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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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Will the bike thieves of Coles St. steal the ghost bike next?

Posted on: 2013/8/26 0:48
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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asny10011 wrote:
I find it morbid.


Well, a young woman dying in a hit and run is pretty morbid. Life is morbid. I think it's a fitting tribute, it reminds people that we still have a major issue both with how people drive and cycle in the city. It sends a clearer message than just tying fake flowers and teddy bears to a fence like some roadside memorials I've seen (those quickly get very sad and shabby looking without upkeep).

Posted on: 2013/8/25 22:39
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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I find it morbid.

Posted on: 2013/8/25 22:06
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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Its just an idea some other cities are implementing - Increase the width of the sidewalk to accommodate bikes and have clear markings on the sidewalk dividing the two. A speed cycling sign could be displayed / painted on the path to prevent lycra clad speeders / racers going crazy.
Large embedded rubber sections (like at childrens playgrounds) at crosswalks could be installed to slow speeding cyclists and heighten safety at these intersections

This will also mitigate 'doorings' and being clipped by cars on the carriageway.

Its only an idea that might need tweaking and costing but should keep most parties happy - If a bike path is going to take away a portion of roadway anyway, why not increase the sidewalk to make it even safer for them the ride and more room for pedestrians?

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Posted on: 2013/8/25 20:56
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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ghost bike for natasha - (right click and view image)

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E. Assata Wright


A ghost bike dedicated to the memory of Natasha Caicedo has found a new home on Marin Boulevard at the corner of Grand Street.

Caicedo, a co-owner of the popular Kraverie restaurant on Mercer Street, was hit and killed while riding her bike on Marin Boulevard the evening of June 20 by an alleged hit and run driver. Caicedo is among several pedestrians and cyclists who have been hit by vehicles this year, leading to calls from residents for increased safety protections.

The Caicedo tribute is one of more than 500 similar ghost bikes that have been created in cities throughout the world to simultaneously honor cyclists who have been hit and killed by drivers and to raise awareness among the public about road safety.

The bike in honor of Caicedo, painted white to evoke those who have passed, was originally parked elsewhere on Marin, but was removed by Saint Peter’s Preparatory School, which owns the land on which the bike was parked.
_____________
The Caicedo tribute is one of more than 500 similar ghost bikes that have been created in cities throughout the world.
____________
Visitors to New York City may have noticed the ominous-looking white ghost bikes at a few locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The bikes, which are often parked at or near the scenes of fatal hit-and-run sites, are meant to be “quiet statements in support of cyclists' right to safe travel,” according to the New York City Street Memorial Project. The group uses the bikes as educational art installations designed to spark conversation.

“Every day cyclists wanted to remember Natasha and bring a sense of realness to her tragedy,” said downtown activist Dan Levin, a board member of Bike JC, a local organization that formed in 2009 and has been advocating for local bike routes. “The ghost bike is a somber visual reminder for all bicyclists to be aware and use caution.”

The ghost bike in Caicedo’s memory, which was created by two residents who wish to remain anonymous, is a first for Jersey City.

City lags behind neighbors

Jersey City lags behind New York and the neighboring city of Hoboken when it comes to cycling safety. Last year, the city created its first marked bike lanes on Grove Street, and various redevelopment plans throughout the city call for both designated bike lanes and marked sharrows. But these plans have been slow to materialize even as the number of cyclists seems to increase each year.

When Jersey City initially drafted its master plan in 2005, bike routes were part of the plan. However, under the master plan that was officially adopted the city vowed only to create bike lanes “where feasible,” language that has left this green transit option on the back burner ever since.

New York City, in contrast, has a large network of bike lanes that have been significantly expanded under current Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and New York and Hoboken have each launched “bike share” programs to encourage residents to rely on bikes rather than cars for simple errands and local transportation.

