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Old 09-27-12, 10:55 AM   #1
genec
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‘Ghost Bikes’ Mark Cyclist Deaths, Do They Also Show Failure Of Road Sharing?

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/09/2...kes-bicyclists

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The League of American Bicyclists estimates that at least 700 cyclists are killed in U.S. traffic accidents each year. and the New York Times reports on an increase in deaths of cyclists and pedestrians after a 5 year decline in New York, that echoes a national increase in traffic fatalities altogether.
In the audio, the LAB reveals that 1/3 of all cycling deaths are due to rear end collisions. Also something near 50% of all car bike collisions are reported as the fault of the motorist.

The LAB also seems to firmly believe in more bikes are better... safety in numbers.

NPR also has some Ghost bike stories...
http://www.npr.org/2012/08/21/159560...es-stand-vigil
And...
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=92577689
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Old 09-27-12, 11:56 AM   #2
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That's pretty cool...
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Old 09-27-12, 12:46 PM   #3
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In the audio, the LAB reveals that 1/3 of all cycling deaths are due to rear end collisions.
That's a pretty big departure from the commonly given statistics, such as 7% of car/bike collisions involve the motor vehicle overtaking the cyclist.

Either 1) "motorist overtaking cyclist" isn't quite the same as a "rear end collision", or 2) rear end collisions are 4-5 times more likely to be fatal than other types of collisions, or 3) restricting some of the statistics to "urban traffic" changes the outcome greatly, 4) some of these statistics are wrong, or 5) some of these statistics have changed radically over time.

I suspect that #2 is a factor, though I doubt it's as large as 4-5 times. Not sure about the rest.

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Also something near 50% of all car bike collisions are reported as the fault of the motorist.
The local police department just recently said that only 21% of their investigations of bike/car collisions found the cyclist to be at fault. Of course, they didn't say anything more than this -- such as what percentage found the motorist to be at fault (I don't think it's fair to just assume it's 79%, though that is the implication) or what percentage was found to be shared fault or nobody's fault.

I guess without such additional information, such figures aren't particularly useful, not to somebody trying to find the truth anyways. (They might be useful if you're looking to push a particular agenda, though I must admit -- I would be surprised to hear APD pushing a "cyclists break the law less than motorists" agenda, but just giving that 21% figure suggests that maybe they were?

Last edited by dougmc; 09-27-12 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 09-27-12, 01:56 PM   #4
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While I understand the purpose of these bikes, many have no upkeep in Chicago and within about 6-8 months turn into eyesores that are chained in place. I appreciate the somber warning they provide but how does anyone else feel about a limitation of time they are up?

Or it could just be a Chicago thing and they are nice and clean everywhere else.

To the OP, I like the links, and I agree that safety in numbers is good IF all cyclists know the rules of the road and how to ride properly in a group. Unfortunately very few people are able to keep a line and stay in column of 2 riders without incident. But many times you'll have those that will observe the traffic signals and sign, and then those that have no issue with blowing through them without a second thought. And then the issue with not understanding what to call out or hand signals for the cyclists behind them can create trouble when needing to suddenly stop. However that may just by my observance from living in a big city with different "flavors" of cyclists
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Old 09-27-12, 03:45 PM   #5
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We have a local century ride to memorialize a wonderful athlete and father Tony Serrano. The money raised goes toward several helpful medical programs for the poor, and bicycle advocacy groups here in Georgia.

http://tonyserranoride.com/biography.php

This guy is pretty much a local legend among advocacy groups and cyclists alike.
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Old 09-27-12, 09:04 PM   #6
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I happened to catch that on the radio today.

The one thing that really stood out to me is that when discussing the various dangers that bikes face in traffic the host seemed to veer toward the notion that the bicyclists need to improve. The interviewee, from the LAB, would then remind her that autos need to improve their behavior as well.

And that point seemed to go over her head more than once.
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Old 09-28-12, 07:29 AM   #7
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I happened to catch that on the radio today.

The one thing that really stood out to me is that when discussing the various dangers that bikes face in traffic the host seemed to veer toward the notion that the bicyclists need to improve. The interviewee, from the LAB, would then remind her that autos need to improve their behavior as well.

And that point seemed to go over her head more than once.
Agreed... she was responding as a motorist while the LAB rep was a cyclist and saw the world through our eyes. Also I think the host was channeling folks in NYC who believe that all the recent road changes are for the worst up there.

That was why I thought it quite interesting that the LAB rep mentioned those cyclist death stats that basically put the onus back on motorists.
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Old 09-28-12, 07:50 AM   #8
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The local police department just recently said that only 21% of their investigations of bike/car collisions found the cyclist to be at fault. Of course, they didn't say anything more than this -- such as what percentage found the motorist to be at fault (I don't think it's fair to just assume it's 79%, though that is the implication) or what percentage was found to be shared fault or nobody's fault.
I wonder if it is possible for a collission to be nobody's fault? I agree that an error in judgement can be made by either party or a combination of both parties to cause the collission.

