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Struck from behind

Old 02-15-18, 08:32 AM
  #76  
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I hate roads with long straight stretches. Invitation for people to put their heads down in their phone.
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Old 02-15-18, 08:35 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
That road looks yucky, not much room to move.

Years ago while driving, I avoided being rear ended by moving into the far left lane on a twisty mountain road, after pulling out of a blind driveway.

As a cyclist on a quiet road, your ears may also give you some indication of motorist intentions. (slowing, accelerating, lane change etc.)
This looks like a pretty standard Canadian road in the winter (and by saying this, I am going to wake up those people from Winnipeg, Edmonton, Yellowknife, et. al for whom this probably is a very good road condition).
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Old 02-15-18, 09:04 AM
  #78  
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I will re-evaluate the route that I take/took for the past four years to see if there are spots/stretches that need to be changed. Obviously the stretch where the crash occurred is one of them, but there are a few others that are similar.

Here are a few:
Birchmount.jpg
Denison.jpg
Hwy 7.jpg
Valleym.jpg

I know there are mixed feelings about bike lanes, but do you think roads with bike lanes are generally safer than roads without?
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Old 02-15-18, 09:20 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The only lesson I can take and use is that I might not be as alert as I think I am, and anything that happens might be somewhat or totally in my control. Every time I make a mistake or just have a near-hit, I think hard about what I might do differently. I've had some minor crashes since my big crash, and I try to replay them in my head humbly.
So true. It's important to keep an eye on ourselves, and not just project evil negligence or intentions on all those subhuman 'cagers' who terrorize the roadways
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Old 02-15-18, 09:37 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Except there is a shared center left turn lane. In my experience this makes it a lot easier for motorists to pass a cyclist, as they don't fear using part of this lane. I like this situation and typically increase my right side buffer while riding there... to encourage them to move out of the travel lane. As a bonus, any motorist who doesn't move left stands out and is immediately noticeable.
I'd say its not the best road design, for cyclists anyway.

Roads without shoulders tend to be more dangerous to ride on, as the default path is directly in the line of motorists.

Many cyclists will not ride in the shoulder by default, it often makes a great escape route for motorists as well as cyclists.

Left turning traffic may cause slowdowns for traffic coming up behind them, however this tends to keep speeds in check, a traffic buffer of sorts.

If you can't stop there is always the shoulder, as an escape route.
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Old 02-15-18, 09:49 AM
  #81  
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As others have noted, a driver who is drunk, sleep-deprived, and texting is a nightmare scenario - you could do everything "right" and still get clobbered. (Some years ago, my wife and I were in our car, and got rear-ended HARD by a laughably inattentive driver -- there was absolutely nothing we could have done to prevent it.)

I worry about motorists all the time. My accommodations are to (1) put extremely bright lights all over my bike - they need to be flashing and highly visible even in daylight, (2) adjust my route to avoid traffic, even if it means riding further on my commute, (3) riding fast through high-traffic areas, just to get out of them as quickly as possible.

As a final piece of advice - if you have not already done so, get an attorney!!! It won't cost you anything for a consult, and any eventual lawsuit would likely be on contingency, so again, you're not out-of-pocket anything. And even if you think you are alright, you don't know what symptoms might manifest later. If this driver had insurance, and was so grossly at-fault, you will have little trouble getting a good settlement.
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Old 02-15-18, 11:24 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I totally get that, but all that goes out window when the driver is intoxicated, and/or texting, and/or drowsy. I think the driver who hit me was at least two out of the three.
What you can do is tip the scales in your favor. There are no guarantees, but just like good brakes make panic stops easier, with more chance of success, so does doing what you can to be (more easily) visible and better noticed.
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Old 02-15-18, 01:48 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Some areas are death traps from this type of scenario. I suspect the main reason law enforcement doesn't do more to curtail drunk driving is because the bars and strip joints generate tax revenue in rural areas with few other businesses. So cops only respond to collisions rather than taking preventive action by patrolling more visibly between 9 p.m.-6 a.m.
I can't speak for everywhere, but in Toronto that isn't the case. The main reason cops in Toronto aren't very enthusiastic about going after drunk drivers is because getting a conviction takes a lot of work and is extremely difficult to do. The breath testing process is long and fairly complicated and it's really easy to get a case thrown out for the slightest mistake.
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Old 02-15-18, 03:27 PM
  #84  
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As far as the snow and ice in the previous photo, that just looks nasty. About 20 years ago, I did a little urban bike commuting on snow. I had the knobbiest 700c x 28? tires I could find. And it was miserable. No studs. Nonetheless, the snow kicked to side limited where I could safely ride to the places where the cars were driving.

