Chilling Report on Hit and Run Epidemic

The Washington Post had a disturbing article on the steadily increasing hit and run incidents since 2009, “Cyclists say chilling report on hit-and-run crashes points up need to redesign streets for safety.”

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said in a report this week fatal hit-and-run crashes have reached the highest point on record in 2016, having increased by more than 7 percent every year since 2009. Nearly 65 percent of the victims are bicyclists and pedestrians.

Auto insurance uninsured driver / under insured (UIM / UM) coverage can help you and even your passengers with a hit and run unidentified vehicle. In addition, your auto insurance protects you even when you are a pedestrian, or riding a bicycle.

In California, your insurance company is required by law to include uninsured motorist coverage as part of every automobile policy written, unless you specifically decline it, in writing. Coverage is usually designated on the face page of your automobile insurance policy by the letter or letters “U” or “UM”.

Some insurance companies try to talk motorcycle owners into waiving UM and UIM coverage. Do not let this happen. Never waive UM or UIM coverage.

San Diego Bike Lane Network – Progress (?)

It’s more important than ever to stay tuned to the news about the fate and progress of San Diego’s bike lane improvements, and complete street projects. So far, large amounts of money has been spent, with little bike lanes to show for it. Planning is expensive and highly important, so, while it is hard to be patient, this is an important ingredient in great engineering.

Faulconer calls for premium bike lanes downtown, likely delaying marquee project by years

However, the more than 9-mile network of protected bike lanes — which would use physical barriers to separate riders from traffic — may not be completed while Mayor Kevin Faulconer is in office, as first promised.

While the mayor said more than a year ago that he would build the lanes by 2019, the project, expected to serve as a model for the region, is now looking at a years-long delay, according to city staff.

The reason: Faulconer, inspired by a recent trip to Vancouver, has called for building some of the most elaborate bike lanes in the country — increasing the price tag from $10.5 million to $25 million, according to the city’s most recent projections.

Follow our bicycle advocate friends for action and news alerts.
San Diego County Bicycle Coalition
Bike San Diego

Is The Poor Condition Of America’s Roads Putting Cyclists At Risk?

Cycling should be an enjoyable pastime and a convenient means of getting from one place to another. However, 70% of fatal cycling accidents on America’s roads occur in urban areas and there are multiple non-life-threatening accidents in these locations each year, too. The US has some treacherous roads, dotted with multiple potholes which make cycling and even walking particularly hazardous. Additionally, motorists are a leading cause of bike accidents with cyclists being doored an increasing occurrence.

America’s pothole crisis

America has a massive pothole problem which is a major talking point for residents and the government. In 2016 the President pledged to fix the country’s highways with a $1 trillion plan but 2017 has come and gone and the roads are still in the same state as they were in 2016. Now, the roads are in a critical state. The American Society of Civil Engineers has graded the country’s roads a substandard ‘D’ rating and estimate that more than $4.5 trillion needs to be invested in order to bring the nation’s highways back up to a reasonable stabdard.

The risks of potholes to cyclists

With potholes able to cause substantial risk to vehicles, many motorists will try to avoid them whenever possible. But sudden swerving cars and trucks can have awful consequences for cyclists traveling on the same stretch of road and can result in vehicles maneuvering directly into them and knocking them down. It’s not always easy to spot a pothole until you’re immediately in front of it which makes it too late and unsafe for a cyclist to avoid and so their only option is to ride over it and risk being thrown off their bike.

Dealing with cycling injuries

A cyclist with significant injuries sustained on a poorly maintained road may seek legal action, especially if their injuries impact their quality of life, their ability to perform day to day activities or attend their place of work. Cyclists shouldn’t be afraid to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney if they have sustained injury as a result of potholes while on their journey. An attorney can give professional advice, their honest opinion on the likelihood of a successful lawsuit and provide invaluable information regarding how best to proceed with their claim. Call the Goetz Law Firm at 858-481-8844 if you are injured in a bike accident.

