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I Should Have Stayed Home, The Crash was Impressive

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I Should Have Stayed Home, The Crash was Impressive

Old 08-06-22, 04:35 PM
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Paul Barnard
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I Should Have Stayed Home, The Crash was Impressive

With the vacations I have been on lately, I haven't had much time for riding. I woke up at 545 this morning, rolled out of bed and talked myself into getting in a ride. A scan of the weather radar showed that I'd have to dodge showers, and would be lucky not to get rained on.

I had to force myself to do the ride. For some strange reason I had a little gnawing uneasiness in my gut. I brushed it off and set out on my 30 mile loop that would take me through the heart of NOLA. I ride this route often on weekend mornings because much of it is in marked bike lanes or on dedicated bike paths. Traffic is always very light.

I got on St Charles Street. I was in the bike lane. A car started drifting over across the line into me. A little knock-knock-knock on the side and they corrected back into the car lane. There were no cars parked in the parking lane, or I would have hit the brakes. As it was, I had an escape route. The driver was an elderly woman. This is the location.



A few minutes later, a Chevy truck with a bed full of appliances blasted across St Charles without stopping at their stop sign. If I had been seconds earlier, it could have been ugly. Buildings close to the road would have kept me from seeing the situation developing. The idiot driver had his window down and got called a dumb a#$.



A few miles further I was on Camp at Canal, first in line stopped in the left lane at a traffic light waiting for it to turn green. Camp is a one way with 2 lanes. The right lane is for going straight or right turns. The left lane is for left turns. I was turning left. A car stopped in the right lane with me mere feet to the left of the driver. When the light turned green, the driver immediately began crossing over into my lane...further and further, forcing me into the median area. I stopped and let him go.



Further into the ride, I am on Wisner in City Park. This is a very popular route for bicyclists, because it connects several bike paths. It's a divided, slow speed 4 lane (2 in each direction.) Traffic is extremely light. There is a piece of asphalt to the right of the white fog line, but trees hang over it in places, at about waist level, forcing riders to use the auto lane. This shouldn't be a big deal for motorists, because the left lane is invariably wide open. But there are always those who find it either emotionally or physically too difficult to move into the wide open left lane. I saw one of these drivers coming up from behind me. When you ride enough, you have a sense for these things. I was in the lane of travel because of low hanging branches. A normal driver would have eased into the unoccupied left lane. Ths driver wasn't going to. He was a "punish" passer. At the point he finally started moving over very slightly and coming around, the vegetation allowed me to move to the right of the fog line, opening up safe distance between us. He punish passed a rider several hundred yards in front of me, that rider threw his hands up WTF style.





Down on Robert E Lee Ave, I passed a rider who was on an expensive carbon fiber triathlon type bike. I was going about 18. I estimated he was going about 10. I found that odd. As I passed him, I could see that he was older. I glanced over my shoulder a bit later to check on him and saw that he was up to speed. A bit later, and he was hammer down, closing in on me. We exited Robert E Lee onto Coast Guard Road that passes up and over the levee. A bike path Ts with CG Rd. at the top of the levee. I was planning on turning on the bike path. A glance over my shoulder showed that the Tri bike rider was closing in on me and would pass before I got to the bike path. When I got to a point that I could see over the levee, I could see a car coming up and over in the opposite lane. I'd have to yield right of way and cross their lane after they passed. The Tri bike rider blasted past me about that time. I thought to myself "I hope he's going straight." He wasn't. He started taking an angle across the oncoming lane to the head of the bike path. I said "NO" in disbelief and to warn him. I thought very quickly, "he'll veer back into our lane." He didn't. No sooner than I blurted out "schidt" the front right bumper of the Prius impacted the rear derailleur area of the bike with a decided thwack. The rider flew off of the bike, hit the concrete and slid into the grass. Had he been exercising a modicum of care and paying attention, he could have seen this developing too.



I stopped to help. The closing speed, factoring both him and the car doing about 15-20 MPH, was 30-40 MPH. It was a glancing blow fortunately. He was laying on his back, moaning in pain. I asked where he hurt the most. He said "all over." I didn't see any serious bleeding. While I stepped back to ask the driver to call 911, he yelled out an expletive and followed by "not again." It didn't surprise me to learn that he'd been hit by a car before. I'd soon learn that he'd been hit twice before and that he had other close calls in this exact place because the drivers always "fly" through the area. He accused this driver of "flying" up the road too, trying to pin the blame on her. I told him that she appeared to be traveling at a safe rate of speed. The rider complained that he was planning on going to Santa Fe later next week to try to break a world record. I told him that my wife was in Santa Fe at the moment and that I was sorry he wouldn't be able to go.



