Chico is NOT bicycle friendly

What a lame editorial in Today’s ER. “Only one fix for crash statistics”? Oh, really. Spoken by a person who uses their car like an extension of their butt.

Yes, you heard it, Chico is one of “the worst” cities  in California for bike vs car accidents. And here’s a little something else – five pedestrians died in Chico in 2010 – and you probably only heard about the lady who was mowed by a dog-wrestling pothead while jogging on a country highway with her back to oncoming traffic. Four other pedestrians were killed by cars that year – anybody got any idea who they were? I don’t remember reading about five dead pedestrians in 2010. Did the ER report those accidents? Anybody?

I ride my bike alot around town. I encounter some strange car behavior. My favorite is when they speed up to cut you off with a right turn instead of slowing down until you cross the intersection they’re after – I’ve stopped many times to avoid running into these people, and one of them almost hit my kid right in front of me.

And then there’s the red light runners. Did you know, the fine for running a red light in Chico is less than $300? But it’s $472 for riding your bike the wrong way a block – I got that from the Butte County Superior Court case index.

One bike vs car fatality I remember very well is the death of Christine Girton over at 20th and MLK Parkway. She was determined, by the experts down at Chico PD,  to have had the right of way, but this guy just gunned her down anyway. He was not charged with ANYTHING – the general attitude we got from the cops was,  what was that woman doing on a bike in that intersection? 


I feel the editor reflects the general attitude of this car-driving town in his editorial – bikes need to get out of the way. There’s waaaay too many! I feel, if the editor rode a bike once in a blue moon, or even say, read the study on which he is reporting, he might have a different point of view.

Here’s the link to that report:

http://www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Rankings/default.asp

The California Office of Traffic Safety ranked cities by size, so that we are compared to cities with similar populations. We are ranked at  8 in the number of miles traveled by bike, out of 103 cities in our group. That means, we are not number one in the number of miles traveled by bike, but we are close to Number One in the number of bicycle accidents. Davis, California, also a  college town, has more cyclists but less accidents – go figure!

We only rank 35 out of 103 cities as to number of miles traveled by car. Look around you – we don’t have as much traffic as bigger cities, but we have a higher ranking than some in bicycle vs car accidents.

Editor heard the story and blopped out his editorial opinion that bike riders are at least as responsible for these accidents as car drivers. I say, get on your bike Editor. Ooooooo, no more drive thru coffee! No more ragin’ tunes! Just you, and the car drivers. I’d like to hear about that, I don’t need any more crap about bike riders from some phlob who uses his car like a body part.

Here are some videos of people cycle commuting in cities all around the US:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSvB6yfgkM8

Ann Schwab likes to tout her “bicycle city”.   Hah!    This is something we must not allow her to do this November, we need to remind her, CHICO IS NOT BICYCLE FRIENDLY! 

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6 thoughts on “Chico is NOT bicycle friendly

  1. TrafficTraffic circles are very dangerous to bicycles and pedestrians. This is going to become a major problem when they put the 2 new circles downtown.

    • I agree. When I was sitting in on those discussions, the engineers said the bicycles would have to reach a speed of at least 17 mph to navigate those circles safely. Pedestrians can just stand and wait until there’s NOBODY COMING, like you have to do out on Manzanita.

      And I’m so glad they’re widening the freeway to accomodate Meriam Park and Doe Mill – read the paperwork, CalTrans was going to sue us if the city permitted those subdivisions without widening the freeway – voila! Freeway in your back yard!

      Cars are king in this town. And Ann Schwab is the Queen!

    • thanks Rose, just when I was taking myself too seriously!

      Keep reminding me.

      One morning I was crossing with my kids in front of Chico library. I had the one on his bike in front of me and the other was in the trailer behind me. As I got out into the intersection, I heard the screeching of brakes – a car that had been a block away when I entered the crosswalk, on a green light, was suddenly bearing down on me. I could see the driver, terrified. The grill of her car was coming right at me, I was so scared, I couldn’t move my feet. She stopped about 15 feet short of making a grease spot out of me. I could see the word “Chrysler” on a little standard on the front of her grill. When I cleared the intersection, she gunned it outta there like Smokey and the Bandit, without so much as a “I’m sorry I just threatened the lives of you and your small child as you tried to use a crosswalk properly to get into a public building”.

      I got over to the curb and recovered myself. I screamed some obscenities. A lady who’d been watching from across the street said she saw that “kind of stuff” every day at the library.

      A couple of weeks later, a young woman speeding to catch a yellow light swerved to avoid a group of kids in that same cross walk and ended up perched on that big concrete sign on the library lawn. My kids and I were in the library that time. We’d just come across that intersection and walked into the building, in that amount of time this woman landed her car on the sign like she was trying to tag a witch.

      Chico is a car happy town, everything the city council does is to accommodate cars. The freeway 99 widening was necessitated by over-development permitted for the most part by the same group you see sitting up on that dais – Schwab, Holcombe and Gruendl never met a new urban subdivision they didn’t like, and Flynn/Goloff will rubber stamp anything they tell her. It’s all about getting more money into the area to pay the salaries, none of them really give a rat’s patoot about quality of life around here.

      Meanwhile, they ride their bikes for pleasure, for high profile races and century rides, while I’m stuck out there in traffic on mine.

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