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When the cyclist was struck and killed over the summer near Dupont Circle, there was an unprecedented amount of attention paid to it. It will be interesting to see how much attention this incident gets. Thanks for getting the word out, Mr. Washcycle.

When the cyclist was struck and killed over the summer near Dupont Circle, there was an unprecedented amount of attention paid to it. It will be interesting to see how much attention this incident gets. Thanks for getting the word out, Mr. Washcycle.

For whatever reason that accident appealed to the local zeitgeist. Was it because it was in DuPont during the morning rush hour? A young, white woman? Because there were so many stories about gasoline prices and biking? A combination of some/all of those? It's hard to say. I don't think every story will rise to that level of attention though. What blows up big and what doesn't isn't always logical.

Not that it's an excuse by any means, but I think it needs to be pointed out that, according to the WJLA report, he was wearing all black and riding at midnight on a major traffic artery:

"He was wearing a black leather jacket, black sweat pants and black
shoes and carrying a small black back pack. The bicycle was a black
mountain bike."

There is no mention of a helmet or lights.

Again, this may help explain why the driver had a hard time seeing him, but it's certainly no excuse for driving away after the incident.

My guess: It's because her name wasn't Latino-sounding and because WABA drew a hell of a lot of attention to the case (mutually exclusive points).

Riding all black, etc., is not an excuse for driving away, for sure. It's also not an excuse for striking the victim either. I mean, cars do actually come equiped with headlights.

Is not being visible enough a bad idea? Yes, but so is being on your bike in a heavy truck's blind spot.

The body was found after midnight. So, I'm assuming since most drivers won't drive pass a body laying in the road that this accident occurred very late at night. So, there won't be the same sympathy that Ms Swanson got. There may even be some blaming the victim.

The safe routes between Tyson's and Falls Church are very limited. I don't think the bridge where he was hit even had a side walk.

WABA can lead the charge to show all cyclists are important and highlight a very bike/pedestrian hostile situation by placing a ghost bike on the spot and demanding VDOT address these dangerous roads.

Does anyone know whether WABA has a program to reach out to the large number of Latino cyclists in the DC area, many of whom don't wear helmets and are not well versed in the principles of defensive cycling? I know that I'm generalizing (and I have no specific knowledge of this incident and no intention of perpetuating any stereotypes), but targeted outreach might save some lives.

DDOT and WABA have targeted their "got lights" program toward the Latino Community. Though it seems to be a secret. The link above is to my post where I copied Dr. Gridlock. But he's changed the text to his here.

I think it's clear that more outreach is needed. I'd love to see some of the education money used for Spanish and English language radio adds. If lack of lights truly is a contributing factor in half of all cyclist deaths - then it should be our top education concern. I wouldn't mind giving bike lights to police officers to hand out. Or targeted enforcement - with tickets dismissible/reduced if you show you got and attach a light.

Still, none of this excuses leaving the scene or even hitting the cyclist, but one has a duty to reduce their risk as well.

I got my cycling team involved in an outreach in NoVA last fall where we distributed somewhere around 250-300 free blinky lights through a Latino advocacy organization. A drop in the bucket, maybe, but it was very rewarding.

My take on it is a little more wholistic. Distribute blinky lights so drivers cannot so much use the excuse "I didn't see them." Frankly, however, I think there's a larger context here for which I think there's a little cognitive dissonance regarding the coverage and general societal attitude on this issue: Put simply, and not knowing anything about this particular cyclist, we are talking about a demographic of fellow cyclists who have been significantly de-humanized and rendered into scapegoats for all sorts of societal problems. Should it all be surprising, in that context, that not much attention is paid to the fact that Latino cyclists and pedestrians are struck and killed in the Metro area on an extremely frequent basis?

Chris, I don't disagree with your point that certain demographic groups are marginalized by the media. Certainly there are a lot more big stories about dead/missing white girla/women than there are other groups.

But there was very little coverage of Ian Wolfe's death earlier this year or Yoram Kauffman's death a few years ago. I never even got the name of the cyclist killed in September 2007, as well as others killed in Burke, Annandale, Laural etc... Go through the fatalities section and you'll see.

In general, "cyclist killed", just isn't a story the MSM cares about. The Alice Swanson coverage is the outlier, not the Jesus Villanueva coverage.

That's an entirely valid point - I guess the Swanson case was just so fresh in my mind.

I agree that hit-and-run is *always* indefensible. And I tend to agree with Chris (1st time?) that Latino cyclists (and pedestrians) constitute a specific, vulnerable demographic and that Latino victims receive very little coverage in the press.

It's good to hear that WABA is addressing the question.

Oh, man, where's the love? And here I am agreeing with you, guez, on that whole Inuagural thing....


99.9% chance the driver was drunk. Otherwise they would've stopped.

this horrible incident points out the desperate need for dedicated & physically separated bike ways that allow bicyclists the option of not having to cycle in the roads with traffic. No matter what this fellow was wearing, he should have had a safe place to bike.

This particular bit of roadway is extreemly dangerous to both cyclists and pedestrians, even in the middle of the day. There is no shoulder to speak of or sidewalk either.

What bothers me is pedestrians get whacked in NOVA by cars all the time but it is never reported. The cause is almost always unsafe design.

VDOT needs to raise its hand and take blame for contributing to this and other tragedies. We don't need to build roads so people can go faster, we need to have roads that contribute to safety.

some cyclists are confident enough to cycle in the roads with cars- thats fine by me. But for these same cyclists to come out and say that ALL cyclists should do as they do is downright facistic and basically keeps most people who are not into this kind of risk taking from cycling. cycling should be for everyone- and the best way to encourage people to dump their cars and use bikes everyday is to provide physically separated and dedicated bikeways that are NOT in the roads with the cars. This is done in most cycling countries and they also have the LOWEST accident and cycing death stats- and MOST of the cyclists do not wear helmets or fancy gear. If Holland , Germany, China and Denmark can do this- we can too.

I knew him, he was the dishwasher at T.G.I. Friday's in Tyson's Corner. He was such a nice guy and always had a good sense of humor.

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