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Old 07-08-14, 10:28 PM   #1
EWC
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Close call on Westchester Parkway near LAX

I live in the neighborhood of Westchester just north of LAX. This evening after work I was talking my dog for a walk along Westchester Parkway. We were at the stoplight near the fire station at Emerson, waiting to cross from the south side to the north side in the crosswalk. After pressing the button, the light changed to red for traffic on Westchester, and I was given the white walking man signal to cross. I took a step off the sidewalk, but then immediately a large group of cyclists (maybe 30 or more?) riding very closely together completely blew through the red light heading eastbound right in front of me. I had to jump back onto the curb with my dog to avoid being hit. It was extremely close. Only one cyclist of the entire group stopped. By the time the pack finished I only had a few seconds left to cross the street.

Nobody was hurt, but it was a very frightening experience! If I hadn't been paying attention a collision would have taken out a lot of people, as the riders were very close together and moving a a good clip.

I'm not sure what I can accomplish by posting here, but if anyone in this forum rides along Westchester Parkway, please stop for the red lights. I know I'm not the only pedestrian / dog walker who crosses over there. It could have been a very bad situation.

Thanks, and safe riding.
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Old 07-09-14, 01:11 AM   #2
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That sucks. Not familiar with the rides in the area but sounds like a typical "tuesday night worlds" training ride
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Old 07-09-14, 01:45 AM   #3
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I hate riding in group rides for that very reason. Most of them blow through red lights which ranges from dangerous to suicide. I really don't get the need to ignore the trafffic regulations.
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Old 07-09-14, 10:11 AM   #4
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Well, those cyclists are probably in the wrong, no doubt about it. I used to live right in that area (over by Falmouth) too.

Pro tip - never step into traffic just because you have the white man telling you to. Especially if there's a car waiting to turn right, they're probably not looking at the same thing you're looking at.
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Old 07-09-14, 10:18 AM   #5
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Pro tip - never step into traffic just because you have the white man telling you to. Especially if there's a car waiting to turn right, they're probably not looking at the same thing you're looking at.
+1!
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Old 07-09-14, 01:12 PM   #6
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Make sure not to go out there early on Tuesday/Thursday during the NPR group ride...
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Old 07-16-14, 08:41 PM   #7
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Getting this out of the way first: Granted, as described, you were in the right and they were wrong. And I'm not surprised, knowing the attitude of some of the club rides.

And now the beef: So many pedestrians seem to be on suicide missions. Stepping off the curb without first looking, signage and red lights not withstanding, is dangerous! What if it were an SUV going fast and swiping the curb? Happens all the time, if never to you. I see pedestrians crossing at a light with their noses buried in their phone or chatting with a companion, totally aloof to their surroundings.

In the street, especially in an intersection, pedestrians are in a DANGER ZONE, signage and red lights notwithstanding. Peds get outed all the time. You are competing for that piece of turf with multi-ton machines. If the machine wants the piece of turf you're on, it gets it. Happens all the time, if never to you.

At least for the sake of the dog, use some reasonable caution in the street.
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Old 07-16-14, 10:48 PM   #8
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This will make me unpopular with my fellow cyclists...

I think you guys are being dick-ish. This pedestrian has a legitimate gripe. If a motorist responded to a cyclist almost getting run over by a car by saying cyclists should ride at a different time or shouldn't be pedaling that fast or something like that, this board would be lit up by cyclists calling that motorist out.

As stated above, it sounds like the pedestrian was right and the cyclist was wrong. I feel like our response should be thanks for the comment and we'll be more aware of changing lights and crossing pedestrians when we ride.
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Old 07-16-14, 11:14 PM   #9
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This will make me unpopular with my fellow cyclists...

I think you guys are being dick-ish. This pedestrian has a legitimate gripe. If a motorist responded to a cyclist almost getting run over by a car by saying cyclists should ride at a different time or shouldn't be pedaling that fast or something like that, this board would be lit up by cyclists calling that motorist out.

As stated above, it sounds like the pedestrian was right and the cyclist was wrong. I feel like our response should be thanks for the comment and we'll be more aware of changing lights and crossing pedestrians when we ride.
I think you're being dickish. Everybody (look again, it really was everybody) so far has said the cyclists were in the wrong and they added the caveat that it's positively stupid to step into traffic without first verifying that it's safe. It doesn't make the cyclists right, it's just a pro-tip, which the pedestrian clearly needs and will never benefit from, since the pedestrian is a one post fly-by.
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Old 07-17-14, 07:07 PM   #10
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Make sure not to go out there early on Tuesday/Thursday during the NPR group ride...
Not everybody...
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Old 07-18-14, 05:47 PM   #11
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Getting this out of the way first: Granted, as described, you were in the right and they were wrong. And I'm not surprised, knowing the attitude of some of the club rides.

And now the beef: So many pedestrians seem to be on suicide missions. Stepping off the curb without first looking, signage and red lights not withstanding, is dangerous! What if it were an SUV going fast and swiping the curb? Happens all the time, if never to you. I see pedestrians crossing at a light with their noses buried in their phone or chatting with a companion, totally aloof to their surroundings.

In the street, especially in an intersection, pedestrians are in a DANGER ZONE, signage and red lights notwithstanding. Peds get outed all the time. You are competing for that piece of turf with multi-ton machines. If the machine wants the piece of turf you're on, it gets it. Happens all the time, if never to you.

