Saturday, May 23, 2009

Freak Incident for London Mayor

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was nearly caught in a totally freaky accident while testing out likely bike routes for infrastructural upgrading. Johnson and an entourage of about 10 cyclists were properly riding on the left edge of the pavement along a street where parked cars were on the right, and an overtaking truck had a rear hatch swing open, catch a parked car, and fling it (!!!) across the road, nearly taking out (in a major way) several of the cyclists. Luckily, no one was injured, but boy howdy, this could have been messy.

The Wharf account of the incident can be read here; The New York Times also has an account here which includes a video taken from a security camera. One of the riders in the group, also has a couple of Flickr photos here.

This incident is such a freaky one that it's difficult to draw "lessons" from it, but here at least are a few observations (feel free to chime in if you have others):
  • The danger here is by no means confined to cyclists; pedestrians or motorists would have been equally at risk;
  • The truck driver was clearly negligent (in not buttoning-up his truck at the very least) and deserves a healthy fine;
  • The system of sidewalk/curb/bike lane/parking lane/driving lane would have greatly ameliorated (if not eliminated) the risk here;
  • Boris Johnson is one lucky guy, as are his fellow riders;
Freaky Friday, indeed.

No comments: