Peninsula Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition

Watch for Bicyclists

The New Voice for
Bicyclists & Pedestrians
of San Mateo County

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539 Hillcrest Dr.
Redwood City, CA 94062-2951

PB&PC News Headlines

San Mateo County Removed Hazard on Alameda de las Pulgas



Late last year, two posts with metal signs were installed by the County Public Works Department on the shoulder stripe of Alameda de las Pulgas on the north side of the street in unincorporated San Mateo County just south of the intersection of Alameda and Camino a los Cerros.  After some dialog, the PB&PC was successful in convincing  County officials to remove the posts and replace them with this very conspicuous and highly "reflectorized" bulb-out.

The intended purpose of the posts and the bulb-out is to reduce the speed of motorists turning right from Alameda de las Pulgas onto Camino a los Cerros.

We thank San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon, County Transportation Systems Coordinator Walter Martone, and County Public Works Director Neil Cullen, who were instrumental in resolving this issue.

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Study from SVBC Shows Potential Unfair Treatment in Legal System
Published Tuesday, October 21, 2003, by KCBS Radio AM 740 
(KCBS) -- A new study from a South Bay bicyclist advocacy group finds that more than half of all accidents involving cyclists go unsolved and only a third of the cases in which the driver is determined to be at fault actually see charges brought against that driver.

Jim Taylor in the KCBS Santa Clara County Bureau says the study was conducted by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. Cyclists say it proves they are treated unfairly in the legal system.

Phil Carmichael has been riding bicycles for most of his life in San Jose, and he says he feels invisible among cars on Hamilton Avenue.

"They don't see me as a person. They see me as something that's in the way or somebody that's chosen a bad lifestyle, meaning it's very dangerous, and the only reason I would do it is because I don't have any common sense," said Carmichael.

"Even when people do look directly at you, I've had experiences where they decide you're really not worthy of paying attention to. I've definitely had that over several decades of riding," he said. "You have to assume that people, even when they look right at you, they assume that you're a non vehicle."

Carmichael said he thinks Americans do not respect cycling as a mode of transportation.

"I think it's nationwide," he said. "In America, bicycles are not considered a viable means of transportation. They're adults playing with toys. That's the way drivers look at bicyclists and motorcyclists."

His friend, fellow cyclist Ken Ames said he also has problems with drivers not noticing him.

"I don't know if they don't see you, but they seem to have real poor vision when it comes to bicyclists," he said. "A typical ride might be five miles down Bascom Avenue, and you'll encounter maybe half-a-dozen times, somebody pulling into a driveway and cutting you off."

Prosecutors in the DA's office confirm that many people are biased against bicyclists and as jurors tend not to treat cyclists fairly.

All cyclists are encouraged to drive defensively and never assume the right of way.


Other News
  • The American Lung Association of San Francisco & San Mateo Counties is looking for volunteers to serve as course monitors, or provide SAG support, at its annual Bike for Breath fundraising ride on Saturday, July 10. Over 1,000 cyclists are expected to participate, and we need your energy, enthusiasm and invaluable assistance to support our riders as they pedal to raise funds for our fight against lung disease.

    Bike for Breath Logo

    We need dozens of course monitors, preferably people who are cyclists themselves, to help ensure the safety of our riders at tricky intersections. We have spots throughout San Mateo County that need monitors, and shifts can be 2 to 4 hours, depending on your availability and preference. In addition, we are looking for a few additional people to provide SAG support. Your generosity will be rewarded with a free Bike for Breath t-shirt, lunch and many smiles from our appreciative riders.

    Bike for Breath begins and ends at Applied Biosystems, 100 Lincoln Centre Drive, Foster City and takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on July 10. To sign up to be a course monitor or provide SAG support at Bike for Breath, visit, click on Bike for Breath - Peninsula, then choose Register to Volunteer. 
    Feel free to contact events manager Jill DiGiacomo at 650.994.5864 ext. 308 or with any questions. And thanks for considering volunteer opportunities at Bike for Breath!

  • The "One Less Car Bicycle Touring Club" is starting up.  For details, see their newsletter or email the founder.
  • City of San Mateo responded to Notice of Dangerous Condition in Shoreline Park. There are multiple barriers that provide very narrow gaps that are far smaller than that recognized as safe by Caltrans Design Standards.

  • CalTrans added 18 seconds to uphill signal timing on CA-84.  Rich Swent reports: Near milepost 10 on Highway 84, just above the town of La Honda, is a "temporary" one-lane section controlled by a stoplight. The light has been there since 1998 and will remain indefinitely. The green cycle was too short for uphill cyclists, who were often caught in the one lane section with oncoming cars getting a green light and driving towards them. I requested that CalTrans change the timing, and I got a call from Sam in the Signals Division today. He said that he has added 18 seconds to the uphill green cycle when the bicycle button has been pushed. The button is a standard pedestrian pushbutton that is mounted on a pole a few feet from the road. The timing will remain the same as in the past if the button is not pushed. If the light is already green and the button is pushed, the extra 18 seconds will be added to the following green cycle. To make sure that you get the extra green time you must push the button and wait for a fresh green light. Then you should have enough time to make it through safely. I was very pleased with the prompt and friendly response from CalTrans.

