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In the WABA forum someone pointed out the interesting use of the word 'charge' rather than the more typical use of 'issued a citation'.

It's possible/probable there will be a civil suit.

yeah, I'd expect a civil suit no matter what.

While I feel bad for the pedestrian and the cyclist, at least it shows that the police take these things seriously.

Still don't understand... do we have any details on what traffic law/signal he broke?

A terrible tragedy. I think we would all benefit from knowing exactly what happened and how to avoid it in the future.

Given that is a signalized intersection, it's a safe bet that the cyclist ran a red light. Criminal liability is still unlikely, though.

If a driver runs a red light and kills a pedestrian, it is not negligent homicide. One would have to prove that the driver ran several red lights in a row so that the red-light running was deliberate and not simply a failure to notice the light.

In the end, the cyclist will always rule. That is how tethered to political correctness our society has become. Cyclists are NEVER wrong, even though they run every red light, fly through crosswalks, and vie for sidewalk territory in their ongoing war with pedestrians.

I write from Philadelphia and have become afraid to merely walk to the store. I would ban urban cycling tomorrow. - David Lyga

David, you're comment is both incorrect and not relevant to this incident. In this case the cyclist has been charged. And cyclists are often found at fault. I'm sorry that cyclists frighten you.

If cyclist ran (or even Idahoed) every red light in DC, they would all be dead. And most avoid sidewalks. Not sure if its different in Philadelphia.

Note to all - Idahoing needs to be done carefully. You need to STOP at the red first, not go through without stopping. You need to look carefully for not only cross traffic, but any pedestrians who MIGHT cross in conflict. When in ANY doubt, don't proceed.

Since no native Philly cyclists appear likely to drop in, I'll state that I've cycled, walked, and driven a good bit in Philly. It's like here ... but moreso. Some districts have narrow, gridlocked streets where they've carved out a bus/bike lane so that buses can get through the gridlock, but the lane is almost always blocked by drivers who are too important to use the correct lane. So this thing about cyclists ruling there is complete entitled BS. People in every mode misbehave there, just like here.

I am sorry to feel the need to reiterate, but, at least in Philadelphia, the sidewalk speed that they are 'allowed' to attain (up to 30mph at times) is utterly breathtaking, scary and unquestionably dangerous for pedestrians.

Walking on the sidewalks at night is inviting danger at its worst. Few have lights, offer absolutely NO warning to pedestrians, and could care less if one hits you. Adding to this, the utter silence of these vehicles is one of its most terrifying aspects.

Common sense would refuse to disagree with that danger assessment; political correctness, however, will find perpetual fault with me.

Those who glibly disagree: what would you think if your child, or pregnant wife got hit by one of these MFs? - David Lyga

Boy, you don't earn any points when you assume that everyone else is unreasonable.

I'm pretty sure 30mph is not legal on the sidewalk.

How many pedestrians are struck by bicycles on sidewalks every year in Philadelphia? It would be helpful to frame the problem. When I go there, I see people walking on the sidewalk (even at night) without any sense that they have invited danger. Maybe they're just foolish or maybe you're overstating the problem.

I can't imagine a cyclist who wouldn't care if they hit someone. That's barbaric and it doesn't even make sense. If a cyclist crashes into a pedestrian the cyclist can get hurt (or even die) too.

I agree that bad cycling, on the sidewalk or otherwise, is an issue. I disagree that it is an epidemic.

It does not have to be an 'epidemic'; just once per day on each block is sufficient to cause alarm. Cyclists have absolutely NO enforcement to worry about. In addition, they are allowed to remain anonymous. At night, especially, tracking what they do becomes almost impossible (no license plates).

What you fail to recognize is the fact that there really are aggressive people out there who KNOW that they will NEVER be stopped by police. Why not allow automobile drivers to have the same anonymous status? No training, no age limits, no nothing other than getting on your bike and fly as fast as you wish on ANY smooth pavement, be it street or sidewalk. THAT is not dangerous? In addition, the utter silence of their approach makes this sidewalk cycling more dangerous than allowing motorcycles on the sidewalks. Then, you could at least be in a position to anticipate the approach.

The political clout that cycling has makes sure that the dark side of aggressive cycling never sees any challenge. Most impacts are NOT life threatening, but just because pedestrians are getting used to the new norm of sidewalk traffic does not negate the validity of what I said. - David Lyga

Cycling has no political clout when you compare it to driving. It's a marginalized activity that is growing through the stubborn insistence of those who do it and through some localities that see the advantages in reducing traffic and reducing pollution that cycling brings.

There should be enforcement of the rules, but license plates aren't going to fix that. Cars have license plates yet drivers routinely speed and run through traffic lights. License plates would do nothing but deter cycling in general (which is of course what some want).

We have a society-wide problem of road users ignoring the law, and it's not limited to or even primarily practiced by cyclists, yet we don't seem to prioritize stopping dangerous behavior. Police could easily confront cyclists riding dangerously on sidewalks if they wanted to make that a priority. Perhaps they should. License plates aren't needed for that though.

So yes, cyclists should not ride fast on sidewalks and endanger pedestrians. In most places, I'd prefer they weren't on the sidewalks at all. But until the roads are safe enough for duffers on bikes to feel safe, they'll ride on sidewalks. We need to make the roads safe enough for people to feel they can ride on them or it will never stop.

You said that if you could, you'd ban urban cycling. That's never going to happen. You'd be better off contacting your local elected officials and law enforcement and asking them to step up enforcement of dangerous sidewalk riding.

Why not allow automobile drivers to have the same anonymous status?

Cars are different than bikes. Especially in the danger they represent. That's pretty obvious right?

THAT is not dangerous?

It is dangerous. No one is arguing otherwise.

the utter silence

When bikes first hit the streets this was a complaint. Some argued that they should be required to have bells like sleighs do, which is how we ended up with bell laws. But the bicycle bell wound up being different than sleigh bells. Sleigh bells would make more sense, but that would be a lot of added noise.

The political clout that cycling has makes sure that the dark side of aggressive cycling never sees any challenge.

Where is the all-powerful bicycle lobby when you need it. Here in DC, the police issue many tickets to cyclists. They could issue more - and to everyone else too - but they don't. I welcome more enforcement.

While I do not doubt there could be a sidewalk cycling problem in Philly. I think your bigger concern might be drivers.

"Pa. transportation advocate killed on Center City sidewalk"

I would bet the drivers make the road sufficiently unsafe that cyclists choose the sidewalk over the road. The issue is partly infrastructure (along with enforcement and education). However, if the cyclists are riding 30mph on sidewalks, then Philly must be some awesome sidewalks with smooth seams, no driveways, and long stretches between street crossings. If there money for that kind of sidewalk, there should be money for dedicated bike infrastructure.

Typical downtown Philly sidewalk, outside my favorite Belgian beer place, Eulogy.


30 mph, here I come!

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