Posted by Richard, a resident of another community, on Jan 31, 2013 at 6:56 pm
Here is the other side of the story. It sounds as if the driver should be arrested first.
From discussion on the Alto Velo discussion list, the many witnesses report a silver or gray Dodge Ram full size diesel pickup truck, [Portion removed] who was running cyclists off of the road, brake checking riders he passed, and intentionally spewing diesel soot as he passed riders, then running stop signs to get away from them.
After passing one group of cyclists, he apparently got out of his truck to try to start something, but he looked at the odds of 50 vs 1, got back in his truck and sped off.
Woodside is thick with recreational road cyclists, especially on beautiful weekend days such as last Saturday. Conflicts with motorists who dislike the traffic congestion caused by anything other than more cars and trucks is frequent.
In that large of a group, surely somebody had video running of one of these encounters?
Posted by Richard, a resident of another community, on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:22 pm
Some additional from discussions on Facebook -- the police blotter report is from the motorist filed with police. A couple of cyclists called afterwards and were told by police that (a) they were skeptical of the motorist's report and (b) cyclists rarely call about motorist aggression like they report.
The driver is a slightly built man, about 130 / 140 lbs who lives in the Woodside area. He's known to the neighbors and has apparently driven aggressively around cyclists before.
Posted by Eamonn, a resident of another community, on Feb 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm
Oh please! Here we go, the sanctimonious motorists lecturing other people about the rules of the road. And yet if you want to see 50 people breaking the law, all you have to do on Cañada is turn around and spend a minute or two looking at the freeway where anyone driving at the speed limit feels like a snail. The day when motorists start obeying speed limits, come to an actual stop at stop signs, and obey stop lights as soon as they turn red will be the day when I listen to their sanctimonious nonsense.
Posted by Dana Hendrickson, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm
NO ONE 's post includes the FACTS needed for a complete picture of this incident. Instead, the majority are simply -once again- expressing their bias for or against cyclists. Get a life! There are good drivers and bad drivers; and even good ones sometimes make stupid mistakes. Let the police sort this one out and the Almanac accurately report what is ultimately learned. Amen!
Posted by David B, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm
It seems to me that both sides are to blame for acting immaturely and illegally. The cyclists made the driver drive slower than he wanted to, and he got pissed and endangered them, so they got pissed and beat up his truck.
I see both sides, and I'm a friend of cyclists, but... cyclists, I wish YOU were all less sanctimonious about this. You always claim "we have the same right to the road as cars", as you block traffic at slower-than-speed-limit speeds. Fine, I'll just take a chill pill and drive behind you. But I'll bet if I were to drive slower-than-speed-limit AND slower-than-you-want-to-ride in front of the peleton on Arastradero or Alpine, you will likely get just as angry as man-in-gray-truck did.
Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm
This seems like to two sad incidents. Dangerous driving and vandalism. As these happened they should be reported to the police. Or of course, the driver could place his rage with the next group of bicyclists and the bicyclists might continue their response, but doubt that would solve much
Posted by John, a resident of another community, on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm
"bikes take up most of the lane"
I suggest that you read the vehicle code. If there is no bike lane and the road is not wide enough for bikes and cars to exist side-by-side guess what - they get to use the lane.
I stop at stop signs. I come to a complete stop, with a foot on the ground, not the rolling stop that the folks in the cars do.
And folks like "David B." I don't get. Causing someone to drive "slower than they want to" is good enough reason to try and kill them? On what planet?
Meanwhile, the roads we're talking about seem to have a LOT of folks in sports cars who think they're watching the Initial D anime and it's time to be drift king. I'm sorry if you're not able to go 30 over on a twisty mountain road to prove to yourself that your "ultimate driving machine" is really all that and a bag of chips.
It's simply this: the cyclists MAY inconvience car drivers. However the car drivers are intentionally or not THREATENING THE CYCLISTS TO BODILY HARM. Sorry, but no way is that fair.
Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm
Funny you should mention this, Chris.
A few months ago I drove across the double yellow to avoid a bicyclist in the neighborhood you describe. He gave me an earful (for not hitting him? for not immediately slowing to 20mph? I dunno why).
For some crazy reason, the bicyclist took it on to ride from the side to the center of the road, preparing for a left turn with stop sign 50-75 yards ahead. He even signaled but it was still dangerous. He was riding 15-20mph and I was driving 30mph or so.
I try to be respectful of bicyclists, but I just don't understand the attitude that some bicyclists seem to have by pulling in front of cars because it's their desire to "take the lane". Seems safer to pull behind cars to turn, not in front.
Love the safe mindful ones (bicyclists & cars both). I teach my kids to obey the laws of the road, to be mindful of the laws of physics, and to walk across at intersections. I hope they grow up to be good riders. and good drivers, too.
