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Posted by on Jun 10, 2010 in General, Safety, Transit | 5 comments

The “Freak Accident” that is becoming common

From the NY Post March 18, 2010:

A Bronx cyclist was killed in a freak accident yesterday when the driver of a parked car opened his door and knocked her into the path of a city bus, authorities said.

The 57-year-old woman, identified as Megan Charlop, from The Bronx, was riding on Crotona Avenue in East Tremont at about 8:30 a.m. when the driver of a parked Toyota opened his door into her path, police and witnesses said.

The cyclist hit the door and was bumped into the path of a BX17 bus, glancing off its front passenger side and falling beneath its rear wheels, witnesses said.

Two months later, on the other coast, this is reported:
The Alameda County coroner’s bureau has identified a 35-year-old man who was struck and killed by an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District bus after being knocked from his bike into traffic in Oakland Wednesday afternoon.
Erik Fitzpatrick was riding his bike on MacArthur Boulevard near Patterson Avenue when a 42-year-old Manteca woman opened her car door, knocking him into traffic. Fitzpatrick was then struck by a Line NX bus and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

5 Comments

  1. The same way Dana Laird was killed in 2002.

    What is it going to take before we take a massive step toward educating cyclists about staying out of the door zone?

    And what is it going to take for cities to stop undermining such education by placing bike lanes in the door zone? And stop making compromises to allow the minimum sharrow placement in the door zone? WTF???!!! What are the lives of cyclists worth? Seemingly less than getting butts on bikes.

  2. I wonder , in jurisdictions such as Hmmmm… Portland, Oregon,… with mandatory cycle facility use statutes, if it would it be of any value to carry off-prints of these news articles lest a police officer pulls a cyclist over for taking the lane.

    Not to dipute the validity of the statutes, but to explain the valid safety motive for non-compliance.

  3. One of the more discouraging aspects of the Charlop case (besides the fact that she was a a genuinely Good Person who did lots of Good Things in her community and was loved by everyone who knew her) is that more than one person mentioned that now maybe the city will put bike lanes on that street, as some have been asking for. From Google Maps, it looks like the street is pretty narrow. A bike lane would likely have been exactly in the place Charlop was riding.

    By the way, that was March 18, not May, although it actually happened on March 17. The Fitzpatrick case was indeed May 19. See http://files.meetup.com/225788/Dooring%20Fatalities.pdf

    • I edited the post to correct the dates.

      I think it was on the Leonard Lopate Show Bryan Lehrer Show this week, where they had a segment “Update on Bike Lanes.”
      Summary: The City is slowing down, probably because they are broke again, putting more in lanes. More is always better, you know. There is absolutely no way to ride in Manhattan without a bike lane.

      http://beta.wnyc.org/shows/bl/2010/jun/09/bike-lane-update/

      • I’m glad at least to see a few sensible comments on that page from “andy from manhattan”. If only more people knew what he knows…