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Bicyclist dies after being hit by car in Atherton

Original post made on Sep 30, 2010

A 62-year-old bicyclist was struck by a car and killed while crossing a major thoroughfare in Atherton this morning (Thursday), a police spokesman said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 30, 2010, 5:09 PM

Comments (31)

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Posted by Don
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm



Wow.....This is sad.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Terrible - It is wide open there, isn't it?


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 1, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I bet the driver doesn't even get cited. They never do. Non-drivers are second class citizens.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Joe:

this is a terrible thing that happened, but lets look at what we know. The man was on a bicycle IN A CROSSWALK. Per the California Vehicle Code bicycles do not belong in crosswalks unless the operator is walking beside the bike. It appears the cyclist was breaking the law. Before you jump, I'm not saying the cyclist breaking the law means he deserved to die. What I am saying is you are making an assumption about fault. The cyclist could very well be at fault because he was not following the law in which case the driver of the car won't be cited as they didn't do anything wrong. It has nothing to do with cyclists being second class citizens.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 1, 2010 at 3:09 pm

It is very sad that a person died while in a crosswalk. I re-read the article and I did see anything saying the bicyclist was riding the bike at the time of the accident.

Joe: the accident is under investigation. What makes you think the driver will not be charged? I bet the District Attorney will review and take appropriate action.


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Posted by JIM
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Good Point Joe. It is too bad a it takes a tragedy like this to make people aware of the difference between a bicyclist and a pedestrian, regardless of the facts. I knew the decedant, a very caring and warm, successful family gentleman.


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Posted by MikeOnBike
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Menlo Voter said "Per the California Vehicle Code bicycles do not belong in crosswalks unless the operator is walking beside the bike."

Not true as of 2010: Web Link

"This section does not prohibit the operation of bicycles ... along any crosswalk ..."

Even still, Web Link says "The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway."

You'd have to be awfully pedantic to say that there is NO duty to exercise due care for the safety of any cyclist upon a roadway.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Mike
But it is precisely the business of the law to be pedantic. Perhaps it needs to be even more so if everyone has become confused about what rules apply to whom.
I can tell you this-the whole issue is most upsetting. All of it.
I don't ride a bike much anymore, but would kill me if I ever hurt anybody on one, no matter who's fault anything was.
I am in favor of really badly paved roads to slow all of us way down.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm

CVC 21200 requires bicycles to be operated under the same rules of the road as automobiles. Would you drive your car on a sidewalk or along a crosswalk?


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Posted by La Tracy
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Folks,

If a driver sees someone in a crosswalk, that driver is supposed to slow down. A driver is not supposed to speed up to, or aim for the person in the crosswalk. It's also illegal to kill someone, either intentionally or accidentally. So, why wasn't this driver cited with... anything?

THAT's the law.


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Posted by MikeOnBike
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Menlo Voter asks: "Would you drive your car on a sidewalk or along a crosswalk?"

No, because 21650(g) says: "This section does not prohibit the operation of bicycles ... on any sidewalk ... or along any crosswalk ..."

That rule specifically applies to bicycles, but not to motor vehicles.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2010 at 7:28 am

It is likely the driver wasn't cited for anything because the case is still under investigation or perhaps she didn't do anything wrong. If someone darts in front of your car so close that you can't avoid a colision you do not get cited. You're not at fault.


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Posted by Earl
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2010 at 7:41 am

It literally depends on the laws of the city where he was hit. Some local cities permit you to ride in the crosswalks and the local city law supersedes the State law. Quoting state law as if it were the ultimate will not function in a court of law. If Atherton does permit a cyclist to ride in a crosswalk AND the cyclist was hit in that city then making statements like "Per the California Vehicle Code bicycles do not belong in crosswalks" will NOT apply here....Earl


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 2, 2010 at 8:57 am

This is a tragedy for everyone involved, including the driver and, of course, the family of the bike rider.

Within this tragedy, however, is a life lesson that whether you walk, drive a car or ride a bike, disobeying traffic laws, being distracted or not showing common courtesy can have horrific consequences.

There but for the grace... Regardless of our mode of transportation, we should all learn.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2010 at 10:39 am

Isn't it time that the state install sidewalks and bike lanes on El Camino in Atherton. Or at least a combined sidewalk bike right-of-way.


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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Crossing El Camino on foot or bike must be a terrifying affair (I certainly wouldn't do it given any choice). These crosswalks seem like excellent locations for those pedestrian-activated embedded flashing warning lights.


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Posted by Yowzers
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm

@Joe, if the driver does not get cited, how does that show cyclists are second class citizens? The article is quite sparse, and does not give any indication of who was at fault. If the cyclist was riding his bike, then he should have waited at the stop sign until it was safe to proceed. If he dismounted and was walking through the crosswalk, hopefully after looking both ways first, then he had the right of way.

I think Joseph E. Davis' idea is an excellent one - potentially very beneficial for relatively little cost. Better yet, just don't cross El Camino on foot or bike except where there is a light. To do otherwise is quite dangerous. Having the right of way does one absolutely no good if one is dead.


