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  1. #1
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Nasty crash aftermath: Queensboro Bridge, NYC

    The first time I'm back on my regular commute in six weeks (long story), I see at or near the top of the Queensboro Bridge the aftermath of what appears to be a single-rider crash. Note that on the QBB there have been for quite some time, work crews with their pick-up trucks on the bike path even at the early hour that I commute (cross around 7:45).

    What I saw was a guy in a t-shirt and shorts, holding a compress of sorts to his bleeding forehead. The t-shirt was badly stained with blood, and the guy was in obvious discomfort, though we has sitting up on his own. I stopped briefly to ask the workman tending to him if I could and he shook his head. As I rode past him, I saw what looked like a black Raleigh carbon road bike whose top tube appeared to have been sheared in the middle.

    Honestly, I'm not surprised I saw evidence of a crash. The surprise is that I haven't seen it sooner. The workmen aren't especially cautious around the cyclists on the bridge. I'm going to guess that the crash involved the crew (edit: I was wrong). Also, I'm going to say that the cyclist was not wearing a helmet (edit: I might have been wrong), because I didn't see one and it would be hard to get a bloody wound where his was while properly wearing one (anti-helmet crowd in 3... 2...). I might be wrong about that, though, as I didn't pause for long.

    UPDATE: Found out what really happened.
    Last edited by oboeguy; 08-05-09 at 08:50 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

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    Wow, I wonder what happened. At least half of the bikers I see on that bridge don't wear helmets.

    When I took the Queensboro into Manhattan on Saturday I saw a guy stuck riding in the CAR LANES on the Queens bound side of the bridge. It looked really frightening. I don't think he had a helmet on either.

  3. #3
    Happy old man al-wagner's Avatar
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    " The workmen aren't especially cautious around the cyclists on the bridge. I'm going to guess that the crash involved the crew."

    It is the cyclist that should be cautious around the workmen.
    Last edited by al-wagner; 08-03-09 at 08:25 AM.
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  4. #4
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al-wagner View Post
    " The workmen aren't especially cautious around the cyclists on the bridge. I'm going to guess that the crash involved the crew."

    It is the cyclist that should be cautious aroung the workmen.
    Shall I amend my comment? Here's a go:

    Most cyclists there have a clue, some don't, and nearly all of the workmen not only are not especially cautious around the cyclists (e.g. opening pick-up truck doors w/o looking), but some also look annoyed that we're there.

    Better? For the record, I'm no fool thus exercise extreme caution on that bridge!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  5. #5
    Happy old man al-wagner's Avatar
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    The workmen have a job to do. How would fell if bike was zipping trough a work area all day in stead of going around?
    Around here the workmen have the right of way. In fact laws broken in a road work area here is double the fine and points on you license. I know that cyclist don't need a license but they could still pay a fine and if they have a car license will still had the points put on the license.
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    In New England we have nine months of winter and three months of damned poor sledding.

  6. #6
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al-wagner View Post
    The workmen have a job to do. How would fell if bike was zipping trough a work area all day in stead of going around?
    Around here the workmen have the right of way. In fact laws broken in a road work area here is double the fine and points on you license. I know that cyclist don't need a license but they could still pay a fine and if they have a car license will still had the points put on the license.
    Agreed! but if there were cars on the road instead of bikes, I imagine that they wouldn't behave as seemingly carelessly. Plus, "they have work to do", come on -- so does nearly everyone crossing that bridge in the morning -- we're all trying to get to work.

    I've seen idiots on bikes have bike-on-bike collisions. Maybe this was a case of an idiot taking himself down, who knows? He couldn't have been going too fast, given that it was at or near the top of a fairly steep bridge path (plus the bike was pointed in the uphill direction, where it was leaning), hence my inclination to believe that a worker was involved. Plus there's the matter of the destroyed bike. That doesn't happen without help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  7. #7
    I Need Intervention NYC_zx10's Avatar
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    How far is your commute into the city ?

    I'm going to start commuting to my office in MidTown soon, Trying to debate on what lock to pick up to secure the bike to the rack on the side of our building.

    Debating on the BikeRegistry one + Krypto chain around the obvious or the Krypto NY Chain + U lock....

  8. #8
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    Hope the rider is okay a crash always sucks.

