News

Palo Alto bicyclist suffers critical injuries in collision

 

A bicyclist was critically injured in Mountain View on Friday evening after he was struck by a driver on San Antonio Road.

The bicyclist, a 63-year-old Palo Alto man, crossed onto San Antonio Road outside of the crosswalk near El Camino Real at around 7:30 p.m. on July 10 when he was hit by the vehicle.

Multiple witnesses called 911 and told police that the man was unconscious but still breathing, according to police spokeswoman Shino Tanaka. The man was not wearing a helmet.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition, Tanaka said on Monday.

The driver of the vehicle, a 70-year-old Los Altos Hills man, stayed at the scene and cooperated with police throughout the investigation. The man was not injured and did not appear to be influenced by drugs or alcohol, Tanaka said.

The northbound lanes of San Antonio Road were closed for hours following the collision.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call Sgt. Saul Jaeger at 650-903-6344 and refer to case number 15-3916.

Comments

15 people like this
Posted by Johan Zeeman
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm

These words are really quite incoherent: "crossed onto San Antonio Road outside of the crosswalk near El Camino Real" What does that mean? How do you "cross" "onto" something? Was the man turning onto San Antonio, or merely crossing San Antonio while remaining on El Camino? Was the man simply near the crosswalk (as he should have been if he was riding a bicycle), or is it being implied he should have been using the crosswalk (thus blaming the victim)? I truly don't understand what is meant.


6 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2015 at 3:44 pm


Hope he recovers. Scary to be on a bike these days.


8 people like this
Posted by sad
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Prayers for the family.


8 people like this
Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:04 pm

It's easy. It means he was crossing San Antonio Rd, but not crossing it on the crosswalk.


3 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:26 pm

The description of the man's actions is quite confusing. The presumption is that the bicyclist was biking across San Antonio near El Camino. West of El Camino this seems plausible and there is even a lighted cross walk for this purpose. But without photos or a more accurate description, the article is hard to understand.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm

I agree that this is very ambiguous. Was the bicyclist crossing or about to turn left? From the wording of this article, the accident could have been either participant's fault. The fact that witnesses are being sought shows to me that there is some difficulty discerning blame.


8 people like this
Posted by FixThisIntersection
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 13, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Well, that article is clear as mud. From the photo it appears as if the collision took place very near the intersection of El Camino Real and San Antonio, within a few yards it seems.

There could be numerous scenarios in play there which could have resulted in an accident..it's a horribly dangerous intersection.

I hope the injured man recovers. My thoughts are with him & his family, as well as the man who struck the bicyclist.

What a tragedy.


19 people like this
Posted by Helmets please
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Regardless of who was at fault, all bicyclists should wear a helmet for their own safety.


10 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2015 at 8:32 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

Speaking of San Antonio Road and crosswalks...

There is a very dangerous crosswalk on San Antonio Rd. near the corner of Miller Ave. There is no traffic signal or stop sign on the San Antonio Rd. (and the crosswalk is located just feet away from the San Antonio Rd./California St. intersection crosswalk.

Why is this crosswalk here? I cringe every time I see someone using it -- because drivers don't expect it to be there and often don't see the pedestrian (or, more often, bicyclist) on it. I wish that they would remove this crosswalk (since it is so close to the other one) or add lights for it. It is such a busy road and I would hate to witness a tragedy like the one mentioned in this article.


1 person likes this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

*There is no traffic signal or stop sign at this crosswalk on San Antonio Rd. next to the Miller Ave. entrance.


Like this comment
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 13, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Nayeli - judging from the photo, the police and flares are all on San Antonio, on the north side of the intersection, by the entrance to the Safeway. That crosswalk you are talking about by Armadillo Willy's is on the south side (and does seem unsafe).


18 people like this
Posted by biker & driver
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 13, 2015 at 9:55 pm

Most of these articles about bicycle accidents end up blaming the person not able to tell her/his side of the story. While I agree that bicyclists on San Antonio should wear helmets, the knee jerk reaction of "put on the helmet" has a whiff of victim blaming. After all, between a vehicle and a helmet, the vehicle will still win (many bicyclists killed by vehicles were wearing helmets). Ah, for a real bike lane and respect for bicycles as transport.


