Santa Cruz CARnage

We frequently see reader comments in any newspaper stories about cyclists that bicycles cause more danger and mayhem for other road users, pedestrians and the general public than cars.

I don’t know if the people who write this stuff believe their own hyperbole or not, but when was the last time a cyclist knocked out power to 12,000 people, forcing street closures, widespread loss of business, and weekend overtime for PG&E workers and police to direct traffic?

The driver of the white GMC truck and a passenger allegedly fled the scene after the truck struck a sign, a fence and then sheered off the pole at its base near Third and K streets along the levee, police said.

The accident left some 12,000 PG&E customers in the dark, PG&E said.

Streets in the area were closed as well, some until Sunday afternoon, as several utility crews worked to replace the pole and equipment. Police were directing traffic near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Sunday, where Beach Street was closed just beyond the Boardwalk’s parking lot entrance.

In other Northern California news:

  • Teen drives off of the Santa Cruz Wharf into the drink.

  • Three killed — including two young brothers and the 21 year old driver — after their 1999 Honda veered off of Highway 92 in Foster City, struck the guardrail and flipped over on Sunday night.
  • Twelve people were sent to the hospital earlier that Sunday night after a large pileup at Highway 101 and I-880 in San Jose.
  • Six teens injured — including one with serious, life threatening injuries — in a crash during a CHP chase from El Cerrito to Oakland.
  • Man killed after he’s ejected from a Ford Bronco on the Cutting Boulevard off-ramp from I-80 in El Cerrito after the driver lost control, hit another vehicle, and flipped over.
  • Pickup truck driver kills a 75 year old pedestrian in Palo Alto last Friday night. The victim, Ms Ming Yuan Zuo, was crossing Embarcadero mid-block between Bret Harte Street and Walnut Drive. Embarcadero is marked 25 MPH, but is a 4 lane arterial engineered for about 40 MPH. There’s some victim blaming in the reader comments of the news story putting the responsibility on the vulnerable user for her safety.


  • January 28, 2013 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    We are completely unaware and oblivious to the scale of how damaging unlawful and discourteous driving is to our society.

  • January 28, 2013 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    People just can’t imagine life without fast-moving cars, so they ignore its damaging impacts on our lives.

    It seem like 1/3 of the nightly local news is dedicated to car-related tragedies. I wonder what they’d cover if we didn’t have so many cars?

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  • Everett
    January 29, 2013 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    I think you missed the most egregious driver carnage story:

    A Michigan driver destroyed a $2 million dollar overpass in a huge tanker explosion and got off with a $150 dollar speeding ticket! To top it off, he decided to fight the ticket!!!

    Imagine a cyclist doing that.

  • January 29, 2013 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Wow, that’s something else.

    I wonder what the outcome of that was. I see he’s a PhD candidate in computer science these days and still at Wayne State University.

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