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|Ghostride Tonight - Safe Streets Now!|
|Date||Wednesday April 09|
|Time||5:00 PM - 6:00 PM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
Bicyclist Killed at Intersection of Bay and Mission
Tuesday, April 8, 2008, around noon, another cyclist was killed at the intersection of Mission and Bay Streets. That is two deaths and one major injury within the last year, due to a street design and a culture of driving that does not allow for our existence. Less than 10 years ago, Caltrans widened Mission Street to four lanes and refused to put in bike lanes.
After John Myslin's death last summer, People Power worked with the City Council to put up signs on Mission that advise cyclists and drivers that cyclists are encouraged to use the full right lane. This is perfectly legal according to California Vehicle Code (which states that bicyclists can use the full right-hand lane when a lane is too narrow for "a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane") and was approved by the City Council.
Caltrans has refused to put up the signs, stating that they don't think it is safe for cyclists to ride in the lane, even after the Santa Cruz Police, the Traffic Safety Coalition, and others have pointed out that it is not safe to ride to the right of cars and trucks. Caltrans is basically telling us that cyclists have no right to use the street. Mission Street has 3 bike shops and numerous homes and businesses frequented by cyclists. Though cyclists should, and do, avoid Mission whenever possible, riding Mission for short stretches is a often necessary. The only safe way to do so is in the middle of the right lane. Our right to exist is not being recognized by Caltrans.
Please join me and other Santa Cruz cyclists tomorrow, April 9th, as we honor another cyclist killed in a tragic accident and assert our rights by riding Mission Street. We will meet at the downtown Santa Cruz clock tower (at Mission and Pacific) at 5:00 PM, then ride along Mission Street together, to the intersection at Bay Street. Wear black if possible.