10 people like this
Posted by rider
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2015 at 10:38 pm

I bike in Palo Alto in Oregon Ave parallel to Oregon Expressway. Most of the near misses I have experienced with cars were with the right turns without first stopping or right turns on green without yielding to the pedestrian traffic with the WALK crossing. Without making judgement on this incident, I would suggest that most traffic accidents can be easily avoided if people just observe simple traffic rules.


10 people like this
Posted by Driver with Biker Kids
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2015 at 10:55 pm

I don't think comments regarding cyclists wearing helmets has anything to do with blame - it is simply prudent to protect yourself as best you can, regardless of who is at "fault." Bicyclists are much more susceptible to head injuries if they are not wearing a helmet.

I'm not going to jump to conclusions about fault - the cops can figure that out. In my opinion it is equally likely to be the car or the bike.

One thing I have noticed around schools though (the up-and-coming bike generation) is that kids pass cars on the right even though the cars have their right-turn signals on, clearly indicating they are turning right. The crossing guards halt traffic turning right while they wait for approaching bicyclists, some almost a block away, and give them preference. I can't help but feel this sets these kids up for eventual failure because they get the idea that they have priority over cars. It makes me worry about them when there is no crossing guard.

Prayers to the bicyclist for a full recovery and prayers for the driver to recover from the shock and anguish he/she must be feeling.


4 people like this
Posted by Concerned Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 13, 2015 at 11:24 pm

Please be more precise in describing what happened. A diagram would help. The point of journalism is communicate information without ambiguity. This article is ambiguous exactly where it should not be -- in explaining what happened. As residents of Palo Alto we are all concerned about safety on our streets, and we draw lessons from every article that reports on an accident. Let's make sure the right lessons are learnt.


5 people like this
Posted by Journalism Major
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 14, 2015 at 2:22 am

"The point of journalism is communicate information . . . Let's make sure the right lessons are learnt."

Love that last word!

Prayers for the bicyclist. Unfortunately, cars are larger than bikes even if the driver is at fault. I would bike more if it were safer . . . maybe.


10 people like this
Posted by AllenE
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2015 at 7:15 am

AllenE is a registered user.

For people who want more specifics about where this happened look at the picture. The white line in at the bottom is the El Camino crosswalk. The car that hit the bicycle is the silver car and the bag on the center divide is next to where the man was in the street.

I drove by the accident just after it happened. There were several people next to him with cell phones I assume calling 911. The man was on the street in the center lane of San Antino more or less opposite the bus stop benches and about half way from El Camino to the first Safeway driveway. He was about a car length in front of the car. The car looked totaled. The windshield was completely caved in and the roof of the car was crushed back. It looked like he hit the center of the windshield as that is where it was caved in. There was a small pool of blood on the street next to the man's head. It was a horrific scene and I am surprised the man is alive. The image haunts me. I hope he survives. The bicycle was all bent up but in reading this article it would make since that the collision was to the side of the bicycle as had he been hit from behind I would expect the rear wheel to have been badly dented, which it wasn't. This is not a logical place to cross the street as there is a center island to go over as can be seen from the picture. Hard to believe anyone would not just go the few feet to the crosswalk. It would not surprise me if he was hit in the crosswalk and tossed to where he ended up by the collision but that is for someone who actually saw it to say. Had I been looking to the left while waiting for my turn, I would have likely seen it happen but I was more focused on the broken traffic light in front of me.


2 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2015 at 7:39 am

SteveU is a registered user.

Bicycles (when ridden) are vehicles according to the CVC.
The Crosswalk is for Pedestrians.

I was taught to dismount and walk my bike if I wanted crosswalk privileges.

That said, there is zip information in this story about the HOW (what were BOTH vehicles doing) the person got hit.

Crossing at Miller can be fun (I use the Miller Bike Route).

Nayeli,
There are many crosswalks without Traffic Signals all over California. The burden of a safe crossing is on the Pedestrian when there is no markings. Having a crosswalk, does not imply crossing prudence can be ignored.


