Bay Area carnage

While cycling to work this morning I watched a group of fourth graders from Don Callejon School in Santa Clara walk to the River Oaks light rail station for a field trip. They crossed Lick Mill Boulevard as a tight little group, with motorists waiting patiently for the 40 or so kids to cross.

I smiled at the lead group of teachers and chaperons as they walked by and gave them all a big gold star in my mind. That gold star became a frowny face for whoever took up the rear of this group: She yelled at the children to “HURRY UP, THERE ARE CARS WAITING FOR YOU!” hence reinforcing the baseless belief that people in cars are more important and have a natural priority over those on foot.

Get a grip, lady. Their little legs were keeping up with the group just fine, and I’m fairly confident there weren’t any life threatening emergencies in those cars.

How fast to break your car in half?

A horrific car crash in Fremont, California that killed a three year old passenger has now claimed the life of the young boy’s mother. According to news reports, the car — a 2009 Honda Accord — left 150 foot long skid marks before plowing into a tree on Paseo Padre Parkway. Even after this extended skid, the force of the impact sheared off the back half of the car, which was flung 20 yards from where the front of the car landed. The young boy in the back of the car was killed instantly.

According to various online resources, 150 feet worth of skid marks on dry, level ground suggests the driver was going 55 to 60 MPH, and the fact that it took a tree to stop the car after 150 feet of skidding — and that it broke the car in half — suggests the driver might have been going much faster than 60 MPH. The speed limit on Paseo Padre Parkway is only 35 MPH. (Don’t all recently manufactured cars have anti lock brakes?)

Was the driver rushing to the hospital? Did he drive like a maniac down a tree lined residential boulevard to warn our nation’s leaders of impending doom? Perhaps a life threatening emergency motivated Mr Gilbert Gil to put his wife and son in mortal danger?

It turns out they were on their way to the water park at Fremont’s Central Park, just two blocks away from where they crashed.

Hit & run vs wheelchair user in Palo Alto

Palo Alto police ask for help identifying a hit and run driver who hit a man in a wheelchair early Saturday morning.

More transportation news

Surprise, surprise! A writer to Mr Roadshow discovers there’s no parking available at our Bay Area transit centers.

You might remember that dramatic video of a motorcycle hitting a cyclist at “The Snake” on Mulholland Highway. Some motorcyclists gripe quite a bit about the presence of pedalcyclists on “their” highway. The California Highway Patrol has apparently reached out to some of these groups and informed them that cyclists have as much right to the road as anyone else.

Finally, the wrongful death lawsuit against Strava was dismissed on Monday. The family of Kim Flint, who was killed while descending a hill while trying to reclaim his 1st place standing on the popular activity tracking website, alleged Strava was at fault by promoting reckless cycling. San Francisco Superior Court judge Marla Miller granted a motion for summary judgment on June 3, saying, “Mr. Flint … assumed the risks of bicycling.”


  1. Even with anti-lock brakes, a car traveling sideways is going to leave skid marks. Considering how it hit the tree and split, I would guess it was traveling sideways.

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