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  1. #1
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Cycling Fatalities Spark Outrage and Activism

    The crash in Beaverton last week that claimed the life of Mike Wilberding has sparked outrage and spurred action from citizen activists.

    The incident has caused some cyclists to question the priorities of bike advocates and city planners. One commenter asked,

    “what is the more important fight at this time: more bike infrastructure or vastly improved law enforcement to protect cyclists?”

    Many people are fed up with what they consider just the latest example of too lenient punishment doled out by authorities for fatal crashes that involve cyclists. In the case of Wilberding, the motorist at fault was issued a $242 ticket for “failure to yield to a bicyclist.”

    The motorist—25 year-old Aaron Hessel—claimed he couldn’t see Wilberding because the setting sun was in his eyes.

    Read more at: http://bikeportland.org/2006/08/11/f...rage-activism/

  2. #2
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya

    The incident has caused some cyclists to question the priorities of bike advocates and city planners. One commenter asked,

    “what is the more important fight at this time: more bike infrastructure or vastly improved law enforcement to protect cyclists?”
    Finally, they're waking up!

    It takes a while, but the progression seems to be:

    1. The answer to cycling safety is facilities! All too many cycling "advocates" never leave this level.
    2. Several years or even decades later for some, after spending millions on facilities, but still little to no effect on cycling injuries and fatalities, some cyclists who make it to Level 2 realize the emphasis should move. Like this cyclist, they ask rhetorically, "what is the more important fight at this time: more bike infrastructure or vastly improved law enforcement to protect cyclists?” Most cyclists get stuck at this level. These folks are easily identified by their obsession with "careless and inattentive motorists" and their emphasis on the need for better law enforcement.
    3. Unfortunately, very few cyclists, only the particularly insightful ones, get to the 3rd and final level of traffic cycling enlightenment, where they realize that the solution to cycling safety is not segregated facilities, nor even motorist behavior. They finally discover that the solution to cycling safety lies where most solutions to life's problem can be found: within the self. The solution to cyclist safety is determined by each cyclist's individual behavior.


    By the way, I think Robert Hurst's book, The Art of Urban Cycling is probably about as helpful for getting a cyclist to Level 3 as is John Forester's Effective Cycling and John Franklin's Cyclecraft. All three authors are clearly enlighted traffic cyclists, none of which see the current levels of "careless and inattentive driving" as a problem that needs to be eliminated or reduced in order to make cycling safe, or that needs to be addressed through improved law enforcement.

    "Careless and inattentive driving" to an enlightened traffic cyclist are what rocks, steep slopes, sand and holes are to a mountain biker: they are not problems to be eliminated or reduced; they are obstacles to be anticipated and avoided.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 08-11-06 at 12:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    Is that a bike lane at the site of the accident? From the picture, it certainly looks like one. Did the car cross over into the bike lane? I agree with the photo-taker, that the driver should still have been able to see under these conditions.
    Jim
    Make a BOLD Statement While Cycling!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    I want to say, before this thread too becomes polluted with VC retoric from a certain member, that I feel for the family of this person. Like all traffic crashes, they are so tough because the loved one is lost so suddenly. One moment, healthy and strong; the next, dead.

    There have been two or three major accidents involving cyclists doing nothing of the sort wrong in the westside suburbs of Sherwood, Forest Grove, and now, Beaverton. These were all of the sort that cyclists fear, since they are nearly completely due to a mistake by a driver. These were not "multiple point" accidents, but single point accidents where the mistake of only one party, the one who was not injured in any way, caused the death of another.

    I've often thought: why is the erronious expectation that a cyclist is risking their life to be cycling on the road built so far into the legal system. The bike lane law (as it was enforced recently) has cops telling cyclists to act in a way which decreases their safety to increase the convenience of the cars behind. Now this, where a driver makes a blatent mistake on the road and kills someone.

    Too often in our culture, we are all about second chances. Fail a class at school? Make it up. Kill a cyclist by not yielding during a left turn? $242 ticket. What will it take for the authorities and the law makers to realize that one person's "little mistake" can cost another person their life!? When can it be realized that those little six words "failure to yield to a bicyclist" amount to a death sentence? Only on our roads do we make excuses for people who lose control of their 2 ton vehicle and kill someone. If you step into a car, you are taking responsibility for what happens with that car when you are behind the wheel. Kill someone; you are a danger to society and your license needs to be revolked on the spot. It doesn't come back for at least a year, and not until an extensive driver's safety class is taken. No excuses. No "I need my car to drive to work." No "I'll lose my job if you take away my car." No "my kids will starve without a car to get groceries." Too bad. You committed the greatest sin in killing another human being. You'll figure out a way to live without your car. If not... well, eye for an eye...
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  5. #5
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Shame... too late.

