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A cyclist's nightmare

That would be Arden Arcade, where the County has put bike lanes on major streets like El Camino and busy, narrow, sidewalk-free streets like Morse. Last week De’Sean Rowe-Manns, a 14 y.o. boy, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while he was walking his bike to school in a bike lane on Watt near Whitney. A few days later Deb Vitek posted a thread on Nextdoor, “Streets too dangerous for bike riders,” about how she was hit was hit by two different cars on two different streets — Marconi near Eastern and Mission near Whitney. The many comments on that post essentially reiterated what local bike riders know: our community is anything but bicycle friendly. Thus bicycling in Arden Arcade apparently is ONLY for recreation and has NOTHING to do with mobility. And that’s weird, particularly when you consider that our weather is generally pretty good and the area is pancake flat. Getting around on a bicycle, which saves money and doesn’t pollute, is a viable option. Except it is not. As any local bike rider with a brain will tell you, you take your life in your hands if you dare try to use a bicycle here to go to the store, or school, or (heaven forbid) our world-famous bicycle trail.

It’s easy to blame the problem on rude drivers or on cyclists with an attitude. But sometimes, it’s our dear County, in its great wisdom, that screws it all up. Consider, for instance, riding a bicycle across Watt Avenue from Winding Creek westward to Cottage Way. It’s a straight path of travel, with the street names changing from one side of Watt to the other. Let’s look at the photos. I think we can all agree it is a miracle of traffic engineering {NOT!}.

May contain: road, tarmac, asphalt, intersection, light, traffic light, automobile, transportation, car, and vehicle
Say you want to go from here, Winding Creek, heading westward over there to Cottage. It’s a straight path of travel. And there are stop lights. But, unless a rare car comes along heading the same way, YOU CAN’T. Instead of crossing the street once, you have to cross THREE streets!
May contain: road, intersection, light, traffic light, asphalt, and tarmac
The County wants you to get off your bike and walk into a little asphalt-curb protected area and push a button so you can walk over there to the other little asphalt protected area and push the other button.
May contain: van, vehicle, transportation, car, automobile, tarmac, and asphalt
Then you have to wait until the light changes and the eastbound cars on Cottage can cross over to Winding Creek or turn left onto northbound Watt while you walk your bike way over there to the wrong side of Cottage, where you are supposed to push yet another button and wait until it is safe to cross over to the westbound bike lane that we saw in the first photo. In reality, most cyclists’ patience is so frazzled by then that they cheat and jaywalk or jayride behind or through the cars on Cottage waiting to cross Watt or turn left instead of waiting another eternity for the light to change.
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