And, for a driver, the ice and snow also limits their driving from taking evasive maneuvers passing to the left, as well as their ability to stop quickly.

Fortunately, I can usually stay home in snow/ice weather now, although I do get my fair share of rain riding.

Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I will re-evaluate tnhe route that I take/took for the past four years to see if there are spots/stretches that need to be changed. Obviously the stretch where the crash occurred is one of them, but there are a few others that are similar.

Here are a few:

I know there are mixed feelings about bike lanes, but do you think roads with bike lanes are generally safer than roads without?
It looks like someone in your area likes curbs and sidewalks.

For the most part I'd be on the road shoulders and bike lanes. Yes, they do make me feel more protected. Although not a physical protection, but more isolated from where the cars are typically driving. Also, less disruption of the traffic which is one thing I consider. Often if traffic is very low, I'll ride near the white line (either side), then move right when a car comes up from behind.

I have one moderately busy 3-lane road (center turn) with no shoulders/bike lanes that I take some. For the most part, cars get around just fine using the center lane, but it isn't one of my favorite roads, and I tend to avoid it when possible.

Springfield is mostly a flat block & grid city, and has designated a few "bike routes" through the middle of the city taking fairly through, low traffic residential roads. Cars parked to the side from time to time. Otherwise 2 lanes + 2 parking areas. And, for the most part I feel comfortable on those roads, and move right into the parking area as parked cars permit, and allow the occasional car to pass.

How much traffic does Denison street get? If it is high volume, that is one of the streets that I would tend to avoid. It looks like a street (at least near your photo) which would be an excellent candidate for a 6' or 8' sidewalk/MUP. Talk to your local government. Although, if your photo is representative, it might also be a candidate for riding on the sidewalk.
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Old 02-15-18, 04:01 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
As far as the snow and ice in the previous photo, that just looks nasty.
Yes, upon reflection I would have to agree with you. I think that route is to be avoided. I took it because it was the shortest route to where I needed to go.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
For the most part I'd be on the road shoulders and bike lanes. Yes, they do make me feel more protected. Although not a physical protection, but more isolated from where the cars are typically driving. Also, less disruption of the traffic which is one thing I consider. Often if traffic is very low, I'll ride near the white line (either side), then move right when a car comes up from behind.
I am inclined to agree with you as well.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
How much traffic does Denison street get? If it is high volume, that is one of the streets that I would tend to avoid. It looks like a street (at least near your photo) which would be an excellent candidate for a 6' or 8' sidewalk/MUP. Talk to your local government. Although, if your photo is representative, it might also be a candidate for riding on the sidewalk.
It is not busy in the morning, but the PM ride has more. Not a ton of cars, but enough to make me nervous, and this is the stretch that always gets me stressed. There are no better alternatives, that is to say, all other routes going in this direction are similar, or even worse.

I was also thinking sidewalk for this one.
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Old 02-15-18, 04:40 PM
  #86  
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Several of those photos you posted look semi-rural or perhaps industrial. If they go, say 1/2 mile or so between intersections, then they would be excellent candidates for off-street MUPs. And, it may already be in the government right-of-ways.

