A blog covering civic issues, news, and the secret life of Encinitas
About a month ago, we were at the crosswalk at Las Olas restaurant. The walk light came on, we started to cross the road east-west from both sides. A lone rider decided the rules of the road did not apply to him and he blew through his red light...almost. Instead, he hit a small child in the crosswalk. She appeared to be fairly well injured with a nice, large thigh abrasion and who knows what all else...it was hard to tell where she was hurt amid her screams.
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Yep. That's terrible about the little girl. Good thing it wasn't a car, but the rules apply to everyone. First I heard of it. I think a lot of accidents on 101 are unreported. And like the two bicyclists that were doored at different times in front of my shop, you never hear how the person faired with their broken bones. We're pretty fragile, even at low speeds. Feel sorry for the cyclist who hit the parked truck here. He was just too close to it for whatever reason. The truck to me looks like it was at least 18" away from the curb, with unusually wide racks. I never sat down and logged all the accidents on our block through the years, but there have been dozens I can recall off the top of my head over the last half century: from head on collision deaths to pedestrians and cyclists deaths. People are just too care-free and comfortable in their 2 ton projectiles as they sail along. That goes for the 200 lb cyclists sometimes too (add velocity / mass).
The coast highway is a mess - the new bike lane signs painted onto the roadway invite bicyclists to be less cautious. It is often bumper to bumper with cars - car vs bike = bike loses.
Sharrows are commonly used all over the country, and obviously weren't involved with this accident. This was clearly the cyclist's error - he ran into a parked truck.
Agreed. However separate bike lanes are better than sharrows when you can get them.
Many people wonder what those marks in the road are and even more have no idea what this new word "sharrows" means...and don't know how they need to drive differently now to accommodate the cyclists. Some cyclists appear to be equally confused as they veer back and forth between the bike and sharrows lanes.
Confusion over the lane markings is a different issue, but you raise a good point. The city should make extensive efforts to inform its citizens whenever new (to the city) lane usage & markings are implemented. Come to think of it, perhaps this explains the studies Fred likes to reference in support of roundabouts vs. 4-way stops. I suspect those studies involved drivers who were very familiar with roundabouts. In that case, I find the results plausible. Otherwise, I don't buy it. We see drivers using roundabouts incorrectly almost every day. Quite often they are baffled as to how they should navigate through the intersection. Inappropriate yielding or, more commonly, not yielding at all are frequently observed. I've been nearly hit many times. I once saw an old-timer actually go clockwise to make a left turn.
Wow on the old-timer! Just last week I drove the Santa Fe roundabout, which is more toy- than car-sized. One person zipped through without looking, hoping for the best, I guess, and another came to a complete stop and let two cars pass even though they hesitated and he had right of way.
Rob. Few people realize that signaled intersections are a little o 100 years old. Imagine how long THOSE took for drivers to get used to as they approached the new contraptions. “What’s that red sign saying STOP for? Is that for the mailman? What? I have to stop here now? Why?” was probably everyone’s first reaction who encountered the new concept that was “forced upon them”. They probably figured out too many people were being injured without those improvements. (Just look at all the near misses on the film below for example). But ARE WE really that used to traditional intersections when 20,000 people a year in the U.S. are slaughtered at them in this century? I have big doubts. Check out the short film below. It’s the first 35mm film was ever shot. The date was April 18, 1906 (Only 4 days before San Francisco's big earthquake and fire). Cars were pretty new to the planet. Still, this BUSY and long stretch of Market St had absolutely NO stops, signals, painted lanes, crosswalks, bike paths – you name it. It was everyone for themselves, moving in every direction chaotically at the same time at 20 mph or less.The maker of this film mounted the camera on the front of a trolley and just let it roll for about 14 minutes. WHAT a revealing and amazing authentic archive it is! Yes, we’re all human and harbor error. And yes, people do need to learn how to drive at roundabouts. But the more there are, the more educated people should become about them – and any educational tool to help that happen is a good idea beginning at schools and ending who knows where else. Nope. I think engineers who continue to design and put traditional intersections into city plans in the US believing those are always the best alternative ought to ”have their little asses spanked”. (To quote Dad’s solution to most of life’s neglegence. I think 20,000 deaths a year is finally getting the right people’s attention. Embarrassingly, we are a little slow sometimes learning from our big mistakes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdvRNdGlgzY
Fred, I'm not against roundabouts across the board. My point was that the city failed to implement them safely, and they failed to implement the shared lane safely as well.
Bingo! on both counts.
