Bike riding on campus, still

April 22, 2011

White male bicyclist
Bike riding in buildings
Three years ago, on April 18, 2008 I took the photo above of an SJSU faculty member riding his bicycle on campus, in Clark Hall where he works. He was riding down the hall and rode his bicycle out the front door.
Well, three years later he is still doing it, he rode his bicycle into Clark Hall, down the hall to the elevator this morning, April 22, 2011. His office is on the fourth floor of Clark Hall.
His apparent disregard for basic safety, SJSU’s bicycle policies, not to mention the threat to people with disabilities who may not have been able to see him coming, or might have not been able to get out of his way, goes without saying. That the university tolerates this is inexcusable. But, it’s Earth Day. Right? We should allow this, right? It saves gas, right?
Umm, according to this professor, he is commuting from his car which he parks a few blocks away. He saves on parking that way.

University Employees:
A health and safety grievance has been filed on this matter. I will keep university employees informed of the progress of that grievance.


Spartan Daily ignores safety risks

November 24, 2009

Bicycle being ridden on bench

Despite being a bicyclist and a former bike commuter I am still not convinced bicycles belong on the San Jose State University Campus. Many of the people who ride bicycles on the sidewalks at SJSU do so in ways that risk serious injury to themselves and others.

The Spartan Daily has ran stories lately showing bicyclists riding dangerously without helmets on campus. This is so unsafe California has a helmet law regarding this issue. Why has the SJSU campus newspaper not looked at the other side of the issue of bikes on campus? Why has the SJSU campus newspaper not considered the dangers posed by bicycles on campus sidewalks? Is this the Spartan Daily’s idea of fair and balanced reporting?

It is good that SJSU President Jon Whitmore rides his bike to SJSU. But it is bad, I think, that he is riding his bike on the sidewalks of campus. The risks of riding bicycles on sidewalks are well documented. Sidewalks are generally unsuitable to be used as bikeways for the following reasons:

  • Sidewalks are generally not designed for cycling speeds. Cyclists must either reduce their speed or travel too fast for conditions.
  • There is generally insufficient width for shared bicycle and pedestrian travel, particularly due to obstacles such as utility poles, signs, and street furniture that narrows the effective width of the sidewalk.
  • Bicyclists face conflicts with motor vehicles at driveways and intersections. Motorists are generally not expecting a cyclist to cross their path from the sidewalk, and may not be looking for them.
  • Traffic rules, such as obligations to yield, are unclear when cyclists ride on sidewalks, creating confusion and risk between pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

In my opinion we are one mis-step, one inattentive moment away from a serious injury; or worse. Bikes belong on the road, not on the sidewalks of our campus.

[Related Blog With More Posts]

No progress toward safety

October 1, 2009

Cyclist at SJSU

The problem with HPV’s at SJSU
I am not against bicyclists, or bicycling, but I am seriously against the very dangerous use of them. I am an avid cyclist. I know that cycling, even done carefully, can result in serious injury or death. Life is full of risk. I am not against anything that involves a risk, but I am against unnecessary needless risk. Risk needs to be taken carefully, that is why we have “Risk Management” at SJSU.

I am against what I feel is a grossly dangerous unmanaged risk situation. That is why I have been complaining for years about how bicycles and other human powered vehicles (HPVs) are currently being used, and I think abused, on the sidewalks at SJSU.

I am a union steward and have filed grievances. I will continue to file grievances, complain, document and make public what I feel is a danger as long as I am able, or the problem gets fixed!

The ironic thing is I am not only advocating for the pedestrians at SJSU, I feel I am advocating for the safety of the cyclists, skateboarders and other users of HPVs at SJSU.

I have been in a serious bicycle accident. Everyday I suffer pain and discomfort from that accident. I know what that feels like and I know what knowing that the pain will NEVER go away feels like. Judging by the way some people who use HPVs navigate the campus, I doubt many of them do.

In my opinion, so far the university has done nothing to manage the risk on our campus.

[More on this topic]

[More photos here]

Bikes out of control at SJSU

June 15, 2009

Cyclist riding without hands at SJSU

Many of the people who ride bicycles on the sidewalks at SJSU do so in ways that risk serious injury to themselves and others. Cyclists riding with no hands are unable to take evasive action if a pedestrian, cart or disabled person steps into their path. Usually cyclists who ride like this way are not wearing helmets.

This bike position is especially prone to falling. These cyclists, as well as endangering others, risk head injuries that could kill them or leave them permanently disabled.

[My blog about human powered vehicles at SJSU]

[More photos of human powered vehicles on and around SJSU]

Car vs Bike, Bike Lost

September 19, 2008

Bike vs. Car accident near SJSU

Cycling safety at SJSU

I have been a long standing advocate for the safe use of non-motorized vehicles on and around SJSU. I have taken a position against what I see as unsafe use; not because I am an old man standing on my porch yelling at kids running across my lawn. I have taken this position because I have seen far too many people hurt and am aware of the risks involved to both cyclists and pedestrians in an accident. We need to remember, most of the folks we see riding bicycles on our campus also ride them on the streets around our campus. Most of the bicyclists and skateboarders around SJSU do not wear helmets or practice safe operation of their non-motorized vehicles. When these same folks get off campus they often ignore basic traffic laws.

This accident was a block north of SJSU. I took this photo with my camera phone.

Bicycle, Skateboard Grievance to Chancellor’s Office?

May 13, 2008

University fails to respond within time lines?

Apparently the university has failed to respond to the level two hearing of the skateboard, bicycle grievance. This clears the way for the union to file this grievance at the Chancellor’s Office. According to California State University Employees Union Labor Relations Representative Michael H. Hejazi, “The response is late. I will appeal to Level 3.” The next step after level 3 would be arbitration.

UPDATE: Both parties, by mutually agreement, have extended the Level 2 response time-line on the Campus Bike Safety Grievance to Monday May 19, 2008.
[Click here to see more related photographs]

[Copy of Grievance Here]

Gus Lease on skateboards, bicycles and safety

May 8, 2008

Gus Lease sent an Email on the safety issue

Just in case you don’t know who Gus is, let me tell you. Gus Lease is one of the nicest people you might ever meet and on top of that; he is a university treasure. Gus has been on the faculty at SJSU for 56 years. He sings the national anthem at graduation. Gus was once the chairman of the Music department and he currently teaches Music History in the History department.

He has dedicated his life to SJSU. He has lived much of the history of this university. He remembers and tells stories about our university that are a pleasure to listen to. When he first told me about the skateboarder who almost hit him he said, “if he had hit me going as fast as he was, I think he would have killed me.”

Gus parks in the campus disabled parking spaces on the north part of seventh street.

About two weeks ago when I was parked on 7th street, I got out of my car and was going to the back of the car to get my teaching equipment out of the trunk when a skateboard rider coming down the street almost hit me. Since I have a disability and use a cane to walk, had I been hit, I could have suffered a serious injury. Also, today one of the student bicycle riders along the sidewalk between Clark and the administration building was going extremely fast and had to swerve to avoid hitting me.

I do hope you will relate my concerns to the committee that Skateboarding, and bicycling on Campus is a serious Safety issue for all who are walking on campus.

Gus C Lease
Department of History
May 7, 2008

In a recent Email on the same topic, University Police Chief Andre Barnes said, “I am not in agreement with you that it is a significant safety hazard or a position that I can argue comfortable in favor of changing the current policy.”