More about bike riding on sidewalks

December 29, 2007

Here is another source of information about the dangers of riding bicycles on sidewalks, as is common on the sidewalks at SJSU. This information is from a UK website regarding the London Cycling Campaign in Hackney for the London borough of Hackney Footway Cycling Officers Group. According to this source, “Aultmann-Hall found that footway riding has crash rates 40 times that of on-road.”

[Photos of bicycle riders on and around SJSU]

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Govenor to declare fiscal emergency

December 14, 2007

Schwarzenegger to declare fiscal emergency
According to a story in today’s Sacramento Bee on-line edition, by Kevin Yamamura and Aurelio Rojas, “Faced with as much as a $14 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday he will declare a “fiscal emergency” in January, which will enable the governor and lawmakers to fast-track mid-year spending cuts and other budget solutions. This will be the first time Schwarzenegger has used the “fiscal emergency” authority created in Proposition 58 in 2004. It allows the governor to declare an emergency when revenues are “substantially below” revenues that were anticipated when the budget was signed. This emergency will summon the Legislature into special session. If lawmakers fail to send the governor legislation addressing the budget problem within 45 days, they cannot take any action on other bills nor can they adjourn until they do.

The governor on Friday estimated the budget deficit at between “$10 billion and $14 billion,” this represents more than 12 percent of an estimated $111 billion General Fund budget.

Is it safe to ride at SJSU

December 11, 2007

Is it safe to ride bikes on campus sidewalks without helmets?
The issue is one the university has to decide. I am doing my best to be sure the decision is made by them in full awareness of the related facts I can find.

According to a study by William E. Moritz, Ph.D. of the University of Washington entitled Adult Bicyclists in the U.S. presented at the Transportation Research Board’s 77th Annual Meeting, January 11-15, 1998 in Washington D.C., “A RELATIVE DANGER INDEX is calculated which shows that streets with bike lanes have a significantly lower crash rate then either major or minor streets without any bicycle facilities (38 and 56% respectively). Multi-use trails have a crash rate about 40% greater than would be expected based on the miles cycled on them while cycling on the sidewalk is extremely dangerous.” Here are related links I hope will be helpful for this discussion:

A couple of related comments I have collected:
I am reassured of the value of my helmet In June ’06 a mechanical problem caused my chain to come off the rear derailer, a quick spin of my clipped in feet, and going only about 4 mph, I fell into a ditch on the side of the road – I couldn’t get my feet out quick enough, obviously. My head/helmet hit a large rock in the ditch and cracked my helmet. Yes, I saw stars!


I can tell you about an incident that happened downtown. I was walking north on 4th Street (which is one way heading south) and a guy on a bike (traveling against traffic and on the sidewalk) came up behind me. He swerved around me and hit a woman who was coming out of the parking garage. He hit her hard enough to knock her over. She was dazed, but OK. The whole thing could have been avoided had he been riding properly, but that’s just my opinion.


I ride my bike to EVC (sometimes), using a road around the edge of campus to get to my office. I am opposed to cycling through the core of the EVC campus. When I was a student at UCSB, I road a bike and objected to not being allowed to ride through the campus. (UCSB actually allowed this, in bike lanes, at low speeds, with stop signs where the lanes crossed walking paths. I was objecting to the speed and stop signs. Hey, I was “younger” then.) In researching police accident records for a Public Speaking course assignment, trying to gather evidence for my position, I learned of the many bike/pedestrian collisions and changed my mind. Bikes are vehicles and belong with other vehicles, not pedestrians! This is what we teach in the ACTC Academy. Stay off sidewalks, off walkways, out of crosswalks, unless you are walking your bike!

Feel free to use this where you think appropriate, along with my LCI #.

Harry Lichtbach LCI #1047
Almaden Cycle Touring Club
San Jose, CA. USA

What is current practice at SJSU:
[Click here to see related pictures on Flickr]

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Grievance regarding SJSU cycling

December 9, 2007

Bicycle safety grievance at SJSU

I believe the current lack of enforcement of the presidential directive regarding bicycle riding on campus, and the wording of the most recent directive, creates a dangerous condition of public property as defined by California Codes Government Code Section 835-835.4. I have filed a grievance under our collective bargaining agreement and am scheduled for a formal level one hearing of that grievance on Tuesday, December 12, 2007. I intend to inform the head of human resources at SJSU of my concerns at that meeting.

New Photos Added!
[Click here to see related pictures on Flickr]

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Safer SJSU Cycling

December 8, 2007

Cyclists riding double past pedestrians

Safer Cycling?
According to the Center for Neuro Skills, “The implementation of effective bicycle helmet programs could have a substantial impact on rates for fatal and nonfatal bicycle-related head injury. For example, from 1984 through 1988, if a presumed helmet-use rate of 10% had been increased to 100% (i.e., universal helmet use), an average of 500 fatal and 151,400 nonfatal bicycle-related head injuries could have been prevented each year.”

SJSU has a bicycle policy allowing the use of bicycles on campus without helmets. The few provisions in this policy to improve the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians need better enforcement.

[Click Here to See More Photos]

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Bikes remain a campus hazard

December 5, 2007

Bike blocking access

Bike hazards remain at SJSU
I am on the board of directors of one of the biggest bicycle and bicycle advocacy groups in the Santa Clara Valley. So, I am very pro bicycle. I often commute to work by bicycle. Despite this I feel bicycle riding is not safe on our campus and is not being practiced in a safe manner at SJSU.

I have my own reservations about the new Presidential Directive regarding bike policy of President Kassing’s. If enforced it would be better than what we now see. But, it appears to be that it will be just as ignored as the old policy was. Bikes are still ridden hazardously on campus and are still being parked chained to poles and railings on campus where they pose a hazard and block access for the disabled on our campus. It appears nothing is being done to abate this hazard.

[More Bicycle on Campus Photos Here]

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