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Old 06-06-07, 07:48 AM   #1
kimmer99
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NYT Article - In Case Anyone is Interested

This appeared in yesterday's New York Times. You may need to register for the website to read it but just in case anyone is interested: Cars and Bikes Can Mix, When the Rules of the Road Are Clear ; kind of felt like, tell me something I don't know but it's good for my kids to read.
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Old 06-06-07, 08:05 AM   #2
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I don't agree with this:

Quote:
If you are stopped at a light or stop sign to the right of a car or truck, the driver might not see you. Wait until the other vehicle clears the intersection before you proceed, in case the driver turns right unexpectedly.
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Old 06-06-07, 10:08 AM   #3
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It's not a bad article. There are some things, like the one Bikepacker67 brought up, that could be better.

The example of intersecting traffic when coming off a bikeway/path is illuminating for those who think just being on a path is "safe" and it's good that it's shown that motorist/ bicycle crashed result in virtually all serious injuries to cyclists each year. It's also good that it mentions that further injuries result from cyclists who ride illegally on the sidewalk and mow down pedestrians. It loses me when it mentions deaths from bicycle-related collisions with pedestrians.

It's not like it doesn't happen, but it's extremely rare.

Anyone have a figure for the number of deaths of pedestrians by bicycle? I can't find it in my files, but I'm fairly certain it's very small. Even smaller when you consider the ratio of cyclists to pedestrians to motor vehicles.

Distorting the risks to get a scare out of a reader is just manipulation. It results in a loss of trust of the writer/presenter of information when the reader learns that what was related, is not so. Even true information can be questioned because of the history of manipulated information.

Cyclists should stay off a sidewalk because it's a better bet to avoid being hit by a car (seems ironic, but it's what happens - just as described in the opening of the article) and you don't want to hit a pedestrian, because you can hurt him/her and yourself, not because you're going to kill the pedestrian.
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Old 06-06-07, 10:41 AM   #4
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Just found a report that didn't give me the number of deaths to pedestrians from collisions with cyclists, but does tell me that, in Canada, 85% of hospitilizations of pedestrians were due to collisions with motor vehicles and that only 3% of hospitalizations of pedestrians were due to collisions with bicycles.

Considering the prevalence of sidewalk riding and the lack of motor vehicles on a sidewalk, it's a little telling of where the risks lie, no?
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Old 06-06-07, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
Quote:
If you are stopped at a light or stop sign to the right of a car or truck, the driver might not see you. Wait until the other vehicle clears the intersection before you proceed, in case the driver turns right unexpectedly.


I don't agree with this:
I agree. It should have said "you have already screwed up"
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Old 06-06-07, 01:53 PM   #6
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Stopping to the right of a vehicle isn't safest, but the protocol they suggest is safer than just blindly entering the intersection.
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Old 06-07-07, 08:56 AM   #7
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...but the protocol they suggest is contradictory.

Early in the article it states that drivers and cyclists must "share the road" and a person riding a bike has the same rights as a driver of any other vehicle. In the advice section to drivers it states, a driver must make sure no bike is on your right before you turn. Do not pass a cyclist if you will be turning right immediately after.

Later, in advice for cyclists there seems to be contradiction when it says, If you are stopped at a light or stop sign to the right of a car or truck, the driver might not see you. Wait until the other vehicle clears the intersection before you proceed, in case the driver turns right unexpectedly.

Maybe a better way of putting it would be, at an intersection the cyclist should be at the front of the line, visable to the driver on the cyclists left.

If a driver shares the road, he wouldn't cross over into the path of a visable cyclist. If the cyclist is sneaking up beside a driver, in a blind spot, he's asking to be right hooked.

If a cyclist were to wait at intersections for cars on his left to pass him before he tries to get throught the intersection, he'd be waiting all day, and it wouldn't be sharing the road or following the same rules as othr road users.

