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July 23 (Bloomberg) -- San Francisco bicyclist Christopher Bucchere pleaded guilty to felo...

Family of victim didn't want jail time.

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@Jeff, it mentions the sentence in the article : "Under California law, a felony conviction for vehicular manslaughter can carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison" He received a lower sentence at the request of the victims son.  

Being flat, Chicago is going to prevent most cyclists from ever reaching speeds of 30+mph. Regardless, hopefully this serves as a lesson to everyone in the community that cyclists running red lights can have harmful consequences for others. Be safe. 



Jeff Schneider said:

I am curious - is this sentence similar to what he might have been given if he had killed the pedestrian with his car?  I would hope and expect so.

Since, compared to injuries and deaths caused with cars, those caused with bicycles are so very rare, we tend to forget that a fast-moving cyclist has the potential to inflict serious injury.  I would bet that this reckless cyclist didn't imagine how easily he might end up killing someone.

Dang, 2 pedestrian deaths due to cyclists in 2 years in San Fran. 

If he was crossing on a red it's hard to think that how he wouldn't think it'd encounter pedestrians. It's a 6-way intersection, sort of (17th dumps onto Market going East; wb 17th has the J-line turnaround). There's a MUNI station on the SW corner and the J-line. It's a pedestrian-heavy area. He was also going down a pretty downhill. 32MPH would have probably been easy if you got the greens on Castro (or Divisidero, not sure where it changes).

I don't know what a comparable sentence would be for the driver of an auto. The initial accounts I read about this incident suggested that Bucchere was trying to "put up a time" on Strava for what has become an informal time trial route on Mission. If true, that fact coupled with the running of three red lights would seem to suggest recklessness or at least reckless disregard for the safety of others. This is a plea deal subject to the approval and adoption by the judge presiding over the case. Though judges typically approve the plea deals entered into between defendants and prosecutors, judges can and do reject the deal and impose a different sentence. I wasn't a witness and everything I know about this case came from reading news accounts, but based on that second and third-hand information, I probably would have expected some jail time.



T.K. 6.5 mi said:

Being flat, Chicago is going to prevent most cyclists from ever reaching speeds of 30+mph. Regardless, hopefully this serves as a lesson to everyone in the community that cyclists running red lights can have harmful consequences for others. Be safe. 

Chicago is flat but a nice stiff wind will help get you up to 30+ mph.  I've done 24-25 without issues with the right wind and I'm sure I could have done 30+ if I sprinted.  

Getting back to the sentence, it looks like the other cyclist that killed a ped also got community service and probation.  

32 mph . . . I only hit that once, on our recent ride to Lake Geneva, on a long downhill. But it was on an empty country road.

I used to get in the low 30's with my mountain bike on a different part of the same hill going W, rather than S; possibly a little steeper than the part Buchere was on but not much.

"SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A bicyclist who fatally struck a pedestrian in San Francisco was sentenced to community service and probation on Thursday, after pleading guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter in what is believed to be the first such conviction in the United States.

After striking a plea deal to avoid jail time, Chris Bucchere, 37, was sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service and three years of probation for the death of 71-year-old Sutchi Hui last year, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-bicycle-manslaught...

32 mph is physically possible on the right bike without much difficulty on some downhills in Beverly, Morgan Park, Blue Island, Evergreen Park and other areas SW if you let it roll.  However, many of these hills are in places where it would be unsafe to do so due to intersections, railroad tracks or other hazards.

32mph is possible on the flat in Chicago. Bicycles can do that. The two news articles cited above are less than entirely clear where the accident occurred but it was on Market somewhere in the Castro district. Market Street coming down off Twin Peaks is a 40mph or better ride, you could do 32mph on any kind of a bike simply by not using the brakes. Not that it would be a good idea. Above Castro there would be a lot of times when letting it rip would be tempting. Below Castro increasingly improbable it could be done with any margin for error yet locals do it. The reported accident is thankfully unusual. San Fran bikes doing those speeds is normal.

A Tribune commenter linked to this, and if true, I don't think this cyclist would actually have been guilty of anything in Chicago except barely exceeding the speed limit, which I suppose could be extended into a "reckless driving" charge. 

Because you can enter an intersection on a yellow if you're driving a car, so I would think the same rules would apply to a cyclist.  I believe our laws actually state that pedestrians are not to enter crosswalks until the intersection has cleared; presumably as there might be motorists completing a left turn after the light changes.

http://sfist.com/2012/04/05/cyclist_who_struck_pedestrian_at_ca.php

Around 8 a.m. I was descending Divisadero Street southbound and about to cross Market Street. The light turned yellow as I was approaching the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop. The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions. The intersection very long and the width of Castro Street at that point is very short, so, in a nutshell, blammo.



Sue Clark said:

If he was crossing on a red it's hard to think that how he wouldn't think it'd encounter pedestrians. It's a 6-way intersection, sort of (17th dumps onto Market going East; wb 17th has the J-line turnaround). There's a MUNI station on the SW corner and the J-line. It's a pedestrian-heavy area. He was also going down a pretty downhill. 32MPH would have probably been easy if you got the greens on Castro (or Divisidero, not sure where it changes).

Wow. That kinda changes the story. I will defer to your legal opinion. Nevertheless the rider admits the area was "crowded as all getup" and knew there were lots of peds. In that situation, at Divisadero and Market, at 8a.m. rush, a prudent person would be more cautious. Legal or not I think we get to have an opinion the rider was in error.

The rider also states he "laid it down" by which he seems to indicate he dropped his bike and fell in a last ditch effort to stop before hitting someone. It's worth tucking that one into the back of your mind. I had to do that once. A little girl ran out into the street. Middle of the block, no warning. I dropped the bike, slid into traffic, scared the bejesus out of the girl, her mother, the car that barely stopped for me, and myself. No one was hurt unless you count road rash. It still frightens me to even think about it. The SF rider seems to have done the right thing a bit too late. Skill is nice, judgement is better.

Pedestrians should look before entering the intersection, yes. You can't trust that they will. Especially when you know there are a lot of them. Only one has to get it wrong. And they may not see something as small as a bike, may see the bike and not process how fast it is going.



Carter O'Brien said:

A Tribune commenter linked to this, and if true, I don't think this cyclist would actually have been guilty of anything in Chicago except barely exceeding the speed limit, which I suppose could be extended into a "reckless driving" charge. 

Because you can enter an intersection on a yellow if you're driving a car, so I would think the same rules would apply to a cyclist.  I believe our laws actually state that pedestrians are not to enter crosswalks until the intersection has cleared; presumably as there might be motorists completing a left turn after the light changes.

http://sfist.com/2012/04/05/cyclist_who_struck_pedestrian_at_ca.php

Around 8 a.m. I was descending Divisadero Street southbound and about to cross Market Street. The light turned yellow as I was approaching the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop. The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions. The intersection very long and the width of Castro Street at that point is very short, so, in a nutshell, blammo.



Sue Clark said:

If he was crossing on a red it's hard to think that how he wouldn't think it'd encounter pedestrians. It's a 6-way intersection, sort of (17th dumps onto Market going East; wb 17th has the J-line turnaround). There's a MUNI station on the SW corner and the J-line. It's a pedestrian-heavy area. He was also going down a pretty downhill. 32MPH would have probably been easy if you got the greens on Castro (or Divisidero, not sure where it changes).

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