America urgently needs to take action to protect cyclists from sustaining preventable injuries on the nation’s poorly maintained roads.

September 2017 LA Times
Los Angeles OKs $6.5 million to settle lawsuit after cyclist hit a pothole

Los Angeles will pay $6.5 million to settle a lawsuit from a man who suffered severe injuries after his bicycle hit a pothole in Sherman Oaks, lawmakers agreed Wednesday.

Two years ago, Peter Godefroy lost control of his bicycle when it hit a pothole on Valley Vista Boulevard, throwing him to the ground. The crash left him with broken bones and a severe traumatic brain injury, according to his suit.

San Diego Reader December 2016
Torrey Pines cyclists’ pothole nightmare continues
“I hate to state the obvious, but this is completely avoidable.”

The City of San Diego is poised to pay out another large sum for failing to maintain safe bike lanes and roads for pedestrians.

On Tuesday (December 13) city councilmembers are expected to finalize a $235,000 legal settlement to Cathleen Summerford, who was seriously injured after her bicycle struck a pothole in 2014 on Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla. The money will be paid from the city’s public liability fund.

Oakland – Mercury News
Oakland to pay $3.25 million to cyclist in pothole crash

After failing for years to address complaints about a pothole-laden thoroughfare in the Oakland hills, the city will pay $3 million to a cyclist who suffered severe injuries after crashing on the street.

In a closed session Tuesday, the Oakland City Council agreed to a $3.25 million settlement with Dulcey Bower, who crashed while bicycling downhill on Mountain Boulevard between Ascot Drive and the Highway 13 onramp.

Bicycle or Pedestrian Accident?

After the Fatal Uber Self Driving Car pedestrian accident, Uber, and the news was telling us that the pedestrian just walked right in front of the car, no warning, and the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk.
The Police in Arizona were examining the car, and no one had seen the onboard video camera yet.
People started, “victim blaming.”
This is what Janette Sadik-Khan said, she is an inspiring ‏author of the book Streetfight and former NYCDOT Commissioner, “The first non-driver death of the autonomous age and police are already blaming the victim. “Crossing outside of the crosswalk” was never a valid excuse for traffic deaths, and it provides no cover for autonomous mobility companies.”

This is an important lesson in why you should always talk to an experienced, proven, personal injury attorney, even if you are blamed in the DMV Accident report by the responding officers. I had two pedestrian cases last year, both pedestrians were struck in a marked crosswalk. Both pedestrians had the walk sign. Both cases had the same responding police officer who, amazingly, blamed the pedestrian in both cases. In one DMV Accident report, the officer even noted that the driver admitted not seeing the pedestrian, her windshield condensation and hadn’t cleared up, it was dark, and she was turning left through the crosswalk, she didn’t even realize she had hit a person! Fortunately for my clients, there were witnesses and I was able to get both of these pedestrians substantial settlements, even though they were actually blamed.

Will news correct story that pedestrian did not just appear?
Or what about the distracted driving of this human backup driver in the cab?
You can clearly see in the before image that the driver IS NOT LOOKING AT THE RODE.

Before this fatal pedestrian accident occurred, we already knew that self driving cars were having trouble with pedestrians and bicyclists, and bike lanes!

Uber admits to self-driving car ‘problem’ in bike lanes as safety concerns mount
Engineers were working to fix programming flaw that could have deadly results for cyclists days after Uber announced it would openly defy California regulators

Uber began piloting its self-driving vehicles in its home town of San Francisco last week, despite state officials’ declaration that the ride-share company needed special permits to test its technology. On day one, numerous autonomous vehicles – which have a driver in the front seat who can take control – were caught running red lights and committing a range of traffic violations.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has released a warning about Uber’s cars based on staff members’ first-hand experiences in the vehicles. When the car was in “self-driving” mode, the coalition’s executive director, who tested the car two days before the launch, observed it twice making an “unsafe right-hook-style turn through a bike lane”.

