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Old 03-04-12, 10:24 PM   #1
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This is tragic but ...

17 months ago an accomplished cyclist suffered a head-on collision on a local path, and, tragically, died from her injuries two weeks ago. Her son is suing the city for safety improvements.

My deepest sympathies are with this family and I support safety improvements on principal. I ride this path every day - in fact, since it opened in 2005 I've probably been on it more times that anyone. The problem is, if it happened as the article describes, it's not really blind at that turn any time of year and marking the lanes wouldn't really help. The problem is that oncoming cyclists there (just past where the son is standing in the video) can either continue to their left (crossing your path) or veer right (in your lane). But you can easily see it long before it develops. The lawsuit just seems wrong. Maybe I should just let it be?
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Old 03-04-12, 10:46 PM   #2
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The requested modifications don't seem unreasonable. Having ridden on numerous paths with and without a centerline marking it does seem to me that it helps keep people on one side of the path - certainly not completely, but better than on unmarked paths. And if there's a multi-path intersection then signs indicating who should yield would also help.

But the article is unclear about the nature of the lawsuit - is it only seeking modifications of the path or is there also a request for wrongful death compensation? If it's only the former I'd think it would be good for the city to agree in exchange for an agreement that the changes do not constitute any admission of past deficiencies in the design.
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Old 03-04-12, 10:50 PM   #3
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People grieve in different ways. The lawsuit is probably part of the process for her son. The attorney certainly isn't going to try and talk him out of it. You're right this is a tragedy, but one best left for others to resolve, perhaps.

Some friends of mine and I have been doing a 50+ miles fg spring ride most of it on MUPs. 5 years running. I'm not doing it this year because of several near-misses last year. Wannabe racers hitting 20-25mph around blind curves. Joggers w/earphones, mothers w/'running' baby strollers, walkers, etc., etc? No thanks. I'll take my chances w/delivery trucks and SUVs.
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Old 03-04-12, 10:56 PM   #4
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This lawsuit is about money, not safety.
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Old 03-04-12, 11:12 PM   #5
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No. I think this is one time that maybe we could take a lesson from the street. If a road has two way traffic and no indications, I'd say thats an invitation to an accident, and if an intersection has no yield or stop signs, I'd say that would be reckless endangerment.
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Old 03-04-12, 11:35 PM   #6
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They just need to mark some lines on the path and be done with it. No need for the son to sue and get some money out of it and no need for the city to play their bull**** games. Just mark the damn path! I know this is all easier said then done, but come on people.
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Old 03-05-12, 08:51 AM   #7
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I avoid the winding trails that the Forest Preserve District calls bike paths like a plague. I don't commute on them and don't take boy scout merit badge rides on them. All my worst bike/bike encounters have occurred on just such paths, with the blind curves, small children, carriages, fast cyclists and horses(!). On more than one occassion I've urged that these paths be layed out with rulers rather than french curves but the powers that be considers this more scenic.

I'm a little, but just a little, surprised that her helmet didn't help her more. After all this seems to me to be the exact situation they're disigned for. Wish there were more details.

My sympathies to the family. How sad. Heck of a way to spend the last months of your life.
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Old 03-05-12, 08:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
This lawsuit is about money, not safety.
I suspect so based on the scant details but we don't really know. The better maintained Alpharetta portion, that they're comparing that section to, is more dangerous in my opinion even with the lines. More blind corners, less visibility, more low spots collecting mud and debris. It's all in a wooded area so you kind of have to expect trees blocking your line of sight.

That particular portion travels along both sides of a small pond just before the S curve. I've often thought they should mark the branches one-way, or designate one side as a walking path, but that would be way down on my list of priorities for that path. Well, they aren't likely to ask my opinion so it's all academic.
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Old 03-05-12, 11:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
This lawsuit is about money, not safety.
Usually is, but it's hard to say that here. The lawsuit is off base because it's not about the trail, it's about the behavior of those who use it. Anything they do is not likely to have much effect. Yep - stay to the right (unless passing other cyclists, avoiding baby strollers, dogs on 10 ft leashes).

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Old 03-05-12, 03:11 PM   #10
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I don't understand why people would need lane dividers to encourage them NOT to come around a curve on the wrong side of the road. Unbelievable.

Last edited by Schwinnrider; 03-05-12 at 03:16 PM.
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