Archive for Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bicylist injured after colliding with vehicle on East 23rd Street

September 24, 2013


A 29-year-old Lawrence man riding a bicycle down the 900 block of East 23rd Street was sent to Lawrence Memorial Hospital Tuesday night with a nonlife-threatening injury after colliding with a vehicle.

According to Lawrence Police Sgt. Ted Bordman, both the vehicle, driven by a 49-year-old Baldwin City man, and the bicycle were traveling east down the road, with the driver in the center lane and the bicyclist on the far right, near the curb. The bicyclist attempted to change lanes to the inside when the two hit each other, Bordman said.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital was unable to provide an update on the bicyclist's condition. The driver was not injured.


KUGreenMachine 2 years, 2 months ago

First off, I hope this person is ok, which from this story seems like they will be. Now, it's amazing that this city gives bicycle riders their own lanes and their own freeways of giant sidewalks, but they continue to ride down the middle of the road. More often than not, I see bikes zip through red lights, stop signs and through street crossings without slowing down to give drivers a chance to see them. I see them pass stopped traffic and weave through lanes with total disregard for others. The sad thing is that there will be an immediate uproar defending the bikes and motorcycles saying that it is a car drivers responsibility to not hit them. No, actually it is not, it is the bike riders job to make sure they don't get hit. No, I'm not in any way saying that you shouldn't watch for bike riders, or that they deserve to get hit, I'm saying it's easier for a rider to avoid getting hit than it is for a driver to avoid hitting one. Bikes are obviously smaller and from what I've seen are more likely to make abrupt turns and come out of nowhere. My whole point in this is that I believe it is time for bicycle riders to take more responsibility for their actions, to educate bike riders on the rules of the road, and its time for someone to actually enforce traffic laws to bike riders the same way they are enforced on drivers.

Stuart Evans 2 years, 2 months ago

It is perfectly legal for a bicyclist to ride in a traffic lane, even though there are "freeways of giant sidewalks" which definitely allow bicycles to fully avoid the always attentive Lawrence driver.

Cai 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes, it is perfectly legal for a cyclist to ride in a traffic lane.

However, it's illegal for them to weave in and out of traffic on the road, blow through stop signs, or otherwise ignore the rules for traffic. If you cycle in a car lane, you're supposed to follow the rules of traffic. Many cyclists follow these rules - but many don't.

Shardwurm 2 years, 2 months ago

The problem is that cyclists want - no they DEMAND - to be treated like any other vehicle on the road, yet they consistently ignore traffic laws. I cannot count the number of times I've seen cyclists simply run a stop sign.

Want to be on the road? Follow the same rules you do when you're driving. Otherwise you only have yourself to blame if you end up getting hurt.

HutchSaltHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

By law, bicyclists are to be treated like everyone else on the road and follow the rules. The enforcement is another issue. As a bicyclist, I have found that is not always the case. Irresponsible motorists and bicyclists alike are on the road, and regardless if I am on my bike or in my car, defensive driving and courtesy are required.

Hoots 2 years, 2 months ago

What? People in cars don't seem to stop at stop signs in this town anymore. Stop signs are for everyone else but them.

Din Rosa 2 years, 2 months ago

KUGreenMachine, that's a VERY dangerous attitude towards cyclists (or pedestrians). It's like a driver of a big semi saying he doesn't need to look out for your puny car because he is bigger, and it's solely your responsibility to look out for him because you are the one who would be smooshed in a collision, and he'd be just fine. Yes, cyclists should behave safely but yes, YOU need to look out for them, just as you need to look out for peds. As a cyclist, I was hit by a car and badly injured while going straight in an intersection, and a driver from the opposite direction was turning left and smashed into me. No, I was not at fault by default due to being a cyclist, and I was doing what I was supposed to, which is keep going when I have a green light. Now I sometimes stop and hesitate when I have a green light, which irritates drivers because they are impatiently waiting for me to go like I'm supposed to, but if they are rolling towards me impatiently, I can't be 100% sure that they will stop like they are supposed to -- because sometimes they don't, and they injure and kill people. I guess that's because they figure I'm smaller and I'm the one who should look out for them and stop even if it's my right of way. It's a very, very dangerous attitude that gets people killed. To a large extent, traffic works when we do what we are supposed to, regardless of our size, and the size of your vehicle in NO WAY determines the extent to which you should look out for others. We should all be careful and pay attention.

