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View Full Version : Cyclist-Pedestrision collision at ~6:20am, 7/25 on the Springwater


Attornatus_Oregonensis
07-25-2007, 07:37 AM
Did anyone witness this? I rode up right after it happened. It was toward the north end, around the picnic area, near where the homeless folks camp.

The guy, who I'm told was ~75 years old (and could have been from my judgment), was lying in the middle of the trail holding his arm and bleeding from the head. I was told he was hit by a younger female cyclist, who was unhurt, and had "broken" his shoulder. I was also told he was heard to say something to the effect of, It was my fault. I stepped right out in front of you.

I stopped to render assistance but was told by two people that help was on the way. By the time I reached the end of the trail, I saw the ambulance.

Is it just me, or is this kind of thing becoming more common?

mizake
07-25-2007, 08:53 AM
I didn't witness the accident, but I was one of the cyclicsts stopped and waiting with the older gentleman for the ambulance.

From what I understand he was turning around to walk the opposite direction and was hit by the female cyclist. He did repeatedly say that it was his fault, but I wonder if the accident could have been avoided if the cyclist could have alerted him to her presence by either a vocal, or bell warning. On the other hand it would have helped had he looked behind him before he changed his line. A little common sense on could have benifitted both parties involved.

The paramedics were able to get him on to a stretcher and stabalise his arm. Once he was safely in the ambulance I left.

One of the main reasons I stopped was because of the disregard of other cyclists showed to an obviously injured person lying in the middle of the path, and of course to offer any assistance I could. While there were many cyclists who passed and asked if everything was okay, there were many more who (despite seeing a bleeding, elderly man lying prone on the path) did not stop, or even slow down. Even when the ambulance was present and there was very little room to squeeze by, many people still did not slow and passed within inches of the stretcher and the paramedics. I did what I could to make sure no one actually ran over the injured gentleman again.

I was disgusted by the actions of many people biking on the trail this morning. And I was also appreciative of those who slowed and showed concern.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
07-25-2007, 09:14 AM
You know, I ring the hell out of my bell -- to the point where I get the feeling people (peds, mostly) become annoyed at me. People I ride with even say, "Stop ringing the damn bell!" But I pass people a lot and I feel like you get a much better sense for the rate at which someone is approaching if you hear the bell over time, and many people don't seem to hear or acknowledge it at first. And obnoxiousness is a small price to pay if it prevents this sort of thing...

But I may not have rang my bell in that situation: A straight-away with no obvious reason for a ped to turn around. I've been lulled into laziness by worrying that it bothers people and the frequency of having to do it. Since we didn't see it, we can't say for sure whether a bell warning would have prevented the accident. But it sure seems as though it could have. I'm going to ring my bell every time I pass a ped now.

After Kitty Genovese, I try not to be surprised when people don't stop to help anymore, but I admit that I still am. And disgusted. And then I wonder, If I'm ever lying half-dead in the trail, is anyone going to help me, or am I going to die there? It's (one reason) why I always carry a phone, but I can imagine many circumstances in which one would be too injured to use it. Scary. Although it does seem that he got assistance from you and at least one other person relatively quickly, correct?

In my brief interaction, he seemed like he was going to be OK -- just banged up and in pain. I'm glad to know that is apparently the case.

My thanks for stopping. Your actions make Portland a better place to live and ride. We need more folks, especially cyclists, like you.

Rixtir
07-25-2007, 10:20 AM
You know, I ring the hell out of my bell -- to the point where I get the feeling people (peds, mostly) become annoyed at me. People I ride with even say, "Stop ringing the damn bell!" But I pass people a lot and I feel like you get a much better sense for the rate at which someone is approaching if you hear the bell over time, and many people don't seem to hear or acknowledge it at first. And obnoxiousness is a small price to pay if it prevents this sort of thing.... A.O., you can always point out to your riding partners that there's case law that says if you DON'T ring the bell, and you hit a pedestrian-- even a pedestrian who steps into your path-- YOU are liable, rather than the pedestrian.

