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Cyclists' Deaths Shake Car-Centric Suburb - The Bay Citizen -
April 13, 2012
"As cars zipped along Treat Boulevard in the pouring rain Tuesday, a steady stream of people added flowers, teddy bears and personal notes to a sidewalk memorial for Solaiman Nuri and his daughter Hadessa. Nuri and his two daughters, Hadessa, 9, and Hannah, 12, were riding their bicycles Saturday morning when a 17-year-old high school student driving a white Cadillac Escalade jumped the curb, sheared off the top of a fire hydrant and crashed into the family before hitting a building. Nuri, a 41-year-old truck driver, died at the scene; Hadessa was pronounced dead at the hospital. Hannah survived with minor injuries. The driver, who witnesses said was speeding, was arrested Saturday and released from juvenile hall Tuesday, while police continued to investigate whether he was texting or impaired at the time of the crash. The tragedy has shaken Concord, a city of 122,000 in suburban Contra Costa County. Hundreds gathered for a vigil Sunday evening and again for a funeral Wednesday in Antioch. Like many suburbs, Concord was designed with one vehicle in mind: the car. Wide six-lane thoroughfares — like Treat Boulevard, with its 45-mile-per-hour speed limit — invite fast-moving traffic and leave little room for bicyclists. Concord reported 277 bike crashes and 4 bicycle fatalities between 2005 and 2010, more than any other city in Contra Costa County. Twenty-three cyclists died in the county over those five years. In the city and county of San Francisco, where bikes jostle for position on busy streets with cars and pedestrians, nine cyclists were killed during that time. The statistics are from The Bay Citizen’s Bike Accident Tracker, which analyzes data from every bike accident reported to the California Highway Patrol from 2005 through 2009. Municipalities are required to report any accident police investigate to the California Highway Patrol. Concord has lagged when it comes to installing bike lanes. Bruce Ohlson, 62, a cement truck driver who lives in Pittsburg and...
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