Texting while bicycling!!

Discussion in 'General' started by MT bucket, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Never seen it before....until today twice!:eek:

    First time in Minneapolis, I was coming up to a 4 way stop, there was another car oncoming that made his stop and was going to proceed through, when here comes this guy on his ten speed just blew through the stopsign right in front of the car with one hand on the bar, the other holding the phone he was looking at. I don't even know if he knew he went through an intersection! Good thing that driver saw him and waited!:eek:

    The other was in the suburbs, I was a little ways back and saw this girl ride down the WRONG way on the sidewalk, through the crosswalk, all while looking down at her phone. Good thing I was a ways back and going slow, vehicle traffic coming from the wrong way (yes a bicycle is a vehicle) can take a driver by suprise!
     
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Michael:

    These damn things never cease to amaze me. If I had one wish, it would be that the manufacturers force it so the phones cannot be accessed by a driver of any moving vehicle :(

    I have never seen or heard about that before and now I bet we'll see it all the time???

    Wayne
     
  3. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is a wrong way to travel on a sidewalk.

    Anyways, don't some cities have padded streetlamps and stoplight posts because of people texting running into them?
     
  4. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    While bicycle commuting, I have seen this numerous times. The very first was on the back seat of a tandem, but not the rest.

    In-line skaters also do it.
     
  5. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    I see this all the time on my ride to work.
    Also annoying: This AM it was a lady texting while pushing a super-stroller, not paying attention, going the wrong way in a bike lane (a wide sidewalk was adjacent).
     
  6. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Like the girl last year who fell into a manhole in NYC. You need to LOOK where you're going! :eek:

    I had someone almost hit my car in the parking lot at work, because he was texting. In the parking lot!
     
  7. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    Good point. I think what he meant is that the bicyclist was riding on the sidewalk against the direction of street traffic in the lane next to the sidewalk.

    Even though I'm a bicyclist two of my big peeves about bicyclists are:

    - Riding on the sidewalk. After all it's the sidewalk. For one thing this can endanger pedestrians, who are moving only about 1/4 the speed of bicyclists. For another, it endangers bicyclists because other vehicles pulling out of driveways, pulling across crosswalks, etc are looking for pedestrians and may not look far enough to the sides to see a cyclist flying along (illegally in many places) on the sidewalk. The situation is confused by some "sidewalks" that are also marked as bicycle paths, for example along a river or beach, so that cyclists come to think that ALL sidewalks are theirs to use.

    Yes I occasionally ride on the sidewalk, but only at a very low speed and only assuming that I have absolutely no right of way while I am on it.

    - Riding against the flow of traffic. Bicycles are supposed to go on the roadway with the flow of traffic. In part because traffic pulling out from driveways and intersections won't be looking for something coming in the wrong lane, and can easily miss seeing a bicycle, which is quite narrow. Recently I nearly nailed two cyclists going the wrong way as I pulled out from the stop sign at the end of an exit ramp. I was looking intently for car traffic coming over a rise to my left, had checked for traffic coming from the right, and never saw them coming on the shoulder to my immediate right.
     
  8. Damionk

    Damionk DWL Lover

    As the cyclist was clearly not paying attention I would have laid on my horn regardless of if I was the one with the right of way. Would have gotten her attention and hopefully woke her up to what she was doing.
     
  9. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    This is terrible!! Things are bad enough (as noted by John above) without the added complication of zero attention to navigation.

    I noted two days ago in the daily grind thread that I had to contend with "apparently suicidal elderly" -- I had an old fellow on a bicycle leave the sidewalk on my right (at a T junction allowing me to go straight or turn left) at the same time as I left the stop sign. I was going slowly because A) it is downhill and B) I'm suspicious of any pedestrian/cyclist/skater/skate boarder/etc anywhere. Sure enough, I get 1/2 of the way through the intersection with him beside me and he starts turning toward me. Completely ignoring the car. I ended up having to make a really sharp turn to the left at 2/3 of the way through the intersection to keep him from plowing into my fender??? :confused: I yelled out the window to watch where he was going and he studiously ignored me.

    Perhaps he assumed I was turning left (as most do), but what the heck?? :(

    He wasn't doing anything but riding, either. :( :( :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  10. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I've seen plenty of texting while bicycling. Also texting while skating, and a LOT of texting while walking -- including while crossing a street on foot. Lots of people aren't paying attention where they're going these days, that's for sure.
    Echoing lightfoot, I don't there is a RIGHT way to bike on a sidewalk, at least if you're going at more than child speed. It is safer to go with the flow of adjacent traffic, but in most cases either way is far more dangerous than riding on a properly designed roadway.

