AG: Make some noise
On Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:12:17 -0500, Frank Krygowski
On 11/20/2014 7:31 PM, John D. Slocomb wrote:
On Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:12:07 -0500, Frank Krygowski
On 11/19/2014 8:17 PM, John D. Slocomb wrote:
On Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:20:34 -0500, Duane
On 11/18/2014 7:48 PM, John D. Slocomb wrote:
Probably the walkers/runners should "take the lane" as it is popularly
known to solve all problems :-)
Not to get into this debate on yet another newsgroup, but if you look at
what happens when pedestrians walking at 4-6km/h "take the lane" where
bikes are riding at the legally limited 20k/h you begin to see a pattern...
Hmmm.... I would imagine it will be much the same as a bicycle taking
the lane on a highway where motor vehicles are whizzing by at 80 or 90
OK, let's develop the analogy.
If the path narrows down so much that there's no room for a bicyclist to
pass the pedestrian, should the pedestrian be required to jump off the
path when a bicyclist approaches? If that's not possible (say, if the
path crosses a very narrow, three-foot-wide bridge) should the
pedestrian squeeze off to the side and tempt bicyclists to pass at speed?
We know that if there's lots of pavement to share, these situations are
much less critical. The slower traveler can stay close to the side and
the faster traveler can easily pass. It's when the passageway is too
narrow, for example, that one must engage one's brain.
Oh, and let's note who started this debate "on yet another newsgroup."
Well O.K., lets develop the analogy a bit further.
In another group, that will not be mentioned, every time someone
reports an accident where a cyclist is hurt or killed, a number of the
denizens, without knowing any details other than "cyclist dies",
immediately call for lynching the motor vehicle driver. People talk
about hitting cars that come too close to them with metal devices,
Perhaps in fair play we should be crying out for lynching, or at least
tar and feathering, of any cyclist that hits a pedestrian?
Or suggest that the pedestrians carry a cane to beat off the attacking
Well, what I've called for is this: If a person kills or seriously
injures another person while driving a car, they should be forbidden to
drive for life.
How about doing away with any "death by auto" charges and fall back
on Murder and/or Manslaughter? If you were to be, for example, driving
too fast for existing conditions and you hit someone then you go to
It does appear to me though that in the U.S. death by auto seems to
have become some sort of a misdemeanor, if not an outright act of God.
Funny though, When I was in the Air Force we were told that only about
1 - 2% of accidents were actually an act of God and the rest were due
to unsafe pacts or practices.
But I guess with auto's it is an accident :-(
We can work on details, if you like. Things like, how bad would a
"serious" injury have to be to qualify? (Death certainly qualifies.)
How would we handle victim culpability? (e.g., someone deliberately
jumping in front of a car, someone who blatantly and egregiously
violated a law that caused the crash, etc.)
There was a trial in San Francisco involving an accident to a cable
car operator. the Court ruled that the amount owing to the individual
injured was the difference he could have earned in his remaining
lifetime if he was uninjured less the amount he could earn after being
injured. Perhaps a judgment like that for car accidents would work.
But once such details are worked out, I'd be happy to apply that same
punishment to bicyclists who kill or seriously injure other road users.
That is, if your bike kills a pedestrian, you're never allowed to ride a
There won't be many such cases anyway. I suspect that cycling causes
perhaps a few thousand serious injuries and maybe a handful of deaths of
non-cyclists per year in the U.S. It's a far cry from driving, since in
the U.S., cars kill over 4000 pedestrians and over 30,000 other
motorists per year.
This primitive country I now live in takes the same attitude toward
injuring someone with a vehicle as they do to any other injury you
might inflect. And, they have this ruling that initially and until
proved different, the biggest vehicle is at faulty. A bicycle hits a
pedestrian, it is the bicycle's fault. If a car hits a bicycle the car
is at fault, a truck hits a car...
Note that this is "initially" and evidence may well prove the larger
vehicle not to be at fault, but it does, I believe temper some of the
aggressiveness that I read here about U.S. traffic.
Either that or the people here are just nicer :-)