News


Motorcycle vs. bicycle collision sends one to hospital

Police blocked eastbound traffic on Page Mill Road

A bicyclist suffered major injuries in a collision with a motorcyclist on Page Mill Road in Palo Alto Friday morning, police said.

The collision happened in the 1500 block of Page Mill Road around 9 a.m., when a man on his bicycle was heading west on Page Mill and turned in south towards a business, when he was struck by a motorcyclist heading east, police Sgt. Brian Philip said.

Witnesses reported the motorcyclist was splitting lanes prior to the collision, Philip said.

The bicyclist was transported to Stanford Hospital for major injuries, Philip said.

The motorcyclist, who had minor injuries, wasn't hospitalized and spoke with officers at the scene, Philip said.

Both men were both wearing helmets at the time of the collision, according to Philip.

No one has been arrested or cited for the collision as police conduct an investigation to determine who's at fault, the sergeant said.

Eastbound Page Mill Road was blocked between Peter Coutts Road and Hanover Street while the investigation was underway from about 9:30 a.m. to 2:10 p.m., police said on Twitter.

Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

19 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 8, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Is lane splitting legal through intersections or major driveways?


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2017 at 12:48 pm

This is sad for many reasons and I hope we get to hear who was at fault.


20 people like this
Posted by rezidenT
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm

@Resident - Hope everyone is OK! The cyclist was turning left into a driveway and got hit by the oncoming motorcycle. Left turners who get hit are almost always at fault (there is no stop sign or red light at issue here). Whether the motorcyclist were splitting lanes is irrelevant because it is legal to split lanes. Yes, even across driveways....


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2017 at 1:15 pm

It is not illegal. There are guidelines issued by the DMV/CHP that really just say not to do so when it is dangerous:

Web Link

>Creating a safer highway environment is the shared responsibility of drivers and motorcyclists alike. This is achieved by staying alert and using common sense and courtesy while on the road. It is also important for motorcyclists to minimize their risks by riding responsibly, always wearing a helmet and other protective gear and to never ride under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. Here are other important safety reminders:

When i took the MSF course we were taught to only split when safe, no more than 10 mph above the flow of traffic and only between lanes that were under the same rules , meaning not between lanes flowing in different directions as with single lane roads or between the diamond and non-diamond lanes.

I am not sure about the details about the accident today, but the area blocked off this is prone to problems. On the downhill portion of Page Mill around the HP lot it is common practice, for cars and motorcyclists alike, to use the bike lane for early access to the right turn onto Hanover. I have seen and experienced nearly being run down on that corner when merging in at the 100 foot mark. It can be a very scary turn.


15 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 8, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Page Mill was closed for hours. Yet the Palo Alto PD didn't even direct or divert traffic. Huge snarl. Big fail by PAPD


4 people like this
Posted by Helen
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 8, 2017 at 5:13 pm

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by Mac Clayton
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 8, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Helen,

The cyclist is in the hospital with major injuries and you think that is a good moment to scold cyclists for being inconsiderate?Whatever happened, whomever was at fault, this seems like a time for sorrow, not scorn.


14 people like this
Posted by Why do you think so?
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 8, 2017 at 5:24 pm

TO MARK:

What are you saying??

I was driving on Page Mill at 9:20 am and can confirm that Palo Alto policemen WERE directing and diverting traffic.


6 people like this
Posted by Helen
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 8, 2017 at 5:55 pm

[Post removed.]


28 people like this
Posted by Alice
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 8, 2017 at 9:29 pm

I think the splitting lanes law is idiotic.
Splitting lanes is an accident waiting to happen.... usually it endangers the motorcyclist and puts them at risk of injury.
It just happened he ran into a bike rather than another car/truck.

I've seen motorcyclists split a lane.. and almost be hit by a car doing a lane change unaware a motorcycle is going down the split lane from behind.

This is a law that needs to be outlawed


1 person likes this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 8, 2017 at 9:45 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Alice - "almost be hit by a car doing a lane change unaware" and you are mad at the motorcyclist, not the unaware driver?


