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Brooklyn Bridge - we were both wrong

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Brooklyn Bridge - we were both wrong

Old 10-17-12, 03:01 PM
  #26  
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There's a funny youtube video where a pedestrian steps into the street and gets creamed by a cyclist. The pedestrian yells at the cyclist for going the wrong way, the cyclist points out the pedestrian wasn't in the crosswalk. They both look sheepishly at each other, both admit they were both wrong and carry on. All in about 20 seconds. It was on Tosh.O a while back.
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Old 10-17-12, 03:07 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Carusoswi View Post
To the "offending" cyclist, feel free to cut me up for crossing into "your" lane, but, next time, also take care not to contact those whom you are passing.
Hey Caruso, not to pile on, but I think you might want to ask yourself if you are not stretching to "share" blame -- here's some food for thought:

- Would it have been fair for you to say to the cyclist, " ... next time, also take care not to contact those who unexpectedly step out in front of you"? Because that would be a more accurate description of the situation. He wasn't merely passing you, he was avoiding you.

- It sounds to me like you feel cyclists are wrong if they don't successfully avoid all pedestrian collisions, regardless of pedestrian behavior. This reminds me of other posts where cyclists seem to feel that they should be able to blast off a sidewalk directly in front of oncoming traffic, and then blame motorists for failing to avoid the collision.

- Sounds like you goofed, and rather than immediately owning it and apologizing for it, you instead told HIM to do something differently. That reaction and your subsequent post sound like someone who is struggling to deal with the reality that they bear primarily responsibility for a particular outcome. You're not alone -- my whole life, I've never met a person who admitted they were at fault in an automobile accident. It's always the other guy's fault.

To be fair, you did take responsibility for your part in it -- I'm just suggesting that that part is greater than 50%.

Last edited by Daves_Not_Here; 10-17-12 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 10-17-12, 07:06 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
No one is suggesting otherwise.

There are two "selves".
Wrong. You are one. Watch out for ones self.
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Old 10-30-12, 05:57 AM
  #29  
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You aren't piling on (at least in my opinion).
I wish I had this all to do over again. I certainly, as a cyclist, would have exercised more care to avoid straying into the bike lane.
OTOH, I did walk across that bridge. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and the bridge was extremely crowded with pedestrians and cyclists.
I, frankly, was amazed at the speed some cyclists were crossing the bridge, and observed more than one close call with pedestrians. There were many points along the bridge at which it was virtually impossible for anyone (cyclist or pedestrian) to navigate without straying into the bike lane (vendors lining the route, shoppers perusing vendors' wares clogging the pedestrian lane, etc.).
I am not citing any of the above as an excuse for my own straying. I saw a picture, and I concentrated on that opportunity, and I strayed into the bike lane. I admit that the primary responsibility in for this incident is mine.

Neither of us (the cyclist or me) was rude. Our encounter was brief.

Upon reflection, I decided to post here because I feel it food for further fault.

To those "dude" posters who admonish me to just take responsibility and move on, I would suggest that attitudes that put cyclists (and pedestrians) at great risk are fueled by such attitudes.

Obviously (and I admit), I did not observe the cyclist as he approached me from the rear.

My encroachment into the bike lane was not abrupt. I had been there for at least 30 seconds or more (I admit).

The bridge was extremely congested at the time with both cyclists and pedestrians. I was not the only pedestrian in the bike lane.

The propensity for me to excuse myself for "trespassing" is, in my opinion, equally balanced by the cyclists failure to exercise due care not to strike "trespassers".

To keep things totally in perspective, this incident is no big deal, but only food for thought (my reason for posting about it here).

Neither I nor the cyclist was injured, neither of us raised our fists (physically or verbally).

. . . and I am more than willing to accept my responsibility.

I am not looking for exoneration, not looking to shift (further) responsibility to the cyclist.

I do, however, hold this incident up as one example where we, as cyclists, motorists, pedestrians) might learn more about our interactions.

The conditions on the Brooklyn Bridge "ain't" going to change anytime soon.

More importantly, conditions out on the street are a much longer way from being resolved to the collective safety of users in all modes.

Hopefully, we, on this forum, can forsake what I perceive to be such a black and white attitude (generally skewed pro-cyclist) to a more balanced consideration of issues that will make all users more safe.

. . . and that is the only reason why I chose to post details of such a minor incident.

