You are not logged in.

#1 2016-06-08 11:27:36

owlman
Member
Registered: 2011-12-16
Posts: 100

Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

http://kxan.com/2016/06/07/teenager-hit … performed/

A 14-year-old hit by a car while on his bicycle in northwest Austin died Tuesday night.

At around 10:13 p.m., Austin-Travis County EMS responded to the intersection of Rustic Rock Drive and Spicewood Springs Road.

The teen was taken to Round Rock Medical Center with critical, life-threatening injuries. EMS says CPR was in progress at the scene.

The driver stayed at the scene. Police say the driver has been very cooperative and intoxication is not suspected.

Offline

#2 2016-06-08 14:24:49

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

Wow, a car-on-bike fatality that's not a hit-and-run, and not DWI.  That's a rarity.

But there's no mention of who was at fault, and if the driver, whether he'll be charged.  From my observations, if it's hit-and-run or DWI there's a small chance the driver will face meaningful consequences.  If not hit-and-run or DWI, even if the driver is clearly at fault, there's pretty much no chance.

Offline

#3 2016-06-08 19:19:07

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 116

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

I looked for the body count so far for Austin for 2016 but I couldn't find it.  Does anyone have it?   Where can it be found?

Offline

#4 2016-06-08 21:49:37

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 511

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

I worked out a body count page in 2012 by writing something to scrape APD's press releases, but I didn't keep it up for 2013 and later.

APD's last traffic fatality press release was #28 for the year and they tend to take a few days, so I guess we'll see #29 soon.

Offline

#5 2016-06-09 10:31:30

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 116

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

dougmc wrote:

APD's last traffic fatality press release was #28 for the year and they tend to take a few days, so I guess we'll see #29 soon.

And this is week #23 for the year, so we are sacrificing about one human life a week so we can maintain this lifestyle.

Offline

#6 2016-06-09 11:35:39

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

I almost rode my bike to Home Depot today, but then decided to take the car.  When I got to Home Depot, there was a totaled car in the parking lot which had smashed into another car, clearly at considerable speed.  And that could have been me right there on my bike.

So if I drive it's safer for me, but I hate that the solution to the safety issue is to become part of the problem.

Maybe self-driving cars will make the roads safer, but the downside is that they'll make car travel easier, so there's gonna be lots more cars on the road.

Offline

#7 2016-06-09 14:30:19

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 511

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

MichaelBluejay wrote:

Maybe self-driving cars will make the roads safer, but the downside is that they'll make car travel easier, so there's gonna be lots more cars on the road.

There's room to disagree, but I think that overall ... it'll be a win for cyclists.

After all, the people who get killed by cars aren't just cyclists -- they're also pedestrians and motorists.  But beyond that ... they're all our friends and our families, members of our community, and none of them deserve to die on the roads.  And self driving cars have the potential to reduce these fatalities figures way down.

But even beyond that ... many potential cyclists don't ride on the roads because they're afraid of getting hit.  Well, these self-driving cars won't become commonplace until they're way better than human drivers (otherwise, the lawyers would eat them alive!) but once that happens and they become commonplace ... the roads will become much safer for everybody.  It would certainly be less nerve-wracking to ride in traffic if I knew that most or all of the cars around me were almost perfect drivers and they were all aware of me.

The thing I fear is that once self-driving cars near 100% penetration, the laws may push that to 100% because then they can do neat stuff like run through intersections without lights at full speed -- and any non-self driving car, pedestrian or cyclist would throw a big monkey wrench into that, and so I can see cyclists being thrown into a separate and probably inferior network, or being banned entirely.  I hope it doesn't happen, but I can see it.

And as for fatality #29, well, it happened, and alas, it's not the cyclist, it's another motorist.  So maybe #30 ...

edit:

OK, here it is, #30.  The victim's name is Alexei Baureis, and he's a tad younger than my daughter, which makes this hit home even harder ...

