Another day, another cyclist hit. Another month, another cyclist dead.
Reported by the county twitter feed:
@Allegheny_Co 4:33 PM
“Pittsburgh. 800 Baldwin Rd, Lincoln Place. A vehicle & bicyclist were involved in an accident. PGH EMS Medic 12 is on scene.”
Shortly thereafter, via KDKA:
@CBSPittsburgh 4:54 PM
“#BREAKINGNEWS Bicyclist struck and killed by vehicle along Baldwin Road: http://cbsloc.al/1b7C7NX ”
800 Baldwin 15207 either is or is just off Streets Run Rd, about half a mile south of the Streets Run exit from the 885/837/Glenwood spaghetti.
This is, by my count, possibly the eighth cyclist hit by a car in the last two weeks; the second hit today, and, of course, the second fatality this summer. Good luck finding anything on either the PG or Trib‘s websites, though—but hey! these ducklings are safe.
(My added comment to KDKA: “@CBSPittsburgh Thanks for being the one outlet covering this story–but bikes are vehicles, too. This rider was killed by a *driver*.”)
I have a few words but you’re not supposed to drop the f-bomb here.
This is disgusting.
KDKA is also devoting more time to the ducks than to both the bike-car events of today combined. On the Oakland collision they reported that the cyclist “may have broken his leg”. REALLY? The cyclist decided to reach down and snap his femur??
What a sad commentary on the accuracy of our news. No wonder I end up turning it off half the time.
The picture of the bike in the KDKA link looks like nothing has happened to it. Of course it might not be the bike involved… good journalism and all.
There was an Oakland crash too? Geeze this is shitty!
Marko82 wrote:There was an Oakland crash too? Geeze this is shitty!
Cyclist was apparently hit by a garbage truck. …and now you know as much as I do. Not a word on any local news site, including that of KDKA, the station that apparently broke the story.
Thanks for checking in, Marko. I immediately thought of you when I heard it was in Baldwin.
What a shoddy, idiotic article. “Investigators did not find a helmet at the scene”. Who gives a shit? Yet they can’t be bothered to mention if investigators found a *car* at the scene, much less whether they took the murderer operating it into custody? Was it another hit & run?
He was riding the wrong way on Baldwin Road. Can we at least not call the motorist who hit him a murderer?
I think you meant to say “it’s been reported that he was riding the wrong way on Baldwin road”, if you’re being a stickler for terminology. Even if it’s true, it doesn’t relieve the driver from responsibility.
The house pictured in that PG article is 773 Baldwin Rd, according to Google Street View: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=700+Baldwin+Road,+hays,+PA&hl=en&ll=40.379048,-79.936867&spn=0.039623,0.076818&sll=40.436626,-80.089302&sspn=0.019794,0.038409&hnear=700+Baldwin+Rd,+Pittsburgh,+Allegheny,+Pennsylvania+15207&t=m&z=14&layer=c&cbll=40.379098,-79.936782&panoid=Eo9PzEsyv9AKOOFQxB4Jrg&cbp=12,322.09,,0,6.23
@salty yeah, that’s what we have to go on. It’s not that hard to figure out what side of the road an accident happened on, and which direction people were traveling when it happened. And murderer is an incredibly loaded term. Cyclists are not angels who never do anything wrong. We have a responsibility to follow the traffic laws and sometimes, when we make mistakes, terrible things happen. Let’s take a step back and wait before we decide whose fault this was.
Channel 11 had a good shot of the car. The upper part of the windshield on the passenger side was all cracked and concave. The accident looked to have occurred in the area of Hays where one would be coming from the South Hills, via Streets Run Road, in order to connect to the trail. These thing should not happen. The attitude that these Yinzers in their cars own the roads has to be changed in this town. I’ve been dealing with it for 32 years, but now that there are more cyclists on the roads, the inevitable is occurring with alarming frequency. We need a campaign like the motorcycling community is waging so that drivers are made aware that we are out there too. They should be looking and and thinking about us also while they are maneuvering through the roadways.
We also need our elected officials to step up and the police to be made aware that they need to protect us. The cyclist was 57 years old. So am I, and that is too young to die while trying to ride to work, have a little fun, get some exercise, getting rid of the stress of driving to work, and doing your part to save the planet.
