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#1 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » UT claims no liability for its driver hitting cyclist April Garner » 2019-05-22 14:37:12

I'm no lawyer so I'm not really up on this, but looking at the referenced Texas law, a few things stick out --

1. this law sucks.

2. It's not just cyclists that get screwed by this.  Some things that stick out that might be used similarly to how UT is trying to use it against this cyclist --

   (3)  "Recreation" means an activity such as:
   (G)  hiking;
   (H)  pleasure driving ...
   (I)  nature study, including bird-watching;
   (L)  any other activity associated with enjoying nature or the outdoors;
   (M)  bicycling and mountain biking;
   (O)  on-leash and off-leash walking of dogs; or

3. Unless the UT campus qualifies as "agricultural land" (and I don't see how) I don't see how this could possibly apply.  Similarly, trying to say that people just going through UT qualify as "trespassing" sounds like a *huge* stretch.

As I understand it, UT keeps making these arguments and the courts keep rejecting them?  If so ... good.

#2 Re: Rides and Events » Ride of Silence Wednesday, May 15, 2019 » 2019-05-22 14:15:44

The central Austin ride was fairly well attended.  Photos.

The general sentiment seemed to not be much different than what you saw, however.

There actually was a B2WD station that was almost on my way to work, which was a nice change from the past where I had to go pretty far out of my way if I wanted to socialize a bit!

#3 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Hit-and-run driver kills 19yo cyclist Tommy Ketterhagen, 1/23/17 » 2019-04-19 14:04:33

Tommy Ketterhagen's killer violates conditions of his probation:

https://www.flobikes.com/articles/64491 … agen-death

https://www.flobikes.com/articles/63584 … r-sentence

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/friend … k-in-court

He managed to escape the small amount of prision time he was sentenced to through a legal loophole, but he ended up back in jail for violating the terms of his probation (in quite a few ways, it would seem -- he didn't just make a single mistake or something) and he was just sentenced to ten years in prison.

#4 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Govt. says wearing white to increase visibility is a MYTH! » 2019-04-13 13:56:15

Myth: If a traffic sign is posted, then almost all drivers will obey the sign.

Who believes this "myth"?  Anybody?

These people seem quite adept at building strawmen and tearing them down.

That said, they did get one right --

Myth: Parking on the street is a driver’s right.

Definitely a popular view and yet not correct.

#5 Rides and Events » Memorial ride for Jessica Saathoff Wednesday 2019-04-10 » 2019-04-06 17:51:15

dougmc
Replies: 1

https://www.facebook.com/events/1167395423423658/

Join us in a show of solidarity as We Ride As One to honor the life of Jessica Saathoff.

A car driver struck and killed 28 year old Jessica on Thursday 3/28/19 while she was traveling by bicycle along E. Martin Luther King Drive (District 9; City Council Representative Kathie Tovo).

Jessica was traveling adjacent to the UFCU Disch-Falk Field which is the stadium that is home to the University of Texas Longhorns baseball team. Jessica was most likely attempting avoid the danger of riding a bicycle on MLK by turning into drive that circles behind the stadium and opens back up to Comal. There is an incline just east of the drive which likely prevented the driver from seeing Jessica and prevented Jessica from seeing the oncoming driver. Protected bike lanes along this major travel artery for students and commuters would have prevented this crash as Jessica could have continued safely forward rather than trying to avoid being hit from behind by car drivers traveling at speeds between 30 and 50 mph.

This is a silent ride. Please keep talking to a minimum and please no music.

RIDE LEADER: Ricardo el Rey Trevino

DATE April 10, 2019
TIME 6:30 PM
WHEELS DOWN: 7:00 PM (sharp!)

MEET UP: Plaza Saltillo (TBC)

END STOP: TBD

DISTANCE: ~10 Miles

BRING: Lights


Social Cycling Austin rides AS traffic and NOT AGAINST it. We stop at red lights, yield the right of way and let cars pass as best we can. We don't block intersections. We are nice to both our fellow riders and the other traffic on the road. LISTEN TO the volunteers helping to lead the ride. They are some nice folks and have you best interest in mind. If you have any questions about the rules, I suggest you check here:http://bicycleaustin.info/laws/austin.html

REMINDER: The goal has always been to create a safe environment for all riders, but we cannot control, nor do we desire to, every rider's behavior. We promote personal responsibility, and it is each rider's responsibility to take care of themselves, and if they choose to ride

#6 Justice Issues / Collisions » SUV hits, kills cyclist in East Austin, EMS says 2019-03-28 » 2019-03-29 01:25:16

dougmc
Replies: 3

SUV hits, kills cyclist in East Austin, EMS says -- Statesman, paywalled.