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2015 at 7:52 am

Thanks @AllenE for the better description. Agreed that it's not a logical place to cross the sidewalk. Based on your description of the vehicle, it must have been moving pretty fast.


1 person likes this
Posted by Driver with Biker Kids
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2015 at 7:54 am

I agree bikes shouldn't be in crosswalks - that's another thing I see all the time when the kids are traveling to and from school - masses of bikes and pedestrians in the crosswalk together - scary.

That said, I wouldn't assume the bicyclist was IN the crosswalk, I think people just meant he may have been crossing at the intersection as opposed to in the middle of the block.

It's all speculation so I hope people will refrain from making assumptions or passing judgment and just pray for the bicyclist and motorist involved.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2015 at 7:55 am

This accident shows that there are dangers of riding a bicycle on a major arterial. The facts are obviously not known but the speculation continues.

As to the comment about helmets, a helmet only helps if there is an accident. I would advocate safer biking habits to prevent accidents as opposed to looking on helmets as the ultimate safety tool.

High Visibility Vests, like construction workers, are great safety garments for bikes as our lights and bells, which will prevent accidents, but there are no shouts to improve the use of these.

On my last European trip where bikes are much more prevalent as commuting vehicles, there are many more laws designed to prevent accidents and to ride safely rather than to prevent injury when an accident occurs. Often there are red lights for bikes while there are green lights for cars in the same street, particularly for turns. There are often many signs telling cyclists to dismount and become pedestrians. Here, cyclists assume they should ride all the time even when there are signs on pedestrian bridges or tunnels that they should dismount. A bike is a dangerous vehicle when sharing a pathway with pedestrians, but cyclists do not appear to understand this. Shouting at pedestrians that they are coming is arrogant and confusing. A bicycle bell is much more likely to be heard and understood above other noise, but I rarely see a bell on a bike.

If we must have more road laws and more road signs, we should seriously start having them for bikes. A bicyclist cannot ignore road signs designed for traffic or pretend they are the same as pedestrians when they obviously move much faster than a pedestrian and are more unpredictable.


15 people like this
Posted by Pedestrian/Cyclist/Driver
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2015 at 8:38 am

That's an awareness/entitlement problem with many American cyclists.

Operating a bicycle on a public road is a PRIVILEGE, not a right and cyclists are bound to all of the regulations in the California Vehicle Code.

As for riding on sidewalks, if you are endangering yourself or others (particularly pedestrians) you are doing it wrong and should dismount, and walk your bike until you are in a place where you can safely ride.

The City of Palo Alto has specific laws about cyclists not riding on business district sidewalks (both the University Ave and California Ave business districts) as well as underground passageways (the University Ave Caltrain underpass is one of these which is why there are "dismount here" signs). Cyclists routinely ride through that University Ave underpass and then straight onto the 100 block sidewalk of University Ave (against the vehicular flow of traffic) despite the curb painted "walk bikes." (sigh)

Public safety starts with behavior, not with helmets, gear, etc. which are all helpful, but don't focus on the true problem: the mind of the operator. Awareness and respect by all parties that use roads and walkways can result in a relatively harmonious co-existence, like Amsterdam, where vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists can live well together (most bicyclists in Europe do not wear helmets).


2 people like this
Posted by Pedestrian/Cyclist/Driver
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2015 at 8:41 am

Note that I am not stating that the cyclist injured in this incident was at fault, but as someone who does cycle (as well as drive and walk), I see far too much egregious behavior from many other American cyclists to make me proud to say that I ride a bike.

Anyhow I wish a speedy recovery to this man.


3 people like this
Posted by FixThisIntersection
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2015 at 9:06 am

@AllenE

"It would not surprise me if he was hit in the crosswalk and tossed to where he ended up by the collision but that is for someone who actually saw it to say. Had I been looking to the left while waiting for my turn, I would have likely seen it happen but I was more focused on the broken traffic light in front of me."

So, was the signal light @ San Antonio & El Camino not working - AGAIN - at the time of this accident?