Even if the dazed and bleeding pedestrian keeps insisting it was his fault for stepping into your path. Well, the court didn't say that, but I suspect they would have, if the pedestrian had said that...

Keep on ringing, you're right.


And Mizake-- BRAVO! You did the right thing. I can only hope I would also do the right thing if it had been me...

Attornatus_Oregonensis
07-25-2007, 10:52 AM
A.O., you can always point out to your riding partners that there's case law that says if you DON'T ring the bell, and you hit a pedestrian-- even a pedestrian who steps into your path-- YOU are liable, rather than the pedestrian.

That's pretty funny. I'm definitely not going to stop ringing it. I'd rather appear obnoxious (a risk I take every day) than hit someone.

Anyway, there is no such case law that I know of. And it raises an interesting question (to me), and a question that was raised in a separate thread, namely, What are the negligence standards for bike-bike and bike-ped collisions?

Is it negligence for a ped to abruptly move to his/her left on a shared-use path without checking behind? I think that's a pretty solid argument.

Is it negligence, or contributory negligence, to not ring a bell when approaching a pedestrian? Even if that pedestrian gives no indication that he or she is going to do anything other than continue forward? That one's a little tougher, IMHO. Most people (still) probably don't have bells, but there's definitely a move afoot to make this a "standard practice" among cyclists.

And something I've wondered about a lot lately: Is it contributory negligence to listen to an iPod on a shared-use path (assuming you're involved in a collission)? It seems to me it's pretty easy for the other party to argue that the iPod-listener would have heard me and avoided the accident if only he hadn't willfully obscured his ability to perceive other users of the path.

It seems these questions are coming closer and closer everyday to being answered (if they haven't already) -- though I hope not.

One more thing: Last week, I saw about 10 guys riding in a peloton at above 25 mph on the Springwater around the evening rush hour. I participated for a time. It was fun. When we passed the north entrance to the Oaks Bottom, where there is a dip in the trail to accommodate an entrance from the left that is obscured by a wall, a guy pulling his kid in a trailer entered the main trail without looking. The guys in the peloton barely slowed down and screamed (really) at him. That's where I stopped riding with them. His actions were perhaps negligent, but those guys were on him in an instant. They probably would have been invisible if he had looked, as they would still have been up the hill. So they may have been N, too! I hope we don't end up with a speed limit -- I like to ride fast. But I always slow down in those areas because it's the safe thing to do.

Anyway, it seems to me that negligent behavior is actually very common by cyclists on the Springwater.

chopstic
07-25-2007, 01:35 PM
I dont know about the rest of you, but when im riding near or next to pedestrian traffic I always ride pretty slow. so unless this guy was walking on the street, i think the blame falls with the cyclist.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
07-25-2007, 01:51 PM
I don't think you can make the generalization that the blame always falls to the cyclist if a collision occurs on a multi-use path. What if I ride slowly, ring my bell, and the ped still walks into my path suddenly? That's actually a distinct possibility for those who listen to music rather than for other path users. Anyway, slowing down somewhat is certainly a good idea.

mizake
07-25-2007, 02:02 PM
Always important though is to give as wide a berth as possible. I've seen cyclists ring bells, yet still pass way too close to the ped they're over-taking.
The wide berth passing thing should be really obvious to anyone. That is unless the path ahead curves and you can't see if anyone's oncoming. In a case like that you either wait until is safe to pass (giving a wide berth ;) ) or you give an audible warning to the pedestrian and make sure they're aware of your presence before you pass closely (although it wouldn't hurt to wait until you could see oncoming traffic).

Rixtir
07-25-2007, 02:21 PM
Anyway, there is no such case law that I know of.Juge v. Judson, 1995 La. App. LEXIS 33.

Persuasive, but not binding authority in Oregon. Still, I'd much rather be arguing that the cyclist had a duty to make her presence known than to be on the losing side-- arguing that she had no duty. ;)

And it raises an interesting question (to me), and a question that was raised in a separate thread, namely, What are the negligence standards for bike-bike and bike-ped collisions?

