Newbie bike commuter killed by a school bus while riding in a bike lane this morning- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Newbie bike commuter killed by a school bus while riding in a bike lane this morning

    I won't say I've been following this closely, but my social media feed has been blowing up with various reports about this guy.

    Bicyclist killed after crash involving school bus on north side | Fox 59 News ? fox59.com
    School bus hits bicyclist on north side - TheIndyChannel.com

    Neil Kelty | Cyclist on Strava

    https://twitter.com/neilkelty

    https://medium.com/amateur-cycling/ad5df66c937

    The last words from his final blog post are absolutely chilling.

    And if you see me out there, please donít hit me with your car.

  2. #2
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    The WORST thing a commuter can ever do is assume everybody SEES them. Learn to crane your neck always, guys!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  3. #3
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    Sorry to hear, that is just terrible. Thinking of his family and loved ones...

  4. #4
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    More about Neil from reddit. He was to be married in sept.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/bikeIN/comme...ip_uneilkelty/

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  5. #5
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    I hope he has a nice tailwind now.

    I don't understand the lack of a charge. I assume no one witnessed that Neil did not mess up, so the driver is off the hook?

  6. #6
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    RIP Neil, I hope the riding is great where you're at! My heart goes out to his loved ones. Hopefully something can be learned from this.
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  7. #7
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    Looking at the Strava page is creepy knowing that it just ends there.

    You just never know. I passed a car accident on my commute home a few days ago where both cars looked like dust. It can happen in a car or on a bike or even by slipping in the shower.

  8. #8
    jrm
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    Two scenarios: Bessie turned left on a signal and Neil ran a red light or Bessie turned left w/o a signal and Neil had a green light.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Two scenarios: Bessie turned left on a signal and Neil ran a red light or Bessie turned left w/o a signal and Neil had a green light.
    I think it was probably solid green both ways.

    Here's a pic of Neil's view, headed westbound.

    Newbie bike commuter killed by a school bus while riding in a bike lane this morning-bikeview.jpg

    And here's the bus's view, eastbound in the left turn lane.

    Newbie bike commuter killed by a school bus while riding in a bike lane this morning-busview.jpg

    The more likely scenario IMO is that both lights were green (but not a green arrow for the bus). There would have been no cars headed westbound (otherwise the bus would not have turned), and the bus driver was not paying close enough attention to the fact that a cyclist was in the bike lane. School bus drivers terrify me. They behave the worst around bikes. Crowding you out of the road, not paying attention to you, etc. I think school buses should have dash cams.

    Read the guy's blog. He took bike commuting seriously. He practiced his routes. He bought lots of safety gear. I do not believe for a second that he blew a light. I also find it unlikely that the school bus driver flat out blew the light, for that matter. Rushed a yellow, maybe. The bus driver was 72. I simply believe she was not looking for bicyclists, so did not see Neil. Absolutely tragic, but she should not be driving a school bus anymore.

    Another article about Neil, pointing out his attention to safety.

    Cycling enthusiast hit, killed by school bus practiced safety year round | WISHTV.com

  10. #10
    jrm
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    The 2nd, and most likely scenario i mentioned was based on that same 2nd picture b/c that car is making a left w/o a left arrow signal from that 2nd set of hanging lights to the left of the primary signals at the other end of the intersection. Bad traffic engineering design? probably..

  11. #11
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    Maybe so but that is legal in Indiana unless otherwise indicated

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    I hope he has a nice tailwind now.

    I don't understand the lack of a charge. I assume no one witnessed that Neil did not mess up, so the driver is off the hook?

    Where I live a guy who killed a bicyclist as a hit-and-run (i.e., left him to die at the side of the road while he drove away and then checked the car for damage) got a whole year.

    Ordinarily, you can kill a bicyclist with complete impunity.

    If you want to murder someone and get away with it, buy them a bike, have them go for a ride and then run them over with your FUV. No probem.

  13. #13
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    These stories always make me feel as though I've lost a friend. I'm sorry this happend, my heart goes out to his loved ones.

  14. #14
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    How sad. I keep thinking about velomobiles after seeing one in my work garage a few weeks ago. I wonder if velomobiles might be safer, though they are pricey.

  15. #15
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    This isn't directly related, but because Neil's death and this event occurred so close together, connections are (rightly) being made. Today at lunch, I got to attend the press conference for the People for Bikes Green Lane Project in downtown Indy. Indianapolis was one of the winners this year, and apparently Transportation Secretary Foxx decided to come here for today's announcement. Officials from Denver and Atlanta were in town, also. After the press conference, they all went out on a group ride on the new Pacers Bikeshare bikes. I got to watch while I ate my lunch outside.

    My boss was interviewed and he's the one at 0:49 talking about if bike lanes are safer, more people will ride bikes. The interview was quite a bit longer, but the content of the video and the article take some of the points he mentioned.

    City awarded funds to install safer bike lanes | Fox 59 News ? fox59.com

    Apparently one of the candidates for the protected bike lanes is a corridor I use to commute downtown from my house. For purely selfish reasons, I hope it's chosen. That said, the route home (two one-way streets that are a block apart) goes past some motorcycle clubhouse and I have passed the place in the evening before and members were parked in the bike lanes. Next time that happens, I'm calling the police to report them, because the road can take a LOT of traffic during the evening rush and being forced into it is no good.
    Last edited by Harold; 05-02-2014 at 07:30 AM.