I think I have traveled through that intersection three times in the last two weeks when the signal light has been out, creating an even more dangerous intersection than normal. Yeah, yeah, just treat it like a four way stop, except it's a four way stop with multiple left hand turn lanes in every direction and so many lanes crossing the intersection that it's difficult to actually know when it's your "turn" to proceed though the intersection. When that light isn't working, it's a SCARY intersection to try and travel through and the police should be there to facilitate, imho.


4 people like this
Posted by AllenE
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2015 at 9:09 am

AllenE is a registered user.

Regarding helmets. I had the occasion to ride on a bike path and have my seat post break due to a faulty casting. I fell backward off the bike and hit the ground with my head, breaking my helmet. I went and bought another Snell rated helmet, which are difficult to find, and would likely not be writing this if I had not had a helmet on. I rode for years and thousands of miles without a helmet before they were common. I would not do so today.


1 person likes this
Posted by AllenE
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2015 at 9:15 am

AllenE is a registered user.

@FixThisIntersection

The signal light I was referring to was just a single red bulb on the left turn lane of El Camino going south. There are two signals there and the other red bulb was visible but just to the driver as it is very focused. My wife could not see any light while I could see the one. We were discussing that when the accident likely occurred. I assume that most of the signals were working and the green arrows worked fine. I did not mean to imply that all the signals at the intersection were out at the time of the accident.


Like this comment
Posted by FixThisIntersection
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2015 at 9:40 am

@AllenE,

Thank you for clarifying. I am VERY relieved to hear the main intersection signal light was not out (to your knowledge) at the time this accident happened.

Still, I hope whatever problems have caused the repeated recent signal outages at the intersection have been fixed...that intersection is dangerous enough without having to try to maneuver through it sans the signaling.


6 people like this
Posted by jerry99
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

And the Palo Alto City Council is always pandering to get more people to use bicycles to commute, shop, etc. since there is so little parking in downtown Palo Alto. These bicycle collisions are what happens and will continue to increase.
For a bicycle/car crash the bicycle always comes out in second place.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2015 at 11:07 am

Given the degree of damage and the stopping distance required, and the issue of curbs and median, it appears the cyclist was in the crosswalk when he entered San Antonio and was struck abruptly by a vehicle coming across the intersection. One of the two probably ignored the signal lights, assuming they were functioning.
Both probably were not paying attention. Wait for the "he came out of nowhere..." claim. Anyone remember "look both ways before you cross the street."
I'm not blaming the cyclist. But you have to live by your wits out there. Many drivers NEVER SEE cyclists. Fact.

Cyclists often neglect visibility issues. You never see dayglo helmets and rarely dayglo vests. They aren't cool.


Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 14, 2015 at 11:10 am

The reporter was likely using information given him by the police PIO, which is commonly unclear.

Unless the reporter happens to be on site - or the police PIO was on site and had enough facts to clarify/elaborate on the report - there is no way to add further detail without risking inaccuracy. The reporter needs to use the police information verbatim.


3 people like this
Posted by cyclist
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 14, 2015 at 11:19 am

It's hard to see everything all at once. Anywhere near the ECR and SA intersection is terrible fir cyclists and foot traffic. As a driver and a cyclist I can see that it could easily happen, both parties have to practice defensive driving. Drives have to pay attention to so much stuff (like, foot traffic, bikes, idiot drivers :-) and Bikes should really pay attention as well. The sense of entitlement to runs through the streets in PA & MV is really disgusting. So few people practice common courtesy (like a thank you wave/nod) it's no surprise that these "accidents" happen


13 people like this
Posted by Ed Cyclist/Driver/Pedestrian
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 14, 2015 at 11:44 am

