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Old 08-08-09, 12:59 PM   #1
cooker
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Two serious sidewalk incidents in two days.

If people doubt riding on the sidewalk is dangerous to the cyclist and others, here are two episodes in two days in Toronto.

A 56 year old woman was walking on the sidewalk Thursday afternoon and a 15 year old cyclist approaching facing her knocked her down. She later died in hospital. He has not been charged. It's suggested he tried to avoid her, and she did the same and maybe moved to the same side and they collided. He was legally on the sidewalk as he had 24" wheels.

http://www.thestar.com/article/678257

A man suffered serious injuries when hit by a car entering a mall as he was crossing the entrance on a sidewalk. He was a "wrongway" cyclist (it says he was southbound and presumably on the east side, since Yorkdale Mall is on the east side of Dufferin) but that shouldn't have been a problem as the car was coming from the northbound lanes.

http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local.../?hub=CP24Home

Both episodes occurred in daylight.

Last edited by cooker; 05-08-11 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 08-08-09, 01:16 PM   #2
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If people doubt riding on the sidewalk is dangerous to the cyclist and others, here are two episodes in two days in Toronto.

A 56 year old woman was walking on the sidewalk Thursday afternoon and a 15 year old cyclist approaching facing her knocked her down. She later died in hospital. He has not been charged. It's suggested he tried to avoid her, and she did the same and maybe moved to the same side and they collided. He was legally on the sidewalk as he had 24" wheels.

http://www.thestar.com/article/678257

A man suffered serious injuries when hit by a car entering a mall as he was crossing the entrance on a sidewalk. He was a "wrong way" cyclist (it says he was southbound and presumably on the east side, since Yorkdale Mall is on the east side of Dufferin) but that shouldn't have been a problem as the car was coming from the northbound lanes.

http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local.../?hub=CP24Home

Both episodes occurred in daylight.
In the first case I hope that the 15-year old isn't charged with anything. In the second case there really isn't enough information to make any kind of determination.
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Old 08-08-09, 01:44 PM   #3
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He was legally on the sidewalk as he had 24" wheels.
I understand the motivation behind having an age limit for cycling on sidewalks legally, but I don't really see the point of this rule based on the wheel size. Surely I'd be just as much of a hazard to pedestrians if I'm on my Bike Friday (451 wheels) vs. on my Cannondale (622 wheels).
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Old 08-08-09, 05:20 PM   #4
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I understand the motivation behind having an age limit for cycling on sidewalks legally, but I don't really see the point of this rule based on the wheel size. Surely I'd be just as much of a hazard to pedestrians if I'm on my Bike Friday (451 wheels) vs. on my Cannondale (622 wheels).
The idea is that children with bicycles having a wheel diameter of 24" or less are allowed to ride on the sidewalk. It's a law contained in the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.
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Old 08-08-09, 07:50 PM   #5
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The funniest part of that, to me, is that HERE, sidewalk riding (illegal in a 'business district', defined as no residences within 500 feet) is ENCOURAGED by all except a couple of sheriff's deputies and the local club. The city cops have told me and family members to get on the sidewalk; drivers, of course, but they're stupid.

There are areas, business district or not, where I will ride the sides; if I have my kids along, you better believe it! Some cell-phone-yakking SUV idiot is NOT gonna grease-spot one of mine and have his/her DNA remain on the earth! So it's just more civilized to give a little. Besides, about 30 people out of the 300,000 who live here actually walk anywhere, lol.

