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Yeah, I think I saw the same one.  Guy sitting in a cab, then people running and motoring through the traffic jam, caution be damned?  Agreed that it's very inappropriate.

Mike Fiasco said:

The Tribune updated the story with a video from the WGN news. If you play the vid it starts with a really inappropriate commercial.

I don't know if we all see the same commercial (due to data mining my PC) but check it out and see if you have the same problem as I.

The one I saw was for prudential insurance. I'm on an iPad though. It's a short video, not from wign.


And I don't believe neill was a Chainlink member. They updated the story saying he was an attorney on his way to work.

I regularly ride between Evanston and the Loop and ride Wells through Old Town.  I can attest to the fact that the area around Walter Payton can be an especially dynamic stretch of road.  Lots of stuff happening, between student drop-offs and pick-ups, students using the crosswalks (or crossing mid-block), the rough road and current construction in the area, and cars entering from Oak and Hill.  I ride early enough that I generally miss most of the traffic, but there is a significant difference in traffic load between the northern reaches of Clark Street near Evanston and the area closer to the Loop at the time I ride.  I consciously slow down a bit after leaving Clark at Lincoln & Wells for a few reasons:

  • It's later in the commute, so the traffic is heavier - so I slow down
  • As noted by many, some stretches there are especially hazardous - all the more reason to ease up
  • For whatever reason, it seems a lot of people like to race, riding faster than conditions warrant - no sense letting the testosterone take over when they pass me

I'm not suggesting that Mr. Townsend did anything wrong.  I'm just offering my perspective as one who commutes a bit further than average, so sees a wider range of commuting conditions.  Slowing down a little gives you a bit more time to react to hazards as they pop up.  Riding without headphones, and leaving the cellphone in your pocket are also a good ideas.  All the more senses available to detect potential problems.

Be safe...

Skip

When it comes to semis, I give them a very wide berth because of the huge blind spots they have.  If I can't see the driver's face, that also means he can't see me.

I remember reading that in driver's ed too, I think it referred to all backseat passengers not just kids. 

Bill Savage said:

Kids should not be getting out of cars on the traffic side of a vehicle.  They should only get out on the sidewalk side.

Cameron Puetz said:

It's likely that a kid opened the door. The way parents droping kids off park around there has turned ridding that stretch of Wells in the morning into running a gauntlet.


Jason said:



Amber K said:

It was just on the 11 o'clock news. The street is still closed, and the body is still under the wheels of the truck.  No tickets have been issued as of now.  Awful!

That is ridiculous! The driver who opened that door should be ticketed and arrested!

+1.

my sympathies, thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the victim.

 

everyone spread the word about "look before opening a door"

 

DHB

Marc-Paul Lee said:

sadly, the take-away for many may be "biking is dangerous" rather than "look before opening your door."  

I think that's an excellent idea and very appropriate.

Melissa M said:

Might it also be a good idea to gather for a memorial on a weekday morning around the time that it occurred? We could wear white shirts and gather (on the sidewalk?) at the site. It just seems like being there at the time when the area is busiest is a good time to remind people to check for cyclists (and other traffic) before opening their doors.

A very unfortunate collision that could have easily been avoided. It's sad that bad roadway design and oblivious motorists are still causing countless lives to be lost. When will car drivers realize that they are operating deadly weapons and take responsibility for their actions on the road?

I ride by this every day on the way to work. Due to the construction, the northbound bike lane is nonexistent – it's been covered by a shoddy concrete job. The southbound lane is full of potholes and is completely faded. I hear that this area is getting a buffered bike lane all the way to North Ave, but a protected lane would be even better.

I emailed the Trib. Got a response in under 10 minutes that the ad was being taken down. 


Trevor said:

Yeah, I think I saw the same one.  Guy sitting in a cab, then people running and motoring through the traffic jam, caution be damned?  Agreed that it's very inappropriate.

Mike Fiasco said:

The Tribune updated the story with a video from the WGN news. If you play the vid it starts with a really inappropriate commercial.

I don't know if we all see the same commercial (due to data mining my PC) but check it out and see if you have the same problem as I.

Also they can't stop very fast or steer the trailer -it just follows behind where the semi tractor has just been.  If you fall in front of those trailer wheels there is literally nothing the driver can do even if the driver saw you go under the trailer.  There is no swerving a trailer, and stopping on a dime is just not possible in time if the rig is going over about a walking pace.   It's pretty much like falling off the platform in front of a train.  There just isn't anything they can do even if they can see you.  Big rigs are dangerous to be around, just like being near a train.  Give them a WIDE berth -most truck drivers try to do the same for other road users because they are aware of these facts too.   I almost never have big rig drivers fail to give me 3-feet (unlike smaller delivery truck drivers and especially buses -those guys can be the worst.)

Barry Niel Stuart said:

When it comes to semis, I give them a very wide berth because of the huge blind spots they have.  If I can't see the driver's face, that also means he can't see me.

I posted a comment under the NBC Article which (thankfully) mentioned the door being opened and that the driver would be ticketed.  Someone already started the cyclist bashing about us not stopping at stop signs.

Here's my comment:

In this case it was not a cyclist who was breaking the law, it was a driver who broke the law and endangered another person. Opening your door into a bike lane (or any traffic lane) is against the law and plain irresponsible. Let’s not turn this horrible tragedy into a grade-school finger pointing. Let’s please be respectful to the memory of Neil Townsend and try to learn from this situation. Drivers, please check before opening your door. This kind of fatal accident is extremely common in our city and can be avoided. The Danes recommend using your right hand to open the door because your body naturally turns allowing you to check before exiting your vehicle. Cyclists, please ride with caution, avoid the door zone as much as possible. Scan for drivers in the windows as you pass, watch for taillights and listen for the telltale sound of the door clicking open. Again, please be respectful to the memory of Neil Townsend and learn from this incident. My thoughts are with the Townsend family.

Can you let his friends/family/coworkers know about the vigil tonight at 9? 

Trevor said:

I'm not sure if Neil was a chainlink member, but he was a really nice guy.  He was on his way to work on W. Fulton Market this morning.  He didn't show up on time and didn't respond to text messages, unusual for him.  Police showed up at his office to let people know what had happened.  This is incredibly sad, and I know at least one of his coworkers who rode into work today was too shaken to ride home.  My thoughts are with Neil's family and friends.

Kevin C said:

Updated Tribune story identifies the victim as Neil Townsend.

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