Tuesday, April 22, 2014

People Power isn't doing Santa Cruz cyclists any favors by promoting bike boxes. They are being irresponsible and unethical.

Dear Mayor Robinson and members of the Santa Cruz City Council,


Please DO NOT fund a pilot program to install green bike boxes and green lanes at intersections.  These treatments DO NOT make cyclists safer.

Bike boxes do not prevent right-hook collisions, in fact they entice cyclists to ride to the right of right-turning vehicles as illustrated in this video,

http://www.commuteorlando.com/ontheroad/animations/bikebox/index.html

where they will be injured or killed.

Other cities such as Portland, OR have experimented with bike boxes and they have largely been a failure for cyclists. The evidence so far is that the rate of right-hook collisions are INCREASING (not decreasing) at some Portland green bike box intersections ("Right-hook crashes increasing -- not decreasing -- at some Portland green bike boxes"). And in some cases cyclists have been killed by right-hook collisions at these intersections in Portland ("Bike box at scene of deadly downtown crash").  

People Power is promoting a letter writing campaign to promote bike boxes.  On their Facebook post they use a photo of a bike box at SE Hawthorne and 11th Ave in Portland, OR, the site of an injury right-hook collision just last summer ("Bicyclist, sedan collide in Southeast Portland; no serious injuries").

Bike Box

Several years ago a cyclist (John Myslin) was killed in a right-hook collision with a truck on Mission Street.  The police report found the cyclist at fault, which largely immunized the city from the lawsuit that followed.  If the city paints green bike boxes on our streets and a cyclist is killed again in a right-hook collision at one of these intersections, will the city be more liable?

For a bike-friendly Santa Cruz, please do not fund a program to paint green bike boxes on our streets.

Sincerely,
Mark Nockleby

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