Daily Archives: July 17, 2012

When sustainable isn’t safe, and the Feed

The person I fixed the bicycle for Sunday and yesterday had a long talk about riding when she was a little girl, and what riding was like for me now. We both started riding about the same time, she started a little earlier than I did and was a little older when she started but we generally both rode as children in the same era. the early to mid 1960s. I’m sure some of the difference was we were kids back then and adults treated kids differently back then because we were everywhere! This was near the peak of the late Baby Boom and kids and teens were a major part of the demographics, something like 33% of the population was under 20 or it may have been closer to 50%. Anyway there were lots of kids, and kids’ main means of transportation was the bicycle. In many ways it validates the “safety in numbers” hypothesis because drivers treated us if not respect they at least acknowledged that there were lots of us there and made some effort to not hit us. Fast forward to the 1970s and we were now moving from bicycles which had been designed out of the transportation grid to our first cars, with all the romance that had been attached to that with the car culture of the 1960s that we had been steeped in all our lives. Many of us still rode bikes as transportation because we liked them and because we were cheap and didn’t like spending the money that was required to keep a car (and this was before huge gas taxes, mandatory insurance, and steep registration fees), but there were a lot less of us and drivers were no longer as careful around us as young adults as they had been when we were kids or teens. Move another 40 years forward and you get drivers that have never had to deal with people riding bikes everywhere as transportation, have hardly seen a kid on a bike outside of a parking lot, and most kids ride on the sidewalks when they ride for any kind of transportation, which is rare.

Up first are more reports on the man hit from behind on a frontage road south of Austin. Police ask for help identifying San Marcos bicyclist hit by truck and San Marcos police identify cyclist killed Typical TX LEO that know nothing of TX VC 551.103 beyond 103a (the part that required cyclists to stay to the right of the lane)and ignore 103b (that allows cyclists to take the full lane when the lane is less than 14 feet wide, or when debris, stopped vehicles. or pavement defects reduce the effective width of the lane to less than 14 feet. The narrative still shows the driver had no problem seeing the cyclist in his headlights, just in stopping once he saw the cyclist after coming over the top of the hill. EDIT: I finally found the pertinent statute Sec. 545.351. MAXIMUM SPEED REQUIREMENT You have to scroll down quite a bit to find the statute on the page. The relevant paragraph is 545.351.(c)(5)

The really big story is someone that used a car to kill a police officer riding a bicycle. Suspect in death of Phila. officer out on bail and ‘Bad blood’: Police charge driver in death of officer Off-Duty Officer Struck & Killed While Riding Bike and these links are changing as I make them, both the headlines and the body of the link. Man Charged in Off-Duty Cop’s Death not done yet Philly cop hit, killed on bike this is crazy Police: Man fatally struck off-duty Philly cop This story has evolved to the point that the driver is accused of murder in the wreck, between the time I first filtered the links and now. That is a rapidly evolving story. Seriously this morning there were no charges against the driver in this “tragic accident” and this afternoon it’s murder charges on the same URL that I read “no charges” this morning. I don’t know how to avoid someone trying to kill you with a motor vehicle without having barrier separated infrastructure. Even then, if they want you dead bad enough a simple barrier might not do the job.

An OH wreck is still unsolved as to what happened. North Royalton police continue to seek answers in bike rider’s death Apparently the LEO of this municipality can’t recognize a buzz job when they see it.

Another driver not watching the road in front of her kills another cyclist in NY. Bicyclist struck by car, killed and Bicyclist killed in Newfane accident The driver was distracted by 2 toddlers in the car, and a person died for that. Hit-from-behind, not sure if the wreck allowed enough tine or space to implement the hit-from-behind protocols to avoid this wreck. Getting the infrastructure right might have prevented the wreck if the cyclist was not hit in a residential area.

From the Great White North a cyclist is seriously injured in a single vehicle wreck on the same curve that claimed the life of another cyclist the day before. Another cyclist injured at deadly curve OK this is definitely an infrastructure problem with multiple wrecks in a year (the reports on the cyclist fatality said there had been at least one other cyclist injured this year on the same road). The injuries and fatality all happened the same way with the cyclist losing control and colliding with the guard rail and going over the edge. It all depends on the speed of the cyclist and the way the cyclist lands whether it ends up as a serious injury or a fatality. To avoid control your speed on downhills, which I know is hard for a cyclist because the payout for the struggles of the climb is the thrills of the downhill run. To prevent alert cyclists to the existence of the sharp curves with signs that allow them to slow down, and do something about that guard rail so it doesn’t catapult riders over the edge to death or serious injury. The reason that cyclists need signs is there are very few places where a cyclist can reach speeds that would enable a cyclist to lose control and wreck bad enough to hit a guard rail. Another report on the scene Bike crash scene ‘one of the most dangerous’

Still in the GWN, a cyclist is hit from behind. Cyclist killed in Leamington crash LEO have not concluded their investigation at this time but have not mentioned any lack of lights or reflectors on the bike when it was hit at night.

Cyclist killed in East Canickistan. Thompson cyclist killed in hit-and-run collision Nothing about the mode, but the car that hit him was white… cue rant about what to do with hit-and-run drivers that kill… steering wheel… recycle… grrgle…

A wreck in far West Canuckistan. Truck suspected in hit-and-run on cyclist in Surrey This is Surrey BC, not the one in England. LEO are trying to determine if the driver should have known he hit the cyclist before deciding to file hit-and-run charges. That’s the part I don’t understand, I thought it wasn’t if you knew you hit someone, it was that you didn’t stop and render assistance.

Backgrounder on the cyclist killed on PEI. Alberta cyclist killed in P.E.I. safety conscious This report backs up the initial report that the cyclist had done everything possible to avoid the wreck that took her life.

What sometimes happens to drivers that kill cyclists. LifeStyle, I guess. Man who hit, killed Kan. bicyclist moves on Even when they go to jail, not much changes for the drivers… The driver was elected Student Senate president after he got out of jail, which shows how little killing a cyclist carries even with the college crowd that rides so much.

LifeStyle in CT. Cyclist Who Died Twice Celebrates Her EMTs [VIDEO] I never found the EMTs that treated me after my wreck, and it bothers me that I didn’t.

Infrastructure news from Jolly Olde. MPs get behind calls for road justice review and MPs support justice review for those hurt on the road After the sore wrists that drivers have gotten for killing cyclists and pedestrians legally using the roads, MPs that also cycle worry that their lives are suddenly devalued when they get on their bikes instead of behind the wheel of a car.

I need a pretty picture with a bike in it. Thankfully the Cycle Twin Cities club has one. Twin Cities Bike Picture of the Day: 7.17.12

And those are all the links that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus