Widder Rants #39: Bike Lanes Without Bicycles and trump Without Humanity

by on August 12, 2019 · 37 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Judi Curry

Although I haven’t stayed out of the fray completely, I have been reasonably quiet about things that are really bothering me lately. I realize that there are many that will disagree with me, and, quite frankly, I have tried to see it your way but have not been able to do so. The first thing are these damn bike lanes.

Today, while driving down West Point Loma Avenue towards Ocean Beach, I saw three near misses of cars almost being hit by other cars and they came out of the parking lane into the flow of traffic.  If there had been a car to the left of any of those cars there would have been a head on collision, because all of those cars swerved into oncoming traffic lanes.  And the ironic thing about the episodes was that there were NO bike riders in the bike lanes!

Two days ago, while attempting to get to an appointment in Old Town, I was stuck in traffic for almost 45 minutes while lanes changed from 2 lanes to 1 lane.  Again, there were no bike riders in the bike lanes.

Bike riding is okay. I am not against it – if the bike riders follow the same rules that car drivers are supposed to follow.  The stop signs are for all of us; not just for the cars.  I asked a man a while ago why he doesn’t stop at the stop signs.  His answer – “then I lose momentum”.  I guess that “losing momentum” is better than losing his life. Stupid.

And, again today, while driving on Sunset Cliffs, I saw the same lady I saw a few months ago in a wheel chair trying to get to the corner of Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs, only to be blocked by 3 scooters on the sidewalk.  As she did last time, she literally “kicked” them out of her way with one landing in the street.

Have you been downtown lately and observed the stupidity of the bike lanes there?  You don’t know if you are in a parking lane or a traffic lane.  And roads are now reduced to one lane instead of two.  Traffic backs up for blocks.

I worked with an individual that rode his bike to school – yes, he was a teacher – from his home to school every day – a distance of about 10 miles.  And his classroom reeked of body odor.  It was so bad that I had many complaints from his 6th grade students as well as their parents.  I had to tell him that he had to do something about his personal hygiene before something drastic happened.  His answer to me? “I don’t smell it.”  Yeah. That was probably true because if he did he would find it offensive too.

What’s the answer?  I know what I would like to see as an answer. I don’t dare put it in print. But you know.  Yes, you know my feelings.

The next thing that has me climbing the walls is the supporters of trump.  Yes, I know I did not capitalize his name. I can’t.  I detest that man so much I do not even feel that his name should be capitalized. His lying; his egotism; his racism is just more than I can stand.  And what makes it worse are the people that I know that still support him.

I have written about a cousin of mine that broke down in tears when, at the age of 5, I asked her why she had numbers tattooed on her arm. She was only 7 when she was put into a concentration camp and lost all of her family.  Her “cage” was similar to what children are being put in today.  She never really recovered from the ordeal, and died when she was only 43.

I do not see much difference – no, change that. I do not see any difference in what is happening today then what Ann Frank wrote on January 13, 1943.  Let me quote.

“Terrible things are happening outside…poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes.  Families are torn apart; men, women and children are separated.  Children come home from school to find that their parents have disappeared.” 

That was in 1943.  Seventy-six years ago.  There is no difference today.

The president of the United States is acting like a 5 year old child. He makes accusations that have no merit; he makes things up. His latest about President Clinton having something to do with Epstein’s death is incomprehensible.  How can anyone believe this man, let alone support him.  How can people just sit back and accept the horrible names he calls people. How can Congress just sit back and do nothing when our country, which started with immigrants, is sinking lower and lower each day?

ICE is raiding places where people are working, paying taxes, and not on the government dole.  Why haven’t trumps properties been subjected to ICE raids?  It is a known fact that he is and has been employing immigrants without the proper papers for years.  Let’s close down his establishments.  Let’s raid his holdings.

His appointments of people to run various departments would be laughable if they weren’t so scary. People that have no experience in the departments they have been asked to run. And the Senate, in their infinite wisdom are too scared to say “no” to this man.  There have never been as many resignations of department heads in any other president’s time as there is with this one.  And one has to ask why are they resigning?  The president isn’t the only liar; look at the record of his appointees.

Ah yes.  I can go on and on.

