Can infrastructure really keep cyclists safe on the road?

Cars Don’t Kill, Drivers Do

Re: “Never Forget Josh Alper” (Cover, Jan. 8): I read your article about Josh Alper today. Thought it was a fair and balanced look at road dangers for cyclists. I'm a cyclist and have been for several years. I commute regularly and am a past member of Sunnyvale's BPAC.

The unfortunate truth about Mr. Alper's death is that there is not too much in the way of infrastructure work that will stop drivers who nod off at the wheel or drive drunk from taking lives and not just of the more vulnerable road users. Some kind of cycletrack may not have prevented his death. I was the first person on the scene when the Santa Clara sheriff's deputy killed two cyclists and injured a third. He is said to have nodded off. He drove by my party moments before the collision.

Better infrastructure will help reduce many of the other collisions you cited. It has to be properly designed and there has to be education so that cyclists use the space correctly. Along with that, drivers will need to be educated on how they are to deal with the new infrastructure. I still hear complaints about how hard it is to figure out traffic circles. Come on now.

We really need to get education out to the users of the roads, motorized especially but non-motorized also. Until we can get good infrastructure we will have to co-exist. We have to start working with one another and stop shouting past each other. Cyclicious is correct in that just obeying the rules by cyclists isn't going to change driver attitudes unless they are also held responsible for the carnage they leave in their wake.

One thing I would like to see is to change “cars” running red lights, speeding or not using turn signals to drivers being the ones called out. Cars are inanimate objects directed by drivers. Make the offending party be the ones blamed, not the car. People don't say bikes blow through stop signs. They say cyclists do this.

Thank your for your thoughtful article and I hope it pushes the needle a little towards more safety for all road users.

Ralph Durham

Santa Cruz


Keep It On the DL

Re: “Never Forget Josh Alper”: Now that it's in print that car drivers can cross the center line and run over cyclists head on and kill them and not even get arrested, our only hope is they can't read.

Frank Drees

Santa Cruz



Local Treasure

Re: “Country Jams” (Briefs, Dec. 4): Thanks for giving some much deserved attention to the Treasures Roadhouse! I was honored to perform there as part of Rick Walker's Y2K13 International Live Loop Fest this past October. Bourn and his crew are wonderful hosts, the room and gear are top-shelf and the audiences at the fest were attentive and exuberant.



Admiring From Afar

Re: “Gianna’s Gift” (Cover, Dec. 4): While on vacation in Santa Cruz the first weekend of December, I read the cover story on “Gianna's Gift” by Geoffrey Dunn. This is such a moving article, and I appreciate learning more about cystic fibrosis and organ donation. I'm sorry for your community's loss, yet admire your strength in celebrating Gianna and inspiring others to witness the miracles around us.

Susan K

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