Respectfully,

Caruso
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Old 10-30-12, 07:44 AM
  #30  
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Sorry man, but it is black and white. No matter how many times you say you are not, you are in fact still trying to deflect some blame. The bridge is always very crowded, and the incident is 100% your fault. The speed of the cyclist, other people in the bike lane, how long you were in the lane, etc. These things don't change the basic issue: If you weren't in the lane, it would not have happened, period.
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Old 10-30-12, 08:08 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
Sorry man, but it is black and white. No matter how many times you say you are not, you are in fact still trying to deflect some blame. The bridge is always very crowded, and the incident is 100% your fault. The speed of the cyclist, other people in the bike lane, how long you were in the lane, etc. These things don't change the basic issue: If you weren't in the lane, it would not have happened, period.
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Old 10-30-12, 08:26 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Carusoswi View Post
........frankly, was amazed at the speed some cyclists were crossing the bridge, and observed more than one close call with pedestrians.
I was wondering about this, and if this pertained to your case. As a cyclist operating within close proximity to peds, painted line or not, I take even more due care in my actions.

If the OP was standing in the bike lane for 30 seconds or more and still gets brushed, sounds like somebody is in too much of a hurry or staring too much at their front wheel
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Old 10-30-12, 10:13 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
Sorry man, but it is black and white.
Very rarely.
No matter how many times you say you are not, you are in fact still trying to deflect some blame. The bridge is always very crowded, and the incident is 100% your fault. The speed of the cyclist, other people in the bike lane, how long you were in the lane, etc. These things don't change the basic issue: If you weren't in the lane, it would not have happened, period.
Of course they change the basic issue. If the cyclist was going too fast for conditions (which my experience on the bridge says they probably were) and so was unable to stop, that's partially on him. This doesn't change that fault also (and probably primarily) rests with the OP, which he said multiple times. But that doesn't invalidate any criticism towards the cyclist for cycling outside of his abilities (especially considering if he's a regular... he should know speeding on that bridge is inviting trouble). Were this a driver/cyclist collision, I don't think you'd see as much deflecting of that point.

It sounds like the OP's mistake with the cyclists' mistake combined to make a dangerous situation. Cyclist was riding faster than he was able to avoid collision, OP wasn't paying attention enough to avoid collision. Everybody has a lesson to walk away with.
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Old 10-30-12, 10:29 AM
  #34  
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I really don't know what the purpose of this post is. It's pretty ridiculous given the poster is a experienced cyclist. However, it does provide some interesting fodder regarding liability should the brush have resulted in some type of actionable injury.

Let's say the biker hit the ped. and it went to court:

a. did the ped know that crossing over was not a good thing, or even allowed?
b. is the ped an experienced biker and knew better?
c. did the ped purposely go over to the wrong side of the bridge knowing that conditions weren't optimal leading to a possible hit?

d. was the biker going at a safe speed to avoid collision knowing existing conditions?
e. did the biker make any type of effort to avoid collision?


I bet if it went to court the weight of liability would rest with the ped., an experience cyclist acting in a negligent way.

BTW - I am no lawyer. Just a cyclist who knows the Brooklyn Bridge and would not walk over to bike lane under any circumstance unless there were a true emergency occurring.
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Old 10-30-12, 12:01 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Carusoswi View Post
You aren't piling on (at least in my opinion).
I wish I had this all to do over again. ...

Hopefully, we, on this forum, can forsake what I perceive to be such a black and white attitude (generally skewed pro-cyclist) to a more balanced consideration of issues that will make all users more safe.

. . . and that is the only reason why I chose to post details of such a minor incident.

Respectfully,

Caruso
Hey, fair enough. I guess my point is this -- if I'm the pedestrian in this situation and I observe there are cyclists whizzing by, I'm going to assume it is 100% my responsibility to keep from stepping in front of one. However, if I'm a cyclist in this situation and I see there are distracted pedestrians near the path, I'm going to assume it is 100% my responsibility to slow down and anticipate that one may step unexpectedly in my way. In my opinion, it is far more empowering to assume personal responsibility than it is to assign blame to another, because in assigning blame, one adopts the role of a victim. (this is not directed at you personally -- I'm just giving you the thinking behind the opinion)
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Old 10-30-12, 03:24 PM
  #36  
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BTW: Previous post "fault" should have been "thought". "Finners" did not serve my mind well, LOL.

Originally Posted by Essex View Post
I really don't know what the purpose of this post is. It's pretty ridiculous given the poster is a experienced cyclist.
The intended purpose of the post was to share my encounter and reflection upon same. As an experienced cyclist, and one who has spent a number of hours reading and contributing to this forum, I reflect upon that encounter and my reaction and that of the cyclist with a more informed perspective.

