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Injury collision blocks segment of El Camino Real

Original post made on Jun 18, 2018

An injury collision involving a bicycle and a car has blocked a section of northbound El Camino Real in Palo Alto since late this morning.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 18, 2018, 12:12 PM

Comments (35)

Posted by resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 18, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Best wishes to the victim. Unfortunately, there are no good bicycle routes through this part of town. Bicyclists are forced to squeeze between distracted speeding drivers and parked cars that open their doors without looking, or ride on the sidewalk.


Posted by Super Sad and Shaken
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 18, 2018 at 1:41 pm


I was there. Still kind of shaking. At first I thought it was groceries in the middle of the road but then realized it was a body. Not many days do you see a body laying unconscious in the middle of El Camino Real. Bike about 10 feet from her. No helmet on her head but someone may have taken it off. Looked like she was a young teenage girl. She wasn't moving when I was there. Several people trying to help before the ambulance got there. Really hope she is all right. It just looked super serious for that little girl. I so hope I'm wrong.


Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 18, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Treasure Island Stamps and Coins and Nouvelle Bridal Boutique are two business that will be replaced by Palo Alto Housing's "Wilton Court" project exactly at this location.

David Leblanc was killed in the cross walk on El Camino just a short distance away last August:

Web Link


Posted by Super Sad and Shaken
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 18, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Not sure if this matters but someone moved the bike off the road and then decided against that and went and put it back. This was before any ambulances, police, fire trucks. Probably doesn't matter.


Posted by resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 18, 2018 at 2:10 pm

@Super Sad and Shaken - I hope the witnesses told the police investigators what they saw. Location of the bicycle is important evidence about what happened.


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 18, 2018 at 2:42 pm

I was driving on the other side of El Camino Real after this happened, not sure how long after. I looked across and saw a bike and the Subaru and police. Didn’t take time to try to see any victims.
Near me on ECR were several absolutely massive dirt hauling trucks. Just being in an ordinary car, it is difficult to drive nearby. I worry if people try to cross ECR, even in a crosswalk, via bike or walking, with these beasts roaring along.
On the accident side, there was a mobile home being moved (it was delayed, obviously). A busy traffic scene, both sides, I was fortunate to be in a lane that moved ahead.
Thanks to police for clearly handling this scene well. Hope the victim(s) are ok.


Posted by Rob
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 18, 2018 at 3:04 pm

praying that everyone involved is okay.


Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 18, 2018 at 3:09 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2018 at 4:46 pm

I hope the young biker recovers quickly.

I am looking forward to discovering more about this accident.


Posted by Local
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 18, 2018 at 7:11 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 18, 2018 at 7:14 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 18, 2018 at 8:31 pm

A big part of the blame goes to city of PA. We all know drivers are in hurry, texting, etc. and we can’t change that, so why is there a crosswalk without a light anywhere on El Camino??? If there’s a crosswalk on el camino there should be a light.


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 18, 2018 at 9:20 pm

That crosswalk is by far the most dangerous in Palo Alto. If the city was going to implement something this absurd, it should at a bare bare minimum have installed those flashing lights that light up the perimeter of the walkway to visually alert drivers. Drive down Shoreline in Mountain View near El Camino for an example of how to do this type of crosswalk right. I agree with the above commenter. Would much rather not have these non-aognalized walkways on El Camino, but if they must exist, make it safe for pedestrians and drivers alike.


Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 18, 2018 at 9:24 pm

I was just pushed off the road by a truck and took a tumble on Arasterdero near the reserve on Friday. Fortunately, I was not injured (at least no hospital visits needed), unfortunately, the truck ran away. There were two witnesses but no one can recall the license plate. I start video recording all of my bike rides very next day. I never thought this would be necessary in this city. But this is The reality — drivers just don’t care.


Posted by Robert Neff
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 19, 2018 at 12:01 am

Robert Neff is a registered user.

Caltrans controls El Camino Real. Pedestrian fatalities happen all the time on El Camino, from Burlingame to San Jose. One last year in Palo Alto, one over the weekend in Sunnyvale.
Good news! There is a new safety program from Caltrans to install 4 or 5 HAWK crossing signals at peds crossing of El Camino in Palo Alto, including near this intersection. These are already installed in Atherton and Santa Clara on El Camino, and they are planning quite a few more from Palo Alto to Sunnyvale. So CalTrans, finally, in 2018, has decided to get serious about pedestrian safety when crossing El Camino.