Last edited by dougmc (2016-06-09 23:16:38)

Offline

#8 2016-06-10 09:26:02

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 116

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

Not sure now where I read this, but someone made the argument that self-driving cars might actually increase traffic.  The reason put forward was that a person would get to work, and then send the car home to avoid paying for parking.  At the end of the work day the car would drive back to take the owner home.  What could have been two trips becomes four. 

It would be a cruel twist to have current efforts at reducing car use downtown (eliminating or reducing minimum parking requirements etc) actually increase traffic in the long run.

I have also read that one selling point of these new fangled things is that they could be programmed to be very efficient by driving much faster, much closer together, running lights without cross traffic, etc.  In fact, this is how the 'problem' of increased trips would be solved.

I don't care how well programmed they are.  I don't want to be cycling on a road and have a self-driving car suddenly swerve around me just because it can safely do it.  It will be very stressful, I think.

Offline

#9 2016-06-10 09:58:34

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

Regardless of parking, I think self-driving cars will increase driving because it makes driving more convenient.  One advantages of train commutes is that you can eat, read, study, work, or sleep on the way to work, or some combination.  You can't do those things if you drive.  But soon you'll be able to.  And you'll avoid all the stress of sitting it traffic, and dealing with incompetent or selfish drivers.  Those things will make getting in the car far more attractive.

Offline

#10 2016-06-10 11:32:04

savanni
Member
From: Austin
Registered: 2011-04-30
Posts: 82
Website

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

I'm hoping (and perhaps I am far too optimistic), that self-driving cars will both reduce driving and reduce car ownership. If people don't have to actually walk to a car, and don't have to pay the full price of a car, and can have a car network simply direct a car to drive to their exact location. I want to think that most people will find that more convenient and cost-effective than car ownership.

Of course, if you call me naive, I'll admit that I probably am.

Offline

#11 2016-06-10 13:01:09

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

You might be right that they'll reduce car *ownership*, but I think the amount of *operation time* will certainly increase.  After all, if it's more convenient *and* cheaper, why wouldn't it?

Offline

#12 2016-06-10 15:05:10

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

I think the big hope on self-driving cars would be that car transportation would convert from an ownership model to a service model--reducing the number of vehicles needed and the amount of space devoted to roadways and parking  http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilwinton/ … f4a8adc21d  e.g.  and  also http://www.latimes.com/opinion/livable- … story.html   
"Studies have shown roughly 30% of traffic in central business districts is caused by drivers hunting for curbside spaces. Consider Santa Monica, where during the weekday peak, according to a city-employed parking consultancy, the six closest parking structures to the Santa Monica Promenade reach 90% capacity. The next two closest structures, meanwhile, remain under 40% capacity. Driverless cars have the potential to better distribute demand for existing parking spaces, reducing traffic in the process."

"Operation time" might follow your economic argument--cheap and easy cars on demand may lead to riding in place of walking.  Especially if you consider the reduction of people walking to and from their parking places.

And let's not forget xkcd's point of view:  http://xkcd.com/1559/

Last edited by Jack (2016-06-10 15:08:08)

Offline

#13 2016-06-10 19:12:26

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 116

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

Jack wrote:

I think the big hope on self-driving cars would be that car transportation would convert from an ownership model to a service model--reducing the number of vehicles needed and the amount of space devoted to roadways and parking


Fascinating stuff.  How it plays out will depend on so many factors.  And it will probably play out differently in different places.  One factor is how much people identify with their cars.  As it is, people often really tie up a lot of their identity with their vehicle.  If we moved to a service model that would change, I would think.  Or, maybe that shift will only be possible if people stopped identifying with their cars and started thinking about them differently.   What I mean is that some people buy a particular car because of the image.

Offline

#14 2016-06-11 03:39:55

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 511

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

RedFalcon wrote:

and then send the car home to avoid paying for parking

Worse ...

If they're just going to be at this place for an hour minutes, just have the car drive around the block for an hour minutes until you're done rather than trying to find a parking spot.

