Town Square

Post a New Topic

Alamo teen cyclist seriously injured in Danville crash

Original post made on Jan 31, 2015

An Alamo teen bicyclist was airlifted to an area hospital after sustaining serious injuries when he collided with a car in Danville on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 10:34 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Elaine
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2015 at 8:11 pm

How does the Town Council feel about their law suit to prevent a bicycle safety study? If they really cared about the issue, one would think that they would demand a bicycle safety study instead of fighting it in the courts, not once but twice. It is difficult not to think that their motivation is to help the developer at any cost.

Posted by Douglas
a resident of Blackhawk
on Feb 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm

My prayers are with both the cyclist, driver, and their families for such a terrible accident. And Elaine, a study would not have prevented this. There not much traffic at that time as school gets out at 3:10 p.m. It was just an unfortunate chain of events. Here's to a speedy recovery!

Posted by resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 2, 2015 at 8:18 am

We don't need to spend money on a study. I can tell you the results. when riding a bike, try to avoid falling down, running into something or being hit by someone else. There, study done and we save a lot of money.

Bikes and bike accidents have been around for many years. Just a part of life and the risks we all take when leaving our homes to enjoy life.

Posted by Local parent
a resident of Danville
on Feb 2, 2015 at 11:32 am

We are all praying for the teen's full recovery! Our hearts go out to him and his family. We are pray for the vehicle's driver, who it appears did nothing wrong. That accident is every parent's great fear, and the fear of many who drive and cycle in the area every day.

@resident and Douglas: Your remarks are sadly misinformed. The study Elaine is most likely referring to is the study that should have been done as part of the SummerHill Homes "Magee Ranches" project's Environmental Impact Report. That project would add nearly 1000 more cartrips per day to the dangerous Diablo Road corridor, which has no bike lanes, and not even shoulders, between Green Valley Road and Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd. It would also add many more cartrips per day to the dangerous Green Valley Road corridor between Diablo Road and Stone Valley Road, which is heavily traveled by cars, child and adult cyclists, and pedestrians, many on their way to or from the three schools accessed from Green Valley Road.

There are an estimated 80,000 bicycle trips per year on Diablo Road between Green Valley and Mt. Diablo Scenic. There are undoubtedly many tens of thousands of bicyclist trips on Green Valley Road as well. Yet Danville's Town Council concluded ----with no safety analysis or even a bicyclist count----that adding those 1000 cartrips per day to Diablo Road (and many more to Green Valley Road as well) each a potential fatal collision with a bicyclist, would not be "significant". As a result of its refusal to look at bicyclist safety, simple low-cost measures that could have improved bicyclist safety despite that increased traffic (such as putting up "Share the Road" signs; or lowering the speed limit from 35 to 25 on Diablo Road, or lowering it from 30 to 25 or even 20 on Green Valley Road and enforcing it; or improving sightlines in a few of the most dangerous spots) were not required to be done as part of the approval of the Magee Ranches project. Longer term safety measures for which grants from government programs would be needed such as adding bicycle lanes to Diablo Road were not even considered for mitigation for the project's increased traffic.

Regarding the issue of whether the teen's accident was preventable: yes, the accident was likely preventable. Let's consider why the teen was riding on the sidewalk rather than the bicycle lanes on Green Valley Road.Probably because it seemed a lot safer than riding next to the cars legally traveling 30 miles an hour on Green Valley Road. Many parents tell their kids to ride on the sidewalk because the traffic is too fast and heavy on Green Valley Road, and not just at school start and ending times. It could well be that a 30 mph speed is too high for a road traveled by many children and bicyclists (but I am not saying that the car that collided with the teen was even traveling at the 30 mile per hour speed limit--- I don't know). Also, on the eastern side of the road, there are frequently garbage cans blocking the bike lanes because the land is upslope and there is nowhere flat to place them except the road bike lanes. So we can assume the teen was riding in the sidewalk because the bike lanes were too dangerous. If the bike lanes were considered to be safer, maybe he would have been riding there and wouldn't have been hurt. Also, if there hadn't been a garbage can blocking the sidewalk on the western side of the road the teen would not have wrecked. There needs to be an examination of alternatives to having the garbage cans placed on sidewalks on the western side of Green Valley Road and in the bicycle lane on the eastern side so that this type of accident could be avoided in the future.

