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Bikes as an IQ Test

Original post made by Moochie, Old Palo Alto, on Aug 14, 2013

Clearly many bikers don't know how to read. "Stop" means stop for all vehicles on Bryant St., including people riding bikes. And it appears that they can't read "Walk Bikes" posted prominently in the Cal Ave. pedestrian tunnel.

How hard is it?

Comments (43)

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Posted by parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2013 at 11:39 am

The "Speed Limit 25" signs should be obvious, but when was the last time you saw a car driver obeying them on a cross-town street?


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Posted by Moochie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

Let's stick to the subject. I'm not talking about cars. Besides, car drivers have the risk of getting tickets for speeding. When's the last time you saw a biker get a ticket for not obeying traffic laws?

[Portion removed.]


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 14, 2013 at 11:59 am

Big problem on Bryant is that there is construction and a very narrow path for bikes. How this will play out when school commute starts tomorrow is going to be very interesting.


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Posted by special
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

bikers rarely stop. The law does not apply, though they whine about drivers and laws.

They're 'special'.


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Posted by IQ goes down in Middle School!
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I find that the elementary students are very conscientious about following the rules of the road. Once kids get in middle school (and yes I can tell based on where they are headed on their bikes) they ride 3-4 across, text, talk on their phones and blow through stop signs. The worst ones are on Churchill intersections, the Paly kids totally ignore all the stop signs, particularly a problem at two-way stops.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm

They also take off from the train station on University through the tunnel and down the sidewalk on University Ave. They should be walking their bikes the whole way. I have no idea why they think that is fine. I have limited vision and it scares the heck out of me because I don't expect them to be there. A few years ago the downtown traffic cops cracked down and it stopped for a long time. The fine is significant. They practically get in fistfights to get on the train and have actually held up the train because of fighting for space at 22nd in SF. Most bicyclists are considerate and follow the rules but there are some that give them all a bad name.


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Posted by Blame Larry
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm

The huge construction project and its frequent road blocks ( the project near Calif Ave) has been going on for nearly five years. I am sure the school kids are used to it by now, although the parents sure are sick of it.

Rumor has it that it is Larry Page's one-acre estate, and that he keeps firing architects, hence the years-long project


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 15, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I think the average person in Palo Alto and maybe even the whole bay area can figure out how to "informally" modify traffic protocol so that those car drivers that want to can wave bikers through or just slow down when they see them beginning to cross after safely looking around. Yes, Bikers often do forget to completely look safely around, but we do not have very many bike/car incidents that follow the pattern of a biker not stopping for a stop sign or red light.

The over-simplistic rules we have now for traffic aren't being followed, people push the rules until there is a problem ... so what is the problem here except there are a few people who do not like to allow bike riders to get ahead of them. I think that's funny because having a bicyclist right of way like we have a pedestrian right of way is probably the best way to ensure motorists do follow rules and drive safe, putting more onus on the motorists.

Clearly we have a similar problem with pedestrians but people do not complain like bike riders. I see pedestrians crossing where they should not much more often that I see bicyclists running stop signals. Or crossing against the light ... why are we not getting all legalistic with pedestrians?


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm


JUST TO REITERATE:

... having bicyclists get the right of way like we currently pedestrians getting the right of way is probably the best way to ensure motorists do follow rules and drive safer, because it puts more onus on the motorists.

I might feel safe to ride my bike in a city where bikes had the right of way and cars could do what they do anyway, but would be liable for running into pedestrians or bicyclists.

Right now I minimize my bike riding and go mainly off-road at the Baylands because it is the cars that are out of control - not the pedestrians or the bikes!


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Posted by Moochie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Bikers are vehicles. Period. They are supposed to follow the rules of the road. People don't complain about pedestrians because, well, peds don't feel as self-entitled as bikers frankly feel.

Even more evidence of bikes as an IQ test. What's this San Jose Bike Party that never goes to San Jose? Not only can they not read, they also don't know geography.

Hilarious.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I just got a message from the city that this San Jose bike thing will be coming through the city tomorrow evening. They recommend avoiding the road from 8 PM to midnight tomorrow!!!!!!! Especially middlefield, Oregon, alma and Univeristy!!!!! Sounds like these bikers are expected to,violate all traffic rules.
Seems to me that this will be a golden opportunity to,raise some revenue for the city-- mass arrests and confiscation of any offending vehicles, along with stiff fines for these two wheeled scofflaws.


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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Bicycles. The number one cause of injury accidents in the USA. If your toaster were as dangerous as a bicycle, the manufacturers would be put out of business, and the owners jailed.


