View Full Version : Lovejoy /Cornell Tunnel

02-16-2006, 07:46 PM
On Wednesday afternoon a coworker and I were enjoying the nice weather by taking a lunch time ride up from downtown to the Cemetary on Skyline. On the way down as we were in the 1st tunnel, we got buzzed by a woman in a black Toyota Highlander who decided we weren't going fast enough and decided to pass us IN THE TUNNEL with on coming traffic.

My buddy and I were riding along at least 25-30 MPH so we weren't going slow (and the tunnel is not that long anyway).

Funny thing, is that once you get through the second tunnel the road is all slow with speedbumps, etc. I ended up catching up to her and she held me up all the way down until she turned off by Good Sam. I tried to get her attention to ask her if I really slowed her down enough to warrant killing me but she didn't notice me as she was too busy talking on her cellphone... ARRGH

02-22-2006, 07:26 PM
Sorry to hear about that Porter. Unfortunately buzzing happens too often for comfort. I don't think most drivers are out there to get us, but it seems a lot of them underestimate our speed, fail to realize how close is too close or are too distracted in general :(

Take care

nate c
03-10-2006, 08:19 AM
I used to commute downhill thru those tunnels.... always doing 25mph +. Had close calls at least 2x per week.

Be extremely carefull on that stretch.

PS- if you are coming uphill and use the bike paths that go around the tunnel be alert and aware. I've had groups of inebriated streetfolks yell / lunge at me there as well.


03-10-2006, 10:22 AM
I go through those tunnels pretty frequently on the weekends. I always worry if I'm seen while in those tunnels. I should use a tail light. Do y'all think that'd make any difference?

nate c
03-10-2006, 11:46 AM
Tailight couldn't hurt :)

04-01-2006, 10:21 AM
yes, definitely use a tail light. a bright red flashing one. yes yes yes.

i bike and drive those taillights really really help your visibility to drivers.

08-27-2006, 11:52 PM
While a tail light will certainly increase your visibility for approaching motorists, I don't think it will deter them from passing you in the Cornell tunnels if they are so inclined.

Like Porter I was passed yesterday in the tunnel. Not technically a close call (in that I didn't have to take evasive action) it was nevertheless unnerving and totally unnecessary.

Unlike Porter I did confront the motorist when we ended up at the 23rd@Lovejoy. Unfortunately, our conversation quickly deteriorated into the typical:
Driver - "You think you own the road.";
Cyclist - "Well, in a tunnel with a double yellow, yes.";
Driver - "F%@k you, as#%$le!".

In hindsight I wish it would have been more like:
Cyclist - "Funny we should run into one another again after you past me in the tunnel about a mile back."
Driver - "Indeed, I thought I was making good time, but obviously not."
Cyclist - "That's right, turns out you incurred great risk for no reward. In a narrow tunnel our options are very limited. On-coming car, road hazard, mechanical problem, bad stuff can happen. Better we just share the road like the sign says."
Driver - "OK, makes sense now that I think about it. Have a good ride."

Of course, the likelihood of a rational conversation between an aggressive motorist and cyclist is about nil. And so too the likelihood of flashing tail lights convincing an aggressive motorist that passing in a tunnel is a bad idea. Better we had a law and posted sign saying "Passing cyclists in tunnel is prohibited". Not that laws and signs guarantee compliance, but I do think it would be the most effective way to increase safety in the Cornell tunnels.

09-12-2006, 10:09 AM
Ah wouldn't it be great if every conversation was like that?