Friday, June 20

Reserve street claims another cyclist

The Missoulian reports that a cyclist was killed heading northbound on Reserve St. in the middle of the afternoon on a bright sunny day yesterday. Apparently, a large truck tried to merge onto the Broadway ramp along a portion of the street where the bike lane essentially no longer functions as a bike lane. This is the fourth fatality (that I can think of) in the last couple of years. That's four too many for a town this size. The others were eventually attributed to drunken driving or low visibility in the evening, but this one still seems to be a mystery.

Just yesterday evening, I watched as a white pickup truck made a hasty left-hand turn from Higgins onto 4th St. right in front of a man on a bicycle who was going straight through the green light. He had a kid in a trailer attached behind him. The cyclist, who had the right-of-way, abruptly slowed down to let the truck pass, and he seemed pretty astonished at how reckless the motorist had been. Whether this was simple inattentiveness or a really bad decision, it reveals a problem.

It may be difficult to assign blame in this most recent fatality, but the fact remains that cyclists will always be the most vulnerable road users. They should be given the benefit of the doubt in any of the hundreds of little decisions we make on the roads every day.

1 comment:

Dakotaboy said...

Or perhaps instead of given the benefit of the doubt in road situations, they should be elevated or moved away from the road itself, as is commonplace in cities that have real populations of bikers (copenhagen, amsterdam, etc).

Missoula could make this commitment if they really wanted to. There is enough of a population to do so. They could also force bikers to cross the street on the right, and then wait for the light to maneuver left, already in the proper flow of traffic.

But missoula won't do this. Orange got re-striped. We have a gutter lane. Or we have a gutter.

Having a painted stripe in the gutter a road is crowned to naturally move debris towards , can't exactly be called a lane, can it?

This city is probably the least progressive city I have every experienced for cycling. Its a huge problem.

At least fargo had a bike route that took you off the main streets.

Total chaos has always been more maneuverable as a cyclist to me then partial chaos.