News


Update: Two bicyclists injured after collision in Woodside

Highway 84 temporarily closed; re-opened in early afternoon

Two bicyclists were hospitalized, but will "be OK," after an attempt by one to pass the other went wrong and they collided on state Highway 84 in Woodside on Monday, Sept. 1, a San Mateo County sheriff's spokeswoman said.

The crash was reported at 10:48 a.m. near Friars Lane, sheriff's spokeswoman Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt said. The highway was shut down between Skywood Way and Portola Road for some time in both directions.

The accident occurred when one of the eastbound bicyclists tried to pass the other coming around a curve in the road, Ms. Rosenblatt said. "Unfortunately, the bicyclist misjudged the distance during the attempt to pass and the two bicycles collided, throwing both riders to the ground," she said in a news release.

The two bicyclists, a 67-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, both residents of unincorporated San Mateo County, were taken to the hospital, Ms. Rosenblatt said.

Highway 84 was shut down in both directions while deputies investigated the accident, but was re-opened at around 1:20 p.m.

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by spread out
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Too often, I see these bicyclists hugging the right edge of the road, even on winding roads. That gives them little room for error if there is a pothole or gravel on the road. If 2 bicyclists are riding that way, the second one usually can't see obstacles because the first one is in the way. Bicyclists should ride in the center of the lane on these winding roads. That gives them much better visibility of what it ahead. It also makes them much more visible to car drivers, adding safety in that regard as well.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by ol MacDonald
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 1, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Good luck on their recovery.

Was driving down Canada Road yesterday. Omigosh! Scary!

First, bike-laden cars were doing crazy things like U-turns in the middle of Canada, just to pull onto the opposite shoulder to park on the road!! Why? Is it to far to walk, if they park on the same side they were driving on?!? They'll be on bikes!

Then some crazy bike riding. The usual, blowing through stop signs, passing other bikes by moving suddenly out into the road from the bike lane as cars come upon them, etc.. That is one scary scene on Sunday mornings. I think Darwin would have enjoyed studying it.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Yikes! And with all that extra Kings Mountain Art Faire traffic consisting of folks who normally aren't used to the twisted drive.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by bill
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Sep 1, 2014 at 2:25 pm

It is too bad someone got hurt but it is no surprise. The bycyclists do not realize how dangerous Highway 84 and Old La Honda Roads are. It is even worse when the Art Fair is on so I don't understand why they don't use their brains and ride somewhere else. I live on Skyline(for 30 years) and the bicyclists are generally rude and don't even follow the rules of the road and laws. Bycyclists should have to pass a driver's/rider's test to get a license to show they understand the laws and agree to abide by them. Also, should have to pay for a license fee for their bike if they are over 16. Perhaps this will bring some responsibility and respect for others on the road. Just because they have the helmet and Spandex on, it doesn't make them invincible and give them the right to be rude the right to rule the road.
Please sign in on this note with your opinion.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by ol MacDonald
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm

"Please sign in on this note with your opinion."

My opinion is your note will get edited or deleted because you used the S word.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm

pogo is a registered user.

The argument continues about who is at fault and who has less courtesy - the bike or the car.

Unfortunately, the people on the 25 pound bicycle will always lose to the 2,500 pound car.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Witness to another collision
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm

I was once a witness to a two bike collision. These were on residential streets. One was a recumbent bike and the other was a regular bike, both adult riders on expensive looking bikes and wearing biking gear. Neither were obeying road traffic rules. Both got multiple scrapes on their bodies and damage to their bikes - broken pieces of both bikes all over the street. Both were at fault.

As a witness I offered my contact details to both riders, but they were too busy shouting at each other, blaming the other, to take any notice of my offer. After about 10 - 15 minutes I left them both arguing and swearing and went on my way, I was a pedestrian.

The fact that bikes can cause accidents to each other and other road users is something that most riders will not acknowledge. I do have sympathy for both riders in this incident and hope they both make a full recovery, but I hope the whole thing will make bike riders wake up and start obeying traffic laws.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm

pogo is a registered user.