I came away from the encounter wiser to the possibility that all of us (myself included), no matter how experienced, can at times make mistakes.

One mistake does not excuse another, so, no matter how dogmatic some are to absolve the cyclist of any and all responsibility, I will continue to maintain that both of us were wrong.

I can tell you that, when cycling, you will not hear me call out at pedestrians as I approach them from behind. I know that they are not listening for me, will not recognize my calling as intended for them, will likely not comprehend my message accurately in time to take evasive action, and, if they do respond, may do so in exactly the opposite direction of that required to avoid collision. That's why, when cycling, I slow down for pedestrians even if I think they are wrong.

You may disagree, you may be on solid legal ground, but I manage not to strike pedestrians.

If you find my approach objectionable or too restricting, then I can only state that everyone is free to adopt his/her approach to safe cycling.

Fortunately, neither me nor the cyclist sustained an injury, and we both remained anonymous, so I have absolutely no need to shift responsibility, and I have no ego in the direction this thread takes.

I shared (and I posted) because I thought to do so would stimulate a useful, thoughtful exchange.

Those who seem so determined to "absolve" the cyclist are welcome to hold and express their view.

If one other poster besides me is spared injury or, at least, the embarrassment of an encounter such as I describe here, then the sharing of my story will have been of some value (in my opinion).

I have no other motive than to share my thoughts and hope that they are meaningful to someone here.

If the consensus on this forum is that such posts are not welcome, let me know, and I will certainly refrain from posting in the future.

Respectfully,

Caruso

Last edited by Carusoswi; 10-30-12 at 03:26 PM. Reason: corrections
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Old 10-30-12, 03:39 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
Very rarely.

Of course they change the basic issue. If the cyclist was going too fast for conditions (which my experience on the bridge says they probably were) and so was unable to stop, that's partially on him. This doesn't change that fault also (and probably primarily) rests with the OP, which he said multiple times. But that doesn't invalidate any criticism towards the cyclist for cycling outside of his abilities (especially considering if he's a regular... he should know speeding on that bridge is inviting trouble). Were this a driver/cyclist collision, I don't think you'd see as much deflecting of that point.

It sounds like the OP's mistake with the cyclists' mistake combined to make a dangerous situation. Cyclist was riding faster than he was able to avoid collision, OP wasn't paying attention enough to avoid collision. Everybody has a lesson to walk away with.
So how fast was the cyclist riding?

Oh, thats right, neither you or the OP know, yet you both are so anxious to assign so much of the blame to him.
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Old 10-30-12, 04:08 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
So how fast was the cyclist riding?

Oh, thats right, neither you or the OP know, yet you both are so anxious to assign so much of the blame to him.
Hang on there, trigger . I can assume the OP probably has a general idea. As to me, nope, no clue. I'm not anxious to assign "so much of the blame" (which is?) to him. I'm just pointing out the world ain't as black and white as people like to make it out to be. Wise words I was once told: A collision almost always has some amount of fault on either side. If both sides are being prudent, a collision is *nearly* always avoided. Unless OP literally stepped right out in front of him (which doesn't sounds like that's what happened), he was probably riding faster than he should have been.

Large speed differential is a recipe for trouble, whether it's cars and bikes or bikes and peds. Little room for error.
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Old 10-30-12, 04:32 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
Unless OP literally stepped right out in front of him (which doesn't sounds like that's what happened), he was probably riding faster than he should have been.
When judging safe travelling speed (and in, you know, everything else), you make assumptions about what is likely to happen, not what might happen. If the bridge collapsed 10 feet in front of him, he wouldn't have fallen in because he was travelling to fast for the situation. This example is perhaps less extreme, but nonetheless I believe the same principle applies.
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Old 10-30-12, 04:57 PM
  #40  
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I agree, and I've used just that principle to argue that "ride like I'm invisible" is almost always a false statement, because you usually are putting at least a small bit of faith in people not swerving madly into you. But riding on a bridge so heavily trafficked would probably call for slower riding than is often seen there. Again, I'm not really pegging the cyclist for being at fault so much as saying it's a strong possibility there was a little carelessness on both ends.
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Old 10-30-12, 05:21 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
Hang on there, trigger . I can assume the OP probably has a general idea.
Reread the OPs post trigger. He stated he did not know how fast the cyclist was riding, he just ASSumed. Since only a light brush occurred, there was no high speed collision as you now allude too.
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