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California’s doctrine of primary assumption of the risk: what, when, and how far?

California’s “primary assumption of the risk” doctrine was first set forth in Knight v. Jewett (1992) 3 Cal.4th 296. That case involved a plaintiff’s claim for personal injuries sustained when the defendant knocked her over and stepped on her finger while they were playing touch football. At issue was how the courts should apply the […]

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Caltrans’ zombie highways

Last week, we examined the I-80 Smart Corridor project and its highway-like approach to San Pablo Avenue. To recap, Caltrans has exercized its jurisdiction over San Pablo Avenue (as State Route 123) to provide capacity relief for I-80, despite San Pablo’s neighborhood-oriented characteristics and lack of statewide significance. As another proof of San Pablo Avenue’s […]

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The I-80 Smart Corridor’s dumb approach to San Pablo Avenue

If you’ve recently traveled along I-80 in the East Bay, you may have noticed new electronic signage and metering lights. Caltrans is currently putting the finishing touches on the I-80 Smart Corridor project, a new approach to managing traffic congestion along one of the region’s worst corridors. The Smart Corridor project uses a sophisticated Intelligent […]

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Photos from the 2015 Summer Intro to Careers in Law Program

For the past three summers GJEL has hosted high school students for a week long “Introduction to Careers in Law.” Over the course of the week students are exposed to different aspects of the legal profession and offered the opportunity to hear from attorneys across a variety of specializations. This year’s program took place during […]

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Engineers behaving badly: Oakland’s pedestrian signal fail

Oakland has a lot of strange, poorly-designed pedestrian signals, but we think we’ve found the worst example in the City at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Euclid Avenue. By over-engineering a simple sidewalk, Oakland has created a more hazardous condition where thousands of people break the law every day. Along Grand Avenue at Euclid […]

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Survey: most Temescal shoppers don’t drive

The City of Oakland, in partnership with UC Berkeley, recently conducted a survey of shoppers in Temescal along a controversial segment of Telegraph Avenue to better understand the travel behavior of shoppers. The segment under study between 40th and 52nd street represents the heart of the Temescal business district. Temescal was left out of the […]

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What is a protected intersection?

As protected bike lanes become more common across the U.S., the way in which we design intersections is also evolving. American cities are on the cusp of implementing the nation’s first protected intersections, a potentially revolutionary approach to intersection design for bicycle safety. This post offers an overview of what constitutes a protected intersection, why […]

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Bay Bridge contraflow bus lane and bike/ped path should be considered together

Over the past few months, a proposal to build a contraflow bus lane on the Bay Bridge has gained momentum among key transportation agencies such as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), BART, and AC Transit. The proposed contraflow lane would convert an underutilized eastbound lane to a westbound bus lane, providing much-needed capacity relief for […]

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The worst bike lane in the world?

Streetsblog California recently proclaimed a new bike lane in Orinda “The Worst Bike Lane in the World.” The bike lane sits outside of our office on Camino Pablo, straddling between two high-speed right turn lanes as it passes under Highway 24 and the Orinda BART Station. To put it simply, this bike lane is terrifying. […]

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Oakland’s new pedestrian signal policy: a half-step forward

The City of Oakland recently unveiled a new pedestrian signal policy intended to streamline the implementation of more pedestrian-friendly intersections. We’ve written at length about how Oakland’s implementation of automobile-oriented traffic signals threatens its walkability. As the City has switched from pretimed to actuated signals, pedestrian circulation has often been an afterthought. In essence, new […]

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Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Alameda’s Central Avenue concepts

The City of Alameda recently published a presentation from a June 4th community workshop on the Central Avenue Complete Streets project. We examined the project last month and subsequently published an op-ed in local publications including the Alamedan, Alameda Journal, and Alameda Sun. As personal injury attorneys, we see too many instances of people seriously […]

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New technologies designed to improve bike safety

As long as bikes and cars share the same roads there’s inevitably going to be conflict. As much as we’d love to see protected bike lanes become more ubiquitous, the reality is many of our roads have been designed specifically with cars in mind and cyclists are often lucky to be considered an afterthought. So, […]

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Oakland proposes parking-protected bike lanes on 20th street

Big news from Oakland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee last night: Walk Oakland Bike Oakland tweeted that the City is planning to install parking-protected bicycle lanes (cycle tracks) on 20th Street and applying for a grant from the state’s Active Transportation Program (ATP) to implement the project. We covered the woeful conditions of 20th Street […]

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“I Drive Alameda” advocates for unsafe status quo on Central Avenue

A new driver advocacy group in Alameda has mobilized to preserve the status quo on one of the City’s most dangerous corridors. “I Drive Alameda” has distributed flyers across the City’s West End for a petition against a proposed road diet on Central Avenue, accompanied by a six-page manifesto against the project. The group argues […]

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Further thoughts on liability and compensation issues for ‘self-driving’ cars

In a recent blog article, we suggested that the preferential tool for dealing with insurance, liability and compensation issues arising from the use of driverless cars would be one most in tune with, and least disruptive of, the civil justice system’s current operation. We noted that one way to implement that goal would be an […]

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Oakland’s walkability threatened by misguided traffic engineering

Crossing the street in Oakland’s Rockridge District just got a lot more difficult due to “improvements” by the City’s traffic engineers. Along College Avenue, one of Oakland’s most walkable streets, the city recently changed the configuration of several traffic signals, dramatically lengthening the amount of time it takes to lawfully cross the street. Eric Fischer, […]

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Mandatory helmet law gutted. Now what?

Good news out of Sacramento: S.B. 192, Senator Liu’s disastrous law mandating helmets and reflective gear for bicyclists, was gutted thanks to strong backlash from bicycle advocates across the state. In its place, Senator Liu has proposed a study of the effectiveness of helmet use: “The Bill would require the Office of Traffic Study (OTS), […]

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Frequently Asked Questions about GJEL’s Intro to Careers in Law Program

Open to any high school students interested in learning more about a potential future career in law, the GJEL Intro to Careers in Law Program will be taking place during the week of July 13th. This year will mark the third year GJEL has hosted a week-long summer program designed to give high school students […]

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