Is it negligence for a ped to abruptly move to his/her left on a shared-use path without checking behind? I think that's a pretty solid argument.I think that a good argument could be made to that effect, as could a good argument be made that the cyclist had a duty to warn as she was passing. In a comparative negligence state, like Oregon, the question would probably come down to what percentage of liability did each party bear, wouldn't it?

Aside from questions of negligence, the cyclist who hit this pedestrian left him lying there on the path, and that is hit & run-- a felony. Second one in as many weeks, I think. What is going on with cyclists in this town, committing felonies like it's no big deal?

Is it negligence, or contributory negligence, to not ring a bell when approaching a pedestrian? Even if that pedestrian gives no indication that he or she is going to do anything other than continue forward? That one's a little tougher, IMHO. Most people (still) probably don't have bells, but there's definitely a move afoot to make this a "standard practice" among cyclists.My guess is in states where a bell is required, it would be either per se or prima facie evidence of negligence to not ring the bell. In other states, perhaps a bell isn't required, but that's not the same thing as saying there's no duty to warn. I suppose we'd have to look at case law for any given state, and if that's not available, at case law on point in other jurisdictions, to sort it out.

And something I've wondered about a lot lately: Is it contributory negligence to listen to an iPod on a shared-use path (assuming you're involved in a collission)? It seems to me it's pretty easy for the other party to argue that the iPod-listener would have heard me and avoided the accident if only he hadn't willfully obscured his ability to perceive other users of the path.That's what the other side would argue, and it's a pretty good argument.

It seems these questions are coming closer and closer everyday to being answered (if they haven't already) -- though I hope not.

One more thing: Last week, I saw about 10 guys riding in a peloton at above 25 mph on the Springwater around the evening rush hour. I participated for a time. It was fun. When we passed the north entrance to the Oaks Bottom, where there is a dip in the trail to accommodate an entrance from the left that is obscured by a wall, a guy pulling his kid in a trailer entered the main trail without looking. The guys in the peloton barely slowed down and screamed (really) at him. That's where I stopped riding with them. His actions were perhaps negligent, but those guys were on him in an instant. They probably would have been invisible if he had looked, as they would still have been up the hill. So they may have been N, too! I hope we don't end up with a speed limit -- I like to ride fast. But I always slow down in those areas because it's the safe thing to do.

Anyway, it seems to me that negligent behavior is actually very common by cyclists on the Springwater.And people wonder why there are so many lawyers. The answer is staring back at them from the mirror every morning.

mizake
07-25-2007, 02:46 PM
[i]
Aside from questions of negligence, the cyclist who hit this pedestrian left him lying there on the path, and that is hit & run-- a felony. Second one in as many weeks, I think. What is going on with cyclists in this town, committing felonies like it's no big deal?

If you're referring to the incident this morning, the woman who hit the pedestrian this morning was there the entire time. She provided her name and phone number as well as her backpack to rest his head on.

Rixtir
07-25-2007, 03:00 PM
If you're referring to the incident this morning, the woman who hit the pedestrian this morning was there the entire time. She provided her name and phone number as well as her backpack to rest his head on.My mistake, the way I read it I thought she took off and left him lying there. My helmet off to both of you then.

SpeedRacer
07-25-2007, 05:56 PM
I've always found the bike paths to be more dangerous than the streets.

wyeast
07-25-2007, 07:10 PM
T
One more thing: Last week, I saw about 10 guys riding in a peloton at above 25 mph on the Springwater around the evening rush hour. I participated for a time. It was fun. When we passed the north entrance to the Oaks Bottom, where there is a dip in the trail to accommodate an entrance from the left that is obscured by a wall, a guy pulling his kid in a trailer entered the main trail without looking. The guys in the peloton barely slowed down and screamed (really) at him. That's where I stopped riding with them. His actions were perhaps negligent, but those guys were on him in an instant. They probably would have been invisible if he had looked, as they would still have been up the hill. So they may have been N, too! I hope we don't end up with a speed limit -- I like to ride fast. But I always slow down in those areas because it's the safe thing to do.

