Austin Bicyclist 2019 Death #4: Merry Daye, 45 – On the Very Road Where Bike Austin is Calling for Protected Lanes

At 2:25 am on Monday, December 16, 2019, Merry Daye, a black woman aged 45 and a male were riding their bikes south on Cameron Road. Her bike had a trailer, and she was working on it while in the bike lane. The man was on the sidewalk. A silver Dodge Ram truck (the irony of the name is not lost on me) veered into the bike lane, crashing into Merry, bike and trailer. The truck then did a hit and run and left the scene. Emergency medical services was called and came to the crash site. They found Merry without a pulse, but were able to restore her heartbeat. She was transported to the hospital where she died. For her, family and friends, it will be Christmas without Merry. Sources: CBS Austin, KXAN, Austin Police Department

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2019 World Day of Remembrance for Victims of Traffic Violence

This somber event first was commemorated in the United Kingdom in 1995, later expanding to other countries. Here in Austin, Texas, USA, those who died in the past year in cars, on bikes, or on foot, are remembered with speeches, flowers, a silent walk and exhortations to stop the epidemic of car-nage. Despite a very sore knee, I made my way downtown to join the 50 or so participants, pay my respects to the 70+ people who died since last November, and hope that I’m not on the list next year. While “only” three bicyclists died, that’s still three too many. Read their stories here: Anothony Diaz, Jessica Saathoff and Anthony Williams.

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Austin Bicyclist 2019 Death #3: Unknown Male

I have been thinking that it is good news that no more bicyclists have been killed in Austin, Texas since Anthony John Diaz and Jessica Saathoff died earlier this year (which is two too many). Then I did a general search for bicyclist and Austin, and learned this sad news. A man died in the hospital after being hit at a busy intersection of the interstate highway and a regional highway service roads. There is very little information at this point, but it’s important to report and also remember that bicycling, when done carefully and legally, is usually quite safe. Unfortunately not for this victim.

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The Next Door App Bike Haters Are at It Again

Every so often someone — always a car driver — gets on the neighborhood app called Next Door to bitch about bicyclists or biking infrastructure the City of Austin has installed. The latest is about some plastic bollards that make a semi-protected bike lane, narrower car lanes and additional concrete that is meant to be traffic-calming. It’s in what was designed to be a high-density, pedestrian and bike-friendly neighborhood. Named Mueller, after the former airport upon which it sits, it’s generally a safe area to bike. Except when you read what the aggressively bike-hating people are posting in Next Door. I wrote a previous post on this in January 2018. Now the haters are back, so of course I have a few choice words. (Of love – tough love.)

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In Bike I Trust: The Faith of an Agnostic Athiest Cyclist

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

– The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith, Schmaith

A Dude attended a presentation sponsored by his weekly job search group today.  It was about how to make brain science work for, not against us.  The presenter asked an attender if she had faith.  She paused and said, “Well, if you mean like in organized religion, no.”  The presenter said something like, “Well, do you have faith the sun is going to come up tomorrow?”  “Of course,” she answered.  And that got me thinking.  (I have a thinking problem, actually.  I’m trying to cut back.  Ha ha!)  Thinking usually leads to writing, and lately not journaling as much as weblogging.  So in what do I have faith? Continue reading

A Year On, A Bicyclist’s Murderer Only Gets Two Years in Jail.  Justice or a Slap on the Wrist?

Casting about for story ideas, I found myself at Michael Bluejay’s long-time and dense website, www.bicyclingaustin.info.  Thanks to him and a poster there, Owlman, and also KXAN TV for posting the story which you can read at this link.  I didn’t know Tommy Ketterhagen, but when I heard the news a young bicyclist had been killed, I swallowed my heart hard.  Continue reading