Motorcycle crash closes Ocean St.

Motorcycle crash closes Ocean St.

There are 57 comments on the Santa Cruz Sentinel story from Jul 28, 2008, titled Motorcycle crash closes Ocean St.. In it, Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

A 53-year-old Boulder Creek man was seriously hurt when he crashed his motorcycle on Ocean Street near the Fishhook early Monday afternoon.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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San Francisco, CA

#2 Jul 28, 2008
What is lane splitting?

Livingston, CA

#3 Jul 28, 2008
when a motorcyclist goes between cars to pass, splitting down the lane divider line.
m1 safe

United States

#4 Jul 28, 2008
how fast do you think he was lanesplitting?. 15 maybe 25 legal.
anti lane splitter

United States

#5 Jul 28, 2008
If only 1 motorcyclist reads the lanesplitting critical injury article and stops doing that insane maneuver it will probably save his life someday. Crazy dudes on 17 splitting traffic on laurel curve = russian roulette.

Saratoga, CA

#6 Jul 28, 2008
I don't know what happened, but I have an opinion about it anyway. I drive a motorcycle and sometimes use lane sharing to get through traffic jams, especially coming over 17 into Santa Cruz. It works really well. The last time I drove out to the beach, on July 4, I went through a huge traffic jam coming into town in a few minutes. A lot of car drivers resent you for that, and they try to block you from passing them. Sometimes a driver will make a quick lane change right in front of you as you are coming down the "lane" between cars. Sometimes they just didn't see you, but it really seems like some people are trying to get you to crash, or are saying "See, maybe lane sharing is too dangerous after all". It seems like this crash was probably caused by someone in a pickup changing lanes right in front of the motorcycle driver. Maybe the motorcyclist was going too fast, a lot of them do (I don't).
Just Joan

Santa Cruz, CA

#7 Jul 28, 2008
if drivers would pay attention to their mirrors, then this legal maneuver would be much less dangerous.

Santa Cruz, CA

#8 Jul 28, 2008
Disclaimer: I ride a motorcycle.

I tend to agree with Jim; it's hard to say what's going on here. I see a lot of riders flying between lanes, way faster than they should. However, I also see a lot of people PO'ed that the biker can do that.

Well, we kinda need to, at least for some bikes. Flowing air to keep the engine cool & all that. Hey, we could be in front of you with an F-250, you know.

I forget the specifics of the law; I've heard all bikers can do it since the CHP does. I've also heard that traffic needs to be either stopped or going very slowly (< 5-10 mph) and you can't exceed 15-25mph. At the minimum, that's how I've played it, and how I've seen CHP act as well.

I do know that you need the utmost vigilance and I try to avoid doing it, especially near interchanges, on/off ramps and any other time traffic is likely to be changing lanes frequently. An error on your part still gets me as the injured or killed party.

Hopland, CA

#9 Jul 28, 2008
It's the responsibility of the motorcyclists to make drivers aware of the fact that they are splitting a lane. The loser is always the irresponsible motorcyclist. I have seen cyclists splitting lanes at very high speeds. Lane splitting at high speeds is not legal because it's neither safe nor prudent.

Saratoga, CA

#10 Jul 28, 2008
One time I was lane sharing over 17, doing about 10 - 15 mph or so, and I saw some faster motorcyclists coming up behind me. I pulled into the lane on the left to let them go by. It was two guys on all-black "racing" bikes, both dressed all in black, going way too fast for lane sharing. When I went back to lane sharing, the car that I had just been behind swerved into me like they were going to hit me. I had to hit the brakes to avoid a collision. It turned out that it was a car load of young women, and they all thought it was hilarious that they had scared me. I wasn't driving dangerously like the "bad boys" dressed in black. There is a certain amount of pressure to drive recklessly on your motorcycle, so you don't look like a scardy-cat weenie. I know that is where a lot of the motorcyclists lane sharing at 55 mph on blind corners on 17 are coming from.

United States

#11 Jul 29, 2008
"Motorcycle crash closes Ocean St."

"Police spokesman Zach Friend said that the road was never completely shut down."

Ms. Squires, a rough Monday? Can't seem to get the headlines to match the facts today.

Martinez, CA

#12 Jul 29, 2008
jarbee wrote:
"Motorcycle crash closes Ocean St."
"Police spokesman Zach Friend said that the road was never completely shut down."
Ms. Squires, a rough Monday? Can't seem to get the headlines to match the facts today.
Wassamatter jarbee? Having a bad day?
Misery loves company.

Santa Cruz, CA

#13 Jul 29, 2008
I always watch my mirrors when driving, even (especially) when traffic is congested and slow. If I see a motorcycle coming up on me, I move away from the line leaving more room for the bike to get by me. When in normally moving traffic and I see a bike coming up fast on me, I do not change lanes, as they're usually coming around me by that time. A lane change would put me directly in their path.