It's good that they are drawing attention to the large problem of right-hooking of cyclists and collisions occurring when paths and roads intersect. It's even better that they have an illustration of the problem. I think what they are missing (particularily when they point out that the majority of collisions are cyclists fault) is that many drivers do see cyclists before they right hook them. They just think they can get away with it. Either they think they're fast enough that they'll pass the cyclist in time, or the cyclist just doesn't register in their minds as something to be yeilded to. (in my province, motorists refuse to yeild right of way to cyclists at twice the rate that cyclists do the same)
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Old 06-07-07, 09:02 AM   #8
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an issue I had:
"Like it or not, bicyclists have the right to “take the lane” under certain conditions:"
and then he goes on to state those conditions...
Cyclists have the right to take the lane at all times, not just when its unsafe to not do so..
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Old 06-08-07, 09:54 AM   #9
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I cannot get to the article. Could someone post it here or email it to me? Thanks.
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Old 06-08-07, 12:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli_Damon
I cannot get to the article. Could someone post it here or email it to me? Thanks.
Cars and Bikes Can Mix, When the Rules of the Road Are Clear

By JANE E. BRODY
Published: June 5, 2007

A journalist who regularly bicycled to work in Washington was killed when he rode headlong into the door of a truck as the driver opened it.


A physician riding with his wife on an off-road path in New York was killed when a tow truck turned, crossed the path and struck him.

I was lucky. In 2005, I was knocked down by a car that passed me, then cut me off as the driver turned into a parking spot. I landed on one of my newly replaced knees, and was so concerned about it that I failed to notice a dislocated finger. But what scared me most was the fact that the driver didn’t see me on the ground behind her car and would have backed over me if bystanders hadn’t alerted her to the accident.

These are a few of the hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries suffered by cyclists each year from crashes with motor vehicles. Most of these accidents could be prevented if cyclists and drivers would learn to “share the road,” as a nationwide campaign urges.

Further injuries and deaths result from cyclists who ride illegally on the sidewalk and mow down pedestrians. Even recreational paths can be a hazard. A Minneapolis woman enjoying a lakeside walk was killed when she was struck by a cyclist riding on the same path, prompting the city to divide the lanes for cyclists and pedestrians.

There is some good news. Thanks to the proliferation of designated bike paths and the growing use of helmets, deaths among bicyclists have declined to around 600 a year from about 800. Still, 600 is 600 too many, as are the approximately 46,000 annual injuries that cyclists suffer in crashes with motor vehicles.

Drivers are not always at fault. One study attributed 60 percent of bicycle-motor vehicle accidents to the drivers and 17 percent to cyclists. But another study of crashes involving children on bikes found that 80 percent of those accidents were the fault of the bicyclists.

Learning to share the road safely is especially important in light of efforts to reduce the nation’s energy needs and greenhouse gases and to increase energy expenditure by overweight Americans. More and more people are riding their bikes to work or for exercise, and cities are frantically trying to keep up by building bike paths on or alongside of roadways.

In New York City, the number of cyclists has doubled in the last 20 years, far outpacing the city’s population growth. Prompted by organizations like Transportation Alternatives, the city has created hundreds of bike paths on or near city streets.

If You’re the Driver

Keep in mind that a bicycle is a vehicle and that a person riding one has the same rights as a driver of any other vehicle. Bicycles are legally entitled to use most roads, though they must ride on the shoulder when the speed limit exceeds 50 miles per hour.

Remember, too, that bicycles are hard to see and, unlike drivers, cyclists are unprotected by seat belts, air bags and steel cages.

When approaching a cyclist, slow down. When passing, clear the bike by at least three feet (five feet if you are driving a truck). Check your rearview mirror and be sure you can see the cyclist clearly before moving back into the lane.

Do not blow your horn behind cyclists. It can frighten riders and cause them to swerve.

Don’t follow closely behind a bicycle, which may have to stop or maneuver suddenly to avoid a road hazard that could cause the cyclist to fall.

Be especially wary around young cyclists, including those on sidewalks, who may cross intersections or dart into the road from a driveway or midblock without looking.

Most serious crashes occur at intersections. When turning right, signal well ahead of time, turn from the middle of the intersection rather than across the bike path, and make sure no bike is on your right before you turn. Do not pass a cyclist if you will be turning right immediately after.

In bad weather, give cyclists a wider berth, just as you would do for other drivers.