Also, about this accident, I don't know the details, but my guess (based on cycling experience) is that he wanted to turn left eventually, and so he was doing what he was legally supposed to, which is move from the right edge of the road to a position from which he can safely turn left. He may have miscalculated, or the driver made an unexpected move -- you do not know. You should not assume the cyclist was at fault simply because he was a cyclist.

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes, a cyclist is supposed to move over before turning left, but they're also supposed to signal what they're doing.

In my experience, an overwhelming majority of cyclists don't signal.

HutchSaltHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Bicyclists and motorists should exercise caution and take responsibility while driving. The article does not say when the accident occurred, other than the bicyclist was sent to the hospital Tuesday night. However, I have observed on 23rd street several bicyclist riding at night without any lights on their bikes. While I am an avid bicyclist, I found this extremely dangerous as I could not see these individuals despite driving with my car headlights on. I have also observed at night several individuals riding in a group and turning in front of cars without providing any type of visible signal to the motorist. Regardless of the time of day and whether the bicyclist is "right," it does not matter if the bicyclist is injured or killed during an encounter with a car.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 2 months ago

My paranoia shows when I'm riding my bicycle at night - I have 2 headlights, one flashing, and 2 taillights, both flashing, on at all times when I'm riding after dark. They are additions to all of the reflectors that came with the bicycle.

And even then, I rarely venture off the sidewalk.

myop 2 years, 2 months ago

I saw this accident happen. It was approx. 7:15pm. I'm praying the cyclist recovers fully, it didn't look good at all. Everyone needs to exercise extreme caution driving, riding, running, walking, whatever and wherever. We should all look out for ourselves and one another. Be safe!

mom_of_three 2 years, 2 months ago

I was driving home from work, and a person on a bicycle was riding in the road, using arm signals, but not stopping at stop signs. She then continued in the road, using the left turn lane onto 19th street. I was worried about her safety, because she was using the road, she obviously can not go as fast as a car, and traffic during that time of day is nasty anyway. PLUS she wasn't wearing a helmet. I was hoping she would take the sidewalk, in case an impatient driver tried to pass her, and cause harm the cyclist or a driver going the other way.
I understand bicycles have a right to the road and in the middle of traffic. I, personally, would not want to ride in the middle of the road during rush hour or on a busy street. However, I am not restricted to riding a bike as my only mode of transportation.
you just have to be smart and realize that the larger vehicle may not see you all the time and have to be more a defensive driver.
I hope the rider was not seriously hurt.

jack22 2 years, 2 months ago

There are bad drivers everywhere who speed, don't use signals, don't stop at stop signs, talk on the phone, text, etc. and of all those bad drivers the ones on bikes scare me the least. I hope the bike rider is ok, too, they're the ones who usually get hurt in this type of accident regardless of who the bad driver was.

kernal 2 years, 2 months ago

I suspect part of the problem is that local bicyclists don't know they can legally ride on uncongested sidewalks in Lawrence, with the exception of downtown Lawrence. I grew up in a town where it was illegal to ride a bike on sidewalks except in residential neighborhoods, so when I moved here I assumed the same rule applied and didn't learn the truth of the matter until just a few years ago.

windjammer 2 years, 2 months ago

On the sidewalks of Lawrence? Are you kidding me? They are more dangerous than the street. We can't walk on most of them without fear of injury.

kernal 2 years, 2 months ago

Are you talking about the sidewalks in the Oread neighborhood? Property owners are responsible for the condition of their sidewalks. If you believe they are "more dangerous than the street" to walk on, then notify the city. Most sidewalks along major streets, ie, 23rd St, Billings Pkwy, W. 6th St. are in fairly good condition.