I AM sad about the lady, that shouldn't have been the outcome.
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Old 08-08-09, 08:03 PM   #6
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Sidewalk bicycling has its (occasional, rare) time and place. However, if pedestrians are present, the cyclist needs to slow to their speed, and extra caution is indeed required at driveways and intersections. I don't think cycling at 5mph/8kph or less is necessarily any more dangerous than walking at that speed. If someone is going to ride a bicycle counterflow, I want him/her on the sidewalk, instead of in my lane, bike lane, or shoulder.
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Old 08-08-09, 10:25 PM   #7
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There are areas, business district or not, where I will ride the sides; if I have my kids along, you better believe it! Some cell-phone-yakking SUV idiot is NOT gonna grease-spot one of mine and have his/her DNA remain on the earth!
How do you protect them from accidents at driveways, alleys and intersections?
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Old 08-08-09, 10:33 PM   #8
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How do you protect them from accidents at driveways, alleys and intersections?
They ride behind me, so if some a$$hat comes out of an alley, i'll take it, not them. Intersections are wide open spaces, and we are cautious about crossing --on bikes or on foot, as we frequently are as we go to the corner store. Driveways are 'eagle-eyed' by me, and we have yet to have a problem. Cars frequently block the sidewalk when they pull up -- this city is made funny, every ped crosswalk is placed perfectly to be blocked by the natural stopping point of a car -- so we go around them while they are stopped. Not rocket science.
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Old 08-09-09, 12:31 AM   #9
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They ride behind me, so if some a$$hat comes out of an alley, i'll take it, not them.... Not rocket science.
Much of the danger of sidewalk riding comes from cars turnining from the street and into the alley (or sidestreet, driveway, etc.). I don't see how riding behind you makes them any safer from this threat, especially if you're only "eagle-eying" the cars that are coming out of the alley.
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Old 08-09-09, 01:41 PM   #10
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Much of the danger of sidewalk riding comes from cars turning from the street and into the alley (or side street, driveway, etc.). I don't see how riding behind you makes them any safer from this threat, especially if you're only "eagle-eying" the cars that are coming out of the alley.
That is what I was wondering as well, thank you for pointing it out.
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Old 08-09-09, 03:50 PM   #11
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In the first article the cop is saying the 15yr old was legally riding on the sidewalk. However in the next breath he states that bikes should not be on the sidewalk and will talk to the D.A. to see if any charges can be filed. I guess I'm missing something somewhere. I agree with another poster about slowing down while biking if on the sidewalk, but would the same apply to someone who is jogging? It just seems it was a tragic accident, without much knowledge of how fast either party was going.
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Old 08-09-09, 04:44 PM   #12
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In the first article the cop is saying the 15yr old was legally riding on the sidewalk. However in the next breath he states that bikes should not be on the sidewalk and will talk to the D.A. to see if any charges can be filed. I guess I'm missing something somewhere. I agree with another poster about slowing down while biking if on the sidewalk, but would the same apply to someone who is jogging? It just seems it was a tragic accident, without much knowledge of how fast either party was going.
Sort of like playing with BB-guns... It's all fun and games until someone gets an eye put out... or in this case, gets killed.

Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not cyclists. When we do ride there for whatever reason, you're a "guest," and pedestrians always have the right of way there. If the kid hit the old lady with his bike, he's at some degree of fault and responsibility for that death.
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Old 08-11-09, 08:26 AM   #13
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Sgt. Burrows is trying to tap-dance between the fact that a cyclist killed a pedestrian, and the fact that in the past the police have had reservations about enforcing no-sidewalk laws in places like Scarborough. And of course, the bike involved in the accident was sidewalk-legal, for whatever rational.

Kennedy and Sheppard are both high-speed arterial roads where motorists typically go 80-100 kph given a traffic-free stretch, and that intersection in particular I've seen some very nasty car accidents from motorists running the red.

He's stuck between the letter of the law, and knowing that if he did force all these casual cyclists onto the roadway the fatality count would just go up.
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Old 08-12-09, 02:51 PM   #14
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To me it stilll comes down to the same thing--controlling the behavior of motorists, regardless of the degree of coercion necessary to effect this, to the point where no cyclists fears riding in the streets. I agree with previous posters who suggest that sidewalk cycling is only an occasional, conditional last resort--sidewalks aren't meant for any wheeled vehicles.
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Old 08-12-09, 03:01 PM   #15
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Another fine morning on Kennedy Road.

That intersection was on my old commute route. So many people run the red that it's easier to cut through the adjacent parking lot.

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I agree with previous posters who suggest that sidewalk cycling is only an occasional, conditional last resort--sidewalks aren't meant for any wheeled vehicles.
I'm not sure everyone in Scarborough agrees with you.
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Old 08-14-09, 10:30 PM   #16
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Can I advocate people stop putting %$#@! mattresses in the middle of the sidewalk?

Had a nasty spill yesterday when I was barelling down a sidewalk I've taken countless times before... except I was kind of not expecting to find a mattress taking up the entire sidewalk, with nowhere to go around it (its an elevated sidewalk bordered by a rail on the left and an incline on the right). Put the brakes on before I got to the mattress, but that's what did me in, and I crashed on the pavement (never touched the #$@ mattress of course!). The brakes weren't properly adjusted though, the rear in particular quite weak. But the stop-on-a-dime cantilever brakes are so good on this bike, that if they were well adjusted, I would have probably flown over the handlebars instead of sliding into the pavement, which is worse. I'm kinda thinking now old centrepull brakes would probably be best when having to brake hard in an emergency. They'll stop me slower, and this might mean some impact, or greater impact. But they seem like they'd be safer in an emergency stop, with much less risk of the bike catapulting or sliding out from under you.
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Old 08-14-09, 10:46 PM   #17
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But they seem like they'd be safer in an emergency stop, with much less risk of the bike catapulting or sliding out from under you.
Adjusting your brakes so they do not work as intended - out of fear of throwing one's self over the bars - is an example of a rider not skilled enough to understand proper emergency braking. Stating otherwise is little more then trivial - and flawed - armchair theorizing.

You are only putting yourself and others in potential danger by running your brakes in this fashion. Have them serviced and learn how to effectively - and safely - operate the front brake in a panic situation.

