Bicyclists Be Damned

On Sunday, February 28, at approximately 11:45 a.m., a bicyclist was hit by a car on La Jolla Boulevard. An ambulance arrived on the scene, followed by two police vehicles. Officers stated the incident was a "vehicle vs. bicycle accident" and that the approximately 40-year-old male cyclist had "no visible injuries."

The driver of the vehicle said, "I was pulling out and somehow he rubbed against my car. I said 'sorry,' and he said, 'You're gonna be.' The jerk overreacted and called 911. He had the police and the fire department waste their time. He said he was fine and drove away right after they all arrived."

Dave Schumacher, chairman of Walk San Diego (a regional grassroots organization dedicated to making neighborhoods more "walk-able"), who was present at the site of the accident but had not observed it, said, "With diagonal parking, you have a blind spot as you back out. Reverse diagonal is the way to go. The lines are angled in the opposite direction, and you back in and pull out instead of pulling in and backing out. We've suggested it to the City's traffic engineers, but so far nothing has come of it."

Among communities that have implemented the reverse-angle design: Washington D.C., Brooklyn, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Tacoma, Tucson, and Vancouver. Studies suggest a 25 percent reduction in accidents and a 43 percent reduction in accidents involving parking-related injuries. The design has also been found to make the loading and unloading of vehicles safer.

"The City shouldn't be afraid to try new things to enhance traffic safety," said Schumacher.

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Sounds just like a La Jolla "incident".

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