Hoots 2 years, 2 months ago

Would anyone here want to ride down 23rd street on a bicycle? You couldn't pay me enough. People are way too busy on their phones today. Even prior to mobile phones this would have been dangerous. When I ride anywhere I take side streets and avoid busy roads. I'm usually on my way to the levy and trails where it's safe. I'll take dodging trees over dealing with traffic anytime.

smileydog 2 years, 2 months ago

What's up with the right hand lane of Lawrence Avenue north of 6th Street converted to a large bicycle lane? I never see anyone riding on there, and can a car drive onto one if they're turning right? That goes for Princeton as well. What is the cost/benefit analysis of all the huge and nice concrete bicycle sidewalks down Clinton Parkway that some refuse to use for their bicycle and prefer the cheap asphalt and dangerous street instead? It seems Lawrence spends an extraordinary amount of money for bicyclists that hardly any bicyclist use.

tvc 2 years, 2 months ago

The lane to the right is parking. The middle lane is the bike lane. If you look, you will see a bicycle painted on the lane the cyclist is to use. It is confusing and poorly designed for motorists and cyclists.

FarleyM 2 years, 2 months ago

To save lives, bikes should be banned from busy streets like Iowa or 23rd. If we can save just one life, it is worth it.

aeroscout17 2 years, 2 months ago

How about to save lives and not have busy streets we ban cars on Iowa and 23rd? ;)

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

In our most recent city water bill, there was an insert that gave a lot of good information about how to ride correctly and safely on bicycles in the city.

I can only hope that people read, digest, and follow the information given there.

FarleyM 2 years, 2 months ago

You cannot rely on people reading. Reading comprehension levels have been dropping for many years in schools.

You have to protect people from themselves. Hope is not enough. Like everything else demanded by some people, as in suing the government over back-up cameras on cars.

To save lives, I guess people will need to band together to sue the city government for more intervention, by closing busy streets to bikes.

kernal 2 years, 2 months ago

Given that many tenants and most KU students don't get water bills, it would be nice if landlords and KU shared that info with tenants and students since they comprise at least half of the bike riders in Lawrence.

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Well, anybody can get the same information by contacting the DMV on their own as well. Don't we all have the responsibility to educate ourselves about relevant laws?

But, I agree that would be nice. Perhaps landlords and KU can post the information where it will be widely seen.

purplesage 2 years, 2 months ago

It doesn't sound like the driver is the problem.

Bicyclists do not belong in traffic. They sure don't belong in the middle of a traffic lane, legal or not. They should ride on the curb and cross at corners.

Before you jump all over me, I am a cyclist. I ride to the right of the line markng the trafic lane and do not sit in an intersection with automobiles, trucks and buses.

mom_of_three 2 years, 2 months ago

Crossing at corners seems to be so much safer. Drivers look for bikes (or should, since pedestrians walk in crosswalks). I was very surprised the cyclist I saw the other day, using the lefthand turn lane onto 19th at 5:15, did not use the crosswalk. !9th is very congested at rushhour, with all 3 lanes on 19th being packed, and leaves little room for a bicycle. I was very cautious because I had to stay behind her as there was no room to pass her.

jack22 2 years, 2 months ago

They should ride on the curb? You must have really good balance to be able to do that. Are you a funambulist?

Hoots 2 years, 1 month ago

I ride and I try to find the least traveled streets I can to get from A to B. No way I;m going to risk Iowa, 23rd, Kasold, 6th, Mass or any other super busy street. I've done this since I was a kid. Sometimes I drive down the road in this town and wonder if anyone is watching the road. Usually they're looking at their crotch to see or respond to the latest breaking news on their phone. The breaking news is you're about to crash into something if you don't look up soon. Due to my job I drive many hours on the streets of this town every day. I can't tell you how many fixed object crashes I've seen over the past few years. People talking and texting on their phones often have no idea where there car is in relation to the world as they are in cyber space texting. I've seen people hit poles, curds, medians, traffic calming devices, and other cars because they were looking at a smart phone screen. More than once I've seen the whole front wheel and suspension torn from under a car because the driver hit a curb or a high median. I saw these first hand and could see the driver texting. I saw two in one day. You know what? I didn't feel one bit sorry for any of them. I just drove on while looking at these idiots. These idiots with the dumb look on their faces. They were so confused as to why the car they were driving was now a wreck. The only thing I was thankful for is that they did't kill someone or crash into me.

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