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  1. #1
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Intel Engineer, Inventor and Cyclist Killed by 25 Year Old Motorist

    Motorist claims sun was in his eyes, later disproven by local cyclists. Driver receives small citation for failing to yield to cyclist in bike lane.


    http://www.beavertonvalleytimes.com/...23170679411800

    http://bikeportland.org/2006/08/09/c...ome-from-work/

  2. #2
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Sad to hear that.
    As a side note Intel is a very bike commuter friendly company, with showers and dedicated lockers for commuters.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

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    A little off topic, but did you notice the article says "when his (the cyclists) bicycle hit the car". The car hit the bicyclists! The bicyclist went into the windshield! I see this very frequently in reporting on bikes. There seems to be a subtle anti bike bias in reporting.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Subtle? Cops don't respect us, and reporters tend to also be drivers... what do you think their bias is going to be...

  5. #5
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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    wtf? A CITATION? So, when you run a read light and t-bone another car killing all the occupants, are you given a citation?

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Here we go again, all the typical ingredients...

    1. Portland (Beaverton, close enough)
    2. intersection
    3. bike lane
    4. classic left hook, the most common type of car-bike collision.
    5. despite the fact that the cyclist did not leave the bike lane to use destination positioning when crossing an intersection, particularly with oncoming traffic that potentially could (and obviously did) turn left across his path, he is thought to be "a cautious and safe bicycle rider".


    With all due respect to his loved ones, that's bull ****!. There is nothing SAFE or CAUTIOUS about staying in a bike lane in this situation, or in countless others. As we've said over and over, when motorists are turning left, you can expect them to be looking where they expect traffic to be, even in "bike friendly" (yeah, right) towns like Beaverton, NOT off to the side in line with the bike lane.

    Yes, technically, it's the motorist's fault. But he did nothing different from what most motorists do all the time... look for oncoming traffic where one might expect oncoming traffic - in the traffic lane - before turning left. Expecting that he also remember to look in a special area for cyclists off to the side is unrealistic. He's human, folks. Human.

    Heck, as motorcyclists know all too well, you can't even rely on left-turners to see you if you're in the middle of the traffic lane. Distracted drivers hit even other cars this way all too often. Effective Cycling and LAB's Road classes teach the instant turn, and to be prepared to execute it, for this type of situation precisely. But by staying in the bike lane out of the left-turner's primary zone of attention, and not being prepared to be overlooked, the cyclist is really stacking the odds against himself.

    A true tragedy, particularly when these types of collisions are known to be easy avoid through minor alteration in the cyclist's behavior alone. Tragic.

    What's possibly even more tragic is that Oregon cycling advocates are buying into this idea that the only solution here is to punish motorists until motorists change - that the cyclist was doing nothing wrong - that there should be no emphasis on getting cyclists to merge left out of the danger zone in these situations. That's a real tragedy too.


    Longtime Intel engineer Michael J. Wilberding was a cautious and safe bicycle rider. One mistake by a driver last week cost Wilberding his life as he rode home from work on a sunny afternoon.
    ...
    Wilberding was seriously injured Aug. 1 at about 6:22 p.m. when his bicycle collided with a blue 2001 Chevy Malibu driven by a 25-year-old Aaron M. Hessel of Beaverton on Southwest Fifth Street near Washington Avenue.

    Wilberding died at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland, where he was being treated for severe lacerations to the left side of his head and possible broken right wrist and right leg.

    Police said Wilberding was struck as he rode his bicycle east on Fifth Street. Hessel said he was driving the Malibu west on Fifth Street and attempted to turn left onto Washington Avenue when he was blinded by the sun and apparently did not see Wilberding’s bicycle.

    The collision threw Wilberding into the Malibu’s windshield as he tumbled over the vehicle.

    Police cited Hessel for failing to yield to a bicyclist in a bike lane. Information on the accident also was forwarded to the state Motor Vehicles Division for its review.

  7. #7
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falkon
    wtf? A CITATION? So, when you run a read light and t-bone another car killing all the occupants, are you given a citation?
    No one ran a red light.