"I hope the whole thing will make bike riders wake up and start obeying traffic laws."

Not a chance.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by matt from the block
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Sep 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm

matt from the block is a registered user.

I bike, drive and walk. No dog in this fight. That said, bikers strike me as being the most aggressive and entitled of all the folks sharing the road. Siege mentality.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by M
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Fascinating but not surprising that everyone seems to be using the comments as a grandstand for their personal views regarding bikers. None of us, it would appear, know what happened with this collision--it could have been a husband and wife descending and they accidentally clipped each other. Who knows? Yet, it is once again high time to call out all the horrific bikers. Full disclosure, I am indeed a biker, and yes, there are bad bikers out there--no question. What this fact has to do with this collision is beyond me. The reality in our life, and most of the other commenters can't seem to realize this, is that about 5% of the people in our society-bikers, drivers, whomever--are complete and utter _____ (fill in your own expletive), and are responsible for 95% of the problems. That anyone takes the time to call out bikers, drivers or whatever as a class is beyond bizarre and illogical. I'll make everyone a deal--I'll get rid of all the ____ bikers if you people get rid of all the _____ drivers.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 2, 2014 at 9:29 am

There are cyclists who are definitely a danger to other cyclists. If you ride enough -- I commute -- you will encounter them.

I try to recall a piece of advice for riding a motorcycle: take precautions as if you're invisible. Wait for eye contact or some other sign that you're seen. Even that may not be enough sometimes, but you improve your odds.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by ol MacDonald
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 2, 2014 at 10:51 am

Joe: THANK YOU!!!!

I got it: bikers need to think they are INVISIBLE!!! I finally have the answer to a long-asked question; the answer is "bikers think they are invisible"

The question: why do bikers almost always blow through stop signs?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm

pogo is a registered user.

People can debate relative fault all they want for as long as they want.

The hard truth is that when a conflict occurs, the person riding the bike always loses.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm

pogo, you are wrong. When there is a traffic collision we all suffer negative consequences. Although some may be more injured than others, traffic is not a contest with winners and losers. Thinking of it in competitive terms is a major reason for the bad behavior we see on our roads.

You seem to subscribe to the "might makes right" philosophy that smaller road users should stay out of the way of larger ones. This philosophy is prevalent in the US and is underlies the tens of thousands of deaths we suffer a year. In many European countries they use the "Spiderman" philosophy: "with great power comes great responsibility". The larger your vehicle the more careful you must be and the greater the consequences if you hurt someone. The result is that their roads are much safer than ours, particularly for pedestrians and bicyclists.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by ol MacDonald
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Donald: Your response leaves a lot to be desired.

"...is a major reason for the bad behavior we see on our roads." We are all talking about cyclist bad behavior, like blowing through stop signs. Are you implying they don't?

"This philosophy is prevalent in the US and is underlies the tens of thousands of deaths we suffer a year." Uhhhh... want to amend that, assuming your thousands number was referring to the cyclist conversation?

Web Link "A total of 677 pedalcyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2011." "The 677 pedalcyclist deaths in 2011 accounted for 2% of all traffic fatalities during the year." 32,367 total traffic fatalities (autos, motorcycles, pedestrians, cyclists?) 677 cyclists dead. ~48,000 cyclists injured.

If I were to participate in your level of hyperbolic statement, I would guess there are over 677 deaths per year from cars swerving just to avoid idiot cyclists and hitting something/someone else! But I won't claim it as fact unless I can document it, no matter how true it seems after I swerved from idiots ahead of me, twice, on Canada on Sunday. Thus the Darwin comment, which, reading Pogo's response, I feel is related. I'm just suprised the number is 677.

In other words, Darwin agrees with Pogo (hyperbole be damned?)


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 2, 2014 at 4:32 pm

European drivers are, in my experience, better drivers than in the U.S. They seem more complete drivers in the sense that they bring a complex intelligence to the situation.

I've heard of American drivers having to take the English driving test three times before passing.

The seeming chaos on the streets of Rome is really high art. Packs of cars, packs of motor scooters, pelotons really. It was beautiful to watch. Just be careful crossing the street. Wait for the nuns and follow them.