    HH and oilfree...py, this is the second thread. Stick your crap about bike lanes in the first thread and leave this one free of the drivel.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  6. #6
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Finally, they're waking up!
    <snip>
    Any excuse to promote the brand, like an ambulance chaser.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    militant commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Too often in our culture, we are all about second chances. Fail a class at school? Make it up. Kill a cyclist by not yielding during a left turn? $242 ticket. What will it take for the authorities and the law makers to realize that one person's "little mistake" can cost another person their life!? When can it be realized that those little six words "failure to yield to a bicyclist" amount to a death sentence? Only on our roads do we make excuses for people who lose control of their 2 ton vehicle and kill someone. If you step into a car, you are taking responsibility for what happens with that car when you are behind the wheel. Kill someone; you are a danger to society and your license needs to be revolked on the spot. It doesn't come back for at least a year, and not until an extensive driver's safety class is taken. No excuses. No "I need my car to drive to work." No "I'll lose my job if you take away my car." No "my kids will starve without a car to get groceries." Too bad. You committed the greatest sin in killing another human being. You'll figure out a way to live without your car. If not... well, eye for an eye...
    Well said Brian, Thank you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    I ride in Beaverton quite a bit and a see cyclists all the time. If any are here, ride safe and keep the rubber side down... oh yea, and don't hit the big metal boxes.

    Just wanted to mention that. This hits close to home for me.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  9. #9
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Shame... too late.

    HH and oilfree...py, this is the second thread. Stick your crap about bike lanes in the first thread and leave this one free of the drivel.
    + 1,000,000

    HH, it's a tragedy. keep your stinking theories off of it. a man died. Have some respect.
    "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

  10. #10
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Shame... too late.

    HH and oilfree...py, this is the second thread. Stick your crap about bike lanes in the first thread and leave this one free of the drivel.
    Huh? I didn't say anything about bike lanes!

  11. #11
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Any excuse to promote the brand, like an ambulance chaser.
    Do you guys know how to read? I didn't even mention the brand!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    like a lawyer chasing an ambulance - loves the technicalities.

    HH: "cycling facilities" as you pronounce the word, is equivilent to your brand of single issue interest.

    Honestly, HH, I don't read your posts anymore. I skim to get the overall tenor, then ignore what you say. You've been spouting the same stuff and chasing ambulances for well over a year now and nothing you say is something I haven't already heard.

    Again. You've already taken the first thread about this incident and used it for your anti-bikelane agenda. For the sake of people who are more directly affected and don't want to hear a bunch of third party analysis from a guy with a hammer looking for nails, leave the bike lane crap in the other thread. I'm tired of it.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  13. #13
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Do you guys know how to read? I didn't even mention the brand!
    Ahh, so cycling 'enlightenment' isn't part of your VC brand? When you can snatch the bulltwinkle from my hand, it will be time for you to leave, curb hopper.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff

    Honestly, HH, I don't read your posts anymore. I skim to get the overall tenor, then ignore what you say. You've been spouting the same stuff and chasing ambulances for well over a year now and nothing you say is something I haven't already heard.
    If you actually read my posts then you would know that the enlightenment argument I presented in this thread IS new.

    Also, some of the stuff in the other thread is new too, but, again, you'd have to read it to see it.

  15. #15
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    In particular, the presentation of the "enlightened" approach to "inattentive driving" being like an obstacle - something to be anticipated and avoided rather than something to be reduced or eliminated - is new to this thread too.

    But, again, you would actually have to read and think about my posts to know that. Sorry to be so demanding.

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    If you step into a car, you are taking responsibility for what happens with that car when you are behind the wheel. Kill someone; you are a danger to society and your license needs to be revolked on the spot. It doesn't come back for at least a year, and not until an extensive driver's safety class is taken. No excuses. No "I need my car to drive to work." No "I'll lose my job if you take away my car." No "my kids will starve without a car to get groceries." Too bad. You committed the greatest sin in killing another human being. You'll figure out a way to live without your car. If not... well, eye for an eye...
    +100 Brian.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    If you actually read my posts then you would know that the enlightenment argument I presented in this thread IS new.

    Also, some of the stuff in the other thread is new too, but, again, you'd have to read it to see it.
    whatever...

    I'd guess I'd have to care first. You still hijack threads with your silly theories. When you do that, you've lost my respect. Might I suggest that if you have a new idea, you start a new thread for it? I do read OPs. I don't read hijacks. Especially not from you.

