The Coast News Group
Letters Opinion

Letter: Don’t blame the cyclists

Motorists on the 101 along the Cardiff beach stretch this past week will have noticed some changes, specifically the narrowing of driving lanes, the removal of the bike lanes, and the addition of low-profile asphalt ridges along the side of the road keeping pedestrians, joggers, dogs and beach cruisers separate from the vehicle lanes.

For those users it’s undoubtedly an improvement, and we’re happy for them, but where does the city expect the thousands of cyclists now go? 

Soon that will be answered by the addition of the Sharrows and signs indicating that cyclists will now be in the #2 (outside) lane, despite traveling about 1/3 of your driving speed.

To be clear, the cycling community did not ask for their bike lanes to be removed. 

Indeed, local club representatives and regional experts spoke out against it, including warning of accidents. 

Regrettably those experts were ignored and even belittled, and unfortunately within days of the implementation of this shortsighted plan two cyclists required ambulance rides to the ER from separate incidences on this formerly safe section of road.

So, to motorists who now are expected to share the lane, as a local cyclist let me say:

1) Sorry for the inconvenience.

2) Do not blame the cyclists, we got screwed too. Indeed we spoke out against it.

3) Please change lanes to pass us.

Experienced cyclists will follow the advice of the Sharrows and ride in the center of the lane so you can see us early enough to change lanes, hopefully without causing any delay. 

However some cyclists will stick to the very edge of the lane where it can be harder to see them.  From a distance it may look as though there is room to pass such riders without changing lanes, but there is not.

So please pay particular attention for them and still change lanes to pass them.

Shaun Wallace



Karl Rudnick May 13, 2020 at 11:06 am

Actually, crashes number 7 at minimum. This piece from bicycle injury lawyer Seth Davidson was just written yesterday:

Craig Nelson May 13, 2020 at 8:02 am

I believe the serious accident count along Blakespear’s corridor of death is now up to 5. Lawsuits undoubtedly to follow. One personal injury lawyer told me he’s going to name his next boat after the Mayor.

Joe Average May 12, 2020 at 10:32 pm

But I thought road warrior spandex wearing cyclists like riding with auto traffic — have always hated any kind of bicycle infrastructure, right? I am traffic and all that. Suck it up and ride with traffic.

Jim Robinson May 27, 2020 at 10:28 pm

Uh no, most of us loved the bike lanes that were removed, where did you get that? Perhaps you just quickly scanned the article. Unfortunately your suggestion is all that is left, like it or not, personally I don’t.

Julie Thunder May 12, 2020 at 9:21 pm

Well said Shaun… I would just like to add that this pet project of our Mayor and City council cost traxpayers over $800,000 and that’s before the imminent lawsuits from the accidents that have already happened. Look up the definition of “pet project”… This was not needed and nobody asked for it. Where we once had a beautiful scenic section of highway, we now have vertigo-inducing stripes, reflectors, green bollards, and dangerous curbs. Well done Encinitas – now please drop the speed for cars before someone gets killed.

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