14 posts tagged Drivers

BOLO: Black Cadillac on Bayside Drive

It's called getting "JerryBrowned", after the Governor's two-times vetoes of a Safe 3-Foot Passing law, when you get passed too closely by a motorist. I was JerryBrowned on Bayside Drive yesterday around 3:30pm when this late model black Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon buzzed me like I've never been buzzed before. The driver came so close, the car missed hitting me by mere inches. It was the closest shave of my life. It takes some practice to drive that close to a cyclist without hitting ... Continue Reading

Watch the Cart!

LAX I didn't have a seat assignment for the 13 hour flight to Moscow; that's why I'm here almost 4 hours early, and it paid off. Aeroflot started checking in about 10 minutes after I arrived. Forward, aisle, please. So now I'm haunting the terminal. There's no plane waiting at the gate, so I may have awhile yet before boarding. I've loaded up the laptop bag with snacks; not that I expect to be hungry, more just to pass the time. I haven't left my Complete Streets mentality behind ... Continue Reading

Too Realistic

With my limitations spelled out via text message, I headed off to 'Every 15 minutes' at my local high school. I recently met NBPD's Officer Anderson, who was coordinating the event at the school. I sat in a meeting with him where kids were nominated to participate. The idea behind the event is to scare the crap out of the kids as it relates to driving under the influence. I won't know until later this afternoon how my son reacted, but it spooked me. I came by bike and locked it up ... Continue Reading

CdM’s Newest Driver

I just came home from the DMV; my 16½ year-old son just got his drivers license. You've been warned.

"Why do you look so nervous?" the driving instructor says with a jolly smile as he approaches our car. "Because I'm a lousy driver." My son seldom graces his discussions with similar humor at home. "I like lousy drivers; I hit them in the head with my clipboard." I know this is going to work out just fine, but as a parent you worry, right? My wife was astute enough to prepare a Driving Contract and the night before the test gives a parent some leverage. Download a copy; it's got a lot of good guidelines spelled out. I signed it first, then prior to going out for the evening I went upstairs to change. While I'm still thinking about how great it is to have him at least acknowledge many of these fine details; I think of one more — that he consider all trips to RiteAid, Ace Hardware and Albertsons as walkable and not an excuse to drive a half mile. When I return to the kitchen and share this new insight he's delighted to tell me he's already signed the contract. It's hard to stay a step ahead of teens. My dad was a great driver. Of course, we all think we're good drivers. That's the joke at Traffic School, "Raise your hand if you think you're an above average driver?" Not many think of themselves otherwise. My interview with Carjacked! author Anne Lutz Fernandez confirms this self image bias. But dad was good at teaching me to drive, so one goal I've had is to be as good while instructing my kids. Life doesn't always work out the way you hope though. My constructive criticisms became instant arguments and little instruction occurred. But as a dear friend once said, your children will listen, even if you don't think they are. My particular emphasis of proper driving behavior has focused on consideration of pedestrians. ... Continue Reading

Carjacked!

Thinking about a new car for the holidays? You may think twice after listening to this week's guest, Anne Lutz Hernandez, who together with her sister, authored Carjacked, The Culture of the Automobile & Its Effect On Our Lives. You may soon agree, it's an appropriate title. Catherine, the anthropologist, and Anne, the investment banker turned consumer product marketer, team up to de-mystify the automobile. Once I started reading, I had to interview Anne. Like the kiss that breaks the ... Continue Reading

97 Seconds To Save A Life, and a Neighborhood

We're all in a hurry; it's part of life these days. Has it always been that way? Were there quieter, simpler times? The City has convened a Citizens Advisory Panel to look at ways to enhance the pedestrian experience along Coast Hwy in Corona del Mar. They met 10 days ago and plan to meet again Oct 5th. At the meeting it's apparent, the charm of the village is something everyone in the room wants to preserve, yet the speed and volume of cars is the biggest challenge to the quality ... Continue Reading

Planning for More Pedestrians

A Citizen Advisory Panel held a meeting earlier this week to consider improvements to the entrance to CdM, especially when coming from the west. They plan to widen sidewalks in the hopes of improving the pedestrian experience. It’s not till the meeting is almost over that I realize they’ve avoided the elephant in the room: traffic. Can we improve CdM without encouraging the use of more cars? My first thoughts while sitting through this meeting are about bicycle access, of course. ... Continue Reading

Fernleaf Sign to Come Down

The Fernleaf "No Bicycles On Street" sign will come down. Sometimes it's a surprise, like last week's post where I poked fun at the sign on Fernleaf Avenue in CdM; it received quite a few comments. My weekly Cycling Safety post on coronadelmartoday brought out an anti-cyclist sentiment from some: "all this bike activist nonsense is getting annoying;" others were quick to see the prejudice. Doubtless the final word on the subject, BikingBrian writes of the specific legal aspects; it ... Continue Reading

Go Around, or Stay Home?

So this is the big weekend – when LA's Sepulveda Pass is closed to traffic. Many are trying to capitalize on this disruption. I noticed that "travel marketing executives" here in Newport Beach came up with a plan to lure those who can't stand not driving somewhere, to drive 50 miles south to our little oasis, as an Escape from Carmageddon. It's as if the idea of staying at home and chilling is such a terrible thing. What would I do if I lived in Brentwood? Stay near home and ride my bike; ... Continue Reading

Working Overtime to Torment Drivers

Maybe this is the ghost of Christmas-Future. Will cars get pushed out of American cities in favor of pedestrians and cyclists? The New York Times' Elisabeth Rosenthal writes in "Europe Stifles Drivers in Favor of Alternatives" how Zurich's Transportation Planners have "been working overtime in recent years to torment drivers." In Munich, "on street parking is vanishing". Why so anti-automobile? "The methods vary, but the mission is clear -- to make car use expensive and just plain ... Continue Reading