On December 8th a cyclist was killed after a sheriff's car struck him on Mulholland Hwy in Calabasas, CA. The sheriff seems to be clearly at fault for the cyclists death. But if you look a little closer at the road where the cyclist was killed it seems that the clueless designers responsible for the road configuration should be held accountable. The road in this posh area used to have two lanes of traffic each way. It was recently redesigned down to one lane of traffic each way with generous green belts and a four foot token bicycle lane which includes a one foot gutter. Motorists are left with a twelve foot section of road which also includes a one foot concrete gutter. It's obvious that the planners of this ill conceived design were more concerned about the look of the new roadway in this well do area of Southern California then the safety of cyclists who regularly use this road. This is a new road!! Motorists and cyclists are forced to share a small section of road flanked by concrete curbs that leave no room for error or passing. In September of 2014 the three foot rule for motorists passing a cyclist will be the law in California. Try accomplishing that when you have a cyclist and motorist sharing a sixteen foot wide road which includes a one foot gutter on each side.
With ample space the redesign of this section of Mulholland was a perfect opportunity for designers to create a reasonable and safe separation between motorists and cyclists. Designers chose form over function and now a cyclist is dead. This road is an example of systematic ignorance on the part of City Planners and road designers. They continue to ignore the safety of cyclists at time when more people are enjoying cycling for health, commuting and shopping locally in support of small businesses..
Cycling has many benefits for the individual as well as for the community as a whole. It's time that City Planners take into account the safety of cyclists as well as motorists and provide safe roads that we can all travel on.
|Area where cyclist was killed. (Google Earth street view).|