Put the MUPs in now before everything gets built up around them. In some cases, the MUP could even be built away from the streets for a more pleasant and park-like riding experience.

7 lane roads? Are they morphing into freeways? Not my favorite riding areas, even with bike lanes. Make sure you look before crossing exit lanes.

I'm becoming more convinced that these are the places where cities and communities would most benefit from investing in cycling infrastructure. And, don't cheap out. If the cars are getting limited access onramps, and overpasses, then the bicycles should also get overpasses, underpasses, or at least some provisions to get across the cross streets without having to be crossed by the vehicle turn lanes.

In fact, some of the better MUP systems are alongside of freeways and freeway right-of-ways.

I suppose, plowing MUPs would also be a nice benefit, and get them isolated from the snow being thrown along side of the road.

Anyway, perhaps there would be a way to get a community cycling advocacy group involved with convincing to government to spend, say 1% of their transportation budget on a trail network for cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians. Perhaps even getting some of the state health care budget dedicated to healthy activities.
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Old 02-15-18, 06:13 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Several of those photos you posted look semi-rural or perhaps industrial. If they go, say 1/2 mile or so between intersections, then they would be excellent candidates for off-street MUPs. And, it may already be in the government right-of-ways.
Yes, that particular stretch would be a good candidate segregrated MUP. I will remind myself to look into it.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
7 lane roads? Are they morphing into freeways? Not my favorite riding areas, even with bike lanes. Make sure you look before crossing exit lanes.
Can't really be helped on this one. I live on one side of this highway and my work on the other. Prior to the installation of the bike lanes I was taking another route to cross the highway:

IMG012.jpg

This was not much fun. I was stressed everyday on the PM ride with lots of cars and a speed limit of 70 km/h. So I was quite grateful when the bike lane on the '7-lane' road was installed, and often the traffic is so congested on this that I am travelling the same speed as, or even faster than traffic.

I don't know about budgeting moneys for constructing MUP's, but my region's initiative to make cycling a sustainable and safe mode of transportation is admirable, if not entirely effective. There are more bike lanes being added, and I think their presence alone raises drivers' awareness of the possibility that there may be bicycle traffic alongside them. It's not perfect, but it's better than doing nothing.
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Old 02-15-18, 06:30 PM
  #88  
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Uggh!!!!

Certainly there are differences between cities of 10,000 vs 100,000 vs 1 Million vs MORE.

Here is one of the bridges recently rebuilt in Portland.

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.4643...7i13312!8i6656

I didn't hardly realize there is also a bike lane. Those sidewalks are WIDE.

Plus, they now have pretty good connections to a bike path along the river (both sides, I think).

Anyway, it seems like bicycles are often an afterthought in city design and road design, but they really need to be brought forward as a major aspect of the design and construction. And it is easier and cheaper to do it from the start.

And, of course, a good MUP will get multiple types of trail users which is just fine, at least up to a saturation point, when too many users require separate cycling/running/walking facilities.
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Old 02-15-18, 07:45 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I can't speak for everywhere, but in Toronto that isn't the case. The main reason cops in Toronto aren't very enthusiastic about going after drunk drivers is because getting a conviction takes a lot of work and is extremely difficult to do. The breath testing process is long and fairly complicated and it's really easy to get a case thrown out for the slightest mistake.
Good point, but it's still related to the point I was making. Law enforcement has pretty much turned into revenue enhancement, as much as protecting the public.

Ticketing drivers for non-criminal violations is easy money. Takes only a few minutes, very low burden of evidence. Most drivers will pay, especially if offered any sort of incentive, because it costs more than it's worth to contest a ticket.

But suspected drunk driving/driving under the influence/while intoxicated, etc., may results in a criminal infraction so the burden of evidence is heavier. Takes more time. Time is money. Time that officer could have spent issuing easy money tickets for non-criminal incidents.

There's also the cost of patrolling. That's a big factor when fuel prices are high. Especially in rural areas where roadhouse bars tend to be congregated along mostly deserted stretches of roads, with nothing else around for miles. That's common in Texas because of our stupid "blue laws" and dry county laws -- now mostly rescinded. But that tradition of dry counties created an environment in which bars and strip clubs would congregate in clots along the county lines between wet/dry counties. Usually when those joints were built there was no other interest in those properties. It was just highways alongside abandoned or inactive farm and ranch land.

These places are usually 20-50 miles from the nearest sheriff's department or police HQ. Too far away to justify regular patrols. So patrols and check point stops occur only on holiday weekends. The rest of the time, you'll rarely see any law enforcement.

In some U.S. areas, data indicates law enforcement tend to concentrate on easy money ticketing of low income areas. Rather than deterring drunk drivers, they'll ticket poor people for expired inspection/registration stickers, etc., because they know poor folks can't afford not to drive and can't afford to contest the citations. So drivers either pay or ignore the tickets and keep driving if they can't afford to pay. So the penalties add up and eventually cops do a roundup sting of "scofflaws" -- mostly poor people driving without insurance, registration or inspection stickers.

But never mind the yahoos driving home drunk every night from the clot of roadside bars and stripper clubs.

Everything costs society money. We just fiddle with the accounting like a shell game, to make it seem like it's more cost effective to selectively enforce non-criminal violations ("Scofflaws! Those people had it coming!") vs drunk drivers ("Just hard working good o'l boys blowing off steam! Leave 'em alone!").
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Old 02-16-18, 05:49 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.4643...7i13312!8i6656

I didn't hardly realize there is also a bike lane. Those sidewalks are WIDE.
If that bridge was a long one I'd be inclined to stay on that sidewalk.
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Old 02-16-18, 08:13 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I will re-evaluate the route that I take/took for the past four years to see if there are spots/stretches that need to be changed. Obviously the stretch where the crash occurred is one of them, but there are a few others that are similar.

Here are a few:
Attachment 599519
Attachment 599520
Attachment 599521
Attachment 599522

I know there are mixed feelings about bike lanes, but do you think roads with bike lanes are generally safer than roads without?
You just may be the first cyclist to actually use the bike lane on hwy 7.

See the white car? It's straddling the white line on its right as it makes its way to hwy 404. I see this a lot but even so I don't ever see any motorist invading the bike lane. So, yes, I would feel the bike lane would make it safer. Better to be off to the side than directly in front of all the motorists. I've never been on Hwy 7 during the rush hours but if it's anything like Saturday afternoon, the car traffic will be so slow you'll feel very safe in the bike lane.

It doesn't look as if Denison has a bike lane. This looks nasty. This is the suburbs so any motorist on Denison will be going pretty fast.
Someone will sneak up behind you not expecting a cyclist and end up swerving and slamming his brakes.

Someone has suggested to get legal advice. Join Cycle Toronto. Among other benefits, they offer legal advice. https://www.cycleto.ca/legal-spin-pat-brown

Last edited by Daniel4; 02-16-18 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 02-16-18, 09:18 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Good point, but it's still related to the point I was making. Law enforcement has pretty much turned into revenue enhancement, as much as protecting the public.

Ticketing drivers for non-criminal violations is easy money. Takes only a few minutes, very low burden of evidence. Most drivers will pay, especially if offered any sort of incentive, because it costs more than it's worth to contest a ticket.

But suspected drunk driving/driving under the influence/while intoxicated, etc., may results in a criminal infraction so the burden of evidence is heavier. Takes more time. Time is money. Time that officer could have spent issuing easy money tickets for non-criminal incidents.