I'm a 73 year old guy who has used a bike as a transportation vehicle since about third grade in Chicago. Therefore I'm very accustomed to biking safely on city streets, including Chicago, New York, Ann Arbor, and for the past 17 years, in California cities as well. My experience guides me to be ultra-cautious when biking. I only ride on streets that have bike lanes--not on such streets such as El Camino Real. If I have to go where there are no bike lanes, I ride carefully on sidewalks--but not in downtown areas. When crossing major streets where there is heavy traffic, I dismount to instantly become a pedestrian with full pedestrian rights, and then I and walk in the crosswalk. I also see young kids riding across busy streets in crosswalks thinking that they're "protected" but they are actually vehicle-drivers with no pedestrian rights when they do that. When approaching a corner where there are cars preparing to turn right, I just stop a car-length back from that corner and wait for the cars to turn. If there are several cars, I dismount, drag the bike up onto the sidewalk, and then walk across in the crosswalk when the light is green for me. I see bikers riding right into the danger zone of a right-turning car and I cringe at the danger they're putting themselves into. (One shocking thing about this forum is that so many people are not capable of writing a clear, coherent, descriptive paragraph when they're trying to describe something!! Yikes!) As you see from the number of comments about this sad bike injury article is that people are seeking useful information they can learn about an accident to avoid a similar accident in the future. Local news media would do a big public service by running a follow-up article--with photos and diagrams--after all the facts are known about an accident so that all of us could learn what to do and NOT to do when we are in traffic as drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians.


1 person likes this
Posted by AllenE
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm

AllenE is a registered user.

I just re-read the article for the third time. It actually says that the bicycle was crossing outside of the crosswalk. That actually tells me nothing useful except that he was not inside the crosswalk. It does not say if he was on El Camino outside the crosswalk where cars and bicycles should be, or that he was instead j-walking across San Antino. It also does not say if his light was green or red. I do not know the lights well enough to know if his light was green or red. I do know that my light was red but it was a left turn light and would have been red if his was green but could also have been red with his red. There is an assumption that if he was outside the crosswalk he was doing something wrong but the fact of the matter, as has been pointed out in the comments above, is that bicycles should be outside the crosswalk if someone is riding them.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is what happens when bicycles and cars are mixed together - the bicyclist loses.

How many more examples do we need to understand that roads like ECR are not safe places for bicycles?

While bicycles may well have the "right" to be on these busy roads the price that the bicyclists may have to pay is simply too high.


Like this comment
Posted by JP
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm

The city of Palo Alto has great links on bike safety etc for all ages

See

Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by Fix it with the next phases of San Antonio Center development.
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 14, 2015 at 1:15 pm


The description of the incident in this article does not provide sufficient information to understand what happened. This entire thread is speculation.

I'm sorry this person was hurt, and I hope for his complete recovery.

Mountain View has done a terrible job providing safe places for bikes and pedestrians on and around the new San Antonio Shopping Center projects. They pay lip service to multi-modality of the project, but the design is all about cars.

Terrible sight lines at most intersections internal to the projects make them very unfriendly to pedestrians and bicyclists. The city and developer have done NOTHING significant to improve the bike/pedestrian facilities and connections along and across San Antonio.

-- Sharrows at the main entrance converge in a shadowed corridor with fast moving auto traffic. It's as though they designed it to maximize danger for bicyclists. Members of the public wisely had called for a cycle track at this location. It was a good idea for this location and was depicted in early designs. How did that get cast aside?

--Signs and walls are placed so close to corners throughout the project they completely obstruct sight lines of oncoming traffic. Almost every element of the design reflects ignorance of the most basic considerations for foot-powered commuters.

I used to frequently shop in Mountain View--Safeway, Target, Ross, but I have stopped going there because it's uncomfortable to navigate the center whether I am in a car, on my bike or walking. (also, the new Safeway is maze that takes forever to in and out of.)

The design is terrible. Shame on Mountain View City Council and staff. People reached out with solutions for better design and they were ignored because the developer wanted to maximize density and didn't want to spend on adequate transportation mitigations--a wasted opportunity. Staff and Council should have pushed harder for them to get it right.


26 people like this
Posted by Too Unsafe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2015 at 1:25 pm

I used a bike for exercise and transportation everywhere I have lived--until living in Palo Alto a few years.

The last five years became too dangerous: extreme speeding and inattentiveness by drivers, stop sign running, illegal left and U turns, inexperienced adult drivers ( I was hit on two separate occasions by people in this group: recently transplanted foreign drivers, driving on int'l licenses, having had NO formal instruction and no CA license).

