Leucadia ride for Roberta

LEUCADIA — The word has gone out and while the community deals with its sadness and frustration, it will also gather and ride to offer support for cycling advocate Roberta Walker. The plan is to make sure her message is heard, as she recovers from her bicycle accident. 

At 10 a.m. Dec. 15, cyclists of North County will “Ride for Roberta!” meeting at the Leucadia Post Office, 1160 N. Coast Highway 101. They have extended the invitation to all cyclists to gather with community members to be part of Roberta’s Encinitas cycling world. Walker is executive director of the Cardiff 101 Main StreetAssociation and a longtime advocate for more bike lanes.

“This ride is about peacefully demonstrating a rider’s right to safety on the road, as Roberta did every day on her morning rides to Beacon’s, to work in Cardiff or to speak at City Hall, passionately in support of safer roads for all, inclusive for every age and ability,” said the Ride for Roberta Facebook page, at facebook.com/events/2126437427667489/?ti=icl.

Riders are urged to “Glam it up the way she would! Bring posters of support for her quick recovery, get your bike dressed up for the occasion, too. What is the message you would like to convey on her behalf? Say it loud and say it proud. We will not stand for one more preventable deadly or life-altering tragedy on our local main street and demand better infrastructure now.”

For updates on Walker’s recovery, visit https://heambailey.wixsite.com/roberta

3 Comments
  1. Lynn Marr 3 months ago

    I was disappointed to see, on Channel 8 News, CBS, tonight, 12/15/18, reporting about the bicycle rally down Highway 101. Bicyclists were not obeying the law, on the video shown on TV, were going many abreast, were not stopping at intersections pictured, but were swerving around corners. It actually looked dangerous, with cars going southbound in the other, remaining lane. Legally, bicyclists are to go single file, except when passing, including in a bicycle lane, according to the Sheriff and the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.

    What was especially disappointing was to see short interviews with Assembly Woman Elect, Tasha Boerner Horvath, and Mayor Catherine S. Blakespear, and some other unidentified woman. TBH was in tears, saying, referring to N101 Streetscape, “We need to finish what we started 10 years ago.” I am so sorry for Roberta Walker’s injury. But Tasha Boerner Horvath was not part of the workshops 10 years ago; I was. She was also not part of City Council or the Planning Commission, then.

    There was much controversy about the safety aspects of eliminating lanes for motorists, and putting in 5 road obstructing roundabouts, from the beginning. And the plans were, before, only to eliminate a northbound lane for motorists, not both northbound and southbound lanes. Plus another, narrow, one-lane roundabout was added, which, because of the RR tracks, has no throughway cross-streets, just as with all the other one-lane roundabouts.

    Catherine S. Blakespear was on camera, and apparently had participated in the “rally.” She was wearing her bicycle helmet, which is good. But what she said was upsetting. She kept calling Roberta Walker, whom was injured, a “warrior.” Our mayor is politicizing a tragic accident. What is the war? Who are the enemies? Is Catherine S. Blakespear implying that N101 Streetscape opponents are the enemies? Cooperation is the key to success, not pitting the majority of the public, adjacent residents, local commuters, and most business owners, against the minority, including bicyclists, who are being used as tools by a few commercial real estate interests.

    There was no indication, according to all reports, that speed was a factor, here. There is no evidence that roundabouts would have helped, and none are planned for Phoebe and 101, where the accident happened. No one is answering my question about whether or not Roberta Walker was using lights on her bicycle in the early morning hours when this happened, as it was still partially dark. Visibility very well could have been an issue.

    The remaining female commentator, whose name was not provided, or that I missed, was stating, WRONGLY, “This is the second time someone has been mowed down on 101.” She made the strong inference, by her choice of hyperbole, that speed was a factor. When bicyclists are sharing the road with cars, bicyclists will generally be going slower; so in that sense, speed is a factor. Of course, cars are much heavier than bicycles, so when there is a collision, even at low speeds, as could easily happen through one-lane roundabouts, the bicyclist would likely suffer drastic injuries.

    Remember, it is legal for bicyclists to use any motor vehicle lane, providing they are going the speed of traffic. During gridlock, when traffic is stop and go, bicyclists could use the bicycle lane, where it exists, and through the roundabouts, or in the single remaining motor vehicle lane, they would also be free to merge over, and use that, as well, as long as they were going the speed of traffic. The reverse is not true. Cars cannot use bicycle lanes, but bicycles can use motor vehicle lanes. If they do so, and even in the bicycle lanes, they are to follow all the rules of the road. This includes riding single file, and except when passing, or avoiding an obstacle, riding to the right of the lane, according to California Motor Vehicle Code.