Increasing road safety for cyclists and pedestrians and cracking down on speeding among drivers were among the top safety/quality of life concerns raised by residents who attended four town hall meetings hosted by Mayor Steven Fulop in May.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Jersey City ghost bike gets new home Tribute to local restaurant owner designed to increase safety for cyclists

Posted on: 2013/8/25 17:56
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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ghost bike for natasha - (right click and view image)

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Posted on: 2013/7/16 15:02

Edited by Webmaster on 2013/7/16 23:12:20
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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Posted on: 2013/6/28 22:51
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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SteveWilson29 wrote:
I dislike helmet discussions after accidents because it's too easy for people to blame the victim. There is a debate about the helmet issue. They can be completely ineffective, and can even be detrimental to cyclist's safety in some cases. Studies have shown drivers will pass closer to cyclists wearing helmets.


My posts have nothing to do with blaming the victim. Rather, I'm using the instance to point out a situation that might have been far less tragic had she been wearing a helmet. It honors her to use her example and hope that people will learn from what happened, rather than have this re-occur because they make the same mistake.

Perhaps you missed my earlier post - I was hit and run by a car when I was 13, and end up with a skull fracture and severe concussion. I, too, was not wearing a helmet - but this was 30 years ago, when nobody used them (not for lack of education, but because they just weren't part of what most non-professional riders even considered). I, as I'm sure she would be had she survived, am now about as big a helmet advocate as you're gonna find. Live and learn - literally.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 10:37
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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The problem is, there are stores and businesses all along there, resulting in delivery trucks. With the bike lane in place they will never be able to receive deliveries as there are never legitimate parking spaces availble, forcing the double parking.

One solution would be to make that strip of Grove "no parking except for deliveries".

Robin.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 10:31
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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Just feet from her restaurant, you can see the bike lanes on Grove Street.

The city has plans to put in miles more.

But there are problem with the lanes, for starters, double parked drivers.

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?sec ... cal/new_jersey&id=9153156



I hate to co-opt this sad story with so much talk of bicycle safety, but I just had to share this photo I took YESTERDAY right across from City Hall on Grove Street:

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There are no less than four cars and trucks parked in the bike lane. And as usual, ZERO enforcement. All within a few steps of Kraverie's front door.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 9:30
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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jwave wrote:

Further, all community-minded cyclists bear a responsibility to educate others not to salmon, the dangers and illegaility of which may not be understood by all. When I come across another cyclist salmoning I make it a point to let them know they should be riding with traffic (and to stay off the sidewalks, which is also dangerous and against the law - adults only, of course).
!


I used to do that but gave up when just about every response I get is some variation of the F-bomb. The level of entitlement oozing out of people in this town is mind boggling. Last year, I came on JC List to call out one particular couple who rode their bikes on the sidewalk of Grove Street. It was a nice spring weekend afternoon, so the sidewalk was full of pedestrians, especially between Columbus and Montgomery with all that restaurant sidewalk seating. The couple persisted in riding their bikes on the sidewalk even after pedestrians pointed out the bike lane. Well, within the hour, the husband had logged onto JC List to argue that they were entitled to ride on the sidewalk because his wife didn't feel comfortable on the street. In his mind, it was OK to transfer the risk onto pedestrians rather than, say, walk their bikes on the sidewalk or have his wife take a bicycle safety course.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 9:14
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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Would better street lighting help ? L.E.D lighting is 10 times more cost effective and we could have more situated along our streets that are popular with cyclists - The city could save a heap on energy costs with an initial outlay of l.e.d lighting or even the installation of solar panels - Imagine if the city had solar panels on all city building that went into street lights!
The extra lighting would also help with crime control by mitigating opportunists committing crimes by the cover of night - Even dog walkers might feel safer taking a late night stroll!

Posted on: 2013/6/27 9:07
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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VA2015 wrote:
[
I don't see any victim blaming. I think it's an opportunity to increase safety awareness. It helps her death not be in vain.


Exactly.