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Posted by Michael
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:05 am

Outside Observer is bizarrely wrong. Bicycle accidents are not even in the top ten causes of injury, and is not for any age group other than for those 5-9 and 10-14 years old where they are #6 and #5 respectively. I don't suppose this post is about 5-14 year olds not following the law.

Web Link

You're entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.


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Posted by greenie biker
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:14 am

"Bicycle accidents are not even in the top ten causes of injury, "
unless you restrict the pool to Top Cause of Injuries to Bicycle Riders is

BICYCLES

Blow thru any stop signs lately?


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Posted by Stuart Berman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:31 am

I agree with "Parent" (11:39am) and Crescent Park Anon. I disagree with Moochie.

While some bike riders flaunt the law, others bend it to deal with the challenges of riding a bike in a road system that is designed to meet the needs of cars, not bicycles. Moochie obviously doesn't understand these challenges. I hope that the road systems and traffic laws of California will be changed at a faster rate to encourage more bike riding and less car driving. Our health and well being depend upon it.

P.S. I'm mainly a driver, but I ride whenever I can.

By the way, I suspect that these discussions would be more civil if commenters were required to post their names.


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Posted by LiketoBike
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

Palo Alto has one of the most active bicycle communities in the US, by far. Bikes aren't going away, they will continue to flourish thank heavens! Right now there are likely over 2300 student bicyclists commuting to Palo Alto schools every day (the numbers are available). Now pretend most or all are in their parents cars getting dropped off between 7:45am and 8:30am everyday. When you're through choking on the CO2 and screaming about the traffic then maybe you will see the light.


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Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Still waiting. Yep. STILLLLL waiting. Still waiting for someone to take up the challenge of filming the same number of cars running stop signs/red lights as there are bikes.

Go ahead. Cell phone, DSLR with video, dedicated video camera. Find an intersection in Palo Alto where you can record more cars than bikes running a stop sign. I'll give you some suggestions.... Sand Hill Rd near Ronald McDonald House. Or Vi (formerly Hyatt)

Get out there smarty pants car haters! Get out there, and record on video, more cars than bikes running red lights and stop signs. Turn on your gear, hit record, let it run and lets see who runs the most reds and stop signs. Come on....put your money where your mouth is. Step up. Bring it on. Go for it.

I eagerly await your submisions. Put em you tube or face book, flickr, wherever.


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Posted by Scary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:31 pm

These posts scare me. I thought P.A. was supposed to be a progressive green town that encouraged biking and public transportation for environmental reasons. I love to bike but gave it up due to all of the angry anti bike motorists out there. Too risky.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm

"CrescentParkAnon" -- Initially I thought your posts were a joke. Instead their logic is evidence of a very depressing sense of entitlement. Arguing that breaking the law is ok because others do it is really childish. Maybe just more tickets should be written to lawbreakers.

As a disabled person who was almost hit in the crosswalk by an entitled bicyclist who just couldn't wait for the light to change (and months later was almost mowed down by a cyclist using a downtown sidewalk to avoid the lights) -- I strongly object to your "over simplistic
RULES" logic.

Clearly you are ignoring the Sf case where a bicyclist killed an elderly man crossing the street. He was found guilty, but even though his prison sentence was suspended he will pay in a civil case.

"Informally modify traffic protocol"? Oh my god. The bicycle laws totally make sense. Wish the scofflaws would get ticketed.

to "Scary" who thinks asking bike riders to obey the law is not consistent with "a progressive green town." I am a strong environmentalist who wishes more people would ride bikes, but I wish they would do it safely and lawfully. That's not a lot to ask.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

> Moochie, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood,
> Bikers are vehicles. Period. They are supposed to follow the rules of the road. People don't complain about pedestrians because, well, peds don't feel as self-entitled as bikers frankly feel.

- Bikers are not motor vehicles.
- Bikers currently have their own set of rules to follow that are not the same as motor vehicles.
- Some "pedestrians" are actually motorized, with wheelchairs and such, and some people without bikes still move fast and use the road such as skaters and scooters.
- Pedestrians surely seem to feel even more entitled to be in the road and force cars to stop. Guess you don't drive much and you sure don't drive to Whole Foods.

Rules for rules sakes that don't work need to be looked at, that is all I am suggesting. If people complaining are doing so because they personally do not like bikers that is not enough of a reason to talk about. If there is a real safety problem with bikers, then it should be brought out, defined and discussed.

If bikers were given more of a legal right or way like pedestrians I surmise the indirect effect would be that cars would have to start driving more safely, so mull that over for a bit between complaints. ;-)


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm

> neighbor, a resident of another community
> "CrescentParkAnon" -- Initially I thought your posts were a joke. Instead their logic is evidence of a very depressing sense of entitlement. Arguing that breaking the law is ok because others do it is really childish.

