Archive for May, 2010

Fatal Gap

Getting ‘doored’ is perhaps the greatest hazard faced by urban cyclists:

A bicyclist, trying to avoid one collision got into another and ended up dead after he ran into an AC Transit bus Wednesday afternoon, according to the transit agency. The accident occurred a little after 4:30 p.m. on MacArthur Boulevard near Patterson Avenue in Oakland, said AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson.

The cyclist and a bus on the NX line were traveling in the same direction when the cyclist apparently tried to steer away from a car door as it was opening. He ended up striking the door and bounced off it into traffic. The bus drove over him, said Oakland Police Department spokesman Jeff Thomason. The victim was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died. He was identified by the Alameda County Medical Examiner’s Office as Erik Fitzpatrick, 35, of Oakland.

Properly designed Class II bike lanes would help prevent this type of tragedy. So what Plan does Oakland Public Works have along this stretch of MacArthur Blvd?

On this map, solid red indicates existing Class II Bike Lanes. The dotted red line means proposed bike lane facility.

And the dotted blue segment in the middle? This indicates Class III facility — no bike improvements at all. That’s where Fitzpatrick was fatally struck.

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CHSRA has now released details of the proposed “shared-use” of the Caltrain ROW for commuter and high-speed trains — and it is looking more and more that Caltrain is giving away the store.

Most news reporting has focused on CHSRA taking over express service from Caltrain. The highly lucrative Baby Bullet service would be eliminated. That is sure to have huge negative impact on Caltrain’s balance sheet, and yet staff is strangely claiming the opposite — that the scheme would improve finances!

But far worse, the proposed operating agreement would leave Caltrain insufficient platform space at the downtown Transbay Terminal. Buried deep, deep on page 47 of “Appendix K” — a report which has never been discussed at public hearing — is the proposed Caltrain schedule with DTX and electrification. For the commute hour periods, it shows less than half trains even reaching the Terminal. The majority would still terminate at 4th St..

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