Cyclist killed in car crash on E. MLK Blvd, delays at I-35 -- KXAN, shouldn't have a paywall.

There's not many details yet, in particular, we don't know who the victim is yet.

But true to form, KXAN did make sure to tell us that the victim was not wearing a helmet.

#8 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Cyclists were first advocates for better roads--late-1800s » 2019-03-15 13:12:20

Similar to what you were describing, but in the UK --

The death of Bridget Driscoll (c. 1851 – 17 August 1896) was the first recorded case of a pedestrian killed in a collision with a motor car in the United Kingdom.
...
The coroner, Percy Morrison, (Croydon division of Surrey) said he hoped "such a thing would never happen again."

Me too, Percy, me too.

#9 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19 » 2019-03-13 17:04:05

We shall see ... this case has an "orgy of evidence" that most cases do not, and it would be hard to let it fall through the cracks.

That said, if her lawyer can build some sympathy for whatever requires her to take all those medications (and assuming that they all have valid prescriptions!) then that might get her a lighter sentence.  It shouldn't get her an acquittal, but maybe a lighter sentence, maybe.  (It shouldn't, but ... alas, it often does.)

(The standard penalty for manslaughter is two to twenty years in prison, and they might go for a plea bargain for the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide, which is a state jail felony with a standard penalty of 0.5 to 2 years in state jail.  That said, the manslaughter charge totally fits what happened that day.)

Not that 0.5 years is anywhere near sufficient, but then again ... I'm not sure 20 years is either.  But I doubt we're going to see her walk away with mere probation or ten days in jail.

However it turns out, a permanent revocation of her license sounds very unlikely -- that almost never happens, and even when it does it tends to not really be "permanent".

#10 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19 » 2019-03-13 15:49:07

This is an unusual case -- every single thing about it screams "there's no way we can call this an 'accident'".

Tony did absolutely nothing wrong that could be used to shift any blame whatsoever to him, even by the standards of a bicycle-disliking motorist.  (Except ride a bike at all, of course.)

There are lots of witnesses, and these witnesses were even warning the bus driver about the cyclist before the crash.

Presumably, there's video evidence of the whole thing.

It sounds like there's lots of evidence of intoxication, though it would be the blood test that really cinches that.

And of course, the whole city is watching ...

#12 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19 » 2019-02-19 21:01:03

Looks like there's some more details out there about this case --

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/utpd-d … w-to-react

http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-ne … -bicyclist

http://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/s … 1794704861

(Thanks guey_out_there on reddit)

It's beginning to look like this is an intoxication manslaughter case, probably due to multiple prescription drugs, and the police are taking it seriously.  The standard penalty for a second-degree felony like intoxication manslaughter is 2-20 years in prison.

It also sounds like Capital Metro and their contractor will be pointing fingers back and forth about who is at fault, but either way ... this is going to cost them a lot of money.

Regarding the memorial ride --

Pass it along.  It would be great to see a huge turnout.

There was a fair turnout.  Michael was even interviewed by Fox News who came with us on the ride.

#13 Re: Commuting/Routes » Routes from Austin for road bike » 2019-02-13 12:25:03

You can legally pretty much ride a bike almost anywhere in Austin -- the only exceptions that I'm aware of are the toll roads and parts of Mopac (and for the parts of Mopac, while there's some signs that say "no bikes" there's no longer an ordinance behind them, so they probably couldn't cite you for it anyways.  That said, you'd never want to ride on those sections anyways.)

That said, riding the countryside is as safe here as it is anywhere.

Don't trust your gps too much -- they'll find you a route, but they will sometimes do stupid things or try to take you on paths that are NOT bicycle friendly.  Even Google Maps screws this up pretty often.

#14 Rides and Events » Memorial Ride for Anthony John Diaz 2019-02-13 » 2019-02-12 14:48:50

dougmc
Replies: 0

What happened (if you missed it).

Facebook event

Feb 13th, wheels down at 4:30 PM, 412 Comal Street, Plaza Saltillo

First and foremost, this is a silent ride. Please keep talking to a minimum and please no music.

Our plan is to start at Plaza Saltillo at 4:30 (sharp - don't be late) and slowly make our way to the crash site arriving at 5pm. At the crash site, we would like to say a few kind words and remind everyone that cycling is a valid form of transportation and that cyclists are vulnerable road users. We do not want to be angry or hostile. The point is to show solidarity and let others know that crashes like this are unacceptable.

The ride will continue and end at the Cap Metro facilities on E. 5th street. Once we arrive we would like to say some words about how safety should be the most important issue to bus drivers, rather than speeding down a street to make a green light, or stay on schedule.

