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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok..so riding to work this morning and I have taken to the sidewalks and side streets as the amount of snow pushed to the side of the road leaves me little room to feel safe enough to ride with the flow of traffic.This has added a good 15 min to my commute,fine at least it's safer.....you'd think.SO going alone the side walk, coming up to a crosswalk and there are some cars turning off the main road to the side street through the crosswalk i have to go through.So I slow right down and look too see when I can go...ok right after the school bus no one else is turning.....so slowly I creep down the side walk and as the bus starts to pass in front of me I go..again not fast...and out of no where comes this little suv..I see him out of the corner of me eye but think if I can see him he can see me..you'd think!!! I was in the middle of the crosswalk and he just kept going. I slam on the breaks just as he sees me (I guess)and he slams on his breaks .He looked suprised..now if i had been hauling ass and cut in then I can see me being in the wrong...but as near as I can guess this guy sped up to turn behind the bus so as not have to wait all of a few extra seconds to wait for any on coming traffic and didn't check the sidewalk. I understand that drivers dont look for bikers to be coming off sidewalks,esp in winter....but really I was not going fast and I have lights and reflective gear and all.I did yell at the guy to pay attention and he didn't say anything...so was I wrong in not coming to a full stop and double checking that no other cars were coming or was he for not making sure the crosswalk was clear??Maybe it was a bit of both??and this after a women was killed this morning on her bike by a truck...maybe I should wait til spring...but 4 months off my bike would make me cry?? And thats this mornings rant!! Just glad I have somewhere to vent.Kona
 

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LBS Manager
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Not saying he is right but

In my home town there is a pretty stiff fine for ridding on the side walk. I still think he should have used more care when going through the cross walk. Most people do not alter they're driving style enough for the winter and they are a maijor hazard that we need to look out for unfortunatly.
 

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Freshly Fujified
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My read

You say you waited until the bus completed it's turn to begin riding across the cross walk. You thought you were in the clear, but an SUV turned and almost hit you in the crosswalk. If this is the case, the SUV is in the wrong, as the SUV was making the turn. The vehicle travelling straight typically has the right of way over a vehicle turning into it's path, if memory serves me correctly.

In the end, who's right and who's wrong doesn't make any difference if you were actually hit. Just be careful out there, and no, I wouldn't put the bike away for any period of time. Unfortunately we all take calulated risks on the road. whether we are pedestrains, bicyclists, motorcyclists or automobile drivers, we all run a risk. Unfortunately, the risks are greater to those on fewer than 4 wheels.

Be careful out there and just let this be a reminder to double and triple check for bigger vehicles.

Bob
 

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thats right living legend
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Why would you think just cause you can see him he can see you. I mean you're on a little bike he's in a big luod SUV. I kinda think it's you're fault, but I don't know I have no exp" with how things are in the snow,as far as unwritten rules and stuff "don't have snow". But if it's his fault wich it might be, I guess he didn't do too bad I mean you're still here.
 

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Strange as it may seem...

once you throw a leg over the frame, put your @ss on the saddle and peddle you are no longer a pedestrian and don't have the rights of one. Therefore you are in the wrong using a crosswalk as a cyclist. Now if you'd gotten off the bike and walked you'd have been in the right assuming you're crossing with the light and not against it. This doesn't excuse the motorist and they'd have likely felt really bad if they'd hit you(not as bad as you though).

Personally if I can't safely use the road then I walk my bike on the sidewalk(if anyones around). If I come to a crosswalk then I dismount and walk it across the street when safe to do so. Not so common sense used to prevail in these situations, but with the extreme arrogance of many folks today common sense isn't so common anymore.
 

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She is right

Well, to me anyway. The SUV should pay more attention, especially with poor visibilty. She was not going fast, and if it was safe, she would have been in the street, but it wasnt so she took it slow on the sidewalk, not a bad idea, I would do the same. Now to get off and walk across each cross walk, well, thats just plan nerdy. Fact is, car drivers should pay more attention, period. Motorists don't see motorcycles, kids playing, or bicyclists, so just be careful. I would bet if the SUV would have hit someone in the same instance, and the person would have died, the SUV driver would not have been able to live with themself.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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konahottie_311 said:
Ok..so riding to work this morning and I have taken to the sidewalks
You are wrong.

And riding through crosswalks is prohibited in most places, that's why it's called a crossWALK. The reason is that if it's a crowded crosswalk, you're taking up too much space and forced to ride too slow if you're on a bike. Sure, you have the best riding skills ever, but everybody else doesn't, which is why the law is in place.

If you aren't riding in the proper places, how can you expect cars to be watching for you?

If riders always ride in the "correct" places, then cars know where to look for you, but they aren't looking for bikes on the crosswalks and sidewalks.

This doesn't mean that the driver is not at fault for not being able to see a hazard and stop, but you were in the wrong place, not the driver.

There will always be people riding against traffic on the sidewalks, and there will always be cars hitting people on bikes as long as cars are hitting other cars. We have to abide by the rules though, because we can't expect anyone else to if we are not.
 

