VB Light Rail Petition

25 05 2009

Please sign the petition to the City of Virginia Beach to bring light rail into VB. You can find the petition here.


Virginia Beach Light Rail Poll

25 05 2009

I have created a new poll, asking people to take sides on the expansion of light rail in Virginia Beach. Please click the VB Light rail page above, or follow this link.

A Travesty for Cyclists

8 05 2009

Virginia Beach Police have decided not to press charges on the driver that struck and killed a bicyclist in April on Shore Drive. Even though the pilot reports:

Hersh, an avid cyclist on his Sunday morning ride, was apparently following traffic laws by pedaling east in the right travel lane – not the turn lane – on Shore Drive near Starfish Road in the early light shortly before 6 a.m., when a Ford Explorer struck him from behind. He was wearing a helmet and a bright yellow windbreaker with reflective strips, [Commonwealth’s Attorney] Bryant said.

In other words, this lady did not see a bike in her lane even though the rider was wearing a bright reflective jacket? If she cannot see that, she should not be driving. Period. Furthermore:

The woman was cooperative, and she realized she had hit a bicyclist only after she felt the impact, stopped and saw Hersh’s body

Really? This man was wearing a reflective jacket and she could not see him until she felt the impact and stopped to check what it was? She had to have known that she hit somebody. She can’t be that … inattentive. The police said that they could not find evidence that she hit him through negligent driving. How about section § 46.2-839 in the Virginia Code? This code says:

Any driver of any vehicle overtaking a bicycle … proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a reasonable speed at least two feet to the left of the overtaken bicycle … and shall not again proceed to the right side of the highway until safely clear of such overtaken bicycle…

If she had been observing this law, she would not have hit him. It would have been impossible. She would have slowed down and moved over. Wait. She said she didn’t see him. Was it foggy? No, she would have slowed for inclement conditions. Was it stormy? No, same situation. The weather was clear. She had to have seen him. If she didn’t she was distracted by something. The Police checked cell phone record etc. but look around you sometime on the highway. There are people reading the paper, eating, shaving, putting on makeup, changing the radio, writing, and any number of other things that should not be done while driving. If the lane was too narrow to pass the bike, she should have observed the definition of “substandard width lane” in § 46.2-905, which states that a substandard width lane is “a lane too narrow for a bicycle … and another vehicle to pass safely side by side within the lane.” This driver should lose her license. I keep hearing people say that he shouldn’t have been riding his bike down Shore Drive. Is there another, safer road that parallels Shore Drive? Anybody else remember 2006? You know, when Virginia Beach was called “Bicycle Friendly?” Apparently they are only friendly if you are on an exercise bike in a gym. Normally, I’m not much to sue people, but I hope that this cyclist’s family sues the driver for everything she’s worth. Sue the city too. “Bicycle Friendly” is false advertising.