"Being seen" by drivers is the first and most critical element to avoiding being struck while cycling. This is especially so as drivers become less attentive due to smartphone use while driving. While reflectors can help, they are vastly inferior to the small and inexpensive LED lights out there (like bringing a knife to a gun fight, as the saying goes). The lights I am talking about are eye-catching not just in the dark but also during transitions at dawn and dusk or on cloudy days. Check out this video, especially minute 1:24, which illustrates this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0acr9r ... ture=youtube_gdata_player

Detailed reviews and comparison of the lights here:
http://bicycles.blogoverflow.com/2012/03/tail-light-review/

Posted on: 2013/6/27 6:35
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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SteveWilson29 wrote:
There is a debate about the helmet issue. They can be completely ineffective, and can even be detrimental to cyclist's safety in some cases.


How'd that work out for Gary Busey?

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Posted on: 2013/6/27 6:22
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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Any safety device is only as good as an attentive motorist - The cyclist is at the mercy of a driver if they are not drunk, affected by drugs, texting or talking on a cell phone.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 4:54
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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This tragedy has made me start wearing my helmet again when I cycle to work every day.

Robin.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 0:38
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Quote:

I_heart_JC wrote:
Quote:

SteveWilson29 wrote:
I dislike helmet discussions after accidents because it's too easy for people to blame the victim. There is a debate about the helmet issue. They can be completely ineffective, and can even be detrimental to cyclist's safety in some cases. Studies have shown drivers will pass closer to cyclists wearing helmets.


I agree that victim-blaming has no place in this discussion, however, what better time to bring up personal safety than when a tragedy is fresh in peoples' minds?


I don't see any victim blaming. I think it's an opportunity to increase safety awareness. It helps her death not be in vain.

I like the idea of a visual cue the width of handlebars on the back of a bike - maybe with reflectors on the ends? Anyone have experience outfitting their bike with one?


If you have a rear rack, it's very easy. Otherwise you could mount a lightweight aluminum bar under the back of the saddle or mounted to the rear caliper mount, if you have that.

Posted on: 2013/6/26 21:13
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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Quote:

SteveWilson29 wrote:
I dislike helmet discussions after accidents because it's too easy for people to blame the victim. There is a debate about the helmet issue. They can be completely ineffective, and can even be detrimental to cyclist's safety in some cases. Studies have shown drivers will pass closer to cyclists wearing helmets.


I agree that victim-blaming has no place in this discussion, however, what better time to bring up personal safety than when a tragedy is fresh in peoples' minds?


I don't see any victim blaming. I think it's an opportunity to increase safety awareness. It helps her death not be in vain.

I like the idea of a visual cue the width of handlebars on the back of a bike - maybe with reflectors on the ends? Anyone have experience outfitting their bike with one?

Posted on: 2013/6/26 19:52
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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meltedopsicle wrote:

I read on some blog or website that someone cut a stick (I'm thinking more along the lines of a "pool noodle") to the width of the handlebars and tied it horizontally on the back. Apparently if you make it look pointy at the ends, it's a visual cue to drivers not to get too close or they'll scratch their cars...


I don't know about the scratching the car part, but it does give drivers a visual cue as to how much horizontal space a bicycle actually takes up, handlebars inclusive. It's sometimes hard to tell from behind.

Quote:

I_heart_JC wrote:

so the potential velocity of you + windshield is even greater. wear a freaking helmet.


I agree. It's a very contentious debate for some people. Sometimes I wear mine, sometimes I don't.

Posted on: 2013/6/26 18:48
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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SteveWilson29 wrote:
I dislike helmet discussions after accidents because it's too easy for people to blame the victim. There is a debate about the helmet issue. They can be completely ineffective, and can even be detrimental to cyclist's safety in some cases. Studies have shown drivers will pass closer to cyclists wearing helmets.


I agree that victim-blaming has no place in this discussion, however, what better time to bring up personal safety than when a tragedy is fresh in peoples' minds?

if you're going to ride against traffic (which....don't) it means that anyone who hits you is going to hit you at their speed PLUS your speed. the difference of just 5 mph can mean life or death.

so the potential velocity of you + windshield is even greater. wear a freaking helmet.

