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Original post made
on Nov 18, 2013
That's a confusing, scary intersection. If you're bicycling north on the East side of 101, either there or the Seaport Blvd crossing is the most dangerous. This is a designated bicycle route.
I suspect that the bicyclist was crossing Marsh from Haven Avenue.
There's two lanes which turn right, and people may not expect traffic to come across from Haven - particularly a bicycle.
Of course, we all hope the bicyclist recovers quickly.
Best wishes to the victim. The police would not be performing such a thorough investigation unless the injuries were very severe.
Regardless of who was at fault the outcome in collisions is always asymmetrical - the cyclist is no match for a motor vehicle. Bikes are only going to become more popular so communities need to take reasonable steps to minimize these awful incidents. Would be nice that towns like Portola Valley maintained marked bike lanes that separate bikes and vehicles and continuously remind both drivers and cyclists they are "sharing the road" and have equal rights to it.
I hope both the driver and cyclist recover from this collision.
I rode by this intersection on my commute this morning, shortly after the accident occurred (the cyclist was already on his way to the hospital), and it wasn't clear to me from the position of the vehicle involved which way the rider or driver had been traveling. Two northbound lanes of Bayfront Expressway had been taped and flared off, and there was even a flare in the bicycle path just short of the intersection. I pedaled very slowly past the flare in the direction of two officers and asked if I could proceed on Haven, and one officer replied, "Yes, but be careful -- people are driving like idiots out there."
I don't think he was assigning blame in this particular case -- just making a general statement -- and I've seen cyclists behave almost as irresponsibly as some drivers in this intersection. The damage to the front of the vehicle made clear how serious the cyclist's injuries may be, and as others have stated I hope he recovers fully and quickly.
How terrifying for the poor cyclist. Now that winter weather is headed our way, along w/increasing darkness, more people will be at risk. Best wishes to her for a full recovery.
Speeding and red light running are rampant on that street. I keep asking the police to do more, but east Menlo is a low priority area for them. Remember we are getting much less sunlight this time of year and your visibility is worse, so please slow down! Obey the speed limit when the roads are dry and drive slower than the speed limit when the roads are wet. Thank you.
I'm not blaming the driver in this particular case. This is advice for all drivers in our city.
Dana - Please be careful trusting the marked road too much....Cyclists still need to be MORE diligent while riding, they are smaller, completely exposed and often, locked in. Ride carefully, I enjoy seeing everyone enjoying the roadways.
Drivers are too comfortable in their cars, which have become rolling living rooms. We should require all cars to be topless convertibles. This would cut down greatly on freeway speeding and allow drivers faces to be seen on city streets, eliminating the anonymity that encourages rudeness. It would also stop all car break-ins because nobody would leave anything valuable on the seats and there would be nothing to break into. Anybody who objects to this is a spoiled wimp and should spend more time walking in bad weather.
I saw the accident this am. I cycle this intersection commuting once a week and find it very dangerous for cyclists.
I suspect the cyclist was turning left at haven onto the cycle path when the driver turned left on red to Marsh.
A cyclist is very exposed by complying with left on red there. I recommend going south on Haven against traffic right before the light to avoid the mad rush of cars there. Very few go onto Haven from Marsh there and it has a wide shoulder so it's safer.
This is the area that Menlo Park has zoned for housing, where the apartment complex supported by Facebook will be built. That intersection stands between the new housing development and the nearest supermarket and stores.
I hope the cyclist recovers fully. I hope that something can be done with that intersection since more people will be moving nearby.
This was my husband. Thank you for so many kind words. Please, if you saw what happened, please please do contact the number above.
To Myhusband- deepest sympathies. May he recover fully, and quickly. May his accident also lead to a thoughtful re-design of the intersection, to make it safer for commuters in the future.
One simple and what should be uncontroversial fix is that the bollard at the entrance to the bike path should be removed. With the odd entrance into the path, the bollard serves no purpose other than as a hazard.
myhusband... we are praying so hard for you right now.
