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Old 07-10-08, 06:03 AM   #1
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The Death of a Cyclist in DC

You may have heard, Alice Swanson, a 22-year old cyclist from Washington, DC, was struck and killed yesterday morning by a trash truck at the intersection of 20th and R Streets, NW in Washington, DC. This tragedy has hit the cycling community in the DC area hard, and serves as a reminder that much more work remains to be done to make the Washington area a place where anyone who wants to ride can do so safely.

In response, this evening starting at 6:30pm at the intersection of Connecticut Ave and R Street NW, WABA will be holding a press conference to call for a full investigation into the crash and to highlight the need for improved traffic enforcement, increased penalties for drivers who strike cyclists and pedestrians, and more safety public service announcements to encourage everyone to share the road safely. The event will also feature a "ghost bike" dedication to serve as a reminder of the tragedy and as a quiet statement in support of cyclists' right to safe travel. I hope that you will be able to join us.

On behalf of the staff and board of directors of WABA I want to thank you for all your support for better bicycling. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at waba@waba.org.

Please ride safely.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:07 AM   #2
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Its a sad thing to hear of the death of a cyclist, but I have to say that cyclist have to look out for themselves. Laws will be fantastic but we have laws for motor vehicles that are broken every day by motorist! so what make anyone think that new bike laws will make such a huge differance? I surely hope that they will but I imagine a slight difference if anything. I ride a certain two lane street in Philly that has one lane for motor vehicles and the other for buses and cyclist only. I get cars, trucks, buses, honking and cursing EVEY TIME! Police do NOTHING! The only way to make the streets safe for cyclist is to ban motor vehicles, and thats not going to happen during any of our life times.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:14 AM   #3
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While I support advocating safe cycling, it is obvious to me that cycling will never be completely risk free. And I don't want to diminish the grief for the deceased, for those that knew her, or the safety and feelings of the community, but I am curious about what makes this specific tragedy noteworthy.

For example... Has the police department failed to investigate? Have there been a large number of cycling related deaths in the District? Or do you have a press conference for every cycling related death?

Perhaps some of this information will come out in the press conference, but I am just curious about whether there is a rash of issues being addressed, or is this an opportunity to mourn a fellow cyclist while making what to me appears to be a nice cycling community even better. (based on limited observations as a business traveler last year).

Please provide a link to any transcripts and/or articles when available.

Thanks!
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Old 07-10-08, 09:22 AM   #4
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While I support advocating safe cycling, it is obvious to me that cycling will never be completely risk free. And I don't want to diminish the grief for the deceased, for those that knew her, or the safety and feelings of the community, but I am curious about what makes this specific tragedy noteworthy.

For example... Has the police department failed to investigate? Have there been a large number of cycling related deaths in the District? Or do you have a press conference for every cycling related death?

Perhaps some of this information will come out in the press conference, but I am just curious about whether there is a rash of issues being addressed, or is this an opportunity to mourn a fellow cyclist while making what to me appears to be a nice cycling community even better. (based on limited observations as a business traveler last year).

Please provide a link to any transcripts and/or articles when available.

Thanks!


this post is just so wrong...
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Old 07-10-08, 09:57 AM   #5
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Its a sad thing to hear of the death of a cyclist, but I have to say that cyclist have to look out for themselves. Laws will be fantastic but we have laws for motor vehicles that are broken every day by motorist! so what make anyone think that new bike laws will make such a huge differance? I surely hope that they will but I imagine a slight difference if anything. I ride a certain two lane street in Philly that has one lane for motor vehicles and the other for buses and cyclist only. I get cars, trucks, buses, honking and cursing EVEY TIME! Police do NOTHING! The only way to make the streets safe for cyclist is to ban motor vehicles, and thats not going to happen during any of our life times.
The thing is though how many times do you hear about a cyclist getting hit by a car and there is not even a police investigation? Perhaps that is because there are no concrete laws. If there are laws then the Police will have to investigate the crime as there were laws broken. Also while laws will not necessarily prevent this from happening it will at least hold those involved responsible for their actions.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:29 AM   #6
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The thing is though how many times do you hear about a cyclist getting hit by a car and there is not even a police investigation? Perhaps that is because there are no concrete laws. If there are laws then the Police will have to investigate the crime as there were laws broken. Also while laws will not necessarily prevent this from happening it will at least hold those involved responsible for their actions.
Sorry to tell you but the Police dont HAVE to do anything They barely investigate the regular crimes let alone crimes against cyclist! EDIT! To much info ; )
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Old 07-10-08, 10:55 AM   #7
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I haven't read the news on this, but I would note that R Street has a dedicated bike lane for most of it's length. I have no idea if the deceased was in or out of the lane.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:59 AM   #8
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this post is just so wrong...
Why?

I tried to be sensitiive while expressing my real curiosity.

There were no real details in the OP except.

1) a cyclist died as the result of being struck by a trash truck.

2) There will be a press conference calling for an investigation, highlighting safety and dedicating a ghost bike.

I thought it is relevant to know more about the situation, since I suspect there would be little (if any) information available via searches.

I really am curious if it is similar to a time recently in Portland, where there was a string of deaths over the course of a few weeks, as it helps me understand the environment... not that it is more or less important, just trying to find out why there is going to be a press conference, or if they do indeed take safety seriously enough to have one for every fatality.
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Old 07-10-08, 12:09 PM   #9
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http://www.boston.com/news/local/art..._killed_in_dc/
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Old 07-10-08, 12:44 PM   #10
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Seems like she was a remarkable young lady.

And it seems similar to at least one of the Portland incidents where the truck turned into her and didn't see her (or claims not to have seen her).

I will be interested to know what media organizations show up to the press conference... and which ones choose to publish an article.
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Old 07-11-08, 12:06 AM   #11
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Sorry to tell you but the Police dont HAVE to do anything They barely investigate the regular crimes let alone crimes against cyclist! EDIT! To much info ; )
Why isn't a crime against a cyclist considered a "regular crime"? Are there irregular crimes?
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Old 07-11-08, 06:41 AM   #12
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***Update from last night***

what more can be said..
All we can do is stay vigilant and press on at every opportunity to 'educate' motorists.
we are here, and we are staying...

http://www.news8.net/news/stories/07...?ref=newsstory
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File Type: jpg alicesm.jpg (60.2 KB, 8 views)
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Old 07-11-08, 07:37 AM   #13
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Stay safe, everyone.
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Old 07-11-08, 12:46 PM   #14
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Why isn't a crime against a cyclist considered a "regular crime"? Are there irregular crimes?
ask them. Im just the messenger
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Old 07-11-08, 12:48 PM   #15
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ummmm... an accident isn't necessarily a crime....
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Old 07-11-08, 12:59 PM   #16
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ummmm... an accident isn't necessarily a crime....
Thats only if its been proven to be an accident.
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Old 07-11-08, 01:23 PM   #17
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Thanks for the update.

Looking at the WABA site, along with the above, it looks like there was some good press coverage of this tragic event.

Based on any past experience, are the local politicians in DC serious about their verbal commitment to increased safety?
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Old 07-11-08, 04:32 PM   #18
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Thanks for the update.

Looking at the WABA site, along with the above, it looks like there was some good press coverage of this tragic event.

Based on any past experience, are the local politicians in DC serious about their verbal commitment to increased safety?
Verbal commitments/promises mean nothing. You can base that on past experience with any politician in any city.
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