problem, on both sides of this issue - yes. Drivers take driving a motor vehicle, in general, to be a right AND a necessity, and not a privilege - as it is, while some cyclists do seem to think the rules do not apply to them. I think this stems from the common paradigm we live in where only children ride bicycles, which are "toys", while adults drive motor vehicles. I'd challenge any of you folks who cry foul on the cyclists to get on a bicycle and then proceed to follow every rule, and I would bet the vast majority of you would revert to the mindset that the rules don't apply to you b/c you're on a bicycle (would you come to a complete stop at every stop sign, not ride at above pedestrian walking speeds on sidewalks, etc.). Part of the solution is cyclist education, indeed, but a large, and mostly unrecognized, part is also the need to shift the paradigm of everyone - non-cyclists included - that bicycles ARE traffic, and are NOT toys. When you let your child out on their bicycle, what did you teach them? Or, when you were a child, what were you taught?
Beyond this, though, everyone on the road needs to be more considerate. That said, cyclists have much more to lose in an accident with a vehicle. As a daily cyclist, I see the good and the bad side of both motorists and cyclists. When a cyclist causes a near-accident, they are almost surely to notice, but when a motorist cause a near-accident, they hardly ever notice. I'd also note here that the vast majority of adult cyclists you see are ALSO motorists, as I am, and can speak to this from both sides of the discussion.
Regarding the CVC, as James takes up in his latest post (per my typing this post), he and any others who think he is correct should go back and re-read the CVC. If you believe James, then please do pull over when I am right behind you on my bicycle and going faster than you (within the speed limit, of course), such as in downtown areas, heavily traveled roads, etc. Go read CVC Section 21202, and don't take short phrases out of context, and you'll see cyclists have the right to take the lane, at times (safety, passing other traffic, making turns, etc.). To put a point to it - cyclists, in the left turn lane, are where they are supposed to be, assuming they are going left. And for cyclists using the crosswalks, you should be walking your bicycle.
"Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle"
Yes, cyclists are subject to all of the laws of the road, but also have "all the rights", as well. Cyclists and motorists, alike, have to recognize each others rights, obey the laws, and be considerate of one another. This really isn't an "us vs. them" type thing, as much as many may like to make it to be.