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  1. #1
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    Not a laughing matter Someone left the lid off

    Someone really messed up here and someone paid with their life.

    http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/niagara...deadly-manhole

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stubby's Avatar
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    Turn this around and think of a hugh car eating hole in the street. The street would have been shut down with lots of warnings for motor vehicles. This shows how much of a car-centric culture we live in. Bike users are on their own and can expect little help. It's still a slap on the wrist if you kill a cyclist even if it's the motor vehicles fault.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stubby View Post
    Turn this around and think of a hugh car eating hole in the street. The street would have been shut down with lots of warnings for motor vehicles. This shows how much of a car-centric culture we live in. Bike users are on their own and can expect little help. It's still a slap on the wrist if you kill a cyclist even if it's the motor vehicles fault.
    Don't forget the blinking lights, and detour signs directing motorists around said street.
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  4. #4
    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    It could have been that the MH cover was stolen for its scrap value, and it stood open until the authorities were informed. There have been a lot of such incidents lately. If so, perhaps the thieves were nice enough to post cones.

    This is the sort of story that the media reports, then you never hear the rest of the story because it gets tangled up in a lawsuit.

    -G

  5. #5
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmt13 View Post
    It could have been that the MH cover was stolen for its scrap value, and it stood open until the authorities were informed. There have been a lot of such incidents lately. If so, perhaps the thieves were nice enough to post cones.

    This is the sort of story that the media reports, then you never hear the rest of the story because it gets tangled up in a lawsuit.

    -G
    That must be it, the thieves stole the cover and left safety cones behind.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  6. #6
    Cactus Hobbit GeoBigJon's Avatar
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    Man that sucks, very sad.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Of course it would happen in Niagara Falls :\

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stubby View Post
    Turn this around and think of a hugh car eating hole in the street. The street would have been shut down with lots of warnings for motor vehicles. This shows how much of a car-centric culture we live in. Bike users are on their own and can expect little help.
    I thought of this, too. Did you know that, in Illinois (where I shan't be living that much longer, hopefully), the legal precedent exists to define bikes as "permitted users" but not "intended users" of the road? what this means is that they don't have to make the roads safe for you to use, and they have precedent on their side should they do something negligent like this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
    I thought of this, too. Did you know that, in Illinois (where I shan't be living that much longer, hopefully), the legal precedent exists to define bikes as "permitted users" but not "intended users" of the road? what this means is that they don't have to make the roads safe for you to use, and they have precedent on their side should they do something negligent like this.
    Yes, we know about that. It's been posted here, and it sucks for Illinois cyclists.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    From the pic, it looks like three cones would have been plenty, except that IME the people setting out cones get no training in how to do it sensibly. They probably had them lined up parallel to the direction of travel along the side of the hole, looking to the rider like some sort of temporary bike lane divider.

  11. #11
    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    That must be it, the thieves stole the cover and left safety cones behind.
    Hey - could happen. I had my car broken out one night and the culprit taped plastic over it when he was done. Just because you're a desperado doesn't mean you don't care!

    It's hard to believe that any City worker would not have barricaded the hole a bit better.

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
    From the pic, it looks like three cones would have been plenty, except that IME the people setting out cones get no training in how to do it sensibly. They probably had them lined up parallel to the direction of travel along the side of the hole, looking to the rider like some sort of temporary bike lane divider.
    I'm not so sure all the blame lies with the city workers nor with our car centric society. There are several issues here that I see as contributing factors. Many of them are the fault of the cyclist. First, in our car centric society, if you see cones on the road, you should ride to the left of the cones (US). The cones are placed there to warn road users of a hazard. Since, generally, the idea is to keep from driving into that hazard, the logical course is to go around the cones and not consider them to be some sort of temporary bike lane divider.

    Secondly, look at the time of the accident - 11:30 pm - well past dark. I suspect that the rider was a) a ninja, b) a blinking ninja, c) inebriated (a pickled ninja) d) a salmon or e)some combination thereof. If he had lights, I'll bet that they were of the 'to be seen' variety. He may not have even seen the cones.

    And there is this

    Witnesses tell Niagara Falls Police that Johnson was riding a bicycle down the street when he was hailed by some people on the sidewalk.

