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Old 10-05-05, 09:24 AM   #1
Helmet Head
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Bike Lane deaths

This is a thread to catalog bike lane deaths caused by drivers inadverdently drifting into cyclists riding in bike lanes.

I'll start with this one:

Michelle Mazzei, October 2, 2005, Woodside, CA

Forum discussion:
Another tragic death

Article:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AGVPF26H71.DTL

"The driver told police that his attention had been diverted as he tried to read a roadway sign, and his car drifted into the bicycle lane, hitting Mazzei. She was taken to Stanford Hospital, where she died of her injuries, Williams said."

----------------------------------------------------
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Old 10-05-05, 11:37 AM   #2
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I see people drifting into the bike lanes all the time when I'm driving. Hell, I've seen 1 or 2 driving IN the wider style bike lanes and not to get around traffic either, I only assume they are from out of town and have never seen road where bikes lane is as wide enough to easily fit cars.
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Old 10-05-05, 11:42 AM   #3
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How about the latest couple of deaths mentioned here... seems like two of them involved BL and overtaking accidents... such as the Kearny Villa incident.
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Old 10-05-05, 11:52 AM   #4
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This was a really sad accident. There are a lot of cyclists going through the Woodside area so this will hit home for a lot of people. What's so sad is this happened on a wide thoroughfare at 11 am, and it's not like the driver was looking at a map in the car. He was looking at signs on the road. I think a lot of it might have to do with the age of the driver (68). I remember reading about a recent one on U.S. 1 a few weeks ago. Here's a statistic to mull over:

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The death rate per driven mile is more than 35 times higher for motorcycles than it is for cars. The per-mile death rate is also higher for bicyclists. Two-thirds of bicycle fatalities occur due to traffic violations and 90% involve collisions with motor vehicles.
from http://www.benbest.com/lifeext/causes.html
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Old 10-05-05, 12:06 PM   #5
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I don't think the fact that the victim was riding in a 'bike lane' had much to do with it. She could have just as easily been riding on the shoulder, not a 'bike lane' per say.

The old guy that hit her was not watching where he was going plain and simple. You could be standing in your front yard and get hit by some motorist who's not watching where they are going...
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Old 10-05-05, 01:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
This is a thread to catalog bike lane deaths caused by drivers inadverdently drifting into cyclists riding in bike lanes.

I'll start with this one:

Michelle Mazzei, October 2, 2005, Woodside, CA
Pretty low of you to use a death like this as a tool in your personal vendetta. Of course, we all know you would have completely ignored this news item had the death occured on a WOL or normal lane with all other details identical.
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Old 10-05-05, 01:59 PM   #7
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People drift into adjacent lanes intended for cars just as often as they drift into lanes intended for bicycles. Ask any motorcyclist.

- Warren
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Old 10-05-05, 02:37 PM   #8
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Next, I think you should create a thread re: cars that hit cyclists who weren't in bike lanes. That would keep you busy.
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Old 10-05-05, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
This is a thread to catalog bike lane deaths caused by drivers inadverdently drifting into cyclists riding in bike lanes.
Engaging in a little fear-mongering, are we Serge?

Are you going to start another thread to catalog deaths caused by motorists running over cyclists from behind - cyclist who are practicing the priciples of VC, or is your fear-mongering going to be limited to bike lanes?

Or do you just not think you can exploit those deaths for your political purposes?

You're a hypocrite, and that's the good thing I'm thinking about you right now.

You have confirmed my low opinion of some bike lane opponents. You, sir, are despicable.

Last edited by JRA; 10-05-05 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 10-05-05, 03:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patc
Pretty low of you to use a death like this as a tool in your personal vendetta. Of course, we all know you would have completely ignored this news item had the death occured on a WOL or normal lane with all other details identical.

Ill secound that. I was reading up on the vc stuff linked in hhs sig. Its frightening. Much of whats in there would get me killed on jhonson road. And increase my number of to close for comfort call on many roads. Turning many of them in to near misses in fact. Drivers here tend to pass as close as they possibly can no matter where you ride in your lane. I was ridieng 2 foot right of the center line and had a driver tare by me on the right just yesterday. I was riding a few days ago in the dead center of the lane (aka greese strip) Had a car behind me first go left to try and pass me on the right then rappidly swervedaround me to my left barly missing taking out my back wheel The safest thing for me i found is when slower moving cars are behind me is to act a little iratic. They tend to give me more room this way. Or if they are a motorist whos staying behind me even when its fairly safe to pass they wait until theres plenty of room. Or ill turn a little left then over to the right and wave them by. They mostly get the idea that im trying to say give me this much room and pass me. Ive had many a friendly wave head nod or horn tap as they pass.
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Old 10-05-05, 04:27 PM   #11
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Thread killer...