I am not really arguing that breaking the law is ok because others do it, that is your false argument to make my intelligent nuances argument sound trivial, which it is not. Turning another person's reasoned peaceful comment into a distorted joke instead of calming and rationally discussing it, is what is childish.

How do you think the law or anything else evolves, neighbor, the things that do not work eventually get to the point where something is done about them.

The fact is that bicycles are not in any kind of accidents or safety issues in proportion to the number of stop signals they roll through safely. The issue here is more people will ride their bikes and see bicycle riding as an alternative if it is safer and quicker for all - so anything we can discuss that does that is reasonable to discuss. I am not joking and I am not demanding, I'm just asking you think about it.

It would make car drivers more careful to have to yield the right or way to bicyclists i certain cases, that would help everyone. I am not personally invested in this because I do not ride my bike on the street very often, I ride off the street because I think cars do not drive safely any more - that is, cars and drviers' entitlement mentality are the problem.


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Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm

A couple of facts:

1) According to California law - "Bicycle riders and automobile drivers follow the same rules and have the same rights. Example: Cars must stop at a stop sign, and bicycles must stop at a stop sign. Always ride with traffic. Bicyclists must travel in the same direction as cars."

Web Link

2) If a car and a bicycle collide, the bike will lose. Big time.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

> Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community,
> Bicycles. The number one cause of injury accidents in the USA.

Hahaha, is that even true ... what statistic are you citing please?
You might look on You-Tube to know why that might be. People do amazing stupid things on their bicycles - but here we are talking about people who use their bikes responsibly for traveling on city streets to their home, school or work.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm

> Palo Alto Parent said
> According to California law - "Bicycle riders and automobile drivers follow the same rules and have the same rights.

Palo Alto parent, that is an over-generalization, try driving your car in a bike lane.
What is written on a website about CA law is not in fact CA law.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Here is a link to a website with all kinds of accidentally fatal injuries ... bicycling does not show up on it anywhere?

Web Link


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Posted by Driver/Biker
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Whether I am in a car or on a bike, I operate on the assumption that I will yield to the person who is putting out more energy to travel. This does not mean I assume others feel this way and it does not mean I advocate running stop signs (I never run red lights). But it means that if the other person has to work harder to get around, I will yield the right of way to that person. When on a bike, I always intend to stop, unless the driver waves me on. If there are no other vehicles or pedestrians at the intersection, then I will ride on through. I don't think this is being obtuse or aggressive, just practical.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities (under the section of CVC governing the rules of the road) of the operator of a vehicle, not a motor vehicle. There are significant differences in the laws governing vehicles and motor vehicles, but the distinction is often overlooked.

The umber of people killed by cars dwarfs the number killed by bikes. The fact that a bicyclist killed a pedestrian in SF is big news because of its rarity, like a "man bites dog" story.


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Posted by I stop at stop signs
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I'm a bicyclist, and I always stop at STOP signs whether I am driving my car or my bicycle. I think there are plenty of good citizens and scofflaws amongst both bicyclists and drivers. We'd all be safer if we ALL just followed the rules of the road and shared this community space with civility.



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Posted by No its not true
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm

>> Bicycles. The number one cause of injury accidents in the USA.

>Hahaha, is that even true ... what statistic are you citing please?

No its not true, some posters seem to like to misrepresent data
If I recall right its bathtubs.
However most injuries and deaths in a vehicle setting are car vs car.


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Posted by Moochie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm

If it were only true that bikers mostly follow signs. Just spend time around the California Ave. pedestrian tunnel to see that the bikers trying to ride around people walking vs. actually walking their bike.

Shocking. Or idiotic.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Speaking of low IQs, I saw some baby Einsteins blowing through stop signs today. They finally decided to pause when faced w/oncoming traffic which had the right of way. These were middle school students.

And further speaking of IQs, why would *anyone* decide cycling on Alma was a good idea?


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Posted by Scott McMahon
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Here's my topic. PA Weekly Town Forum Editor as IQ Test.

Since when did this news organization, for which I once had respect, become the forum for troll-bait topics like this and anonymous posters like "Moochie?" I am very disappointed.


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Posted by Moochie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 17, 2013 at 10:15 am

CrescentParkAnon - from the California DMV website (which one can assume is an accurate statement of California laws)

"Bicycle riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and are subject to the same rules and regulations. Refer to the California Driver Handbook to become familiar with these rules."