    "As he turned to look at them, his bike went to the right, and he went past the cones and in to the hole that was opened," said Niagara Falls Police Captain Bill Thompson. "There was a plate (cover) next to the hole...leaving the hole opened," Thompson said, in confirming the hole was not covered when the mishap occurred.
    Elsewhere in the article is says that the construction covers (not 'manhole' covers) may not have been put in place and for that the contractor should be held liable. But the cyclist bears part of the blame for not being able to control his bicycle.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    Did I miss something?

    Niagara Falls Police are investigating a fatal bicycle accident that involved an open manhole cover on Friday night
    The manhole in which the victim fell to his death was covered and marked with traffic cones Saturday afternoon, but Friday night witnesses tell News 4 there was nothing to warn the victim of the danger that lay directly in his path.
    There were no cones warning the cyclist when the incident happened for reasons we can only speculate about. Since this is A&S, let the speculation, conspiracy theories, alternate realities, & endless debates begin .
    Last edited by exile; 07-12-11 at 04:55 PM.
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  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post
    Did I miss something?


    There were no cones warning the cyclist when the incident happened for reasons we can only speculate about. Since this is A&S, let the speculation, conspiracy theories, alternate realities, & endless debates begin .
    Yep. You are missing something. The original link has witnesses saying that the cones were lined up 'like that'. In the video, the witness indicates a straight line with his hand in the direction of travel. In my link, the witnesses say that the guy swerved when he looked at someone calling to him and crossed over the cone line. The cones were there on the left side of the open hole. There apparently weren't any at the ends of the hole but it sounds like the guy didn't just run into the end of the hole but instead strayed into the side of the hole where the cones were.

    Probably smashed his head against the curb when he fell in. I wonder if there's something that might have helped in this situation?
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  15. #15
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Probably smashed his head against the curb when he fell in. I wonder if there's something that might have helped in this situation?
    Yes there is, the steel plate that was suppose to be covering the excavation such that the cyclist would not fall in.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Dean7's Avatar
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    So, these angry people who are talking about how many city workers there are, etc. Why didn't they cover the manhole?

  17. #17
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    There's some liability to be had on both parts, the cyclist's and the construction company which left the manhole uncovered.

    As a cyclist, you really should be prepared for these types of things. There were cones in the street, he needed to have been riding more cautiously.

    And of course, the construction company should never have left an unattended manhole uncovered.

    Shoot, with the recent flooding Denver had, many manhole covers floated away of their own accord. I remember riding home on Thursday past a manhole cover, only to find an uncovered manhole about 15 feet ahead. If I had went into the manhole, who should have been responsible? The City and County of Denver for an uncontrollable act of mother nature? Mother nature herself? Or me?
    Last edited by mikeybikes; 07-12-11 at 10:56 PM.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean7 View Post
    So, these angry people who are talking about how many city workers there are, etc. Why didn't they cover the manhole?
    If it's a typical construction cover, even 4-5 people moving it around is questionable. If it's also laying on flat ground, it's even harder to pick up or move.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dean7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
    If it's a typical construction cover, even 4-5 people moving it around is questionable. If it's also laying on flat ground, it's even harder to pick up or move.
    Watch the video. The cover in question isn't very large. I'm not trying to say that any view points are wrong (seriously... if you dig something up in the street, COVER IT UP OR MAKE IT OBVIOUS!). I'm just saying that the people in this video seem incredibly self-righteous and it seems like they have little to no reason to be.

  20. #20
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Yes there is, the steel plate that was suppose to be covering the excavation such that the cyclist would not fall in.
    Whoooosh!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmt13 View Post
    Hey - could happen. I had my car broken out one night and the culprit taped plastic over it when he was done. Just because you're a desperado doesn't mean you don't care!

    It's hard to believe that any City worker would not have barricaded the hole a bit better.
    Sadly, I can believe it. City workers can be notoriously lazy, not saying that all are. But a good number of them are and will take the easiest way out to do anything.
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  22. #22
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Whoooosh!
    Or just as likely broke his neck.
    Whoooosh!

    The magic powers some people believe helmets posses!
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  23. #23
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Or just as likely broke his neck.
    Whoooosh!

    The magic powers some people believe helmets posses!
    Falls Police detectives say they’ve closed their investigation after speaking to witnesses who watched as Kevin Johnson, 44, rode his bike into an uncovered manhole on 17th Street Friday night. Johnson was thrown from his bike by the force of the impact and he struck his head on the edge of the hole
    The magical powers that some people attribute to the human skull
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