Chilling footage of cyclist’s road death sparks passionate debate

Published on Feb 28, 2015
February 28, 2015: Footage has emerged of the frightening moment a woman opened her car door, hitting a cyclist before he was killed by an oncoming truck.
Footage has emerged of the frightening moment a woman opened her car door and hit a cyclist just before he was killed by an oncoming truck in Melbourne.

Tributes have flowed for the Italian-born man, while the tragedy has prompted calls to ban parking altogether on Sydney Road in Brunswick.

The 25-year-old man was thrown from his bike and under a truck after he hit the woman’s car door.

Bystanders, including a police officer, ran to help the 25-year-old and performed CPR.

However, the young man died on the road where moments before he had been riding towards the city with his girlfriend just ahead of him.

A man believed to be the truck driver involved left flowers at the scene this morning.

The cyclist’s death on Sydney Road in Brunswick has sparked passionate debate.

But as tributes grew at the scene, cyclists have grown angry at the preventable tragedy.

They have urged motorists to take their time and be more careful on the roads.

Police have interviewed the woman who opened her car door, and as investigations continue, she may face charges.

Kenny Smith, who works on Sydney Road, has started a petition to remove parking between Barkly and Western Streets – and already hundreds of supporters have signed.

VicRoads said it would review the petition’s proposal.

This month, the State Government announced it would spend $1.6 million on safety improvements along Sydney Road.

Work will start in August to extend the bike lanes and relocate car parking to improve sight lines, but Mr Smith said it was not enough.

“People should be able to cycle to the shops and not be in danger for their life,” he said.

Next Friday, at 5.30pm, there will be a cycle ride in honor of the fallen rider, starting from the Sydney Road park to Moreland Road train station.


TakeAways

Everyone has heard that smoking is dangerous. And yet people still choose to smoke. The same is true of riding in the Door Zone.

Door Zone (graphic)

Door Zone (graphic)

As is often the case we think that lung cancer should be laid at the feet of the manufacturers of cigarettes. And yet we still smoke and fight for the right to do so. We need to consider our complacency with regards to the Door Zone in a similar fashion.

Cyclists know that riding in the Door Zone is dangerous. And yet the continue to ride too fast and too close to parked cars on the driver’s side. Why is that?

Part of the problem is the way in which municipalities place bike lanes in exactly the spot where an inattentive cyclist is apt to be struck. If anyone is going to be sued it should be cities whose DOTs are continuing to design bicycle infrastructure in ways that are dangerous.

If you cannot ‘shoe horn‘ a buffered lane into a street design, then you need to reconsider whether to have both automobile parking and bike lanes there simultaneously.

Stop Blathering About Vision Zero And Do Something Constructive

Too many cycling advocacy groups are measuring their worth on the basis of whether they have written up a ‘Vision Zero‘ proclamation. But here in Chicago there is virtually no emphasis on getting the city to restructure its bicycle infrastructure to avoid the deliberate placement of bike lanes in places where they should not be if Door Zone collisions are to be avoided.

Putting Sharrow Lanes as close to cars as is often done (with no room to ride further to the left) is about as negligent an act as handing out free cigarettes in a school playground. And the bicycle advocacy groups that do not take their buddies in City Hall to task for their negligence are worse than doctors who fail to warn their patients about the dangers of smoking.