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#1 2014-05-18 17:13:35

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 192

John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

I'm on the email list for the Hill Country Randonneurs, and learned that an Austin cyclist named John Fusselman [67] was killed yesterday while out cycling.   

http://kxan.com/2014/05/18/friends-reme … -in-crash/


More details here:

http://www.kvue.com/home/Cyclist-critic … 85971.html

It sounds like the old ' I didn't see the cyclist' routine.

While I was trying to find out more info, yesterday, it seemed like there was a story about ANOTHER cyclist also being hit.  The addresses of the collisions were not the same, but many of the details were similar. Now I can't find that story. Does anyone know if there was more than one fatal crash yesterday?

What is the breaking point?  Everyday I look at the news for stories about traffic collisions.  And very often I read about another senseless death.  If there was a sniper out there killing this many people a month in Travis County, the place would be on lock down.  SWAT teams would be scouring the neighborhoods looking for the killer. 
If people died from food poisoning at the rate we die from cars, there would be investigations, lawsuits, maybe even improved standards.

Its like no one even notices.  Its all just accepted as the way it is.  This is just sick.   What the hell is wrong with us?

j

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#2 2014-05-18 20:44:30

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
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Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

I know what you mean.  We just blithely accept traffic deaths, especially cyclists.  It's sad.  Maybe this comment posted on the article about this cyclist's death gives a clue about why it's hard to make any progress on this front:

commenter wrote:

get it together cyclists. i didn't know this person and i have no knowledge of the circumstances of his death but know i have nearly hit two folks in the last several weeks because they ride on sidewalks, ride against the flow of traffic, ignore stop signs and red lights, and ride in pedestrian crosswalks. a few years ago i nearly pulled out in front of one while exiting a parking lot. he was on the sidewalk at a blind intersection. i would probably been blamed!

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#3 2014-05-18 21:07:31

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 192

Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

Aaaagh, that makes my blood boil.  I'm so sick of hearing that crap.  I live up in the suburban wasteland north of 183.   I have been bike commuting to work everyday for 8 years.   I keep track, and on any given commute I will count more incidents of bad motorist behaviour than will count cyclists in an entire month.  On bike to work day, I only counted two other cycle commuters.   If I even see another commuter in the distance it makes for dinner time conversation that night.

I do get the frustration of drivers, though.  I guess there are two kinds of people on the road, and its not cyclists v motorists, ... it's people who know how to use the roads and people who don't.

When my kids got their driving licenses it was a joke.  I actually made them learn how to drive, but all they really needed to do was pass a 20 question multiple-guess test with a score of 75%.  No scary DPS officer on a road test, just the 20 questions.   It may be different now, I don't know.

There needs to be a major overhaul of how people are educated on how to use the roads.  What we have now does not work, and it is killing us.

j

Last edited by RedFalcon (2014-05-18 21:10:29)

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#4 2014-05-18 21:49:23

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
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Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

In the U.S. they practically give out driver licenses like candy.  In Japan, the test is hard and so almost everyone goes to a driving school to learn to drive and pass the test, paying around $3000 to the school.  The pass rate is 90-100%, while Americans who think they can pass the Japanese test because they already know how to drive have a pass rate of only about 35%.

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#5 2014-05-18 22:20:58

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 192

Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

And here's a place where technology could be useful, I think.   What if we had a driving test that involved, among many other things, a driving simulation test.   I'm thinking kind of like a flight simulator - except for vehicles.   In my dream world kids would be required to learn bicycle/traffic safety in elementary school.  Later, if they want a license to operate a motor vehicle, they would have to also show mastery/competence of various vehicle types on the simulator.

So, if someone wants to get a commercial truck driving license, that person would have to show mastery, on the simulator, of the vehicle types below (not the right word - but bear with me) a truck.   That person would have to show mastery of the rules of the road, using the simulator, of pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and trucks.   

A person just wanting a car driving license would have to show mastery of the pedestrian, cycling, and car simulator, but just competence of the truck/bus level.   In this way, everyone using the roads would at least have shown that they know what the other road users are going through.

I'm not sure this is coming out like I envision it in my head.   But my point is that lots of car drivers never even ride a bike and don't really know what it is like.   I see it every day.  I'm riding along at a pretty good clip and I can sense that the drivers around me are expecting me be going much slower.  They don't react appropriately to me because they don't have any sense of what a cyclist is all about.   

I just wonder if computer simulations could be useful in helping drivers understand what other road users are dealing with.   I think everyone should know what it is like to drive an 18 wheeler, if not in reality, what about in simulation.   If more people had a sense of what it was like to maneuver one of those rigs maybe people would be less likely to get in the blind spot of one of them.   Similar things for cyclists.

I just remember when I first got a computer, and I found a flight simulator for F18s.   I spent a long time just trying to get the thing off the ground and back again.  What if we apply this technology to the roads?

j

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#6 2014-05-19 05:31:09

Donald Lewis
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Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 181

Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

RedFalcon wrote:

It sounds like the old ' I didn't see the cyclist' routine.

