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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Another killer bus left turn

This time in the 'Couv. A tragic demise for a youngster, demonstrating once again that urban cycling, especially around buses, is inherently dangerous.

Comments (15)

Bicycling is a recreational hobby, not a smart way of transportation. Everbody I know who bikes does so more for exercise than anything else. It is also a very dangerous hobby, less so than BASE jumping but more so than golf. Urban cycling around buses is the most dangerous of all. Just saying it like it is. Let the bike nazis retort.

The interesting this about this incident is how C-TRAN released the video within hours of the incident, something that will never happen at TRIMET-who set the standard for secrecy in the transit industry:


A colleague of ours who commutes by bike is currently laid up with something like eight pins and two plates in what used to be his shoulder. There are many hazards out there for people on two wheels. And there are many streets out there on which they simply don't belong.

It's a terrible tragedy, and it's true urban cycling is inherently dangerous. Playing sports, riding in a car, walking across the street, and staying home not getting any exercise are also inherently dangerous.

As a parent I know that the more often my kid bikes to school the less he tends to get chubby. Do I worry about him either way? Hell, yeah. He doesn't play after-school sports, but if he did, I'd worry about that too. Haven't you seen the stories in the last year about kids collapsing and dying at sports practice?

Whatever. If this particular boy had chosen some other form of recreation, or just stayed off the bus route, he'd be alive. The problem is that Earl the Pearl and his ilk are telling people every day how they have the right to be on busy streets on bicycles. Yes, they have that right, until they are crushed dead.

My heart goes out to that boy's family, I'm so sorry. I do not even know what it is like to have a child, let alone imagine what they are feeling after such an abrupt and terrible loss. Makes me sick to my stomach even trying to begin.

Whatever. If this particular boy had chosen some other form of recreation, or just stayed off the bus route, he'd be alive.

A tautology. Any person that dies in any particular way would have lived if they weren't where they were, when they were, doing what they were. If the parents had made him depart a few moments sooner or later, or if he had entered that intersection with added caution, he likewise may have survived. But those also are not mindful or particularly productive what-ifs.

"Don't ride your bike on Main Street" would have been very productive advice.

Wasn't the boy in the wrong lane too based on the description of the accident. Or is it ok to go southbound on the east side of the street? I feel for all involved as this is a terrible accident.

This is a tragic accident, no question.
However tonnage wins every time, whether on a bike, in a car, aboard a boat, or flying an airplane.
Somehow that fact needs to be communicated to everyone.
None of us will ever know what was going through this boy's mind or what rules his parents tried to establish. It is too late for this child now.
But this could be a good time for parents whose children do ride on city streets to sit down with their kids and talk about safety while riding a bike, and then hope for the best, since kids seem to listen to about 1/2 of what you tell them on a good day.
And all urban adult bike riders, could most probably benefit from some sober reflection on their safety practices as well.

Why did the "Investigators" need to leave the bicycle lying where they found it for 4 hours plus?

Other than the "Investigators" racking up more Special Duty, Call-out and Over-time pay, I can't think of any reason.

"And all urban adult bike riders, could most probably benefit from some sober reflection on their safety practices as well."

Or reflection on their transportation choices. Take the bus and then go to spin class after work. Or don't. But risk your life more.

Regarding the article and kids on bikes, they have fewer transpiration choices.

Overall a sad story.

Notice in the video that the bus has low mounted side view mirrors that block the driver's view of near ground objects, just like Tri-Met's.
Some buses (they may be made in Europe) have the side view mirrors mounted from the top to avoid that.

Jack - "Don't ride on Main Street" is great advice, but I thought I heard a neighbor say that the bus route had just been changed and the bus was now routed to go onto their neighborhood street rather than stay on a collector or arterial. It is hard to stay safe when things don't stay where they are supposed to be.

I was afraid, when I heard yesterday that the kid's arm had been severed, of the worst. I don't ride where there are buses or big trucks; small vehicles can be scary enough. I grew up riding everywhere - but it was a small town, didn't have even one bike path.

The other day, in Oregon City, a young woman got mowed down by a car and left for dead on the side of the road. However, I don't recall any articles on the dangers of either walking down the street, or of that presented by motor vehicles.

Being around--or in--multi-ton hunks of metal is dangerous. Especially if you're not contained within one yourself. There are several ways to address this problem.

1) Discourage people from the streets, unless they have their own multi-ton hunk of metal to wrap themselves in, the better to survive a collision--if you wanna walk or ride, tough cookies for you.

2) Provide alternate infrastructure--sidewalks, bike lanes, bikeways, bike boulevards, etc.--so those who chose to travel WITHOUT the benefit of a multi-ton hunk of metal can do so more safely.

3) Try to mitigate the risk of collisions to vulnerable road users by discouraging operators of motor vehicles from travelling at high rates of speed--something which lessens both the chances and the impact of collisions.

All three of these are useful techniques. Bikes and peds don't belong on freeways, for instance; bike lanes and such are relatively cheap, and in some neighborhoods and streets, cars really have no business going faster than 20MPH. But too many people regard 2 and 3 as an infringement on the rights of the motorist, and view cars as the only vehicles that have any right to be on the road--everyone else is an obstacle or a nuisance.

There seems to be a bit of a Catch-22 at work here. One one hand, the implication of this thread is that biking is inherently dangerous, and probably should not be encouraged. On the other hand, attempts to make biking safer seem to be regarded as boondoggles (even though, as noted above, bike infrastructure is cheap), generally on the grounds that only a minority (albeit a growing one) of commuters use bikes.

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