    Been riding a 59th Street bridge a bit this summer. Some observations:

    Endless construction. Can't recall a time when there were no workers in bike/ped lane.
    Most riders/peds don't follow the rules for the path.
    Even with signs and a truck blocking 3/4 of path most bikers don't slow down.

  9. #9
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skoal View Post
    Hope the rider is okay a crash always sucks.
    I commute from Manhattan to Brooklyn, ~14 miles each way at most, I'd say. I used to take a longer route across the WillyB but found that it was taking too long.

    Been riding a 59th Street bridge a bit this summer. Some observations:

    Endless construction. Can't recall a time when there were no workers in bike/ped lane.
    Most riders/peds don't follow the rules for the path.
    Even with signs and a truck blocking 3/4 of path most bikers don't slow down.
    I don't agree so much with the most riders don't slow down bit, but the rest is pretty accurate. Also, don't you think that the path is really too narrow for the ped and bike lanes to work as striped?
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

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    Pretty much every bridge but the WillyB path is way too small.

    Most times the workers put out a bikers dismount sign. I dismounted once. Now I just go very slow. I rarely see cyclist slow down passing the constuction trucks.

  11. #11
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    I passed by at around 8:30 and didn't see anything. That sounds pretty bad. I wonder what happened.

    I've dismounted there once or twice but these days I just slow down and respect that the people working there have to be there. Instead of a "riders dismount" sign there should be a "exercise caution" or "SLOW DOWN" notice. It would be a sign written with mutual respect in mind rather than the authoritarian bull**** that is up right now.

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    As a long time construction superintendent, I will have to say that if it is a marked construction site, then the cyclist had no business riding thru it, any more than a motorist should be driving thru it. Would I be somewhat "annoyed" if you were putting yourself in jeopardy in my construction site. Yeah. I'd get you thru it the first time, and the next time you would leave in a squad car.

    Those signs are not there to annoy the public, but to protect them. Maintenance has to be done. If it wasn't, then there would be no end to the complaints about how bad the roads are.

    As to all the people who are driving thru also have work to do, get real. You don't have work to do on that bridge, which is where you are. They are in the right for being there, and none of those working there decided to get up one day to just inconvenience you.

    In all my years riding bikes, and all my years working in places like public roadways, I would say the danger margin is 10 times worse working in a construction zone with motorists as the adversary. I am unfamiliar with the location, so I can't say for certain, but I ride past the occasional construction site on my regular rides, and you can bet that when the road narrows down, I am much more cautious of the ******** trying to squeeze past me to save 3 seconds, than I am the construction workers. Is it possible that is what happened here?

  13. #13
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
    I passed by at around 8:30 and didn't see anything. That sounds pretty bad. I wonder what happened.

    I've dismounted there once or twice but these days I just slow down and respect that the people working there have to be there. Instead of a "riders dismount" sign there should be a "exercise caution" or "SLOW DOWN" notice. It would be a sign written with mutual respect in mind rather than the authoritarian bull**** that is up right now.
    Agreed. I've maneuvered around and out of the way of other path users without ever having a problem. Dismounting is silly, unless it's obviously too crowded to ride safely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
    I passed by at around 8:30 and didn't see anything. That sounds pretty bad. I wonder what happened.

    I've dismounted there once or twice but these days I just slow down and respect that the people working there have to be there. Instead of a "riders dismount" sign there should be a "exercise caution" or "SLOW DOWN" notice. It would be a sign written with mutual respect in mind rather than the authoritarian bull**** that is up right now.

    Yeah, the sign is just there to piss you off. Or maybe the insurance company and the safety inspectors and regulators came up with that to protect the ignorant. I'm quite sure the sign says "riders dismount" because someone in a position of liability decided that was the best way to protect your and their respective asses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy View Post
    Agreed. I've maneuvered around and out of the way of other path users without ever having a problem. Dismounting is silly, unless it's obviously too crowded to ride safely.

    Obviously there was a hazard there that at least one rider did not recognize. The rules are there to protect everyone, not just the ones who are seemingly smart enough to protect themselves. if you fail to follow the rules, you take the responsibility onto yourself, and to a certain degree relieve those who would be liable.

