On October 24, 2013, cyclists, government officials and loved ones gathered to dedicate a new bicycle lane to Lauren Ward, a cyclist who died after a trailer truck struck her on Alpine Road near Interstate 280.
Lauren, 47, of Los Altos Hills, was remembered for her passion for public safety. Former state legislator Joe Kimitian, now a Santa Clara County supervisor attended the dedication, noting that Lauren once won his “There Oughta Be A Law contest,” in which constituents submitted ideas for laws. Lauren’s idea to require antifreeze sold in California to contain a bittering agent to discourage accidental consumption by children, pets and wildlife inspired a California law adopted in 2002.
Following her death, her husband, Bob Ward, worked with politicians, bicyclists and police officers to make the road safer. The new safety improvements to Alpine Road include bright green bicycle lanes set off by diagonal hash marks. The eye-catching treatment should easily designate both cyclists and motorists where they should be on the road, increasing predictability. Corinne Winter, the Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition expressed, “Our goal is to create an environment on the road where people of all ages and skill levels feel comfortable riding a bike. Smart, visible infrastructure like this removes the ambiguity that plagued this intersection previously, and allows for all users in the road to feel confident while sharing the road.” Bob Ward is pleased with the work, stating that “it’s the kind of thing that Lauren would want to see happen anyway. She had the kind of personality that said, ‘This isn’t right, let’s fix it.’”
Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn previously represented Lauren Ward’s husband, Bob Ward, and two children in a wrongful death suit that resulted in a $5 million settlement.