I haven’t talked about carnage in a while

After a posting to Nextdoor from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) announcing a community workshop for the county bike plan update, a couple of people left typical hater comments in response.

Nextdoor comments about VTA bike plan meeting

I know this isn’t exactly news, but it’s nice to see these two comments received a total of 20 “Thanks” (and from the same 10 people, no less), compared to 64 “Thanks” on the positive comment. On Nextdoor, these are the equivalent of Likes, Faves, or Pluses on other social media platforms.

Not mentioned in the hater comments are the usual bugaboo of scofflaw cyclists, but I’ve seen these following other recent stories involving bicycles. I haven’t mentioned the carnage caused by cars in a long time, but people tend to forget so it’s time for a revisit.

Yesterday morning in San Jose, CA, the asshat in control of an Audi S7 (an $80,000 car) drove his car like they show in advertisements and made an illegal left turn directly in front of a VTA light rail train, ruining the commute for thousands of other people and sending himself to the hospital.

This morning in Mountain View, a driver plowed into several cars, sending at least four of them to the hospital.

Some guy flipped his pickup truck over on Main Street in Watsonville last night, because driving is so hard. Photo from Watsonville PD.

Watsonville - flipped pickup truck Main & Ohlone. Photo from Watsonville PD.

Police in Santa Clara attempted a traffic stop a couple of weeks ago shortly after noon but the driver fled; per local policy they didn’t pursue. A little later, the driver rammed two police cars, ran stoplights, and hit a pedestrian in Los Gatos.

Everybody in Santa Cruz have been talking about the two people killed in a head on collision on Highway 1 near Moss Landing. 19-year-old UCSC student Lynnea Hernandez, who is in jail awaiting trial for manslaughter, was driving a Lexus SUV apparently provided to her by her parents, no doubt because large, heavy vehicles are “safer” for young drivers.

Fatal rollover crash in Milpitas on McCarthy boulevard.

Local firefighter loses her life in a head-on collision after she crosses the centerline on Highway 89 near Truckee.

Do your remember how everyone freaked out about the ACE train derailment in Niles Canyon last month, with several people saying they’d never ride that train because it’s too dangerous? A KTVU reporter covering the story was nearly taken out by an out-of-control driver who jumped the curb onto the sidewalk while video was running.

I could keep going forever with this. Just in the past 24 hours we’ve had at least five traffic fatalities in California: Vacaville, Walnut Creek, Mariposa, Fresno, and Carlsbad. This last one in Carlsbad was a vehicle-vs-pedestrian fatality.

There’s a certain weird morbidity when Google’s predictive search suggests death when I begin to type “carlsbad I-5”.

Google predictive search: Carlsbad I-5

But hey, let’s focus our Vision Zero and bicycle promotion efforts on bicycle enforcement and distracted pedestrians. Have a nice day!


  1. “… and from the same 10 people, no less …”

    It does seem to be somewhat organized hater amplification.

    It’s the same here in Chicago, probably everywhere. Haters gonna hate, right? Besides, being stuck in traffic makes people grumpy, especially if they can’t get to the Starbucks. When they do see people on bikes zip by in what amounts to a diamond/HOV lane, that’s at least got to make them envious. (Do they still have HOV lanes in California?)

  2. HOV lanes have become Low / Zero Emission Vehicle lanes. With electric vehicles among the highest selling vehicles here, these lanes are as clogged as the other lanes these days.

  3. Thanks for this pointer; I haven’t logged into nextdoor in a while but will gladly follow VTA and “like” appropriate comments.

    Yesterday riding on Benton I stopped to let someone cross (a child, in a crosswalk, in front of a school). I took the lane and the driver behind me also stopped, and in the next lane a driver finally stopped and the kid started to cross. White Lexus then goes screaming by *on the right* (using the shoulder), passing both myself and the driver behind me, nearly clipping the kid. You know me… of course I gave chase and ultimately caught the woman, who apologized profusely like she had done it ‘by accident.’ I told her she should instead apologize to the kid she almost killed, and turning in her driver’s license would truly make that apology sincere.

  4. By the way, during TV news coverage of that train derailment, one daily passenger I saw interviewed (who mentioned he works for BART) said he will gladly continue to ride the train because it’s both convenient and *far* safer than driving.

  5. I’ve noticed driving in my part of Santa Clara has gotten just stupid — people going 55 in a 35 zone, blowing through red lights and across occupied crosswalks.

    If you have info on that car and driver you chased you should consider logging to the Close Call Database http://closecalldatabase.com/

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