Monday, October 10, 2011
As always, the net result of this was that the Black Mercedes beat me to the stop light at Valencia by a few seconds where we both waited for the light. I passed him on the left to set up for a left turn onto Valencia, and I turned to give him a glare - not expecting to bark - and noticed him with his face focused on his iPhone which he was frantically typing into. That was too much. I barked "Ah, that's why you almost hit me, texting and driving".
Now this was a big dude, dressed and styled like the sort of guy who looks like he gets into bar fights all the time, and I really expected him to throw out a string of expletives at me. Instead he took me off guard completely - "I not driving now, seriously I only pulled the phone out when I was fully stopped at the red light! I NEVER text while the car is moving!" This disarmed me a bit but I was still a little annoyed - "If it wasn't texting, then why did you pass me with 6 inches of clearance!"
"There was no more room", he replied, and I said "Man, it's wet out here and if there's no room, wait until there is!" He replied "I'm sorry man, I totally respect you guys out here riding your bikes". If he wasn't sincere, he was a hell of a politician. I said "Love the attitude man, love it - the execution's a bit off but that's the easy part, have a good day and drive safe" and he gave me a thumbs up.
I was completely baffled by how this went down, but it sure beats the alternative. When Joe Bar Fighter in a super expensive Mercedes (I have to admit it was a very slick looking car) is embarrassed to be seen as a driver who texts or threatens cyclists, maybe we're turning the corner.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Or getting off the Central Subway to get onto Caltrain and seeing this?
Perhaps you are headed downtown, and need to get across King Street to the station and you see this...
Station placement is very important for lines like the Central Subway. Otherwise you end up 20 years from now reading something like this - the answer to which would be "8 billion dollars or a time machine".
Moving the station to in front of the Caltrain station would make this line hum, and remove the tempation - succumbed to by hundreds of patrons daily - to jaywalk across King Street at 4th, which is also known as "The onramp to I-280 Southbound".
This can be coupled with eliminating the planned Brannan Street station, saving money and reducing the overall number of stations on the line. This is a lesson that was learned the hard way by Santa Clara VTA