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Thread: Bollard placement kills cyclist in James County

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    No you didn't, you advocated for a specific interpretation of events.



    Incorrect. I am advocating for NO interpretation, just a statement of fact. I.E. Cyclist dies after hitting a bollard. Or if you wish to take it to another level, Cyclist dies after hitting poorly located bollard.


    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    A headline will never list all contributing factors, only a couple of words that fit into a headline.



    Okay, so I did use the word headline, but this is not really a headline, it is a forum thread. I don't think the character limit significantly contributed to the words used. Additionally, "Cyclist dies after hitting a bollard in James County." is pretty close in character count to your chosen "
    Bollard placement kills cyclist in James County"


    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    If you want the focus to be on speculation about one out of all the things that could have possibly happened differently in the chain of events leading to the conclusion I guess that's your stylistic choice--but I think many people could reasonably believe that identifying the final link in the chain, the one which is most definite and the one most amenable to correction via public policy, would make more sense.



    Placement of the bollard is only one of the factors and is far from "the final link in the chain", unless of course the bollard was placed near minutes or second before it was hit. The final link is the cyclist hitting the bollard, which goes back to a pure statement of fact. I don't know why he hit it. I honestly don't know that it was in the middle of the trial. As far as I know, that is speculation, but of course I could be missing a fact.


    Lastly, without knowing the additional factors, there is no way to say that the bollard placement is the most correctable factor. The cyclist’s speed or attention could be just as easily corrected.

    Bottom line, I am far from advocating bollards or any other infrastructure that poses a significant threat to cyclists. I am firmly advocating for people taking responsibility for their own safety and actions.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hancockbs View Post
    ...it is a forum thread.
    Written by non-journalists, potentially with an axe to grind. Not a newspaper; not a magazine. Not the place to hold anyone to a journalistic standard, IMO.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hancockbs View Post
    I am firmly advocating for people taking responsibility for their own safety and actions.
    And you haven't the slightest idea if that applies in this case. Your statement smacks of victim blaming.
    Ever have a bug fly into your jersey, causing you to swerve, despite your best attention? Ever had a blowout? Ever had another cyclist do something causing you to make an avoidance maneuver? A bollard makes every one of these situations potentially far more dangerous. As mstone pointed out, that's why we design our roads the way we do, with buffers and barriers and even padding in some places. Yes, responsibility, but humans make errors, and expecting them not to is absurdly unreasonable.

    If I went out tonight and placed a concrete block in the middle of the MVT, painted yellow even, and someone ran into it and were injured, I presume I would be sued and potentially prosecuted. Yet jurisdictions do the same thing, and it's called a safety feature. Go figure.

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  4. #13
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    The Virginia Capital Trail has a bunch of bollards particularly at places where the trail crosses roads. I believe Komorebi clipped one there once.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    We are obviously at odds over the statement and interpretation of events here, so I'll make this my last attempt to get my pure point across. One last time, ALL I am advocating for is stating known facts in cases such as this. If you really believe that the placement of the bollard killed the cyclist, then we have nothing to discuss. I believe you're wrong and we'll just have to go our separate ways. If the placement of the bollard killed the cyclist, then how come tens or hundreds of more cyclist aren't dead from the same bollard?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    And you haven't the slightest idea if that applies in this case. Your statement smacks of victim blaming.
    Steve, that is your interpretation. I have not once blamed the rider. I have also not absolved the rider of blame, because I simply don't have the facts to do either. In my view, absolving the rider of blame is just as dangerous, if not more so, than blaming him. Hence, my statement for taking responsibility for ones own safety and actions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Ever have a bug fly into your jersey, causing you to swerve, despite your best attention? Ever had a blowout? Ever had another cyclist do something causing you to make an avoidance maneuver? A bollard makes every one of these situations potentially far more dangerous. As mstone pointed out, that's why we design our roads the way we do, with buffers and barriers and even padding in some places. Yes, responsibility, but humans make errors, and expecting them not to is absurdly unreasonable.
    Yes, yes, and yes. Yet, none of these actions have caused me to crash at speed into a stationary object that I could clearly see in advance of the event, as appears to be the case here. Even if they did result in me crashing into said stationary object, I would still accept a great deal of the responsibility because I was not in enough control to avoid that event. In the case of another trail user or animal causing me to conduct an avoidance maneuver, I'd take less responsibility, but still some. I could have slowed, anticipated, changed lanes, etc. I have seen no facts presented that suggest any of these things happened in any regard, so there is no evidence presented to absolve the rider and blame the bollard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Yes, responsibility, but humans make errors, and expecting them not to is absurdly unreasonable.
    Ah, taking responsibility for an error made. Very good. I never suggested that errors should not be expected. Once again, you seem to be assuming that I think the bollard should have been there. Even though it probably should not have been, its placement did not kill the rider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    If I went out tonight and placed a concrete block in the middle of the MVT, painted yellow even, and someone ran into it and were injured, I presume I would be sued and potentially prosecuted. Yet jurisdictions do the same thing, and it's called a safety feature. Go figure.
    One last time, I am not advocating for bollards (or blocks, or anything else) in the middle of the trail. You seem to keep coming back to that and assuming that I am. If your scenario came to life and the block was placed in a section of the trail where I could see it in advance, i.e. not in the middle of a blind curve or similar, yes, you would still be to blame for placing it there, but I would also be to blame for not avoiding it. Even if it were in the middle of a blind curve, I'd still have some responsibility for having ridden through the curve at a speed to fast to stop in a safe distance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hancockbs View Post
    so there is no evidence presented to absolve the rider and blame the bollard.
    Even if so, proportionality dictates that the punishment for inattentiveness should not be death. Or grievous injury even.
    The officials responsible for this trail were grossly negligent IMO for putting a known hazard where it would eventually be run into by someone, likely causing injury. In this case, worse. It's been at least since the 1990's that FHWA guidance has recommended against the use of bollards in exactly these kinds of places. The fact that the officials ignored this long-standing guidance had a direct connection to Mr. Fox's death. Primary cause? Who cares? Had the officials followed best practices, Mr. Fox would almost certainly be alive now, regardless of any and all other factors. Full stop.