Folks, despite their sometimes bad behavior, bikes depend on your predictability. Be concerned for their safety and don't "try to teach them a lesson". They don't enjoy the protection of a metal cabin like you. And if you caused an injury or death, you'd probably feel pretty bad about it.
SCM Native

Canyon Country, CA

#14 Jul 29, 2008
Many more motorcycles on the road these days with the soaring gas prices. We all need to just pay extra attention because many of these riders are fairly new riders (not to say this guy was).

Santa Cruz, CA

#15 Jul 29, 2008
Lane splitting is perfectly legal, but it seems many drivers are ignorant of this law, just as many drivers seem to be ignorant of the laws requiring bicyclists to travel in the traffic lane with cars when no bike lane is available (or when they need to make a left turn). I think the DMV is failing us all in this regard.
Technically, two cars can legally split a lane, too, provided the cars are narrow enough to travel safely within the lane.
The one requirement on lane splitting is that the vehicle travel the required distance (200 feet, if memory serves) before crossing into the other lane. So riding on the line is not legal; nor is weaving from one lane to the other over a short distance to dodge between cars.
hadenough-santa cruz

Oakland, CA

#16 Jul 29, 2008
Thank you hmmm for your rational post. My husband rides a motorcycle and has for 40 years. He is very cautious and has the utmost respect for the cars that could kill him in an instant. And yet there are still the crazies in their cars that will try to cut him off or will tailgate him. He loves to ride but sometimes I fear for his safety due to the irrational behavior of some.

San Jose, CA

#17 Jul 29, 2008
I'm sure everyone knows too that peddle bicycles never stop at stop signs ever...

Lane splitting motorcycles make my guts twist just watching it... Saw a person wearing only shorts, no shirt (like that matters) and sockless tennis shoes splitting like a madman and a superbike.. Oh sorry,he did have a half helmet on.

“ I do deny them my essence...”

Since: Mar 08

Santa Cruz, CA

#18 Jul 29, 2008
I am a motorcyclist and drive Highway 17 daily on my commute to Santa Clara. I often 'lane split' during my commute, usually to meander through stopped traffic, and mostly so that my air cooled motorcycle doesn't overheat, which is why the law was created. In California, it IS LEGAL to lane split. I am careful and courteous and above all slow. You have to maintain concentration and keep scanning the cars around you because as a motorcyclist, you are invisible to other drivers.

I believe the law states that you must limit your speed to 15 mph over the speed of the traffic, limited to by the speed limit. I know there are a lot of other riders out there. Some maybe not so safety oriented. My best story about lane splitting is riding behind a guy down Highway 1, splitting lanes. He was on a large Harley, riding fast and popping wheelies between cars. Quite a feat given the weight of the motorcycle and the narrowness of his 'lane'.

As a general rule, I try to avoid Ocean street, especially in the summer months. Making a guess, I'd say this poor soul was splitting at a pretty good clip.
FranklinSt resident

Hayward, CA

#19 Jul 29, 2008
Actually what happened is traffic was bumper to bumper and cars stopped so they didn't block the intersection at Franklin and Ocean to allow a truck to make the left onto northbound Ocean St. The guy that was lane splitting obviously wasn't paying attention and ran into the truck making the turn. Since the traffic was stopped and motioned for the guy to turn, one can only assume the motorcyclist was at fault.
Brother Bri

Newark, CA

#20 Jul 29, 2008
I also was cut-off by a truck driver while driving legally on our HWY 1. There are numerous reasons motorcyclist do not sit in traffic on our roadways. Have you ever been rear-ended? This disaster on a cycle is all to common and deadly. In a cage you are relatively protected, a cycle doesn't afford such luxury. As more and more people turn to the money saving features of commuting on a motorcycle, the cager's in our society would be beneficial to respect the other folks who drive our roadways legally when "lane splitting."

By the way I have been so seriously injured from this person who intentionally caused me to crash,(and no one got the info. from this truck driver, they just let him drive away), I have not been able to work for nearly 3 months. I will still be out of work for at least 2 more months. The financial ruin these people cause to motorcyclists is potentially devastating.

I would like to requests of all drivers to respect others on the the road, be it the guy/gal next to you, to the motorcyclist who is safely/legally lane splitting in order to protect him/herself. Treat other drivers as you would like them to treat you and 95 % of our problems may vanish.

If anyone needs more understanding please ask a biker, they would be glad to educate you.

Thank you & God Bless us on our dangerous enough roadways.

Safe Motorcyclist

Santa Cruz, CA

#21 Jul 29, 2008
Beg to differ with Mr. Zach Friend, but Ocean Street going North towards Hwy 17 at the Water St intersection was COMPLETELY closed yesterday during this. I know, I was there. The turn lane from Water on to Northbound Ocean was also closed.

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