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Here we go again, all the typical ingredients...

    1. Portland (Beaverton, close enough)
    2. intersection
    3. bike lane
    4. classic left hook, the most common type of car-bike collision.
    5. despite the fact that the cyclist did not leave the bike lane to use destination positioning when crossing an intersection, particularly with oncoming traffic that potentially could (and obviously did) turn left across his path, he is thought to be "a cautious and safe bicycle rider".


    With all due respect to his loved ones, that's bull ****!. There is nothing SAFE or CAUTIOUS about staying in a bike lane in this situation, or in countless others. As we've said over and over, when motorists are turning left, you can expect them to be looking where they expect traffic to be, even in "bike friendly" (yeah, right) towns like Beaverton, NOT off to the side in line with the bike lane.

    Yes, technically, it's the motorist's fault. But he did nothing different from what most motorists do all the time... look for oncoming traffic where one might expect oncoming traffic - in the traffic lane - before turning left. Expecting that he also remember to look in a special area for cyclists off to the side is unrealistic. He's human, folks. Human.

    Heck, as motorcyclists know all too well, you can't even rely on left-turners to see you if you're in the middle of the traffic lane. Distracted drivers hit even other cars this way all too often. Effective Cycling and LAB's Road classes teach the instant turn, and to be prepared to execute it, for this type of situation precisely. But by staying in the bike lane out of the left-turner's primary zone of attention, and not being prepared to be overlooked, the cyclist is really stacking the odds against himself.

    A true tragedy, particularly when these types of collisions are known to be easy avoid through minor alteration in the cyclist's behavior alone. Tragic.

    What's possibly even more tragic is that Oregon cycling advocates are buying into this idea that the only solution here is to punish motorists until motorists change - that the cyclist was doing nothing wrong - that there should be no emphasis on getting cyclists to merge left out of the danger zone in these situations. That's a real tragedy too.
    Two things wrong with your concepts... the motorist is responsible for checking his entire path... which includes looking to the far left to ensure that pedestrian crosswalks (which would have a walk signal at this time) are clear... and those crosswalks are even further over than bike lanes... so motorists are just not doing a complete job... period.

    The second issue is that this DOES happen to motorcycles all the time... motorcycles that are bigger and noiser than bicycles and do ride in the middle if not the left side of the proper lane.

    Getting out of the BL "to be obvious" does not mean that motorists will see you if they continue to do half*ss jobs of pretending to look to ensure that the entire path is clear.

    Do I expect motorists to be perfect... No, but I do expect them to do a better job.

    I think Oregon has the right ideas... it is time for motorists to slow down and drive responsibly.

  9. #9
    \||||||/ ZachS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Here we go again, all the typical ingredients...


    Portland (Beaverton, close enough)
    beaverton is NOT portland. not in any way. it's a suburban wasteland with streets and traffic patterns COMPLETELY different from the ones in town.

  10. #10
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    wow, I ride 5th street just about every day on my way to work.

    Thats really sad

  11. #11
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Yeah, Gene. You understand totally. Yes motorcycles experience left hooks, too, and they aren't in bike lanes. Keep putting the blame where it belongs: the motorists.

    And my own opinion: Stop blaming bike lanes for driver errors.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Yeah, Gene. You understand totally. Yes motorcycles experience left hooks, too, and they aren't in bike lanes. Keep putting the blame where it belongs: the motorists.
    Yeah, well I figure that if they kill 45,000 of each other annually... something IS indeed wrong...

  13. #13
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Two things wrong with your concepts... the motorist is responsible for checking his entire path... which includes looking to the far left to ensure that pedestrian crosswalks (which would have a walk signal at this time) are clear... and those crosswalks are even further over than bike lanes... so motorists are just not doing a complete job... period.
    This is great. Okay, this is very important, because what you're overlooking in your comparison with pedestrians illustrates what most cyclists are missing about the particular dangers of intersections to them, and probably explains why they are inordinately concerned with being hit from behind and not sufficiently concerned about getting hit and killed like this cyclist did.