Anyway, it seems to me that negligent behavior is actually very common by cyclists on the Springwater.

It bums me out to hear stories like that. Those guys aren't any better than the stoplight-blowing clowns as far as bringing animosity towards cyclists in this town. No "may" about it. Freightraining down a shared use path during afternoon commute and yelling at people for impeding their private racetrack just puts an ugly face on cyclists and makes us look like a menace to other path users.

Also makes me less inclined to want to ride on Springwater, too. :mad: Despite knowing there are good riders out there who stop and show concern.

Stark contrast to the woman stopping and trying to make the guy feel comfortable until medical aid could arrive. Makes me wonder what would've happened if those guys had hit him instead.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
07-25-2007, 10:08 PM
It bums me out to hear stories like that. Those guys aren't any better than the stoplight-blowing clowns as far as bringing animosity towards cyclists in this town. No "may" about it. Freightraining down a shared use path during afternoon commute and yelling at people for impeding their private racetrack just puts an ugly face on cyclists and makes us look like a menace to other path users.

Also makes me less inclined to want to ride on Springwater, too. :mad: Despite knowing there are good riders out there who stop and show concern.

Stark contrast to the woman stopping and trying to make the guy feel comfortable until medical aid could arrive. Makes me wonder what would've happened if those guys had hit him instead.

At first I was really excited to see these guys because I really like getting a good fast pull. As I said, I rode with them for a while. But when they didn't slow at a place where there was an obvious hazard, I became concerned. When they screamed by the guy at full speed and then screamed at the guy, I became alarmed and just dropped off. The word "menace" is exactly the one that came to my mind.

But my view is that the woman who hit the guy this morning and then stopped shows the classic and dangerous tendency to generalize about an entire class of people. I actually think those guys would have been likely to stop if they hit someone, or at least I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But more importantly, I wouldn't want to be lumped in with these clowns. I agree that people will tend to perceive the clown crew as indicative of how "cyclists" behave and my concern is that behavior like that will lead to restrictions on riding on the path. I don't want to see that because I think we can ride fast without being reckless or endangering pedestrians.

chopstic
07-26-2007, 12:13 AM
i believe that if we as cyclists wish to use the roads then we should be held to the same standard a full size car would be held to, from a legal standpoint at least. I remember my traffic safety course i took way back when, taught that a pedestrian ALWAYS has the right of way... now of course that is not true, but i think it emphazises the main idea that motorist (or cyclist) should take any and all precautions to avoid such collisions. Sometimes I ride along the Vancouver waterfront area, which is shared between cyclists and pedestrains, kind of like the portland waterfront, when i come up to pass a pedestrian I slow WAY down, I pass as far away from them as possible, and i always make verbal communication before the pass.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
07-26-2007, 07:43 AM
Juge v. Judson, 1995 La. App. LEXIS 33.

Rixter, are you really telling me that if I read this case it's going to say that the standard of care for cyclists passing pedestrians involves ringing a bell or making some noise to warn of the passing?

mike_khad1
07-26-2007, 12:27 PM
Those idiots!! As much as we'd like to consider the MUP as a cyclist's haven and hope and pray that the other users of the path (strollers, skaters, kids, dogs, etc) show proper etiquette, in actuality, the other users have equal claim to the use of the path. Barreling down the path and yelling at other users for not getting out of the way is an abuse. Someone could have gotten killed. Imagine if a small child It's irresponsible, dangerous, and unfairly reflects on us all. I'm glad you stepped off Attornatus_Oregonensis.

If you're a cyclist who wants speed and doesn't want to deal with strollers, skaters, kids, dogs, etc, then the open road of for you. Be a vehicle and follow the rules for vehicles.