And I know what many of you are going to say about this. Don’t tell me that if I don’t like it I can go somewhere else. I was born here. I went to school here.  My father was born in Hungary and came here when he was 12 years old. Did he come legally? I don’t know.  It was never brought up before.  And what if he didn’t? Does it truly make a difference?  He got a job; he paid his taxes; he eventually had his own business.

The United States today is not the United States he came to over 100 years ago.  It was the land of dreams; the land of the free; no one was raiding his businesses to see if he was “legal” or not.  He was not a druggie; he was not a thief; he was not a drug trafficker, nor are the majority of people that are coming here today.

The best I can say is we need to take a very close look at what this man in the White House is doing to America. They need to compare the man in the White House to Hitler and see the similarities.  They need to compare the man in the White House to other dictators alive today and ask themselves why he is trying to emulate them.  And most of all – they need to elect someone different in 2020 or there may not be an election in 2024.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar ZZ August 12, 2019 at 1:08 pm

The West Point Loma Blvd redesign is a disaster, and it is only partly done.

Jennifer Campbell, what the heck is going on here? This is your district, do you support this? Is there any actual public demand to downgrade 4 lane streets into 2?

What happens if there is a natural disaster? With this change, the only street with more than 2 lanes out of OB is Sunset Cliffs.

Since they are keeping it 4 lanes right before and after intersections, this means multiple lane merges that are hazardous.

The line of parked cars in the middle of the street, some in groups of as little as 3, also create a hazard because they look like a car waiting at a stop light to turn right.

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Avatar Paul Webb August 12, 2019 at 3:56 pm

And, we have to keep this really terrible road design, couldn’t there at least be signs warning of the lane reduction, as in “lane ends, merge left” and not just the arrows on the pavement that may be hidden by the cars in front of you.

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Judi Curry judi curry August 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm

You said it better than me! Thanks.

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Avatar Proud American August 12, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Judy, You just another California Liberal Blowhard!

ILLEGAL ALIENS wouldn’t be detained and vetted if they were here LEGALLY!!
I have no problem with immigration when it’s done LEGALLY

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Editor editordude August 13, 2019 at 12:13 pm

We published this comment just to show our readers what some of the tripe we receive looks like. As my dad used to say, an “illegal” is just a sick bird. This person calls themselves “proud american” but ignores our history where everybody here is an immigrant except for the native peoples.

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molly Molly August 13, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Hey Proud American! Go back to where your from, like Norway.

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Avatar rick callejon August 13, 2019 at 12:40 pm

“Blowhard!” Notice that the commander in cheat is the biggest bloviating blowhard ever? SAD!

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Avatar Paul Webb August 12, 2019 at 3:57 pm

Should have written “And IF we have to…”

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Avatar josil9 August 12, 2019 at 5:09 pm

Well, you scored 50% with me. I agree West Pt Loma bike & parking plan is seemingly irrational. Your views on Trump are, frankly, hysterical. And, it is the intensity of such views–for or against–which is rending the fabric of this country. My advice to you is “cool it”, for your own mental health.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie August 12, 2019 at 6:33 pm

Judi – for country’s sake, do NOT “cool it”; your views about trump are right on!

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Avatar Geoff Page August 13, 2019 at 9:49 am

Fascinating how you tried to flip this around and attack the writer. Sure people are hysterical about t-rump, he’s the one rending the fabric of the country. There were a lot of people who didn’t like Obama but it wasn’t like this, he wasn’t attacking every poor person in this country who is just trying to stay afloat. Defending this idiot is hysterical nonsense.

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Avatar Kevin August 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm

Spot on. All of it.

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Judi Curry Judi Curry August 12, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Thank you.

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Avatar Vern August 12, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Well, if nothing else, t-rump remains an imbecile.

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Avatar Gary Huber August 12, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Well, if your father was like my grandfather, who also came from Eastern Europe, he most likely came here legally and with the help of a sponsor. It’s pretty hard to swim across the Atlantic.

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Avatar Paul Webb August 13, 2019 at 9:30 am

You know, my great-grandfather came here legally too. You know what he had to do? He just showed up at Ellis Island with his family in 1902. That’s all, he just showed up, like so many do today but are harassed, imprisoned and deported.

