Santa Cruz reader wants motorists, cyclists to share the road

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I was hoping that you could send another big reminder to motorists and cyclists about rules of the road and adhering to them. I was cycling on Bean Creek Road from Santa Cruz on both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. I've done this 20-mile loop from my house for almost 18 years. On these recent occasions, I had very near misses with an oversized tour bus and a minivan. Both vehicles took the entire road all the way my side of the road, leaving me nowhere to go. Since I know this road well, I usually take the curve very conservatively, as I can't see ahead of me, and stay as far right as I can. Both times, the vehicles came to a stop as they very nearly collided with me. If I had been in a vehicle, both incidents would have resulted in a head-on crash. Bean Creek is a very narrow, winding rural road. The fact that a vehicle would take the entire road is just plain bad driving. Please remind your readers that it only takes a moment of inattention or reckless driving to cause a crash and change lives forever. Please remind cyclists that we also need to pay attention to the rules of the road, ride as far right as possible and always be on the defensive. I have been cycling a lot this summer with friends, the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club and my children. Everyday I ride, I witness near misses, cars going through stop signs, rolling stops at a red light and not looking both ways. You always read from angry motorists about cyclists, yet I observe so many motorists doing the very same thing they accuse cyclists of doing. So, please ask that cyclists and motorists both be more mindful and to please share the road. Allow three feet when passing a cyclist, look both ways, be aware of cyclists when making the right hand turns and watch out for cyclists on those beautiful rural county roads, as well as in the heavily trafficked city streets. Anything that the Sentinel can do to educate the public about safety as motorists and/or cyclists would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Kathy Ferraro, Santa Cruz A: You did it best, Kathy. Thank you. Driver education in July
  • Smart Start – The teen driver education program taught by the California Highway Patrol will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 13 in the Santa Cruz Police Department’s Community Room, 155 Center St. in Santa Cruz. To R.S.V.P., call 662-0511.
  • Driver’s Yoga – A 20-percent discount is being offered to people who bring a friend, spouse or family member to the July 10, 17 or 31 workshops that teach drivers how to stay focused on the road. The classes are 10 a.m. to noon each day at the Live Oak Senior Center, 1777 Capitola Road. Entry is $20. Reserve a seat at 332-4022.
  • AARP Driver Safety Class – This course for seniors will be 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, July 19 and 20 in Capitola. A certificate of completion is giving to folks who complete both days. The cost is $12 for members and $14 for non-members. For information, call 426-6472.
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