I don't care how well programmed they are.  I don't want to be cycling on a road and have a self-driving car suddenly swerve around me just because it can safely do it.  It will be very stressful, I think.

If most of the cars on the road are self driving, presumably they'll be talking to each other and coordinating their activities, so they'll be swerving around each other often, probably close enough to freak out their occupants, at least until they get used to it.  But when something that's not part of the network enters the fray, they'll have to be very wary of it, because it'll be unpredictable.

As a cyclist, you'll be very unpredictable, and they'll probably give you a wide berth.  And if something they did scared cyclists anyways -- they'd probably then be programmed to not do that, because that would make you even more unpredictable.

I expect nearly perfect driving from them before they become common.  But they certainly do have the potential to cause some problems too -- but I don't think the problems will be due to driving poorly.

Offline

#15 2016-06-11 10:27:49

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

Two things could delay SDC (self-driving car) acceptance.  First, the first time there's a significant collision, it'll be all over the news, and naysayers will say, "See?  These things can't be trusted."  They'll say that even if the crash rate for SDC's is 5% that of human-driven cars.

Second, right-wingers will protest them on "freedom" issues.  A year or two ago my kids' doctor was railing to me about how human-driven cars were going to be illegal blah blah blah.  I thought to myself, "Why is she even thinking about this? Where did this idea even come from?"  And then I figured it out.  I asked her, "Where did you hear about this?" and she answered, "Fox News".  Right. Bingo.

Offline

#16 2016-06-11 18:08:27

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 116

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

dougmc wrote:

As a cyclist, you'll be very unpredictable, and they'll probably give you a wide berth.  And if something they did scared cyclists anyways -- they'd probably then be programmed to not do that, because that would make you even more unpredictable.


OK, finally I see a bright side to this.  Just to throw a wrench into their Orwellian computer fantasy I will ride as unpredictably as possible ( once this SDC nightmare begins) .   I will probably die but I will go to Valhalla and drink mead from the hubcaps of the lazy morons that use these damn things.

BTW, I was going to type a reply to a comment on here yesterday, but my email wasn't working.  My isp had a server breakdown.  Earlier, at work, I had to restart my computer to get over some other problem.  The project I was working on had all kinds of computer glitches.   My phone stopped working and showed the incorrect time until I restarted it.

I don't trust computers - and never will.  I don't want to live in a world with self driving cars and the lazy assholes inside them.

Last edited by RedFalcon (2016-06-11 18:08:56)

Offline

#17 2016-06-21 07:52:02

jayc
Newbie
Registered: 2016-06-21
Posts: 1

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

KXAN published a follow-up article yesterday:
http://kxan.com/2016/06/20/changes-made … it-killed/
 
According to the article the victim was walking his bike through the intersection while the traffic signal was flashing yellow. There's no mention of whether or not the motorist was held accountable in any way for failing to yield right of way.

Offline

#18 2016-06-21 10:04:07

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

I think I called it:  not hit-and-run, and not DWI, and hit-and-run/DWI are so prevalent that society is getting conditioned to think that THAT'S what's synonymous with being at-fault...certainly in the minds of reporters, who now aren't mentioning about fault/charges if the case wasn't hit-and-run or DWI.

"Walk Austin says part of the issue was the flashing yellow lights at the intersection where Baureis was killed. When lights flash yellow it means the pedestrian has the right of way and drivers must yield. “Drivers do not always yield the right of way..."

Oh man, "drivers DO NOT ALWAYS" yield right of way?  How about, "drivers RARELY" yield right of way?  Go to any crosswalk in this city and see how many drivers will actually stop for you.

Offline

#19 2017-06-16 17:21:53

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Teen cyclist hit, killed by driver on Spicewood Springs Rd. 6/6/16

The parents of the victim are suing the City (for dangerous signaling) and the driver.

http://kxan.com/2017/06/16/parents-of-t … iver-city/

Offline

Board footer