The Chainlink

Like all of you, my heart hurts every time I read news about the latest crash ending in injury or death of a cyclist. It seems so avoidable, so preventable and is happening far too often lately.

I'm going to try something different. We're going to put aside any worry about "victim blaming" and get right down to the root causes cyclists are at risk. Once we have that list, let's start attaching activities to each risk that could help alleviate or fix the risk. Here's a list to get it started:

1. DUI

2. Dooring

3. Not obeying light/sign (cyclists)

4. No lights at night

5. Right hook

6. Left hook

7. Infrastructure (lack of bike lanes)

8. Driver distracted e.g. smart phone, mobile phone

9. Not obeying light/sign (motorist)

10. Obstructed bike lane (motorist) 

11. Reckless driving, speeding (motorist)

12. Violation of the 3 foot rule i.e. space between motorist and cyclist

13. Infrastructure not providing enough space for the 3 foot rule

14. Motorists not understanding size and vulnerability of cyclists

15. Knowledge of laws (motorists, cyclists)

16. Going around railroad crossing gates at grade crossings while gates are down, lights are flashing and bells are ringing (cyclists)

17. Impatience (motorists, cyclists)

18. Quick response to "blame" or use language that "blames" the cyclist as well as the flip side - language letting the driver off the hook e.g. accident, didn't see the cyclist, etc. (media, some police, public)

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9. Drivers that believe they are above the law.  Watched one run 4 red lights and drive straddling 2 lanes today on the 4 lights between Clark and lsd ramp on my commute. Silver prius. License plate: CPD 2.

Thanks, added.

i'd move Distracted Driving up to at least 2. Actually i believe it's even more prevalent than DUI, at least during daylight hours.

How about pushing for more strenuous and intelligent drivers' training, with re-testing at realistic intervals?

Thanks. I'm not listing in any priority - just helps to have a list on the board for brainstorming solutions. Plus, we'd likely debate priority and I'd rather move to step 2: brainstorm solutions. 

Agreed, and drivers should be taught and tested on the road rights and responsibilities of bicyclists.

I agree - both on the prevalence of distracted driving (all day, every freakin' day) and the need for more rigorous driver training AND testing standards.

Driving/riding more alertly (drivers/cyclists) or away from(cyclists), when near any vehicle's blind spots.

There's something about drivers not getting how much smaller we are and how much damage they do to us. Yesterday someone honked at me and yelled "that ain't no car". is not. So please be a little bit more careful driving around me. I can't hurt you, but you can definitely hurt me. 


Going around railroad crossing gates at grade crossings while gates are down, lights are flashing and bells are ringing. 

This is a more common problem on the south and west sides. People die this way too often.

Occasionally gates may come down when there is no train in sight. Once in a while it's a mistake. Sometimes it's an express train that may come much faster than you think. Not worth doing unless you wait a bit and you're really REALLY sure there is no train. Just wait. When there's a train coming, the train ALWAYS wins in this scenario.

Impatience (motorists and cyclists)


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