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#1 2017-10-18 01:56:45

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,032
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Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/new … last-week/

It's been a while since I mentioned this, but back when I used to track car-bike collisions, I found that a full 50% were hit & runs.  It's scary to look out to a sea of cars and realize that half of those drivers, if they hit me, are quite willing to leave me for dead.  Recall from another thread that there are about 12,000 hit-and-runs in the Austin area each year, and over 500 of those are ones where someone was hurt (i.e, Failure to Stop & Render Aid).

It seems that a huge percentage of our fellow citizens are quite content to cause a crash and blow off all responsibility for it.  How does one keep from becoming a misanthrope in the face of such reality?

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#2 2017-10-18 19:07:21

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 142

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

MichaelBluejay wrote:

How does one keep from becoming a misanthrope in the face of such reality?

Good question.  I struggle with that too.  I would say go for a bike ride to get your mind off things, but....

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#3 2017-10-18 20:48:24

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

LOL.  I'm reminded how one of the supposed benefits of bike commuting is that you arrive at work feeling happy and refreshed.  That certainly wasn't my experience.  I'd frequently arrive at work enraged about someone cavalierly nearly killing me, or yelling at me for some imagined serious infraction.  Now that I'm driving I don't get nearly so angry, because even though other drivers are breaking laws, constantly, they're typically not non-chalantly threatening my life, and they're not yelling at me.

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#4 2017-10-19 12:41:54

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 204

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

Wow.  Your experience and mine seem to differ greatly, here in the same city.  Sometimes a driver does something poorly (intentionally or not) in my vicinity and sometimes a knuckle-dragger yells something at me, and sometimes a "coal roller" will do his "thing," but the vast vast majority of rides to and from work, or to and from whatever errand, or out and about for exercise/recreation, whether alone or in a group, go without any sort of aggravation at all.  Sometimes drivers even show a ridiculous level of caring courtesy.*








*not that I'd be sure a driver would stick around were an accident to happen.  http://cyclingsavvy.org/2017/10/stories-from-the-road/

Last edited by Jack (2017-10-19 16:11:07)

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#5 2017-10-19 17:26:32

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 142

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

Nothing too bad actually happens on most of my rides.  But, on most rides I see situations that could very easily have ended tragically.  All it takes a second of inattention on the part of a driver flying by me at 45 mph and I'm done.  When I see one come flying up at me from behind, as I did this morning, I get a little concerned.  I was doing everything right.  I was taking the lane on a multi lane road.   I was wearing a reflective vest and had three very bright red tail lights and two white front lights. I was monitoring the situation using my mirror and looking for an escape route.  Finally, at about a second before I was going to hit the ditch the idiot swerved and went into the other northbound lane. Maybe he was on his phone, or maybe he was being a dick.  Or, maybe he was just driving and passing me as he would pass a car.  A lot of them have no idea how to act around pedestrians or cyclists.

I guess it's subjective.  Just a matter of how much stress different people are comfortable with.  As for me, my nerves are getting pretty shot riding to Round Rock and back every day.  I can't keep doing it until I can retire.  More power to anyone who can deal with it better than I can!

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#6 2017-10-19 19:11:07

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
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Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

RedFalcon, that sounds exceptionally stressful.  I forgot that part:  That even when drivers aren't doing things that are stupid/dangerous, just the act of being on the road, fraught with all the attendant risks, and the constant need to monitor them, is stressful enough.

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#7 2017-10-20 10:33:39

flatau
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Registered: 2013-03-03
Posts: 10

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

I have to agree with Jack.  Most of my commute rides are fairly uneventful.  I can't recall the last time I was yelled at while commuting (or otherwise riding).  My ride to work now -- southbound along the new bike path, really a wide sidewalk along Mopac to the new ped/bike bridge -- is a bit stressful as I am going against traffic.  There are a number of driveways and a few streets and drivers are not looking my direction usually.  In my mind, this is much more a function of poor infrastructure than mad drivers.  It is far less stressful coming home when I take the road anyway (also it is mostly downhill on the way home :-).  My most common compliant about drivers is when I come to a 4-way stop and they were clearly there first and then wave me through.  If they had just gone through as they should have, it would have been better for both of us.

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#8 2017-10-20 11:40:20

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 204

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

Ha.  That's one example of what I meant by a ridiculous level of caring courtesy, flatau.  I feel your pain. 
The occasions I drive the car for the commute tend to stress me more.

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#9 2017-10-21 15:19:29

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 515

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

I know we've discussed inappropriate advertising a lot on this forum, but if you view this article on KXAN's site it's worse than normal ...

agh3FXu.jpg

(Tom Wald found this gem.)

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#10 2017-10-21 16:45:00

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,032
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Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

Truly, we live in a post-ironic world.  Things are just so crazy that you can't make fun of the extreme any more.  Extreme is the new normal.

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#11 2017-10-22 08:15:02

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 174

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

Jack wrote:

Wow.  Your experience and mine seem to differ greatly, here in the same city.  Sometimes a driver does something poorly (intentionally or not) in my vicinity and sometimes a knuckle-dragger yells something at me, and sometimes a "coal roller" will do his "thing," but the vast vast majority of rides to and from work, or to and from whatever errand, or out and about for exercise/recreation, whether alone or in a group, go without any sort of aggravation at all.  Sometimes drivers even show a ridiculous level of caring courtesy.*








*not that I'd be sure a driver would stick around were an accident to happen.  http://cyclingsavvy.org/2017/10/stories-from-the-road/

  Jack, that has been my experience also.  It has been quite a while since a motorist has been intentionally rude to me.  My biggest issue is when the motorist clearly has the right-of-way but does not just take and then we can move on.

