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Letter: Reconsidering Bike Lane

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Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 5:16 pm

First, I would like to address the issue of bicyclists taking responsibility for their own safety, as well as that of others. I have seen cyclists whiz through four-way stops, red lights, even in front of oncoming traffic in both directions from the far right shoulder of the road to the far left shoulder of the road. I think cyclists should be subjected to the same laws as the rest of us, and in the interest of everyone’s safety, should be ticketed for reckless cycling and endangering the public for such infractions.

Secondly, as a resident of west Malibu, there is another safety issue that has not been considered. On the beach side shoulder from Matador to the back entrance for Broad Beach road, there are several small roads and driveways where, in order to exit onto PCH, drivers must edge onto the shoulder to check for oncoming traffic from the west.

I live on a road where there is a blind curve as you exit. On overcast, rainy, or even those blindingly sunny days, I have actually had to edge out and park on the shoulder to check for oncoming traffic. Over the past few years, cyclists have been using this stretch of shoulder as a racing lane, and there have been several near accidents, as they do not look for exiting motorists, people walking to the bus stop at Matador, jogging, or trying to access the beach on foot.

Unfortunately, over the past few years it seems that the rights of cyclists have become a political movement, wherein they are the good guys and the rest of us are the bad guys getting in the way of their sport. But where so much danger exists, being politically correct may not always be wise policy.

I submit there should be no bicycle lane on the beach side between Matador and the back entrance to Broad Beach road, thereby respecting the rights of everyone and lessening the chances of hazardous accidents.

Patricia Jones

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1 comment:

  • bobpurvey posted at 2:33 pm on Thu, Oct 3, 2013.

    bobpurvey Posts: 70

    Thank you Patricia for airing your concern and sharing some wise thoughts. I love to bike ride and abide by common laws like recognizing that vehicles are much faster and bigger and that I should hug the curb to avoid getting killed. You are correct, bicyclists have been trying to take over PCH for years to get their bike path from Oregon to the Mexican border, unfettered by vehicular traffic. Chris Frost, who is an avid bicyclist sits on the city’s safety committee and has been pushing this agenda for numerous years. He also has the help of fellow committee members Carol Randall and Marlie Matlin for some other reasons that I won’t go into at this time. I believe this is the central cause of their committee’s inability to accomplish anything that will indeed make PCH safe. As you may have noticed, since they have been on the committee and became the majority voice, their only objective is to try and reduce the speed limit and slow drivers down. They have ignored other necessary safety measures to the detriment of safety on PCH. Seems that their perspective of PCH is akin to an urban single lane residential street not a highway and the associated dynamics of a highway. Nothing has changed on PCH in years because with their agenda they get ignored by Cal Trans engineers and safety experts. It appears that these three just don’t get it. They even got a commissioned study recently that allegedly supports their agenda but has heads shaking. Nothing to make PCH safer has been done because of their agenda of making the bike lane their top priority. Have you noticed any sign changes, turn out lane changes, enforcement of all traffic laws. The only change that addresses driver behavior is speed gage signs that alert you of the speed you are going in some places. The “Share the Road” sign with a graphic of a bicyclist is ineffective and suggests that bicyclists have right of way everywhere but is not a law. Any reasonable suggestion to make PCH safe and address ways to improve driver behavior is met with opposition from those three, unless it supports slowing everyone down to make it safe for bicyclists. The latest study suggests that bicyclists don’t have to yield to traffic but that traffic must yield to bicyclists, yet we all know that physics does not support this notion on a highway that has vehicles traveling from 45 mph to 55 mph (posted speeds). The study suggests that pedestrians don’t have to yield to vehicles and can do the same as bicyclists do darting north, but they turned it down in hopes of getting a bike path all the way through Malibu (even the most hazardous parts). In the meantime, as it has been for the past decade, nothing will change. A driver behavior study should’ve been commissioned years ago, but that would have revealed how flawed the bike path priority is.

     

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