Bike Michiana

resources, news, observations and ideas about bicycling in the Michiana area

Posts Tagged ‘accidents’

Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk?

Posted by Paul Taylor on November 22, 2011

Yes and no. State laws make no distinction, but many cities and towns add restrictions, usually to protect pedestrians. I compared the laws of four area communities: Chicago, Elkhart, Mishawaka, and South Bend.

South Bend has the most straight forward ordinance: “No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within any business district.” Interestingly, it fails to define a ‘business district’. At least I couldn’t find a definition.

Chicago has the same ‘business district’ restriction as South Bend, but adds some complexity. Adults (and children 12 years and older) can’t ride on any sidewalk anywhere.  There are a few exceptions, and they will be so indicated with bicycle route signage.

Elkhart is pretty straight forward. Bikes are permitted on sidewalks except in a clearly defined area of downtown. See the above map. Interestingly, Elkhart just redefined the area: until last month, the restricted area was about three times the size of the current district. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Commentary, Infrastructure | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Two new bicycle safety bills in 2011 Indiana General Assembly

Posted by Paul Taylor on February 7, 2011

For the third consecutive legislative session, new bicycle laws are being considered. Both proposals would require youngsters up to 17 years of age wear a helmet. One proposal would add a requirement that motorists passing a bike allow at least three feet clearance. As of February 7, each bill has been assigned to committee, but neither has been heard. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advocacy, News | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Ghost bikes in the news

Posted by Paul Taylor on September 22, 2009

I first saw ghost bikes in Seattle, WA some five years ago. I didn’t know they had a name, but I did know they made a statement. Then a couple of them sprung up here in Michiana. Today, they made news in the South Bend Tribune. Read the Tribune article here.

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Door zone safety

Posted by Paul Taylor on August 25, 2009

Do you know anyone who has been ‘doored’? By that, I mean riding alongside parked cars, and having a driver or passenger open their door into the path of the bicyclist. It’s not uncommon, although I personally know of only one such crash. The experienced adult cyclist suffered a broken arm.

There have been cases where the cyclist has fallen under the wheels of an overtaking vehicle, resulting in serious injury or death. Here’s what the League of American Bicyclists has to say.

Posted in education | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Mishawaka bicyclist hit by car

Posted by Paul Taylor on July 9, 2009

A 14 year old boy was struck in the crosswalk at Niles and Lincoln Way East. From the brief article in the South Bend Tribune, it sounds like this was a classic ‘Ride Out from Sidewalk’ accident: these accidents account for 0.7% of all accidents where the cyclist is entering the roadway. Read the full story. (You’ll need to page down.)

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Bicyclist injured in downtown South Bend

Posted by Paul Taylor on June 19, 2009

According to a report in the South Bend Tribune, a cyclist was hospitalized when she ran into a car near Wayne and St. Joseph streets at about 4:00pm on June 18. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Cyclist and car collide in Elkhart County.

Posted by Paul Taylor on May 28, 2009

The South Bend Tribune reported in its May 28 edition that another cyclist has been hit by a car.

“CONCORD TOWNSHIP — A bicyclist reportedly was struck late Monday while riding along County Road 17 just east of Elkhart.

According to a news release, Jordan Shankster, 22, of Elkhart, was riding his bike south on County Road 17 just north of Verdant Drive about 10:28 p.m. when he was struck from behind by a Ford pickup truck.

The driver of the pickup reportedly did not see Shankster until it was too late, despite Shankster’s bicycle having a headlight and taillight.

Shankster suffered cuts to his arms and complained of back pain.

No citations were issued.”

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

“Heads collided with bullets flying the wrong way”

Posted by Adam Bee on March 24, 2009

Matthew Yglesias says it well:

Four people ranging in age from 19 to 21 were killed early yesterday in Culpeper County, Va., when their car collided with a vehicle that was going the wrong way, Virginia State Police said.

Nobody would ever write “four people ranging in age from 19 to 21 were killed early yesterday in Culpepper County, Va., when their heads collided with bullets that were flying in the wrong direction.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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2007 Bicycle Traffic Safety Facts Released

Posted by Paul Taylor on December 21, 2008

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published the 2007 crash statistics. There were 698 fatalities and 43,000 injuries. Fifteen of those fatalities were in Indiana, and seventeen in Michigan.

The most vulnerable group were men in the 45 to 54 age range; boys aged 10 to 15 were a distant second. The safest group were women over 75.  Alcohol was a factor in more than one-third of all fatalities.

The NHTSA does not try to interpret the statistics, or assign responsibility for the crashes, but you can read the report here.

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