I will not bikeride again on the Peninsula again unless separate bike lanes with protective berms are installed, like the ones in Amsterdam. In Europe, if a driver hits a bikerider, the driver spends a very long stint in prison, or life if the bikerider dies.

The drivers who hit me got away with just paying my medical bills and hospitalizations--not even replacing my bike in the first one.


Posted by M Latendresse
a resident of Palo Alto Hills

on Jul 14, 2015 at 1:38 pm


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2 people like this
Posted by Helene
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm

My prayers go out to the bicyclist and family, and hope he makes a speedy recovery. If the driver of this accident was at fault, then I hope the law punishes him to the extent. Unfortunately we lost our son who was bicycling in Santa Cruz. He was not at fault, and was killed by a distracted driver, who thought he would get away with no punishment.
In my son's case the driver was sentenced but not severely enough for what he did. It was considered a landmark case as the driver was charged and punished. We need laws to protect bicyclists, and hold drivers who cause accidents to be held accountable. Bicyclists need to obey laws as well ( i.e. stopping at stop signs). There is so
much discord between drivers and those riding a bike. We need to have cooperation and respect between the two.
Bicycle safety and obeying the laws needs to be emphasized in the schools and in bicycle shops. Otherwise, I fear
we will be reading about many more of cars vs bicyclist accidents.


2 people like this
Posted by We are all in this together.
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 14, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Not all bicyclists are scofflaws, just as not all driver scofflaws. There's plenty of bad (and good) behavior on both sides.

I drive and bike and walk (with my transportation pretty evenly split between each of these modes). I obey the law and try to be considerate of other road users at all times. I hope other good folks using the road will do the same.

Please observe the law. Put down your cell phone, take off your ear plugs and pay attention to the other people on the street. Your life and their lives are in your hands.

We are all in this together.


5 people like this
Posted by MV Pedestrian/Cyclist/Driver
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Bike safety classes should be taught in grade school, ideally with a cop present. While bicycle shops should encourage safety, the lessons need to be learned at a young age.

The fact that bicycles are subject to the California Vehicle Code and that riding a bicycle on public roads is a PRIVILEGE -- not a right -- should be firmly reinforced in driver's education courses.

Cyclists are still required to follow all the rules of the road, even if they haven't looked at the DMV handbook for twenty years (or have never applied for a driver's license).


3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm

"The fact that bicycles are subject to the California Vehicle Code and that riding a bicycle on public roads is a PRIVILEGE -- not a right"

Please explain how you came to that conclusion or point me to a statute that states this? I was unaware that bicyclists needed any kind of license or permit...


10 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 14, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Re:Posted by Ed Cyclist/Driver/Pedestrian
a resident of Menlo Park

Ed got it right. A cyclist in CA is subject to the same laws as a motorist. You do not enjoy the same protection in a cross walk as a pedestrian. If you want that protection you dismount (becoming a pedestrian) and walk your bike.

Many including children do not know this and ride in the crosswalk often against the flow of traffic. I witnessed a woman cyclist do this a few years ago at California crossing El Camino. She was struck by a car and tossed eight feet in the air.

Stanford students on bikes ignore this every day riding both ways in front of traffic in the crosswalks.

Teach your kids and family members to dismount to cross in a crosswalk OR cross as a vehicle outside the crosswalk after observing all traffic as you would driving a car.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2015 at 4:56 pm

One of the problems is teaching children how to be good bicyclists.

Firstly the crossing guards do not make them dismount when they hold their stop signs therefore they learn that they are considered pedestrians.

Secondly, poor adult bicyclists show poor habits to their own and any other child on a bike. Today I witnessed a male parent on his bike blatantly holding his hand to signal traffic to stop as he turned left in a four way stop watching his child on the next bike do the same. Neither stopped, neither were wary about any other traffic. Neither stopped for pedestrians. When adults ride like this it is no wonder the kids can't do any better.


4 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm

I don't know anything about this accident. However, many bicyclists don't seem to realize how dangerous it is to suddenly leave a sidewalk or crosswalk and merge into the automobile traffic on the roadway. An automobile driver has no clue that this is about to happen, and the bicyclist can easily become an accident.


