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Bicycle riders on wrong side of street

Original post made by Resident, Midtown, on May 17, 2008

Saturday morning, I have just witnessed a family (2 adults and children ) riding along Colorado on the wrong side of the street. This made it difficult for me and other traffic turning in and out of Safeway parking lot. Don't these parents realise how dangerous it is for them to teach their kids that riding on the wrong side of the street, where cars do not expect to see them, is asking for trouble?

Can these people be ticketed? Are they actually breaking the law? How can we educate parents who may have never been educated themselves on the right way to ride bikes? [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Comments (7)

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Posted by Where do I sign?
a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2008 at 11:58 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by bill
a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2008 at 8:06 pm

A 5 minute program at the schools would be a place to start. Contact the PTA's. Your concerns are valid.

Contact the PAPD or any officer and ask them what the law is.

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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 17, 2008 at 8:12 pm

biking on the wrong side of the street is a ticketing offense.

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Posted by pedestrian
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on May 19, 2008 at 10:59 am

I think a bigger problem is the number of bikers who blast down the sidewalks expecting pedestrians to jump out of the way, or don't bother to stop at red lights. I've particularly noticed this in the morning with the kids going to JLS.

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Posted by Richard
a resident of Midtown
on May 19, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Wrong-way biking is illegal and is the number one bicyclist mistake that leads to car-bike crashes, yet many parents teach their kids to do it. This topic is covered in schools in grades 3, 5 and 6. Every student is taught that wrong-way riding is illegal and dangerous, but not everybody learns from the teaching.

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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2008 at 10:01 pm

"or don't bother to stop at red lights"

do they not stop, or do the stop and then proceed before its green?
THere is a difference.

If a light fails to detect a bike, it is considered defective. There is nothing to do but treat it like a stop sign and proceed when it's safe. None of the lights in town that use metal detectors, can detect my carbon fiber bike, so if there isn't a car to trip the detector for me or a handy button to push, I have to cross on the red. Now my mountain bike thats another story, it can trip about 95% of the lights in town.

Like this comment
Posted by Dave C
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2008 at 1:52 am

Yes, they can get a ticket for riding the wrong way! But perhaps they should be slapped and spanked and sent to Idiots Anonymous - bad parents! The same type of person who disrespects safe biking practice is perhaps also going to text message while driving, dial the phone while backing up the SUV, or have a 3-course meal (fries, coke and hamburger) while driving home. Don't blame them as bikers; rather blame them because they disrespect common sense, good judgment and basic survival safety - It all revolves around them and their own world, suited for them. I once was honked at because I stopped at a four-way stop (California/Bryant) - the person behind me, driving a big car, was doing a rolling-stop left turn while yapping on the phone and wasn't expecting my bike to fully stop before making my left turn.

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