Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Bristol cyclist critical after crash with car

Interesting they chose the phrase "hit by a car"; in London they tend to describe the bicycle as hitting the car, before going on to discuss whether they had a helmet on.

The location was describe as the junction of St Michael's Hill and Horfield Road. We've noted how this isn't that much fun in a car. This collision happened at 22:22 on a Friday, so congestion would be minimal -and there is more chance of cars driving around fast.

Judging by the signs, the collision wasn't with Park Row, it was further up the hill. There's no further details yet on what happened.
Some possibilities:
  • Car and bicycle heading down the St Michaels Hill, collision.
  • Car and bicycle heading down Horfield Road, collision.
  • Bicycle heading up St Michaels Hill, collides with car also going up St Michaels Hill
Those are the normal two vehicles in the same-direction incidents. This junction adds some more, all of which tend to lead to side-on collisions:
  • Bicycle heading down St Michaels Hill, collides with car going down Horfield Road, or up St Michaels Hil.
  • Bicycle heading down Horfield Road collides with car pulling out St Michaels Hill and heading downhill
  • Bicycle heading up St Michaels Hill towards Horfield Road, gets hit by a car going straight up St Michaels Hill
Nobody rational turns from St Michaels Hill into Horfield Road; its too tight. There are other options further up the hill.
The highest risk actions on a bicycle are probably
  1. Heading down from St Michaels Hill, where you are exposed to vehicles heading in either direction. Gravity works in the bicycle's favour here, it pulls the bicycle forward and minimises the time side-on to traffic.
  2. Heading up towards Horfield Road, where the bicycle rider is curving right and pushing slowly up something steep -any vehicle heading up St Michaels Hill in a hurry may turn over them. It's like a left hook only without the car making the left turn, it just goes straight on (hence faster), even though the road lanes turn rightwards.
On a bicycle, before the building works started, heading up through the BRI car park (the former Terrell Street) was apparently a lower hassle option. Follow the signs to A&E from Park Row, then head out to Horfield Road, or turn right to Marlborough Hill and a final bit of climbing.
We have no more details than the BBC article -and wish the cyclist a speedy and full recovery.

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