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Bicyclist hit by car on University Avenue

Original post made on Oct 8, 2010

A bicyclist was taken to the hospital Thursday afternoon after being hit by a car on University Avenue in Palo Alto, Palo Alto police Lt. Sandra Brown said. His injuries were not life-threatening, but early reports indicate one of his legs had a compound fracture, though that has not yet been confirmed, Brown said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 8, 2010, 12:06 PM

Comments (16)

Posted by commuter
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I have heard reports that in the University Ave. crash, the cyclist was riding the the bike lane. The car was speeding and veered into the bike lane, hitting the bicyclist.

According to the Mercury-News, in the Hanover St. crash, the bicyclist rode straight through the intersection on a green light. The car driver ran a red light from a side street and broadsided the bicyclist.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm

It's a stretch to say Hanover is near El Camino. Perhaps Hansen was meant.

Posted by wow
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 9, 2010 at 3:32 am

i wonder is the helicopter was used for this too..

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2010 at 4:23 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Lots of bikers enjoying the good weather. Most of them seem aware, accommodating to traffic and, if I might add, a pleasure to observe.

Posted by Rules mean NOTHING
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 9, 2010 at 5:54 am

Bicyclists usually do not follow traffic rules.

Not sure what happened in this case.

Posted by leftturn
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 9, 2010 at 8:10 am

Cars are constantly using the bike lanes to pass on University Avenue in both directions. This was an accident waiting to happen given the lack of enforcement .

Posted by blame the victim
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2010 at 10:35 am

I can't believe all people blaming the victims in this forum. There original article does not give any indication that either of the victims was doing anything wrong. In fact, there is strong evidence that both car drivers broke the law before they hit the bicyclists.

Posted by law
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 10, 2010 at 5:20 am

Re: getting into the bike lane to is the law, the one driving the car is SUPPOSED to get in the bike lane for the last 100 feet before a turn before making the turn.

Check it out.

Posted by driving in the bike lane
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2010 at 7:37 am

Cars are supposed to merge into the bike lane before turning right. However, they are supposed to merge into the lane like any other lane - only when it is safe to do so. If there are bicyclists between you and the corner, then merge in behind them and wait for them to clear the intersection before turning. Don't run into them!

And it is clearly illegal to use the bicycle lane as a passing lane when you are not turning right. The cops do enforce this sometimes, but not enough.

Posted by On-looker
a resident of University South
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:31 am

It was a compound fracture of the left leg. Bicyclist did not have a helmet on.
Palo Alto Fire Department did a great job with first aid.

Posted by I bike
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:38 am

also since the car must merge into the bike lane when starting a right turn, it means a car cant turn right on red even if the bike is waiting for the light against the curb. The car needs to remain behind the bike. This is why you see some riders take the cars right lane at lights even though there is a bike lane available to them, they are trying to give cars an opportunity to turn right on red, by opening up enough space to the right of them

Posted by I bike
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:40 am


did you hear what caused the accident or just see the result?

Posted by Mac Clayton
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Many of us in Palo Alto love to bike. I bike everywhere I can. My children biked to school for eight years, until they graduated from Paly. I see that the city is trying to improve bike lanes and safety, and that we are actively promoting children biking to school. I also see, in posts and in driving behavior, the frustration of automobile drivers with what they sometimes rightly see as bicyclists' arrogance in flouting the rules of the road.

Those of us on bikes should follow the rules of the road. No doubt about that. But there are a couple of practical points to consider. First, when a bicyclist is slowing for a stop sign, for instance, and there is no one coming on the cross street, it is understandable that they might not come to a full stop, but instead just roll on through the intersection. It takes a lot of effort to get a bike going after a full stop. There's no gas pedal.

Second, consider the physics. Bikes weigh twenty pounds. Cars weigh two tons. A collision between the two is no contest, whoever is at fault.

I'm not saying that I think that bicyclists should have the right of way all the time, or that they shouldn't follow the rules of the road. I'm just trying to be practical about human nature and relative harm.

Bikes are a good thing. The exercise is good for our kids (and ourselves). They don't pollute. They're quiet. They're even sociable, kind of a Facebook on wheels. It's worth a little extra effort, and patience, to keep our community rolling.

Posted by On-looker
a resident of University South
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Just saw the result...leg bone broke throught the skin and the firemen asking the bicyclist if he was wearing a helmet while they held his head and leg.

Posted by Thinking007
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:05 am

How can we get more mobile space for biking and walking free of 2 ton automobiles! Just an idea...What if PA were to make University Ave. a open blvd...only for walking and biking. Parking for cars could be on side streets and behind Univ. Realistically, there are few parking spots on university. People curse the street, but they can easily drive down Hamilton or Lytton.

Could this type of change revitalize downtown PA for a better future and create a space that encourages cycles and walking?

Posted by wk216
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm

That solution would only help in the small retail section of University Avenue. The problem is with motorists using the bike lanes on the main residential section of University Avenue, where this accident happened.
Now, if they block off University Avenue at Woodland, that would make the area a lot safer for both bikes & pedestrians.
Failing that, just enforce the regulations. Not only would it make the road safer for bikes but there's a huge money making opportunity Westbound at Center & Eastbound at Marlowe.

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