Dependable Erection

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Local bicycle advocate killed on the road

Just, well, fuck.

A well-known biking enthusiast died Saturday after a collision with a car at the intersection of South Salem Street and Apex Peakway, Apex police said.

Bruce Rosar, 56, of Cary, has been bicycling in the Triangle area for years, serving as director of the N.C. Active Transportation Alliance and founding member of numerous other organizations, according to his Web site.

Rosar and a Honda passenger car were traveling along South Salem Street when the accident happened just before noon Saturday, said Capt. Ann Stephens of the Apex Police Department.

UPDATE: There are a number of stories published in local media on Bruce's death. I keep coming back to this at the WRAL site:
Police Capt. Ann Stephens said a preliminary investigation shows the vehicle was traveling south on Salem Street and the bicycle was going north on Salem Street. The cyclist turned left toward the Apex Peakway and crossed into the path of the vehicle.

Stephens said the vehicle involved in the wreck stopped at the scene.

"The guy (driving the vehicle) didn't even have a chance to react. It was like instantaneous. He just went 'boom' and hit the car," witness Peter Schenck said.

Which just seems so unlikely, given Bruce Rosar's credentials as a bicycle safety instructor. But i suppose we'll learn more in the fullness of time.

Meanwhile, though, this really pisses me off:
In recent weeks, the police department has recorded an increase number in cyclists in the area. Police have also seen more complaints from motorists that cyclists are not following the rules of the road, Stephens said.

In the past month, Stephens said, police have started a campaign to make cyclists aware of the dangers on the road and remind them that they are required by law to follow the same rules of the road as motorists.

Emphasis mine.

Given that bicycle/motor vehicle interactions almost always end badly for the bicyclist, what are the police doing to remind motorists that bicycles have as much right to the road as anyone else?

(Note - i've changed the title of the story to something a little more appropriate, after a night's sleep.)



  • "But i suppose we'll learn more in the fullness of time."

    Do you really believe that? The police have taken their statement from the surviving witness; unless somebody else comes forward, the investigation is closed as far as they're concerned.

    By Blogger Yokota Fritz, at 6:51 PM  

  • Based on comments appearing on various local listservs, i would be surprised if the local authorities are not pushed to conduct a more extensive review of this accident.

    By Blogger Barry, at 7:00 PM  

  • It really is all very odd isnt it? just doesnt add up considering his history.

    Does anyone know if he had some long standing personal or emotional issues? The kind that might send him impulsively into the path of an oncoming car? because honestly, in light of everything the man stood for and taught, that is the ONLY thing that makes even remote sense to me other than this car having made a rash move.

    By Blogger Vera, at 1:21 PM  

  • It appears cyclists who were there corroborate the driver's story.

    Vera -- all of us do boneheaded things every once in a while. :-( They're usually not fatal mistakes, but they do happen, unfortunately.

    By Blogger Yokota Fritz, at 1:27 PM  

  • @YF - where are you seeing this? The Durham bike listserv has nothing like that at all, and this article in the N&O appears to be walking back the description of the accident that appeared in earlier editions.

    By Blogger Barry, at 1:49 PM  

  • It probably bears mentioning that Bruce was very much on the Apex police's side in enforcing rules of the road for cyclists. It had apparently become a problem with cyclists behaving badly, and Bruce sided with the police in this, taking heat from some cyclists in the process.

    I'm hoping we find out more, but it may be one of those simple brain farts. Which, of course, is the problem with trying to ride a bicycle on roads that go at highway speeds -- in a car, that's just a really nasty accident that shakes everyone up. On a bike, it's instant death. One reasons why bicycling advocates like Bruce talked a lot about speed differential.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 5:46 PM  

  • Unfortunately some bicyclists are unaware that traffic laws apply to them, too, which is why you'll see bicyclists on the sidewalk, the wrong side of the road, running red lights, etc. But the number of ignorant cyclists out there is miniscule in comparison to the number of drivers who ignore speed limits and pedestrian crosswalks. I've been intentionally run off the road and had trash thrown at me while bicycling, so I know some motorists go out of there way to harass cyclists.

    The cities of Durham and Wake Forest have little wallet-size cards showing the cycling rules of the road: rules for bicyclists are on one side, motorists on the other. Rules of the road should be enforced for all vehicles, motorized or people-powered.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:01 AM  

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