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What a lovely street infrastructure. The well-painted crosswalk sort of ironically highlights how impossible it must be to be a pedestrian in the area. Lovely bike lane too. Regardless of whether the truck driver was reckless or just negligent, this intersection is death by design.

I've ridden this area. To echo Greenbelt - yes it's death by design.

A branch office of hell.

So sorry for all involved

I'm not sure why this would be death by intersection design. Mr. Malizio was riding where an oncoming driver would've seen him best - in the travel lane, traveling in the proper direction. I don't recall there being anything particularly confusing about the intersection. And no dedicated bike facility type would've done any better at protecting Mr. Malizio at the shopping entrance. Anything separated from the roadway - a sidewalk, shared use path, or cycle track - would have put him where drivers are LESS likely to expect a vehicle, a design that increases risk at intersections (imagine a cyclist on the sidewalk, popping into the intersection suddenly). The one thing that riding on a separate path might have done is given the driver more time to react if for some reason his view was obstructed by oncoming cars waiting to turn left in front of him, and he turned blind (a driver error). Also, a cyclist on the sidewalk would possibly have been riding more slowly and warily, maybe even waiting for left turns to clear before even trying to cross the driveway. Sure, that might be safer, but that's a bit like saying it's safest to bike with no hands because then you'd be more careful. Riding on a shared use path might be safer midblock, but at that location I doubt it.

Note that a cyclist can go quite fast there due to the gentle down grade, but I can' see going more than the 30 mph speed limit.

Sorry, I meant to say "IF the driver was turning blind" not "AND he was turning blind". I don't see any evidence that he turned without a good view of oncoming traffic.

Other clarification: I meant to say "I can't see riding more than the 30 mph speed limit but it's possible if you push it".

I've seen police cite a deceased cyclist for "riding too fast for conditions". What conditions? Drivers not looking, apparently.

Looking at Google StreetView, I see two problems with this intersection: 1) The white lines two feet from the curb (which might tempt someone into thinking it's a viable bike lane), and 2) the dead space on the westbound side between the left turn lane and the through lanes (which presumably allow people to take that turn too fast). A better design would move the white line to the edge, paint sharrows in the lane and put a curb and an island in that dead space on the westbound side.

However, regardless of how poor the design may be, it cannot absolve the driver of responsibility to detect and yield to oncoming traffic. I suspect the real culprit, as is usually the case, was negligence.

The larger question is how to reduce the frequency of these incidents in the long run. I contend the most effective approach would be a legal one, i.e. to change laws and policies so that people are held more accountable for their negligence. The root of the problem is that motorists simply have insufficient incentive to pay full attention to their surroundings. We need a system that removes driving privileges for a substantial time whenever someone is deemed at fault in a SMIDSY case. Presently there are practically no consequences unless one is drunk or flees the scene. Until this changes, we'll continue to see oblivious drivers (distracted by cell phones, food, children, makeup, etc.) injuring and killing thousands of Americans annually.

What I find tolerable at the Quince Orchard Rd/Rt. 28 intersection, riding eastbound, is that the pocket bike lane (unlabeled, but that's the purpose of it) entering the intersection essentially widens into a RTO lane beyond the intersection. This means there are fewer drivers in that lane, they won't be there for long, and you're there first. I also ride pretty fast which helps. It makes me a little nervous to pass the traffic island just before Rt. 28. But I'm much more nervous a mile later where there are supposedly bike lanes but the state didn't make them wide enough and cars hit 50 mph.

WTOP places the crash in the McDonald's parking lot, but I think they're wrong.

Jack, I wasn't trying to shift blame from the driver -- running over someone in daylight is pretty clear negligence at best.

But the larger hellscape of that road is hard to ignore. It's a road designed for people to die on. It has no humanity at all. Why a rich state like Maryland builds roads like that, on purpose, is a great mystery to me. I don't know who likes them and whom they are intended to benefit, other than perhaps the funeral homes.

I think these big, commercial, thoroughfares in the outer suburbs are the most dangerous, and undoubtedly the scariest, places in the area to ride in. The reasons are numerous and reside in the design of the roads and the cognitive set of the drivers.