I know I’ll probably get flamed for this comment, but let’s be honest about this “my ancestors immigrated legally” nonsense. Things were quite different in the past and you can’t compare historical immigration with the current mess at the border.

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Judi Curry Judi Curry August 13, 2019 at 10:34 am

I am not sure, Gary. From what I heard he got on a boat and came to Ellis Island. At the time none of his family was here. But, alas, I never asked for more information and his entire family is deceased.

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Avatar ZZ August 13, 2019 at 12:12 pm

You can search the records at Ellis Island for free. You can also get a lot of info on Ancestry.com such as complete census records from 1940 and before and any research that might have been done by other distant family members by common ancestors.

When I did this a few years ago, I found much info. They have a free one month trial, and then $20 a month or so. I found the free trial so useful I let them charge me the next months before I cancelled.

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Avatar Fstu August 12, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Well Judi. I mostly agree with you for sure on dumb donnie he probably could be worse We’re not in a war yet.
The bike lanes I’ll have to wait an see I don’t mind riding in traffic and your right “follow traffic rules” but many don’t do that. I’ll give the new lanes time for us to adjust I understand some organization studied them and says they’re the best. So we’ll see
But trump definitely a deplorable a hole

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Avatar Paul Grimes August 12, 2019 at 9:49 pm

Pretty much agree on the bike lanes. I walk WPLB daily and have seen maybe 10-20 bikes total in 3 weeks. Of those, most are either going the wrong direction or on the sidewalk. And most are not going to work unless collection empty beer cans is a career.
Regarding the President, you might want to check an unbiased site for some facts. The Ann Frank comparison is ridiculous.

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Avatar Geoff Page August 13, 2019 at 9:46 am

What unbiased sites would you suggest, Paul? All a person has to do is turn on the TV or the radio or peruse the internet, there are thousands of places all describing the inhumanity and greed of the orangutan in the White House. I thought the comparison was perfect.

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Avatar ZZ August 13, 2019 at 12:05 pm

My observation is the same as yours Paul. Nobody is using the bike lines. The car to bike ratio is more than 100 to 1.

This is pure idiocy mostly imposed on the area by North Park hipster bike zealots.

It will cause traffic deaths, stress, and additional pollution from

(1) cars backed up in traffic sprewing pollution

(2) cars roaming around side streets looking for a parking space since so many were removed, and the remaining parking on WPL involves blocking large amounts of traffic, which is not for the timid. I am not a timid driver, but it still makes me anxious when I stop the flow of traffic to parallel park. Now, hundreds of people who live on the WPL can deal with that shot of unhealthy stress hormone every single day.

Thanks a lot hipster bike zealots, you turned me totally against my prior bike advocacy (search for prior comments for examples here going back years). The deceptive, probably illegal way it was presented to the planning group was also noted here and will not be forgot.

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Avatar Laurie Gerber August 13, 2019 at 9:27 am

Hi Judy!

I was actually thrilled to see the new bike lane set up on West Point Loma Blvd. It’s been so dangerous for bicyclists there. I am impressed with the new design using a parking lane as a buffer for the bike lane. It’s no surprise that the bike lane is empty – it will take a while for bicyclists to discover it, and the surrounding area is still the older dangerous setup. But if we want to encourage people to use bicycles, we have to start somewhere. (Remember all the complaints about the cost and nuisance of fiber optic cable installation long before services could make use of it?) And maybe if driving becomes a little less pleasant, we’ll be motivated to try our public transit system, which the city is trying so hard to improve and expand.

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Avatar ZZ August 13, 2019 at 12:14 pm

“and the surrounding area is still the older dangerous setup”

Which there is no plan to address and no clear way to fix.

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Avatar Hipster Bike Zealot August 13, 2019 at 12:50 pm

Well, this is the most civil comment on this post. Rad.

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Avatar Eric August 13, 2019 at 2:28 pm

I live on Mentone St and drive on WPL all the time. The lane reductions are in the proper locations and I believe the estimate of the traffic study that predicted 10-20 second delay for most drivers relative to the previous configuration. I have not noticed any significant increase in traffic because of them. I find it hard to believe there was 45 minute delay due to just the bike lanes, are you sure there was not an accident that day?