My cab ride was amazing. 120 kph from the airport, weaving in and out of traffic, close traffic, and from what I could tell, always in control.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I was speaking more generally than just bicyclists, because the mindset and philosophy we have regarding traffic applies to everyone on the road. Thank you for providing precise statistics for my statement about tens of thousands of deaths on our roads. Our roads will not become safer by targeting the behavior of one subset of users or another; we need to look at the big picture and address the underlying concepts of responsibility and liability that apply to everyone.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Puck
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 2, 2014 at 5:26 pm

seriously, I'm sorry they got hurt, but a couple of geezer cyclists collided, only in Silicon Valley. I bet they were both on $1,000+ bikes. All the whining about too many cars and bikes and so on is ridiculous. there are plenty of legit articles that address the concerns about packs of bikes behaving badly and macho guys in trucks beating up bikers and so forth. [Portion removed; disrespectful comments violate terms of use.] About 5 years ago some poor guy got killed on New Years when a eucalyptus tree fell on him when he was riding in Las Altos Hills. That was tragic. This is like a trailer for the next Syfy channel movie, "Cocoon 2: Seniors on Collision Course"

[Portion removed; see above.]


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Puck -- Your snarky comments say so much about not only you, but that state of the "community" in the Valley as well.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Donald - wow, did you ever miss my point. I never said might makes right. Quite the contrary.

I've said that people can engage in the "fault debate" all they want ... but it will ALWAYS be the bike rider who ends up in the back of the ambulance. No, it's not might or right. It's the reality of someone riding on top of a 25 pound vehicle going 20 MPH versus someone riding inside a 2500 pound vehicle (with seat belts, air bags, etc.) going 40 MPH.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

pogo, you are assuming that drivers WILL run over bicyclists and that this is unavoidable and that we should accept that fact. My point is that it is not unavoidable and we don't need to accept it.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 2, 2014 at 6:01 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Donald: Get a life. That is not what Pogo said.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Passing on that stretch of 84 is dangerous in any vehicle. Just gear down - it's a few minutes delay only, to say nothing of the possibility of meeting an oncoming car, truck, or cyclist(s). When safe, the slower coaster in front can pull over onto a shoulder - just like driving #50 into Tahoe.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by yuppie
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 2, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Darwin.

Pogo is correct, unless Donald wants to show us a cyclist running over a sedan.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Been There
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I lived in Germany for about two and a half years, and rode my bicycle as much as I could (thousands of miles). I'll take German drivers over Americans any day! While I was there, one day I was hit by a car -- with American license plates.

Germans tend to know what they are doing. Americans tend not to care.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Beth
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Puck:

Seems you have a problem, with seniors. You refer to them 3 times in your short essay and with some derision. So, if these two people were blacks, and you spoke of this incident similarly about them as you do here, you'd fit the bill of a racist, yes?

Just saying, blatant unnecessary comments like that erase any reason to take your opinions or ideas seriously. Btw, while I don't know, I'd guess most bike accidents don't involve seniors.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by PackerFan
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 3, 2014 at 8:25 am

donald is right. pogo's "physics" argument about mass and velocity only matter after a crash. if you prevent the crashes from happening then the physics argument is mute.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Oops there it is
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Sep 3, 2014 at 9:13 am

Karma in action.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 3, 2014 at 11:30 am

pogo is a registered user.

More like Darwinism in action.

Let me know how it works out for you.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Sep 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Wow! I am disappointed at the lack of kindness and respect when discussing these issues, and some act as if their thinking and they themselves are superior to others. I just see so much hostility being expressed towards others, and I do not see that as being productive in anyway. While there are (IMHO) many good points made, there isn't much talk of how everyone can find a way to safely use the road and respect each other's life. Anger makes us all act like fools, yet we tend to think ourselves here in these neighborhoods as being more highly evolved. I don't see it in the attitudes expressed here.

