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GJEL Accident Attorneys' Blog

Tort claimants’ liability for decedent’s pre-death medical expenses

Friday, December 12th, 2014

In California tort litigation arising from a wrongful death, the question often arises as to whether plaintiff claimants bear legal responsibility for the pre-death medical expenses of their decedent. Frequently, this question arises in the context of the presentation, during litigation, of a lien by a health care provider, such as Medi-Cal, a hospital, or […]

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The identity crisis of Oakland’s 20th Street

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

A few weeks ago, we were on 20th Street in Downtown Oakland during the morning rush hour. We noticed the sidewalks were absolutely packed with people walking from BART and buses, yet the street itself had hardly any automobile traffic. So, we decided to do a quick count to test how the street was being […]

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Public access to court records vs. litigant privacy: leveling the playing field

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Pursuant to Rule of Court 2.550(c) and its predecessor, California court records have long been “presumed to be open” to the public, absent exceptions for confidentiality required by law. But even ten or fifteen years ago, accessing civil court records in California and elsewhere was an arduous task. It took a great deal of effort […]

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Bakersfield plans to bulldoze a neighborhood and build a freeway

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

During the height of California’s highway boom from the 1950s through the 1970s, Caltrans bulldozed through hundreds of neighborhoods to construct freeways. The economic and environmental toll on these communities was far-reaching: while freeways benefitted the development of outer-ring suburbs, their expensive construction divided and blighted existing neighborhoods, displaced thousands of residents, and contributed to […]

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‘Starry Night’ installation transforms bike path into art

Friday, November 14th, 2014

We’ve already written about the broad appeal of cycle tracks and Copenhagen’s sustainable bike superhighway, but this time it’s the self proclaimed “bike capital of the world” making headlines for an art installation that beautifully blends fashion and function. A new one-kilometer bike lane near Eindhoven in the Netherlands features 50,000 fluorescent “rocks” carefully embedded […]

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Signal timing: a critical element of safe, livable streets

Friday, November 7th, 2014

For the vast majority of people, signal timing is not an exciting subject. Apart from traffic engineers and a select group of superwonks, few people pay attention to or advocate for better signal timing. Whereas the physical designs (and deficiencies) of streets are tangible, signal timing is less discernible. It’s not uncommon for communities to […]

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The perils of through-double-right turns for bicyclists

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Biking on most urban streets may not always be a stress-free experience, but an individual with basic bicycle safety knowledge can usually navigate through streets without incident if everyone behaves safely (albeit a big “if”). However, today we want to talk about one street configuration that even the safest drivers and bicyclists have difficulty navigating: […]

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West Sacramento removes freeway, neighborhood blooms

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

25 years after the Loma Prieta earthquake prompted the removal of the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco, cities are increasingly following San Francisco’s template for urban revitalization. One interesting story of freeway removal and rebirth is emerging in the city of West Sacramento. Three years ago, West Sacramento completed a new boulevard to replace a […]

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12-foot lanes don’t improve safety. So why do we keep building them?

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Lane widths might seem like a boring, esoteric aspect of traffic engineering, but they really matter for creating safe, livable streets. Noted city planner and urban designer Jeff Speck recently published a convincing piece on CityLab against a transportation feature that nearly all of us confront on a daily basis: 12-foot travel lanes. Over the […]

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Oaklavia highlights need for better bicycle infrastructure around Lake Merritt

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Oakland recently hosted Oaklavia, an open streets event that invites people to walk, bike, dance, play, and socialize in the streets. It’s a terrific, if underappreciated event that both showcases the city’s vibrancy and the potential for stress-free (or low-stress) walking and biking on the city’s streets. At the same time, Oaklavia reinforces the juxtaposition […]

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Governor Brown vetoes SB 1151, a bipartisan school zone safety bill

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Last Friday, Governor Brown vetoed SB 1151, a bill that would have increased traffic fines in school zones and used these funds for active transportation investments. The bill had unanimous, bipartisan support in both houses and all legislative committees and was a strong priority for Safe Routes to Schools advocacy groups. This veto is extremely […]

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‘Three Feet for Safety Act’ now in effect

Friday, September 19th, 2014

By now you’ve probably already heard that the Three Feet for Safety Act went into effect on Tuesday. The bill, which was finally signed by Governor Brown last year, was the result of significant work from groups like the California Bicycle Coalition and at one point our very own Bill Dullea, who testified on behalf […]

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The Veterans Administration problem that you haven’t heard about

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Shortcomings in health care delivery at Veterans Health Administration (VA) clinics and hospitals have been much in the news for the past year. Hopefully, the widespread publicity about these problems, and the resulting Congressional attention to improving service at VA facilities throughout the country, will help to remedy these serious defects. There is a little […]

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Active Transportation Program grants poised to reshape California’s cities

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) recently announced a list of recommended projects to receive funding from the state’s Active Transportation Program (ATP) [PDF]. A new statewide program, the ATP provides grants to fund bicycle and pedestrian projects across the state. The CTC will award $221 million in grants to 145 projects; local funding will match […]

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Buy a bike, get a helmet: now through August 31st at select local bike shops

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Starting Monday, August 18th, we’re partnering with five local bike shops to promote safety and provide free helmets with every kid’s bike sold. Bike safety is a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts, and we’re proud to once again work with some of the Bay Area’s top retailers to make the necessary safety […]

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Pedestrians dying at disproportionate rates in America’s poorer neighborhoods

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: street safety is about equity. Streets designed for speeding cars are inherently designed dangerously, leaving people who do not drive at higher risk of getting hit and killed. We already know that children, seniors, and people of color make up a disproportionately high share of pedestrian […]

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Are there solutions to prevent cyclists from getting ‘bumped’ on Caltrain?

Monday, July 28th, 2014

As Caltrain’s ridership surges, bike ridership on the system has grown at a similarly fast pace. On an average weekday, approximately 5,900 riders (11 percent of total ridership) carry their bikes onboard, an almost 20 percent increase over the past year. As a result, Caltrain is running out of space to carry bikes: bicyclists are […]

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‘Human’ provides good (albeit incomplete) transportation data

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Mobile transportation apps are reshaping the data available to transportation planners and policymakers when it comes to active transportation. We’ve previously looked at Strava, an app which tracks mostly recreational trips via walking, running, and biking. Another new app, Human, goes beyond Strava to track all user trips, which has transportation planners excited about the […]

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What is the cost of traffic crashes?

Monday, July 21st, 2014

In discussions of traffic safety, it’s all too common to desensitize ourselves from the striking numbers of roadway crashes that occur: 32,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries, and 24 million damaged vehicles in 2010. What does all this data mean for our society, economy, and quality of life? In a new report, the National Highway […]

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Cycle Tracks still need traffic calming: a case study of Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Proposals for Cycle Tracks are emerging throughout the Bay Area, and that is generally good news for bicycle safety. But as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. The field of cycle track design in the U.S. remains in its infancy, and as such, the guidance and precedents for effective designs remains limited […]

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