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Cyclist dies after fall on Sand Hill Road

Original post made on Jul 31, 2007

Deborah Johnson, the 51-year-old Palo Alto woman who was hospitalized Sunday, July 22, after falling off her bike that afternoon on Sand Hill Road, died Tuesday, July 24, according to the Santa Clara County Coroner's Office.

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Comments (4)

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Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Jul 31, 2007 at 1:01 pm

"the speed of 85 percent of the traffic"

I wonder if bikes are considered in the speed study measurement? Bikes are treated as vehicles and subject to the same rules of the road. If so, the 85th percentile speed should go down somewhat after a new traffic study.

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Posted by Dan
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2007 at 5:54 am

The state code, definitions section, specifies factors which can be included in the "traffic survey" used to determine speed limits. "Bicyclist and pedestrian safety", the last element in the list, was recently added. The code is as follows:

627. (a) "Engineering and traffic survey," as used in this code,
means a survey of highway and traffic conditions in accordance with
methods determined by the Department of Transportation for use by
state and local authorities.
(b) An engineering and traffic survey shall include, among other
requirements deemed necessary by the department, consideration of all
of the following:
(1) Prevailing speeds as determined by traffic engineering
(2) Accident records.
(3) Highway, traffic, and roadside conditions not readily apparent
to the driver.
(c) When conducting an engineering and traffic survey, local
authorities, in addition to the factors set forth in paragraphs (1)
to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (b) may consider all of the
(1) Residential density, if any of the following conditions exist
on the particular portion of highway and the property contiguous
thereto, other than a business district:
(A) Upon one side of the highway, within a distance of a quarter
of a mile, the contiguous property fronting thereon is occupied by 13
or more separate dwelling houses or business structures.
(B) Upon both sides of the highway, collectively, within a
distance of a quarter of a mile, the contiguous property fronting
thereon is occupied by 16 or more separate dwelling houses or
business structures.
(C) The portion of highway is longer than one-quarter of a mile
but has the ratio of separate dwelling houses or business structures
to the length of the highway described in either subparagraph (A) or
(2) Pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The article is misleading, I feel.

Like this comment
Posted by Teddie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 1, 2007 at 10:11 pm

Am I missing something here? What does the 55 mph speed limit have to do with this tragic accident?

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen A
a resident of Woodside
on Aug 1, 2007 at 11:57 pm

That's right the 55mph speed limit has nothing to do with either fatality. With all due respects to the families of these people, I'll keep it short and say that one fatality was due a cyclist falling off of her bike. The other fatality was due to the cyclist making a U-turn in the road and being hit by a car going 35mph.

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