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Cyclist's death highlights tension between two wheels, four

Posted May 3, 2013

Raleigh continues to add designated bike lanes.
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— "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."

59 Comments

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  • unknownreality4781 May 7, 2013

    The law that states that bicycles are treated as vehicles and must travel on roadways needs to be abolished. Roadways are for motor vehicles and need to stay that way. I always ride on the sidewalk even if it's against the law. Taking the chance of having to pay a small fine is a lot better than taking a chance on my life. When I ride my bike I treat the cars as if they come first and I come last. If I didn't then I would be putting my life in great danger.

  • winemaker81 May 7, 2013

    "I wouldn't ride a bike on Raleigh roads. I value my life too much and I have no problem with leaving the roads to cars and only riding on greenways." -- garyspear

    Absolutely agreed. I ride within my subdivision, no way I'd ride the narrow country roads outside of that, nor do I permit my children to do so. More cyclists on the roads will result in more needless deaths. Makes me think of an old limerick:

    Here lies the body of Dan O'Shea,
    Who died protecting his right of way.
    His right was clear,
    His will was strong,
    But he's just as dead
    as if he'd been wrong.

    The laws of physics have no loopholes, no matter how smart or tricky the lawyer ...

  • Mr William May 6, 2013

    Needed: modulated, flickering strobe-type lights at front/rear of bicycle that uses the streets. You gotta be visible to the distracted drivers in any type of conditions.

    And, maybe someday bicyclists will stop at stop signs!

  • Trekker May 6, 2013

    "Sadly I think you will hear about more bicyclers getting hit and run over by cars as the warm weather comes in. This is what, the third or fourth in a year or so?" Bartmeister

    Seriously though, bikes aren't going away. What it takes is both sides to respect each other’s rights to use the road. I ride on greenways and I ride on roads when I don't have the time to get to a greenway. Sometimes the greenway isn’t going where I want to go so I use the road. If I’m riding responsibly I don’t think that’s too much to ask that my rights be respected also.

  • Bartmeister May 6, 2013

    Sadly I think you will hear about more bicyclers getting hit and run over by cars as the warm weather comes in. This is what, the third or fourth in a year or so?

  • Trekker May 6, 2013

    "Just leave the streets to the big boys, no bike racks allowed."
    Bartmeister

    I always do, like I said, I ride wherever I want.

  • Bartmeister May 6, 2013

    No thanks needed because you'll never see it. Trekker

    ======================================

    Just leave the streets to the big boys, no bike racks allowed.

  • Trekker May 6, 2013

    "Nope just bicycles on the streets. Thanks." Bartmeister

    No thanks needed because you'll never see it.

  • Trekker May 6, 2013

    "Cars on roads, bicycles in parks. See how easy it is?" Bartmeister

    Not at all. You want to ride in a park go for it. I'll ride wherever I want. I'll choose, not you, see how easy it is?

  • Bartmeister May 6, 2013

    what if that was a child? Should everyone write their legislator and have them outlawed too?
    Trekker

    ======================================

    Nope just bicycles on the streets. Thanks.

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