Probably didn't.  Of course that is an explanation but not an excuse.  Going too fast for conditions, dirty windshield, or sometimes you need to hold up a hand to block glare from the sun.

Don in Austin

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#7 2014-05-19 05:34:10

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 181

Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

MichaelBluejay wrote:

I know what you mean.  We just blithely accept traffic deaths, especially cyclists.  It's sad.  Maybe this comment posted on the article about this cyclist's death gives a clue about why it's hard to make any progress on this front:

commenter wrote:

get it together cyclists. i didn't know this person and i have no knowledge of the circumstances of his death but know i have nearly hit two folks in the last several weeks because they ride on sidewalks, ride against the flow of traffic, ignore stop signs and red lights, and ride in pedestrian crosswalks. a few years ago i nearly pulled out in front of one while exiting a parking lot. he was on the sidewalk at a blind intersection. i would probably been blamed!

What "Commenter" has to say is so egregiously bad it probably advances the cause of being kind to cyclists.  Very reasonable well phrased response to his rant.

Don in Austin

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#8 2014-05-19 06:26:29

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
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Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

RedFalcon wrote:

I keep track, and on any given commute I will count more incidents of bad motorist behaviour than will count cyclists in an entire month.  On bike to work day, I only counted two other cycle commuters.   If I even see another commuter in the distance it makes for dinner time conversation that night.

Bingo.  Drivers complaining about cyclists have no ability to consider things like number and degree.  They rant and rant about bad cyclists when the number of bad drivers dwarfs the number of bad bikers, and ignore the fact that bad drivers kill people while bad cyclists don't.

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#9 2014-05-19 08:35:10

savanni
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From: Austin
Registered: 2011-04-30
Posts: 82
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Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

Does anyone want to point out, in the KXAN comments, to Bryan Wheeler (currently at the end) that he doesn't actually know the traffic code?  Or is that just feeding the troll?

Update: scratch that.  Somebody else already did. Though without quoting chapter and verse.

Last edited by savanni (2014-05-19 09:14:59)

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#10 2014-05-19 10:51:39

rmonsees
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 39

Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

I rode this section of 2244 on Sunday without knowing what had happened the day before.  After hearing the story, I was wondering how this could happen, as the road has wide shoulders in that area.  I thought maybe he was in the turn lane or crossing into the traffic lanes for some reason.  Then I saw the still picture in the KXAN story with chalk on the road marked "AOI" - area of impact.  It was squarely in the middle of the road shoulder.  The driver was not merely blinded by the rising sun to an obstacle in the traffic lane, she was driving on the shoulder!

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#11 2014-05-19 16:33:03

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
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Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

Lots of people are piling on in the Comments section of that KXAN article to denounce the insensitive post I quoted.  That includes a typical very-well-worded comment by our own dougmc, though with a rare form of emotion.

KXAN has a pretty stupid follow-up article on this fatality that starts off with, "As the cycling community grows in Austin, it is important for cyclists to know the proper safety techniques when on two wheels."  As though the cyclist did anything wrong.

Blame the cyclist, no matter the circumstances.  Same old, same old.

http://kxan.com/2014/05/19/cyclist-safe … est-death/

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#12 2014-05-19 21:25:40

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 192

Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

MichaelBluejay wrote:

Lots of people are piling on in the Comments section of that KXAN article to denounce the insensitive post I quoted.  That includes a typical very-well-worded comment by our own dougmc, though with a rare form of emotion.

KXAN has a pretty stupid follow-up article on this fatality that starts off with, "As the cycling community grows in Austin, it is important for cyclists to know the proper safety techniques when on two wheels."  As though the cyclist did anything wrong.

Blame the cyclist, no matter the circumstances.  Same old, same old.

http://kxan.com/2014/05/19/cyclist-safe … est-death/

You gotta have a strong stomach to read the comments after a news article that has ANYTHING to do with cycling.  Anyone who can get through the comment section of a story like this, and still think humanity is worth a flip, must have already attained enlightenment.

Has anyone heard anything about the Ride of Silence?   The website has a contact for Austin, and I have emailed, but have heard nothing.  If nothing else is going on I may consider sponsoring a ride myself.  Short notice, but something ought to be done.  It would be in the Parmer/Mopac area, so you'd wanna bring heavy clothing, it gets cold this close to Canada. 

j

Last edited by RedFalcon (2014-05-19 21:26:56)

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#13 2014-05-19 22:15:24

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
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Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

It's at the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge at 6:30pm on May 21st.

http://www.bekindtocyclists.org/ros2014.html

Speaking of that, can I please get a volunteer to post Please Be Kind to Cyclists events to this forum?

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#14 2014-07-26 21:32:34

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
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Re: John Fusselman - Austin cyclist killed 5/17/14

KXAN:  "Friends remember Austin cyclist killed on ride"

http://kxan.com/2014/07/26/friends-reme … d-on-ride/

As usual, I didn't know about this one until after the  fact.

Would someone please volunteer to post Please Be Kind to Cyclists events here?

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