  16. #16
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahoyle View Post
    As a long time construction superintendent, I will have to say that if it is a marked construction site, then the cyclist had no business riding thru it, any more than a motorist should be driving thru it. Would I be somewhat "annoyed" if you were putting yourself in jeopardy in my construction site. Yeah. I'd get you thru it the first time, and the next time you would leave in a squad car.

    Those signs are not there to annoy the public, but to protect them. Maintenance has to be done. If it wasn't, then there would be no end to the complaints about how bad the roads are.

    As to all the people who are driving thru also have work to do, get real. You don't have work to do on that bridge, which is where you are. They are in the right for being there, and none of those working there decided to get up one day to just inconvenience you.

    In all my years riding bikes, and all my years working in places like public roadways, I would say the danger margin is 10 times worse working in a construction zone with motorists as the adversary. I am unfamiliar with the location, so I can't say for certain, but I ride past the occasional construction site on my regular rides, and you can bet that when the road narrows down, I am much more cautious of the ******** trying to squeeze past me to save 3 seconds, than I am the construction workers. Is it possible that is what happened here?
    You obviously don't know what this path is like. It's a narrow MUP on the north side of a bridge. The "construction" being done currently is a little bit of painting follow (IIRC) a drawn-out lead abatement on a gigantic 100+ year-old bridge in NYC. We're meant to ride through there! On other bridges (George Washington and Williamsburg to name a couple) there are multiple paths for bikes and peds -- not sure why not on the QBB -- which makes things less complicated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  17. #17
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahoyle View Post
    Obviously there was a hazard there that at least one rider did not recognize. The rules are there to protect everyone, not just the ones who are seemingly smart enough to protect themselves.
    40,000 people die a year in automobile crashes in the USA, despite all sorts of rules. Rules =/= safety. Did someone not recognize a hazard or did someone else, say, open a pick-up truck door in front of him? I don't know.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy View Post
    You obviously don't know what this path is like. It's a narrow MUP on the north side of a bridge. The "construction" being done currently is a little bit of painting follow (IIRC) a drawn-out lead abatement on a gigantic 100+ year-old bridge in NYC. We're meant to ride through there! On other bridges (George Washington and Williamsburg to name a couple) there are multiple paths for bikes and peds -- not sure why not on the QBB -- which makes things less complicated.
    I would have to say that if there is a sign that says "riders dismount" then you are in fact not supposed to ride thru there. You are supposed to dismount and walk. I am assuming that the construction workers are using the MUP, or at least a portion of it, as their staging location. That would seem to create a hazzard to all concerned, but the fact of the matter is that the workers have a right to be there, and are actually required to be there. The safety rules are there to protect everyone, you them and pedestrians, and yet you openly say that you know enough about what is going on there to ignore them. Obviously there are hazzards, or there would not have been a cyclist sitting there bleeding, and a broken bike.

  19. #19
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahoyle View Post
    I would have to say that if there is a sign that says "riders dismount" then you are in fact not supposed to ride thru there. You are supposed to dismount and walk. I am assuming that the construction workers are using the MUP, or at least a portion of it, as their staging location. That would seem to create a hazzard to all concerned, but the fact of the matter is that the workers have a right to be there, and are actually required to be there. The safety rules are there to protect everyone, you them and pedestrians, and yet you openly say that you know enough about what is going on there to ignore them. Obviously there are hazzards, or there would not have been a cyclist sitting there bleeding, and a broken bike.
    Honestly, I didn't see any dismount signs today, and they are certainly not always there. Dismounting, walking, and remounting simply leaves people around longer, taking-up more of the path, creating a greater disruption to the crew, no?
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy View Post
    40,000 people die a year in automobile crashes in the USA, despite all sorts of rules. Rules =/= safety. Did someone not recognize a hazard or did someone else, say, open a pick-up truck door in front of him? I don't know.
    I would say that opening a pickup door is quite a reasonable action, and if the cyclist was that badly injured from riding into a door, when he was supposed to be walking his bike, then he was definitely the one at fault. I'm not saying that he was the only one, but it was in his power to prevent it completely, and chose to speed thru. (if he in fact rode into a door)

    Rules don't make people safe. people following those rules is what makes people safe. I know that is oversimplified, but if everyone acted as they should, and followed the rules, then there wouldn't be 40,000 fatalities a year. The workers are required by law to post what signs and warnings arre deemed necessary, and in fact there are libraries of rules and regs that they have to follow on the subject. The workers did not just decide to put those signs up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy View Post
    Dismounting, walking, and remounting
    keeps people from riding into obstacles and hazards they might not be aware of, or which might appear suddenly, as sometimes happens in construction zones.

