Bike lanes open in memory of cyclist


Cyclists and officials from San Mateo County, the California Department of Transportation, the California Highway Patrol and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition gathered Thursday, Oct. 24, in the parking lot of the Ladera Country Shopper mall to remember Lauren Perdriau Ward.

Ms. Ward, 47, and a resident of Los Alto Hills, died in November 2010 after her bicycle and a tractor trailer truck collided on Alpine Road as she and the truck were headed west under Interstate 280.

On Oct. 24, Ms. Ward's husband Bob and public officials gathered about a quarter mile west of the accident site to officially acknowledge sophisticated new bike lanes at the interchange. Installation was completed in mid-September.

The westbound bike lane threads cyclists between freeway-bound and local traffic, while the eastbound lane hugs the curb. At on-ramps -- where cyclists contend with merging vehicle traffic -- the bike lanes are painted bright green and staggered into blocks. These alternating blocks of green and black pavement should alert motorists that they're sharing a right-of-way with cyclists, officials have said. Sets of diagonal white stripes alongside the bike lanes further demarcate them from traffic lanes.

"(Lauren's) death was the momentum that moved this project forward," Mr. Ward told the gathering of about 20. It's momentum that can be carried forward to other intersections "and really improve safety for all on the road," he added.

"I do think that this is a moment that is going to continue," CHP Capt. Mike Maskarich said a few minutes later. "These bike lanes will serve as a constant reminder that motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians can co-exist safely."

Colored non-slip paint is widely used in European bike lanes and is increasingly popular in the United States, said Corinne Winter, the bicycle coalition's executive director.

Former state legislator Joe Simitian, now a Santa Clara County supervisor, recalled that Ms. Ward was among the first winners of his "There Oughta Be A Law contest," in which constituents submitted ideas for laws. "She was decent and wholesome and utterly clean of heart," Mr. Simitian said, "and sweet and determined." The bike lane can be a launching pad for similar efforts on the Peninsula, in the region and around the state, he added.

The law, adopted in 2002 and based on Ms. Ward's idea, requires antifreeze sold in California to contain a bittering agent to discourage accidental consumption by children, pets and wildlife.


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Posted by more please
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 31, 2013 at 7:45 pm

We should include green bike lanes at all freeway interchanges, since all of them are confusing to both car drivers and bicyclists. I regularly see people get confused trying to bicycle through the Page Mill Road & I-280 interchange and cars are going so fast that even a small mistake by a driver or bicyclist can become a fatality.

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Posted by Sybille
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 31, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Great news! And yes, please MANY MORE.

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Posted by Come on Almanac
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Nov 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I'll never forget driving by the scene that day. I was horrified!

My husband and I cycle too, along that very spot, and while I am glad something good has come out of something tragic, I am angry every time I read any mention of the "collision" where any writer states "her bicycle collided with a tractor trailer truck". You also wrote in a prior article that her rear tire collided with the front bumper of his truck....seriously? Like she was pedaling backwards and rammed into an umpteen wheel truck?

Come on people, don't write for a paper if you cannot state the facts correctly, especially when it involves the death of an innocent person who did nothing wrong whatsoever. I'm sick of seeing this reported incorrectly. HER bike did not collide with the truck! The DRIVER DROVE HIS truck INTO HER, and that was proven in an independent investigation and was evidenced by the finding of her DNA on the FRONT of the truck. It disproves BOTH what the driver claimed happened and what Art Monteil's initial report claimed had happened.

She was cleared of being at fault....where is your mention of that?

Also sad and disturbing to note is that this was the second bicyclist that very same driver in that very same truck killed. The second fatality was a young male teacher at UCSC riding his bicycle to campus when he was killed by that truck driver when that truck collided into and then continued to run over him by, guess what, turning right while the bicyclist was stooped at a red light along side the truck. Mr. Art Monteil again claimed it was the bicyclist's fault. The driver, Gabriel Vera, and the company employing him during both incidents, Randazzo settled the suits....why do you think that was?

Almanac, we look to you for news to be reported, but please work harder to report it correctly and completely. How about including links to the full story if you are not going to tell it?

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Posted by Dave Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Nov 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

We've changed the phrasing around the word "collide" to more accurately reflect the CHP's conclusion not to assign blame in this accident.

Thanks for pointing this out.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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