    If the article is accurate, the motorist did check his path, and it was clear. What the motorist failed to do was look well outside of his intended path for fast moving traffic outside of the oncoming traffic lane whose path he might cut in front of while turning left. That's an entirely different error from not noticing a pedestrian in his path.

    When checking one's path to be clear of pedestrians, for which we have no reason to believe the motorist did not do, all he really has to check is, well, his intended path. At 3 mph, pedestrians don't suddenly pop out of nowhere into the crosswalk. And, if the motorist does happen to cut one off who just stepped into the street, the ped can stop instantly. In comparison, 15 mph cyclists in the bike lane do suddenly pop out of nowhere (assuming "nowhere" is outside of the motorists path and the oncoming traffic lane) in the intersection, and they are unable to stop suddenly to avoid collisions the way peds can (this is why we teach the instant turn to cyclists). I have no reason to believe that the article is inaccurate about the cyclist hitting the car, rather than the car hitting the cyclist. This is very similar to what happened in the midwest fatal collision we discussed here a year or two ago about the bus driver who did his usual midblock left turn into the bus terminal when a cyclist slammed into the bus, and died.

    Note that I'm not saying it's not an error on the part of the motorist. Note that I'm not saying it's not the motorist's responsibility to make sure no traffic, not even fast traffic outside of the traffic lane, might be cut off by his turn. What I am saying is that it is neither safe nor cautious on the part of the cyclist to proceed at normal cycling speeds in a bike lane across an intersection, because very few left turning motorists remember, or even know to remember, to look for a 15 mph cyclist in the bike lane. And I, for one, do not expect motorists to change with this respect. And I'm certainly not ever going to count on it. Nope, I'm moving left, outside of the bike lane, and I'm looking for acknowledgment that they have noticed me, thank you very much (more detail on this below).

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    ...
    As motorcyclists know all too well, you can't even rely on left-turners to see you if you're in the middle of the traffic lane
    ...
    Two things wrong with your concepts...
    ...
    The second issue is that this DOES happen to motorcycles all the time... motorcycles that are bigger and noiser than bicycles and do ride in the middle if not the left side of the proper lane.
    How can you say this issue illustrates something wrong with my concepts when I wrote, as motorcyclists know all too well, you can't even rely on left-turners to see you if you're in the middle of the traffic lane. Now, here's what you're missing. At 15 mph, a cyclist is moving 22 feet per second. At 40 mph, a motorcyclist is moving 60 feet per second. So to cut off a 15 mph cyclist, during the (say) 2 seconds it takes a left turner to complete his turn, he has to miss seeing a cyclist less than 50 feet from the intersection. But to cut off a 40 mph motorcyclist, he has to only miss noticing a motorcyclist who is still 120 feet away. Whatever minor size advantage the motorcyclist may have to improve his conspicuity, it is irrelevant when you take into account that he is typically 2 or 3 times further from the intersection than the cyclist at the point that the left-turner has to notice in order to stop from cutting them off.

    To summarize, these are my key points with respect to comparing the various scenarios we've discussed:
    • The 15 mph cyclist 50 feet away in the center of the traffic lane is much more likely to be noticed than the 40 mph motorcyclist 120 feet away.
    • The 15 mph cyclist 50 feet away in the center of the traffic lane is much more likely to be noticed than the 15 mph cyclist 50 feet away traveling outside of the traffic lane (riding in the bike lane).
    • The 15 mph cyclist 50 feet away traveling outside of the traffic lane (riding in the bike lane) is much less likely to be noticed than the 2-3 mph ped stepping into the crosswalk (your first comparison).


    I repeat: it is neither safe nor cautious to travel at speed in a bike lane across an intersection, especially when there is oncoming traffic that might be turning left across your path. Moving left out of the bike lane does not guarantee that you will be noticed, of course, but being in the traffic lane where the left-turner is much more likely to be paying attention does make you more conspicuous, and improves your odds. Put the following all together,

    • Move left out of the bike lane into the traffic lane where the left-turner is much more likely to be paying attention.
    • Shift down to use a high cadence to make it clear that you are not slowing down to yield to him.
    • Look for evidence that the left-turner has noticed you and is yielding.
    • Prepare to be overlooked anyway - be ready with your practiced ability to execute an evasive quick turn.


    and the odds of collision become almost negligible. Following all of the above is being "safe and cautious". Riding mindlessly along in a bike lane is neither.