34 people like this
Posted by Drive for a living
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2017 at 10:20 pm

At least once a week, I have a near miss with an unaware bicyclists and/or pedestrian. Today as I was making a left from San Antonio onto Foothill Expressway two bicyclists ran the red on Foothill. I thought I was going to hit them, It scared the heck out of me. Three days ago,as I was traveling up Page Mill to look at a job. I encountered bicycles riding three abreast as I was coming around a blind corner! Every one of these riders were wearing expensive tour de France type gear, and were riding $5000 bikes. This indicates to me that they are all highly educated. So why do these folks disregard vehicle law? I feel bad for the injured bicyclist, but what about the motorcyclist? I am sure he feels terrible about the accident also, and it was most likely not his fault.. We need more enforcement, and unfortunately, more education for these folks.

How does the saying go?

"Here lies the body of William Jay
Who died maintaining his right of way -
He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
But he's just as dead as if he were wrong.'


18 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2017 at 7:45 am

I commend people who commute using a bicycle to get exercise in the morning.
However, the local government has an obsession with getting people to ride bikes because of climate change alarmism. The environmentally-friendly righteousness gives them a holier-than-thou mentality and that is why they constantly roll stop signs and run red lights.
Moreover, so many of these cyclists are not commuting. They are sporting on the road that us mortals need to get to work on time. I often wonder what the spandex-clad calf modelers are doing sporting on the road at 1 PM on a Tuesday. I see them all over Portola Valley especially, and they are starting to dominate Stanford. Don't these people have work to do? Dio they have flexible schedules? Smart investments? Venture capitalists?

Encouraging more people to use bicycles will make more bicycle accidents likely. Cycling on roads used by rush hour commuters is fundamentally dangerous.
All transport forms should be treated neutrally, without one being prioritized over the other for ideological reasons.



6 people like this
Posted by Hans
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 9, 2017 at 10:27 am

It may be irrelevant to this accident, but it's clear there is no shortage of both unsafe driving and bicycle riding practices that contribute to making bicycling more dangerous. I can't count the number of times I've seen car drivers illegally make right turns across bicycle lanes (they should be in the bicycle lane!), typically also without signaling. I also can't count the number of times I've seen bicyclists do stupid things, like biking in the street on the wrong side of the road, or biking at night without a headlight (which I think is legal, but shouldn't be).

My only (thankfully extremely minor) collision as a bicyclist with a car happened when I was rear-ended biking very slowly (and I believe legally) on the sidewalk, by a car making a sloppy illegal U-turn. The driver didn't notice.


10 people like this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 9, 2017 at 2:34 pm

My thoughts go out to the cyclist and his family, and I hope that the injured person will get better. It must be so frightening to be a victim of a traffic accident.

I have always been amazed by what motorcyclists are allowed to do on the road. I have been tremendously startled by motorcyclists suddenly darting between fast going cars, obviously going even faster than the cars.

I truly believe that if you are a part of the general traffic, whether you are a driver of a car, a motor biker, a cyclist, or even a walker, you need to adhere to highest rule of the land. Splitting lanes is tremendously dangerous, and there is no reason why it should not be forbidden. Just make it a traffic rule.


7 people like this
Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2017 at 9:51 pm

@Drive for a Living, if you are driving on a road with blind turns then you need to drive at a speed that allows you to react safely to what you find around the blind turn. Whether it is bicyclists, deer, downed trees or anything else, you are responsible for driving at a speed that allows you to react safely to whatever conditions are on the road in front of you. When I drive on Page Mill, I drive as if there is a slow bicyclist around every turn. Usually there is not, but when there is I have no problem reacting safely. There are plenty of warnings that there are bicyclists on the road, so there is no excuse for not being prepared for them.


23 people like this
Posted by Drive for a living
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2017 at 6:59 pm

@ Donald

Hey Don, I was doing 20 MPH!!!!! Coming up on Villa de Venta.....Stop trying to make us look like the bad guy.For the blatent incompetence of the majority of bicyclists that feel that they are entitled.

