Crosswalk removal and CVC

At the community meeting, Ryan Moore kept saying “we followed the law” in removing crosswalks. Though he was not specific, the law he may have been referring to is the section of California Vehicle Code (CVC) below. It remains to be seen if this law was followed, but it may have been since the requirements are minimal. Residents in the neighborhood were uniform in saying that they had not seen any notice, but that does not prove it did not occur. There are additional legal requirements on the city that will be addressed in future posts.

CVC 21950.5. (a) An existing marked crosswalk may not be removed unless notice and opportunity to be heard is provided to the public not less than 30 days prior to the scheduled date of removal. In addition to any other public notice requirements, the notice of proposed removal shall be posted at the crosswalk identified for removal.

(b) The notice required by subdivision (a) shall include, but is not limited to, notification to the public of both of the following:

(1) That the public may provide input relating to the scheduled removal.

(2) The form and method of providing the input authorized by paragraph (1).

Trashing the bike lanes

Trash cans in bike lanes are epidemic, and are a public danger hazard to bicyclists. Placing a trash can, or anything else, in a bike lane is a violation of California Vehicle Code (CVC):

21211 (b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.

bike-lane-trash-cansSome people misunderstand where to place their trash cans, but most people know and don’t care – I’ve had extensive conversations with many such people – they don’t think that my right to the bike lane supersedes their right to put their trash can wherever they damned well please. The photo at right is on Tupelo Drive in Citrus Heights, trash cans placed directly in a marked bike lane. Notice that it would have been easy to place them in the parking “lane” instead, but the residents chose not to. This is not just a Citrus Heights problem, this photo could as well be any street anywhere in the region.

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autonomous cars won’t go

Google autonomous or driverless cars, and offerings expected from auto manufacturers using the technology, have been all the rage in news for the last year, with Google making real progress towards a workable vehicle and having 700,000 plus miles of testing under their belt. However, I don’t think Google cars, or any others, will go. Here is why. The manufacturers have two choices:

  1. Ensure that the logic of the car follows the law, the vehicle codes.
  2. Allow the logic to violate the law.

If Google and car manufacturers follow the second, they will be sued, and will lose, the first time and every time that a crash occurs.

The first is more far more likely, and the outcome more subtle. Following the law means such things as a full and complete stop at stop signs, never exceeding the speed limit, yielding to every pedestrian every time, never making unsafe passes. What’s the problem with this? Nothing except that most drivers will not be the least interested in having a car that never violates the law. That’s no fun!

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Aggressive midtown drivers

I’ve only lived in midtown a while, but from the first it was clear to me that here was a walker and bicyclist paradise, at least in comparison to where I’d lived before, Carson City, and where I work, Citrus Heights. It still seems a bicyclist paradise to me, but I’m seeing the dark side for pedestrians. This may be a recent development, or perhaps I’ve just become more aware of the reality. Though I bike more than I walk, I’m certainly a pedestrian too, and there are a large number of pedestrians in midtown.

Many drivers in midtown are aggressive towards pedestrians. At times I think this is mostly commuters who live elsewhere and just work here, but at times I’m sure it includes the people who live here as well. Driver behavior I see on a daily basis:

  • Speeding: drivers exceed the posted speed limit, especially on the one-way streets
  • Failure to yield: drivers do not yield to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks; this is a violation of the law
  • Failure to stop: drivers do not stop in additional lanes when one driver has stopped; this is a violation of the law
  • Aggressiveness: drivers do not yield to pedestrians waiting to use marked and unmarked crosswalks; this is a violation of human decency

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