    Getting out of the BL "to be obvious" does not mean that motorists will see you if they continue to do half*ss jobs of pretending to look to ensure that the entire path is clear.
    Before I changed my behavior to regularly "[get] out of the BL 'to be obvious'", I was regularly overlooked, just like most cyclists complain about not being seen. Since I started to regularly "[get] out of the BL 'to be obvious'", I have NEVER been overlooked by a left-turner at an intersection turning across my path. Not once. There might not be any studies to prove it, but my own experience leaves no doubt in my mind that "getting out of the BL 'to be obvious'" makes a cyclist more conspicuous by at least one order of magnitude. It makes a huge difference.

    Do I expect motorists to be perfect... No, but I do expect them to do a better job.
    Expecting them to do a better job is way too close to meaning relying on them to do a better job. No thanks. I suggest we all adopt cycling methods that keep us safe and effective even without motorists improving their driving or attention by one iota.

    I think Oregon has the right ideas... it is time for motorists to slow down and drive responsibly.
    They already drive plenty slow enough and responsibly enough for all reasonably defensive cyclists, peds and motorists to be very safe traveling among them, so I don't see getting "motorists to slow down and drive responsibly" as a cycling advocacy priority at all. Besides, if you could get any improvements out of motorists in these areas, they would be marginal at best, and probably moot in terms of actually improving cyclist safety at all. You're barking up the wrong tree.

    In the mean time, we keep losing cyclists like Michael J. Wilberding and your efforts continue to misguide everyone into thinking the problem is the inherent danger of cycling out there. Read the first sentence of the article again. The whole point of it is that despite Wilberding being a "safe and cautious" cyclist, he was still killed. What does that tell you? Being "safe and cautious" does not make you safe; that it's unsafe to cycle in traffic even if the cyclist is "safe and cautious". That's the bull**** cycling advocates should be fighting, instead of buying into it and promoting it ourselves!
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 08-11-06 at 12:23 PM.

  14. #14
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    sounds like the driver was in a hurry and that blasting through turns was more important than not killing people to him.
    More than likely...

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    sounds like the driver was in a hurry and that blasting through turns was more important than not killing people to him.
    No, that's probably not what happened. In all probability, the driver is devastated by what happened. But the fact is, that he has probably made that left turn dozens if not hundreds of times, and thousands more just like it, and millions of drivers every day do the same thing tens of millions of times... turn left without remembering to check for oncoming 10-15+ mph traffic outside of the oncoming traffic lane(s).

    Every cyclist venturing onto the streets needs to understand that it is very common for drivers to do this. The exception is the left turning driver who knows and remembers to check for oncoming 10-15+ mph traffic outside of the oncoming traffic lane(s).

    I don't think it's right to condemn or even punish a driver for not being an exception just because it happened to matter a great deal this one time.

    And if you think fining or even imprisoning this one unlucky driver is going to make anyone else any more significantly likely to know and remember to check for oncoming 10-15+ mph traffic outside of the oncoming traffic lane(s) before turning left, you're deluding yourself.

  16. #16
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Not sure if it was mentioned or is relevant but as both a cyclist and a driver one important visibility factor in "left hook" situations can be the pillar between the car windshield and the door. Cyclists are narrow enough to sometimes be hidden by that, and drivers may not crane their neck to peer around it. It's an even bigger problem for pedestrians.

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    This is great. Okay, this is very important, because what you're overlooking in your comparison with pedestrians illustrates what most cyclists are missing about the particular dangers of intersections to them, and probably explains why they are inordinately concerned with being hit from behind and not sufficiently concerned about getting hit and killed like this cyclist did.
    First cyclists are afraid of being hit from behind as this tends to be a fatal accident... You yourself spend an awful lot of time looking at your rearview mirror... "every 3-4 seconds" if I quote you correctly.

