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Old 03.07.2011, 22:17
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Making roads safer

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well, another thing : In Geneva, we put flowers by the side of the road where somebody we knew or loved was killed in an accident.
Is it the same in the Swiss-German part ?
Some of us did that earlier this afternoon. There was already lovely bunch of orchids when we got there and we laid down 3 avalanche roses - 2 red and one white, with some candles.

That junction really is very very dangerous. The bicycle path is in a lane that allows cars to go right or straight. No problem if both cyclist and car are going in the same direction but not if one decides to go straight and the other (the car) turns right.

WARNING: please dont click on the link if you are not ready/strong enough for it yet but it gives those of you who do, an idea of what I am trying to articulate above:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hegenh...63.33,,0,11.53

I dont know exactly what happened in Begga's case but we saw a car halt to a stop whilst trying to turn right as the cyclist was going straight when the lights turned green. My heart nearly stopped.

Which brings me to my point where I am hoping the more experienced expats will be able to help advising on the right channels to go through. If we can try to prevent similar accidents by getting the city of Basel to install a mini traffic light for the cyclists to have a head start, how should we go about it? The reason why its so dangerous because the acceleration of a car is much more than a bicycle - when the lights turn green, the car is already right in the path of the cyclist trying to go straight and if they are turning right.

I am more than happy to try and get the petition written in German and organise the collection of signatures if I can get some direction on whom, and how we can deliver the petition to get the city of Basel to do something in order to prevent a similar unfortunate incident.

Just a thought.
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Old 03.07.2011, 22:34
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Re: Remembering Begga

This is terrible. It is very likely the lorry driver just did not see her in his mirror. And as you say, it is likely to happen again. So yes, it must be flagged up and something done. Hopefully the police investigators will come to that same conclusion before another accident occurs.

Wolli what would you advise?
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Old 03.07.2011, 22:43
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Re: Remembering Begga

I'll second Summerains statement, the woman in the car really had to break to avoid the cyclist, the sheer look of terror on her face said it all.
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Old 03.07.2011, 22:46
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Re: Remembering Begga

Summerrain, I lived on the cross street and drove through that intersection frequently. It always made me very, very nervous when bicyclists were there, as I normally would turn right and with them being a little bit ahead, you couldn't always tell if they were going straight or turning, too. And people rarely signal on bicycles to turn right, so you couldn't make any assumptions.

I know that by St Johann when there were a couple of bicycle/truck tragedies as they were building the roundabout, eventually warning signs were installed for bicyclists. Perhaps a campaign should be initiated to have signs to warn both drivers and cyclists of the dangers throughout town.

Good luck on getting something going to change that intersection. If I remember correctly, they have a plan for the next couple of years to turn it into a roundabout.
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Old 03.07.2011, 22:47
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Re: Remembering Begga

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I'll second Summerains statement, the woman in the car really had to break to avoid the cyclist, the sheer look of terror on her face said it all.
are we seeing different things? This seems like a very dangerous crossing. only lights or a bikepath a bit further down the road so the cars have turned already before the biker crosses the road.

btw is this place prone to accidents?
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Old 03.07.2011, 22:50
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Re: Remembering Begga

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are we seeing different things? This seems like a very dangerous crossing. only lights or a bikepath a bit further down the road so the cars have turned already before the biker crosses the road.

btw is this place prone to accidents?
I frequently heard tire squeals from down that way, but I only saw one accident. There was a lot of debris in the streets though, from what seemed like minor fender benders. What is the worst with it is that after about 10pm, the traffic lights are turned off and people come flying past.
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Old 03.07.2011, 22:55
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Re: Remembering Begga

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I frequently heard tire squeals from down that way, but I only saw one accident. There was a lot of debris in the streets though, from what seemed like minor fender benders. What is the worst with it is that after about 10pm, the traffic lights are turned off and people come flying past.
Traffic lights turned off???, you serious?
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Old 03.07.2011, 22:57
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Re: Remembering Begga

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I frequently heard tire squeals from down that way, but I only saw one accident. There was a lot of debris in the streets though, from what seemed like minor fender benders. What is the worst with it is that after about 10pm, the traffic lights are turned off and people come flying past.

thats why these days when I ride a bike (rarely) I always wear the yellow vest. all school kids in Belgium and boy/girl scouts have to wear them as soon as they set foot on the public roads.
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Old 03.07.2011, 23:10
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Re: Remembering Begga

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This is terrible. It is very likely the lorry driver just did not see her in his mirror. And as you say, it is likely to happen again. So yes, it must be flagged up and something done. Hopefully the police investigators will come to that same conclusion before another accident occurs.

