I was tagged in this photo by my friend Sayf who recently started bike commuting. Someone commented and said “I would seriously mow you down if you were in front of my car,” someone else then liked it and said “That thing gives new meaning to ‘self-righteous bike riders’ it is certainly not how to win friends and influence people.”
When did it become ok to make comments like these in public?
This is the fifth or so terrible accident I’ve seen near my office not including the one where I was taken to the hospital on a stretcher. But lets all whine that we have to pass a bicyclist with a safe buffer and not objectively look at how dangerously people are allowed to drive with no consequence.
Whole lane buffer for cyclists? Sheesh! — Nafari Vanaski
Yes, your article did come off the wrong way.
And who doesn’t love bicyclists? You know when spring has arrived when you see your first group riding together, all dressed like Lance Armstrong and his Tour de France team.
Same old boring stereotype.
Also, bicyclists are allowed to ride on sidewalks outside of business districts. Those are commonly occupied by pedestrians, and there’s no minimum passing width required there, although those on bikes must yield to those on foot.
§ 3508. Pedalcycles on sidewalks and pedalcycle paths
(a) Right-of-way to pedestrians.–A person riding a pedalcycle upon a sidewalk or pedalcycle path used by pedestrians shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
(b) Business districts.–A person shall not ride a pedalcycle upon a sidewalk in a business district unless permitted by official traffic-control devices, nor when a usable pedalcycle-only lane has been provided adjacent to the sidewalk.
There is already a law that you must yield to a pedestrian on a sidewalk. There was no such law on the books for how to deal with a bicycle in the road. Now there is.
Know what else would be nice? Witnessing a bicyclist get a ticket for running a red light — as a motorist would — just one time.
You know what else would be nice? If I once saw a driver get a ticket for doing the same. I watched three drivers run red lights this morning. No tickets. In all my years driving and cycling in Pittsburgh I can’t remember a time where I’ve seen anyone pulled over for a traffic violation. It’s as if she lives in a bubble where people don’t speed, actually yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and don’t roll through stop signs. I would love to live in a world like that. Where are my blinders?
Then there’s this “right hook” business. It’s now illegal to turn right in front of a bicyclist traveling to your right and proceeding straight. Here’s another approach. Perhaps bicyclists should be the ones to proceed with caution at any intersection.
I don’t think she really understands what a right hook is. This is a right hook. Who’s duty is it here to proceed with caution in that situation?
Why should drivers take on penalties when the rules of bicycling are so murky? If you drove around with your headlights out, you’d get pulled over. No reflective lights? No problem.
Where does she get this information from? Was it pulled from police record or out of thin air? I’ve drive around for months with a dead headlight and see numerous vehicles a night without a brake or head light. It happens so often that it even has it’s own Urban Dictionary definition!
This is an email I sent to Mancuso’s Country Lane Pet Hotel where we board our dog Penelope. We have always taken Penelope to Mancuso’s Country Lane and my experience with their pet limo driver solidified our decision.
I just wanted to send a note about the pet limo driver I encountered last week in Point Breeze. I was riding my bike through a school zone and noticed a car behind me who wasn’t passing me. I was going close enough to the 15mph speed limit. After we were through the school zone, the driver waited until there was no traffic in the oncoming lane and passed me safely.
I just wanted to let you know how refreshing it is to encounter a company vehicle driver that treats other road users with respect. All too often I encounter company vans with their names painted on the exterior who act as though they own the road. We are all potential customers. Some of us already are. That’s why as a customer, I was reassured that my wife and I made the right choice in choosing Country Lane as Penelope’s home away from home.
I am riding on Maple Ave — a 15mph road — about to turn on to Brinton Rd, my arm outstretched signaling that I am making a left turn. The woman behind me decides that I am taking too long and floors it to pass me as I am starting to turn. Now this is not the sort of intersection where you would do this sort of thing, not that there is any intersection that it would be ok, but for this road in particular it is really, really dangerous.
I would have been right about where the turning car is when she started to pass me. – View Larger Map
Drivers are coming off of 376 and a Ardmore Blvd and they are normally going pretty fast right until the stop sign. Well she floors it into the oncoming lane with a car approaching her but she wouldn’t have known that because you can’t see around the corner. Like I said, this isn’t the sort of road where this sort of thing might be reasonably safe.
I would guess she was going around 55 mph by the time she made it back into her own lane.
Merry Christmas lady! Hope you got to where you were going in one piece.
The woman I was involved in the accident with Monday night claimed she couldn’t see me after she pulled out in front of me and we collided. She also told the insurance agent that she did not see me wearing any reflective clothing, nor any lights on my bike.
In addition to the reflective clothing lit up in these photos, the light on my handlebars blinks and is visible from a block away. My question is, how can you miss me?
For good measure, here is me from the side.
Update: I heard back from the insurance company and the bottom line is that when in an accident, insist on a police report and get some witnesses. I was compensated, but not fully.
