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  #81  
Old 05.07.2011, 14:27
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Re: Making roads safer

I don't really know where to put this, but Basel Police is looking for witnesses.

Knowing this forum is huge and many have a big network of friends - work and off work - maybe someone saw something that is important to tell. Even if it's a small detail.

I just read the post on the other thread of someone who actually drove by.

Please help, it's important to know how it happened so it can be prevented.

Or can be integrated in this initiative.

Basel Police

Contact 061 699 12 12
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  #82  
Old 05.07.2011, 14:33
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Re: Making roads safer

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Basel police release reports here, but I don't think they include any investigation reports.
Thanks.

It says they are looking for witnesses. Nothing new.

Last edited by resident; 05.07.2011 at 14:50.
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  #83  
Old 05.07.2011, 16:11
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Re: Making roads safer

I am a cyclist and have commuted by bicycle on the city for many many years, in lots of traffic, in many cities, including Manhattan with all its crazyness.

And let me tell you, Switzerland is by far the safest and most cycling friendly nation, maybe only second to the Netherlands in the world.

The traffic works like a clock, you have bike paths everywhere, specific bike signalisation and traffic lights etc.

But obviously you have to ride defensively, you can't count on the rules and respectful drivers, because there is always someone who can be drunk/distracted etc or you can simply be on his blind spot.

Whenever I am on the bike ( and I do commute fast ) I am aware of all the surrounding traffic, pedestrians etc and anticipating any stupidity they could do.

that keeps me safe.

One thing I dislike of Zurich commuting though, the drivers as respectful as they are seem for no reason to get too close to the right border of the road when they come to stop on a corner.

so you have plenty of space to ride aside them, but when they stop they don't let enough space for you to reach the front of the line where they can see you clearly at the moment the light turns green and that is annoying and dangerous.

I wait at the line alert and when lights turn green I am on the move before they react so that is almost never a problem for me, but I do see many other cyclists having this problem.

why ? because when you are stopped an have to break that inertia on the bike you are unestable for a fraction of a second, until the bike is on movement and then you can control it well.

That fraction of a second is longer for many other cyclists ( specially older ones ) and cars passing you fast from behind could be dangerous.

see this intersection for example, that is great because it allows you to place you in front of cars when waiting on a red light

http://maps.google.ch/maps?q=Lagerst...192.39,,0,7.88


This other is the opposite example

a narrow one way road becomes a 2 track road ( one to turn to the left ) so the cars when approaching the corner squeeze you to the right not letting you pass in front to wait for the green light

http://maps.google.ch/maps?hl=de&ll=...75.27,,0,20.37
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  #84  
Old 05.07.2011, 17:21
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Re: Making roads safer

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the drivers as respectful as they are seem for no reason to get too close to the right border of the road when they come to stop on a corner.
They do that in Basel. They're taught to do this if turning right, so I assume it becomes habit after a while. I just stop behind them (as far from the kerb as I can be and still get my toe on it, to keep balance) and the car behind me usually stops behind me and not parallel to me. If they do stop parallel they have to pull out to do so, so have definitely seem me!

If I know we'll all be there a while, I properly overtake the car hogging the kerb and stop in front of it.
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  #85  
Old 06.07.2011, 11:20
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Re: Making roads safer

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I just saw the above quote from travnett now. Thanks, it didn't occur to me to look at that whilst I was there.

But it just deepens the mystery.

The road is full of red and yellow markings recording the accident. I wish I understood the hieroglyphs. Yellow ones also exist way out of the accident area, so perhaps those are other cars/people. If so, there were many witnesses.

Does anyone know the standard way the Basler Police release investigation reports to the public (if at all)?
Hi Resident,

Sorry if I have confused you, however the junction I was talking about is not where Begga's accident was it is a junction by me at Margarethenstrasse. There they have fitted specific traffic lights for cyclists.
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  #86  
Old 07.07.2011, 11:28
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Re: Making roads safer

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I just wrote to the "reader's corners" of my newspaper.
It has been published today.

I ended it, saying that Begga was going to be missed very much.
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  #87  
Old 07.07.2011, 11:45
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Re: Making roads safer

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I One thing I dislike of Zurich commuting though, the drivers as respectful as they are seem for no reason to get too close to the right border of the road when they come to stop on a corner.
Are the cars turning right when doing this?

If so, it is likely to ensure that bikes don't come up the inside. It is semi-aggressive, semi-defensive, as any bike in this zone would be either in the blind spot or stop the car from turning (right).