I agree about the news and all of our local TV stations. Too much sensationalism, too little information, and too many commercials. They are more interested in running every trash story that they can find instead of any real hard news. I try to watch the news but always end up turning it off due to one or more of the above. Channel 11 ran the cycling segment as their 2nd presentation at 11 PM last evening.
Per street view, speed limit on that road is 25 mph. Per my own experience, speeds on that road are closer to 45…
25 should be plenty of time to avoid an oncoming rider or stop, even if they are riding erratically, as one of @Vannevar’s facebook friends suggests. 45 would not be.
Love, btw, that the Trib mentions that police were “forced” to close off the Streets Run exit on 885/837, “snarling rush-hour traffic for several hours.” Motorists on East Carson Street were backed up to Becks Run Road! (aren’t they usually?)
This is very sad. No one should have to die for making a mistake. The man interviewed in the KDKA story admits that he too rides his bike facing traffic on this road, and nothing is said about how this is wrong. Why didn’t the news station take this as an opportunity to educate the listeners to the dangers of riding AGAINST traffic?
It is vile that every time a driver maims or kills a cyclist, the authorities and general public focus almost exclusively on what the cyclist did, with nearly zero attention on the actions of the driver piloting the three thousand pound missile down public roads. Speed limits are there to provide for a margin of error–so WHEN, not IF a driver or fellow road user makes a mistake, the driver is not at the very limit of his/her control of his/her dangerous machine. A mistake by one road user is not a get-out-of-blame-free card for the driver.
This is not so different from other situations where someone is assaulted or killed–the primary onus should be on the assaulter or killer, not on the victim, even if the victim made a mistake!
I have to wonder whether we need to team up with the motorcyclists–this Orwellian four-wheels-good, two-wheels-bad shite has to stop somehow.
The guy hit on Baldwin Rd was a delivery driver and retired firefighter & marine who was biking home from work because his car was in the shop.
Condolences to the family.
“Mr. Zietak’s widow, Sharon, said this morning that her husband was pedaling home from work at Pittsburgh Mailing in the 4700-block of Streets Run Road because his car was in the shop.
She said he was not wearing a helmet.”
The reporter just HAD to throw that in there? *head desk*
Yes, condolences to the family. Who would have thought that cycling was more dangerous than the marines and fire-fighting… another unnecessary death.
I don’t know if the general public is educated.. For instance, a guy was talking to a few of us outside of a sheetz today and had to ask if the 4 foot pass is a law or a courtesy. So there are drivers who don’t know this, there are people on bikes that don’t know that they should ride with traffic, there are walkers who don’t know that they should walk against traffic, and most of all, there are people who don’t care to drive the speed limit. I think someone else said it, but shouldn’t you be able to avoid hitting things and people in front of you if you are paying attention to traffic? This is really sad indeed. I feel bad for the family.
Bill Peduto says it’s going to take years to change Pittsburgh cyclist safety – but assures it will happen.
Now that the presumed-next-Mayor is back from touring Europe, if you’d like to urge him to prioritize action on bike safety the twitter handle is: @billpeduto.
The questions I sent to Mr. Peduto are: Is a “years” timeframe acceptable? What’s the plan? When does action start?
Change could start today if the media would change their tune, particularly their template, concerning this type of story.
A year of focused activism can be undone in a single night with stupid coverage that reaches hundreds of thousands.
I think the news coverage was fine. Mentioning the helmet makes sense because it’s one of a few things Mr. Zietak could have done to increase his margin for error. They could also have said something about riding with traffic. And obviously we need massive improvements in infrastructure and enforcement. I’d like to see a Pittsburgh where there was always a safe route from point A to point B, and signs directing people to it.
What might help is thinking about what we can do to help riders just starting bicycling after not doing it since they were kids. They aren’t likely to know about Bike Pittsburgh, with its maps etc. Is there anything we can do to help these riders in the near future?
I ran into a new rider in Performance Bikes once and was telling him about Bob Firth’s maps for “scaredycats”. At least it would be nice if bike shops had a packet of maps and a guide to riding in traffic (and the BikePgh message board URL for more advice) to hand out to anyone who’s just starting riding again.