14 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

I no longer bike, but drive in sheer terror around here of the sudden appearance of bicyclists dressed in dark clothes with no light in this dense traffic.

I beg you bikers to please realize that drivers often need to be looking in all directions at once to manage the intense traffic and are simply not capable of seeing your sudden approach in these traffic conditions. This is especially true at twilight during rush hour traffic periods.

As I write this my stomach clenches in knots thinking of my fear of a collision with a biker.


9 people like this
Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 15, 2015 at 3:35 am

A few days ago I was driving home at 22 miles/hour on a street whose cross streets have stop signs. A father and a child didn't stop at their sign and the father started to scream and gesture at me as if I was somewhat at fault. I was horrified by the thought that the child was learning such behavior. It's true that I have seen cars in that street doing exactly the same. It's true that byciclists and car drivers disregard traffic laws often blantantly and sometimes by inatention but it's the bikers who are more vulnerable . It's particularly shocking to see children following their parents' lead and doing dangerous maneuvers.


5 people like this
Posted by Too Unsafe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Has anyone heard an update on the condition of the bicyclist in the accident?


1 person likes this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2015 at 1:17 pm

While bicycling on Arastradero, the FedEx truck seemed to make a point of driving into the bike lane. When he finally turned right, the FedEx truck started left into parked bikes in that lane before turning left. I suspect this driving reflect actual hostility toward bicyclists, not just poor driving. Some drivers seem to want to bully bicyclists when they are really endangering their safety.


8 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2015 at 3:46 pm

I witnessed this accident and gave my testimony to the officer in charge of the investigation. Unfortunately, I was not able to provide a complete picture of the accident. All I know is that this poor poor bicyclist, a big guy, got T-boned square on, and that the driver of the vehicle didn't hit the brakes until after the initial impact. This was most gruesome and horrifying thing I've ever seen! I just remember seeing his body flung 10 feet in the sky and projected 25 feet or so out. He laid on the ground contorted and motionless. I thought he was dead! If someone witnessed this, PLEASE call the police. I’m the only witness that’s come forward so far.


3 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 16, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

There was another bike/car accident on El Camino in Sunnyvale on Monday where a 12 year old was hit. Sadly he died last night. It's crazy the Menlo Park is considering an unprotected bike lane on El Camino - there are just too many cars going too fast and there are too many bad drivers.

Web Link


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Posted by FixThisIntersection
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 16, 2015 at 4:37 pm

Just saw this update from MV Police Department. Truly a tragedy. If you or anyone you know was a witness to this accident, please contact the MV police department using the contact information and case number listed below

Original post here with more photos:

Web Link...

On Friday, July 10, 2015 around 7:33pm, we received several 9-1-1 calls about a collision involving a vehicle and bicyclist at the intersection of San Antonio Road and El Camino Real. Callers indicated that the bicyclist, who appeared to have a head injury, was unconscious but breathing. As officers arrived they found the involved vehicle, a 2002 Honda Civic, stopped in the number one lane of San Antonio Road north of El Camino Real and the bicyclist lying on the pavement a short distance away. Fire and medical personnel tended to the bicyclist who was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Unfortunately, the bicyclist succumbed to his injuries and was released to the Santa Clara Coroner’s Office on Wednesday, July 15, 2015.

Based on our investigation, it appears the Honda was traveling north on San Antonio Road approaching the West El Camino Real intersection. The bicyclist, who was traveling west across San Antonio Road, crossed the roadway in front of the Honda and was struck causing him to hit the windshield which projected him forward and onto the pavement (see images above).

This collision remains under investigation and we continue to look for witnesses who saw the actual collision. If you have any information, please call Traffic Officer Dan Garcia at 650-903-6344 and reference case number 15-3916. Media inquiries can be sent to policepio@mountainview.gov.


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Posted by Bikesneedtoobeythelaw
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jul 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm

This is a horrible, tragic accident and my heart goes out to both family's involved in the accident, however, the way I read the report it sounds like the bicyclist was at fault.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2015 at 7:05 pm

My condolences to Mr. Palmquist, his friends and family. 63 is very young.
I go to Whole Foods and Safeway both several times a week, and that looks
like a very odd place for an accident for two reasons ...