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Posted by jb
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Palo Alto Parent is right. If you are on a bike on the roadway, you are a car and subject to the rules of the road for autos.

In Palo Alto I think children are permitted to ride on the sidewalk, keeping to the side of the road where traffic travels in the direction they want to go.

If you are teaching a child to ride a bike to school, it is a wonderful opportunity to begin introducing your child to the Calif. Automobile Code.

When they ride in a bike lane they must ride in the direction of the auto traffic.

When a car aims to make a right turn it must move into the bike lane across the dashed boundary line that marks the bike lane near the corner. Watch for this!

Everyone must stop at stop signs.

Etc, Etc, Etc.

Happy, safe riding! And enjoy this early introduction to the rules they will need to master when they begin to drive an automobile.


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Posted by No its not true
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2013 at 10:59 pm

"n Palo Alto I think children are permitted to ride on the sidewalk, keeping to the side of the road where traffic travels in the direction they want to go."

Actually you can ride in either direction and you dont have to be a child. The city is allowed to restrict that with local laws and you can see in the muni code where they have.


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Posted by crazy
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 19, 2013 at 10:02 am

"Everyone must stop at stop signs. ... And enjoy this early introduction to the rules they will need to master when they begin to drive an automobile."

It isn't kids I usually see breaking the law and zipping through stop signs - it's adults.

They are participating in the concept of evolutionary culling of the herd. Then after they get hit or have to swerve they whine about car drivers, if they survived.

crazy!


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

> Then after they get hit or have to swerve they whine about car drivers, if they survived.

Really, what is the data on bicyclists hit by cars over the last 5 years?

I'd be there are practically none, and that of the very few there are I'd further bet that a very small number of them are the bicyclists fault from running a stop signal or some sort.

Where's the data?


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Posted by Reasonable Person
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Clearly the most reasonable comments here are coming from those who regularly bike AND drive...

-There are times when coming to a complete stop at a stop sign is MORE dangerous for a biker than riding through (but being very careful as they do).

-Generally speaking, a bike should act like a pedestrian (walking the bike) on a sidewalk and like a car (obeying laws of the road) when on the streets.

-The main issue, as I see it, is that some people are simply not considerate.

It frustrates a little me when I am out riding my bike, trying to operate as a car driver at an intersection, with car drivers waving me past when I expect them to take their proper turn. But since they are waving me through, I know it is safe to proceed out of turn. What bothers me much more, however, is when car drivers don't even consider that a bike may be on their right, in the bike lane, as they make a sharp right-hand turn at an intersection.

Car drivers should understand that bikes are usually slower to get started from a full stop than a car, so should not be treated exactly as a car. But when a biker has no bike lane option on a street where signs clearly say "Share the Road," car drivers should only pass the bike in the same lane when it is safe to do so.

Bikers should be considerate of car drivers, too. If a bike pulls out in front of a car to "take the lane," that biker had better be going fairly quickly. And bikers should NOT assume that car drivers stopped at an intersection are fine with the bikes flying through without stopping.

We should all be considerate of others on the roads, and sidewalks. We are all in this together. Let's make the most of it... ;-)


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Posted by crazy
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Auto drivers that run stop signs say this?

"There are times when coming to a complete stop at a stop sign is MORE dangerous for a (CAR) than riding through (but being very careful as they do)."

Crazy.

You know damn well we're talking about bikers that fly through stop signs.


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Posted by No it's not true
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Crazy,

Who are you quoting? Only quote like that said "biker", not CAR.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Reasonable Person ...
> It frustrates a little me when I am out riding my bike, trying to operate as a car driver at an intersection, with car drivers waving me past when I expect them to take their proper turn.

I almost always do this when a bicyclist is close to the stop sign and I can make eye contact with them. I don't see the harm and I don't see why you would be "frustrated" by not having to stop and then build up your momentum again.

Please explain that frustration? Do you think your frustration should end that courtesy to all bike riders? You think no one should ever wave a cyclist through an intersection?

When I am a pedestrian I get a little bugged when I come to a corner and am just standing there are cars are waving me to walk through. If I want to walk though I will either stand at the curb or put my foot out on the street. Most of the time I would prefer cars to go because I know they can get out of my way faster than I can get out of theirs. Mostly because when I am walking in front of a car, unlike some people I am trying to walk as fast as possible to avoid inconveniencing them. I don't like it when people walk so slow in front of me when I am driving.


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Posted by Moochie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Hey bikers - it's not about cars. It's about how you act around pedestrians. Your obsession with cars is understandable, but completely off topic.

Walk your bikes in the California Avenue Tunnel. Read the signs.


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