There's also the cost of patrolling. That's a big factor when fuel prices are high. Especially in rural areas where roadhouse bars tend to be congregated along mostly deserted stretches of roads, with nothing else around for miles. That's common in Texas because of our stupid "blue laws" and dry county laws -- now mostly rescinded. But that tradition of dry counties created an environment in which bars and strip clubs would congregate in clots along the county lines between wet/dry counties. Usually when those joints were built there was no other interest in those properties. It was just highways alongside abandoned or inactive farm and ranch land.

These places are usually 20-50 miles from the nearest sheriff's department or police HQ. Too far away to justify regular patrols. So patrols and check point stops occur only on holiday weekends. The rest of the time, you'll rarely see any law enforcement.

In some U.S. areas, data indicates law enforcement tend to concentrate on easy money ticketing of low income areas. Rather than deterring drunk drivers, they'll ticket poor people for expired inspection/registration stickers, etc., because they know poor folks can't afford not to drive and can't afford to contest the citations. So drivers either pay or ignore the tickets and keep driving if they can't afford to pay. So the penalties add up and eventually cops do a roundup sting of "scofflaws" -- mostly poor people driving without insurance, registration or inspection stickers.

But never mind the yahoos driving home drunk every night from the clot of roadside bars and stripper clubs.

Everything costs society money. We just fiddle with the accounting like a shell game, to make it seem like it's more cost effective to selectively enforce non-criminal violations ("Scofflaws! Those people had it coming!") vs drunk drivers ("Just hard working good o'l boys blowing off steam! Leave 'em alone!").
I can't speak on everywhere, but in Toronto (where I very much have "inside" information) traffic enforcement isn't about revenue enhancement at a systemic level* at all. Any revenues gained and more are spent on court costs for the people that get charged. There's also no quota for tickets. Most Primary Response officers (which are the ones responding when someone calls the cops) are too busy with other calls to write many tickets these days anyway. Fuel and distance aren't factors (being a big city, you're never more than a few km from a division HQ).

In fact, I think (but am not entirely sure) that most revenue from tickets goes to the province since most traffic offences are violations of the provincial highway traffic act rather than city bylaws, so the police force, funded by the city, would not even have the potential for revenue.

I have no doubt that rural cops, and cops in the USA, may be different. One thing I've learned: there are thousands of police forces, each with varying cultures, goals and policies. What happens in one area can be drastically different than what happens elsewhere.

*Individual cops will write tickets in order to get court time on their days off which results in additional pay for them (again, more cost to the government). Some will also target specific groups (like cab drivers) that they know will challenge the ticket in order to ensure they go to court.
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Old 02-16-18, 09:53 AM
  #93  
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I've just read your original post and it sounds like there isn't anything that could have been done differently from your end. I think it is an unfortunate fact of being on the road, be it on a bicycle or in a car, that these types of things happen. Sucks, I know. It's an inherent risk that we all have to either accept or not.

I do applaud you for putting the situation out there and trying to ensure the conversation is productive.
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Old 02-16-18, 11:54 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
You just may be the first cyclist to actually use the bike lane on hwy 7.
You're right about it not getting used often. I can count on one hand the number of cyclists I've seen on this route in the past 12 months.

Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
It doesn't look as if Denison has a bike lane. This looks nasty. This is the suburbs so any motorist on Denison will be going pretty fast. Someone will sneak up behind you not expecting a cyclist and end up swerving and slamming his brakes.
I will have to take a long hard look at this stretch when I get back on the saddle.

Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Someone has suggested to get legal advice. Join Cycle Toronto. Among other benefits, they offer legal advice. https://www.cycleto.ca/legal-spin-pat-brown
Thanks. I will look into it.
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Old 02-25-18, 12:14 PM
  #95  
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On the note of bike lanes, in my area bike lanes are where cars park. I've called the traffic enforcement division of my local P.D. on several occasions, and on multiple routes, and nothing changes. I've come to figure it's just "not worth their time". The good news is the guy was drunk, which means he probably wasn't gunning for you. I've been in that situation. Still sucks though, and I wish you a speedy recovery.

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