    And yes, intersections are danger points. Which is why I try to limit the number of intersections on my route by chosing routes with fewer of them... such as Regents road over Genesee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    If the article is accurate, the motorist did check his path, and it was clear. What the motorist failed to do was look well outside of his intended path for fast moving traffic outside of the oncoming traffic lane whose path he might cut in front of while turning left. That's an entirely different error from not noticing a pedestrian in his path.

    When checking one's path to be clear of pedestrians, for which we have no reason to believe the motorist did not do, all he really has to check is, well, his intended path. At 3 mph, pedestrians don't suddenly pop out of nowhere into the crosswalk. And, if the motorist does happen to cut one off who just stepped into the street, the ped can stop instantly. In comparison, 15 mph cyclists in the bike lane do suddenly pop out of nowhere (assuming "nowhere" is outside of the motorists path and the oncoming traffic lane) in the intersection, and they are unable to stop suddenly to avoid collisions the way peds can (this is why we teach the instant turn to cyclists). I have no reason to believe that the article is inaccurate about the cyclist hitting the car, rather than the car hitting the cyclist. This is very similar to what happened in the midwest fatal collision we discussed here a year or two ago about the bus driver who did his usual midblock left turn into the bus terminal when a cyclist slammed into the bus, and died.
    But likely the cyclist was not moving any faster than an auto would along the same route... and a motorist not looking far enough down the road to ensure his path was clear of any oncoming traffic is a motorist not checking his entire path.
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head

    Note that I'm not saying it's not an error on the part of the motorist. Note that I'm not saying it's not the motorist's responsibility to make sure no traffic, not even fast traffic outside of the traffic lane, might be cut off by his turn. What I am saying is that it is neither safe nor cautious on the part of the cyclist to proceed at normal cycling speeds in a bike lane across an intersection, because very few left turning motorists remember, or even know to remember, to look for a 15 mph cyclist in the bike lane. And I, for one, do not expect motorists to change with this respect. And I'm certainly not ever going to count on it. Nope, I'm moving left, outside of the bike lane, and I'm looking for acknowledgment that they have noticed me, thank you very much (more detail on this below).
    So noted.

    But the issue is that "getting motorists to remember" should be part of their initial and continuing training. PSAs on TV similar to the commercials on now on TV for insurance that show how accidents occur, should be part of our culture... as much as the "zoom zoom" ads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    How can you say this issue illustrates something wrong with my concepts when I wrote, as motorcyclists know all too well, you can't even rely on left-turners to see you if you're in the middle of the traffic lane. Now, here's what you're missing. At 15 mph, a cyclist is moving 22 feet per second. At 40 mph, a motorcyclist is moving 60 feet per second. So to cut off a 15 mph cyclist, during the (say) 2 seconds it takes a left turner to complete his turn, he has to miss seeing a cyclist less than 50 feet from the intersection. But to cut off a 40 mph motorcyclist, he has to only miss noticing a motorcyclist who is still 120 feet away. Whatever minor size advantage the motorcyclist may have to improve his conspicuity, it is irrelevant when you take into account that he is typically 2 or 3 times further from the intersection than the cyclist at the point that the left-turner has to notice in order to stop from cutting them off.
    Oh, so the slower closer cyclist should be easier to observe... HAD the motorist looked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head

    To summarize, these are my key points with respect to comparing the various scenarios we've discussed:
    • The 15 mph cyclist 50 feet away in the center of the traffic lane is much more likely to be noticed than the 40 mph motorcyclist 120 feet away.
    • The 15 mph cyclist 50 feet away in the center of the traffic lane is much more likely to be noticed than the 15 mph cyclist 50 feet away traveling outside of the traffic lane (riding in the bike lane).
    • The 15 mph cyclist 50 feet away traveling outside of the traffic lane (riding in the bike lane) is much less likely to be noticed than the 2-3 mph ped stepping into the crosswalk (your first comparison).


