It is unfortunate that not only the reporter, but also the Danville police are unfamiliar with the rights of cyclists as delineated in the California Vehicle Code: "Danville Police Chief Chris Wenzel said it's against the law to ride two or more abreast on the street."
Wrong. The Vehicle Code says not a word about riding two abreast. In fact, CVC 21202 provides that a single cyclist is entitled to take the entire lane if it is a "substandard width lane ... too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane."
Taking the lane is frequently the safe, appropriate and legal course of action for one or more cyclists. It precludes accidents caused by an inattentive motorist opening a door in a parked car; it makes the cyclist more visible to cross traffic at dangerous intersections; and it discourages motorists from trying to "squeeze" by a cyclist at a dangerously close distance. Motorists wishing to pass should, when it is safe, move to the left lane and proceed around the cyclist at a safe distance.
I trust that Chief Wenzel will spend some time becoming familiar with basic principles of cycling safety and applicable provisions of the Vehicle Code.
Ric Oberlink, J.D, Berkeley
Editor's Note: Chief Chris Wenzel replied that his department interprets the Vehicle Code to mean you cannot ride two abreast. It does not specifically mention riding two or more abreast but it does state people should ride as close as possible to the edge of the road.
Congratulations to the citizens of Alamo for turning out in numbers on June 30 in San Ramon to tell the Tri-Valley Transportation Council (TVTC) that Alamo does not want an expansion of the intersection of Danville Boulevard and Stone Valley Road, aka the Ultimate Configuration.
Thanks to District 3 County Supervisor Mary Piepho and her colleagues on the TVTC for responding to Alamo's concerns and saying they will remove the project from the TVTC list of projects authorized for funding with developers' fees.
For citizens who wish to understand more about the complicated process of local government planning and funding for roads in our community, the Alamo Improvement Association (AIA) has prepared a paper that describes the government entities involved, what they do, and how they can be accessed by citizens. The paper will be available shortly on the AIA Web site, www.alamoca.org.
Grace Schmidt, Alamo