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GJEL Accident Attorneys' Blog

Is it legal to ride my bike in a crosswalk?

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Technically, you are supposed to walk your bike in a crosswalk. But even if you are riding your bike in the crosswalk, that is no excuse for a negligent driver to hit you in the crosswalk. And, even if the police officer notes that you were riding your bicycle in the crosswalk that does not […]

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Is it legal to ride my bike on the wrong side of the road?

Friday, February 13th, 2015

The practical answer is whether you’re on the proper side of the road or the improper side of the road, if you are riding safely and a vehicle is driving unsafely, we can make a recovery for you. Now, the police report may ticket you for riding on the wrong side of the road, but […]

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What if I’m hit while riding my bike on the sidewalk?

Friday, February 6th, 2015

This comes up a lot. Theoretically, you’re not supposed to ride your bike on the sidewalk. However, that’s not the end of the story. A lot of times, the safest place to ride your bike is on the sidewalk. There may be no other safe place to ride it. And, even if the police officer […]

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Illegally parked cars clogging new Oakland bike lanes

Friday, January 30th, 2015

A striking video was posted to the Bike East Bay Facebook page on Tuesday depicting illegally parked cars clogging Oakland’s new buffered bike lane along Broadway. The video, submitted by Volvap Egroeg, shows parents at Oakland Technical High School using the entire block of the bike lane as a pick up zone. Cyclists, displaced from […]

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Dispelling myths about the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge’s proposed third lane and bike path

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Seeking to alleviate traffic congestion in Marin County, the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) is currently evaluating adding a third eastbound lane during peak hours and a bidirectional bicycle and pedestrian path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. As the Bay Area (including Marin County) continues to experience explosive job growth, traffic on the bridge has […]

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Hövding releases updated “invisible” bike helmet, but US launch still “further away”

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

This month, Hövding released an updated version of their “invisible” bike helmet that has taken Europe by storm. The Swedish startup produces an unobtrusive collar for cyclists that functions as a helmet/airbag. If a collision occurs, the airbag is instantly deployed to envelop a bicyclist’s entire head. The new version is designed to offer better […]

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The perils of driving in Los Angeles rain

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Los Angeles is famous for freaking out when it rains. Recently, Noah Deneau, an electrical engineer from Austin, Texas, graphically illustrated the effect of rain on the rate of traffic crashes in Los Angeles. The results provide a telling snapshot of the perils of driving (and walking and biking) when it’s raining in LA. Deneau […]

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Berkeley to address unsafe intersection, but still oblivious about pedestrian safety

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

The City of Berkeley has taken a step toward improving pedestrian safety at a deadly intersection, but continues to mishandle its broader approach to street safety. Last April, Joseph Luft was killed while crossing Sacramento Street at Bancroft Way. Luft, a 98 year old Berkeley resident, was a WWII veteran and former psychology professor at […]

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Coming in 2015: Sacramento Bike Share

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

In 2015, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District plans to launch a bike share system aimed at improving sustainable mobility throughout the region. The $4 million project will feature 616 bicycles across 88 stations in the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento, and Davis. It is projected to serve 239,000 trips in its first year […]

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Christmas and New Year’s among most dangerous days to drive

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

It should come as no surprise that the holidays are one of the most dangerous times to head out on the road. Not only are more people driving–some estimates suggest it could be as much as 50% more–but people are also driving a longer average distance than usual. Although Thanksgiving ranks as the single most dangerous […]

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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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