Rixtir
07-26-2007, 12:39 PM
Rixter, are you really telling me that if I read this case it's going to say that the standard of care for cyclists passing pedestrians involves ringing a bell or making some noise to warn of the passing?Here's an excerpt of what the court said:

"The Juges were walking three abreast on East Butterfly Circle, a residential street with minimal vehicular traffic. Jennifer was approximately six to eight feet off the right curb; her father was just to her left, and her mother to his left. Mr. Judson had passed them at least once earlier and approached again from the rear. The Juges were unaware that he was approaching. He was travelling approximately 15 miles per hour on his bicycle and attempted to pass the Juges between Jennifer (then ten years old) and the right curb. He did not slow down nor did he attempt to notify the Juges that he was approaching. He came upon Jennifer just as she moved to the right because someone in her group heard a car approaching. Judson passed the car and ran into Jennifer. The collision knocked Jennifer unconscious. The trial judge found Mr. Judson was the sole fault of this accident. After a careful review of the record, we see no error in the trial court so holding.

***

Jennifer Juge sustained serious injuries. Her face was swollen where she was unable to open her mouth or eat. Her entire summer vacation was spent recovering. She was scarred on her face, nose, knee and elbow. Her most serious injury was to her teeth. A number of her permanent teeth were loosened. At the time of trial, she had undergone one root canal with three more anticipated. Each of those teeth would also require crowns which, due to Jennifer's age, would likely require numerous replacements. The trial court awarded Jennifer $40,000.00 in general damages and $16,000.00 in future medicals.

Based on the record before us, we cannot say the trial court's award was an abuse of discretion. Hence, we refuse to modify the award."

Juge v. Judson, 650 S0.2d 312 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1995).

wyeast
07-26-2007, 12:58 PM
My wholly un-educated interpretation of that is that the standard of care (at least as deemed by Mr Judson not meeting it) was providing warning and/or slowing down on approach. Not just on the basis of warning alone.

I think a reasonable argument can be made that joggers and pedestrians often pass each other w/o needing to give audible warning, so a cyclist having slowed to a similar rate of speed shouldn't necessarily be held to a different standard. (except as found in another thread, we actually are legally bound to provide warning when we're on a sidewalk)

Attornatus_Oregonensis
07-26-2007, 01:06 PM
Here's an excerpt of what the court said:

"The Juges were walking three abreast on East Butterfly Circle, a residential street with minimal vehicular traffic. Jennifer was approximately six to eight feet off the right curb; her father was just to her left, and her mother to his left. Mr. Judson had passed them at least once earlier and approached again from the rear. The Juges were unaware that he was approaching. He was travelling approximately 15 miles per hour on his bicycle and attempted to pass the Juges between Jennifer (then ten years old) and the right curb. He did not slow down nor did he attempt to notify the Juges that he was approaching. He came upon Jennifer just as she moved to the right because someone in her group heard a car approaching. Judson passed the car and ran into Jennifer. The collision knocked Jennifer unconscious. The trial judge found Mr. Judson was the sole fault of this accident. After a careful review of the record, we see no error in the trial court so holding.

***

Jennifer Juge sustained serious injuries. Her face was swollen where she was unable to open her mouth or eat. Her entire summer vacation was spent recovering. She was scarred on her face, nose, knee and elbow. Her most serious injury was to her teeth. A number of her permanent teeth were loosened. At the time of trial, she had undergone one root canal with three more anticipated. Each of those teeth would also require crowns which, due to Jennifer's age, would likely require numerous replacements. The trial court awarded Jennifer $40,000.00 in general damages and $16,000.00 in future medicals.

Based on the record before us, we cannot say the trial court's award was an abuse of discretion. Hence, we refuse to modify the award."

Juge v. Judson, 650 S0.2d 312 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1995).

Wow. Thanks, man. They are holding that there is no contributory negligence for a ped moving to her right when the cyclist does not warn his approach. I wonder if it would be the same outcome had an adult moved to his or her left, as was the case yesterday morning. If so, I daily see numerous cyclists on the Springwater who are potentially mere inches away from ~$56,000 in liability.