Beer Biscuits

One 12 oz Beer
3 cups Biscuit Mix
2 tbs Sugar
*** Mix all ingredients and cut and bake @ 375F till brown.

Yield: 6 Biscuits
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Old 10-05-05, 04:32 PM   #12
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Bike lanes are white paint stripes. Nothing more, nothing less.

I really don't see how a stripe of white paint can effectively protect us from cagers -- erratic, distracted, drunk or otherwise. If stripes are ineffective, what sense does it make to spend millions of dollars painting them on the pavement?

Spend those millions to give every cyclist a helmet, a blinkie and a LED headlight, and you might make a dent in the accident rate.

Of course, cycling is pretty safe anyway. Stripes or not, helmet or not, and lights or not.
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Old 10-05-05, 04:50 PM   #13
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It's not the bike lane per se that's the problem, it's cyclo-segregationism. While I do believe a cyclist riding up ahead off to the side in a WOL is perhaps a bit more likely to be noticed than one separated by a BL stripe, there is certainly no guarantee. The solution to making drivers aware of us - regardless of whether there is a BL stripe or not - is to use a "more centralish" default (per Robert Hurst) primary riding position (per John Franklin), along with a mirror, and only moving aside specifically to allow faster traffic to pass, when safe and reasonable to do so, or if there is no indication that they are aware of us and they are within 4-5 seconds of hitting us. A last second "ditch" like that is what I call "Plan B" - and so far (knocks on wood) I've never had to use it.
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Old 10-05-05, 04:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Bike lanes are white paint stripes. Nothing more, nothing less.

I really don't see how a stripe of white paint can effectively protect us from cagers -- erratic, distracted, drunk or otherwise. If stripes are ineffective, what sense does it make to spend millions of dollars painting them on the pavement?
Gee you are absolutly right... we should just erase ALL those nasty stripes all over all roads... just too much darn maintenance... who needs 'em, who uses 'em anyway. Too darn restrictive. Hiways don't need 'em either. Why should anybody have to try to stay between the lines anyway.
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Old 10-05-05, 05:12 PM   #15
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Gene - all stripes do is simply facilitate faster travel, that's all. And that goes for BL stripes - it facilitiates faster passing of cyclists by motorists, as well as faster passing of stopped motorists by cyclists, neither of which makes anything safer for cyclists, and arguably makes things more dangerous.
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Old 10-05-05, 05:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
It's not the bike lane per se that's the problem, it's cyclo-segregationism...
Rubbish. No matter how many times you say it, it's still rubbish. No matter how many times you use spectre of "Whites only", it's still offensive and it's still ridiculous. Maybe you should stay on topic and see if there are any other cyclists deaths you can exploit in this thread and save the Jim Crow anology for every other thread in this forum.
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Old 10-05-05, 05:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Gene - all stripes do is simply facilitate faster travel, that's all. And that goes for BL stripes - it facilitiates faster passing of cyclists by motorists, as well as faster passing of stopped motorists by cyclists, neither of which makes anything safer for cyclists, and arguably makes things more dangerous.

OK, getting theoretical here because that is where the traffic engineers dwell (or at least it seems that way sometimes). Supposing that Bike Lanes had no debris, and were smooth and well designed, What would be wrong with traffic flowing smoothly past a cyclist who also is riding along un-obstructed? How is that more dangerous? What we are describing here is a slow moving vehicle lane dedicated for bicycle use. If they worked as designed how would they be arguably more dangerous? Once we establish this we can talk about shortcomings. When motorists can pass me with less worry then I get less harassment and that makes greater safety in my mind. Not that I don't ride roads without bike lanes but just having a little trouble getting your logic here as far as well designed bike lanes making things more dangerous. Now ill designed bike lanes is another story but it seems like we are dealing in generalities here so lets assume a utopian bike lane.
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Old 10-05-05, 05:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
This is a thread to catalog bike lane deaths caused by drivers inadverdently drifting into cyclists riding in bike lanes.

I'll start with this one:

Michelle Mazzei, October 2, 2005, Woodside, CA

Forum discussion:
Another tragic death

Article:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AGVPF26H71.DTL

"The driver told police that his attention had been diverted as he tried to read a roadway sign, and his car drifted into the bicycle lane, hitting Mazzei. She was taken to Stanford Hospital, where she died of her injuries, Williams said."