I agree that this tragedy was likely to due driver error and my heart goes out to the family and the larger group of riders from my neighborhood who regularly transverse this stretch of road and are grieving.

This area is a critical gap in the bike lane and shared use path network on Route 28. There are bike lanes before and after this one block stretch. There is a dedicated turn lane and pocket bike lanes in other areas nearby. There are simply too many driveways in this short stretch of road which is dangerous for all road users. As well, there are only two travel lanes before and after this section of road. There are many designs that would facilitate a better and safer set of intersections and driveway approaches than what is there. Some options would be to reduce the number of driveways (Wendy's doesn't have it's own drive through entrances), make the right lane turns only and move the bike lane out closer to the through travel lanes, place some green paint through the intersection where bicycles will cross, construct the shared use path that has been called for since 2005, etc. There are two schools nearby and it would seem that this is the very area where the county and state should invest in a safer design rather than the typical auto only approach.

As the co-founder of Bike Gaithersburg, I do not accept that there is simply nothing that can be done. If the state places bike lanes before and after this block, a safer design should be examined here to make bicycles more visible and everyone safer.

My heart goes out to the everyone affected by this tragedy that has deeply affected my neighborhood.

I wonder to what extent the driver's address contributed to the accident. Hagerstown is a long way up 270, and Mr. Kline probably spends a LOT of time driving, and driving relatively fast. Hagerstown is not a particularly bike friendly area, and Mr. Kline is experience with cyclists is likely to be very different than someone from e.g. DC.

Just what does "primarily" mean in this instance? If the cyclist was traveling thru the intersection with a green light and the truck hit him while making a turn across his path how is the culpability anything other than " completely & utterly" the fault of the driver? Absent some basis for thinking that the cyclist was riding in a way that made it difficult or impossible for the truck driver to avoid hitting him a term like "primarily" becomes a weasel word and a dangerous one at that. Holding motorists responsible for their actions is not furthered by weasel words.

Primarily means what it always means - mainly, somewhere between 51% and 100%. Do you think the driver was not primarily to blame?

Ironically I say things like this to avoid a conversation about semantics. If I said 100% someone would jump in and tell me that I don't know that and that even the police don't say that etc...

But since you asked, maybe the cyclist was speeding. Do we know the cyclists speed? No. Maybe the cyclist signaled a left turn but then turned right into the truck. Maybe a lot of things that we don't know based on the information here. So, primarily. It is not incorrect.

It is not meant to be a "weasel" word but rather the an accurate word. I don't sit around all day turning words over in my head to land on the exact right one. This isn't Shakespeare. I come up with an accurate word and I go with it.

I fail to see at all how it could be "dangerous." Who is at danger?

I'm all for holding motorists responsible, but not based on incomplete information derived from media accounts of on-going investigations. I don't think anyone is getting away with a crime if I use primarily on my blog.

Maryland, like DC and Virginia, is a contributory negligence state. The wavering about primary fault may be moot, and by some examples the basic fact that the cyclist failed to stop in time to avoid being hit can support denying any compensation.

It definitely can influence a victim (or in this case his estate) to accept a settlement that would otherwise seem inadequate. Compared with the legally justified denial of a claim, a small settlement without a protracted civil case can seem like a good deal.

It may be important that the cyclist was determined to be in a travel lane and not using the shoulder.

There was a case, I think in San Francisco, where a motorist right hooked a cyclist who was on the shoulder. A judge found for the motorist stating that there was no requirement to look for someone where one normally wouldn't expect them to be.

Under that reasoning if the MD cyclist had been on the shoulder might a similarly minded judge excuse a driver who states the travel lanes where clear and they didn't expect anybody to be using the shoulder.

My, possibly irrelevant, take is that colloquial concept of fault has been eroded past the point where it can be used in absolute terms. We now "understand" so much what influences perception and action that personal, moral, agency can be reduced to a small piece of the picture. This is valid enough in scientific terms (since morality is just another set of influences), but tends to muck up the legal picture.

jeffb: since maryland law specifically mentions bikes in shoulders I'd hope that the SF precedent would be irrelevant. If not, some legislation fixups would be needed real quick.

what is the status of the investigation? I do not see any case listed against Mr. Kline in the court system.

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