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Old 08-14-09, 11:43 PM   #18
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Adjusting your brakes so they do not work as intended - out of fear of throwing one's self over the bars - is an example of a rider not skilled enough to understand proper emergency braking. Stating otherwise is little more then trivial - and flawed - armchair theorizing.

You are only putting yourself and others in potential danger by running your brakes in this fashion. Have them serviced and learn how to effectively - and safely - operate the front brake in a panic situation.

-Kurt
Good lord, do you ever presume a lot. Try asking questions next time, you might learn something. I did not adjust my brakes so that they "do not work as intended", nor did I ever say I planned to "run them in this fashion". FYI, I tried to adjust them correctly, but I wasn't at home and did the best I could with the tools I had. I'd like to see you barelling down a hill, and then have a mattress materialize in front of you two seconds before you hit it. While you're flying through the air, you'll have some time to reflect on why the Safety Sammy video they showed you on "emergency front braking for bicycling" didn't help.
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Old 08-15-09, 12:10 AM   #19
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Is it safe to slow-ride on sidewalks up hills. I mean 5-10mph.
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Old 08-15-09, 11:59 AM   #20
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Good lord, do you ever presume a lot. Try asking questions next time, you might learn something. I did not adjust my brakes so that they "do not work as intended", nor did I ever say I planned to "run them in this fashion". FYI, I tried to adjust them correctly, but I wasn't at home and did the best I could with the tools I had. I'd like to see you barelling down a hill, and then have a mattress materialize in front of you two seconds before you hit it. While you're flying through the air, you'll have some time to reflect on why the Safety Sammy video they showed you on "emergency front braking for bicycling" didn't help.
I know that you'll probably get defensive and not listen to advice, but i'm gonna say it anyways.

You were outriding your brakes. You should never ride so fast that you cannot stop within the assured safe distance. The mattress was just sitting there. It didn't "materialize" or jump out in front of you. It should have been very easy for even a moderately skilled rider to avoid it.

Also you should take some time to learn how to use good brakes in an emergency stopping situation. You might want to do practice in controlled conditions (like an empty parking lot) so that the skills are there when you really need them.

Little kids jumping out into the sidewalk are harder to brake for than a mattress. How would you feel if you hit a little kid because you lack the expertise to control your bike at the speed you choose to ride at?
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Old 08-15-09, 12:01 PM   #21
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Is it safe to slow-ride on sidewalks up hills. I mean 5-10mph.
It can be. You can ride faster than that sometimes, but automatically slow down for peds, driveways, cross streets, etc.
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Old 08-15-09, 12:18 PM   #22
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You were outriding your brakes. You should never ride so fast that you cannot stop within the assured safe distance. The mattress was just sitting there. It didn't "materialize" or jump out in front of you. It should have been very easy for even a moderately skilled rider to avoid it.
+1 - this is the very definition of going too fast for conditions. All vehicles should always travel at a speed that allows them to stop before they hit any stationary object, expected or not, that they come upon. You have to take into account the condition of your vehicle, the sight lines, and the condition of the roadway (wet, covered with sand, whatever).

I also agree with practice with emergency stops. If you're practiced, endos are not really a concern. You should definitely have brakes capable of locking up your wheels - you just don't actually use them like that (because if the wheels are sliding, you're not braking at full capacity).
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Old 08-17-09, 04:15 PM   #23
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I know that you'll probably get defensive and not listen to advice, but i'm gonna say it anyways.
I didn't ask for yours or anyone's advice, did I? So waste your time if you want, it's your time to waste.

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You were outriding your brakes. You should never ride so fast that you cannot stop within the assured safe distance.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Try at least sounding like you've visited the real world in the last 6 months, before you start doling out unsolicited, unwanted and thoroughly uneeded advice, jr. Accidents happen. If you've never had one, then you've never ridden a bike. Maybe you just watch videos of people riding bikes and that's enough, I don't know. But next time I'll make sure I have someone riding beside me who will constantly clock the speed I'm going with a radar detector, then if a mattress situation comes up, no problem, I'll stop the bike, and have someone else measure the distance to the object, then calcuate my safe braking distance so I don't "outride my brakes" to use your term, then I'll come around the same corner again, and make sure that my radar guy tells me the right speed I should go at to stop before the mattress.

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The mattress was just sitting there. It didn't "materialize" or jump out in front of you. It should have been very easy for even a moderately skilled rider to avoid it.
Now you're insulting my riding skills?? Geez Louise, you Laz-y-boy chair critics seriously need to get a life. You know NOTHING about the situation, and yet you're talking like you're an expert witness who was present at the scene. Faced with the same scene, would have likely pitched yourself over the rail and onto oncoming traffic, right after wetting yourself. Nothing worse than an ignorant forumer on the net playing long distance judge and pretending to be a know it all. I know you'll probably not listen to my advice but I'm gonna say it anyways: practice getting a life. Then, try getting one.
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