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i worship Mr T
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In GA vehicles are required by law to yeild to pedestrians in the crosswalk. to be honest i don't know if that law covers you if you're riding a bike across a crosswalk, but laws aside, the driver should have looked to see if anyone was in the crosswalk before making a turn.

it will never cease to amaze me what drivers don't see. i flatted on my way home from work a week or 2 ago and had to walk the last part of my ride (stupid me forgot to bring my CO2 inflater that day....doh!) i was crossing a side street, walking my bike in the middle of a crosswalk, as i am directly in front of a car stopped at a stop sign waiting to turn out of the street the driver starts to roll forward - i was literally directly in front of her car!! she didn't see me, despite the fact that i was right in front of her, because she was so busy looking to see if she could turn. she slammed on her brakes and probably would have hit me if i had not jumped to the side. the only good thing (besides not getting hit) was that if she had hit me she'd have hit my bike first which might have saved me some damage and likely gotten me a new bike!

never assume you're visible to drivers. especially when you are right in their line of vision!

rt
 

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Depends on your local laws

Here in Colorado, it was illegal to ride your bike through a crosswalk until a year or so ago. The state legislature then passed a law giving cyclists the right to ride--at slow "pedestrian" speeds--through crosswalks, which means that if you'd been hit here as you described you would have been in the right. Not that it would have made a difference in your injuries.

It really bugs me when motorists explain away their rude and dangerous behavior by saying "well, cyclists violate the laws all the time!" The difference is that if a cyclist breaks the law and causes an accident, it's the cyclist who's hurt. If the motorist is at fault, it's still the cyclist who gets hurt. In the end, questions like yours become academic, since you still have to stop to prevent injury to yourself whether you have the right of way or not.
 

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Rolling
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Does it really matter who is right??

You decided to ride on the sidewalks to be safer. Maybe a good idea, maybe not.

But always when you ride in traffic, you have to look out for vehicles and assume they don't see you. When you are on a sidewalk, that rule doesn't go away if there are drives and intersections, in fact like others said, it's more important to look out for others when you are in a place they won't expect to see you.

The bottom line as always is that you are small compared to a car and will lose if you get hit--so do what it takes to not get hit, even if they are wrong.
 

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Old man on a bike
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At least there was no contact between you and the vehicle. We had a woman killed by a municipal bus here recently; apparently the bus driver did not see the pedestrian in/near the crosswalk (driver claims dawn's sun in eyes, but time of accident might not jive; no witnesses so perhaps the woman was cutting corners on the crosswalk a bit, too, hard to say). Cops then did a little sting operation, having one of their officers walk across a busy street with motorcycle officers in plain view nearby; amazing how many people zipped by the pedestrian when they were just going straight on the street, let alone making turns onto it. They wrote citation after citation. A bus or truck can easily shield from view a vehicle coming up behind; I always give such a large vehicle a chance to clear entirely before I assume I could see everything, too many people are frustrated by being behind big slow vehicles already and tend to do stupid things (as usually they can't see much around that vehicle either).

By the way, congrats on persisting on your winter bike commute!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting replies,

thanks....I dont actually know the laws here for biking on the sidewalks and though a crosswalk,I should go and look that up....and I am glad the he didn't hit me and I have done stupid things where I know I was in the wrong..but this just didnt seem like one and now I will not assume that the driver sees me ever again. I have had the same thing happen to me as rt and it is amazing that the driver doesn't check before pulling forward. Just to point out that the sidewalks I am riding on have little to no pedestrains on them and I stick to side streets for 75% of my ride...I am not endangering the pedestrain...just trying to commute and be safe....thinking since it will be semi warm this weekend I might give up the snowboarding and try to find a safer route since I cant really ride on the road and feel safe anymore. I think there might be a pathway that will get me over half of the way to work...lets hope so!! I dont want to give up my commute when the weather permits it. K
 

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Ding

Once you get on a bike you are not a pedestrian (at least in California). You were legally wrong and wrong on street smarts. If you had been nerdy and dismounted to walk across you would have been safer simply because it's easier to quickly jump backwards (or dive) when you're on foot. Even if you were a skilled fixie rider - someone on foot can react faster.
 

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BLS439
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pacman said:
Once you get on a bike you are not a pedestrian (at least in California). You were legally wrong and wrong on street smarts. If you had been nerdy and dismounted to walk across you would have been safer simply because it's easier to quickly jump backwards (or dive) when you're on foot. Even if you were a skilled fixie rider - someone on foot can react faster.
Wait a second here. In CA, the law does say that anyone in control (powering) a bicycle is to utilize all rules of the road as if driving a motor vehicle; HOWEVER, I think we are getting side tracked. The reason this guy may or may not be at fault is not simply enough that he was riding a bicycle in the crosswalk. There can be many reasons to explain this that would make it not illegal. Ex., Something in the road and he swerved to avoid it but ended up in the crosswalk.

It sounds like he is decribing an intersection. It really depends on the intersection. If his direction of traffic had a posted stop sign or stop light and he was riding on the sidewalk/cross walk to avoid the snow he still should have obeyed the traffic signal.

