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I read the opinion piece in the Post this morning and was just waiting for the our crap doesn't stink post from WashCycle.

Unfortunately, nearly all of WashCycle's points are right, the guy seems to want to be protected from behaving stupidly on a mixed use trail.

I would like turn signals though. For us that don't care for fixies, using your brazos to signal means you can't be using them to brake, which I much prefer.

The point WashCycle did not make, that is an important difference from car on ped crashes, is that in a bike on ped crash the bike rider will almost always be injured as well - this provides an incentive to avoid crashing into peds even for the most selfish.

What do bicycle turn signals even look like? Is there any evidence they improve safety?

@washcycle. I tried to make my own once, but never managed to make them bright enough.

There are apparently a bunch of different types available on some website called Amazon. I like this one the most I think: http://a.co/d/fhto6G2

If no self respecting news outlet can resist a man bites dog story then how are we going to expect better from the WaPo ? On the upside at least he wasn't hit by a car or bus ...in a crosswalk.

Thanks for this post. I've been stewing all day since reading the article in the Post and then peeking at the comments.

On the same homepage was a story about how the bus driver who killed two pedestrians has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, but people get upset and spew bile on an article full of misinformation about traffic laws and incomplete, anecdotal information about a crash with minor injuries involving a cyclist and a pedestrian. Our priorities are screwed and skewed, but I guess it gives people an outlet for their irrational anger.

I get annoyed about irresponsible cyclists too, but I am actually afraid of irresponsible drivers.

Your homeowners or renters policy probably covers any liability as a cyclist. Mine does. The real crime isn’t that cyclists don’t have insurance, but that, drivers in DC can, legally, can by with so little.

Or annual bicycle inspections and equipment checks?

Note that DC has gone away from regular inspections for passenger vehicles. All they currently require is an emissions test every two years. My suspicion is that they found a marginal safety benefit from regular equipment checks.

Regardless, everyone should pass others as though saying "on your left" will do absolutely nothing anyway.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying that. It drives me crazy the way "warn before passing" has been fetishized. On many signs it's the lone piece of safety advice given. It's like telling drivers that the key to safe driving is a well-functioning horn. A much better message is "pass only when it is safe to do so."

"I heard a bell behind me and stepped to the right. But instead of slowing down, the biker had already decided to pass me — also on the right."

Author can't know whether the cyclist slowed down. My guess is they did, especially if they passed on the right. In any case Wash Post editors should have corrected that assumption based on zero evidence.


Another case of piling on the cyclist. Facts be dammed.

The writer forgot to ask for contact information, he admits. That's understandable, but the bizarre part is how he then spins it into being a hit and run, and uses it to spin out a bunch of policy proposals that have absolutely nothing to do with anything that happened here.

FYI, the author went on the WABA forum last night to launch an unhinged anti cyclist screed, making it pretty clear he had an agenda to start with.

My problem with bells and turn signals on bikes is that on most bikes I have to move my hands away from the brakes to do whatever it is people expect me to do.

I'd rather just use my voice and keep my hands where I can slow down/stop if needed.

We also really don't know where (on the path - left/right side, in the middle?) the author was originally walking. If the cyclist was trying to pass on the right, it's quite possible the walker was in the middle of the trail, or was unpredictably "wandering" from one side towards the other. We have all seen this behavior in pedestrians. (I am not excusing the cyclists' behavior).

drumz, it's the same for hand signals. I'll do a hand turn signal if the road surface is good and I'm not flying down a hill, but I'm not going to wreck to do one.

And on a personal note. I've changed my behavior around pedestrians over the past few years precisely because I don't want to be a hypocrite. I either ensure I give enough space to pass that even if they suddenly turn around I can avoid them or failing that I slow down enough so that if they did suddenly change direction it wouldn't be a huge hit.

At the same time I look over my shoulder before turning around when I'm on my feet.

And still doing all that I still realize that at least between cyclists and pedestrians we've hit Vision Zero most years and the idea that cyclists as a class are just as hazardous (or mostly there) simply isn't true.

Don't kill anyone
Don't get killed
Don't hurt anyone
Don't get hurt.

Those are the rules. In order. For everyone and every mode. It's really that simple.

Sometimes I'm tempted to add "don't be a douche" to the end of the list but then I have days like yesterday when I'm reminded that many people can't modulate they're douchiness.

Are you sure that Virginia Code sec. 46.2-894 doesn't apply to cyclists? Sec. 46.2-800 states that "Every person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, or an animal or driving an animal on a highway shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter and shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, unless the context of the provision clearly indicates otherwise. . . ." (https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-800/) The "duty of the driver to stop" provision is in the same chapter and doesn't appear to explicitly exclude people riding a bicycle.

Dbehrend, a "vehicle" and a "motor vehicle" are not the same things under the law. The Virginia code regarding hit-and-run only applies to operators of a "motor vehicle."

Ok. But 46.2-894 (the provision cited in the post as the "duty of driver to stop" law) doesn't use the term "motor vehicle" anywhere, it uses "the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident...." As I mentioned, 46.2-800 states that a person riding a bike has "all the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, unless the context of the provision clearly indicates otherwise." Is there another reason a cyclist would be excluded from the duty to stop requirement?

Just to clarify, I understand that the definition for "driver" for Title 46.2 includes "motor vehicle," but 46.2-800 appears to modify that term for purposes of Chapter 8, including sec. 46.2-894.

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