    The issue is not disruption, it is safety. Disruption to all involved is a given in a construction zone.

  22. #22
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahoyle View Post
    I would say that opening a pickup door is quite a reasonable action, and if the cyclist was that badly injured from riding into a door, when he was supposed to be walking his bike, then he was definitely the one at fault. I'm not saying that he was the only one, but it was in his power to prevent it completely, and chose to speed thru. (if he in fact rode into a door)

    Rules don't make people safe. people following those rules is what makes people safe. I know that is oversimplified, but if everyone acted as they should, and followed the rules, then there wouldn't be 40,000 fatalities a year. The workers are required by law to post what signs and warnings arre deemed necessary, and in fact there are libraries of rules and regs that they have to follow on the subject. The workers did not just decide to put those signs up.
    Opening a door without looking for passersby on a narrow MUP where a truck is parked is somehow reasonable behavior? Don't be ridiculous. That's how people get doored -- someone opens a door without exercising caution. I see it happen there frequently. Did I see it lead to a crash today? No, but it is a plausible theory. It is entirely possible that a dooring is what happened and both parties acted without caution!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

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    Quote Originally Posted by dahoyle View Post
    I would have to say that if there is a sign that says "riders dismount" then you are in fact not supposed to ride thru there. You are supposed to dismount and walk. I am assuming that the construction workers are using the MUP, or at least a portion of it, as their staging location. That would seem to create a hazzard to all concerned, but the fact of the matter is that the workers have a right to be there, and are actually required to be there. The safety rules are there to protect everyone, you them and pedestrians, and yet you openly say that you know enough about what is going on there to ignore them. Obviously there are hazzards, or there would not have been a cyclist sitting there bleeding, and a broken bike.
    What is the difference between me rolling through the construction zone at 5 mph or walking through it at 5 mph? Do (other) motorists have to pace their cars through construction on the highway, or just slow from 65 to 45? The sign says "dismount" because the people who decided that it should be there don't ride bicycles and it was the most obvious statement to them. It is obvious that the construction workers didn't decide to put the sign there because they also don't yell at me or anyone else that I've seen when we do not dismount.

    I'm far from a zealot when it comes to this kind of stuff but a sign asking riders to dismount reads to me like our national speed limits. It isn't about safety or liability but rather bureaucracy, and maybe a hint of the notion that if you ask someone to do something they will do it 4/5 of the way so you ask for a little bit more than you actually want.

    edit: Also, today's "dismount" area seemed to be about 300 feet long. I would have been more inclined to dismounting if there was also a sign telling me when I can get back on the bike. The signage is half-assed and, as I stated above, controlled by someone who does not understand the situation. It is illogical and so I've ceased to abide by it.
    Last edited by lukasz; 08-03-09 at 11:32 AM.

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    Certainly, it is a plausible explanation. It could have been just about anything. The fact of the matter is that neither of us know what caused the accident.

    What I do know is that it could very easily have been something not even related to the construction workers, discounting the fact that it is a congested area. That was almost certainly an issue. It is also why it is prudent to exercise caution when entering it, and to not put yourself in harms way. I don't know what happened, and am not saying that the construction work was not causative. I am saying that a prudent person would have almost certainly been able to avoid whatever hazard existed, or the powers that be would not have allowed the shared work zone. They would have almost certainly closed the path to pedestrian and bike traffic. They put safety procedures in place which you openly admit to blowing off, and criticize those who are trying to keep you safe. You can bet your ass they are not going to quit working on the bridge to make it more convenient for cyclists and pedestrians, and this particular accident could well be enough for the bean counters to decide that sharing the workzone is not a good idea. You would have had a part in that decision by your actions, as did the rider in question, whether he was at fault or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
    Do (other) motorists have to pace their cars through construction on the highway or slow from 65 to 45?
    Are you seriously asking that question? Almost every construction site I have ever seen has the traffic slow thru it, and there are serious penalties for not doing so.

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