    I repeat: it is neither safe nor cautious to travel at speed in a bike lane across an intersection, especially when there is oncoming traffic that might be turning left across your path. Moving left out of the bike lane does not guarantee that you will be noticed, of course, but being in the traffic lane where the left-turner is much more likely to be paying attention does make you more conspicuous, and improves your odds. Put the following all together,

    • Move left out of the bike lane into the traffic lane where the left-turner is much more likely to be paying attention.
    • Shift down to use a high cadence to make it clear that you are not slowing down to yield to him.
    • Look for evidence that the left-turner has noticed you and is yielding.
    • Prepare to be overlooked anyway - be ready with your practiced ability to execute an evasive quick turn.


    and the odds of collision become almost negligible.
    And if the motorist is doing their part and actually looking, I agree with you... but as long as motorists believe a quick glance is all it takes... not even your techniques will work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Before I changed my behavior to regularly "[get] out of the BL 'to be obvious'", I was regularly overlooked, just like most cyclists complain about not being seen. Since I started to regularly "[get] out of the BL 'to be obvious'", I have NEVER been overlooked by a left-turner at an intersection turning across my path. Not once. There might not be any studies to prove it, but my own experience leaves no doubt in my mind that "getting out of the BL 'to be obvious'" makes a cyclist more conspicuous by at least one order of magnitude. It makes a huge difference.

    Expecting them to do a better job is way too close to meaning relying on them to do a better job. No thanks. I suggest we all adopt cycling methods that keep us safe and effective even without motorists improving their driving or attention by one iota.
    Again 45,000 dead motorists and some 5000 plus dead pedestrians tell me that motorists are not doing all they can as drivers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    They already drive plenty slow enough and responsibly enough for all reasonably defensive cyclists, peds and motorists to be very safe traveling among them, so I don't see getting "motorists to slow down and drive responsibly" as a cycling advocacy priority at all. Besides, if you could get any improvements out of motorists in these areas, they would be marginal at best, and probably moot in terms of actually improving cyclist safety at all. You're barking up the wrong tree.
    BS the number of dead motorists speaks for itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head

    In the mean time, we keep losing cyclists like Michael J. Wilberding and your efforts continue to misguide everyone into thinking the problem is the inherent danger of cycling out there. Read the first sentence of the article again. The whole point of it is that despite Wilberding being a "safe and cautious" cyclist, he was still killed. What does that tell you? Being "safe and cautious" does not make you safe; that it's unsafe to cycle in traffic even if the cyclist is "safe and cautious". That's the bull**** cycling advocates should be fighting, instead of buying into it and promoting it ourselves!

    No one said anything about cycling being dangerous... at least I did not. I simply pointed out that motorists are not doing at least their 1/2 of the job... using the public streets is a co-operative effort... and if everyone was trying more than just marginally (which indeed does mean cyclists have to work at it too) there would be far fewer automotive caused deaths out there. As it stands right now however... a cyclist has to put out a lot more effort to compensate for motorists that aren't even trying. That is the bottom line. And again 45,000 motorist deaths a year tells me it ain't cyclists out killing motorists.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    Not sure if it was mentioned or is relevant but as both a cyclist and a driver one important visibility factor in "left hook" situations can be the pillar between the car windshield and the door. Cyclists are narrow enough to sometimes be hidden by that, and drivers may not crane their neck to peer around it. It's an even bigger problem for pedestrians.
    Right. All the more reason to get out of the bike lane and get as straight in front of the potential left-turner before he starts turning left as is reasonably possible.

    If he has to turn his head to notice you, or look through the opaque pillar to notice you, or move his attention from where oncoming traffic is normally expected to somewhere off to the side to notice you, then he is much less likely to notice you than if you're riding where he can notice you without having to move his head, see through a pillar, or alter his focus and attention.

    This is not rocket science, folks. You shouldn't need a $10 million study to know this is obviously true.

    It is neither safe nor cautious to stay in the bike lane when crossing an intersection, especially when there is oncoming traffic that could potentially turn left across your path.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    See the thing is HH I have been hit by a motorist making a left turn... at a quiet residential intersection, that had no obstructions, no fast traffic, no confusing background and no bike lanes. I was properly positioned and I came to a proper stop.

