Check out this video on KOB TV for some details.Here is a more recent one.
My hypothesis, since no one seems to know why a competent (see below) cyclist would simply fall under a truck, is that Tim may have been deflected by contact with the gutter pan ledge (see video) or incidental contact with the truck causing an unfortunate "instant turn" or loss of balance while navigating in these tight quarters. Or perhaps he miss-stepped onto a bike pedal and lost his balance. Perhaps he or the truck driver tried to squeeze into too small a place at the same time. Its presently all conjecture. If we ever find out more information, I'll post it here. See comment # 3 for a recent update.
From a BikeABQ e-post from an experienced Albuquerque cyclist who often saw Timothy riding, and who is livid with the cursory investigation: "...Tim Vollman was an experienced commuter who rode often enough for me to recognize him from the trail, not some wobbly-kneed kid or weekend warrior on a Wunderbike. Experienced commuters simply don't fall over of their own accord.."
I've been bike commuting since 1979 and agree--experienced commuters rarely pull an Arte Johnson, i.e., simply fall over. But shit happens. Systems fail and even good people make mistakes. That's why we don't build exceptionally marginal "two foot" bike lanes in Los Alamos as an expedient to limits on right of way or cost considerations. There is not a single plausible reason I can think of to build a bike facility that has zero margin for error built into it. Accident theory researchers like Charles Perrow (Normal Accidents) and Scott Sagan (The Limits of Safety) indicate why carefully designed safety margins need to be built into complicated, tightly coupled high hazard systems (specifically, things like air traffic control, nuke or chemical plants, Strategic Air Command systems, etc.). I think urban traffic fits that description to some degree. Hence things like five foot passing rules, three to five second yellow light cycles, and AASHTO-minimum width bike lanes.
So build it right or don't build it at all. Don't advocate for, or design facilities that guide cyclists and motorists into unsafe situations and think you are doing them any favors. We don't need more ghost bikes.
|This is not Comanche and I-25. Used for illustrative purposes only|
Diane Albert, President of the Bicycling Coalition of New Mexico, has contacted two members of the Albuquerque city government about the conditions at this location, comparing actual conditions with AASHTO standards.