I'll look this up, give it a read, then search its citing references. I'm trying to build an expertise in this area for my pro bono practice.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
07-26-2007, 01:08 PM
My wholly un-educated interpretation of that is that the standard of care (at least as deemed by Mr Judson not meeting it) was providing warning and/or slowing down on approach. Not just on the basis of warning alone.

I think a reasonable argument can be made that joggers and pedestrians often pass each other w/o needing to give audible warning, so a cyclist having slowed to a similar rate of speed shouldn't necessarily be held to a different standard. (except as found in another thread, we actually are legally bound to provide warning when we're on a sidewalk)

That's a good point. I don't know the answer. Although as rixter has shown, it may be in case law out there somewhere that demonstrates the argument's success. Regardless, it's certainly what you would want to argue as the defendant's counsel.

Rixtir
07-26-2007, 01:09 PM
My wholly un-educated interpretation of that is that the standard of care (at least as deemed by Mr Judson not meeting it) was providing warning and/or slowing down on approach. Not just on the basis of warning alone.That's not a bad interpretation at all. I think an attorney could argue "my client slowed, and therefore should not be held liable." An attorney could also argue "my client sounded a warning, and therefore should not be held liable." However, as the Juge court observed, "each case must turn on its own facts"-- whether a jury would agree with either of those arguments, or whether a jury would agree that a cyclist must both slow and sound a warning, remains to be seen.

Rixtir
07-26-2007, 01:17 PM
They are holding that there is no contributory negligence for a ped moving to her right when the cyclist does not warn his approach. I wonder if it would be the same outcome had an adult moved to his or her left, as was the case yesterday morning. Judson argued that Juge should be found at least partially at fault for walking in the street. Apparently the issue of moving to the right wasn't raised, nor was the issue of passing on the right. In regards to walking in the street, the court said:

"If we were to accept Mr. Judson's argument, pedestrians would never be allowed to walk in the street. We are not prepared to rule that people cannot walk on residential streets, without bearing responsibility for any accident which may occur, especially where vehicular traffic is minimal. However, each case must turn on its own facts."

They didn't address the age of the pedestrian, but it would certainly be an interesting question, as to whether the pedestrian's standard of care may be higher or lower depending on age. There is some case law on young cyclists running into people, although I don't remember offhand what those courts had to say.

I wonder if it would be the same outcome had an adult moved to his or her left, as was the case yesterday morning. If so, I daily see numerous cyclists on the Springwater who are potentially mere inches away from ~$56,000 in liability.That's why I think you're smart to slow and sound a warning before you pass.

Not to mention courteous. ;)

lazlo
07-26-2007, 01:30 PM
I'm amazed daily at the behavior of cyclists on the Esplanade. I frequently see people weaving through groups of peds riding at 12-15mph. My basic rule is to go slow enough to be able to react to any unforseen move by a ped, and to ring my bell if I can't give them a wide enough berth. The price for having access to a car free, uninterrupted route is that we have to share it. As it's been said, if you want speed, stick to the street.

Psyfalcon
07-30-2007, 01:04 PM
Sorry about being late to this party, it took a while to get the account working!

I'm not in Portland, yet (another month!), so I don't have a firm grasp on how it works out there, but couldn't the situation be solved by having the pedestrian walk on the left, as if on a road? I've looked up pictures online, it looks wide enough to do so from what I've seen. That way they see oncoming bikes, and if they do turn around, they have a few feet to turn and spot bike traffic in the opposite direction before they enter the area a bike coming the same direction would be in.

In regard to Rixter's post, again, why were the pedestrians on the wrong side of the road? A bike should never, in theory at least, be passing a pedestrian from behind? Couldn't you then just cite whoever was on the wrong side of the road for fault?

Attornatus_Oregonensis
07-30-2007, 01:30 PM
Sorry about being late to this party, it took a while to get the account working!