    As far as the title of my forum thread goes, I don't feel any obligation to meet some sort of journalistic standards on a little-bitty local bike forum, and I feel perfectly fine expressing my personal point of view in the title.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hancockbs View Post
    We are obviously at odds over the statement and interpretation of events here, so I'll make this my last attempt to get my pure point across. One last time, ALL I am advocating for is stating known facts in cases such as this.
    Weird how much your later posts differ from your original post. To refresh your memory: "The bollard placement did not kill the rider. Lack of attention, riding too fast, or something similar resulted in the cyclist crashing into a bollard and his death." Again, that's not a call for "facts", that's a call for a specific conclusion based completely on speculation in the absence of supporting facts.

  10. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hancockbs View Post
    Yet, none of these actions have caused me to crash at speed into a stationary object that I could clearly see in advance of the event, as appears to be the case here.
    So, I was once new to bike commuting. At my workplace, bike commuters need to show their ID card to the guard, before proceeding immediately down a fairly steep ramp into the garage. I held out my id, managed to get the cord on it tangled with the handle bar, while going down hill, and I ended up going over the handlebars and hitting the pavement on the ramp.

    I was not killed. There was no bollard there (because this was a place where bikes used the same space as autos). If for some reason there WAS a bollard or similar obstruction, there is a non zero chance I would have been killed.

    IMO, very precisely that death would have been due to the combination of my error, and the placement of the bollard. To say in that case that a bollard caused my death would not be in error.

    I do congratulate you though on not making such errors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hancockbs View Post
    We are obviously at odds over the statement and interpretation of events here, so I'll make this my last attempt to get my pure point across. One last time, ALL I am advocating for is stating known facts in cases such as this. If you really believe that the placement of the bollard killed the cyclist, then we have nothing to discuss. I believe you're wrong and we'll just have to go our separate ways. If the placement of the bollard killed the cyclist, then how come tens or hundreds of more cyclist aren't dead from the same bollard?
    Someone shoots a gun, firing 30 bullets towards a crowd at some distance. Only two people are hit, one is killed. IMO its correct to say that the gun killed the person, even though most were not killed. Some might have been smart enough to duck, some might have just been lucky.

    Heck, we've all seen instances where a driver made an improper turn, failed to signal, or sped through a red light. And we avoided a collision by sheer good luck, by hypervigilance, or some combination. Would that mean that when someone IS killed by scofflaw driver, we do not say the scofflaw driver killed them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    So, I was once new to bike commuting. At my workplace, bike commuters need to show their ID card to the guard, before proceeding immediately down a fairly steep ramp into the garage. I held out my id, managed to get the cord on it tangled with the handle bar, while going down hill, and I ended up going over the handlebars and hitting the pavement on the ramp.

    I was not killed. There was no bollard there (because this was a place where bikes used the same space as autos). If for some reason there WAS a bollard or similar obstruction, there is a non zero chance I would have been killed.

    IMO, very precisely that death would have been due to the combination of my error, and the placement of the bollard. To say in that case that a bollard caused my death would not be in error.

    I do congratulate you though on not making such errors.
    Against my better judgement, I'll continue the conversation. To say that the bollard caused your death in that case would be inaccurate IMO. The bollard contributed to your death, certainly, but I would say the cause was closer to you not stopping to put away the ID and cord, thereby causing the hazard that resulted in your death by hitting the bollard. Perhaps that is semantics, but I prefer to "blame" the action rather than the inanimate and non-moving object.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Someone shoots a gun, firing 30 bullets towards a crowd at some distance. Only two people are hit, one is killed. IMO its correct to say that the gun killed the person, even though most were not killed. Some might have been smart enough to duck, some might have just been lucky.

    Heck, we've all seen instances where a driver made an improper turn, failed to signal, or sped through a red light. And we avoided a collision by sheer good luck, by hypervigilance, or some combination. Would that mean that when someone IS killed by scofflaw driver, we do not say the scofflaw driver killed them?
    Now you've gone to completely different issues. I could argue the gun did not kill the person in your scenario, as a gun can't do anything by itself (much like a bollard), but that's a totally different argument. I will say that in all of these stated cases, you are providing an action by another party that caused a death. I'm fine with contributing the death to an action and/or the person generating the action, be that the party who died or the party that caused their death. I'm not okay with contributing the death to a non-moving inanimate object. If someone crashed and hit their head on the ground, you might contend the ground caused their death. I would not.
    Last edited by Hancockbs; 01-30-2020 at 04:24 PM.

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