When they finish the last section between Camulos and Nimitz there will be protected bike lanes from the beach to the trolley station. I look forward to their completion. I ride my bike on WPL 2-3 times per week.

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Avatar Geoff Page August 13, 2019 at 3:14 pm

Actually, the city said the delays to traffic would only be four to six seconds. How they figured that and how they could say that with a straight face is why I am always skeptical of what the city says.

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Avatar Dave August 14, 2019 at 9:10 am

I also live right off WPL along the section that’s been reconfigured, I walk and drive it daily. While I don’t see a ton of use out of the bike lanes, it’s rare on my daily walks in the afternoon that I see fewer than 3-4 bikes passing me, so they are getting some use.

As for the traffic, I also found the measured delay in terms of seconds ridiculous. That said, the actual use case isn’t too bad – I’d say that during off times I’m inconvenienced by somewhere between zero and 30 seconds, during busy traffic I’m delayed between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, probably closer to the 30 second mark. I don’t find it an overwhelming burden.

The biggest danger I see is clowns that want to drag race off the CVS stoplight and fight for position when the lane narrows at the dentist instead of simply zippering to merge – speeding into the merges is what’s raising accident potential in my eyes.

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Avatar Paul Webb August 14, 2019 at 9:49 am

Geoff, they do it through modeling. What the model ends up giving you is the average delay. Actual delays are typically not average and could range from zero to many minutes. Even before the project it quite often took me a long time to get out of OB on WPL, with traffic frequently backed up from Nimitz to Ebers. I often have to sit through more than one cycle of the traffic lights, which, by the way, is the definition of a failing intersection. This used to happen only in the AM rush, but now can occur nearly any time during the day.

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Judi Curry Judi Curry August 13, 2019 at 3:18 pm

There was no accident. Heavens to Betsy if there was. Just people trying to get to work. I shudder to think what it will be like when all the schools are back in session.

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Judi Curry Judi Curry August 13, 2019 at 3:20 pm

By the way – the traffic was backed up almost to Ebers.

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Avatar kh August 19, 2019 at 11:57 am

Judi, that happens because of the failing left turn lane to access the I-8. There is a single lane, which is too short, and left turners block all the through traffic. In the past the lane was wider and and cars could legally squeeze through on the right to go straight. It was not wide enough, as mirrors getting broken was a regular occurence. When the green bike lanes were added west of Nimitz, (~last year, separate from this project) the sharrow lane here was shortened by a lot to create a dedicated bike lane. Cars were still squeezing through, but now breaking the law doing so. (You can only drive in a bike lane within the last 200 ft and only if turning right). Some enforcement has happened.

The OB Community Plan has called for addressing this intersection, but it has only gotten worse with the restriping. I believe there’s some options there that will prevent cars from waiting multiple signal cycles and backing up into other intersections while still accommodating bikes more safely.

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Judi Curry Judi Curry August 19, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Thank you for your information. I long ago stopped taking Sunset Cliffs to Highway 8 because of the long wait times. Sometimes had to wait for 2-3 signals just at Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs. Then I started taking West Point Loma Ave to pick up Highway 8 – or Mission Bay areas – and am finding the wait time is now just as long as it was on Sunset Cliffs. I do not think that the amount of bike riders justifies the tremendous wait; the accidents waiting to happen, etc. Until the current patterns change, I hope we have no emergencies when we all have to get out of this area. It is an accident waiting to happen.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie August 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm

And then this happened: motorcycle crashes trying to pass sanitation truck on 4400 block of WPL. https://timesofsandiego.com/crime/2019/08/13/motorcyclist-crashes-bike-passing-trash-truck-in-point-loma/

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Avatar Gilbert E Field August 17, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Great Article, Judi.

Thank you !

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Avatar Debra August 19, 2019 at 11:28 am

Well, if you’d like to know something absolutely hilarious, I had the living sh!t beat out of me, by a thieving trash IMMIGRANT, who crippled me for life. There’s NO way in He!! I could ever ride a bike again, even though I would love to and actually bought a house here in OB 25yrs ago, so I could do exactly that.

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Judi Curry Judi Curry August 19, 2019 at 11:53 am

Oh my goodness. Hardly think that is hilarious. I’m so sorry.

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