I'm not in Portland, yet (another month!), so I don't have a firm grasp on how it works out there, but couldn't the situation be solved by having the pedestrian walk on the left, as if on a road? I've looked up pictures online, it looks wide enough to do so from what I've seen. That way they see oncoming bikes, and if they do turn around, they have a few feet to turn and spot bike traffic in the opposite direction before they enter the area a bike coming the same direction would be in.

In regard to Rixter's post, again, why were the pedestrians on the wrong side of the road? A bike should never, in theory at least, be passing a pedestrian from behind? Couldn't you then just cite whoever was on the wrong side of the road for fault?

If you can figure out how to get pedestrians to do anything orderly on a MUP, please let us know the trick.

Cruizer
11-18-2007, 12:45 AM
... couldn't the situation be solved by having the pedestrian walk on the left, as if on a road? ... That way they see oncoming bikes, and if they do turn around, they have a few feet to turn and spot bike traffic in the opposite direction ...

I just stumbled onto this thread and it interests me greatly, as I use the SWT between Sellwood and Ross Island Sand & Gravel as both a ped and a cyclist, though most frequently as a cyclist.

I am the only ped I've ever seen do this, but I always walk on the opposite side of the path, hugging the edge. I do this for the same reason peds walking on roads lacking sidewalks are advised to walk "facing oncoming traffic." So few cyclists give peds an audible warning upon overtaking them, and so many cyclists pass fast and close to the ped, that I walk facing traffic there for my own peace of mind and safety. Only once has anyone ever said anything to me about it [One cyclist yelled, "You're on the wrong side."] Frankly, as a cyclist, I would prefer if the peds I passed were facing me, even though I warn them with a bell.

What surprises me is that the bike maps and brochures PDOT issues advise peds to keep to the right on MUPs. I think they should advise them to keep to the left, facing cyling traffic.

Donald
11-18-2007, 01:18 AM
But I had related incident about a week ago.

I was heading south on SW Moody at 8am, not quite to the lower tram station.

Jogger was heading north, in the southbound bike lane.

As I approached, in the middle of the bike lane, he finally sees me and he thrusts his elbow out (like a judo move or similar), making contact with me.

Oh, baby.

I did my best former-messenger full-speed Lucas Brunelle u-turn and I'm on the guy. The F bomb is dropping as I not-so-calmly explain that there's a sidewalk on the other freaking side of the street and that he was running in a lane of traffic and he was expecting me to go into the path of cars to avoid him just because he was too effing lazy to cross the street and use the paved path that was more suited to his use. And that if he wanted contact, I was more than willing to oblige.

It was pure road rage. This guy did a rain dance and all he got for his trouble was a shitstorm from a guy who was tired of putting up with vehicles with which he could not argue.

That said, I encourage you to walk to your right on MUPs. It's what I expect. Others can weigh in.

And my point, which I in no way made here, is that bikes need to yield to peds, no matter where the hell they deem to ply their practice.

Not exactly a step 9, but you'll have to take it for what it is.

Cruizer
11-18-2007, 10:19 AM
Donald, that jogger was a complete jerk. But I was talking about peds being safer walking facing traffic on MUP's like the Springwater Trail between Sellwood and Ross Island Sand & Gravel. I was in no way talking about peds going the wrong way on bike lanes. That's a totally different issue. As a ped I would never dream of walking in a bike lane -- that's what sidewalks are for.

But until the majority of cyclists treat peds on MUP's with more consideration and don't whiz by them with mere inches to spare, giving absolutely no audible warning that they are approaching, I still hold that peds are safer facing traffic on MUP's, just as they would if they were walking along a country road.

I should clarify that my "facing traffic" philosophy relates to sections of trails where peds are few and far between. If I'm walking in a heavily populated part of the trail, on the Esplanade, for instance, or crossing the Steel Bridge ped/bike path, then by all means I walk on the right with everyone else.