It only takes once or twice to figure out how to properly use a roundabout. If you don't understand "yield" you should not be driving. People need to use their turn signals at roundabouts just like at any other intersection. It helps like the people approaching know your intention. Police need to start enforcing the roundabouts. Come to think of it, how often do you actually see a police car in Encinitas? I think all the police time and budget is being spent patrolling the drunks downtown. I would like to see them pull over cars and motorcycles with illegal straight pipes which is gross noise pollution. The bottom line is the City has no money for any stuff we really need, it only has money to feed the staff fat Pensions who don't really work on anything anyway.
It does not take "once or twice," there are clear rules on how to use the things and these are posted where? That's right: nowhere. We live in America, where these things are not part of our culture, not natural to us, and not self-evident as to use.They work well some places to be sure, but assuming folks are going to figure them out through some kind of intuitive osmosis is not being real.
there are clear rules on how to use the things and these are posted where? That's right: nowhere.California Driver Handbook, page 25: apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf
LOL and everyone consults their copies, right? Hardly.What's wrong with some simplified road signs?
And what's wrong with constructing car/truck-sized roundabouts and not these themepark style joke ones? No room for a proper roundabout? Don't build it.
"California Driver Handbook, page 25: apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf"10 points, Rob!
" We live in America, where these things are not part of our culture, not natural to us, and not self-evident as to use."I'm sure that's what some people said in the early 1900's when folks were forced to learn how to use signaled intersections. Let's move forward. 20,000 people a year are dying at those places "we're used to".
Agreed on moving forward, but let's put some education around it, not just hope word of mouth spreads on how roundabouts are to be negotiated.Nice that Rob (assume the traffic guy Rob from city hall) cited the code, but let's be honest and admit that most people do not own a copy of the handbook, nor do will they consult the internet to find out how to drive roundabouts. Again: some simple signage would go a long way, so not sure why the city doesn't see fit to help out drivers.
Scotty Payton happened to be walking by when the crash happened. He used his belt as a tourniquet until paramedics arrived. Way to go Scotty!
According to someone "on scene," immediately after it happened, the person who took the photographs, and spoke to the man's wife who was sitting on the curb, waiting for her husband, this anon lady said her spouse had stopped their car. They were driving behind the bicyclist, and saw his gut wrenching collision. This woman's husband got out, went over and used his belt as a tourniquet. He didn't happen to be "walking by." But if it was Scotty, yes, thanks for being a good Samaritan! Racks on wide trucks should not extend so far beyond the truck's roof. If they do, seems as though they should be padded? That was suggested by a friend.
About 50,000 drivers go through the roundabouts Encinitas Daly. They work efficiently and safely. I hate waiting at red lights and wasting my life. Install more roundabouts.
Fact Check on Aisle 6!50,000 drivers daily on Leucadia Blvd. and Santa Fe west of I-5? Am I missing some roundabouts on a high-traffic thoroughfare?WCV
50,000 time divided by 3 roundabouts makes around 17,000 per junction. That sounds a little high, but I'll check with the city later unless Bart beats me to it.
OK... probably not 50k but somewhere between 30k to 40k vehicles go through the roundabouts in Encinitas daily. They obviously work. That is unless your Lynn. She can understand things that work.
Let's be conservative (as threatening as that sounds). 50,000 people who don't have to wait 30 seconds per day at what would be stop signs collectively equals well over two weeks of time robbed, over 20,000 miles of space not traveled and I'm too tired to figure out the cost of gas wasted - so someone else do the math. Still some think stopping is the better alternative to roundabouts?
When you combine the roundabout with a lane elimination? Recipe for disaster. When the roundabout is a mini version of a real one? Recipe for disaster. In both cases yes, stopping is better. If city hall knew what they were doing, it would be one thing; sadly though, they have proven themselves to be colossally incompetent and oftentimes conniving. on top of that, we have a council that hangs on their every word. Recipe for disaster and a waste of my tax money.
You have no clue what you are talking about. Clueless in Encinitas.
"When you combine the roundabout with a lane elimination? Recipe for disaster." No, that's a recipe for an efficient circulation element for traffic as opposed to inevitability of more stops and/or signals. Ask Birdrock or hundreds of other cities where many lanes have been reduced to a few lanes because of roundabouts. Birdrock used to have 5 N/S lanes at 5 intersections for a mere 5 block stretch of 101 - not a 2 miles distance like our portion. Now their 5 lanes have been reduced to 2 and it works and looks great. Some day hopefully you'll grasp the concept of the space and time they save. Our roundabouts are not "mini versions" but legal sized roundabouts. You want to see mini version roundabouts try driving Rubenstein or Summit in Cardiff. "Stopping is better"You're right. Better for burning up everyone's gas, time, money and keeping T-bone accidents popular.
