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Lodi police should enforce bicycle traffic laws

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Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:05 am, Thu Oct 4, 2012.

My comment is about the high number of peace officers the city of Lodi seems to have on the streets at any given time. (I think it's great; where I live it can take more than two hours for a response unless it is a life or death situation.)

The problem seems to be the lack of enforcement of traffic laws when it comes to bicycles. They ride on sidewalks, against traffic and run stop signs. I'm not talking about kids — it's mostly adults. This really is one of worst cities I have ever seen in regards to the way people ride bikes.

People, if you get hit by a car it will kill you! Lodi Police Department, do something!

Keith Walters

Lindsey

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Welcome to the discussion.

19 comments:

  • Billy Spears posted at 8:59 am on Sat, Oct 6, 2012.

    Billy S Posts: 7

    If your daughter rides facing traffic & gets hit by a car-add her speed to the cars speed for speed of impact. Daughters speed= 10mph,cars speed=35mph - impact speed =45mph (10 + 35).

    If she's riding with traffic and the speeds are the same, suptract her speed from the cars speed. Impact speed = 25mph (35-10).

    If she has an accident wouldn't you rather she suffer a 25mph collision rather than a 45mph one?

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 12:39 pm on Fri, Oct 5, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1904

    Sorry, I STILL don't see where I was wrong. I said the responses were written by people who don't ride bicycles around Lodi much. You gave experiences your daughter has had, glad she is alright after her encounters, but nothing about YOUR regular, weekly experience riding a bicycle around Lodi. So I still maintain I was right, the early responses were written by people who don't ride around Lodi much.

    As a sidenote: The other day wife and I saw a guy on a scooter, not the little under powered things, but a full sized scooter, riding in the bike lane, on the sidewalk and using the pedestrian crosswalks. This was at the Kettleman and Lower sac area.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:10 am on Fri, Oct 5, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    In response to Mr. Paglia's comment below I wrote:

    "Wrong, Mr. Paglia. My daughter uses her bikes as her sole means of transportation. She DOES ride FACING traffic because she does not trust motorists to watch out for cyclists"

    He replied: I" read through twice and still don't see where I was wrong."

    I was refering to your comment: "This letter, and responses were obviously written by people who don't spend much time cycling around Lodi so let's clear a few things up."

    I apologize for the confusion - I have personally experienced both irresponsible bike riders and irresponsible drivers, as illustrated in my comments below.

     
  • Treacy Elliott posted at 3:53 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Treacy Elliott Posts: 62

    Kevin is absolutely correct. Riding with traffic is the safest way to ride. It is also the responsibility of the rider to be aware of their surroundings. I stop at stop signs when there is traffic, if no traffic, I take the chance of getting a ticket and ride through. No harm, no foul. If you object to that, too bad. If you are afraid of drivers on the street, walk or take the bus

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 1:39 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1904

    Jay, here is the problem with riding facing traffic. When a car comes out of a driveway or side street they are looking in the direction of traffic. When you ride against that they are much less likely to see you.

    Here is a good write up on why not to ride facing traffic:

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/wrong.htm

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 1:32 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1904

    "Wrong, Mr. Paglia. My daughter uses her bikes as her sole means of transportation. She DOES ride FACING traffic because she does not trust motorists to watch out for cyclists"

    I read through twice and still don't see where I was wrong.

     
  • Jay Samone posted at 1:13 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    Joann - I agree with facing traffic. It is ridiculous to assume that ignorant drivers will be mindful of coming up behind you. Any quick flick of the wheel and they have hit you - I have had a few near misses over this past summer. Whomever decided that bicyclists should travel WITH the direction of traffic was a moron. You cannot see them coming up behind you, you can't anticipate avoiding a collision, and if you are hit (heaven forbid) you have no idea who did it.

    How horrible for your daughter to be hit twice. Very unfortunate.

     
  • Mike Adams posted at 11:23 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1323

    When we get to the law and order types who support frivolous citations for situations where there is absolutely no danger to pedistrians, bycyclists, or other motorists.
    Clearly, it is far more important and an improvement in public safety to cite a motorist for speeding (it could be 26 mphj) down a street like south School (by Kettleman ln.) than to cite all the kids riding home from Lodi Middle School without helmuts.

    Is speeding a violation? Yes. Speeding down an empty street (and I don't mean 60 mph, try 35 in a 25) is a violation of the MVC. Potential for danger 60/100.

    A 13 year old boy riding down Tokay or Pine or Ham ln. Potential for danger 90100, maybe 100/100)?

    Which situation is more dangerous and has the potential for death or very serious injury?

    With the recent proliferation in bicycles (and the associated lack of obeying the laws and common courtesy, I'm surprised there haven't been more incidents.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:35 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    Wrong, Mr. Paglia. My daughter uses her bikes as her sole means of transportation. She DOES ride FACING traffic because she does not trust motorists to watch out for cyclists.

    She has been hit two times on her bike - both were hit and run. The first time, she was knocked unconscious and left in the street on Ham Lane across from Tokay HS at 11PM. A passing motorist called 911. If I was able to post the photos of her face, you would be horrified. She looked like the Elephant Man with purple bruises added.