Wolli what would you advise?
People with smaller vehicles (and pedestrians), be they bicycles, motorcycles, cars, whatever, need to realise that despite having the right of way, extra-large vehicles have many blind spots and cannot always see them to give the right of way!

Tom

P.S. Not just extra-large vehicles, but anything larger than you. Best to assume that they DON'T see you! I've seen it enough.

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Old 03.07.2011, 23:19
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Re: Remembering Begga

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This is terrible. It is very likely the lorry driver just did not see her in his mirror. And as you say, it is likely to happen again. So yes, it must be flagged up and something done. Hopefully the police investigators will come to that same conclusion before another accident occurs.

Wolli what would you advise?
I fear that police will simply make the truck-driver the killer (killing by carelessness) and send that driver through hell. It will not bring Begga back to life and kill the life of that driver. I therefore fear that nothing will be done in reality

The problem already was known in the 1960ies but still is not solved in 2011. I am still using bikes and still am a bit in fear in such situations, so that I always try to get into visual contact with drivers in such positions. Mr Witschi, a policeman I knew already in 1959/60 concluded "something has to be done", but in reality nothing was done, nothing !
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Old 03.07.2011, 23:25
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Re: Remembering Begga

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Yes between 10 pm and 5 or 6 am during the week and sometimes on weekends the lights at this and many other junctions in Basel switch from the standard green, yellow, red sequence to a flashing yellow.

I also drive through this junction most mornings going to work and I have indeed being a cyclist at the exact lights where Begga was. It is a little dangerous alright and I suppose the idea behind having the cycle lane in front of the car lane is for the motorists to be made aware of the cyclist alas this isn't always sufficient as seems the case for poor Begga.

I wouldn't know exactly who you need to talk to about getting a separate light for the cycle lane but I definitely would be willing to sign the petition. setting up the petition part is easy, we need to get someone to write up exactly what the petition is for in German on the top of a page and then underneath collect the signatures, but who to send the signatures too I don't know. Maybe someone could ask at the GGG by Marktplatz I'm sure they would be able to point us in the right direction.
Thank you travnatt - the mini light specially for the cyclists is just an idea. In that way, it will give them a head start (maybe 10 seconds, I dont know, details need to be worked out) whilst the rest of the lights are still red - especially for those who arent going in the same direction as the cars. Obviously we dont know what really happened with Begs but what we witnessed today was scary enough.

Another idea is to turn that lane to either a right turn or straight ahead only - but I think thats a bigger hill to climb and probably face more resistance.

Please, for those of you who are more familiar with the city and that junction - I really welcome and appreciate constructive ideas and suggestions - as afterall, I am not a local.
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Old 03.07.2011, 23:34
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Re: Remembering Begga

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Thank you travnatt - the mini light specially for the cyclists is just an idea. In that way, it will give them a head start (maybe 10 seconds, I dont know, details need to be worked out) whilst the rest of the lights are still red - especially for those who arent going in the same direction as the cars. Obviously we dont know what really happened with Begs but what we witnessed today was scary enough.

Another idea is to turn that lane to either a right turn or straight ahead only - but I think thats a bigger hill to climb and probably face more resistance.

Please, for those of you who are more familiar with the city and that junction - I really welcome and appreciate constructive ideas and suggestions - as afterall, I am not a local.
Hi I deleted my post after reading yours number 64. They do have something like what you are talking about with the light in other parts of basel look at right sidehttp://maps.google.com/maps?q=Margar...94.12,,0,23.92 however I'm not sure that the cycle light goes first, I think the two light go green simultaneously.
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Old 03.07.2011, 23:36
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Re: Remembering Begga

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thats why these days when I ride a bike (rarely) I always wear the yellow vest. all school kids in Belgium and boy/girl scouts have to wear them as soon as they set foot on the public roads.

to have brightly coloured clothing when biking may help you but is no guarantee. Try to get into visual contact with any driver around. This is the only chance. And still no guarantee.
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Old 03.07.2011, 23:39
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Re: Remembering Begga

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Hi I deleted my post after reading yours number 64. They do have something like what you are talking about with the light in other parts of basel look at right sidehttp://maps.google.com/maps?q=Margar...94.12,,0,23.92 however I'm not sure that the cycle light goes first, I think the two light go green simultaneously.
Hi travnett, please see pm
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Old 03.07.2011, 23:48
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Re: Remembering Begga

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Thanks, summerrain..not a good place for road traffic debate, nor technical details of our friend's tragic accident. Thanks, all.