    The only public health and safety expert on Council, Mark Muir, has opposed N101 Streetscape for health and safety reasons. David Smith, Fire Engineer, has spoken at a recent Council Meetings, and many times in the past, before the California Coastal Commission and City Council, about the dangers of putting in multiple road choking, overly-narrow roundabouts and eliminating lanes for motorists.

    In this week’s Coast News, there is an editorial complaining about an article in the CN which showed the devastation in Paradise, and cited community concerns about a similar scenario here, on Highway 101, should an evacuation become necessary. Is Charley Marvin trying to imply that an evacuation would never be necessary here, as it was in Paradise? Similar lane eliminations, there, absolutely contributed to the death toll. Marvin is identified as a business owner, but he is a commercial property owner, who expects to profit from what he considers to be N101 Highway improvements, at the public’s great expense, in terms of $30 plus MILLION, and greater danger to public health and safety, as well as limited access and egress to the coast.

    The City cannot arbitrarily declare an emergency, because of a tragic accident, in the early morning hours, when speed was not a factor. Going forward, any funding should absolutely be obtained through General Obligation Bonds, for which the electorate is entitled to a public vote. There would be no source of lease revenue for this boondoggle of a public works project.

    Eliminating our major arterial, taking away Historic Highway 101, is not the way to benefit health and safety. More back-ups would cause more greenhouse gases. Bus stops would be eliminated. The trees could be added without eliminating one lane northbound and one lane southbound, for motorists. What WOULD be much safer is a SEPARATED bicycle lane in the RR Right of Way, for both northbound and southbound bicyclists. What also needs to be prioritized are RR crossings for bicycles and pedestrians, NOT roundabouts and lane deletions for motorists, who are already driving more slowly, with a reduced speed limit to 35 MPH. That speed limit could be enforced, rather than putting in roundabouts, which would NOT be traffic calming, but traffic exacerbating, also resulting in more motorists cutting through residential neighborhoods, to avoid traffic snarls, and slower emergency response times.

    Unfortunately, bicyclists, of whom I am one, are being pitted against the residents and citizens of Encinitas, and against our own best interests, by a special interests/profiteers. Bicyclists, many of them from outside of Encinitas Bicycle Clubs, are being used as unwitting tools. A tragic accident is being politicized. Opponents of N101 Streetscape are being made into enemies through fear tactics, propaganda and hyperbole. This mentality has got to stop

  2. Mike Burrows 3 months ago

    Well, Lynn Marr, it is a battle out there for us cyclists. (Who are also, by the way, motorists.) We have to contend with too many ill-informed individuals who are armed with motor vehicles and a blame the victim mentality. If you were truly a cyclist you would know this. Too many motorists fail to remember that possessing a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right.

    California Vehicle Code does not in fact say that riding abreast is illegal, that is opinion.

    Please save your crocodile tears for cyclists’ safety & criticism of “reckless” cycling being dangerous to the public; no motorist has ever been killed by a cyclist. Unfortunately the opposite is not true; regardless of fault the cyclist always loses in an encounter. Motorist perception of cyclist must change and the primary problem is not accepting cyclist as traffic and the result is twofold: 1. perception of cyclist as roadway interloper and 2. cyclist is invisible. First, the misconception that cyclist should not be allowed on the road. Second, not “seeing” cyclists because mental process is not filtering for cyclists. Maybe some radical infrastructure changes have to happen to facilitate change in public perception.

    And for all our sakes, motorists, cyclists & pedestrians, please put your cell phones away while driving!

  3. Nic 3 months ago

    Mike & Lynn,

    First of all, it’s a battle for all of us, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Second, fault lies only in small part with all three groups; cyclists along the 101 corridor have long been ignorant and arrogant towards traffic laws, while drivers are in a hurried, “road rage,” and pedestrians shoot out of hidden spots trying to navigate across tracks and road to the west side of 101. The real problem is the unsafe road design. It is not just unsafe for cyclists; the design endangers all three groups. The idea of mixing cyclists and cars in lanes is incredible naive and dangerous. It’s not just the “perceptions” of drivers, but the attitude of cyclists, which is usually arrogant and rarely law-abiding, that makes this mix unmanageable and unsafe. Roberta’s accident highlights that issue and hopefully leads to change. But the solution is up for rational debate and reasonable people can disagree. Whatever the solution, cyclists should not be mixed in with cars on the road. The traffic flow for cars does matter. Cyclists can not just ask for special treatment, they need to contribute to road safety by obeying laws and the city needs to provide dedicated lanes to separate cars from bicycles.

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