Category Archives: Advocacy & Local Issues

Bicycle advocacy both local and national, as well as discussion of local bicycle incidents with the community and/or police

Never again. What can we do to stop the carnage?

It’s Tuesday. I shouldn’t be here, taking this photo. But a cyclist was killed yesterday afternoon, around 5pm, on Canada Road. A road with incredibly-long sight lines so there really shouldn’t be surprises.

After climbing Kings we immediately headed back down, so we’d have time to get to “where it happened” and try to make sense of it. That’s one of those things I do, try to make sense of things. Over the years, that’s brought me to a number of spots where a cyclist had recently died in a collison with a car or truck. How did it happen. And, from experience over many decades, what is it the CHP might miss, or believe not relevant.

Bike parts in the weeds.

The guy was heading north on Canada. That red circle towards the bottom, just left of center,  is the first of many markings placed on the pavement by the CHP investigators. They didn’t do a very good job of cleaning up; sure, they only had 2.5 hours of daylight left, but why didn’t they come out the next morning? Kevin and I (and, later, Becky) found a lot of bike parts in the field to the right of the roadway. Heavier parts closer, lighter parts further, as you’d expect when something is hit violently from behind.

There is nothing to be learned from those bits and pieces? What about the smashed up remains of the cyclist’s wahoo heart monitor? Did that not mean something to anybody? The force and location of the impact.

The blood on the roadway. Some of it located within circled areas, most of it just spread across the tarmac. That seems wrong. We have greater respect for the fear of a car burning so we hose down whatever is left when a car strikes a car, and less respect for the remains of someone’s last moments (Becky and I went back again late in the day; it appears someone did come in and clean things up).

We had to leave with more questions than answers, and after looking at the photos later, found a few things that had to be checked out some more. Becky volunteered to head out and check it out herself; she became pretty distressed, figuring out what the circles were about. As Becky was looking for clues, many cyclists were riding through, unaware they were riding through the remains of another cyclist.

Canada Road could use something like this, to slow cars down.

Canada Road. Why is it designed like a speedway? When 280 gets backed up, many use it as a way to speed around the blockage. That’s not a legit reason to maintain it as a high-speed throughfare, and the only “local” traffic is for the Filoli estate and the Pulgas Water Temple. It’s speed should be 25-30mph and the design changed to make it impossible to do 100+mph high school drag races. Why not install traffic calming curves and obstacles like Junipero Serra has near the Stanford campus?

It’s time for something to be done. I’ve visited enough places where cyclists have been killed by motorists.

Why West Old LaHonda could be closed for a while

Unfortunately the current closure of West Old LaHonda isn’t about debris on the road and downed trees. The circled area shows a section where the ground has fallen away from the road, so there’s no support, asphalt just hanging in the breeze. This will not be an easy repair, and remember the last time a chunk of the road fell away, a bit further up the hill? How long was the road closed then? A year?

This is a vital artery for cyclists, who likely outnumber motorists by a very large amount on this road. It allows us to avoid a very dangerous section of 84 where, in the uphill direction, there are a number of blind corners where the hillside has come down into the area of the road where a cyclist would like to be (on the shoulder, as far away from traffic as possible).

With daily rain in the forecast for the next two weeks, it’s unlikely West Old LaHonda is going to get much attention, because there are going to be a lot of far more heavily-traveled roads in  need of repair. But we can’t let the county let it slide (unintentional pun) like they have the last several repairs. Allowing a bikes-only option, something the county has never considered reasonable in the past, is something we need to encourage.