Posted by PatrickD
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 19, 2018 at 5:09 am

Feel terrible for the young woman. It is possible to wiggle around Whitsell/Magnolia/Military, but as another poster said, there isn't a great way to access the stores here on ECR on bicycle. The plans for fixing up this part of town never left the drawing board.


Posted by Local
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2018 at 9:33 am

@PatrickD,
Be careful about plans to fix anything. The overdevelopment Council will spend a lot of money to make things more dangerous. The overdevelopment majority on Council will want to make it look like they did something on paper so they can proceed with some other unsafe overdevelopment plan.

Are they still able to take finder's fees without any repercussions? How is that legal? It gives them an incentive to later push through developments that may be unwise and unsafe. And to make large expenditures on what are unsafe roadscape window dressing so they can justify further overdevelopment despite the existing safety issues.

My heart goes out to this girl. Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.


Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 19, 2018 at 9:36 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by Judith Wasserman
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 19, 2018 at 10:31 am

Judith Wasserman is a registered user.

@Hmmm - Please read the article before commenting. She was NOT riding on El Camino. she was trying to cross it.


Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2018 at 10:47 am

There are so many poor drivers and poor bicyclists around town that it won't surprise me at all when we discover who was at fault in this.

Saying that, as others have said above, crossing ECR is one of the hardest things to do regardless of whether in a car, on a bike or walking. Along with the train tracks, we are bisected by a difficult corridor with inadequate crossings. Our city transport crew seem to make more difficulties rather than easing traffic problems to create better traffic flow.

We need better crossings that make sense rather than the present mayhem.

We need some peak time traffic lights that can be turned off when not necessary. We need some better lit crossings with embedded flashing lights to enable pedestrians to cross busy streets. We need more crackdown on bikes that don't obey signals, stop signs, or do other unsafe practices. We need some bike only traffic lights that give bikes a better ability to cross when there is no other traffic. We need more methods of getting around town which can get our students to schools and commuters to Caltrain. We need to manage incoming commuters better by providing parking lots at offramps with dedicated shuttles to prevent these commuters needing to drive around town. We need to acknowledge that traffic is a problem that needs solutions rather than roadblocks and calming.

This accident is really just a tip of iceberg. It is unfortunate and I am so sorry to see that someone got hurt. However, there are so many near misses every day where so many of us are "just lucky" not to be involved in something more serious. Our city has to wake up to the fact that all they are doing is moving deckchairs on the Titanic when it comes to traffic planning at present.


Posted by This is on Cal Trans
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2018 at 11:23 am

Cal Trans has already had two significant (multi-million dollar) judgements against it, with respect to the uncontrolled crosswalks along El Camino Real. These were the first ever judgements against the Cal Trans in these types of cases. Cal Trans is appealing at least one of the verdicts.

Cal Trans knows for a fact that unsignalized crosswalks along El Camino Real present a significant safety hazard, in part because of the false sense of security they provide the individual in the crosswalk - when in fact those crosswalks are an ongoing hazardous condition that Cal Trans is choosing to ignore, while people continue to get injured and killed.

Its obscene.


Posted by Rose
a resident of Mayfield
on Jun 19, 2018 at 11:26 am

Why do we RARELY see Palo Alto police ticketing speeding drivers? EVERYWHERE in Palo Alto drivers are exceeding the speed limits. It's incredible that we don't have more accidents like this. We need to slow down traffic and we need to cite drivers who use their cell phones while driving. PS We don't know if this driver was speeding, but I mention speeding because I bike everywhere and I'm always afraid of the drivers whipping through town, sometimes not even stopping at stop signs. You've seen it -- cars darting around other cars trying to get to the red light faster, rushing through neighborhoods, speeding down El Camino and Alma. It's a disgrace.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@bike commuter: you wrote "drivers just don't care". I think a more accurate comment is that people who don't care just don't care. One day last week I was driving down Cal Ave from Amherst St, specifically slowing so that I could pull over, park, and get a paper. Thank goodness I was slowing b/c a cyclist came dashing into the street, completely ignoring a STOP sign. I was able to easily stop but had I been driving at the speed limit, probably not. Does this mean that all cyclists don't care? Hardly.