1. Why would a bicyclist even be there?

2. Any way that traffic would be approaching an average driver should be
paying close to attention to what they are doing and what is in front of
them. Either you are coming straight from Los Altos and can see right
in front of you, or you are making a left turn from El Camino in which case
you would be paying very close attention because you are just coming out
of a turn and merging into traffic on San Antonio. Finally if you are making
a right turn from El Camino, that is a very wide right turn and again you
would be normally paying a lot of attention to what you are doing.

I hope the PAO keeps track of this story and what happened. I hope this
is not another case of distracted driving I see every day in Palo Alto as the
new normal.


2 people like this
Posted by KAREN
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2015 at 12:27 am

I am soooo very sorry to hear this! I have to say to all ... Driving along side bicyclists is a VERY stressful thing for me!
Honestly, most DO NOT obey the traffic laws..I am always looking out for them and wondering what their next move will be.
It's crazy! I put my blinker on to turn right and they cone up on the right of my car?. What the heck!
I think they think that they have the right of way no matter what! That is not true ...if I'm before you and turning right or left, they have to wait their turn or may get hit...
Horrible thing it must be to hurt someone in this manner...bike people ...you need to obey the laws of driving!
It's too scary out there even driving a car( I just survived a major car accident..car totaled) let alone a bike! What a nightmare for both families..I'm am so very very sad about this. I see it the bike riders everyday doing stupid moves and I cringe. I'm not saying that this man was wrong or right, but if I drove a bike along these busy roads, I'd be very defensive and careful. If it comes to the bike or the car ...the bike will lose every time... Sad but true :(


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2015 at 7:06 pm

>> Ed got it right. A cyclist in CA is subject to the same laws as a motorist.
>> You do not enjoy the same protection in a cross walk as a pedestrian. If
>> you want that protection you dismount (becoming a pedestrian) and
>> walk your bike.

First, I think Ed got it wrong, about bicycling being a privilege - and the people
who voted up his response. Driving a MOTOR VEHICLE on CA roads is indeed
a privilege - and you need a license for that. I have never heard of anyone
asking me for my bicycling license, because I do not need one. I have also
never heard of anyone having their bicycling privilege revoked or suspended.
Please let me know if I am wrong about this, but a privilege is contingent on
good behavior and can be revoked. How would that even work in the case
of a bike?

--

Second point is that the bicyclist was hit in the number one lane (fast lane on
a freeway) of San Antonio. It "sounded" like he got there by trying to cross
San Antonio a bit "east" (towards the bay) of the El Camino/San Antonio
intersection.

It might be true that the cyclist was in error in how he got to where he was,
but that does not excuse a driver for not seeing him, especially when the
driver was coming down San Antonio from Los Altos and has an unobstructed
view down San Antonio almost all the way down to California St.?

--

Finally, I know people like to sound off about helmets, but in these cases it
is too late and the lack of a helmet had nothing to do with the accident.
I'll probably get jumped on for this, but when I used to ride on El Camino and
in traffic, back when I judged it was "safe", I did not like helmets because I
never felt like I had as good visibility. To compensate for visibility and the
mass and speed of cars I rode and still drive, or try to drive, as defensively
as I can.

- Always assume in places you cannot see that there is someone or some
thing about to move out in front of you or already there.

- Always assume that someone or something thing moving in a given
trajectory can change their course or crash, or fall, or turn or whatever might
happen to put them in line with you.

- Maintain speed relative to the number of unknowns and your own visibility
and the time it would take to avoid collision and you will likely be able to
avoid almost anything.

- and if you happen to be concentrating on anything other than driving
use conservative judgement about how that is affecting your perception
and reaction time and if it does not compute, get off the road to do whatever
else you are doing.


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Posted by Sarah
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2015 at 6:58 pm

In memory of my cousin, Eric Palmquist, I urge you readers to please consider organ donation. Eric was kept on life support for a few days so family could be contacted and his organs donated. Many lives have been saved or improved because of the gift of Eric's organs. We continue to pray for the driver as he tries to put this tragedy behind him. Thank you to all the passers by and witnesses who offered assistance!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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