Bike accident this morning on Penn

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WillB
Participant
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On my way into work this morning I passed a pretty nasty looking accident on Penn around 22nd street (I think). Bike rider was on the ground (still in the middle of the street) surrounded by police and/or paramedics. I didn’t see much more since I was in my car (blech) and didn’t want to rubberneck too much. Hopefully all of the attention was just precautionary and there weren’t serious injuries.

EDIT- given that someone could really be hurt, this might not be the best time for my general thoughts and questions on the safety of Penn Ave as a bike commuting route. I’ll save those for later or for another post.


rsprake
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Hope the rider is ok.

Edit, WillB edited his post so my reply didn’t make sense.


dmtroyer
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:-(


bikeygirl
Participant
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Any more news on this? Ugh….


jeg
Participant
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I know this person. They were taken to the ER, suffered bruises and road rash but thankfully nothing broken and no major injuries.

They said the car “was a black sedan cadillac style think male driver didn’t catch plate.” There were witnesses who filed a police report and possibly got a license plate, but I don’t have that info yet.

The driver was apparently driving aggressively/harassing this cyclist leading up to the incident. Be careful everyone!


salty
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Wow. Glad your friend is mostly OK, that is really messed up. Hope they catch the person and they don’t just get a slap on the wrist.

You probably know the drill but I wouldn’t post more details online until the court cases are over, even if it’s secondhand info.


rsprake
Participant
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So it wasn’t an accident then. Sucks. Hope the driver is found and jeg, I am glad your friend is ok.


jeg
Participant
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Yeah, I didn’t want to give any sensitive details but thought it might possibly help to get a description of the car (however vague) out there. Moderators, feel free to edit or delete anything for the victim’s sake!


Swalfoort
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@RSprake – I mis-read your comment earlier about it not being an accident. When I first read it, I thought you meant “oh, so the cyclist hit a pothole, or whatever, and got hurt in the process” implying that no car was involved. On second reading, I get your drift. Not an accident, as in “the contact between car and bike did not appear to be accidental.”

Whew, glad I got that straightened out in my head!


WillB
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Very glad to hear that the rider is basically okay (though hit and runs are infuriating), it looked pretty serious when I drove by. The question I have (and that I was actually thinking about right before I saw the injured rider) is: what are the reasons that people ride Penn into downtown instead of the much calmer Smallman or the really calm Railroad?. Until sometime last year I also rode Penn to work (and the only time I’ve had a collision with a car was on that route, though a little farther east), but at some point I opted to start riding down Smallman to reduce the stress of my commute (which worked) and then eventually to Railroad/river trail once the river trail opened all the way to the point. These days I almost never ride Penn, except maybe on weekends, and I feel quite a bit safer for it.

So, do people ride Penn because it is more direct and they don’t want the detour of going over to Smallman or Railroad, or is it because people aren’t aware of these options, or is it because of the sharrows on Penn? Something else?

Then, relatedly, why are the sharrows on Penn instead of Smallman or Railroad? I really don’t want this sound accusatory – I’m genuinely interested in why Penn was picked (I imagine it’s because it was already a heavily travelled bike route). But this raises question of whether we should solidify existing informal bike routes or try steer bike riders to newer safer routes where possible.

(@rsprake – sorry I edited my original post after you commented, we must have been typing at the same time. I though your answer was helpful)


salty
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FWIW, spring way should just be made into a bike boulevard.


dmtroyer
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@WillB I ride penn ave every morning. I find smallman to be more stressful for me than Penn, with stop signs and I am generally more comfortable taking the lane on penn.

I take railroad on the way home, but that street is prone to 50mph impatient lunatic drivers.


rsprake
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Penn Ave should technically be the safer route. There is more room to share but people don’t seem to care that all they have to do is use the other lane. Railroad is one big pothole and large trucks use it, Smallman is nicely paved but is also full of large trucks and has a lot of stop signs.

If you ask me, Penn should be converted to one lane. That would create a better expectation that you can’t go hog wild once you hit Penn and 31st.


edmonds59
Participant
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Here’s the one I’ve been trying to figure out – why the eff are ANY cars hurrying down Penn, when they will encounter the heaviest Strip shopping at the end, and LIBERTY, 4 lanes of car-only heaven/hell, is one block over??