Some drivers, some cyclists, and even some pedestrians just don't care. It may be that some are arrogant, some are jerks, and some are simply oblivious. That's why defensive driving (and walking and cycling) is critical. There's little point in being right but injured. And no point at all in being right but dead.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 19, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Annette is a registered user.

My comments above are not intended to be about the car driver in this most unfortunate accident. The intersection is a risky one. I join all who hope the little girl recovers fully and quickly.

And I will add: yesterday morning there were numerous dirt hauling trucks - beasts as someone wrote - on El Camino. I assume these are for the construction on campus. It can be difficult to drive near those trucks b/c they obstruct one's vision. I wonder if the hours they can use the roads could be restricted for safety purposes.


Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 19, 2018 at 12:37 pm

I read it, Judith. You don't know if she was cycling on ECR.


Posted by steve
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 19, 2018 at 12:55 pm

Palo Alto spends millions to alter and make the streets look "Pretty"! Spend some money on crosswalk lights. Hundreds of children cross El Camino during school hours--make it safe!! Safety should be the priority.


Posted by PA parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 19, 2018 at 2:53 pm

PA parent is a registered user.

I am


Posted by PA parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 19, 2018 at 2:59 pm

PA parent is a registered user.

I am confused by all the talk of a crosswalk. I don’t see a marked crosswalk at this site. And, if the girl was riding her bike, as the story says, and not walking it, she should not have been in the crosswalk, that is illegal.

Bikes must obey the rules of the road as motor vehicles, not pedestians.

There are some common misconceptions about CA vehicle laws as they pertain to crosswalks and pedestrians. But if the poor girl was riding her bike, whether or not she was in the crosswalk is completely irrelevant to the article.


Posted by Anna Lee
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2018 at 11:14 am

I was driving on El Camino Real after 12pm and the street was completely blocked by police cars. I saw an intact bicycle on the road near the median strip on the northbound side of El Camino Real but did not see anyone nearby, only a firetruck on the opposite side.


Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm

"Cal Trans knows for a fact that unsignalized crosswalks along El Camino Real present a significant safety hazard ... that Cal Trans is choosing to ignore, while people continue to get injured and killed."

Palo Alto must ensure its residents' safety. Install signals at these crossings. It will be years until CalTrans notices them, whereupon we argue with CalTrans until its attention span expires.


Posted by Random Local
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm

@Curmudgeon: are you out of touch with reality? Web Link


Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2018 at 7:09 pm

"@Curmudgeon: are you out of touch with reality?"

About a year ahead of it, apparently.


Posted by tesla
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 20, 2018 at 11:30 pm

The 3 -4 pedestrian crossings on ECR in mid-Palo Alto give me the shivers even if I'm just driving over them - the speeds are so high that I try to be extra watchful to make sure someone is not crossing the road. And then there are 4+ lanes of high speed traffic. I cannot believe those crossings exist and hope people would try as much as possible to avoid using them.


Posted by Not Local
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2018 at 9:28 am

To all the people suggesting that Palo Alto add signals etc. to the ECR crosswalks -- ECR is State jurisdiction. Palo Alto can't do anything to it (not even fix broken traffic lights or potholes) -- CalTrans makes all the decisions, so while the city can request changes they just have to wait. They are, however, going to add HAWK crossing lights at 4 ECR crosswalks in Palo Alto (see Random Local's web link above).


Posted by Good news
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2018 at 3:01 pm



Thanks for the link @random local. Looking at the linked page, I can’t tell all of the uncontrolled crosswalks CalTrans plans to FINALLY try to make less dangerous, it mentions Los Altos, so I hope the uncontrolled crosswalk along ECR in Los Altos, where - while I was stopped behind other vehicles as a pedestrian crossed in the crosswalk - a vehicle drove straight into my completely stopped vehicle at 35+ mph. Those uncontrolled crosswalks are not solely an ongoing safety hazard for those trying to cross IN the crosswalks, they present a hazard for vehicles and their occupants as well. Granted the person who drove into me maybe should have been paying attention to what was happening on the road ahead, but....


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