    The second time, a van pulled out of Guild Cleaners on Church St., skid as it left the driveway and hit her rear wheel. She was propelled over the handle bars and, luckily, flew over the sidewalk on Oak Street and landed on a front lawn. Imagine if she had landed ON the sidewalk. I called Guild and asked for the name of the patron with the description she gave me and was told they had no idea who that was even though it had only been half an hour since he left their store.

    As a final note - DO NOT ride on the sidewalk. Again, my daughter was riding on the sidewalk near F&M Bank on Pine and a woman walked out of the bank, looked directly at her, then proceeded across the walk right into her path. She was nicked by the bike and called 911. My daughter got a $150 ticket - justifiably because riding on the sidewalk is against the law. She chances it because she will not ride on streets downtown because they are so dangerous for cyclists.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:16 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    Ms. Samone: Agree that many signs are not taken down in a timely manner - just as election signs are not taken down until weeks after elections.

    And yes, I agree, Partners do perform many other valuable functions.

    Just a note - Garage Sale signs are taken down because it is ILLEGAL in this city to put signs on public lamp posts and telephone poles.

     
  • Jay Samone posted at 9:44 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    Agreed. We ride on the sidewalk on Lodi Ave. I WILL NOT ride in that street, or many others in this town. It's too much of a risk when you're on a bike.

     
  • Jay Samone posted at 9:43 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    I must agree with you and the writer of this LTO. We frequently ride our bikes w/ our bike trailer and when we get to a stop sign and there's no traffic - we will absolutely ride through. But if there's even a hint of a vehicle within 300 ft of the stop sign (no matter which direction we are headed) WE STOP. Our lives are not worth losing over saving a second or two to stop. Just yesterday I saw two girls nearly get mowed over by a guy who turned right after the light turned green and the girls had entered the crosswalk. HE yelled at them and flipped them off, even though they had the right of way. Drivers are just as bad, HOWEVER...

    as a driver, I continuously see bicyclists sail through red lights and cross in front of oncoming traffic. Recently I saw a girl with headphones on sail on through a crosswalk and came within 5 feet of being t-boned by a car who had the right of way. I sat at the light in HORROR because I knew this car did not have the time to stop. Thankfully, the woman driving quickly stopped and redirected her car nearly causing her to WRECK HER OWN CAR to avoid this nimrod.

     
  • Jay Samone posted at 9:09 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    Joann - Partners do so much more than take down garage sale signs. Besides - most of the people who post the signs don't have the courtesy to take them down themselves. Could you imagine what this town would look like if no one ever took down any of those signs?

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:45 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1904

    Last bit on this. The sad truth is drivers in cars have no REASON legally to worry about hitting us cyclists (or motorcycle riders for that matter). All they have to say is "I didn't see them" and nothing happens to them. My Facebook news feeds are regularly updated with stories of drivers KILLING riders/bikers with no consequence because "they didn't see the rider."

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:43 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1904

    A sidenote, I also ride a lot on the outer edges of Lodi and some days I am out I have those drivers who how close they can get to me and then honk their horns.

    A few weeks ago I had three different drivers pull out of their driveway or side street looking the opposite direction and forcing me to take evasive action to avoid hitting them. As I scan for potential threats while I ride one of the things I look for is the cell phone to the ear cause I know those drivers don't care if they hit me.

    See, cyclists are just like drivers. Most do everything they can to be safe and shar the road with drivers. But there are some cyclists who don't care. Just like there are drivers who don't care about coming to a complete stop at stop signs or many other traffic laws.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:35 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1904

    This letter, and responses were obviously written by people who don't spend much time cycling around Lodi so let's clear a few things up.

    First, every cyclist knows we are little more than a hood ornaments for you drivers who are busy talking on phones, changing your radio stations and putting make-up on.

    You complain about riders going through stop signs? Really? You know how many drivers have run said stop signs? How many try to get that last bit of orange to save a few seconds on their commute and almost hit me as I get my cycle going? See it takes me longer to get through an intersection than cars so on green I have to go hard to get through. The other day I had a Civic blow through a stop sign completely (turning) even though I had right of way. I had to evade into traffic lanes, fortunately there was none.

    As for riding on the sidewalk, while this is illegal, on many of Lodi's roads it is either that or ride out in traffic with people who see us as targets. Dust off your bike and ride down Lodi Ave and see how you feel about this bike lane road. Cars parked on the side force us to either be on the sidewalk or out with traffic doing 35+mph with little care of us.

    All that said, traffic laws are there to keep both drivers and cyclists safe. Difference is when cyclists break the law we have no protection, when drivers break the law, we cyclists STILL have no protection.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 7:38 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    That's what "partners" do when they are not taking Garage Sale signs down from lamp posts.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 7:37 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    Bicyclists in Lodi have absolutely no respect for traffic laws. I NEVER, EVER see bicyclists stop at stop signs.

    Just the other day I was in the middle of a right turn from Tokay onto Mills, and a man on a bike with one of those child trailer things with TWO kids in it, blasted through the stop sign on southbound Mills. He never blinked an eye and kept peddling as I swerved in order for HIM not to hit ME!!!

     
  • Mike Adams posted at 7:19 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1323

    But you get a ticket if your bumper is on the empty crosswalk line on a deserted street.

     

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