It was New Year's Day and all of us (two kids, borrowed daughter, husband, me) are in the car on the way to see a movie. It would have been cool if we were all bicycling, we all love to bicycle, but the distance and the schedule had made this not possible and so we had crammed into the car and were going anyways and feeling very happy.
I was not driving and so I think I noticed first and my thoughts were in this order "oh my god" and then "on my god it's a child's bicycle." I made Contraption Captain take a picture. Here it is.
I went home and easily found the story which is of a 14 year old girl on her way to school. She was making a right hand turn onto the street that has her school on it at the same time as a pick-up truck. "Somehow" she was hit and she died before getting to the hospital.
This has caused me a lot of pain. Nothing like the pain of the parents of the girl or of her friends but pain that is real. I read and re-read the accounts of her death. It is described as a "mystery."
And, quite separate from the pain behind my heart, I am deeply and angrily and profoundly frustrated.
At work we have a motto of "launch early and iterate." The core of this, for me, is "create and improve and create and improve. Always be improving." I am frustrated that a 14 year old is gone and we are making no attempt to improve. You will see here that I at no time call this an "accident." I refuse to call it an accident. If a problem happens again and again it is not an accident, it is homicide.
The girl was making a right turn when she was hit. The intersection this happened at is a busy one with a traffic light. Cars making a right turn at this intersection peel off just before the light in a smooth on-ramp. They do not slow down. They may accelerate as they try and beat the traffic coming from the other direction. These "right turn ramps" are bad for bicyclists because the car is looking towards oncoming traffic and the car does not have to even pretend to slow down. We should get rid of this turn option that happens immediately before a high school. We should extra get rid of it now that someone has died there.
There are improvements to be made here. The deaths show this. We all know this.
I don't want to be negative (I know, funny) but this is on my mind since seeing that small white bicycle and those flowers. I have a 14 year old. I'm out there. I think all of us deserve more from these
Edit: Yes. She was wearing a helmet.