Sep 16 by Andy Gillin

Safest States for Bicycling

Welcome to May, which marks the first full month of Spring, and the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month. The group will celebrate the month with a variety of programs and events, including Bike-to-Work Week May 16-20, and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday May 20. Here on the GJEL blog, we will be posting a series of in depth blog posts on bicycle safety and bike accident statistics here in California and nationwide. To start off the month, we’ve collected data on the states that have pushed ahead of the pack with strict bicycle safety laws: Oregon, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, and Maryland.

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May 24 by Andy Gillin

Is it legal to ride my bike in a crosswalk?

Many bicyclists in the Bay Area wonder: Do I have to walk my bike across the crosswalks in California? Technically, in the state you are supposed to walk your bike whenever you are in a crosswalk. Indeed, under California Vehicle Code 21200, which governs the operation of bicycles in the state, it is unlawful to ride across a crosswalk. For your own health and safety, the best thing you can do is to get off your bike when crossing the street. That being said, if a serious bicycle accident does occur while you are riding in a crosswalk, do not automatically assume that you are the party at fault.

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May 24 by Andy Gillin

What if I get ‘doored’ while riding my bike?

If you do not regularly ride a bike in urban areas, it may sound odd, but a car door can be a lethal weapon. A driver or vehicle passenger suddenly opening a car door as you ride by can lead to a truly devastating injury. This type of accident is often referred to ‘getting doored’. Car door-related bike accidents are far more common than many people realize. Indeed, according to data collected and published by the League of American Bicyclists, approximately eight percent of all bike accidents occur as a result of a biker ‘getting doored’. This leads to an important question: If someone opens a door while you’re riding by on your bicycle, the question becomes, “who is at fault.”

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May 01 by Andy Gillin

The Most Dangerous & Deadliest Roads In San Jose

Searching for the most dangerous roads in San Jose isn’t easy. You can focus on roads with the highest numbers of collisions and wind up overlooking the roads where the most serious injuries have occurred. Or you could just as easily do the opposite.

Any way you slice it, the danger on San Jose streets is alarming.

Highway 17, connecting San Jose and Santa Cruz, has among the highest number of collisions.

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Apr 25 by Andy Gillin

San Jose bicycling is more dangerous than we thought

The latest annual report on motor vehicle collisions from the California Highway Patrol has a ton of information about what’s happening on California roads and highways, with extensive datasets on alcohol- and truck-involved collisions and more tightly focused summaries of collisions involving pedestrians, motorcycles, and bicycles.

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Nov 28 by Andy Gillin

5 gift ideas that promote bike safety

There are plenty of accessories you can buy for your commuter cyclist friends this holiday season. Here are five gift ideas that can help keep riders out of harm’s way.

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Jun 13 by Andy Gillin

How to fix Telegraph Avenue’s protected bike lanes

A month after unveiling a road diet on Telegraph Avenue featuring Oakland’s first protected bike lanes, Telegraph remains a mess. Obstructions of the bike lanes are seemingly never-ending as confused and/or negligent drivers continue to park alongside the curb. While growing pains are normal for innovative projects that disrupt the status quo, the sustained chaos on Telegraph has been troubling.

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Jul 20 by Andy Gillin

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…

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Jan 12 by Andy Gillin

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…

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Jul 10 by Andy Gillin

East Bay Greenway construction delayed

Construction on the much-anticipated first segment of the East Bay Greenway has stalled due to delays from unexpected levels of soil contamination. The 0.5 mile, $3.56 million project…

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Jun 19 by Andy Gillin

Five major bike gaps in the Bay Area

As Bay Area cities redesign their streets to better accommodate safe bicycling, key gaps in the region’s infrastructure become ever more apparent. Much of the growth in bicycling…

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Apr 14 by Andy Gillin

What is a Cycle Track?

