Saturday, March 09, 2019

Cycling is dangerous: Don't do it!

Photo: Ellie Doyen

From the SF Examiner:

A woman was struck and killed in a traffic collision while bicycling at Sixth and Howard streets Friday morning at about 8:15 a.m.

The San Francisco Police department said the woman, who has been identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office as 30-year-old Tess Rothstein, of Berkeley, was riding a rented Ford GoBike ebike when she was struck by a white commercial truck.

Binod Singh, who was walking nearby when the incident occurred, told the San Francisco Examiner he saw the woman bicycling down Howard when the driver-side door of a parked car opened near her. She swerved to dodge the door, placing her directly in the path of a large white truck, which ran over the woman and crushed her...

See also Riding a bike can never be safe.

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At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course the bike nuts are politicizing this random occurance that has nothing to do with our street layout and everything to do with one bike nut's poor judgement.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, that woman didn't deserve to die. She somehow internalized the notion fostered by City Hall, the Bicycle Coalition, and assholes like you that riding a bike was politically the right thing to do and that she could do it safely.

Your heavy-handed attempt at humor/irony is contemptible, which is why I routinely delete your comments to this blog. I only posted this one because it raises the issue I've been writing about for years on this blog.

Your comments are also cowardly, since they are made anonymously and avoid discussing the real issue: riding a bike has intrinsic dangers that can't be eliminated by Vision Zero or other fantasies about traffic safety. Can I look forward to your reasoned response to this comment?

The idea that the city can somehow make cycling safe by implementing "improvements" to our streets is an irresponsible delusion. City Hall even encourages city parents to put their children on bikes!

One illusion it fosters is that motor vehicles are the main problem for cyclists, when even bike experts remind us that "solo falls," which can be just as harmful, are the most common type of cycling accident.

It's also contemptible that the city's media has practiced a Stalinoid blackout on that UC study several years ago that tried to inform us about that reality.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Here's a functional link to "solo falls" in the above.

At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very sorry, at this point all we can say i RIP. I bike on weekends and always give myself "two ways out" ....unfortunately she did not.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You should find something else to do on weekends. Sooner or later you're going to go down.

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Five pedestrians have also been killed in SF this year. Where's your "Walking is dangerous" and call for people to stop walking?

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The notion that government is obligated to somehow make our lives safe is mostly a liberal/progressive delusion. Clearly there are a lot of things government can do: mandate seat belts and air bags in cars and enforcing laws on drunk/distracted driving. And, yes, street design can help us stay safe (though after every cycling fatality, City Hall reaches for "improvements" to city streets as a response, which mostly makes driving in the city more difficult without improving safety). Gun control is a good idea that a strictly enforced laws might make us all safer.

But my point about cycling is that it's intrinsically unsafe, that if you do it regularly sooner or later you are going to get seriously hurt. And most of those serious accidents have nothing to do with being hit by cars or trucks, as that widely ignored UC study told us years go. They are solo falls, or "cyclist-only" accidents, as the study calls them.

Same thing with pedestrian safety. Unlike riding a bike, of course we can't stop walking, which is an essential human activity. But pedestrians will always get injured and/or killed because of our human tendency to sometimes behave recklessly/negligently. Distracted/impaired motorists are a permanent hazard to all of us when we walk, and all the ingenious redesign of city streets won't get us to Vision Zero by 2024---or 2124, for that matter, since sometimes a motorist will be impaired, in too much of a hurry, or distracted and hit a pedestrian.

There's also obviously such a thing as distracted/negligent walking, including jaywalking and alcohol/drug impairment and being distracted by electronic devices.


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