Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘bicycle accidents’

What really happened to Angela Sweet?

In Bicycle advocacy, Obama Bikes, Rider Down on December 19, 2009 at 3:16 pm

The Seattle Times has a story about a West Seattle cyclist who suffered multiple injuries and went into a severe coma last August after colliding with a … what?

Apparently no one knows. The cyclist awoke, eventually, from her accident with no memory of the incident. She’s now recovering, and police continue to “investigate,” if that’s the right term. It has been four months, after all.

If the police are investigating, it’s a safe bet she didn’t just hit a pothole. OTOH what kind of “investigation” takes four months without even being able to say a second party was involved? This is an odd one, and we can only hope that police reticence derives from some legal bind rather than recalcitrance or laziness. After all, once they declare another party is involved, it is a lot of additional paperwork.

Cases like this cry out for a Bicycle Advocacy Division within city administration. It will be another Obama-like challenge for the new mayor, but turning the police department’s head around re bicycle investigations hopefully will be a top priority.

More on hate crimes against cyclists

In Bicycle advocacy, Obama Bikes, Rider Down on September 5, 2009 at 11:28 am

In Portland, a hate crime against a cyclist: is reporting additional details in the arrest for first-degree assault of Wayne Conrad Thompson, who viciously backed over Michael Luther, who was riding a bike. “he cyclist had been knocked out of his shoes and his helmet was a few feet from his head,” a bystander reported.

Our take continues to be that this kind of action represents a hate crime against cyclists. BikePortland follows up with a perspective on the Toronto incident we reported earlier.

BikingBis: Traffic fatalities dropped in 2008 — unless you happened to be on two wheels. Deaths rose 2.1 percent, and injuries spiked much more: 21 percent.

Not all of these involved hate against cyclists, of course. But many can be shown to reflect a second-class citizenship, akin to the bias and ignorance at the heart of racism, sexism, sexuality-based prejudice and other stereotyping, which fosters anti-cycling behavior and, in some tragic cases, incubates eventual extremism.

Until we address the unique psychological phenomenon that stigmatizes cyclists as “the other” in traffic as well as in traffic planning, the role of the bicycle in our culture will continue to be hazardous as well as marginalized.