Last night, Monday October 17 at around 6:30pm I was involved in a collision with a car. I was riding outbound on Liberty Ave where it meets Aiken. I just finished waiting at the red light at Liberty and Baum and was following two cars who had created a gap in front of me. I was in the middle of the right lane, had a bright blinking front light and reflective clothing on and couldn’t have been going faster than 15mph when I noticed a car with their left turn signal on, waiting to turn left on to Center Ave. This very same situation occurs every day on my way home, but tonight was different. As I was entering the intersection the driver decided to make her turn and there was little time for me to react and I skidded in to her passenger side front door. My rear wheel is ruined and my knee is a little sore, but outside of that I am ok.
I ride through this intersection every evening and the situation is always the same. I have one or two vehicles in front of me, a couple in back, a turning lane to my left, and an awkward intersection with more turning vehicles ahead of me. There is always a driver making a left on to Center just like there was last night. I saw her, I felt it was safe, but when it was too late she made her turn.
View Larger Map
She said she didn’t see me. I don’t think she was seeing much of anything last night given the dark and rainy conditions. This was her second accident this week, she totaled her other car.
There was a police officer on Center Ave and I was able to wave him down to help with the exchange of information. Of all days to forget my wallet. We exchanged information and I called Monica to come pick me up. To my knowledge the officer did not file a report and I should have known not to trust that the card he handed me at the very least had his name on it. The officer did let the woman know that I had the right of way and that she was at fault.
I filed a claim with her insurance and am waiting to hear back on the claim.
Updated with the bus route on 2010-05-26 because of a post on the Bike Pittsburgh forums regarding the same route.
route: 86b inbound
Below is the complaint I sent to PAT and to their CEO Stephen Bland.
I was traveling on my bicycle at around 15-20mph passing through the intersection at Penn and 31st. I was in the middle of the right lane preparing to clear the intersection and ride on the bike friendly section of Penn Ave. A bus approached from behind, honked their horn, started to change lanes and pass me. If it would have ended there I wouldn’t be sending this complaint.
Instead of completing the pass, the driver began to turn into the right lane while I was still in it. I could have reached out and touched the bus without extending my arm he was so close. For the next three blocks I kept my same speed and kept up with the bus. Not sure what the hurry was that he had to pass me like that and risk my life.
This isn’t the first complaint I have filed like this. A very similar incident occurred on Liberty Ave on May 21st of last year. I ride the bus regularly and I feel that incidents like this need reported and dealt with.
This is the second complaint I have submitted like this. In fact I searched my email and replied to Mr. Bland using the same email from last year and added my new complaint. He responded and said he would look into it.
This is what I was greeted with when I attempted to watch a march headed downtown. Shortly there after the peaceful gathering was ruled an “unlawful assembly” and the police used intimidation techniques including an LRAD to chase the demonstrators away.
These law enforcement officers were here to protect and to serve their fellow citizens, but instead they intimidated and arrested people who were simply expressing their discontent with the G20.
This was happening on the other side of the police line I was behind after the police confronted the march.
I don’t know what would have happened had they allowed the march to continue, but this show of police intimidation continued through the night as a result. What started as a peaceful march escalated to students being arrested in Oakland, again for unlawful assembly and refusal to disperse.
Once back in the office I felt nauseated and thought I was just dehydrated. After some discussion with co-workers I believe that my nasea was caused by the LRAD device. The voice is terrifyingly calm and devoid of any emotion. I hope I never hear it again.
Later on that evening on my commute home I had a choice to make. I could either attempt to ride my normal route home which was blocked off by the police or ride through downtown. I chose to ride through downtown.
I headed towards downtown on Penn and talked with another cyclist on the way who was headed back to the South Hills. The detour required I cross the 16th street bridge and ride the trail to the 6th street bridge into downtown. The National Guard officers along the way were friendly and helpful.
Once downtown I was greeted with a ghost town.
I chatted with Ross for a few minutes at Liberty and Forbes where there was a line of busses held up because of the motorcades planning on leaving the city. He compared the police state in Pittsburgh to what it must be like in Iraq or Afghanistan.
A bus driver I talked with briefly said she had no idea how long she would be there. The busses on Boulevard of the Allies were stacked two across as far down as I could see.
The rest of my ride home was nice and calmly paced. Later that night I went to see Drugdealer at Howlers in Bloomfield, where only a couple hours earlier the protesters were being told to disperse by the police.
What I experienced that day was like nothing else I have ever experienced.
This in response to J. HENTOSZ
From what I understand, anyone driving a car in the streets is to follow the rules of the road — stop at red lights, no turn on red, yield, etc.
I see these guys/ladies running red lights, not even stopping, breaking the law. It’s like they do whatever they want, and when they hit someone it’s automatically the other persons fault for being in their way!
I don’t understand how you’re supposed to share the road with a person in a car going 55 mph in a 35 mph zone. It’s idiotic, and you should not be able to drive a on the street if you can’t follow the law and drive safely.
It’s a danger to other drivers, pedestrians and themselves if they can’t just slow down for five seconds of their day.