  16. #16
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    So, I was riding into work today on the bus (yes, bus - because I don't have enough money saved up to buy a Specialized Epic 29er) and I overhear the guy behind me talking about how his nephew was killed a few months ago. When I hear killed, I'm thinking he got murdered or something. Then the guy futher explains that his nephew was riding his mountain bike and got hit by a car. Sad.

  17. #17
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    Sad and infuriating. I just don't understand why people can't pay attention when they're driving.

    And why insult him by calling him a newbie? Even if he was, it seems insulting.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by shining_trapezoid View Post
    Sad and infuriating. I just don't understand why people can't pay attention when they're driving.

    And why insult him by calling him a newbie? Even if he was, it seems insulting.
    It's not insulting. Noob and its variations are insulting. He was new. He took bike commuting seriously. He wanted to get involved in the local advocacy group's policy committee. He wanted to make a difference.

  19. #19
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    Too many drivers just don't care. Driving tests all that have no concern for bikes and ppl in cars just assume bikes will stop regardless. And school bus drivers are just dangerous, they don't care one bit or are too old to be driving something that big anyway.

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  20. #20
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    It does seem bus drivers, whether school or transit are unaware to downright hostile towards cyclists.

    It's such a tragedy. Its disgusting that you can kill someone who is exactly where they should be on the road and nothing was done "wrong."

  21. #21
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    ^ Yes. If she hit a car at least a failure to yield. She is forgiven for not seeing a cyclist. Drunk driving used to be blown off like this. It is a wonder a cycling lawyer hasn't gone after this sort of passive condoning of killing cyclist as a case of unequal treatment under the law. As a vulnerable member of traffic we should be deemed to in the right unless witnesses say otherwise, as the energy disparity on contact is so large.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    ^ Yes. If she hit a car at least a failure to yield. She is forgiven for not seeing a cyclist. Drunk driving used to be blown off like this. It is a wonder a cycling lawyer hasn't gone after this sort of passive condoning of killing cyclist as a case of unequal treatment under the law. As a vulnerable member of traffic we should be deemed to in the right unless witnesses say otherwise, as the energy disparity on contact is so large.
    +1million

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    ^ Yes. If she hit a car at least a failure to yield. She is forgiven for not seeing a cyclist. Drunk driving used to be blown off like this. It is a wonder a cycling lawyer hasn't gone after this sort of passive condoning of killing cyclist as a case of unequal treatment under the law. As a vulnerable member of traffic we should be deemed to in the right unless witnesses say otherwise, as the energy disparity on contact is so large.
    First of all, horribly tragic for all involved. Rest in peace to the fallen.

    Second, I would like to know more hard facts. If, in fact, the scenario was green both ways and the bus driver missed seeing him, here that would have been charged as a felony. I once represented the nicest guy who on a similar intersection, but with a walk sign illuminated at the same time as green both way, had his vision obstructed by the C-pillar in his Dodge truck, and struck a pedestrian in the crosswalk, knocking her down where she hit her head and died. It was horribly, horribly tragic for all. He was charged with a felony, but ultimately plead guilty to a misdemeanor.

    I cannot believe there were no charges here, unless there were some bad facts on the part of the cyclist. If not, then shame on the authorities here.

  24. #24
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    I'd like to think there are no charges yet because they are still investigating. One article said they were awaiting the test results for drugs/alcohol.

  25. #25
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    As far as I know, the investigation is still ongoing. However, from what I hear on the grapevine from people who drove by the scene shortly afterwards, emergency personnel were doing cleanup rather quickly after the incident and they wonder how a thorough investigation could have been done.

    damn, that autoplaying vid is annoying.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I'd like to think there are no charges yet because they are still investigating. One article said they were awaiting the test results for drugs/alcohol.
    One would hope. However, if the driver says the light was green, and officers can confirm that if the bus had a green light, so did the cyclist, causing a duty to yield on the part of the bus driver, then alcohol or drugs would not be that relevant to an initial charge based on negligence or inattentiveness. But maybe the prosecutor wants all the facts in first before charging at one.

    the big IF is what did the bus driver say. No kids on the bus, and the stories do not mention any other witnesses. Unfortunately, the cyclist is unable to give a statement. Man, how horrible. Mojo for all involved. If it was a simple mistake, this will be no picnic for the driver either, though of course the loss to the cyclist's family is primary.

  27. #27
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    Sorry for the death.

    I would suggest that the bike markings shown on Natehawks pictures are part of the problem.

    We have a large city driven bike project. The on road markings dictate where every one can crive and ride....in addition they block out huge section of what was once a two lanbe road. This is thought to reduce the traffic speed to the lowest speed driver...and encourage people to ride...

    While the concept is good the implementation is very bad.

    Basically I have been riding through communities rather than down the feed roads for some 9 years now. I would be terrified to take some of the newer on feeder road bike lanes. Drivers are frustrated, or distracted, or sleeping etc.

    I would much rather see the money spent on a MUP system not based of feeder routes but through communities, much calmer situation...and less yelling about bikes taking up too much of the road
    Last edited by jeffscott; 05-02-2014 at 09:45 AM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    damn, that autoplaying vid is annoying.
    Seems like the poster (who was that anyway? ) has inserted it as a shortcut now. It is like the relief of someone shutting of their stuck car horn at your apartment building at 3 AM. (A sleepy thanks echoing out in near unison from many windows. This time is is different sort of window, I guess and maybe not so sleepy sounding.)

  29. #29
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    The link was there before. I tried a couple different url parameters to try to disable the autoplay and they didn't work.

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