The other thing. Put yourself in the driver seat of a vehicle. Think about what you look for on the roads while you drive. Sure, you are a cyclist, wo your "Where's that guy on the bike?" mentallity is heightened, but for the average everyday Joe Shmoe it's not.

Based on what he's told us, you can not determine a Vehicle Code violation for fault. However, insurance companies could determine Civil Fault. We need more information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
BLS439 said:
Wait a second here. In CA, the law does say that anyone in control (powering) a bicycle is to utilize all rules of the road as if driving a motor vehicle; HOWEVER, I think we are getting side tracked. The reason this guy may or may not be at fault is not simply enough that he was riding a bicycle in the crosswalk. There can be many reasons to explain this that would make it not illegal. Ex., Something in the road and he swerved to avoid it but ended up in the crosswalk.

It sounds like he is decribing an intersection. It really depends on the intersection. If his direction of traffic had a posted stop sign or stop light and he was riding on the sidewalk/cross walk to avoid the snow he still should have obeyed the traffic signal.

The other thing. Put yourself in the driver seat of a vehicle. Think about what you look for on the roads while you drive. Sure, you are a cyclist, wo your "Where's that guy on the bike?" mentallity is heightened, but for the average everyday Joe Shmoe it's not.

Based on what he's told us, you can not determine a Vehicle Code violation for fault. However, insurance companies could determine Civil Fault. We need more information.
OK bit more info....it is just a normal crosswalk without a light or crossing signal..and I am a she,not a he..lol.....anyway and at this part of my ride i have no other option then to be on the side walk anyway...there is a concert barrier stopping me from getting across to the right side of the road..on the way home i ride on the road along that streach.I have been riding that way for 3 months and I am always super careful at that crosswalk..because it has no light!! So even when it's nice out I have to ride on this part of the sidewalk...this driver was not paying attention.IF I had been walking my bike I still dont think that he would have seen me and thats what really got me mad..it is also right across the street from an elementry school.....maybe that will help a bit.
 

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Konahottie,
Buy a trainer and throw your bike on it. Open the patio door and viola, you're not off your bike for 4 months. ;) Seriously, you could be the most careful biker out there and still get whacked by some H.U.A. driver. Reading your description of the weather sounds like you pushing the limits not only for yourself, but for the drivers who don't expect a bicycle in that kind of weather. I believe that patience is key and double check that intersection before entering it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
abmtnbkr said:
Konahottie,
Buy a trainer and throw your bike on it. Open the patio door and viola, you're not off your bike for 4 months. ;) Seriously, you could be the most careful biker out there and still get whacked by some H.U.A. driver. Reading your description of the weather sounds like you pushing the limits not only for yourself, but for the drivers who don't expect a bicycle in that kind of weather. I believe that patience is key and double check that intersection before entering it.
Well I am hoping someone will buy me a trainer for christmas or I will get one in Jan,as Jan and Feb as so cold usually...-10 to -30 or less (not sure what that is in the states) that is really isnt going to be worth it try and ride...but if it is warm enough out..well then.but I do agree that most drivers are not expecting a biker in this weather...and having just come in from lunch...the wind is so strong that the bike is staying at work for the weekend..that wind would knock me over on my bike..and after this morning I have had enough excitement for one day.....good think I have another bike at home so I can check for another way to work still this weekend. Later K
 

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Nobody? Everybody? Kevin Bacon?

He should have seen you entering the crosswalk, you shouldn't have been in the crosswalk until you could clearly see anyone who might hit you while you were in it. Laws don't mean too much if your pinballing in between a school bus and a SUV.

Ride all winter. I did three winters of commuting in Boston and one in Portland, Maine. It's better for you than taking the car.
 

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Bike to the Bone...
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If you didn't see the SUV, what makes you think the driver could see you?

It's hard to say if he was speeding, turning or anything. Probably it was just following the bus and the bus size didn't let you see the car. I have no idea about laws, but I don't think it would have been his fault if he unfortunately had hitted you. I'm really glad he didn't since you're nice, but on this case I think he was on the right.
 

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Just my opinion:
Both wrong.

In most cases riding on the sidewalk/crosswalk where I've been has been against the law. I've done it when and where there isn't any pedestrian traffic and lots of vehicles. I'd rather be wrong, alive and safe than dead and right and flat.

The guy in the SUV was in the wrong because he wasn't watching while turning. You could have as easily been a pedestrian. I see too many folks in THIS town rushing through the light even three cars after it has gone red INCLUDING RH turn from the LH lane ACROSS 2-3 lanes of traffic. (I'm talking every other day!) So I'm putting this guy in the wrong because he wasn't too on the ball and maybe holding the idiots I share the road with around here against him. Right of way, he could have very well been in the right.

You were in the wrong, in particular, IF the laws say no riding in the cross walk and BECAUSE no matter how right you may be he can run you flat over and it is your job to guard against that.

I know it sounds like I'm saying if you get hit it is your fault. What I mean is more along the line of you have to expect and guard against when the other person is an idiot.

Stay safe.
 
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