Menlo Park could learn a thing or two from any town in the Netherlands about how to create bike paths that avoid car traffic. I was raised on the principle that smaller craft has right of way, and try to live by it, but when I drive I am always afraid that I might hit a bike.
@Rick. I ride this intersection frequently and your advice to travel the wrong way on Haven approaching the bike path is utter foolishness, no offense. You should use the signal to make a left here onto the path, not go wrong way into cars' rights of way. There is a green left arrow and a bike will trigger it (my steel bikes, anyway). When you come around the last 90 degree corner on Haven, move to the left part of the lane, as you are supposed to when preparing to turn left, and then wait with the rest of traffic for your left turn right of way at the light. Then all you need deal with is people who might be making a right into the park from Bayfront, so be careful with them, and, of course, the foolish pole in the path.
I see people who should know better doing what you suggest all of the time and cringe. I tried it once and felt like a fool/amateur.
To the person injured and his family, I hope all is well for you. A speedy a full recovery, please.
RIDER. I agree that riders must take responsibility for their own safety especially at intersections. For example, i recommend riders NOT cross intersections unless waiting drivers actually acknowledge them . That said, when riding in a bike lane one must assume cars will not drive over you from the rear so some risk is always present. I believe marked bike lanes - lines, symbols and signage - help drivers recognize and respect the lane and riders. The road that runs thru Portola Valley is particularly confusing. The popular Portola Rd and Alpine Rd approaches both have bike lanes but the lane through PV is NOT a bike lane. This makes no sense. A real bike lane would reduce risk to drivers and riders.
Having biked twice from Redwood City and another time from Stanford University, the intersection is hairy at best and coming up from Willow Road the bicycle lane appears and disappears at many points. Considering a lot of Facebook employees commute here and some by bike, I hope some kind of action can be agreed with Facebook and Menlo Park to make Willow Road bicycle lane and entrance to Facebook from the highway safer for cyclists.
To myhusband, I send you only what I can do best, a big warm loving internet hug, may he recover with you by his side. xox
Sending hope for your husband's quick and complete recovery...
Some of these emails appear to have the incorrect streets involved. This happened near the Bayfront park entrance, where Marsh Road ends, going east, Haven Avenue from the north and traffic from the Dumbarton Bridge comes from the south, with the majority turning onto Marsh Road-West, to enter the exit onto 101. And then there's the entrance & exit east into the park. Yes, I see problems daily at this intersection. The majority of people in their cars, trucks or bikes are likely on the way to work and usually obey the 4-way signal lights. So, for the most part, it works. Yet, depending on a 20-minute window, it can take me 15 minutes or 35, and that can cause some people substantial stress/frustration, with the urge to push the 'yellow light' time, making others angry, and delaying traffic time further. I think Menlo Park should consider brightly colored bike lanes in this area.
My deepest sympathies and prayers for this man's recovery. As an occasional cyclist and daily driver, may I say that cyclists can really improve their safety by using DAYTIME running lights. Erik Fetch, aka The Bike Doctor, recommended to me that I use a flashing front headlight as well as a flashing rear one even in the daytime. He said that many daylight bike/car collisions occur because drivers just don't see bicycles. Using a flashing light will help, as will my (so-far) foolproof trick of making EYE CONTACT with a driver at any questionable intersection or right-of-way. A simple hand gesture (not the middle finger kind, of course) will get the attention of the driver and let him know what your intentions are. I have had near-collisions with several cyclists who ride at night without any lights or even reflectors, and with dark clothing! Let common sense prevail..make sure you use bike lights, and remember that you are very difficult to see at night.
I wish it was as simple as Stephanie says. I use a very bright flashing light on my handlebars, and I have had drivers pull out right in front of me twice this week. I try to make eye contact, but that is not always possible or adequate. Too many cars have tinted windows these days and you can't see the drivers. If they are on the phone they will make eye contact but not really see you and may turn in front of you, anyway. Bicyclists can do a lot to make themselves visible, but they can't MAKE drivers see them. Look at the Gorillas in our Midst video to see how people can overlook something obvious if they are not looking for it.
Unfortunately Sam Felder (the bicyclist) passed away on Thursday, April 11. Web Link
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