But can a collission just happen where neither person made an error in judgement?
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Old 09-28-12, 08:48 AM   #9
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motorists do a pretty good job of avoiding crazy cyclists. It does seem that they have trouble not hitting cyclists that are proceeding in a safe and careful manner.
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Old 09-28-12, 08:51 AM   #10
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motorists do a pretty good job of avoiding crazy cyclists. It does seem that they have trouble not hitting cyclists that are proceeding in a safe and careful manner.
That conflicts with the basis of all safety claims made for Effective/Vehicular Cycling.
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Old 09-28-12, 11:17 AM   #11
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I wonder if it is possible for a collission to be nobody's fault? I agree that an error in judgement can be made by either party or a combination of both parties to cause the collission.

But can a collission just happen where neither person made an error in judgement?
Well, this is really a question of semantics, but certainly you can have situations where the police deem neither party to be at fault.

For example, if there's ice on the road and nobody is aware of it and it causes a collision, the police could very well not assign fault to either party (or any other party.) "Acts of God" certainly could cause collisions, and while a good driver should still plan and respond accordingly, the police may not assign fault to either party.
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Old 09-28-12, 11:24 AM   #12
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I wonder if it is possible for a collission to be nobody's fault? I agree that an error in judgement can be made by either party or a combination of both parties to cause the collission.

But can a collission just happen where neither person made an error in judgement?
Not possible according to some Cycling Dogmatists who are also BF Monday Morning Accident Investigators and assume that any cyclist who is not a believer in the Dogma has some culpability for being involved in any incident, because a True Believer would not have been involved. Police reports are immaterial to this kind of cycling know-it-all.
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Old 09-28-12, 11:32 AM   #13
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Not possible according to some Cycling Dogmatists who are also BF Monday Morning Accident Investigators and assume that any cyclist who is not a believer in the Dogma has some culpability for being involved in any incident, because a True Believer would not have been involved. Police reports are immaterial to this kind of cycling know-it-all.
I seem to recall one such Dogmatist that insisted that cyclists were responsible for any and all crashes they suffered.
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Old 09-28-12, 11:44 AM   #14
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Well, this is really a question of semantics, but certainly you can have situations where the police deem neither party to be at fault.

For example, if there's ice on the road and nobody is aware of it and it causes a collision, the police could very well not assign fault to either party (or any other party.) "Acts of God" certainly could cause collisions, and while a good driver should still plan and respond accordingly, the police may not assign fault to either party.

I find this an interesting topic because in June I was run off the road via a pick-up truck driver towing a fifth-wheel. Got it on video and the driver was served a Summary Offense Ticket for passing too close to a cyclist (we have the "1 metre rule" here).

Driver said he will contest the SOT and stated to the officer that he was towing a trailor and couldn't stop or slow down. He said he "blew the horn to give warning to me".

I am mulling over the drivers statement that he couldn't stop or slow down. Ergo, not his fault, since I was "warned."

My perspective is that the horn blast, oncoming traffic and no noticable slow-down in speed of the truck was a bullying tactic forcing me off the road. I had to bail, or I would have been struck.

IMO, if a driver is "unable to stop or slow down" then he does not have control over the vehicle.

After talking to a police friend of mine about this, he stated that during many traffic stops for running a stop sign or light, drivers claim they could not stop due to weather or slippery road conditions. He said that this is no excuse, as they were obviously driving too fast for conditions.
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Old 09-28-12, 11:49 AM   #15
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I seem to recall one such Dogmatist that insisted that cyclists were responsible for any and all crashes they suffered.
ILTB, has been on my ignore list for some time. Unfortunately, I see the quotes (sigh).

Edit:
I am hoping that you're not indicating that *I* said that?

There's no doubt that some cyclists caused a crash, some caused by the motorist and some by both. I have no stats of course, but it seems logical that either party can be at fault. Who are typically more at fault, I cannot say.

Last edited by digger; 09-28-12 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 09-28-12, 06:29 PM   #16
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I took a long way home from work today and passed by a little memorial sign for David Apperson, who was the first person killed on a bicycle in Polk County this year. It was not on the road I thought it would be on, though I knew I was in the area. It's a nice road. No shoulder, of course, but that's typical of our Polk County rural roads. 55 mph. I'm not an emotional person, but I was feeling good in general about riding out there. I felt like I was doing a little part toward taking the road back for people, instead of it being just for people in cars. I don't really want to ride with other people but I would like to see more people out on the roads on bicycles.

Here's a link to an article about Polk County bicycling safety:

http://www.polkio.com/ns/news/22820/...in-polk-county

Last edited by enigmaT120; 09-28-12 at 06:30 PM. Reason: adding a link
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