    Start over. Delete your first post from this thread and post it as a new thread. Then I'll consider your idea and determine for myself if it is a new idea or not. You do this and you might actually get some responses to it. Though most of what you post lately are not new ideas, or ideas at all, but simply veiled insults aimed at your bike lane activist strawmen. You seem to have shot your wad about a year ago... yet are still... er... talking.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  18. #18
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    "Careless and inattentive driving" to an enlightened traffic cyclist are what rocks, steep slopes, sand and holes are to a mountain biker: they are not problems to be eliminated or reduced; they are obstacles to be anticipated and avoided.
    And yet States are changing their motor vehicle licensing tests to make them harder, and various city locations are lowering speed limits and attempting traffic calming in an effort to make the streets safer... perhaps these efforts are being spawned due to an excess of "careless and inattentive driving" as seen by more than just some ranting cyclists.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    The first BikePortland.org article had an email list regarding this incident and how we can prevent other incidents like it. It's aimed to be local, but everyone here who cares should sign up. The link is about half way down the page.

    If we get enough people signed up, we might have some pretty good discussions on this particular topic. Right now there are about 30 signed up (which, BTW, about equals the numbers which frequent this forum subtopic with any regularity).
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  20. #20
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    HH has a point in so far as blaming individual drivers for errors will never solve the problem of accidents in the long term (or even the short term). More severe punishments may make the survivors feel a bit better and may reduce accidents slightly by making people more aware that if they hit cyclists then there will be consequences. But most people don&#180;t hit cyclists on purpose anyway so I would guess that the deterrent factor will not be so great in reality.

    The basic road traffic system concept is inherently flawed but it is realistically almost impossible to rectify. Therefore accidents have to be accepted as normal and part of the cost of doing business. We just have to hope that we are not the next ones and try to maximise our chances of survival. If we carry on cycling long enough there is no doubt that we would ALL die a violent death from an automobile at some stage.

    Taking this all into account, obviously the thing that we have greatest control over is our own behaviour. So HH is correct from a pragmatic point of view to focus on this as the best survival tactic.

    If he could just come across as being a little less smug and dogmatic then he would get his message across better
    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

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    (well if he was alive today he would have written it)

  21. #21
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Might I suggest that if you have a new idea, you start a new thread for it? I do read OPs. I don't read hijacks.
    Fair enough. If the issue is really "highjacking", I can understand that, and will keep it in mind. Thanks.

  22. #22
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royalflash
    If he could just come across as being a little less smug and dogmatic then he would get his message across better
    Coming across as being a little less smug would be dishonest.

    Seriously. Good advice. Thanks.

  23. #23
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Sorry HH, but I'm with the others on this: you either prance the same old song and dance or you not-so-vaguely infer that you, and you alone, are far more enlightened and at an invented 'third stage of advocacy' thereby dismissing and alienating all those who have valid, reasonable and, dare I say it, 'enlightened' points of view. It's good to have strong convictions but when those convictions are concrete and at the expense of an open mind, they lose their credibility.

    As for the thread topic: it is about time that we humble advocates started truly pointing the finger where it needs to be pointed and that is at law-enforcement and the judiciary. Just last night I wrote to the leader of the federal NDP party here in Canada---he is a Toronto native and an outspoken cycling supporter---pleading for his intervention and assistance in forcing the police, from one end of the country to the other, to start living up to their motto of serving and protecting EVERYONE, including cyclists; to launch a program that educates and cites motorists who endanger cyclists and to stop viewing cycling with such contemptuous hostility. Maybe nothing will come of the letter, maybe something will, who knows. It is something, at least.
    The slow down is accelerating

  24. #24
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Put him on your ignore list. It works wonders to raise the value of the A&S forum. I think I'm going to see what I can do to support this lastest activism http://bikeportland.org/2006/08/11/f...rage-activism/ . It is really needed to wake up the drivers.

    Everybody has an excuse when they make a mistake. But car drivers get away with their lame excuses when they kill people. That has to stop. Sorry but even if that driver couldn't see the cyclist he certainly could see the road and the other vehicles using it and at the very least, that white line would have been gleaming in the sun.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  25. #25
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Here's a quote from that blog:
    (this new email list is) for those who want to work to make reduce dangerous motorist behavior to make streets safer…We’re going to find out how to have motor vehicle drivers held accountable for criminally negligent driving, and MAKE IT HAPPEN. We’re going to find out how to create a traffic education media campaign that is so intense, every driver will hear five times per week that:
    • cyclists are traffic
    • cyclists have a right to occupy a lane and in fact should for safety at times
    • cyclists have the right of way in a bike lane
    • driving is a privilege, not a right
    • you should never drive where you can’t see
    • when you exceed the speed limit, or fail to yield when the law requires, or drive while distracted and you kill someone, you are a murderer
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

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