FREE CONSULTATION — Speak with a Lawyer Immediately — 1-866-218-3776 or lawfirm@gjel.com

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

“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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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), […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Grand Avenue repaving ignores safety, reinforces status quo

Street repavings in Oakland don’t come along often. The City is presently facing an 85 year repaving cycle, meaning that streets that are repaved now may be with us until 2100 (the industry standard is 15-25 years). When a street is repaved, however, it presents a rare opportunity to examine how well it functions based […]

Read More

Vote ‘No’ on S.B. 192

At GJEL, we’re very supportive of wearing bicycle helmets. We’ve seen countless victims hit by drivers while bicycling whose lives were saved by helmets, and others not wearing helmets who’ve experienced significant injuries or lost their lives. We’ve sponsored free helmets for kids and rarely ride without them. However, we’re writing today to explain why […]

Read More

Baby, you can drive my “self-driving” car: but what if it hits somebody?

photo credit: 2420 via photopin (license) It is clear that the object of romantic interest in the Beatles’ song never anticipated a self-driving (“autonomous”) car; but as that technology gets closer to becoming a commercial reality, minds are starting to boggle about the insurance and tort liability implications. A recent Wall Street Journal article1 opines […]

Read More

Social media tips for personal injury plaintiffs

Social media can be an oversharer’s dream and a personal injury attorney’s worst nightmare. For plaintiffs currently in litigation, one ill-advised status update can have a negative impact on their settlement or verdict. Everything that’s posted on social media is considered public, and even the most well meaning remarks about a personal injury claim could […]

Read More

Stanislaus County plans to expand freeways in the name of safety and air quality

For decades, California regions built freeways to enable the growth of new suburbs farther and farther afield. In response to the negative environmental effects of suburban sprawl, California enacted SB-375 in 2008 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by linking transportation and land use planning and setting regional emissions targets. In theory, SB-375 was intended to […]

Read More