Cyclist's death highlights tension between two wheels, four
Posted May 3, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — "Cycling is starting to take a priority in the city," said Sig Hutchinson, a volunteer member of Raleigh's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission.
The Thursday death of a prominent businessman, killed while biking when he collided with a car, was another reminder of the tension when those on two wheels share the road with those on four.
Christopher Charles Mangum, 58, was traveling southbound, downhill on Lassiter Mill Road in Raleigh when Thomas Edison Castelloe, 81, turned into his path, hitting his bike, police said.
Mangum "was unable to avoid the collision," police wrote in the wreck report. Other riders in the neighborhood said the intersection was a dangerous one, and it would have been almost impossible for Mangum, who was headed downhill, to stop quickly.
"Even though riders have a right to their portion of the road there, whenever there is a conflict between a rider and a car, the car always wins," said Ron Wahula.
With bike lanes and greenways expanding across the city, and more people choosing the energy-saving and fitness benefits of biking, cyclists are increasingly sharing the road, Hutchinson said.
"People want more choice in terms of transportation," he said.
"A lot of people go to the gym. I go to the bike. I go to work," said Jamey Glueck. He rides about 8 to 12 miles per day, and said he has had his share of close calls.
"Bikers do need to be cautious. It is part of the game right now," Glueck said.
According to the DOT, more than 900 cyclists are injured or killed across the state annually in collisions with vehicles. So far in 2013, Raleigh has recorded 19 such crashes, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.
Under state law, bicycles are considered vehicles. They must travel in the roadway, with traffic, and have the same rights and responsibilities as cars and trucks.
Raleigh has seven miles of designated bike lanes, a number Hutchinson expects to grow to more than 70 in the next two years.
He believes that growth will be a positive, getting drivers used to moving alongside bikes.
"The more cyclists you have on the roads, actually it reduces the number of accidents on a per capita basis," he said.
"I encourage everyone to get on a bike," Glueck said. "Don't be scared of the cars. Know where you are, pay attention to what is going on, and you will be fine."