BTW. Back in the late eighties, I used to ride bicycle from South Palo Alto, up Old La Honda to Sky Line and back, at least four times a week.I am Pro- Bicycle, not Pro Idiot. Unfortunatly, I was not blessed with being a Venture capitalist, tech guy with early retirement,Trustafarian (trust funder)ect.... I have to work for a living. I am one of the blue collar guys that actually keeps the Valley moving. So do your part, if you do not have to be on the road for work, get out of the way. The majority of residents agree.9




How does the saying go?

Over educated, under intelligent.


9 people like this
Posted by missed the mark
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2017 at 9:13 pm

Sorry, bro, thats not how it works. just cause your driving for work doesn't mean everyone else should get out of your way. the public roads are open for anyone, and it doesn't matter why they are there. talk about entitled!


9 people like this
Posted by Louise68
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 10, 2017 at 11:04 pm

It is very sad that that bicyclist apparently made a very bad decision and thus got badly hurt. I hope he makes a speedy and complete recovery.

This is just one more example of how very, very dangerous it always is for any bicyclist to ever ride on any road used by motor vehicles. I am absolutely amazed and pleased that a lot of bicyclists do not get hurt every day. But the lack of frequent injuries to bicyclists when they are involved in collisions with motor vehicles does not mean that biking is safe or a good idea. It is not.

Do you bicyclists really think that you have some kind of force field around you that makes you completely invulnerable to getting hurt if you are in a collision with a motor vehicle? You seem to act like it.

Even an ordinary sedan weighs around 10 times what a bicyclist plus his or her bike weighs. And there is no magic force field protecting a bicyclist from injury in a collision with a motor vehicle, so, in any such a collision, it is always the bicyclist who is always going to get hurt, and probably very badly. Which is sad.

As I like to say, the paws of physics are eternal and merciless. Ignore them at your own peril. The rule should be that the heaviest vehicle must always have the right of way because it is always going to take the longest amount of time to stop.

"Drives for a living" --
I appreciate your point of view, but one thing jumps out at me: you said you used to ride you bicycle on the sidewalk. That is simply far too dangerous to pedestrians, and should be illegal because of that. Nothing with wheels -- except wheelchairs and walkers and strollers and baby buggies -- should ever be allowed on any sidewalks. NO exceptions. Pedestrians deserve to know that it will always be safe to walk on sidewalks, and that they will never be in danger of being knocked down by people on skateboards or scooters or bicycles.

Safety must be the top priority for all government entities at all levels -- always, not giving in to every demand made by an aggressive group of recreational bicyclists who act as though they are immune to the laws of physics.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:34 am

"Drive for a living" wrote...

"I am one of the blue collar guys that actually keeps the Valley moving."

Don't worry, they're working on replacing you with self-driving cars anyways...


23 people like this
Posted by Splitting Headache
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Sep 11, 2017 at 9:47 am

Picture both east bound lanes backed up. The drivers leave a gap at the driveway and a bicyclist thinks it's clear to turn because the cars are stopped. Perhaps he even makes eye contact with the automobile drivers he is cutting across in front of.
As he turns, a lane splitting motorcyclist who likely didn't see the bicycle, pops out from between the lines of cars and hits the bicyclist.
hmmm.


Posted by Aletheia
a resident of Green Acres

on Sep 11, 2017 at 11:30 am

Aletheia is a registered user.


Remember me?
Forgot Password?
Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


6 people like this
Posted by Stew Pid
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

@Why do you think so?

Where you say: "I was driving on Page Mill at 9:20 am and can confirm that Palo Alto policemen WERE directing and diverting traffic."

May be they were at that time. They weren't later and the road was closed until after 2pm. When I drove by at 1:45pm, there were ZERO officers directing traffic. And NO signs west of Foothill warning about the road closure ahead on Page Mill. And there were people who went over the median and drove on the wrong side of the road to get around the traffic jam.

So, the lesson here is that just because the PAPD were directing traffic when YOU went by, doesn't mean that they were doing that all the time. So please retrieve your head.


14 people like this
Posted by Share the road safely.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 11, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Share the road safely. is a registered user.

No one knows the details of this collision. The report is pretty vague on a lot of points. A person involved was badly hurt. I hope we will be kinder with each other.

