Reader: Gelseigh Karl-Cannon, cyclist, didn't do anything wrong before fatal accident

Our post about the crash that killed cyclist Gelseigh Karl-Cannon in Cherry Creek North focused on the incredible promise of the young Columbia grad while noting the rising concern over bike safety. According to one of our many commenters, Karl-Cannon appears to simply have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

dash30 writes:

First Avenue narrows sharply just at the point where she was hit. She was riding with the flow of traffic, as far to the right as she could get. She was doing the best she could. It is a tragedy and I hope her family and others who knew her can find a way to bear the terrible loss of a daughter, sister and friend. She seemed like a lovely person.

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Unfortunately, this comment gets the wrong idea. Reposting my response from the main comment thread.




Crap. I knew Gelseigh from her time managing the Columbia-neighborhood CSA; terrible loss.


Unfortunately, riding so far to the right in a lane that is too narrow to share can cause this sort of collision. Good drivers will move over and give you a few feet of clearance, but not everyone will recognize the danger that crowding you will cause and present a clear danger to you.


The response? Ride mid-lane, or at least as far over to the left as the rightmost set of tire tracks the cars are making.




Here's a good animation of the principle at play:




This rule is especially useful to apply when stopping at a traffic light, in fact. Line up mid-lane, or well to the left of the bike lane, and force cars to stop behind you, or if they're turning, to turn around you. It helps eliminate the conflict point.




Again, very sad loss, and I'm upset. I don't want anyone to get the idea that riding as far to the right as is possibly manageable to stay safe is the take home message here, though! It's the opposite.


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