Tue 12.12 5.20-ish pm Cyclist hit by bus Forbes & S. Craig
Forbes Ave & S Craig St, Pittsburgh, bike rider struck by @PGHtransit bus. Condition unknown. Pgh EMS & Fire, Port Authority PD on scene.
Shit. I looked down Forbes after cutting through CMU and saw a bus stopped and a lot of emergency vehicles and had no idea what happened. I hope the cyclist is ok. Damn.
Anonymous 12/13/2012 at 12:40am #
Damn it. Anxiously awaiting more news.
Anonymous 12/13/2012 at 12:53am #
Goodness, I hope that isn’t true. One thing for sure, people are really rushing like mad with their big vehicles this time of year with their self important attitudes. Please post any more information if anyone hears anything.
Another crap intersection. The left turn on to Craig needs about 30 seconds of protected green, not the current five or ten or whatever it is
Anonymous 12/13/2012 at 1:39am #
Anonymous 12/13/2012 at 4:20am #
Wonder if there are cyclists hit and it never gets reported in the media? I suspect so, but not sure.
“Another crap intersection. The left turn on to Craig needs about 30 seconds of protected green, not the current five or ten or whatever it is”
Agreed. One of the worst intersections in the city. There are too many pedestrians and no traffic control.
Anonymous 12/13/2012 at 2:08pm #
I was there as the accident happened (though I was not looking directly at the accident). Bicyclist was coming down 5th from CMU, had just gone over the bridge, and was struck by the bus (going the same direction, towards Craig) in front of the electric vehicle charging station. It occurred very close to 4:30pm, so if you saw lots of emergency folks there at 5:20, that was how long it took to get a handle on the situation.
She was not wearing a helmet. Eyewitnesses speculated that she had swerved to avoid a street sewer grate, directly into the path of the bus.
Grim scene. You can still see the blood splotch on the street (with a chalk outline saying “head”) as of 8:40am this morning.
Anonymous 12/13/2012 at 2:23pm #
Terrible news, I hope the cyclist is recovering. The streets do seem to be even more sketchy than usual, I thought it was just me because it is now dark when I leave the office.
When I ride in, I’m usually on that same path. From Morewood down to Craig, at a minimum, is a little harrowing. Buses pull into and out of the stop at the CMU parking lot near Forbes & Morewood and they accelerate much more slowly than a bike does; however, they also decelerate and maneuver far more slowly than we do. So: harrowing.
This area, as I understand it, is a focus for the Oakland plan (and for CMU) for the next several years. I hope it happens soon. (edit: said “my condolences,” thought the cyclist had passed away — I hope she is doing well!)
I just spent thirty minutes tring to find this on the local media websites and then on google and can find nothing. I was watching WPXI news at 5pm last night and they simply reported an accident involving a bus in oakland but nothing more (literally two or three sentences); then nothing on the 6pm newscast.
Why is this not being reported?
Lots of accidents happen that are not reported. Hopefully that means the injuries are not as serious as they sound.
It’s not reported because it’s not news because it’s not remarkable, it’s commonplace, it’s like “a man bought a bagel”, “a woman had a baby”, “a drunk puked on Southside”, “a 120-pound cyclist got run over by a 6-ton bus”.
It’s completely acceptable, just normal, move along. Now reporting from the Steelers training camp on the Mendenhall suspension, a man in the street interview with some very upset Steeler fanz…
(and seriously, it will remain completely normal and acceptable until such time as people disturb the status quo and make it unacceptable. And I kind of doubt that will happen.)
Thanks for the detail on the location of this accident.
I had imagined it closer to the actual intersection.
if @jchpgh’s account is correct, it sounds like the kind of instance in which the 4′ passing rule–when adhered to–could have made a difference. Hope the cyclist recovers.
I was coming eastbound on Forbes around 4:30 and I saw firetrucks and ambulances headed to that exact location. I turned left up Craig Street and didn’t try to get any closer.
Blood on the ground… yowza.
@pseudacris, indeed. I’ve been passed (on the right) quite close by a PAT bus twice now after making a left turn on the Wilmerding bridge. I was staying in the left lane because was going to make a left turn at the next light. I never thought to make a big deal out of it, but I will start now.