What can we learn from the other cultures who have better statistics/less fatalities than ours? Denmark has always impressed me with their cycling traffic system, Germany with the way they drive cars (I lived in both places and cycled and drive my car), and I'm sure there are others. There will unfortunately always be accidents as well as careless people, but surely there is a way to
improve on what we are seeing and going today.

How about meaningful, respectful dialogue with ideas and education on how we can change what doesn't seem to work very well?

Anyone?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

As Denmark clearly demonstrates the best way to both promote bicycle use and bicycle safety is to physically separate bicycle and automotive traffic. Mixing bicycles and cars/trucks is, as Pogo points out, a recipe for disaster.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Beth
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm

1 = license bikes, making it easier than for a car (please, no DMV!) This is likely a state issue. Fine. Do it.

2 = Press politicos to enforce bike, car, pedestrian laws.

3 = Seek solutions from biking communities, including those in other biking states

4 = If Canada Road has become dangerous on Sunday due to irresponsibility there, to and from - close it down.

5 = Clearly mark bike lanes. Many auto drivers don't know that they're allowed into the bike lane for turns ONLY when the line is broken & no bikes are approaching from behind. Some of those lines make no "common" sense, i.e., Alameda right turn onto Valparaiso.

6 = Perhaps there could be a county-wide bike handout, like those for hiking and skiing. Kings Mtn Road should be black-diamoned!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm

pogo is a registered user.

I refuse to assign blame to disrespectful bike riders or drivers lacking courtesy. My point - and my ONLY point - is that when a conflict does occur, the bike rider loses in every possible way.

I'm sorry if that offends you, kindness, but my point is not rude or a feeling of superiority. It's physics.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Sep 4, 2014 at 2:57 am

Pogo: no worries.. None of the comments offendeded me, and mine weren't necessarily directed at you. I didn't see comments arguing the laws of physics, and I also don't care about blame. Dead is dead. Maimed is maimed.

My point was/is that the comment section would serve us all better if it were used to exchange ideas instead of insults, and there could be far more productive and useful dialogue than what I had read.

That said, the entrances and exits of 280 at Alpine were painted green (recall the horribly tragic death of Lauren Ward), and while it may not offer a cyclist a steel barrier, it certainly draws attention to the bike lane, which may not solve the problem but has been proven to increase safety, so any idea as to why it's not used more? Getting green paint can't be the problem, so perhaps it's red tape?

I'm also all for licensing bikes like Beth suggested, and education could be taught in public schools. It wouldn't take much, and why not? We offer driver's ed.

Protected bike lanes, those with some type of separation or barrier between cars and bikes like the ones I used in Denmark and Germany, sound great, and they are in many ways, but it's not that simple of course.

Here's a link (Web Link) to download a first of it's kind study co-funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Summit Foundation and PeopleForBikes, that discusses

"the findings from a wide-ranging study of protected bike lane intersections in five U.S. cities. It's based on 204 hours of video footage that captured the movement patterns of 16,000 people on bicycles and 20,000 turning cars; on 2,301 surveys with people who live near the projects; and on 1,111 surveys of people using the protected lanes".

San Francisco was one of the cities by the way.

For those interested, check out who's sharing the roads with cars in "Who Bikes to Work in America" Web Link on the DOT's website. It's not just people in spandex.

These offer additional insight into the complexity of the issue, but they also offer hope that bicyclists and cars can coexist...although sharing the same road is clearly a very dangerous way to try to exist.

The benefits of more bicycles and less cars are even greater than I thought, but the risk to me and my family is also great.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Sep 4, 2014 at 2:59 am

*bicycling education


 +   2 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 4, 2014 at 7:18 am

pogo is a registered user.

Really? - point taken and nicely (and politely) expressed.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Deb
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Hello everyone,
I wanted to check in to this conversation. I was one of the cyclists involved in the accident on Woodside Road on Monday, Sept. 1. Unfortunately, I was injured but am now happy to at home recovering.
I ride my bike how I live, obeying laws, with awareness, courtesy and respect for others, with gratitude to be able to exercise and care for myself.
If we all lived with this attitude the world would be a better place.
Kindly,
Debbie


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 5, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Very glad you are feeling better!


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