Right Hook Problems in Bicycle Heaven?

Background Reading


If you are certain that the solution to “safe cycling” here in the United States lies in following the lead of our fellow cyclists in places like Copenhagen, then boy do you have ‘some explaining to do Lucy‘. Take for instance this news report:

A cyclist was killed by right turning vehicle on Saturday. It is the seventh such fatality this year and more than double the number in 2012

Problematic On Several Levels

  • Copenhagen has all the ‘proven‘ bicycle infrastructure it can eat
  • A spike of year-over-year deaths from right hooks of more than 100 percent is not easy to explain away
  • But the next problem is that the Danes are going to have to analyze their current situation to understand why this is happening
  • Danes, like their Dutch counterparts have all been through training since children, so ignorance is not their issue

What These Issues Suggest

Merely believing and hoping that Protected Bike Lanes are safe is not good enough. We are not practicing a religion here, we are trying to keep people alive. Keep in mind that when existing infrastructure suddenly starts to produce these kinds of results that it means that you simply cannot expect to reach stasis where safety conditions are concerned.

We are being told now that the idea is to simply have ‘perceived safety‘ be our mantra. We have even coined a phrase ‘bicycle comfort‘. But none of this blather is going to hold up to the cold light of day when infrastructure suddenly starts to have a meltdown. And mind you it can do this when ‘nothing has changed‘. This implies that something about the users of that infrastructure has evolved, but what?

I foresee some nasty fights between supporters and doubters of bicycle infrastructure if some reasonable explanations are not forthcoming…