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Old 04-17-02, 09:13 PM   #1
RoadKill
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Who needs the beat down, me or the bicycle rider?

I was driving my car (I know, really bad to some of you) home from work a couple days ago. I stop at a red light in a right hand turn lane. Light turns green I make my right hand turn. Suddenly I hear this loud clunk, scares the crap out of me and I look around. I see this guy on his bicycle that just threw something at my car. At first I felt bad that I just cut in front of this guy and somehow didn't see him. Next I though what an a$$ for throwing something at my car, if he yelled I would have apologized for not seeing him. Now that I think more about it I should have stopped and kicked his a$$ for throwing something at my car. I now realize that he was riding on the sidewalk and across the crosswalk the wrong direction (on his left). When I look on the sidewalk I am looking for slow pedestrians, not somebody on a bicycle coming the wrong direction that will be to my car the instant the light turns. Then I think even more about it and realize that he really went quite far out of his way to throw that object at my car. He was at least 30 feet out of the crosswalk when it hit me. I remember in grade school they taught that if you are riding on the sidewalk you are supposed to walk your bike across the street, is that still the case?

What do you guys think, should I have backed up and run him over or should I look at my new dent as a lesson learned?

BTW, I do ride my bicycle to work occasionally. Some sidewalk, mostly street, but always the right side of the road.
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Old 04-17-02, 09:52 PM   #2
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Originally posted by RoadKill
What do you guys think, should I have backed up and run him over or should I look at my new dent as a lesson learned?
The guy is no doubt a complete tosser, but running him over wouldn't have made you any better.
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Old 04-17-02, 10:58 PM   #3
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Originally posted by Fatal Justice


The guy is no doubt a complete tosser, but running him over wouldn't have made you any better.
How about just backing into him and speeding off?
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Old 04-18-02, 01:45 AM   #4
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He was very wrong to throw anything at your car.

As a motorist, though, you had the responsibility to look down the sidewalks as well as look at the street.

I know exactly how it is - very few if any drivers look down sidewalks when turning. Still, if you had hit him, your life would be different now - even if the law was on your side.

Bicyclists who ride on sidewalks have to recognize that they are virtually invisible to automobiles and need to drive accordingly.
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Old 04-18-02, 02:09 AM   #5
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The only thing to worry about down here on the streets are cars...<especially down here in miami with the crazy *** drivers> the sidewalk really isnt even the place for bike riding anyways, although the motorist should pay attention, even if the guy was flying over the street on a bike <e.t.?> and got near your car.

The guy throwing something at the car? Well, thats a bit harsh...you shouldnt have run him over; but at least chase him down a bit and scare him...who knows maybe he'll go into a tree if you chase after him enough? you wouldnt have technically hit him...
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Old 04-18-02, 02:23 AM   #6
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I've often wondered about sidewalks and crosswalks and bicycle paths when the city ever so conveniently merges them all into one. This is the case with a path I tend to avoid but find myself on from time to time. It's an extra wide sidewalk with no lanes to differentiate where cyclists should ride and peds should walk. I guess the mayor doesn't realize that is kinda hurts to be a ped when he/she is hit by a bicycle traveling 30kmh.

The crosswalks are what I'm not sure about. What do the people who set this thing up expect me to do? Presently, I just ride through the crosswalks at a slower then usual pace to avoid being killed by some motorist turning right. There is no way I'm getting off and walking my bike on a bicycle commuter route. I will when Joe motorist gets a sign that says "Get out and push".

Yet another reason I never ride on sidewalks. The rules are way vague for my taste. What I do know is that I rarely ever see any motorist come to a full and complete stop when turning right on a red. Secondly, motorists almost never ever know what the big red triangle means on those right turn launch ramps that many intersections have. It's funny with yield signs here because they place them after the crosswalk in right turn lanes.

Getting back to the point, it's stupid to throw anything at a car. Chances are whatever you throw, you'll never get back. I can't decide what side to take though with only one side of the story. I feel like takeing the motorists side but I also feel like I'm takeing the motorists side because it's the motorists side of the story.

All in all, bicycles just don't belong on sidewalks period.
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Old 04-18-02, 04:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by RoadKill
How about just backing into him and speeding off?
Exactly the same. Two wrongs don't make a right (although it never ceases to amaze me how many people totally and completely fail to realise this). The guy was wrong to attack you and you would be just as wrong to attack him. End of story.
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Old 04-18-02, 05:45 AM   #8
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I was almost hit by a teenage cyclist on the sidewalk.
I was approaching the end of a side-road, about to turn left into the main road.
As I reach the junction, a cyclist comes across the junction as a pedstrian, from the sidewalk at about 20mph (its a steep hill). He was going way too fast for my pedestrian check to locate him, and I had to slam on my brakes.
Had he been riding on the road, I would have seen him and had to yield for him.