Pierce
Participant
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I had a guy honk at me on Penn and then get upset when he thought I was giving him the finger.

He seemed more understanding when I explained to him the reason I take the whole lane is so I don’t get sideswiped (or run into doors/pedestrians)

I agree with Penn being one lane. It’s totally screwed up in the strip with that many cars, peds, and bikes all trying to go different ways.

@ Edmonds

Interestingly enough, I think I actually prefer Liberty because the faster traffic seems to have a better time passing, while on Penn/Smallman the drivers are all pissy because they’re on a slower road with lights and stop signs


rsprake
Participant
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Here’s the one I’ve been trying to figure out – why the eff are ANY cars hurrying down Penn, when they will encounter the heaviest Strip shopping at the end, and LIBERTY, 4 lanes of car-only heaven/hell, is one block over??

Probably the same reason a driver will pass you aggressively when there is a block’s worth of traffic ahead.

I’ve been honked at on Penn when myself and the driver were the only two people around. It’s called sharing. You take one lane, I will take the other.


WillB
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For those saying that Penn should be one lane, do you mean one car lane plus a bike lane? That would be awesome (though given how many delivery trucks go down Penn, I imagine any bike lane would be frequently obstructed). As for the trucks on Railroad, I actually find them to be pretty easy to deal with, since they’re never moving very fast, and while there’s the occasional fast car, there are so many fewer of them. The pavement quality is another issue though, and with the trucks it’s probably never going to be good for any length of time.

@salty I love the idea of a Spring Way bike boulevard. Actually, I just love the idea of bike boulevards in general, but that seems like a great place for one. Of course, if we were really ambitious we would make Smallman into a bike boulevard. Car through traffic could go over to Penn or Liberty.

@Pierce it’s amazing how it simply never occurs to many drivers that it’s really dangerous for bikes to ride in the door zone.


Erica
Participant
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it’s amazing how it simply never occurs to many drivers that it’s really dangerous for bikes to ride in the door zone.

Or cyclists, even. I didn’t think anything of it for months after I started riding regularly. Luckily, I didn’t learn the hard way, I just realized that I should move left one day.

Anyway, I ride into town on Penn because it’s a straight shot from my house, and I ride early enough to traffic isn’t a big issue. On the way home, I take penn to 16th, then spring to 33rd, then penn to fisk.


Mick
Participant
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+1 for Spring Way Bike Blvd.

Give the cross roads stop signs and let it roll!


cburch
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personally i like to take liberty to 32nd to sassafras/parking lot/rr access/parking lot to 20th to railroad to trail.


stefb
Participant
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If I am in a hurry and need to get to work in like 25 mins, I take liberty down to penn, the. Penn to 16th st bridge. Before 7am, penn is really nice and taking the lane doesn’t seem to piss too many drivers off, since there is low traffic.

I really hope the turdburgler is caught. Glad to hear of no serious injuries.


rsprake
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You could do a lot to improve Penn Ave through the whole city It’s a mess of a road starting in Wilkinsburg. It’s a four lane highway that merges into two through a business district, then back into four narrow lanes, then through another business district where it;s two lanes until the strip. Then it’s two lanes going one way!

Dream scenario is a two way separated bike way from Laurenceville into downtown, but I can’t think of a good place for bike traffic to merge. I never understood why it’s one way only from 31st – 16th.


Anonymous
Inactive
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Thanks all for the concern. I managed to walk away with strained muscles and some vicious .bruises. Still looking for driver. As far as ridingdown Penn. I found that its normally safer than the alternate routes. At that time in the morning cars will change lanes to pass me and I don’t get flat tires as. Often I would love to see a dedicated bike lane on either Smallman or Penn though.


Marko82
Participant
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@kushiel, so glad that you were not hurt more seriously. Any better discription of the car/driver?


Anonymous
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Car Black four door sedan kinda like a cadillac. If I’m right the driver is the same guy that was harrassing me down Liberty. mid to late 30’s really gaunt looking. As far as when I got hit all I saw of the driver is black short hair and a hat. I know its not much.


rsprake
Participant
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kushiel32, glad you’re ok. The driver sounds like a real winner.

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