  • Help us get rid of dangerous reflector poles at Skyline Boulevard and  Skyridge Drive. We also want to be sure this type of negative traffic device does not proliferate elsewhere. Here is the info our President posted on the CalTrans web site Maintenance Service Request form. Please also submit a request and individualize if you can.

    • State Highway: 35
    • California County: San Mateo 
    • Town or City Nearest: South San Francisco
    • Nearest major cross street or overcrossing: Skyridge Dr.
    • Direction of Travel: Southbound
    • What time of day did you notice this problem?: (any time)
    • Please select the type of Maintenance Service from the drop down list: Striping or Reflector Markings
    • Please describe the geographic location and description of the problem: Presence of reflector poles between the through lane and the right turn lane is a hazard for cyclists because it forces us into the right turn lane where on-coming left turn traffic will not expect us or into the travel lane where the posted speed limit is 50 mph. This is a direct violation of DD-64.
    The location of this intersection is north of Westborough Boulevard between South San Francisco and Pacifica, not far from Milagra Ridge County Park.

  • Pictures from 2003 Fourth of July Parade on-line.
  • Report California Highway Hazards directly to CalTrans via their web site. Remember that El Camino Real (CA-82), Skyline Boulevard (CA-35), and Woodside Road (CA-84) are state highways maintained by CalTrans.

  • Friday Night Bike Ride is held on the third Friday of every month. Meet fellow cyclists at the San Mateo downtown Caltrain station at 6:30. We'll leave at 6:45 pm. This month we'll go over 19th Ave where San Mateo is adding bike lanes to the freeway overcrossing over to the bike path in Foster City and end up either in Belmont (Marvin Gardens) or Redwood City (City Pub) or other place depending on the consensus of whoever shows up. Friday Night Bike is a great way to meet other cyclists, find out about great commute routes, get free bike stickers and have fun riding your bike.

  • The San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury 2002 Report: Bicycle Safety is now available. The Grand Jury delivered a stinging indictment against the San Mateo County government and most of its city governments for failing to adequately support safe bicycle travel. From their conclusions:

    • "County, state, and federal grants for bicycle-friendly construction projects are available, yet the cities do not pursue them."
    • "There is no county-wide program to promote bicycle safety and travel routes."
    • "San Mateo County's Congestion Management Plan does not encourage the consideration of safe bicycle routes as part of new construction projects."
  • San Mateo County Supervisors honor Bike to Work Day. Download the resolution in a 94 kilobyte PDF file.

  • Bicycle & Pedestrian Incident Report is on line. If a bicyclist or pedestrian is involved in a collision, near-miss, or other type of incident in San Mateo or Santa Clara Counties, including solo incidents, please use this page to report it. The information will be collected and filed off-line for future use. It will not be stored on the website. If we can demonstrate a pattern developing or can identify a particular driver, we can better lobby the police or government to correct the problem. We are encouraging reports of ALL incidents, no matter how small. Please provide comments on how we can improve this service; contact Dani Weber, Tom Metcalf, or the webmaster. Thanks to Tom Metcalf for creating the report form.

  • Incident Report Flyer: Download it, print it, post it where bicyclists & pedestrians will read it.

  • Topica discussion group for PB&PC is on line. Subscribe!

  • Bicycle maps and transit info links updated.

  • Road hazard? Call it in! Here are the phone numbers.

  • North-South Bike Route Project

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  • The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition video "Riding Predictably" is a great introductory video for those who are new to urban riding or a worthwhile refresher for long-time bicycle commuters.  Their "Coexist Campaign" graphically redirects road rage away from motorists and bicyclists and toward the system that puts them in conflict.

  • CommuniCABO, the newsletter of the California Assocation of Bicycle Organizations is on line.

  • The Mountain View Community Services Agency sponsors a Bike Repair and Donation Program for needy families. Volunteers are needed to repair or assist with repairing bicycles. Tax deductible donations of children's bicycles are gladly accepted. Volunteer events are held on the second Saturday of each month from March to November at 2566 Leghorn St. behind BTN Automotive (formerly Pedro's Auto Clinic). For more information, contact Dave Fork at (650) 390-0667, or visit the web site.

  • San Francisco Bay Area accelerates bicycle & pedestrian projects. However, Deb Hubsmith, executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and spokeswoman for the Regional Bicycle Advocacy Coalition (REBAC) says only 0.6 percent of the Bay Area's transportation budget is devoted to bike and pedestrian projects. Census figures show that 3.7 percent of Bay Area commuters ride bikes or walk. Other studies show that 6 to 7 percent of all trips are by bike or on foot. And, Hubsmith said, bicyclists and pedestrians account for 21.5 percent of all traffic deaths. "We should be spending a lot more money to make this a safe means of transportation," she said. "When you ask people why they don't commute by bicycle more often, the number one reason is that they don't feel safe on our city streets."

  • Bay Area Velo Girls The Bay Area has a new cycling club for women and girls. Not racing, but a recreational club focused on fun, fitness, and friendship.

  • EasyRider; Five Car-Free Trails in San Mateo County

  • New Study Questions Safety of Wider, Faster Roads. Download the Adobe PDF file.

  • Making Walking and Cycling Safer: Lessons from Europe. Download the Adobe PDF file.

  • TooMany People? No. Too Many Cars!

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