I hope we will acknowledge that streets are for PEOPLE to get around--whether they are walking or bicycling or motoring. We all need to look out for the other people with whom we share the road. We can comply with the law, and be attentive to the needs of others.

Please, let's be more thoughtful of each other on the road and on Palo Alto Online. We create the society we live in each day with the choices we make and the behavior we model for others. If you want safer streets, behave legally and considerately out there. BE a leader of the best kind.


10 people like this
Posted by Drive for a living....and little bit more.
a resident of another community
on Sep 11, 2017 at 8:43 pm

@ mixed the mark

Until bicycles pay there fair share of registration fees,then yea, motor vehicle operators are more entitled to the road way.

@ Resident of Midtown

"Don't worry, they're working on replacing you with self-driving cars anyways...

Honestly, I am not to worried, most the time, the college educated folks cannot find a utility line for the life of them. I cannot wait for am automated machine to try and locate a gas line, and ooops!! San Bruno pipeline explosion all over again!!!.

So in the meantime.. Get out of the way.


2 people like this
Posted by Drive for a living
a resident of another community
on Sep 11, 2017 at 9:24 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Tim
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 12, 2017 at 7:36 am

"Until bicycles pay there fair share of registration fees,then yea, motor vehicle operators are more entitled to the road way. "

Not according to the law. You can pretend you know better, but you'll be wrong.

BTW... on lane splitting. The law says only up to 35 mph and no more than 5 mph faster than surrounding traffic. Both of these are generally ignored by riders, and the second is important to avoid conflicts with cars changing lanes as others have pointed out.


Like this comment
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 12, 2017 at 10:01 am

Did you know that California is the only state which allows legal lane splitting for motorcycle riders? However, the first practical tip for Rider Safety states: "Make sure nearby drivers are aware of your presence." It appears that the cyclist was not, which does put some responsibility on the motorcycle rider.

Here is a good article:

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Scotty the Boot
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 12, 2017 at 11:45 am

A) you WILL get hit by a car if you ride a bicycle anywhere in the peninsula. Wayyyy to many entitled inexperienced drivers driving around.

B) Lane splitting is totally legal in CA. If lane splitters bother you then you're probably not fit to be driving on the CA roadways.


4 people like this
Posted by Drive for a living
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2017 at 3:52 pm

There is still hope! Today I witnessed a guy riding his bicycle,the way a vehicle should be operated. He merged left using his proper hand signals, stayed in the right hand side of the left turning Lane, made eye contact with other drivers. When the light turned green he did not dilly- dally, after crossing the intersection he stayed on the right hand side of the road, And NEVER once impeded traffic. How refreshing . I hope whatever job that he was traveling to will not be replaced by automation..,.More than likely it will be.


Like this comment
Posted by Whoa
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 14, 2017 at 3:13 am

In this case, "Lane Splitting" almost certainly means "passing" the car traveling the
speed limit. So the motorcycle would have been speeding. If the car obscured
the motorcyclist from the visibility of the cyclist until he came around the car,
he's not at fault for turning.

If the motorcycle was speeding, doesn't that change things? If the motorcycle suddenly
appeared nearly in the shoulder in the oncoming direction, he would have struck
the bicyclist just as he entered the driveway. What if the motorcycle actually
was out of the lane? This is a one lane road in each direction. It's not really
very possible to split a lane like that, safely.


9 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 14, 2017 at 11:05 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Whoa - Not sure what road you are thinking of, but Page Mill is a four lane, divided road. You aren't making a safe assumption the motorcycle was speeding either. At 9AM traffic going east on Page Mill is often slow or at a standstill as people commute into PA.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Su Hong Palo Alto's last day of business will be Sept. 29
By Elena Kadvany | 20 comments | 6,207 views

Firing Judge Persky as a tennis coach was a big mistake
By Diana Diamond | 23 comments | 2,222 views

Premarital, Women Over 50 Do Get Married
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,956 views

Electric Buses: A case study
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,812 views

Natural Wines?
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,731 views

 

THREE WEEKS TO GO!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Register now