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Stony Point & Rodota fatallity

2018-11-01 16:42:13.255514+00 by Dan Lyke 0 comments

When I worked in Santa Rosa, I'd either get on the road bike and pound out the 17 or 18 miles to work up Stony Point Road, or, taking about the same time, grab the bus up to downtown Santa Rosa and ride west to Sonic.

At first I took the Prince Memorial Greenway Trail to the Joe Rodota trail, but after a while I decided that taking the surface streets and sharing the road with cars was a better route.

The obvious advantages were that I didn't have to ride around the numerous folks camping, or passed out on, the trail. I didn't have to figure out how I was going to get by the raving angry meth user. Didn't interrupt the stoner hacky-sack games.

But the other advantage was that as part of traffic I could ride faster, didn't have to stop at every street crossing to make sure I wasn't gonna get right-hooked, didn't have to try to account for the awful intersection designs that dropped high speed bike traffic out where drivers weren't expecting them.

I've got some personal experience in interactions between car and driver, and when I complain that if you want to kill someone and get away with it you should use a car that's really kind of unfair, because punishing the specific driver won't help much: That driver is gonna be replaying the collision in their mind in the middle of the night for the rest of their life, wondering what could have been done differently.

Instead, what I'm pushing for is a social shift, where we start to look at all of the little places where drivers transgress as either infrastructure design failures, or things that need to be punished each and every single time. So, yeah: Bring on the traffic cameras.

At any rate, having been through this intersection a gazillion times, this is a failure of infrastructure design. The cyclist thought she had the right-of-way, but the way that infrastructure was design if she was moving any faster than a slow walk the truck driver likely never saw her.

And when pro-cycling groups make arguments for separated infrastructure, Santa Rosa is exhibit #1 on how dedicated bicycle infrastructure can make cyclists less safe.

Bike rider fatally struck in Santa Rosa by dump truck; 3rd death in vicinity in 6 weeks

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