Post Gazette story with a few more details. http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/hays-bicycle-crash-victim-was-former-pittsburgh-firefighter-695314/
It’s all a question of resources. We are about to go to print with 35,000 more maps which give a quick glimpse at the rules of the road and pretty decent, if not good routes to get around the city. We’re also about done with the next edition of Bike Commuting 101, now called The Urban Biking Companion (since many people who ride don’t commute). I think we’re printing something like 15,000 of those and of course both of these publications are online.
All one would need to do is type in to their search engine of choice any number of terms about bicycling in Pittsburgh and you’ll find us and our resources. We can do more reaching out via radio, TV, bus ads, etc, but it takes money. If you would like to see this happen and you’re not currently a donor/member please become one.
Finally, this is a government problem too. We need to make sure that every drivers exam gets a question about biking on it which means people must STUDY that section of the vehicle code if they don’t want to miss that question. Call your state rep to tell them that we need reform on how people are licensed and how often we need to pass exams to stay licensed. Laws change, people forget, bodies age…
scott wrote:Finally, this is a government problem too.
Absolutely. This is primarily a government problem. (public safety, public health, transportation, capital investments, communication). I wish they would see it that way
I was just in a bike shop and among the pamphlets by the cash register saw nothing for new riders. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and expensive. It can be small and mostly a reference to Web resources. Something like “For NEW riders: here’s some things you should know about riding in Pittsburgh: riding in traffic; map resources; helmets; locks; community”. Just something bike shops could hand to anyone who says they’re getting on a bike for the first time since they were a kid.
All the crap that puts the responsibility on new “cyclists” isn’t going to help the guy whose car breaks down and he pulls a bike out of the garage
Is he going to think “Ah, I better brush up on my cycling rules of the road! I bet bike shops have pamphlets to help me”
Does the oncoming car have no responsibility for whatever is in front of him? Another witness said he noticed the guy wobbling. Now, even if somebody isn’t wobbling in your lane of travel, what do you do? Plow straight ahead!
Being in the opposite lane of travel should not be a death sentence or excuse for somebody else to run into you. If your path of travel is obstructed, SLOW DOWN, USE CAUTION
Do we have evidence the motorist did either?
Jon, bike commuting 101 is for new riders. We’re just out of them which means shops are out of them. They’re being printed soon.
@Pierce I was thinking about that. And of course not everybody will get the news. But quite likely somebody who pulls a bike out to ride while his car is in the shop might go drop by a bike shop and pick up a tube or whatever — and maybe see “Commuting 101”. It might save a few lives. And yes, enforcement & infrastructure would save more; I was talking about what we can do right now.
@scott, good to know.
One more time, I will ask: What was the driver doing driving? What transportation need was being satisfied by employing the use of an automobile? Could not this need have been satisfied some other way?
Regardless of wobble or salmoning or inexperience or whatever shortcoming, this cyclist would probably still be alive today if the driver had not been behind the wheel.
And in a 25 zone in broad daylight, it is difficult to explain not being able to avoid something directly in front of you. Would you hit a sitting tree branch that had fallen just because it was in your path of travel?
I was sitting on the neighbor’s porch discussing this last night. Her twenty year old daughter commented, ‘I thought you were supposed to ride a bike facing traffic.’ This from a girl that is smart (going to nursing school) & I think a very good and cautious driver (at least when I’ve seen/been with her). So how does a newly licensed driver not know this? AND I might add that her grandfather is an avid cyclist (albeit the recumbent trail type).
If the guy was going the speed limit, he’d probably be one out of 100
That road merges into 885, which I’ve been taking to work since ’08
I’ve never even been on that road because I know there’s no shoulder and it’s a narrow, decent amount of traffic road
Glenwood Bridge also has a speed limit of 25
Lebanon Rd, which runs parallel to Baldwin, has a speed limit of 40 and I’m regularly passed by cars going downhill when I’m doing 35-40mph, and this is when I’m aggressively taking the lane, and several times people have even changed into the opposing lane of traffic to pass me with a PAT bus barreling towards them in the opposing lane
From the PG
According to Sgt. Eugene Hlavac…
It doesnt’ give me warm and fuzzy feelings to see that name in a position of authority regarding a bike accident.
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