Sam Liccardo knows first hand the impact of traffic laws. The District 3 councilmember mentioned an unfortunate run in he had with a Caddy during a discussion today on reducing speed limits around Trace Elementary School.
“As somebody who’s been hit at 15 miles an hour, I can confirm that you don’t want to be hit at that, or at 25,” Liccardo said. In an interview afterwards, he described a scare he got at age 13.
“I was riding my bike over to some ball fields over by the junior college, and a guy hit me,” Liccardo says. “My body didn’t make much contact with the car. It just hit the bike and I went over the car. And then the driver yelled at me for screwing up his Cadillac.”
Liccardo admits that he wasn’t wearing a helmet (it was the early ‘80s, before they were in style) and says the incident was more a blow to his ego than anything else.
“I was even too embarrassed to tell my parents, because I was probably screwing up anyway,” he says with a laugh. “I wish there was something juicer there, like I was hit by a political opponent. But that wasn’t the case.”
Adolescent cycling transgressions aside, Liccardo and the rest of the council unanimously passed District 6 rep Pierluigi Oliverio’s recommendation to cut traffic speeds at Trace.
On July 5, the Rose Garden school lost 16 classrooms and a library in a devastating fire. The blaze has sparked local debate over school district money-saving measures, particularly because fire alarms and sprinklers were not installed in the building that was destroyed by flames.
The council’s decision to slow motorist’s down from 25 to 15 miles per hour came a day after the first day of the fall semester. It was motivated by the fact that the school’s 1,000-plus students must cross Dana Avenue, between Hester Avenue and Naglee Avenue, to attend class in portable buildings across the street.