On the rare occasions I do ride on the empty sidewalk (at walking pace) I am aware of who is and isnt expecting me, usually.

Last week I almost got run over on the sidewalk by a car which came out of a sideroad, then crossed over the main road, and into a driveway. I was about to cross the driveway when he accelerated across the road into me. Had to do an emergency brake.
Sidewalks are too dangerous. Ill stick to the road.
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Old 04-18-02, 09:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by MichaelW
I was almost hit by a teenage cyclist on the sidewalk.

I was approaching the end of a side-road, about to turn left into the main road.

As I reach the junction, a cyclist comes across the junction as a pedstrian, from the sidewalk at about 20mph (its a steep hill). He was going way too fast for my pedestrian check to locate him, and I had to slam on my brakes.

Had he been riding on the road, I would have seen him and had to yield for him.



On the rare occasions I do ride on the empty sidewalk (at walking pace) I am aware of who is and isnt expecting me, usually.



Last week I almost got run over on the sidewalk by a car which came out of a sideroad, then crossed over the main road, and into a driveway. I was about to cross the driveway when he accelerated across the road into me. Had to do an emergency brake.

Sidewalks are too dangerous. Ill stick to the road.
I'll drink to that! I get a bit peeved whenever I see people riding on the sidewalks around here, because they are a large potential danger to pedestrians. Sure, they aren't as heavy as a car, but getting body-slammed by a human-sized projectile moving at 15-20mph can't be good for one's health...
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Old 04-18-02, 10:11 AM   #10
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I am no lawyer, but to give you the legalish answer...

You probably bear some blame for not seeing the guy. But, since you didn't actually hit him and since he didn't get hurt, the police would have, at the most, shaken their finger at you.

But, his throwing something at your car undoubtedly makes him responsible for any damage. Such an action clearly bears criminal liabilities, and the police would surely have cited him for whatever was appropriate.

Cheers,
Jamie
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Old 04-18-02, 10:33 AM   #11
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I admit I sometimes ride on the sidewalk going towards traffic. In my town there are so many one-way roads that to stay on the street would involve a detour of one and often two or more blocks to the side (b/c of pedestrian malls, adjacent one-ways, and new buildings built across what was a street). If I'm trying to get to another road two blocks ahead, it seems annoying to have to backtrack.

I always go a walking pace around people, but outside of campus there are none. Just going a few blocks this way is a hassle and I will almost always avoid it if possible. Most people here just ride the wrong way up the street in this situation or barrel thru walkers--I ride slow and paranoid. BTW one can legally bike on any non-downtown sidewalk here.
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Old 04-18-02, 10:54 AM   #12
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Your story is exactly how I got into my accident, only I was the guy on the bike. I did lots of research, and lots of thinking, and eventually came to the same conclusion that the cops came to - I was at fault because I was riding where I shouldn't have been. Now granted, the person who hit me might have still not seen me if I had been walking, but that's just speculation and it doesn't hold up very well to the law. People who ride bikes need to be made aware of the fact that when on the bike they need to behave like a vehicle.

As far as throwing something at your car, well, that sucks. The guy thought he was in the right, but he wasn't. I get angry when cars do things to put me in danger, but these days I make sure that I was in the right before I get upset.

MadCat, I know what you mean about the crosswalks on bike/ped paths. I've asked some guys at bike shops if they know about the legal status of people riding in them (do we have the right-of-way, like pedestrians, do we have to get off the bike, etc). They said they didn't know, but they assumed you could just ride across it. For right now I just make sure that there isn't a car anywhere nearby before I cross. I'm pretty close to just riding in the street, but there is a part of town where a military base comes down almost to the water, and since you can't go through the base anymore, you either have to go on the very busy street or ride on the path, and I feel much safer on the path.

andy
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Old 04-18-02, 01:04 PM   #13
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I just wanted to confirm that I have the right to be pissed at somebody that I will likely never see again. I know I should have seen him but I am only human and therefore not perfect.
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Old 04-18-02, 01:48 PM   #14
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Originally posted by RoadKill
I just wanted to confirm that I have the right to be pissed at somebody that I will likely never see again. I know I should have seen him but I am only human and therefore not perfect.
I don't understand why you and other blame yourself at all. Are you responsible for always checking for a fast-moving vehicle at a place that is for pedestrians only?!! I don't think so!

Obviously, drivers should always drive defensively, but in this case the bicyclist was 100% at fault. Period.

Jim L.
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Old 04-18-02, 02:02 PM   #15
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There are several good lessons in this cautionary tale and the ensuing exchanges:
1) whether walking, jogging, cycling, or driving, BE ALERT;
2) do not escalate conflicts;
3) in general (there are valid exceptions on certain streets or at certain interchanges), ride your bike in the street, in the direction of traffic flow, and properly positioned (e.g. to the left of a right-turn lane).
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