    Not only is it more physically dangerous to bike on the sidewalk, it's legally dangerous too. At least in Oregon, if you ride on a sidewalk at more than a walking pace you FORFEIT your right of way over motor vehicles at driveway and roadway crossings. No matter how reckless the driver, if you get clobbered by a car while riding on a sidewalk you will LOSE in court. The law actually makes sense, because drivers can't always be expected to yield to 12-15mph bicyclists who might still be 100' away as they approach the crossing. Just highlights how extremely dangerous it is to ride on the sidewalk.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  11. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    It will probably be a matter of years that a flamewar will erupt on a a forum with cyclists citing their human rights are violated for not being allowed to text and cycle by "facists" :rolleyes:

    I know that sounds sarcastic, but people have made equally ridiculous arguments here.
     
  12. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Great points everyone esp. lightfoot, and wri!:thumbs_up: I really agree with you on the sidewalk comments. If one must pedal on a sidewalk, do behave like a pedestrian, not a vehicle, and by that I mean, go no faster than slow jogging pace, get off and WALK your bike through crosswalks, obeying semaphores with walk, don't walk commands, then fine.
    I think the main reason people ride on sidewalks, and on streets against traffic is they are afraid they will get hit from behind by overtaking motorists. The fact is, incidents of that nature are quite rare, most injuries and deaths to cyclists occur at intersections. And you are far more in danger of getting hit at an intersection if you are going the wrong way, wether on the street, or at higher than walking pace through crosswalks!
    Cyclist downtown, most are like anarchists, totally ignoring all traffic laws. nothing new there, I used to be a bike commuter back in the 1990s and I remember most did it then too, only thing different now is texting and iPods, yay!
    Now I have to look both ways when turning onto a one way street, and I am trying to remember to always look right too when making right turns. sigh, having to add more techniques to my already full list of defensive driving habits. No wonder it is hard for me to get a good night sleep sometimes!:rolleyes:If they want to tempt natural selection thats their biz, but don't make me a participant in your demise! :eek:
     
  13. Mr. Pancake

    Mr. Pancake Well-Known Member

    You know the difference between a pessimist and a realist, right? A realist looks both ways before crossing a one way street, a pessimist looks up as well.
     
  14. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Haha good one Mr.P!

    Actually I was looking up quite a bit while southbound on I35 a few days ago and the sky looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
  15. Chalupa102

    Chalupa102 Cycling more to drive less

    Unfortunately I've also seen the texting while biking thing. A few months ago, I was on my bicycle coming home and I saw one bicyclist texting while riding and another one a little ways up on his cell talking while riding. Both were on the other side of the road in the sidewalk going the other way. I always have my phone on me in case I need to make an emergency call or report someone (which I have never had to do). Just like while I'm driving my car, if I'm on my bike, I don't answer my phone. If I happen to get an important call, I pull completely off the road, stop, and call the person back.
     
  16. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Boulder is near the pinnacle of bike friendly, yet every day I walk (often) I encounter law breaking bikers doing what ever they feel like.

    Example: we are walking on the pedestrian sidewalk (illegal to ride bikes on) with bike lanes on both sides of the street. Bikers ride on left side sidewalk (against the grain) and shout out "too your left" at us....... wife looks back and says "use the bike lane" and they say :it's the wrong way"???????? so it's better to break the law on the sidewalk than to go wrong way on bike path?????????????? wtf no one on bike path but we on sidewalk FU! Literally half the cyclists ignore the bike lanes and illegally ride the sidewalk the wrong way?????

    It seems that bike lights are loathed by cyclists too, rarely do I see a bike light at night?????? Die at your own risk!
     
  17. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Saw a guy texting while riding a scooter the other day. Couldn't believe that somebody would do that, but people always find a way to amaze me.
     
  18. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    Cambridge MA is another bicycle-intensive area, and the same thing happens. One day I was in my car approaching an intersection with a stop sign. There were no pedestrians near the crosswalk, so I planned to coast through the crosswalk to the stop sign beyond it so I could stop where I could see traffic on the cross street. Suddenly a bicyclist appeared from my right, riding on the sidewalk against the grain and heading across the ped xing as if he had the right of way. I slammed on my brakes and stopped, he went across in front of my bumper, and he started yelling at me. What made him even harder to see was the fact that these streets did not intersect at 90 degrees: he was approaching from my right rear quarter.
     

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