The letter writer lost his daughter Michelle Mazzei in 2005 as she rode her bike along Woodside Road near I-280. She was in the bike lane and wearing a bike helmet when Theodore Thornborough drifted into the bike lane with his Mercedes. Thornborough was charged with manslaughter in Mazzei’s death.
Mazzei’s father’s solution? He wants to ban bikes from roads without bike lanes, because that bike lane worked so well for his daughter. It’s only been five years since Michelle’s passing, and I can’t imagine that pain of losing a daughter like this so I’ll give him a pass on this.
Gary Richards acknowledges in his response that banning bikes from roads is unlikely, “but Rob’s concerns are legitimate.” Richards’ solution? Mandatory bike helmet use. Because, you know, that bike helmet worked so well for Ms Mazzei.
I’m normally very impressed with Gary Richards’ reporting on transportation issues and he’s generally shown a good and balanced understanding of cycling issues, so I’m especially disappointed that Richards’ reaction to Ward’s death is “bike helmets.” It’s almost the definition of non-sequitur.
More at Mr Roadshow’s traffic column at the Mercury News. There’s more to write about Rob Mazzei’s letter and some of Richards perceptions, but I’ll maybe save that for later. Nick @ SJ Bike Party has his thoughts as well on this topic.