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Thanks for this. What a sickening story. Amazing how we treat people who run other people down and kill them.

Okay, now it's time for that civil liability, since the criminal case amounts to Cortand Milloy's despicable suggestion of "just hit them and pay the fine". I suggest:

1. Any cyclists out there who are attorneys willing to do pro bono work for this family in a civil suit?

2. Any cyclists willing to contribute for a legal team to pursue this killer? I will.

3. How about starting a standing fund for legal representation in similar cases, because you know this will happen again.

Seriously, how long does this need to go on before there is some accountability? Drivers kill cyclists and nothing happens, except the cyclists are vilified.

Time for some meaningful response.

If the trees are causing a strobe light effect, it seems to me that speeds here should be radically lowered.

Or if they are causing that effect only at certain times of day, then drivers should lower their speeds accordingly. The appropriate speed depends on conditions - just as you wouldnt drive at the speed limit in fog or torrential rain or on snow/ice, to do so when light conditions are like that is reckless.

Note - a rider killed FROM BEHIND (not at an intersection) by a clueless "didn't see em" (despite hi viz clothing) and behind her, another driver on his cellphone.

This is why so many of us want segregated infra on roads with speed limits above 25MPH, and are not persuaded by VC arguments that its not needed or less safe. I can see an intersection, and decide how to handle it (which at the worst intersections can include dismounting and crossing as a ped). Not much I can do about the killers from behind. And even if they are fewer, they arouse greater fear and make my ride less pleasant.

I can't imagine they'll have any trouble finding a lawyer willing to do this on contingency. They're probably lining up.

I think the VC supporters long ago lost the argument, but that could swing back at some point I suppose.

Might just be my limited experience with bicycle-specific infrastructure, but what I've seen is better suited to transportation and casual recreation than athletic training, which is what Ms. Cunningham was presumably doing.

Not that it matters, but wasn't she on her way home from work?

Ah. …and of course it doesn't matter.

VC support has died over the last year as people have realized just how inattentive and distracted many drivers are. And nearly as many are aggressive. And of course the deadliest are both.

Even when I'm driving a car (thankfully not often) I have to constantly worry about what idiotic thing somebody might do next. Driving is no fun.

What is "VC"?

Sorry, its vehicular cycling.


I'll add that I agree with most of Forester's ideas about riding in the road, but we differ on the subject of segregated facilities.

Note, I too distinguish between VC's good tips on how to ride when one rides in the road, and the general disdain for segregated infra.

As a style of riding, I'm mostly VC, but I do think dedicated bike infrastructure where possible is a fine idea. I don't think that this particular road, or a great many similar roads, are very good candidates for it, though.

I'm not pushing for cycle tracks in the country side. It's just one piece of data for me in making my own route choice decisions in different places. I would probably avoid riding on roads like that altogether, if I had any choice at all.

I used to think the idea of self-driving cars was kinda nutty, but I now think they're our only hope. We can't fix the infrastructure in spots like this, all we can do is find a way to make the cars less likely to hit us. (And eliminating the drivers seems to be the only way that will happen.) On the positive side, I now suspect that it will be legally or practically impossible to manually drive a car on public roads within my lifetime without some sort of special permitting. So maybe my grandkids won't have to worry about being squashed by some inattentive a-hole.

I don't think they're aour only hope, driving and biking have been getting safer for some time now without robot cars. But they have massive potential to improve safety even further. I remain skeptical as to how soon we'll have them (before jetpacks?) but hopeful for them anyway.

Yeah, pedestrian/bike safety improved for a while. But we already got the low-hanging fruit of cars with spikes on the front, etc. Now we're down to safety problems that basically have to do with the fact that drivers don't pay any attention on the road. The drivers themselves have no incentive to drive more safely because car interiors have become enormously more safe in proportion to car exteriors--the driver has an extremely low chance of actually dying as the result of their bad driving. That leaves social pressure and law, and we seem to have no desire or ability to actually penalize bad driving (e.g., by taking away drivers' licenses if they are bad drivers). Every single person driving badly is convinced that they're special and that their inattention can't possibly be a bad thing. Someone with the same nick as a contributor to this site was arguing just today on GGW that their own habit of driving while eating couldn't possibly be a risk to other road users and it's ok because everybody does it. If we can't get people to put down their phones, stop fiddling with the radio, not eat, not shave/style hair/apply makeup, etc., the only hope I see for ensuring that the car is under the control of something actually looking at the road is to take humans out of the driver's seat. At this point my greatest fear on the bike is being smashed by someone who doesn't even notice because they're looking at their phone--and there is absolutely nothing I can do about that on my end.

All of those things are true, and yet bike fatalities per cyclist keep going down. That alone is reason to be hopeful that the trend will continue.

In a perfect world, the civil suit would be settled with a deal in which the family receives a fixed amount, part of which the driver can have reduced by appearing at public service events focussing on distracted driving (I doubt there are any focussing on bad passing) and telling her story. With a floor set at the maximum insured amount.

" bike fatalities per cyclist keep going down"

we don't know what share of bike miles are on off road seg infra (trails and MUPs) how much in on road seg infra (cycle tracks and bike lanes, which differ in how seperated they are from distracted drivers) how much in general lanes on lightly traveled and/or slow streets, and how much in general lanes on heavily traveled fast roads. While I suspect there are many reasons for improving safety, a change in route mix cannot be ruled out, AFAIK.

True, but those changes in route mix, if that is the reason, are made possibly by changes in infrastructure (usually). So, there is hope in that as well as in crashless cars.

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