“Long Beach, California is the most bicycle friendly city in America.”
That’s what it says outside of the Long Beach City Hall under the metal sculpture of a two-wheeler. While currently trying to become a mecca for bike riders as reported by the LA Times, Long Beach might inadvertently be increasing the amount of bicycle accidents on their streets as they become more bike-friendly. After all, most people see Long Beach as an extension of Los Angeles, which is known for having a large number of cars on city streets.
Why does this concern our car accident lawyers in San Diego? Because San Diego might very well take a page out of Long Beach’s book in an effort to cut down the amount of traffic, car accidents caused by bicycle accidents and pollution in America’s Finest City. But who is making sure that personal injuries do not tag along?
If you have been to San Diego or lived here for a number of years, then you know that it is a great place to be outdoors. Everywhere you go, people are out walking their dogs, enjoying the weather, and yes, riding bikes to many of their destinations. But what you might not know is that a significant amount of wrongful deaths that occur because car drivers, including the SDPD, do not take into account cyclists who share the road with them.
With Long Beach looking to make 696 miles of new bike paths, cutting down one parking spots and traffic lanes, who is to say that San Diego wouldn’t be next? $17 million for traffic improvements, education and bike share programs has been raised in state and federal grants to upgrade Long Beach’s bike paths, all of which is great, but it doesn’t necessarily prepare automobile drivers for an increase of bicycles on the road.
Too often, when a bicycle accident does happen, it does not end well for the cyclist because they are not as protected as a driver in a car. Bikers can experience catastrophic injuries or lose their life if they are hit by a driver who is speeding down the road much faster they are, especially if that driver is unaware or ill-prepared for their presence.
Bicyclists also can put themselves and others in danger, weaving in and out of traffic, and not obeying signs that everyone on the road should adhere too. When Critical Mass — a large group of bikers clogging the road to raise awareness about eco-friendly methods of transportation, namely on a bike — or clusters of cyclists are on the road, they tend to bend the rules even when they shouldn’t.
Can you imagine the havoc that would be created by people on bicycles weaving in and out of lanes during rush hour here in San Diego? The results could be devastating.
Our firm’s San Diego car accident lawyers are unaware of any current plans in San Diego’s city planning division to match Long Beach’s efforts to become a bike-friendly town. That said, it does not mean that it couldn’t happen sometime in the near future. While there are many benefits to a plan such as this, we believe that the opposite perspective should be taken into consideration so that accidents are reduced and lives are saved.
Just like riding a bike, that’s something every city should never forget.
If you were injured and believe that you deserve compensation, then call our bilingual law offices right away at 1-800-655-6585 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer and find out how we can help you. We look forward to providing good advice for your case. There is no fee if no recovery.
Will Long Beach drivers be more careful of bikes in their daily commute? Do you feel San Diego will try to emulate Long Beach’s efforts in becoming more bike-friendly?