Posted by S, a resident of another community, on Feb 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm
I was at the intersection that day at about 10:25 am. There were many cars waiting to cross from all directions, and yet a group of cyclists blocked the middle of the intersection to allow all 50+ cyclists to cross first. We drivers were forced to wait until the cyclists moved and "permitted" us to continue. How is this sharing the road?
Posted by Richard, a resident of another community, on Feb 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm
Imagine what would happen if a group of 50 bicyclists pulled up to the intersection of Canada and Woodside, and they were all single file and each one waited his turn to go one-by-one. The driver behind them would have to wait 50 cycles to get to the stop sign. You can believe that a driver in that case would want all the bicylists to cross at once!
Posted by Mike, a resident of another community, on Feb 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm
Do you really think that the cyclists would have attacked the truck if not provoked? Not condoning their behavior, but it is difficult to check your emotions when you have a neat death experience at the hands of a careless, if not malicious driver.
Posted by arrest them, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm
"Do you really think that the cyclists would have attacked the truck if not provoked? Not condoning their behavior, but it is difficult to check your emotions" when you're part of a testosterone fueled group of men in tights.
Were they doping like Lance? Roid rage?
Arrest anyone breaking the law - drivers and riders. If they are vandals, throw them in the clink for a night, tights and all.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm
if the bicyclists were single file like they should be a driver would be able to pull up to the limit line after passing the line of 50 bicyclists who were on the right side of the highway as they are supposed to be. The problem is the pelatons that think they don't ahve to obey traffic laws. It's mob psychology.
Posted by female cyclist, a resident of another community, on Feb 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm
Think about it for a moment. If 50 cyclists were turning left from southbound Canada Rd. to Woodside Road, wouldn't they be breaking the law by making that left turn from the far right side of Canada Road? How about the cars that would be going straight through the intersection? Any idea what would happen?
Central Menlo: you mean the cyclists should wait by the road for all cars to pass before they can proceed to make a left turn? Also if you are 50 to 75 yards away from an intersection shouldn't you be slowing down also?
Be patient when passing a bicyclist. Slow down and pass only when it is safe. Do not squeeze the bicyclist off the road. If road conditions and space permit, allow clearance of at least three feet when passing a bicyclist."
Also, the FIRST method recommended for making a left turn is using the traffic lane. Given that instruction from the DMV if the cyclists went through one at a time then a car behind them would have to wait for 50 cyclists to singly go through the intersection. I'm sure that would make the people in cars really happy.
And before anyone else says it: Yes it says to stop at stop signs. I always stop and put my foot down. There are also car drivers who do "rolling stops".
Posted by stanfordfac, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm
A jerk driving a truck like this is a lethal weapon. 2+ tons of mass at high velocity versus a couple of hundred pounds at most. Most cyclists have at one point or another experienced some crazy person throwing things at them, buzzing them at high speed (a daily occurence on skyline and hwy 84) or even brazenly trying to hit them or run them off the road. All of these things have happened to me riding by myself on the shoulder of the road. All of us who ride regularly know someone who has been hit or killed.
To the people that object to the cyclists reaction: how would you react if someone tried to kill you? What do you expect to happen if you threaten so many people? The problem here is that this loser, for whatever psychotic reason, made a potentially life-threatening aggressive action against a group of people. The reaction of the cyclists is understandable to all of us who have experienced this abuse at the hands of irresponsible and aggressive drivers repeatedly.
Posted by lisa H, a resident of the Woodside: Mountain Home Road neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 9:45 pm
I have no doubt after driving and working in this area for the last 18 years that fault lies squarely on both sides of this story.
ON a daily basis I see jerk riders and jerk drivers.
Since I drive Sand Hill on a regular basis as well as Canada it is scary to see flocks of bike riders blow throw stop signs in front of Roberts up to 20 at a time, ignoring the stop sign and flipping drivers off that honk. I also see on sandhill 3-5 wide on the stretch from 280 to Whiskey Hill Road. Often they will clump without looking at traffic causing many near misses on the double yellow near the horse park pastures.
On the other side I see dangerous idiot car drivers pass on the twist Woodside Road, hell the bike riders are already exceeding the speed limit and these jerks pass them nearly knocking them into the Forrest
Last weekI saw a confrontation outside Roberts between several bike riders and the guy they "I guess" cut off. The man knocked several bikes over on his way into market after calling them some choice names.
Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm
female cyclist: why of course not, wryly, I expect all cyclists should pull in front of cars whenever they want. And if the car is going faster than the cyclist, then the car should of course yield. It's an extra nice touch when cyclists signal whenever they intend to move into the middle of the lane. This of course, grants cosmic immunity from harm and danger ahead of 2-ton motor-driven vehicles. Even those that are slowing to a stop.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2013 at 8:01 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
"Also, the driver passed illegally on a double-yellow"
Wrong. Effective 1 Jan 2013 California law now requires a three feet as the minimum clearance when a motorist passes a bicyclist from behind and also legalizes the existing practice by safe motorists to cross a double yellow centerline, when clear, to pass a bicyclist. SB910
"(f) (1) The driver of a motor vehicle in a substandard width lane
on a two-lane highway may drive to the left of either of the markings
specified in subdivision (a) or (c) to pass a person operating a
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2013 at 8:17 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
" Minimum Entry-Level Standards (Required)
(1) Basic Course Requirement
Every peace officer, except Reserve Levels II and III, those peace officers listed in Regulation 1005(a)(3) [peace officers whose primary duties are investigative], and 1005(a)(4) [coroners or deputy coroners], shall complete the Regular Basic Course before being assigned duties which include the exercise of peace officer powers. Requirements for the Regular Basic Course are set forth in PAM Section D-1-3.
(A) Field Training Program Requirement
Every peace officer, except Reserve Levels II and III and those officers described in sections (B)1-5 (below), following completion of the Regular Basic Course and before being assigned to perform general law enforcement uniformed patrol duties without direct and immediate supervision, shall complete a POST-approved Field Training Program as set forth in PAM Section D-13."
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2013 at 8:36 am
I never suggested a driver squeeze a cyclist off the road in addition, in most situations, if the cyclist stays to the right there is sufficient room for a vehicle to safely pass. Meaning they wouldn't have to wait 50 cycles to get through a stop sign.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2013 at 8:44 am
the other suggestion from your link is for bicyclists to use crosswalks to make a left turn. Eliminates the need for 50 cyclists to line up to make left turns. And, in fact, would make it easier for groups to make left turns instead of one at a time.
Posted by Lawman, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2013 at 10:20 am
To clarify, existing law still provides that motorists need not provide a three foot wide cushion when passing a cyclist and that a motorist may not cross a double yellow line when passing a slower cyclist.
Both bills allowed for motorists on two-lane roads to cross a solid double yellow lane divider in order to give the necessary three feet of clearance.
Though Brown raised no objections to this clause last year, he cited it as his reason for vetoing the bill this year.
“Crossing a double yellow line is an inherently dangerous act that increases the risk of head-on collisions,” Brown wrote in a memo explaining his veto. “When a collision occurs, it will result in a lawsuit where the state is likely to be sued as a ‘deep pocket.’ By making it legal to cross a double yellow line, the bill weakens the state’s defense to these lawsuits. Caltrans proposed a solution to insulate the state from costly lawsuits while still providing the three-foot safety buffer for bicyclists. Unfortunately, the author declined to amend the bill.”
About 20 states have similar laws on the books, but California will have to wait at least another year before enacting its own.
"I'm disappointed and left shaking my head,” State Senator Lowenthal, the Bills author, said in a statement. “I worked very hard over the past year to make sure that the bill met with everyone's approval, including addressing those issues cited by the governor in his veto message last year. Then, at the 11th hour, the governor decided to move the goal posts yet again with never-before heard concerns from some lawyers at Caltrans. It saddens me that this governor has chosen faceless bureaucrats over cyclists’ safety.”
Posted by Richard, a resident of another community, on Feb 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm
The fact that crossing a double-yellow line is illegal does not seem to stop most drivers from doing it. I have even had a SM County Sherrif's car cross one to pass me on my bike. I don't mind if drivers do this when it is truly safe, but lately I see drivers doing it when there are bikes or even cars in the oncoming lane, and this can be really scary.
Posted by John, a resident of another community, on Feb 2, 2013 at 6:07 pm
Ok, and people in crosswalks have the right-of-way over vehicles. So all the motorists can sit there and wait as 50 people walk their bikes through the intersection. What do you think is going to take longer?
Posted by John, a resident of another community, on Feb 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm
Read the DMV pamphlet again. If cyclists use the crosswalk, as you suggest, they have to dismount. You can't ride your bike in a crosswalk. So to make the left turn they could stay to the right, dismount, and then walk their bikes across the intersection, which seems to be what you're suggesting by saying they can use the crosswalk.
Now, once the cyclists dismount they become pedestrians, which gives them right of way over vehicles. And they'll be walking in cycling shoes, which is not done very quickly. I still think that would be the slowest way to deal with that intersection. It would also be the safest - there would be no question about who has the right of way. However, I bet it would annoy the car drivers even more.
Posted by Richard, a resident of another community, on Feb 4, 2013 at 6:21 am
Peter, the Pasadena law is clearly unconstitutional. Any time you regulate how people can gather in public you need to craft the law carefully, and there is lots of case law on the subject for guidance. The Pasadena law has none of the required protections. For example, you need to have an exception for spontaneous gatherings that are a reaction to current events.
Just because some City Council passes a law does not make it legal. Woodside used to have an ordinance requiring permits for events on public roads, and it limited the number of permits per year. Eventually the Town Counsel ruled that it was illegal and it was repealed. Quite a few residents wanted to keep it despite knowing that it was illegal.