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Cyclist Hit by Car on Port Chicago - Sign of Concord's 'Driver Culture'?

A male cyclist suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was hit by a car around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday night. How can Concord improve bicycle safety? Share your thoughts.

Another cyclist being hit by a car in Concord prompts the question: what can the city do to improve bicycle safety?

A man riding his bicycle on Port Chicago Highway was hit by a vehicle at around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday night, the Contra Costa Times reports. The circumstances of the collision are under investigation.

The man was taken to hospital. Police said he suffered non-life threatening injuries and is expected to survive. The driver was uninjured.

Earlier this year, a father and his 9-year-old daughter were killed while riding their bikes at the intersection of Treat Boulevard and Oak Grove Road. 

The question of how the city can improve safety for cyclists is sure to come up at Saturday's forum on the future of downtown Concord. Already, Concordians using the Concord Connects website to voice their views have suggested creating bicycle lanes on major roads and transforming the "driver culture" here to a more bicycle-friendly one.

According to Concord's Planning Manager Carol Johnson, the city is looking at developing a "Share the Road" public education campaign "to help us all learn how to become more aware of all the various ways people use our roads." 

How do you think Concord can improve bicycle safety? Do you feel safe cycling on the city's roads? Share your thoughts below.

Nancy Blue September 20, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Other than cordoning off an entire bike lane with a concrete wall on every street in the world, I don't think there's any way to avoid these accidents. Every situation is different. If a person is drunk or wreckless, there's not much a law, rule or bicycle indicated lane can do to stop another person from being hit on a bike. I'm curious to know if the man hit on PC Hwy was wearing dark clothing and whether or not he had any lights on his bike. Afterall, it is completely dark by 8:40 now. I've often seen walkers and bikers dressed all in black at night. Many times, I didn't even see them until I was very near to them. I think we ALL (bikers, pedestrians and drivers) have to take responsibility to be more careful and, in the walker and biker cases, dress in reflective clothing if going out at night and carry lights, especially if on a dimly lit road.
Emily Henry (Editor) September 21, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I agree, Nancy. Cyclists must take adequate measures to be safe, just as drivers should be vigilant. Lights and reflective clothing after dark is a must. Perhaps the city could partner up with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition for some safety classes and giveaways. I know they were giving out helmets in Berkeley a while ago.
Ron September 21, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I agree that bike riders are sometimes reckless and at fault, but that's only half the story. Look at the structural solutions they have instituted in Europe (Amsterdam for example) and you can see that there are many things the City can do to reduce the danger to bicycles. For example, stop lights at bike intersections which stop both cars and pedestrians so bikes can pass. An example of what could be done here in Concord. On Concord Blvd east of the downtown, there is a nice wide bike lane for bike traffic going west, but no bike lane for bikes going east. So when I wanted to go east, I figured I would ride in the nice wide west-bound bike lane, basically opposite the traffic flow, only to be confronted with signs saying this is prohibited. So you are forced to ride on the east-bound side of the road, with no bike lane, and with speeding cars from behind passing within inches of you. How is any rider going to protect himself in such a situation. The obvious solution, while not as safe as a concrete wall, would be to put a similarly wide bike lane going east, even at the cost of narrowing the car lanes and possibly slowing down the car traffic. Some cities call this their "slow streets movement". I hope the City will start to take seriously the threat to bicycyles posed by cars, and not simply blame the problem on riders.
Night Watch November 05, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Many bikes do NOT have lights and cannot even be seen until it's too late. Some have ridden in front of my car at night and I could not see them until my headlights lit them up! Many ride across dark streets on red lights. I think the bikes should have to use lights at night and observe the same rules as cars if they want to use the same roads. One night two bikes road in front of me in the dark and I didn't see them; they screamed and swore at me! They also had on dark clothing. I almost had heart failure because I try to drive carefully but they were not visible.

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