#15 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Lots of recent car-on-pedestrian collisions (March 2016) » 2019-02-09 14:03:25

Of course, I haven't read the actual report myself, but "assuming [the driver's] account is generally accurate" actually sounds pretty fair to me -- it's explicitly stating that the officer does not trust the account but is doing it in the most polite way possible.  And the police report is a public document, and so the police officers can't always be as frank as they'd like to be.

It sounds like there's a lot to be concerned about in the report, though those specific words probably shouldn't be part of it.

#16 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19 » 2019-02-01 13:03:31

Plans are forming to put up a ghost bike, however, there's allegedly some trouble with UT who says they will remove any abandoned bikes.

There's some discussion happening on the Social Cycling Austin Facebook page though a lot of this is second-hand information.

Either way, I suspect that a ghost bike will go up soon, with or without UT's approval.

#18 Justice Issues / Collisions » Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19 » 2019-01-29 12:02:25

dougmc
Replies: 15

Speaking of sharing the road with busses ...

Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus

The only details they've given us so far on who the victim was is "Officials said the cyclist was not affiliated with UT".

#19 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/ » 2019-01-15 19:22:48

Basically, they're replacing an existing bike lane with a bus lane that bikes can use too.

Now, you might quibble about that last part, but this sign on Guadalupe --
this sign
... makes sure that we know who's the boss here.

I'm not really sure what this sign is supposed to mean or what its purpose is (or, to be more precise: in exactly which scenarios is a bicycle expected to yield to a bus when it wouldn't without this sign?  The city ordinances certainly provide no insight.) but if there's ever a collision between a bus and a bicycle, I can guarantee that this sign will be pointed at as the pointer uses it as evidence that the cyclist was at fault, no matter what the circumstances were.

#20 Re: Other » Who wants BicycleAustin.info? » 2018-10-07 00:29:20

I'd be happy to keep the site going if you were out of the picture (though I hope you're in the picture for many more decades!)

I don't know that I'd do too much with it beyond keeping the site running pretty much as-is, however.

#21 Rides and Events » 36th Annual Moonlight Cruze Bike Ride Sat night, 9/22 / 9/23, 2AM » 2018-09-15 23:03:28

dougmc
Replies: 0

It's that time of year again, and the ride you've been waiting for is coming ... the 36th Annual Full Moon Cruze bike ride!

This year, the ride will happen on Saturday night/Sunday morning, September 22/23rd, 2018. Assemble at about 1:30 am at the James D. Pfluger Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge and we'll ride out at about 2:15 am to 2:30 am.

(DO NOT BE CONFUSED BY THE DATE! This ride happens on Saturday night/Sunday morning, the night of the 22nd and/or the morning of the 23rd! Set an alarm so you don't forget!)

If you only make one bicycle ride a year -- this is the one to make!

Here's a bookface event if you're into such things.

flyer.jpg

#22 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Google's driverless cars have special considerations for bicyclists » 2018-08-11 00:44:01

What Michael said -- that's a great video!

(Well, I wasn't a fan of the greenscreen-ed "I'm in a car" aspect of it, but the data relayed was indeed top notch!)

#23 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » dougmc hit by a motorist » 2018-07-09 19:11:20

I don't want to give up riding, though I'm not sure what I'll be thinking in five months.  Up until that day, I was riding more than I have since I was a kid ... and I was loving it.

But now, even being in a car makes me nervous now in ways that I haven't been since I first got my license and that's when I am surrounded by two tons of steel ... I wonder how that will be five months from now if/when I try to ride again?  I guess we shall see.

But I am slowly improving, and yeah ... my crash came very close to having been so much worse.

#24 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » dougmc hit by a motorist » 2018-06-10 18:13:01

Unfortunately, this is true.

It’s probably unwise to go into details but the driver did stop and I am being well taken care of and the doctors are happy with my progress and say I should have a good recovery.

#25 Re: Other » Teacher disallows bike/car-free option in "plan your future" assignmnt » 2018-03-25 18:54:45

These projects are supposed to set the kids up to fail, so of course they disallow the things that might allow it to work.  Instead, the kid is supposed to think "wow, I'd better go to college ... or else!"

Getting a roommate also can save a lot of money, and having a kid can ruin even the best budget.

And personally, when I was starting out, my insurance payments were higher than my car payment, and repair costs were high because I had an old car.

As it stands, my daughter is 16 and I was looking to see how much it would cost to add her to our insurance policy, and it added like $2500/year to our insurance costs -- that is indeed the payment on a used car.  (A better one than I had!)  (She doesn't have her license yet, and this cost is a large part of it.)

And come to think of it, the last time I got a flat tire while out on the road somewhere ... I was in my wife's car.  I do love my Gatorskins!

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