San Diego County, motoring paradise

You might remember Cecelia Abadie, the Temecula woman who was cited for violating California’s mobile device law after she blew past CHP officer Keith Odle at 85 MPH in the right lane with her Toyota Prius.

That seems like clear evidence of impairment, right? Odle thought so, especially after she became argumentative when he lectured her to be careful when using Google Glass while driving.

San Diego County Traffic Commissioner John Blair disagrees, saying that Odle couldn’t know if Abadie was impaired by the Google Glass device. There’s reasonable doubt, so he threw out the ticket. Remember, Abadie passed to the right of Odle’s clearly marked black and white CHP vehicle. How can you miss that unless your focus is elsewhere?

Blair also dismissed the speeding ticket.

After she was cited but before the trial, Abadie continued to show gross disregard for safety by shooting photos while driving. When the odds finally catch up to her and she kills somebody, no doubt she’ll say how devastated she is and her express her remorse and then get off with the $100 fine for violating CVC 21453. Do you think she saw the pedestrian on the sidewalk as she shot this photo while driving to the airport?


The view from Cecilia Abadie's driver's seat

This is the same court where Commissioner Larry Jones routinely bends over backwards to uphold citations written by San Diego Sheriff Deputies for traffic laws that do not exist. San Diego cyclists who are harassed with tickets by the Sheriff’s office are now advised to procedurally refuse to sign the stipulation to allow the commissioner to hear the trial. Then you will be sent to a court room with an elected judge.

You have a constitutional right to a judge (instead of a commissioner) when deciding contested issues of law or fact. These must be filed as soon as possible when you’re first assigned at arraignment to a particular commissioner or judge. Ask the name.

I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. H/T to Judy Frankel for information regarding the process to see a judge vs a traffic commissioner. H/T also to Mari Lynch in Monterey.

San Diego County to spend $200M on bicycle facilities

The San Diego Association of Governments, the regional planning organization for San Diego County, recently approved a $200 million spending plan for bicycle facilities. The Early Action Program (EAP) provides funding to implement San Diego County’s Regional Bicycle Network High Priority Projects within 10 years as outlined in the San Diego Regional Bike Plan and the Regional Transportation Plan.

How does that $200 million over a decade for bike spending compare to other regions of California?

Continue reading San Diego County to spend $200M on bicycle facilities

California state park bans bikes & pedestrians from paved road

The Superintendent of Torrey Pines State Reserve in San Diego, California issued a press release this morning announcing the immediate closure of the park road to pedestrians and downhill cyclists in the interests of visitor safety. Motor vehicle access via the park entrance road remains unhindered.

torrey-pines

Continue reading California state park bans bikes & pedestrians from paved road

San Diego Bike to Work Day this Friday

Brian K created this video to promote Bike To Work Day this coming Friday, May 17 in San Diego, California.



More info about San Diego BTWD at I Commute San Diego. Visit the website to register for prizes, enroll in a corporate challenge, and find the location of dozens of “pit stops” with free food and schwag at dozens of locations throughout San Diego County.

How many trips are two miles or less?

Bike advocates frequently repeat a claim that 40% of all trips are two miles or less.

Where does that 40% figure come from. A “Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey” is often cited, but it’s one of those statistics that’s endlessly repeated a bit like that bogus 85% figure frequently mentioned for bicycle helmets. Lisa Halverstadt of Voice of San Diego — a nonprofit investigative news organization — looked into the stats after San Diego’s city council president Todd Gloria repeated the 40% figure during a bike event.

Her shocking discovery — it’s true! Well, sort of. 40% of all trips reported by this national survey in 2009 showed 40% of all trips — whether by car, bus, walking or biking — are indeed two miles or less.

But then Halverstadt dinged Gloria’s statement as “misleading” because when you narrow the mode down to cars only, 69% of trips are two miles or less.

In other words, the ratio of short trips actually goes up, according to Halverstadt. Watch her video report for Voice of San Diego below, or read the text from the Voice website, where you can also see numbers for San Diego residents (37% of all trips, 32% of car trips). And if you know how to tease the data from the database, you can grab it straight from the horse’s mouth at the National Household Travel Survey.