Posted on: 2013/6/26 18:38
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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Just watched the clip, so incredibly sad... I do also pray that justice and karma will take over...

Posted on: 2013/6/26 18:32
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SteveWilson29 wrote:
I dislike helmet discussions after accidents because it's too easy for people to blame the victim. There is a debate about the helmet issue. They can be completely ineffective, and can even be detrimental to cyclist's safety in some cases. Studies have shown drivers will pass closer to cyclists wearing helmets.


I somewhat agree (easy to blame the victim - and do people ever "blame" car crash victims for not buckling their seat belt?). I'll "disprove" the studies though: If I were helmet-less but had a reflective clothing, ample lights, panniers/saddlebags to increase my width and drivers still passed too close, there's still something wrong with them!

I read on some blog or website that someone cut a stick (I'm thinking more along the lines of a "pool noodle") to the width of the handlebars and tied it horizontally on the back. Apparently if you make it look pointy at the ends, it's a visual cue to drivers not to get too close or they'll scratch their cars...

Posted on: 2013/6/26 18:28
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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Husband speaks after hit and run driver kills wife

JERSEY CITY (WABC) -- There is shock and support for a New Jersey family after a woman was struck and killed by a hit and run driver.


She was riding her bike when the accident happened.

"Denial, blaming, anger, you know, sorrow, grief, everything," said Christian Usher, widower.

Christian Usher has been through every emotion since his wife Natasha was run down and killed riding her bike in Jersey City.

"Why you didn't help her? Why you didn't try to help her?" Usher said.

Last Thursday night right near the intersection, Natasha was hit by a Volkswagen Jetta driven by 24-year-old Neteria Augcomfar.

Four days later, this past Monday, Natasha died from her injuries and Augcomfar turned herself in to police.

She reportedly told them that she didn't know she hit anyone.

"Come on, the impact was so strong my wife broke the windshield with her body, with her face," Usher said.

It's a horrific reality, a horrible image; her husband cannot get out of his mind.

"I wouldn't do that, not even to an animal, I would just stop and check on it," Usher said.

Natasha was part owner of Kraverie Restaurant, located just a few blocks from where she was hit.

A picture and a candle now stand as a memorial. Her business partner still can't believe she is gone.

"We're going to keep going strong. I think it's what she would want. It's what's best for all of us," her business partner said.

Just feet from her restaurant, you can see the bike lanes on Grove Street.

The city has plans to put in miles more.

But there are problem with the lanes, for starters, double parked drivers.

Natasha wasn't wearing a helmet and apparently driving the wrong way, but her husband says nothing excuses leaving that scene.

In December, the city approved 35 miles of new bike lanes.

"That's a good idea, but to be honest, that doesn't really help because you have a lot of cars that come and block it up anyway," Usher said.

But with so many more people now biking in New Jersey's second largest city, something has to help.

Augcomfar is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

Usher says he is angry but said, "I do believe that if I let go, justice and karma will take over."




http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?sec ... cal/new_jersey&id=9153156


Posted on: 2013/6/26 17:57
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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I dislike helmet discussions after accidents because it's too easy for people to blame the victim. There is a debate about the helmet issue. They can be completely ineffective, and can even be detrimental to cyclist's safety in some cases. Studies have shown drivers will pass closer to cyclists wearing helmets.

Posted on: 2013/6/26 17:38
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Re: Jersey City bicyclist in serious condition in hit and run: cops
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I'll be out of town for the memorial, or else I'd attend. I'm glad that the driver was caught and will be charged, but as has been said before by a few people, bikers need to remember safety rules, and to always be on the defensive, and we need to keep pushing our city to create more and better bike lanes as NYC is doing.

Could we make a ghost bike to put at the site? I've always thought they were powerful memorials. Assuming Chris is ok with the idea.


I like the idea of a ghost bike.