    The motorist did nothing to indicate they were making a left turn. Nor was their anything in their lane position to indicate such. But apparently I was fully invisible to the motorist, inspite of our only 30 feet or so of separation... and what appeared to be eye contact. That tells me that the motorist did NOT do everything in their capacity to ensure that their way was clear... and I see the same thing every time I ride a bike OR drive.

    A simple thing like learning to "look twice" would save lives... but motorists generally do not do this... because "it takes another second." It is not a matter of "remembering" but of making a simple technique like "look twice" a habit.

    Gets right back to the very defensive techniques you often mention.

    Look Twice.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Put the following all together,
    • Move left out of the bike lane into the traffic lane where the left-turner is much more likely to be paying attention.
    • Shift down to use a high cadence to make it clear that you are not slowing down to yield to him.
    • Look for evidence that the left-turner has noticed you and is yielding.
    • Prepare to be overlooked anyway - be ready with your practiced ability to execute an evasive quick turn.

    and the odds of collision become almost negligible. Following all of the above is being "safe and cautious". Riding mindlessly along in a bike lane is neither.
    And if the motorist is doing their part and actually looking, I agree with you... but as long as motorists believe a quick glance is all it takes... not even your techniques will work.
    First, the point of the technique is to reduce the likelihood of being overlooked. Just because in some marginal case a cyclist following this technique is overlooked does not mean the technique did not work.

    Second, what you don't seem to appreciate is that this driver, like all left turning drivers, was doing his part, he was looking. His path was clear. That's all this method requires of them, and it's a completely reasonable requirement. Actually, it doesn't even require that. In the astronomically unlikely situation that a motorist is not looking as he approaches an intersection where he is turning left (and in the more likely situation where he is looking but "situationally blinded" from seeing the cyclist, motorcyclist or even car in some cases), the method prepares the cyclist for avoiding a collision anyway. First, there can be no acknowledgment from the not-looking (or situationally-blinded) motorist that the cyclist is noticed, so the cyclist is on extra high alert. Second, if the motorist actually executes the left turn still without looking, the cyclist is prepared to instant turn right parallel to the motorist. Cyclists are left hooked when they're not prepared, which utilizing this method avoids.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    No one said anything about cycling being dangerous... at least I did not. I simply pointed out that motorists are not doing at least their 1/2 of the job...
    I hope you forgive me for this, Gene, but, really, how can you be so dense?

    Please answer this question: Assuming it's true "that motorists are not doing at least their 1/2 of the job", why does it matter to cyclists and cycling advocacy?

    The implication is that it matters because it makes cycling inherently dangerous. If it didn't, then it wouldn't matter. And the more you emphasize it, the more you make it seem like it matters. And the more you make it seem like it matters, the more you're implying that cycling in traffic is inherently dangerous, and that even cyclists like Michael Wilberding simply can't keep from being killed out there despite being "safe and cautious". Blowing the inherent dangers of traffic cycling imposed by "careless and inattentive drivers" completely out of proportion like this is anti-cycling advocacy, Gene. Anti-cycling.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Again 45,000 dead motorists and some 5000 plus dead pedestrians tell me that motorists are not doing all they can as drivers.
    How many of those 45,000 dead motorists were operating according to defensive driving principles? 1? 2?

    How many of those 5000 peds weren't Darwin Award candidates? 1? 2? How likely is it for a responsible ped to get hit by a car anyway?

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    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    I can't even believe that Head is using this tragedy to once again rag on bike lanes and try to hawk his VC theories. head, you're such a tool...
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

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    proud of his bunny Zinn-X's Avatar
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    Did I miss something? What's wrong with bike lanes?

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    Note that nothing that Rando says about me is supported by what I actually posted in this thread, which speaks for itself.

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    It's very unfortunate that the collision happened and that it was fatal. However, in thousands and thousands of miles and hours spent on high-powered motorcycles and bicycles, I can honestly say I have never had a left-hook close call. Why? When I approach an intersection my mindset is that any oncoming traffic may turn across my path at any time. I take inventory of every vehicle, slow down and visualize any necessary escape routes. If you approach an intersection expecting other vehicles to take your right of way, you won't get surprised or run over when they do.

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