Recently we discussed the ongoing battle between California cities and Caltrans over street design, most notably cycle tracks. As it turns out, Caltrans just announced its official endorsement…

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Nov 16 by Andy Gillin

Top 5 Bikeshare Myths

In the last three years, bike share programs have exploded in cities like Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. and Boston, and New York City and San Francisco are poised to…

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Jun 29 by Andy Gillin

Marin County California Still Vulnerable to Bike Accidents

California’s Marin County has rightly earned a reputation as a mecca for cyclists. The cluster of San Francisco suburbs is consistently sunny, has mostly flat riding surfaces, and has fostered a culture that promotes cycling in cities and on bike paths. And in 2005, Marin County was one of four jurisdictions nationwide to receive $25 million in federal funds to improve bicycle infrastructure and increase ridership. The program was successful, and contributed to the fact that Marin County only had one bike accident death between 2005 and 2010, the lowest total throughout the Bay Area.

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Jun 28 by Andy Gillin

San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawsuit Brings Record Muni Settlement

A string of high-profile multi-million dollar settlements against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency indicates that the city would save millions in the long run by putting forward funds to improve street safety for cyclists and pedestrians. This point was underscored last week by a record $5.36 million Muni settlement for a 2008 Muni accident that killed cyclist David Wheeler near Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

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Jun 15 by Andy Gillin

California Motorcycle Helmet Law Debate

On Monday, we posted the results of a bike helmet safety survey we ran through May is National Bike Month. According to the survey, although nearly 70 percent of cyclists in California say they wear bike helmets most of the time, few think that state law should require them to do so. This holds true for media anecdotes about bike helmets. Last year, for example, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was booed at a bike conference when he announced his support for a statewide law requiring helmets for all cyclists. California’s motorcycle community faces a similar helmet debate that pits safety advocates against riders who demand the right to ride without a helmet, regardless of the risks.

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Jun 07 by Andy Gillin

California Teen Motorcycle Safety Information

Now that summer is here to stay, along with warmer weather and safer road conditions, you can expect to see more motorcyclists taking to the streets for long rides throughout California and across the country. Though a relatively small proportion of motorcyclists are under the age of 18, teens are often the most susceptible to motorcycle injuries and fatalities. If you’re a parent or a teen thinking of getting a motorcycle, it’s important to review the safety statistics related to teens on motorcycles. In addition to taking the safety courses required to get a motorcycle permit, all teens should obey all laws and wear the appropriate safety equipment. Most states, for example, have passed motorcycle helmet laws for all teen riders.

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May 09 by Andy Gillin

5 Great Bicycle Safety Technologies for National Bike Month

Cars seem destined for distracted driving. Though it’s essential to pay attention to the road and traffic signs, most cars come equipped with a navigation screen, complicated control panel, or at the very least, a radio. So driver safety technology has a lot to compete with. But the matter is different for bicyclists, who aren’t protected by a metal and glass shield and must always be aware of their surroundings. But that doesn’t mean technology can’t help reduce bicycle accident injuries. In honor of National Bike Month we’ve compiled a list of five of the most interesting technologies designed to improve bicycle safety. Take a look, and let us know of others in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

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Apr 12 by Andy Gillin

Safety Group Targets Distracted Driving Motorcycle Accidents

As we enter the second full week of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, most of the focus thus far has been on distracted driving for motorists. But while distracted driving led to 6,000 driver deaths and 500,000 driver injuries in 2009, it is a dangerous practice for all types of vehicles, including busses, bicycles, and motorcycles. So to cut down on distracted driving motorcycle accidents, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has announced its full support for Distracted Driving Awareness Month with a list of “10 Things All Car and Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles and Motorcyclists.”

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Apr 11 by Andy Gillin

Distracted Driving Awareness Month: 5 Worst Road Safety States

The GJEL Blog has always kept a close eye on the driver safety laws of each state, with a particular interest in California. Fortunately, the “Golden State” has maintained a record of progressive safety laws, including strict distracted driving laws and penalties for drunk drivers. Other states have been less receptive to driver safety laws, and some have even openly opposed legislation that would save lives and reduce car accident injuries. So in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we thought it would be useful to highlight the five worst states for road safety based on our research on teen driver and distracted driving laws, drunk driving penalties and statistics, and bicycle safety laws.

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Jun 30 by Andy Gillin

How to Safely Cycle In The Easy Bay

Moving to the East Bay reminded your humble blogger about some basic bike safety concerns, and now I’m sharing the information and resources I found with my loyal readers.

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