I too am amazed at how many cyclists I see without helmets. I paid a little extra for an attractive helmet so that I would actually wear it regularly. It not only looks less dorky, it might save my life some day. Got it from here: http://www.adelineadeline.com/accessories/helmets.html

Posted on: 2013/6/26 17:32
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This story will be on wabc 7 in the next 15-20 minutes

Posted on: 2013/6/26 17:13
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I'll be out of town for the memorial, or else I'd attend. I'm glad that the driver was caught and will be charged, but as has been said before by a few people, bikers need to remember safety rules, and to always be on the defensive, and we need to keep pushing our city to create more and better bike lanes as NYC is doing.

Could we make a ghost bike to put at the site? I've always thought they were powerful memorials. Assuming Chris is ok with the idea.

Posted on: 2013/6/26 16:11
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There will be an informal memorial service at Kraverie this Saturday, 6/29 - from noon until dusk. We hope to celebrate Natasha's life with stories, food, drink and support for her widower, Chris. Feel free to stop by.

Posted on: 2013/6/26 14:11
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My thoughts exactly. From the article in the WSJ, "Police said Ms. Caicedo was riding the wrong way, traveling southbound in the northbound lane of Marin Boulevard. Mr. Usher said his wife was not wearing a bicycle helmet when she was hit."


What a tragic loss for her family, friends, and the JC community. Natasha was a wonderfully kind and generous person.

One can only hope that her death might improve safety out on the streets for all. I completely agree that the driver culture in JC and related enforcement efforts need to improve. Driver distraction and impatience create unacceptable risks and avoidable tragedies.

Additionally, speaking as an avid cyclist, I think JCPD and the local cycling community must act to improve awareness of the dangers of salmoning (riding against traffic rather than with it). As others have observed, salmoning puts you and others at risk and is contrary to the law requiring cyclists to ride with the flow of traffic, not against it. If patrol officers would make it a practice to simply tweet their siren and give a quick word to salmoning cyclists to ride with traffic, the message would get out quick. Further, all community-minded cyclists bear a responsibility to educate others not to salmon, the dangers and illegaility of which may not be understood by all. When I come across another cyclist salmoning I make it a point to let them know they should be riding with traffic (and to stay off the sidewalks, which is also dangerous and against the law - adults only, of course).

Folks can also reduce their risks by having rear red LED light. IMO, any cyclist who lacks a rear LED light is courting disaster. There is no excuse not to have one and it may be the best money you ever spent. Grove Street Bicycles stocks them and you can get them online through stores like nashbar.com and performancebike.com. (Planet Bike's Superflash is hands down the best).

Lastly, any cyclist who is riding and looking at their smartphone should be smacked. I have seen my neighbors (people I really like) doing this and I'm floored at what a stupid behavior it is.

Everyone (drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians) needs to take responsibility for his or her safety and that of others around them. Make smart choices, follow the law, and reduce the risks wherever you can.

RIP Natasha. Stay safe, JC!

Posted on: 2013/6/26 12:01
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JadedJC wrote:
The driver culture here is abysmal, to say the least, and Grand Street is a total zoo. When I bike, I try to to take the one-way streets, even if it means going a block or two out of my way. That having been said, I see a lot of things cyclists do that make me cringe. Almost every night I see cyclists on the road without any lights or reflective patches. Needless to say, most are not wearing helmets. The other thing that gets me is "salmoning" - people riding against, rather than with, the flow of traffic. Many of these people are under the mistaken impression that they'll be safer because they can see oncoming traffic and react accordingly. They're actually creating a hazard. People - neither drivers nor pedestrians crossing the street - are expecting them to be coming from that direction. Also, by riding against the flow, they're sharply cutting the time a driver has to react before impact. The difference may only be a second or two, but that's enough to mean life or death.


My thoughts exactly. From the article in the WSJ, "Police said Ms. Caicedo was riding the wrong way, traveling southbound in the northbound lane of Marin Boulevard. Mr. Usher said his wife was not wearing a bicycle helmet when she was hit."


can't count how many times I've nearly been hit by a bicyclist riding the wrong way on a one-way street (or worse, the sidewalk). it really is a hazard for everybody.

Posted on: 2013/6/26 11:26
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