If there is a bike lane, bikes usually have priority (whether going straight ahead or turning right), so as a driver you have allow them past before you can effect a right turn if they are level with you. Drivers being drivers "block" the road ensuring they can get to their important meeting on time...

However, on the flip side, the issue I've frequently seen - as a pedestrian and driver - is that often bikes simply don't react to car signals and plough on "claiming" their right of way. The most extreme example I've seen a couple of times (and indeed experienced) is when a car is trying to parallel park; the car is well ahead of the bike, starts its manoeuvre, but has to stop because the cyclist tries to squeeze between the reversing car and the cars already parked on the road...

As ever a bit of give and take, a better awareness of all other road users and more respect between the groups would help.
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  #88  
Old 07.07.2011, 13:30
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Re: Making roads safer

Perhaps some of you Basel people could go back to the junction with leaflets and ask passers-by and drivers if they saw anything, and ask them to call the Police? Has the police put a board by the junction asking for witnesses?
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  #89  
Old 07.07.2011, 16:47
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Re: Making roads safer

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Are the cars turning right when doing this?

If so, it is likely to ensure that bikes don't come up the inside. It is semi-aggressive, semi-defensive, as any bike in this zone would be either in the blind spot or stop the car from turning (right).
not only when turning, when stoping at the corner in general

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If there is a bike lane, bikes usually have priority (whether going straight ahead or turning right), so as a driver you have allow them past before you can effect a right turn if they are level with you. Drivers being drivers "block" the road ensuring they can get to their important meeting on time...
there are many intersection in which the bike lanes reaches the street end, so no problem, others where there is no bike lane are the problem.
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However, on the flip side, the issue I've frequently seen - as a pedestrian and driver - is that often bikes simply don't react to car signals and plough on "claiming" their right of way. The most extreme example I've seen a couple of times (and indeed experienced) is when a car is trying to parallel park; the car is well ahead of the bike, starts its manoeuvre, but has to stop because the cyclist tries to squeeze between the reversing car and the cars already parked on the road...
If you are parking you don't have right of way, you have to let pass any car, bike or pedestrian first and then maneuver for parking.
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As ever a bit of give and take, a better awareness of all other road users and more respect between the groups would help.
yes
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  #90  
Old 07.07.2011, 17:14
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Re: Making roads safer

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...others where there is no bike lane are the problem.
In that case the car is taking its turn in the queue. No really, I have no idea.

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If you are parking you don't have right of way, you have to let pass any car, bike or pedestrian first and then maneuver for parking.
That's just illogical nonsense though.

If you are driving along and want to park and find somewhere, you can't wait 5 min for the cyclist you passed 500 m ago to catch up and go past, otherwise you hold up traffic.

Likewise if you are driving a car and someone in front of you wants to park, the sensible thing is to give them room to park, let them get on with it and travel on - not try and squeeze between the moving car and parked cars.

Just to be clear:



As a cyclist, would you go between the yellow and red cars at this point?
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  #91  
Old 07.07.2011, 18:11
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Re: Making roads safer

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If you are parking you don't have right of way, you have to let pass any car, bike or pedestrian first and then maneuver for parking.
You have to let them pass ... you assume on your outside, not some stupid cyclist undertaking a reversing and angling car.
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  #92  
Old 08.07.2011, 10:27
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Re: Making roads safer

well that is not my opinion.

it is what the swiss road code says.

when Parking you don't have priority.
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  #93  
Old 08.07.2011, 10:47
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Re: Making roads safer

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well that is not my opinion.

it is what the swiss road code says.

when Parking you don't have priority.
Really? The swiss road code says one should undertake a stopped car? I assume it means if you're parking you shouldn't just swing into the space - the front of the car will swing OUT - and interrupt the flow of traffic now overtaking you. That would imply the parking car should wait as you, in a car or a bicycle OVERTAKE it, not UNDERTAKE it. I personally think undertaking a maneuveuring car is a dangerous and annoying thing to do.
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  #94  
Old 08.07.2011, 10:52
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Re: Making roads safer

If the car is in the position shown, priority is irrelevant; you don't have a safe way through. The way is blocked. You must stop and wait. Just as a car would.
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  #95  
Old 08.07.2011, 10:53
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Re: Making roads safer

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If the car is in the position shown, priority is irrelevant; you don't have a safe way through. The way is blocked. You must stop and wait. Just as a car would.
You'd think so, wouldn't you.

But the whole priority thing also contradicts the point that the car in front of you usually has priority and you have to watch and react to its signals (i.e. indicating and/or braking etc) and activities...