PAT bus drivers must deal with conflicting demands — keep on their schedule, which they are easily evaluated on, and obey the four foot rule, which nobody notices if they break. Guess who loses?
I’m feeling like a ride of silence is called for. That is a dangerous corridor. We should call attention to it.
I’ve seen cyclists wipe out on that sewer grate before, back when I worked at the CIC. The last wreck I saw was in 2008; although no motorists were involved they still had to call out paramedics to check on the cyclist.
@mojo, what’s the issue with that sewer grate? Sunken? Just slick? Other? If it’s an installation issue, we can possibly get that fixed.
Doesn’t the bus driver get at least a ticket for violating the 4′ rule here? What happened to that?
If the cyclist made a last minute swerve to avoid the sewer grate, that would seem to cloud the application of the 4′ rule. Speculation.
@edmonds59 – but isn’t that the point of 4′ rule. If the bus had given her 4′ then a swerve around a 12″ or 18″ grate would have been irrelevant. That’s why I get pi$$ed when I get buzzed. It takes away that margin of error that both the cyclist and driver have.
Also it’s not hard to go 25 or close to it down that hill on a bike, and the lane is about to end – she shouldn’t have been getting passed or followed that closely in the first place.
Any updates on her condition?
We have counted bikes at that location probably a dozen times. In the afternoon, which is when I tend to do the counts, the inbound bikes I see do not MOSTLY seem to be moving at any great speed. Many use the sidewalks, and many make the turn north onto Craig. So bike speed may or may not have been an issue.
As for the 4′ law, the bus may NOT have been passing, or intending to pass. Is the cyclist swerved and then fell in front of the bus, for example, the passing law would not be relevant. And if the cyclist was riding without taking the lane, and the bus did try to pass with a 4 ft clearance (giving the driver the benefit of the doubt for the moment) and then the cyclist SWERVED in front of the bus, said law does not apply.
Hard to imagine a 4 ft deep swerve, but not impossible, and we really don’t know the circumstances yet.
Finally, interesting to read that PAAC PD was there with Pittsburgh EMS and Fire. I wonder if that means the call actually went out through 911, or if Port Authority called for the EMT. If the call did not go through 911, the media might have been less likely to pick it up on a scanner (again, just conjecture on my part).
@hyla – Yes, I think that is probably the grate in question.
Can anyone in the east end get a photo of it in the next couple of days and post it here? I don’t see anything overly problematic with it in the streetview shot, but things could have changed since the time the google cams came through.
Don’t know. The 4′ corridor doesn’t give a rider a heck of a lot of room to swerve, maybe 12″ either way. Also, what Swalfoort said.
Grim lesson on why cyclists need to take the entire lane or AT LEAST maintain a uniform line far enough from the curb and grates to not require a swerve. Supreme importance.
I have often thought of having some sort of 4 foot poll that would break away or fold of struck by a passing vehicle. I mostly come up with thoughts like these after having close calls or hearing from friends who were buzzed. I wonder if something like that would keep drivers away. Probably not. Probably not practical ether. Though Something similar seemed to work for Aaron with the bumper, whether that was his intention or not, I don’t know.
I tried to post a couple of links to warning devices but the SPAM filter got me. Look at carshoo.com. There are also laser lights that paint a bike lane for drivers to see, e.g., lightlanebike.com.
I went and took a look at the sewer grate this afternoon (sorry, no photo). It looks like it has been replaced somewhat recently. It is now a grid drain and is level with the surrounding asphalt. I seem to recall that it used to have longer drain slits than the grid pattern it has now (for example see the grate across the street and over the bridge in front of the bus stop in front of the CIC…diagonal slits that look like they could easily trap a tire).
Even though the grate seems safe enough now, I imagine people still might instinctively avoid it, particularly if they’ve built up a head of steam coming down the hill.
Anonymous 12/13/2012 at 8:35pm #
I seem to recall that grate having slid towards the curb within it’s metal frame. This would leave a single, long channel that could catch a tire. The gap was about two inches at the time.
Anonymous 12/13/2012 at 8:55pm #
Thanks, Matt. Grate certainly LOOKS fine, and not problematic now. But, as has been suggested, victim could have swerved to avoid it out of habit, if it had been depressed/dangerous before.
What’s happening with that weird lump of asphalt just before (and outside) the grate? Is that something that could catch a tire?
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