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Not again....

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-bicyclist-die...

The Cook County medical examiner's office said the man was in his 50s and was pronounced dead at 10:35 a.m.

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I think that would be appropriate once we're able to learn the victim's identity and someone can make contact with his family/friends.

Sarah D. said:

I'd say the main thing with the family is to see if they would like to be there. We moved the NT one due to the memorial service being on our originally planned day. I think cyclists would want to meet regardless of the family, but it would be nice to extend an invite to them. And ghost bikes are usually placed in cooperation with the family, so that's another thing to check in about. 



Zoetrope said:

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Sarah.  A vigil, that's what I meant.  Makes sense, though -- I'll wait for more info. 

Sorry, I was actually referring to David. You posted after I had refreshed.

Zoetrope said:

I don't wish to start any war.  A discussion would be nice.  

Thanks for your input, Jason. 

No.  It seemed that there was some call for criminal penalties on the driver of the truck and some question as to why he would not face criminal penalties for negligence.  I thought an explanation of reckless/negligent and criminal/civil would help people digest the comments and come  to their own conclusions.

Jason said:

Is that bait for some kind of internet semantics war?

You seem to be trying to make some sort of point to the effect that the reason nobody has as of yet started to call for or plan a vigil is because the person was run over by a truck rather than doored; or maybe that there's some sort of deficiency or hypocracy implicit in the fact that there are as of yet no plans; yet you don't seem to have the guts to come out and say what it is you're getting at  for whatever reason.

If you think there should be a vigil, organize one. That's how the last one happened. You don't need anyone's permission to initiate, Brendan.



Zoetrope said:

I don't wish to start any war.  A discussion would be nice.  

Thanks for your input, Jason. 

The essence of my statement was "we need better infractructure for cyclists."

Guess there's a lot of "looking for a fight" going around.

Tim S said:

h' really?

Doesn't that statement set the Cycling acceptance movement back. We all should be able to share the road.
Hah, not looking for a fight, just some clarification.

You're feisty today h'

In response to what David Barish said -- I think the problem is that we as a society are very quick to say that any crash that is motor-vehicle-related is simply due to bad luck, or "mere" negligence, simply because the result was not the intention of the driver. However, my gut tells me that many crashes must occur due to poor judgments that are made by drivers and risks that they take over and over, MOST of the time, with no negative consequences. So they believe it's not actually risky, just normal driving. (Read the book Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt for tons more on this.) The person who blows through a red light has nothing happen the first 100 times they do it, until that one time a 12-year-old kid steps out onto the crosswalk with their signal into their path. And then somehow, the death dismissed as just "bad luck" on the part of the victim, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and there's sympathy for the driver because it "wasn't really" their fault, he didn't mean to harm anyone, and that "could have been me" in the driver's seat. And so the driver just gets one ticket, maybe two, for "failing to yield to a pedestrian" and that's it. And that's just not right. I think often of the senior citizen who was struck and killed on Sheridan Road last year crossing on a crosswalk with the green (I wrote about it on Bike Walk Lincoln Park here). It was daylight, she was in the well-striped crosswalk, the cab was turning from a side street. How could running her over NOT be reckless behavior, and reckless homicide? I don't think we should rely on civil actions to address this kind of crash.

You say as long as the driver didn't kill me intentionally we should not hold him personally responsible (ie. jail time) and should just rely on insurance to deal with and pay for the damages.

So if I get hit and killed by a car, it better be by a commercial truck? So my estate might be able to get more money in a civil case. (As far as I know commercial drivers have to carry a lot more insurance than private individuals). After all that is the only recourse we have according to your viewpoint.

Thanks. I'll keep that in mind.

David Barish said:

If a driver does something negligent he or she did something they may regret; something we all may have done at one time or another and lived to tell about it.  We have all done this on our bike and in other places.  If we harm someone we will not go to prison but we may pay damages in a civil case.

Once the stupidity increases from mere negligence to recklessness or a higher level of intent we are exposed to both criminal and civil penalties.  If the driver had a duty to look for the cyclist and just turned without looking he might be reckless rather than merrely negligent. He may be exposed to both criminal and civil penalties. If he looked but did not see the guy or he simply made a mistake, he will only be civilly liable.  This makes sense to me.  We want society's pound of flesh for evil people who intend to do bad things. Society does not need a pound of flesh from somebody who screwed up. However, the injured party certainly may be entitled to a couple of kilos of flesh. That would be resolved in a civil claim.

Did you know local another man was killed within a few days of Neill Townsend's death?  Michael Dlugopolski was riding a bicycle on Cicero Avenue at 31st street in the wee hours when he was hit by an off duty cop.  This happened in the wake of Neill's death and all the planning around a memorial for him. 

http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19777769/off-duty-cicero-cop-fata...

I was aware of Michael's tragedy because I have ties to that neighborhood.  It's a pretty unknown story even though it occurred shortly after a well known bike fatality.  I am curious why two other cyclists who were killed made big news, but Michael didn't.

The League of American Bicyclists keeps a detailed log of bike vs car fatalities.  Here is their story of Michael Dlugopolski's crash.  They have a links to other bike fatalities across the country.

http://www.everybicyclistcounts.org/site/detail/michael_dlugopolski

Well said, Michelle.  Too many crashes and near misses are due to poor judgments and negligent driver behavior that has become "acceptable" because "everyone does it" - forms of distracted driving such as talking on the phone, applying makeup, shaving, and eating or speeding and running red lights and stop signs.