Anyway, this is all going off topic. Salsa, just PM me when you plan on cylcing around Basel and I'll be extra careful.
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Old 08.07.2011, 11:11
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Re: Making roads safer

Taking a look at the junction I think the curved white lines on the road give the impression to drivers approaching from the right of the picture that they are in a lane which just curves to the right. And so if the lane curves they may not be thinking about or expect someone to cross it from the inside (right to left)? and just drive round the bend.
As it is now:


BUT, taking that curved white line away would give drivers a clearer perception that they are at a junction where they need to make a right turn to join a main road and look around, including hopefully the 'lifesaver' look over the shoulder before actually turning.

Without the curved white line:


P.S: I also don't subscribe to the "just leave it to the experts" view - they made this lousy junction where at least one person has died, and it sounds like incidents are frequent. The more people giving input and thoughts how to improve it, and the more pressure on an improvement the better. Maybe, just maybe that may save someone else in future.
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  #97  
Old 08.07.2011, 11:17
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Re: Making roads safer

I also noticed that when I went to see the site. The white lines guiding the traffic to the right would make it seem, to a driver not used to that junction and who probably was already on top of the arrow markings on the road further back, that this was a right-turn lane.
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  #98  
Old 08.07.2011, 11:17
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Re: Making roads safer

Just my 5 rp; coming from the Netherlands, the only way I see to make things a bit safer for cyclist is a real physical separation between cyclist and other traffic. This means separate biking lanes and where this is not possible the use of curbstones between the biking lane and the other lanes, especially at junctions. This includes separate traffic lights for cyclists.

I don't know the layout of this junction as I'm not from Basel, but as far as I understood, the bike lane is only separated from the rest by way of lines which are easily crossed. If you separate the bike lane with curbstones from a few meters before the traffic lights all the way through the corner, safety for the bikers is increased. However, big trucks easily cross curbstones as well, so they really need to be high or broad. This could be a relatively "cheap" solution.

Another aspect is the mandatory installation of dead angle mirrors (if that is the correct term) on trucks. This is specifically targeted at these type of situations (truck making a right turn) It is mandatory in the Netherlands and it has saved quite a number of people.

Sadly, there is no 100% guarantee that no more tragedies of this type will occur, just like ABS/ETC on cars have not reduced the number of accidents to zero, but it will help to reduce them.

Last edited by E. Neubauten; 08.07.2011 at 11:18. Reason: added clarification
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  #99  
Old 08.07.2011, 11:20
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Re: Making roads safer

As I see it, there should be enough space to create a separate biking lane using curbstones. They should be placed on/next to the yellow bike line and should run almost all the way up to the street that crosses it. This "forces" cars to the outside of the road when taking the right turn avoiding the bikers.

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Taking a look at the junction I think the curved white lines on the road give the impression to drivers approaching from the right of the picture that they are in a lane which just curves to the right. And so if the lane curves they may not be thinking about or expect someone to cross it from the inside (right to left)? and just drive round the bend.
As it is now:


BUT, taking that curved white line away would give drivers a clearer perception that they are at a junction where they need to make a right turn to join a main road and look around, including hopefully the 'lifesaver' look over the shoulder before actually turning.

Without the curved white line:


P.S: I also don't subscribe to the "just leave it to the experts" view - they made this lousy junction where at least one person has died, and it sounds like incidents are frequent. The more people giving input and thoughts how to improve it, and the more pressure on an improvement the better. Maybe, just maybe that may save someone else in future.

Last edited by E. Neubauten; 08.07.2011 at 11:25. Reason: added explanation
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  #100  
Old 08.07.2011, 11:25
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Re: Making roads safer

I don't like separate cycle lanes That's a personal thing though, as I cycle defensively and prefer to be thought of as part of the traffic rather than separate from it.

Anyway, if the cycle lane in this instance was separated by a kerbstone what difference would it make? The kerb would stop at the junction, and the traffic turning right would still turn right. In fact, as the cyclists would be separated by the kerbstone many drivers would think of them as part of the pavement/pedestrian mass and hence not even look before turning right. That would then need separate traffic lights just for bikes.

We have the above at a junction in London now and I totally hate it. Traffic goes straight on but bikes (not me, I'm on the road pissing off the drivers) have to wait. The car lights go red, and the bike lights go green. However, as soon as the cars stop pedestrians walk out over the bike lane as they assume they'll get the green light to cross any second. Cue shouting peds, and shouting cyclists. It's a mess. Most cities aren't empty enough to have THREE (motorised traffic, bicyclists, pedestrians) independent thoroughfares.
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