At least for the sake of the dog, use some reasonable caution in the street.
OP here, and I agree with you that pedestrians are often not paying attention to their surroundings. Obviously having the right of way is little consolation if you end up injured or killed. I'm not going to argue that.

But in this case I was paying attention to my surroundings, which is why I successfully avoided a collision. To add more detail to my original post, I watched the light turn red for cross traffic, and after the walk sign was displayed I waited on the curb until I saw the cars in front of traffic came to a complete stop. Only after I saw them stop did I step off the curb. But after I stepped off I saw that the pack of cyclists coming around the cars were not going to stop, so I jumped back on the curb.

So I'm not sure why I'm being accused of not paying attention when the only reason a collision was avoided is because I was paying attention. If I hadn't been paying attention, myself and a large number of cyclists would have ended up injured. So why the "beef?"

As I mentioned, I agree with your assertion that in general pedestrians need to be more aware of their surroundings. However, I posted my anecdote to a cycling forum with the hope of making cyclists aware of the hazard of running red lights during group rides. I didn't think this was the correct place to have a discussion on the bad habits of pedestrians.
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Old 07-18-14, 05:59 PM   #12
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Bikes do not make noise as they ride, compared to automobiles. They should have cards in their spokes

Maybe they should have yelled. Seriously yell to alert people you are not stopping. Like a truck when they can't (won't) stop for a red light and it blows the horn.

He looked saw the stopped vehicles, and started to proceed only to be greeted by a group going through the light well after the change of lights when all other vehicles stopped.

I do not think you can blame him at all.
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Old 02-20-15, 05:56 PM   #13
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Bikes do not make noise as they ride, compared to automobiles. They should have cards in their spokes

Maybe they should have yelled. Seriously yell to alert people you are not stopping. Like a truck when they can't (won't) stop for a red light and it blows the horn.

He looked saw the stopped vehicles, and started to proceed only to be greeted by a group going through the light well after the change of lights when all other vehicles stopped.

I do not think you can blame him at all.

When does this ride starts in 2015?
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Old 02-20-15, 06:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I think you're being dickish. Everybody (look again, it really was everybody) so far has said the cyclists were in the wrong and they added the caveat that it's positively stupid to step into traffic without first verifying that it's safe. It doesn't make the cyclists right, it's just a pro-tip, which the pedestrian clearly needs and will never benefit from, since the pedestrian is a one post fly-by.
The pro tip is to look out for a group of cyclists blowing through a red light? good to know.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:11 PM   #15
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The pro tip is to look out for a group of cyclists blowing through a red light? good to know.
Reading comprehension: Does the following mention cyclists? No. Are you stupid if you step into the road without looking first? Yes.

it's positively stupid to step into traffic without first verifying that it's safe.
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Old 02-20-15, 07:11 PM   #16
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When does this ride starts in 2015?

What?
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Old 02-20-15, 09:34 PM   #17
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Reading comprehension: Does the following mention cyclists? No. Are you stupid if you step into the road without looking first? Yes.

it's positively stupid to step into traffic without first verifying that it's safe.
My bad. I thought you were actually reading the thread. I didn't realize you were going off on your own. Your advice only gets better the more you repeat it.

Last edited by bikemig; 02-20-15 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 02-20-15, 11:30 PM   #18
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You guys act just like the guys on the A&S forum.
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Old 02-21-15, 12:39 AM   #19
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I usually post in the NorCal discussions, but I got back from a LA trip yesterday so...

I entirely understand EWC's concerns. I also agree with Trojan Horse that being situationally aware as a pedestrian is a valuable survival skill--personally I try to envision myself as a baserunner whenever I'm in a crosswalk and watch for and try to make eye contact with drivers of approaching cars. I'll even walk backwards to do this if I have to.

Years ago my father suffered a broken leg in NYC in a crosswalk when a young driver turning left didn't yield to him. He had the right of way, but he liked to listen to books on tape while walking and was probably not paying as much attention as he s/h/b. I learned from that no headphones or smartphone gazing while walking--esp. in a crosswalk--the risk isn't worth it.

A confession: About a month ago near my home at the conclusion of a 50 mile ride in the Santa Cruz Mountains, I gunned it for a light that I knew I probably wouldn't quite make but I was tired and did it anyway. Light turned red about a bike length before I entered the intersection and by the time I cleared it there was a woman stepping off the curb into the crosswalk in front of me. At 24 mph I hadn't noticed her as I was fixated only on getting through. She didn't look left before proceeding and if the timing was one second different--there would had been a disaster and it would had been me 100% at fault. Being near retirement I could have been sued for 35 years of savings and my paid for house. Totally stupid on my part to chance so much for so little.
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Old 02-21-15, 01:55 AM   #20
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You guys act just like the guys on the A&S forum.
LOL, no kidding. I got hit by a car in a cross walk back in 97 or so - I was right, he was wrong and I'm the one that's had 5 knee surgeries since. So bikemig - go *** yourself.

Polar vortex... sounds cute.
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Old 02-21-15, 12:59 PM   #21
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I think everyone has made their views pretty clear. Time to close this one down before it spirals any further down the bowl.
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