Really sorry we were not able to make it to Basel today. You guys are troopers.
Right of course you are. But earlier or later we have to check up on the details and try to help things. When one of my best schoolfriends perished under a truck, aged 9, our teacher and our policeman/traffic-instructor within days upon his death, told us about all the gruesome details. The wife of a schoolfriend was astonished to witness that he (just like me) in some situations simply turned his car against the traffic, guarding some children, until I, fighting with tears, explained it to her. My schoolfriend, when she asked him why he never told her, replied that he simply could not.

No, the report of the Basler Stadtpolizei and in the www.baz.ch pushed me back to those horror-days in 1959, when Rico was fighting with death, in vain ....
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Old 04.07.2011, 00:52
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Making roads safer

A thread dedicated to discussion and ideas about making roads safer.
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Old 04.07.2011, 07:39
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Re: Making roads safer

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Some of us did that earlier this afternoon. There was already lovely bunch of orchids when we got there and we laid down 3 avalanche roses - 2 red and one white, with some candles.

That junction really is very very dangerous. The bicycle path is in a lane that allows cars to go right or straight. No problem if both cyclist and car are going in the same direction but not if one decides to go straight and the other (the car) turns right.

WARNING: please dont click on the link if you are not ready/strong enough for it yet but it gives those of you who do, an idea of what I am trying to articulate above:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hegenh...63.33,,0,11.53

I dont know exactly what happened in Begga's case but we saw a car halt to a stop whilst trying to turn right as the cyclist was going straight when the lights turned green. My heart nearly stopped.

Which brings me to my point where I am hoping the more experienced expats will be able to help advising on the right channels to go through. If we can try to prevent similar accidents by getting the city of Basel to install a mini traffic light for the cyclists to have a head start, how should we go about it? The reason why its so dangerous because the acceleration of a car is much more than a bicycle - when the lights turn green, the car is already right in the path of the cyclist trying to go straight and if they are turning right.

I am more than happy to try and get the petition written in German and organise the collection of signatures if I can get some direction on whom, and how we can deliver the petition to get the city of Basel to do something in order to prevent a similar unfortunate incident.

Just a thought.
We went there yesterday evening to put a candle and I must say, that it is a dangerous intersection. The traffic lights were turned off and while we were standing at the site, there were 2 people getting honked at on separate occasion because they didn't see the oncoming traffic. In my opinion, the lights at a dangerous intersection should never be off. Another thing would be to implement a 4way stop which are common in the North America. This would force people to stop first.
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Old 04.07.2011, 08:15
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Re: Remembering Begga

Sadly in cities exactly this type of accident is one of the leading causes of death for cyclists.

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This is terrible. It is very likely the lorry driver just did not see her in his mirror.
Always given as a reason/excuse but often doesn't really hold water. Most of the time the truck has come up from behind the bike and must have seen it from behind first. From experience I know just how little space many drivers give bikes.
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Old 04.07.2011, 08:42
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Re: Making roads safer

@summerrain: the question is where to address such things in Basel. Basel has recently a "President" who is in charge of questions and suggestions from the people living in Basel.

His name is Guy Morin.

Here is the link:

http://www.regierungsrat.bs.ch/morin.htm
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Old 04.07.2011, 08:46
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Re: Making roads safer

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We went there yesterday evening to put a candle and I must say, that it is a dangerous intersection. The traffic lights were turned off and while we were standing at the site, there were 2 people getting honked at on separate occasion because they didn't see the oncoming traffic. In my opinion, the lights at a dangerous intersection should never be off. Another thing would be to implement a 4way stop which are common in the North America. This would force people to stop first.
It is, and I would actually approach it like a North American intersection. I'd come to a rolling stop before I'd go through, even though I was on the priority road.
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