As for the cyclist's perspective, when you come upon a pedestrian you can see where the ped is, regardless of the side of the trail the ped is walking on, and you have plenty of time and space to plan your route around the person. But the peds can't see or hear the cyclists coming up behind them, so I think peds are safer being on the opposite side of the trail from cyclists approaching behind them.

If the injured gentleman whose accident prompted this thread had been walking facing traffic, I very much doubt that he would have turned himself into the cylcist's path.

Anyway, I am interested in other cyclists' opinions on this, or do most even care which side of the trail a ped walks on, as long as the person stays to the edge and keeps walking in a straight, predictable line, looking behind to see if the coast is clear before changing sides and direction.

K'Tesh
11-18-2007, 10:44 AM
I seem to remember that there is/was a recommendation that peds walking on the roadside are supposed to walk facing traffic... Somehow this was lost on MUP's.

IMHO, it has its merits. That said, in reflecting about some of my previous bike/car interactions as a teen, motorists as a rule (when crossing MUPs) don't come to a complete stop, and don't check right. This could be the downfall of a "Walk on the LEFT side" campaign.

Now if I could only get Americans to learn that you stand on the right side as you're going up an Escalator... So that those who are in a rush can get past (I used to live in the UK).

Attornatus_Oregonensis
11-18-2007, 10:55 AM
If the injured gentleman whose accident prompted this thread had been walking facing traffic, I very much doubt that he would have turned himself into the cylcist's path.

I disagree. He was walking on the right and abruptly turned to his left, without looking, to start heading back the other direction. If he'd been on the left, he still wouldn't have seen the rider approaching from behind and there is no reason to think that he wouldn't have turned right without looking the same way he turned left without looking.

wlrdr
11-18-2007, 02:43 PM
As far as I'm concerned if there are children in the road/MUP/trail whatever I slow down.

Kids are unpredictable, it's their nature. I don't want to be responsible for hurting one.

I have been riding down the Springwater approaching teenagers in the center of the path when I called "passing on your left" they moved both left and right.

Unless cyclists take responsibility on shared paths as well as roadways we diminish our effectiveness in asking the society as a whole to take us seriously.

Ride safe.

Psyfalcon
11-18-2007, 02:56 PM
I disagree. He was walking on the right and abruptly turned to his left, without looking, to start heading back the other direction. If he'd been on the left, he still wouldn't have seen the rider approaching from behind and there is no reason to think that he wouldn't have turned right without looking the same way he turned left without looking.

My thought is that by the time he was going the other way, he would be "forced" to look for bikes coming in that direction. If the person takes the natural arcing motion, about halfway through the path, the ARE looking at where the bikes would be. Even if they don't it gives the bikes at least half a lane to respond to their movement.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
11-18-2007, 03:46 PM
My thought is that by the time he was going the other way, he would be "forced" to look for bikes coming in that direction. If the person takes the natural arcing motion, about halfway through the path, the ARE looking at where the bikes would be. Even if they don't it gives the bikes at least half a lane to respond to their movement.

I guess that would conceivably make it more likely the pedestrian would see the bike before getting hit, but looking before beginning lateral movement is the simplest way to avoid such a collision.

ds3509
11-19-2007, 06:08 AM
On trails like this, I walk on the left side of the trail. I'm walking with my dog, and she's trained to walk to my left. If I am on the right side of the trail, then she's in the middle, an obstacle that I hate when I'm biking. Dogs are only slightly more predictable than kids. When I'm on the left side, she's in the bushes happily sniffing away while I'm scanning for traffic in both directions.

jleiss
11-24-2007, 06:49 PM
Regarding the posts about laws from early on in this discussion: ORS 814.410 requres that a person operating a bicycle on a sidewalk "give an audible warning becore overtaking and passing a pedestrian," as well as that the biker yield to all pedestrians on sidewalks. While the law presumably does not apply to a MUP path, it is still a good idea to give all pedestrians an audible warning. What if a dog jumps out of the woods at them just as you pass? It'd be great if they'd jump away from you instaed of streat into your path.