When waiting to turn left or to proceed from a stop sign, yield to a bicycle that has the right of way. More than half of collisions occur when cyclists and drivers are on perpendicular paths, and three-fourths of these accidents result from a failure to yield the right of way.

Before opening your car door, check your mirror to be sure no bike is approaching. A passenger on the driver’s side should open the door just enough to turn around to see if the path is clear.

Like it or not, bicyclists have the right to “take the lane” under certain conditions:

¶When overtaking a vehicle moving in the same direction.

¶When getting ready to turn left.

¶When a lane is too narrow to share with a car or truck.

¶When there are unsafe conditions on the road like double-parked vehicles, animals, pedestrians and potholes.

If You’re the Cyclist

The first rule of safe cycling: Never forget that bicycles are vehicles and thus are obliged to follow the traffic rules that apply to drivers. Ride with the traffic, not against it. Wait for the green before crossing intersections. Signal all turns and stops and make full stops at stop signs.

Never ride on the sidewalk — sidewalk crashes are 25 times as frequent than crashes that occur on major streets. Safest are streets with bike lanes.

Ride in a straight path. If you must pull out into the lane used by drivers, turn around first to be sure the coast is clear.

If you are stopped at a light or stop sign to the right of a car or truck, the driver might not see you. Wait until the other vehicle clears the intersection before you proceed, in case the driver turns right unexpectedly.

Try to make eye contact with drivers before you change lanes or turn left.

Don’t weave in and out of parked cars. Although this is challenging in cities like New York, try to ride at least three feet — and preferably five feet — from parked cars to avoid being “doored.” Be alert to drivers and passengers who may be about to get out of cars, as well as to cars about to pull out of parking spots — they may not see you.

Protect yourself. Always wear a properly fitted bike helmet, one that sits firmly and level on your head, covering half your forehead.

Be visible. Wear brightly colored clothing in daylight (though I was wearing an electric blue running suit when I was hit and the driver still failed to see me); when riding in the dark, wear light-colored clothing and a reflector vest.

If you cycle at night, you are supposed to have a white headlight and red taillight (preferably a blinking one) so drivers can see you.

Scan the road 100 feet ahead for possible hazards. When approaching a pedestrian, ring your bell or call out “hey” or “excuse me.”

Do not cycle wearing headphones or while using a cellphone. If you must make or take a call, pull over to the roadside and stop.

Now, get out on that bike and be lean and green.
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Old 06-08-07, 02:18 PM   #11
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Thank you closetbiker. I disagree with some of the tips to drivers and cyclists. However, I am most dissappointed by the fact that the article never makes the point which is hinted at in its title. There is no explanation of WHY it is the case that cars and bikes can mix.
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Old 06-08-07, 02:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli_Damon
... There is no explanation of WHY it is the case that cars and bikes can mix.
it's in the title,

Quote:
Cars and Bikes Can Mix, When the Rules of the Road Are Clear
we follow the same rules. the rules that keep you safe from that dump truck when you are in your Chevette, are the same rules that keep you safe from that car when you are on your bike
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Old 06-08-07, 02:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
it's in the title,

we follow the same rules. the rules that keep you safe from that dump truck when you are in your Chevette, are the same rules that keep you safe from that car when you are on your bike
You know that. I know that. But most people don't know that and would be extremely resistant to the idea, which means that they are not likely to take the rest of the article seriously. Based on past conversations, I think this is especially those readers who ride bicycles
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Old 06-08-07, 07:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathskid5000
an issue I had:
"Like it or not, bicyclists have the right to “take the lane” under certain conditions:"
and then he goes on to state those conditions...
Cyclists have the right to take the lane at all times, not just when its unsafe to not do so..
Actually, from a legal standpoint, it is written into the law in many states that cyclists must stay "as far right as practicable", with some number of exceptions that varies from state to state. I don't know the laws in NY, but I wouldn't be surprised if that is just where this list came from.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli_Damon
... most people don't know that and would be extremely resistant to the idea...

Which is why it's a good article. It tells people to follow the same rules

Car, bike or pedestrian, colloisions occur when someone decides to follow their own idea of what's good and deviates from the rules of the road
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