Maintenance coming to Freedom Boulevard

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I frequently ride my bicycle up and down Freedom Boulevard. I enjoy the long uphill and of course going downhill is quite fun. Unfortunately, from about the 5200 through the 6000 block of Freedom, both sides of the road are choked with vegetation. In some areas, especially from 5200 through 5600, the earth has oozed into the bike lane – it is marked a bike lane – causing riders to ride very close to the traffic lane. It is dangerous enough for an experienced rider and potentially a death trap for the occasional day rider. I am wondering if county road crews can be dispatched to clean up Freedom so that we may more fully enjoy the ride that this part of Santa Cruz county has to offer. Thank you, Tom McKay A: County public works has made up “a service request for vegetation maintenance” in response to your email. Meanwhile, contact the department's dispatch office at 477-3999. Q: Thank you for stepping in to uproot information! Tom McKay A: You are so very welcome. Motorcycle safety awareness is an everyday thing An East Coast law firm contacted Street Smarts in the interest of spreading the word that motorcycle safety awareness should not be limited to one month out of the year. It is an everyday thing, according to Personal Injury Attorneys – Console & Hollawell P.C., of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In a blog published May 22, the firm wrote, “Safety on a motorcycle requires everyone to share the road. Unfortunately, as many riders would confirm, other motorists on the road often don’t drive cautiously enough around motorcycles. In the case of many collisions, drivers report that they didn’t even see the motorcyclist until the accident occurred. They may tailgate, with or without realizing it, or they may intentionally or accidentally cut off motorcyclists. Sadly, no biker can predict what another driver may do, especially if that driver does not even notice them.” While citing statistics from various sources about how dangerous riding can be, the blog encouraged riders to get trained. “Motorcyclists still suffer injuries at an alarming rate and are 35 times more likely to die from their crash-related injuries than car accident victims, Live Free Ride Alive reported,” the blog said. “Motorcycle collision injuries have been on the rise in recent years (from 120,000 injuries in 2001 to a whopping 175,000 in 2008), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The number of motorcycles currently in use in the U.S. has continued to climb, but the number of appropriately-trained riders has not – and that means a greater potential for accidents to happen every single day.” Read the entire article at
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