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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Uptown Oakland bike station opens: when will infrastructure catch up?

At long last, the Uptown Bike Station opened this week adjacent to BART’s 19th Street Station. The Bike Station offers free, secure bike parking between the hours of 7 am and 9 pm and a range of bicycle-related services – similar to bike stations at Fruitvale, Ashby, Embarcadero, and Downtown Berkeley. 19th Street Station has […]

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Is it legal to ride my bike in a crosswalk?

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?

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?

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

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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The perils of driving in Los Angeles rain

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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Coming in 2015: Sacramento Bike Share

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

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

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

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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