Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

Paramedics were called to Sherlock Street, at around 12.20pm, on Monday afternoon.

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/updates-cyclist-...

Bad News. Hope they have a quick and full recovery.

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I cycled past just as the air ambulance was coming in to land. 

Made me feel quite sick just being near the scene.

The painted white lines and painted bicycles on the road don't seem to have offered much protection to the cyclist, I wonder why?

We really shouldn't have to put up with this crap.

Let's hope he or she makes a speedy and full recovery.

the article now says the cyclist ran into the back of the van which was parked. The photo shows it parked on double yellow lines in a cycle lane.

Correction: Looking at the video the van is parked on a single yellow line in an advisory cycle lane.

LS said:

the article now says the cyclist ran into the back of the van which was parked. The photo shows it parked on double yellow lines in a cycle lane.

just let more proof we need proper segregation and not this half arsed solutions which are even worse. that bike lane is awful, very narrow and you stick to it almost in the gutter 

There are waiting and loading restrictions along Sherlock Street. The lorry belongs to Thyssenkrupp. They're a heavy engineering firm and almost certainly wouldn't have been delivering to the residential properties where it was parked. So it shouldn't have been there. Now, you don't just ride into the back of a lorry, they're kind of hard to miss. So something must have happened prior to result in that collision. I'll leave that to the collision investigators.

For what it's worth I ride there at peak times daily. The surface is beginning to deteriorate but for the time being those cycle lanes are OK for careful filtering. They offer precisely no protection.

I'd like to know why the truck was parked on 1) Double Yellow Lines and 2) in a cycle lane. I blame the truck for the crash because its as simply as 1, 2 ,3 it should NOT have been parked there! The cyclist was legally in the bicycle lane and the truck was illegally parked!

2 possible options? Both have an element of lack of road awareness from the cyclist, whether or not the parked truck was legitimately parked there at that time (there are parking AND loading restrictions clearly visible in road markings)

1) cyclist riding hard/focused other than looking in front, eyes diverted looks too late and sees the option of heading on to footway. Unfortunately a) clips truck or b) hits lamp post as he pases on left side.

2) late realisation that a following driver will force him to ride into rear of truck rather than pull out to go past so takes avoiding action & goes left instead

I've updated the title of this discussion.

A year or so ago on the Bristol Road a young woman on a road bike rode into the back of a parked car causing facial injury and damage to bike and car. There was low evening sun which may have dazzled her and it was the first car parked in a couple of miles from the city centre so she may just not have been expecting it to be there. It is possible to hit a stationary object, I've come close a few times, but there may have been other factors involved.

There are often cars parked on that stretch, the driver may not have been parked illegally, just anti-socially.

There were LSTF scheme plans ( 4 years ago) to remove the painted cycle lanes on both sides and make the footpath on the opposite side shared use which would be much slower and probably ignored by most cyclists.
It's definitely possible to ride into a stationary object - I've hit kerbs and the like several times on my bike over the years and a while ago a guy cycling (who turned out to be a police officer) rode into my stationary car that was in a traffic jam as he was weaving through the traffic. Fortunately, he only had minor facial injuries from the smashed glass on the rear door.

I can't see how you can not see a parked HGV though so something else must have been afoot. My guess is option 2 in Dave's post - being trapped in the cycle lane by an overtaking driver or mis-judging the (lack of) gap.

Regardless, it's a horrible human tragedy and ironic that while this happens on Birmingham's most popular route in/out of the city from the south by bike we are still awaiting final approval for delayed works to begin on the A38 segregated lane that may have meant this incident could have been avoided.

I too have rode into a back of a car which braked quickly and interesting int he context of the debate over Aliston that I could not stop in time with fully working top class brakes ! Luckily I had BC membership so got the costs covered - 2k

Point is it is easy to avoid these things if you have a get out lane or space, in my instance and this one there is no get out on a busy single carriageway road.

LS mentions shared use paths, jeez does anyone here actually ever use them ? For a road bike no good as often uneven surfaces, not direct routes and usually means having to come on/off roads.

There is only one solution to this a solution that only London in parts has grasped and Birmingham's schemes are not perfect in any way.

Sporty diamond-frame cycles encourage a riding position where you default to looking at the road in front of your wheel, and checking behind you requires significant effort.  It's all too easy to not look where you're going for prolonged periods on one, if only to rest your neck muscles.

On the other hand, the lorry pictured is quite large and would hopefully appear in your peripheral vision in sufficient time to avoid riding into it.  I suspect some complicating factor, likely another motorist preventing him from moving out, or possibly something less probable like a mechanical failure, insect sting or being momentarily blinded by screenwash or a spitting pedestrian.

Shared-use paths, while sometimes useful, are poor transport infrastructure.  They put cyclists in conflict with pedestrians, not to mention the problems of obstructions, poor sight-lines and other hazards.  On-road cycle lanes like this one are worse, as all they really achieve is an expectation that drivers can pass safely without deviating from their lane on a road where previously they might have passed safely.  It's not even wide enough to filter past stationary traffic safely, given the poor road surface.

I ride a road bike and I use shared-use paths.   They do not have an intrinsically poor surface; indeed the carriageway in the UK is frequently in a far worse state than many shared-use paths.   The benefit is that they are free of motor vehicles (which frequently impede progress by creating traffic jams), and they can be more direct.   However, simply putting up a shared-use sign on a narrow footway with lots of side roads is going to please nobody, especially on a footway heavily used by pedestrians.   There are far better ways of doing infrastructure, as anyone who has cycled around continental countries will know.

ian robathan said:

LS mentions shared use paths, jeez does anyone here actually ever use them ? For a road bike no good as often uneven surfaces, not direct routes and usually means having to come on/off roads.

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