That means the car crossed the bike path at the last minute in a manner that posed a direct threat to cyclists. The maneuver also appears to violate state law, which mandates that a right-turning car merge into the bike lane before making the turn to avoid a crash with a cyclist who is continuing forward.

Furthermore, AI are not good at identifying cyclists nor pedestrians.

The Cyclist Problem
Self-driving cars aren’t good at detecting cyclists. The latest proposed fix is a cop-out.

Autonomous cars have a potentially fatal flaw: They struggle to detect and react to cyclists on the road. According to a January 2017 report by IEEE Spectrum, bicycles are generally considered “the most difficult detection problem that autonomous vehicle systems face.”


Awesome Bike Ride That Never Officially Happens?

You may or may not find this yearly bike ride up in Portland, Oregon – a tribute to the European classic – steepest hill climbs ever!

Bicycle Fun – September 2018

From our friends at So Cal Cycling
This looks awesome. Car Free, beautiful.

San Diego Bicycling – Will We Have Vision Zero or Zero Vision?

San Diego’s infrastructure funding gap grows by $310M
San Diego Union Tribune
January 28, 2018

An ambitious plan to build 77 miles of bicycle lanes throughout the San Diego region is behind schedule — with less than four miles open to the public and more than $60 million spent. Officials with the San Diego Association of Governments have said that much of that money has been for used for design and community outreach, which accounts for roughly 40 percent of an average project under the program.

Still, it is an ambitious plan and in the end, San Diego County will have an amazing network. But, the delays really are adding up.

But, on the other hand, incredibly projects are also breaking ground or close to opening.

SANDAG Budget Has More Delays For Priority Bike Projects

One project that would create separated bike and pedestrian paths along Pershing Drive through Balboa Park is facing a construction delay of about 10 months. The corridor is a key missing link in San Diego’s bike network that would connect densely populated Mid-City neighborhoods with downtown.

Meanwhile, with all the delays and already many years out from the beginning of Vision Zero push pedestrian traffic fatalities are happening too often in San Diego County, fatalities which could and should be prevented under the Vision Zero goals.

Pedestrian deaths in San Diego rack up as city drags on Vision Zero
San Diego Union Tribune

While traffic-related fatalities in the city declined last year, the number of deaths still eclipsed homicides, including 17 pedestrian deaths on top of hundreds of often crippling injuries. Since January, nine people walking the streets of San Diego have been killed by motorists.

So, we’re behind schedule, and unlike New York City having the lowest pedestrian fatalities to an all time low, we’re still seeing pedestrian fatalities, and numerous crashes leaving people seriously injured with life long lasting consequences.

At the same time, more than 500 pedestrians a year are wounded or seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents, according to a City Auditor’s report from 2016.

‘Vision Zero’ brings traffic fatalities in New York to an all-time low
L.A. Times

It appears to be working. Total traffic fatalities in the city, including those involving pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and motor vehicles, fell from 299 in 2013 to an all-time low of 214 last year.

Pedestrian deaths were down from 184 to 101, though deaths of bicyclists rose from 12 to 23.

A lot of challenges remain for San Diego County. We know that the idea and strategy of Vision Zero works, prioritize the most dangerous streets and intersections, make road design safer, and when this all happens, everyone has a place to move in traffic safely, cars, pedestrians, strollers, bicycles. And, studies show that these road improvements actually make shopping in cities better for businesses because people can walk around and people are drawn to shopping and restaurants where these improvements have happened.

But data points to priorities, and improvements take studies and money, and time. What are we going to do if we are running out of both money and time and the organization for collecting the data and prioritizing the projects is also lagging.

San Diego’s infrastructure funding gap grows by $310M
San Diego Union Tribune

On sidewalks, the projected need is $166 million and only $14 million is expected to be available.

There are similar gaps on streetlights, $204 million versus $1.4 million; traffic signals, $144 million versus $11 million; and bike lanes, $122 million versus $6 million.