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Cyclist Struck, Hospitalized
by Staff | Sep 3, 2013 2:31 pm
Posted to: Legal Writes
An elderly woman was driving—slowly—to church Sunday when a 51-year-old cyclist darted out in the road. The cyclist ended up in the hospital.
The incident occurred on Dixwell Avenue Sunday morning.
Here’s what happened, according to police spokesman Officer David Hartman:
The cyclist, who lives on Chapel Street, was “riding on the sidewalk” along Dixwell at Webster Street when he “entered the street to cross the sidewalk.” The elderly woman was headed to church on that block. Her car collided with the bicycle. The man was taken to the hospital, where he remains in “critical but stable condition.”
The Crash Investigation Unit determined that the driver had not been speeding and that the cyclist was at fault.
“It’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk to begin with,” Hartman noted.
Who? Me Shot? A “good Samaritan” saw a 52-year-old man with bloodied foot “limp by” on Ridge Street around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. The victim denied being shot and “tried to leave.” The Samaritan wouldn’t hear of it. He “kept the victim there” and called the police.
Let’s let Hartman take the story from there:
“Despite being shown the bullet hole in his ankle, [the victim] denied he’d been shot. He appeared drunk and wasn’t being helpful with officers who were investigating the case.
“An officer asked him where he’d been shot. He replied he wasn’t. The officer asked where he ‘wasn’t shot,’ to which he replied, ‘in front of the liquor store.’
“He finally offered that someone tried robbing him of forty dollars. He said the robber fired his gun toward the ground. He claimed the bullet that struck him had ricocheted off the sidewalk.
“Officers on foot followed a blood drop trail from Ridge Street well into Hamden on State Street. As they did, they passed the Marine Package Store. It is unclear whether the incident occurred in New Haven or Hamden. Aside from the blood, no other evidence of the crime had been found, nor was gunfire reported to New Haven Police.
“Whether or not [the victim] set out with forty dollars in his pocket is unclear. What is known is that he returned with two twenty dollar bags of crack cocaine. An arrest warrant for drug possession will be applied for.”
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This is the prime example of why you don’t ride on the sidewalk, why even if you think it’s safer, it’s statistically actually more dangerous. Motorists generally don’t look for things darting off the sidewalk.
“‘It’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk to begin with,’ Hartman noted.”
I wish more drivers knew this.
So, the cyclist was in the street when he/she was hit. I agree with Madcap that the transition can be dangerous, but on a technical note, why does Hartman think that it was illegal for the cyclist to be riding in the middle of the street?
Suppose that a child is riding on the sidewalk and then enters the street, then rides in the street for five minutes. At what point does riding in the street become legal again?
It seems that the problem here has to do with people taking caution to cross streets, and drivers not traveling slow enough that they can stop if a child suddenly darts into their path—not riding on sidewalks.
Part of the danger of riding on the sidewalk is precisely that it sets up this problem—a cyclist zipping OFF the sidewalk INTO the street, way too fast for even a cautious, slow-traveling motorist to stop in time.
anonymous, please. You are not helping the cycling commuinty with this comment. The cyclist was 51 years old. It is illegal for an adult to ride a bike on the sidewalk. In this case, my sympathy is entirely with the motorist, who was driving slowly.
I am going to side step the bike one and go straight to the Cedar Hill one. This man that was shot, most likely in front of the Marine package store with his crack, because he hangs out in front of the 3 stores all day. Right back out there as always. And yes the State guys did do a bust there a few weeks ago. But as we can see it is business as always on on that block. When can we be taken serious about this one block strip. When will the PD stop pretending that it is not what it. Our community can never grow untill we get this under control.
HhE how do you know the motorist was driving slowly? Were you there? Speed limits are often too high. If you are traveling 25 down a street and a 3 year old chasing a ball runs out, you won’t have time to stop. Most reasonable drivers in New Haven and elsewhere therefore limit their speed to 10 or 15 miles per hour on smaller streets. If that had been the case here, it is quite unlikely that the ped/cyclist would be in critical condition.
posted by: William Kurtz on September 4, 2013 1:17pm
Actually, anonymous is making an uninformed point:
but on a technical note, why does Hartman think that it was illegal for the cyclist to be riding in the middle of the street?
For one thing, Officer Hartman didn’t say it was illegal to be riding in the middle of the street; he said it was illegal to ride on the sidewalk, which it is, for good reason. There’s the obvious danger to more vulnerable users but it’s also far more dangerous for the cyclist.
It might be reasonably safe to ride on the sidewalks in the suburbs or wherever anonymous lives but it doesn’t make any sense in a city, except for very small children.
I thought the “middle of the street” part meant middle of the street while crossing the intersection, which is something that kids do all the time.
William: Hartman’s statement says that the cyclist was in the roadway when hit. He then suggested that the cyclist acted illegally. I have no doubt that riding on the sidewalk can be very dangerous without the appropriate precautions, but on a technical note, how is it illegal to be riding in the middle of the street?
I’d like Hartman to clarify the law about yielding and road access, and at what point the NHPD determines that it is illegal to ride in the street. If you step off the curb into a legal crosswalk and are hit one second later by a car, that’s probably illegal pedestrian behavior, but if you step off the curb to cross and get hit by a car 20 seconds later, isn’t the driver at fault?
The article implies the cyclist was hit immediately as he went into the street(which really is the only way unless he happened to be walking his bike because it only takes 2-3 seconds to cross the lane). He was hit because he was on the sidewalk and then suddenly not on the sidewalk. Had he been on the street, he most likely would have been seen by the motorist, and he would be more aware of cars coming. Yes this happened solely because he riding on the sidewalk and no, motorists are not responsible for everything that darts out in front of them if they’re following the law.
posted by: William Kurtz on September 5, 2013 7:56pm
Hartman has perhaps been less-than-artfully quoted. He seems to be citing sidewalk riding as a causal factor in this crash and he’s very likely correct. I was going to try to explain why; but I figured it would be easier for for me to Google that for you.
I found it interesting that you acknowledge that ” riding on the sidewalk can be very dangerous without the appropriate precautions”. That’s precisely the reason it’s often against the law in urban environments. As you’ve pointed out many times, people can’t be counted on the take the proper precautions.
As to the rest of your comment there’s no indication in the story about whether the rider was hit one second or twenty seconds after entering the intersection, so I don’t see what your rhetorical question has to do with it.