Don

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#12 2017-10-24 09:03:05

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 142

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

Not much time between meetings today.

1. I see that Charles Maund Toyota took my comments to heart.
2. Yeah, the 'motorist clearly having the right of way but trying to let me go first' is a real problem. It happened again to me this morning.  I'm sure that the drivers probably mean well (and I am trying, I really am, to remember that), but it makes things much more dangerous.   It disrupts the flow of traffic where we need things to flow according to a set of rules that everyone abides by.  Also, the cars entering the intersection from the sides are now not clear on the order.  From their point of view, they are likely to see  'yet another cyclist running a stop sign, or going out of turn.'  We don't need that.
3.  There are places where I no longer signal my turns.  I have had oncoming drivers come to a full stop to let me turn left in front of them, even though I was waiting to take my left turn passing behind them.  This really makes a mess of things and puts me in danger from the car coming from behind. I had carefully gauged my movement across the lanes to 'slip between the cars' at safe distances.   Now, all that is thrown off.  I'm stuck playing 'oh, no, you first' with a 5000lb truck while another one is fast approaching from behind.   AND, cars are now stacking up behind the 'nice driver' who thought he was doing me a favor by letting me go first.  Will one of them swerve around to pass and hit me if I go?   Good chance of that happening, and if it does it could be said I cut in front of that car and was in the wrong.  By not signalling at these specific spots (which I hate to not do) has actually worked out better.

No, I do not want drivers to be 'courteous'. Honestly, I think I am annoyed most because I think it comes from a sort of 'noblesse oblige'.   Many drivers don't think we even belong on the road, but will 'tolerate' us.  In my view, this sets up a bad dynamic, not just in the immediate situation, but long term.

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#13 2017-10-25 09:08:01

daveintex13
Member
Registered: 2010-01-07
Posts: 18

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

Red:

You read my mind! That's been exactly my experience regarding drivers waving me through intersections out of turn. I hate it and often refuse to go. I look away and ignore them until they go. Just like you, I also sometimes don't signal a left turn when a motor vehicle is approaching and for the exact same reason: I don't want to be put in danger by them stopping (where there is no traffic control device) in order to "let" me turn. No thanks. Please, mister or miss driver, just follow the patterns we're all expecting. It's safer for everyone that way.

Several months ago, I was waiting my turn at a stop sign to turn left (north) from Prairie Dell onto Northcrest and a southbound driver stopped mid-block to wave me through, across her path. There's no stop sign on Northcrest in either direction. I refused to go. She continued to wave me to go. I continued to refuse. Finally, a motor vehicle behind her that could not see me or what was going on and which I could not see, either, sped around her. I could have been crushed if I had gone out of turn. The original driver then rolled down her window and cursed at me as she too passed me just minding my own business and waiting my turn. Too bad, lady! Thanks, but *I* will be the one who decides what dangerous situations I put myself into, not you! So yes, Red, it's very likely another driver will try to pass the stopped motor vehicle and put you in a very bad situation. Don't do it!

The safest thing for everyone on the road, car, bike, or ped, is to be predictable. Courtesy is nice but predictability is crucial. I no longer blow through stop signs or red lights and I encourage all people on bikes to at least stop if they intend to continue through out of turn. I use hand gestures (nice ones, never the one finger salute) to let others know my plans. I do a lot of gesturing: your turn, now your turn, now my turn, thanks, feel free to turn right either in front of me or behind me when I'm stopped at a light and you're signaling your intent to turn (that's why I left so much room; if you don't signal, tough luck for you, I think you're going straight), etc. I have almost zero problems with drivers but I'm mostly pedaling in the city, not suburbia.

~davew~

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#14 2017-10-25 12:55:28

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,032
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Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

All these stories ring a bell.  Once a driver tried to let me go first when she should have gone, and with high-speed traffic about to pile up behind me, I furiously waved her on to go first, hoping she'd go before I got hit from behind.  As she went by she flipped me off.

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#15 2017-10-25 23:07:08

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 142

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

I am going to try a new tactic.  The next time this happens, I will first vigorously wave the driver on his way, then quickly look down at my front tire and grab it as if to check for a flat.  I will attempt to keep an eye on traffic while appearing to be distracted by a mechanical issue in the hopes that the driver will just go ahead and move through the intersection.  This may be more complicated if there are other drivers also approaching the intersection, but I will experiment to see what might be done. 

I wish the over abundance of 'courtesy' had been around when my chain snapped while I was crossing 1325 and cr172 in rush hour traffic. Could have used it then!  Oh well, I'm still alive.

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#16 2017-10-26 19:25:23

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 174

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

RedFalcon wrote:

I am going to try a new tactic.  The next time this happens, I will first vigorously wave the driver on his way, then quickly look down at my front tire and grab it as if to check for a flat.  I will attempt to keep an eye on traffic while appearing to be distracted by a mechanical issue in the hopes that the driver will just go ahead and move through the intersection.  This may be more complicated if there are other drivers also approaching the intersection, but I will experiment to see what might be done. 

I wish the over abundance of 'courtesy' had been around when my chain snapped while I was crossing 1325 and cr172 in rush hour traffic. Could have used it then!  Oh well, I'm still alive.


Pull out your water bottle and have a swig or two.

Don

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#17 2017-10-27 18:17:25

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 142

Re: Hit & run speeding driver kills 77 year-old ped on Parkfield 10/10/17

Donald Lewis wrote:

Pull out your water bottle and have a swig or two.

Don

OR, something stiffer....now that I know who the best DWI lawyer is.

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