Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Raquel Nelson’s Story

This is a horrible story about a woman found guilty of vehicular homicide yet wasn't even driving a car. She was simply crossing a road with her 4 year old son when a driver mowed down her son. It was a hit and run. Her son was killed. Raquel was "found guilty of killing her son by crossing the road in the 'wrong' place."

Link to Read More ...

"As encouraging as it was to see so much mainstream broadcast media focused on Nelson’s case — and all in a sympathetic light — little of that coverage got to the root of the problem: dangerous street design in auto-centric communities."

Poor street design in an auto-centri community. As an avid cyclist and runner, this is a problem I encounter everyday. Whether its me trying to navigate thru traffic or the many pedestrians simply trying to cross the road, I see throughout my ride, we are all faced with the same problem of unsafe roads. Bottom line, city planners concentrate on moving car traffic "efficiently" at the cost to bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

For Example:

Foothill Blvd - The distance between Garey Ave. and Towne Ave. while traveling on Foothill is .70 miles. Foothill Blvd is a wide road and more often than not, cars are traveling between 35 and 45 mph. There are a number of motels, condos and motor home parks between Garey and Towne yet NO lights or safe pedestrian crossings between these two cross streets. At Lynoak Drive and Foothill Blvd. (The North Side of Foothill) is a bus stop. Lynoak Drive is about midway between Garey Ave. and Towne Ave.

I always see pedestrians "illegally" crossing Foothill to get to the bus stop. I would, otherwise you would have to go either all the way to Garey or Towne to cross at the lights then backtrack to get to the bus stop.

Sumner Ave. - At the end of Sumner Ave. is Sumner Elementary School. On the south side of Foothill are two motor home parks that house, for the most part, low income families. The children of these households all go to Sumner Elementary and without a Signal to safely cross would have to walk all the way to Garey Ave. then backtrack to Sumner Ave to get to school.

Raquel's story, as horrible as it is, brings to light poor city planning or rather an emphasis on auto-centric planning that fails to address safe pedestrian and bicycle pathways. More often than not, pedestrian and bicycle traffic is pushed aside or an after thought to city planning.

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