The cops rolled up. I offered my name and phone number as a witness. The cop gave me the impression he wasn't going to do an accident report. I told him that the bicycle was a up to a $10,000 bike and suggested to him that this is the kind of crash that goes to litigation. I don't know if he did a report. The bike's rear derailleur was snapped off and the frame cracked. I told the cops what I saw.

My guess is that he didn't like being passed by a dork, dressed like a candy cane, riding a nerd bike. He just HAD to pass me on an incline. That's all just a guess.

Last edited by Paul Barnard; 08-06-22 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 08-08-22, 12:57 PM
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Signage seems somewhat goofy at the crash location:



Perhaps if the "Blow Horn" sign were turned 90 degrees counterclockwise, and drivers coming up over the blind brow did so, it would serve as an extra warning for people not inclined to pay 100% attention to the road hazards arrayed in front of them.

The current placement of the sign is strange. If you look at the configuration of this corner and bike path junction, the sign should face drivers coming up over the levee from the CGS, not for those drivers coming up the hill with a direct sight-line to riders coming down the path.

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Old 08-08-22, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Perhaps if the "Blow Horn" sign were turned 90 degrees counterclockwise, and drivers coming up over the blind brow did so, it would serve as an extra warning for people not inclined to pay 100% attention to the road hazards arrayed in front of them.

The current placement of the sign is strange. If you look at the configuration of this corner and bike path junction, the sign should face drivers coming up over the levee from the CGS, not for those drivers coming up the hill with a direct sight-line to riders coming down the path.
The "blow horn" sign could be to warn drivers coming the other way on Coast Guard Road (not cyclists on the path). There's another sign down the path for cyclists moving towards the intersection. Don't know what it says.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
The "blow horn" sign is for drivers coming the other way on Coast Guard Road (not cyclists on the path).
Duh.

But it's pointing at the drivers who have a clear view of riders coming off the path - check it out from street view. Drivers coming from the CGS side can also see riders on the trail, in profile - BUT, they can't see cars/cyclists coming up the levee on the road until they're nearly at the top. Perhaps if the sign was pointing in the direction of drivers coming over the top, and they honked their horns, the rider who suffered the collision would have gotten a heads-up, and avoided the accident.

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Old 08-08-22, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Signage seems somewhat goofy at the crash location:



Perhaps if the "Blow Horn" sign were turned 90 degrees counterclockwise, and drivers coming up over the blind brow did so, it would serve as an extra warning for people not inclined to pay 100% attention to the road hazards arrayed in front of them.

The current placement of the sign is strange. If you look at the configuration of this corner and bike path junction, the sign should face drivers coming up over the levee from the CGS, not for those drivers coming up the hill with a direct sight-line to riders coming down the path.

DD

Those signs appear at every rise in our levee paths and where roads cross the levee paths. The levee police drive down the bike paths.
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Old 08-08-22, 03:00 PM
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He was doing intervals.

Nothing to do with your candy cane outfit.

What other reason would someone going to Nationals be doing 10 mph?
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Old 08-08-22, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Those signs appear at every rise in our levee paths and where roads cross the levee paths. The levee police drive down the bike paths.
So they're there for the police. Okay, that makes sense, particularly if the other sign facing in the opposite direction in my Streetview snip also says to blow horn.

Also, I like this view because it shows accident dude had a clear sight line as he approached the turning point for the bike path:



Failure to yield can hurt.

DD
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Old 08-08-22, 04:02 PM
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Glad it wasn't worse and that you didn't have to witness anything worse.
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Old 08-08-22, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
So they're there for the police. Okay, that makes sense, particularly if the other sign facing in the opposite direction in my Streetview snip also says to blow horn.

Also, I like this view because it shows accident dude had a clear sight line as he approached the turning point for the bike path:



Failure to yield can hurt.

DD
Oh yeah, he had time to process everything if he had been paying attention. Just the fact that he admitted that he knew people "flew" over the rise should have been enough to have prompted a little caution.
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Old 08-09-22, 08:49 AM
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Crasher sounds like an idiot.
Looking at the blind curve, I would stop and get off my bike to cross
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Old 08-10-22, 06:23 PM
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Maybe "Blow Horn" is for Mardi Gras parades.
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