----------------------------------------------------
would the bike rider be any LESS dead if she was riding in the center of a "regular" lane and the driver's attention had been diverted to read a sign causing him to to just plow into the rider? probably not. Given that the driver was not paying attention to what was in front of him, it's also possible that he may have hit a Ped in a crosswalk...are crosswalks bad for peds, too?
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Old 10-05-05, 05:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
It's not the bike lane per se that's the problem, it's cyclo-segregationism.
Sounds good to me. My bike weighs 27 pounds. A car weighs 2700 pounds. The more segregated I am from them the better.
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Old 10-05-05, 07:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
Gee you are absolutly right... we should just erase ALL those nasty stripes all over all roads... just too much darn maintenance... who needs 'em, who uses 'em anyway. Too darn restrictive. Hiways don't need 'em either. Why should anybody have to try to stay between the lines anyway.
Your sarcasm is totally misplaced. You are actually describing the newest concept of road design. This has already been tried in several countries. There are no lane markers, stripes or signs of any kind. There are no separate facilities (sidewalks) for pedestrians, let alone cyclists. The idea is that everybody (all traffic) will have to slow down and figure out how to navigate the road.

I am being totally serious. Unfortunately, I am on a short work break and do not have time to find and post links. But, I swear, this is the new wave in traffic engineering.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:01 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Your sarcasm is totally misplaced. You are actually describing the newest concept of road design. This has already been tried in several countries. There are no lane markers, stripes or signs of any kind. There are no separate facilities (sidewalks) for pedestrians, let alone cyclists. The idea is that everybody (all traffic) will have to slow down and figure out how to navigate the road.

I am being totally serious. Unfortunately, I am on a short work break and do not have time to find and post links. But, I swear, this is the new wave in traffic engineering.
Be sure to post the links that indicate how many, (i.e. more than one isolated carefully selected spot?) and in what type of locations, this new wave in traffic engineering has been implemented. Especially illuminating would be measured user response.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Your sarcasm is totally misplaced. You are actually describing the newest concept of road design. This has already been tried in several countries. There are no lane markers, stripes or signs of any kind. There are no separate facilities (sidewalks) for pedestrians, let alone cyclists. The idea is that everybody (all traffic) will have to slow down and figure out how to navigate the road.

I am being totally serious. Unfortunately, I am on a short work break and do not have time to find and post links. But, I swear, this is the new wave in traffic engineering.
Oh I believe you... I just doubt it will work well here with the wide boulevards that connect our "urban villages."

Will be interesting.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:22 PM   #23
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She must have been riding her brakes, or he was speeding, since a cyclist can usually do the speed limit by just coasting down the hill at this location. Since she was still in the bike lane, she must have been coming up tot he intersection. It's best to leave the bike lane a bit early there as you come to the stop light, to go straight through.
Remember the short film of the gorilla appearing in the middle of the basketball players passing the ball around. The gorilla wasn't off to the side, it was right in the middle of them, and people STILL missed seeing the gorilla.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L.
OK, getting theoretical here because that is where the traffic engineers dwell (or at least it seems that way sometimes). Supposing that Bike Lanes had no debris, and were smooth and well designed, What would be wrong with traffic flowing smoothly past a cyclist who also is riding along un-obstructed? How is that more dangerous? What we are describing here is a slow moving vehicle lane dedicated for bicycle use. If they worked as designed how would they be arguably more dangerous? Once we establish this we can talk about shortcomings. When motorists can pass me with less worry then I get less harassment and that makes greater safety in my mind. Not that I don't ride roads without bike lanes but just having a little trouble getting your logic here as far as well designed bike lanes making things more dangerous. Now ill designed bike lanes is another story but it seems like we are dealing in generalities here so lets assume a utopian bike lane.
A slow moving vehicle lane with traffic flowing smoothly past is a fine idea, but it's not a bike lane. Well, it's part of what a bike lane is, but the problem is everything else that most bike lanes are. The ideal only exists on isolated stretches of intersectionless (including no driveways) high-speed roadway. Freeway bike lanes come to mind... which I support.

But as soon as you have any reason for motorists to enter or cross the bike lane, or any reason for cyclists to exit the bike lane, like to prepare for a left turn, to avoid the right turn lane, or to bypass an obstacle, you no longer have the ideal slow moving lane dedicated for bicycle use that you fantasize, but a cyclist-disabling facility that leaves those cyclists who are hurt by it the most - the less experienced ones - with a false sense of security.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
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The gorilla wasn't off to the side, it was right in the middle of them, and people STILL missed seeing the gorilla.
Of course they missed seeing it, because their subconscious minds deemed the gorilla to be irrelevant to the task at hand (counting the number of passes), and did not bother to alert the conscious mind about it.

This is what I believe happens when a driver's subconscious mind processes a sighting of a cyclist up ahead who is "out of the way' off to the side and/or in the bike lane. It deems the "out of the way" cyclist to be irrelevant to the task at hand - getting from A to B.

Now, a cyclist who is IN the driver's path up ahead, that's something else. When the subconscious mind processes this cyclist, it WILL alert the conscious mind. Once you have the driver's attention, then you move out of the way, so that as he passes you he is aware of your presence, and exceedingly unlikely to inadvertently drift into you.
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