Thankfully, the trial court in the SOS-Danville v. Town of Danville lawsuit challenging the Danville Town Council's approval of the SummerHill Homes Magee Ranches project decided that the Town Council had illegally failed to consider bicyclist safety in the Final Environmental Impact Report on the project. The Town Council and SummerHill Homes have appealed Judge Austin's decision against them, and the case is now before the California Court of Appeal, with a decision likely by late 2015. Let's hope the Court of Appeal forces the Danville Town Council to make immediate safety improvements in the Diablo Road/Green Valley Road corridors as part of any future approval of a Magee Ranches project and plan for more improvements in the future before more bicyclists are tragically injured. The teen injured last week was not the first.

Posted by Catherine
a resident of Danville
on Feb 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm

@ Local Parent - I drive that road everyday taking my student to Monte Vista. The study is about Diablo Road, and as you noted, Green Valley already has bike lanes. And, if you researched where the accident occurred, it was quite close to the stop sign at Stone Valley where drivers are actually starting to slow down. A study would not have fixed that. Also, once again, the accident was at about 4:20 p.m. when there is very light traffic on Green Valley which I personally know as I am down at the school quite often in the late afternoon for pick-up from various after-school activities. I think the Summerhill Project is just a hot button for you, and this was the perfect opportunity to sound off. Sadly, I constantly see teens not riding safely, and am surprised there haven't been more accidents.

Posted by resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 3, 2015 at 8:49 am

Local Parent - nice note. But I think I came up with an easier and cheaper way to accomplish what you want. Let's reduce car speeds to 5 mph, and completely bubble wrap our precious little children. I guess we could also outlaw garbage cans while were at it. Just a thought.

Bike accidents are absolutely terrible, but "stuff" happens and we all need to take our own safety into our own hands. If something looks too dangerous to do, then don't do it. We all have our level of comfort when doing activities. Bikes lanes can provide a false sense of security as there are still people driving while on the phone, eating, playing with their phones or navigation systems etc. etc.

Life can be dangerous. No need for more studies to come up with my conclusion. I'm giving you the answer for free.

Posted by Chris
a resident of Danville
on Feb 5, 2015 at 10:16 am

I'm disheartened by the way people speak to each other here and even in person. Can't people just have a conversation anymore without being demeaning? Kids in this area are learning from their parents, and I can truthfully say, most of us adults wouldn't have been allowed to speak so disrespectfully to anyone when we were young and don't find it appropriate now. I think that bad behavior is easier to teach than taking the time and effort to teach manners, understanding, good communication, and forgiveness. It seems like this culture here is becoming progressively aggressive, maybe due to overcrowding and busy schedules.
I'd be interested in knowing what the cost of the study would have been, why some people are so opposed, and what more cyclists have to say. I am a taxpayer here and I understand the results of more money into the area with more homes, more money for the town to improve and hopefully grow without ruining the reason most of us live here. We like the beauty, the peace, the history, the community feeling, the downtown, etc.
I'm not on a soapbox, I'm not perfect, I'm not trying to anger anyone, I just wish we could all discuss this with some facts and respect so we can all be better informed without putting up our defenses. with facts, we might come up with answers that work for everyone and increase the safety while we're at it.
My heart goes out to the young man and his family and friends. What a devastating tragedy that's just sad altogether. Accidents happen, and if we can help prevent another one, it might save some agony for even you.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Common Ground
By Sherry Listgarten | 4 comments | 3,100 views

Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance grew from chance meeting
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 767 views