Fred, legal-sized for what? European-sized cars? A large portion of our population drive tank-sized vehicles. Why is it there are tire marks over the tops of all our "legal-sized" roundabouts? They can't build them any bigger, but ask residents whose yards were commandeered to build the things on Leucadia Blvd. Folks will tell you that in retrospect (as if they had a choice anyway), any amount the city paid them was not worth what they have to live with now. Cars and trucks do not pass quietly. They screech and slam through those things.This all started a very few years ago when Norby declared roundabouts would be a "unifying theme" for Encinitas - how cute! - and at the same time gave developers carte blanche to build high (thank you, Prop A) and dense around them thanks to an absence of traffic standards to apply.Smooth move, no?
There are a bunch of drunks out there that can and do kill people. Sad but true.... People are slaughtered all the time by drunks. Just read the news. Roundabouts save people from the drunks.
Traffic rules are not understood because of ignorance and the prevailing attitude that rules don't apply to certain individuals.It's not the roundabouts fault that it was designed for vehicles to travel though it at 15 mph or LESS! Most drivers that I see daily around town, especially the larger type SUV driver, seem to like to travel faster than the posted speed limit, never seems to be able to come to a complete full stop, know when to yield to the right of way or how use their turn signals.And when is ok to speed up and go faster when the light goes yellow or is that a cue to slow down and get ready to stop?
"Why is it there are tire marks over the tops of all our "legal-sized" roundabouts?" I'll give you a hint. It's not because someone is staying in their lane. Also, it's never from from someone braking suddenly at 15 mph, but deliberately burning rubber to leave a cute mark. Traffic circles are very large and are designed for high-speed vehicle operation. Roundabouts are designed as small as possible, 16 to 180 feet wide, and operate at 15 mph to 25 mph. So WHO told you our roundabouts are inferior mini-roundabouts - or did you come up with that one yourself?You need some cheese with your whine about roundabouts ushering in high density. Still no proof for that happening anywhere else that I can find. "A large portion of our population drive tank-sized vehicles."Our double fire truck has no problem driving through them. But I see your point. Roundabouts could spell disaster if the Encinitas Library approves a special showing of the Space Shuttle Endeavor and they endeavor to navigate our roundabouts to get there. Probably have to cut-through on Vulcan - so ya got that goin' for ya. http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2012/10/endeavour_on_the_move_acr.php
Anything Norby pushes bears close examination.
While it's tragic that the cyclist suffered a traumatic injury, I doubt the sharrows had anything to do with the crash. More likely an error on his part by not paying attention to the rules of the road or what was happening around him. Let's face it, the guy hit a parked truck. The weekend riders seem to think they have cart blanch in the sharrow lane to do whatever they like and don't have to follow traffic rules, right of ways or stops.
"Anything Norby pushes bears close examination."How right you are.* Pomoting ecology minded energy at city hall and at home.* Promoting Historic Hwy 101* Promoting our world class library and it' location* Promoting the restoration of our ENCINTIAS sign* Promoting the Downtown Streetscape (sales tax the last 10 years for that area went from $800,000 per year to over 2 million per year)* Promoting Farmers Markets* Promoting Street Fairs* Bringing LEGOLAND to Carlsbad* Promoting a saftey guide for merchants* Facilitating better business being the 101 coordinator* Workng with DEMA to make it better* Preserving the Boat Houses* Never saying a bad word about anyoneYes, that's a great idea.
Norby's beaten-to-death lying on camera regarding the Cardiff Specific Plan was bad enough, let's talk more recent times. How about his regular misinformation talks to DEMA members on Prop A? Folks on DEMA were of course afraid to speak up (city money at risk lest they utter), but a number of board members have let that cat out of the bag: he started a year ago June at DEMA meetings and didn't let up until election day.What a guy, what a guy.Fred, some of the above you'll get agreement on and some you won't, so not all points prove he's a great all-around guy (unless you're Fred!).Norby had his run, with one-time fans claiming to see such a significant change in the man over time that they and no longer trust him/his motives/his associations.
From the years of working with him on many of the things I listed above, there are fewer nicer people around. We have our differences on the 5 story thing as well as Redevelopment but Peder is an optimist believing those could be good things. I'm not that trusting I guess. Glad you can agree on some of the things at least, and thanks for the undue compliment.
:)Ah yes "that 5-story thing." Don't get me started....