Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admits he was “probably” reading while driving on the city’s busy Gardiner Expressway.
The admission came in reaction to a photo that was circulating on Twitter that showed the mayor reading a document while sitting in the driver’s seat of his black Cadillac Escalade.
Toronto Mayor Ford was ‘probably’ reading while driving — CBC New
This comes from the man who said that “cyclists are a pain the ass to motorists.”
“And what I compare bike lanes to is swimming with the sharks. Sooner or later you’re going to get bitten,” said Ford speaking in 2010 as a Toronto city council-member.
“And every year we have dozens of people that get hit by cars or trucks. Well, no wonder: roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks, not for people on bikes.
“My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.”
Cyclists accuse Toronto mayor Ford of ‘war on bikes’ — BBC News
It’s their own fault, not the fault of the man driving the only truck large enough to fit him who likes to read while driving. The sad thing is that he’s not even the least bit embarrassed to have been caught reading while driving. He considers it normal acceptable behavior because he’s a busy man.
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?
Since the previous August, there have been three pedestrian deaths within the same neighborhood. One was the collision between Bucchere and Hui, another involved a bus driver who didn’t see a pedestrian in a crosswalk, and the third involved a motorist who struck a pedestrian while driving with a cast on his right foot.
And yet, while San Francisco’s bicycle foes pointed to the death of Sutchi Hui as an example of reckless cyclists run amok, there was not a peep of public outrage about reckless drivers when Emily Dunn or William Cox was run down. Why? — Bicycling magazine, Getting The Story Straight
Indeed. Why is there only public outrage when it involves a cyclist?
To bring this back to Pittsburgh when Donald Parker was hit from behind and killed by a teenager who admitted to untangling his flip-flop from the gas pedal there was no outrage. Charges weren’t even filed despite the admission. He is still driving today.
When a 12 year old girl was hit by a driver who ran a red light then drove away after first getting out of his car to see what he did there was no outrage.
When a cyclist was critically injured by a man who hit him with his Jeep and drove away only to be turned in by his own mother there was no public outrage. In fact people even found it in their hearts to critique cyclist behavior in the comments.
I try to keep track of all the carnage in Pittsburgh on my Tumblr page but it’s hard to keep up with. Drivers cause property damage, injuries and death on a daily basis and we accept it as a fact of life. But when it comes to a cyclist we are outraged!
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.
I am in the process of drafting a “letter to the editor” about my experiences with 29th and Liberty and dug up a few articles about the intersection.
In addition to my own documentation of the intersection we have from 2009, a news story that my coworkers are featured in.
“We’re waiting for PennDOT approval for a full-scale light system in there. I believe that will take about six more weeks,” O’Connor said at the time.
Team 4: Neighbors Say Strip District Corner Still Unsafe After Deaths
The rest are from 2006 when there were two people killed within a month or two of one another.
A car hit a woman at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 29th Street in the Strip District during Thursday’s rush hour, Channel 4 Action News reported.
Woman Hit By Two Vehicles In Strip
“I’m so afraid. Every day, when I cross, it’s so scary. I feel like you are going to get hit because you have to dodge the traffic,” student Laurie Garside said.
How Safe Is Liberty Avenue For Pedestrians?
Transportation officials have published a report on dangerous roads, and a major thoroughfare in Pittsburgh is at the top of the list.
Report Names Pittsburgh’s Most Dangerous Roads
According to investigators, Cassandra Gatewood, 43, of McKeesport, was charged with vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and fleeing an accident scene.
Police: Suspect In Strip District Pedestrian Death Was DUI
Since all of this and despite repeated appeals from our office and the Pittsburgh Ballet the best response we have from the city is “None of the signal warrants are met at this location; therefore a traffic signal cannot be installed.”
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.