It was a fairly cold but sunny Sunday morning on October 20, 2013, when I cycled to Hunt Club and Merivale to attend the placement of a ghost bike at this intersection, where Mario was killed earlier this week. From the media, I gathered a truck turned right and didn’t see Mario.
Ghost bikes are usually placed anonymously, but friends of Mario decided to make it a public event. I didn’t recognise many people, other than CfSC members Peter Brebner (who made the bike seat covers for us) and Heather, who walked up to me to thank Citizens for Safe Cycling for all the good work that CfSC is doing.
We gathered on a parking lot on the South West corner. There were hugs, and tears and smiles and stories about Mario. Then we walked to the actual corner where it happened and hooked up the bike on a light post. Several people put flowers at the bike. I estimated about 80-100 people came out to pay a tribute to their bicycle hero. Here are a few impressions for those who couldn’t make it.
Looking at that picture of the tanker truck, I realized what a truly dangerous situation it would be when it turns right. Because it’s so long, it would be making a wide right turn at the last second. If a cyclist happens to be in the bike lane, and even only as far as one tanker-length in (out of the 2 tankers), a right turn initiated by the driver who didn’t see the cyclist would cause a collision because of the way the truck makes the turn. The last tanker would essentially be fixed in place for part of the turn, and then suddenly “cut-in” towards the cyclist, leaving the cyclist nowhere to go.
I don’t know if that’s what happened in this situation, but it’s made me become aware of how really dangerous a right-turning truck is.