Michelle Stenzel said:

In response to what David Barish said -- I think the problem is that we as a society are very quick to say that any crash that is motor-vehicle-related is simply due to bad luck, or "mere" negligence, simply because the result was not the intention of the driver. However, my gut tells me that many crashes must occur due to poor judgments that are made by drivers and risks that they take over and over, MOST of the time, with no negative consequences. So they believe it's not actually risky, just normal driving. (Read the book Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt for tons more on this.) The person who blows through a red light has nothing happen the first 100 times they do it, until that one time a 12-year-old kid steps out onto the crosswalk with their signal into their path. And then somehow, the death dismissed as just "bad luck" on the part of the victim, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and there's sympathy for the driver because it "wasn't really" their fault, he didn't mean to harm anyone, and that "could have been me" in the driver's seat. And so the driver just gets one ticket, maybe two, for "failing to yield to a pedestrian" and that's it. And that's just not right. I think often of the senior citizen who was struck and killed on Sheridan Road last year crossing on a crosswalk with the green (I wrote about it on Bike Walk Lincoln Park here). It was daylight, she was in the well-striped crosswalk, the cab was turning from a side street. How could running her over NOT be reckless behavior, and reckless homicide? I don't think we should rely on civil actions to address this kind of crash.

Thanks for letting us know Juan. That's bullshit they aren't reporting this.

Juan Primo said:

Did you know local another man was killed within a few days of Neill Townsend's death?  Michael Dlugopolski was riding a bicycle on Cicero Avenue at 31st street in the wee hours when he was hit by an off duty cop.  This happened in the wake of Neill's death and all the planning around a memorial for him. 

http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19777769/off-duty-cicero-cop-fata...

I was aware of Michael's tragedy because I have ties to that neighborhood.  It's a pretty unknown story even though it occurred shortly after a well known bike fatality.  I am curious why two other cyclists who were killed made big news, but Michael didn't.

The League of American Bicyclists keeps a detailed log of bike vs car fatalities.  Here is their story of Michael Dlugopolski's crash.  They have a links to other bike fatalities across the country.

http://www.everybicyclistcounts.org/site/detail/michael_dlugopolski

This is the reason why the legislature has attacked issues such as distracted driving.  Certain acts of multitasking are not negligent. They are indeed reckless and make people subject to criminal penalties. I support making these acts criminal.  As a lifelong liberal who always sees a slippery slope of facisim with expanding criminal penalties I have a problem with criminalizing negilgent behavior. No question there can be a tragedy due to negligence whether a bike is or is not involved. Your kid leaves a skate on the sidewalk.  You are responsible when your neighbor trips over it falls, and their brains spill onto the sidewalk. This is a horrible tragedy for everybody.  You should not go to jail.  However, your homeowners insurance will likely pay dearly to your neighbor's family. Had the neighbor family complained of this before or complained of the kid leaving his bike, his coat or other detritus on the sidewalk the conduct may be more than negilgent. 

 

This, by the way cuts both ways.  You are on your bike.  You are paying attention to the mirrors on the doors of cars on the right because you do not want to get doored. You do not  notice the old man walking in between the cars coming from the left and  you run him over.  You may or may not be financially responsible but you certainly should  not go to jail or risk going to jail because you didn't see him when everybody else did.  Now, if you are blowing through that lane with the cars all stopped and you are ziping by at 20+mph or you are performing a maneuver out of Premium Rush, your actions will be seen as reckless and you may be getting a ride home in a squad car.

There is an inconsistency that runs through the threads on this board. I am not pointing to any specific poster but to the amalgam of them.  On the one hand we call for strict enforcement and criminal penalties for drivers who make errors. On the other hand we give ourselves a pass regardiing the rules of the road. I understand all 25 sides of both viewpoints :-)   and am stitll trying to workout a theory that can  tie them all together or at least get them in my pannier.
 
Anne Alt said:

Well said, Michelle.  Too many crashes and near misses are due to poor judgments and negligent driver behavior that has become "acceptable" because "everyone does it" - forms of distracted driving such as talking on the phone, applying makeup, shaving, and eating or speeding and running red lights and stop signs.
 
Michelle Stenzel said:

In response to what David Barish said -- I think the problem is that we as a society are very quick to say that any crash that is motor-vehicle-related is simply due to bad luck, or "mere" negligence, simply because the result was not the intention of the driver. However, my gut tells me that many crashes must occur due to poor judgments that are made by drivers and risks that they take over and over, MOST of the time, with no negative consequences. So they believe it's not actually risky, just normal driving. (Read the book Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt for tons more on this.) The person who blows through a red light has nothing happen the first 100 times they do it, until that one time a 12-year-old kid steps out onto the crosswalk with their signal into their path. And then somehow, the death dismissed as just "bad luck" on the part of the victim, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and there's sympathy for the driver because it "wasn't really" their fault, he didn't mean to harm anyone, and that "could have been me" in the driver's seat. And so the driver just gets one ticket, maybe two, for "failing to yield to a pedestrian" and that's it. And that's just not right. I think often of the senior citizen who was struck and killed on Sheridan Road last year crossing on a crosswalk with the green (I wrote about it on Bike Walk Lincoln Park here). It was daylight, she was in the well-striped crosswalk, the cab was turning from a side street. How could running her over NOT be reckless behavior, and reckless homicide? I don't think we should rely on civil actions to address this kind of crash.

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