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Posted by jan Mithell
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 4, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Please remember that "this cyclist" had a name. CHRIS CHANDLER, a devoted husband, loving father of three beautiful daughters, and a tireless volunteer. He was first to help anyone in need and never greeted a friend or stranger without a welcoming smile. Crosswalk, riding or walking this was a horrific accident and a loss to our community. All who knew him will miss him terribly.


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Posted by pavement lights
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm

If you've ever watched car drivers sail across the lighted crosswalks in front of Menlo Pres or near the Menlo Park library, you might think again about recommending in-pavement lights. Especially on a multi-lane fast road like El Camino. Many drivers don't see the lights, don't understand what they mean, or think the pedestrian has already crossed,

Crossing El Camino is extremely perilous whether on foot or on a bike, and riding along El Camino is hardly better. Our cities need to make safety a higher priority. Maybe some drivers would get out of their cars and walk or bike if they thought they could traverse or travel along El Camino more safely.

My deep condolences to the Chandler family


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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

There are in-pavement lights near my workplace and I use them every day. I am sure that they are better than the alternative of no lights at all, because I have observed drivers react to them over a long period of time.


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Posted by Christine
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I remember Chris & his brother Geoff, when I first attended WHS I think Chris was a cheerleader. I am so sad to hear this.


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Posted by Corinna
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

Dear Neighbors,
This is so sad, but given the nature of that stretch of road it is no surprise. Many factors converge to make El Camino very dangerous between Atherton Avenue and Oak Grove. Large trees and foliage encroach on the roadway and shade pedestrians and cyclists. The shoulder/sidewalk areas are teeny and do not allow for safe passage to and from the bus stops. Crosswalks are not well marked and are not adequately lit at night. Cyclists meander along El Camino, often without lights or helmets, which makes them hard to see. The sun in the autumn shines low and strong down El Camino, straight into driver's eyes in the morning at peak traffic times. Please - pedestrians and cyclists be extremely watchful! Even the most careful driver may not see you! Drivers - I know El Camino traffic is frustrating - but please stop at red lights and please get off your cell phones. Homeowners - if you back onto El Camino how about cutting back those shrubs and trees? It might save a life.


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Posted by Ken Horne
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm

bike riders feel they have right away when they do not walk the bike on the cross walk. Stanford is the worse for right of bikes. But that had a single light


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Posted by anon
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 11, 2012 at 12:59 am

regardless of how, when, where this incident happened, the community lost a great man. a great husband. a great father. that's the tragedy here. we can argue about legislation and laws all day. nonetheless, he is still missed. may you rest in peace christopher clay chandler.


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Posted by Remembering Chris
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Today was the two year anniversary of Chris Chandler's death at the intersection of Isabella and El Camino Real. In the two years since, CalTrans has added some paint and some signs.

How tragic, then, that on this sad anniversary, TWO pedestrians were struck in the exact same crosswalk and location!

This intersection screams for improved pedestrian crossing facilities. How many families must suffer losses of their loved ones?


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Posted by Deborah
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I was there today when two women were hit. It all happened really fast! So many lives have been affected by this unhappy incident. It is the city's responsability to make that crosswalk safe for pedestrians, bikers and drivers.
I felt sorry for the driver! Man...what a tragedy it must be to hit someone by accident.
It is also every driver's responsability to slow down and stop só other cars will do the Same.
When cars are big as SUVs...our visibility is diminished and we are not able to see the pedestrians coming on the other Side of the SUV.
That is what happened today! I hope from the bottom of my heart that the women will fine and só is the driver!


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2012 at 6:25 am

Our streets, our towns and cities are centered around cars. Yes walking across El Camino is taking a risk of life, what about others streets. Time for a rethink for street design.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 1, 2012 at 7:18 am

look at 21650.1 cvc folks


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Posted by curious
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 1, 2012 at 11:12 am

The Almanac has no information about this accident. Just wondering if it's another one of those situations (I personally know of two others) where the news is never published because the driver is an influential member of the community.


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Posted by El Camino Reality
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 1, 2012 at 11:45 am

If the Almanac did not publish this yet it is because they have not caught up with the story as yet. I am sure it is still under investigation and only happened yesterday in the afternoon. The intersection of ECR and Isabella and also Watkins and ECR (very close by) is the scene of 11 personal injury accidents and two fatalities in 4 and 1/2 years. In addition there have been ten non-injury collisions during the same period.
Now there has been two more people seriously injured. It is time to call a halt to this carnage and basically it is the responsibility of Caltrans. Atherton gets to police this section of ECR and gets to go pickup the pieces but has nothing to say about traffic safety except for design and signage of streets connecting to ECR. Another dangerous intersection is ECR and Alejandra which is currently the subject of a injury lawsuit against CalTrans with Atherton and Menlo Park thrown in.
Somehow this situation needs to be fixed and previous attempts have not been satisfactory.
Linked below is an interesting column about another crosswalk on ECR similar to Watkins/Isabella and ECR. Not a new problem and the result of CalTrans primarily trying to keep El Camino Real a six lane super highway unfettered by traffic lights.

Web Link


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Posted by Poster
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2012 at 11:59 am

Two pedestrians seriously injured on El Camino Web Link


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