Bicyclist struck, killed by car on OHB in Lakewood

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 2:37pm
Staff reports

Michael Rivas, 31, died Wednesday night after a vehicle struck the bicycle he was riding on Old Hickory Boulevard.

The incident happed at 9:30 p.m. on OHB at 28th Street in Lakewood. According to Metro police, 23-year-old Brandon Williams told them he did not see Rivas prior to the collision involving Williams’ Subaru sedan and Rivas’ bicycle.

Police found no evidence of impairment with either man but pointed out that there was no marked bike lane where the crash occurred. No charges have been placed, and the investigation is continuing.

Last year Transportation for America, an organization pushing for improvements to the nation’s transportation system, released its “Dangerous by Design” report that ranked Nashville, including Franklin and Murfreesboro, as the 14th most dangerous large metro area for pedestrians out of the 54 largest cities.

7 Comments on this post:

By: RoundI285 on 5/17/12 at 5:01

I am sad and I hope this isn't in vain and we see more bike lanes and more education about it. Our last few mayors have really helped with greenways and other ways for pedestrian traffic. There is room for more so that we can become a fitter city and reduce vehicle traffic.

By: Ask01 on 5/18/12 at 4:23

In Europe, bicycles commonly share the roads with autos safely, reducing pollution and congestion.

There are differences, of course, some dealing with how bikes are equipped and others with attitudes on the part of both drivers and cyclists.

As far as equipment, bikes are required to have lights for night riding and a bell, not a horn as rubber bulbs can rot and a horn requires removing a hand from the handlebars. Cyclists are also required to use hand signals to indicate their intent, and expected to maintain awareness of their environment.

Many will wear a reflective vest when riding at night also.

Drivers, for their part, are expected to share the road and be equally aware of the roadway environment.

Based on the limited information, it is difficult to assess blame, so I won't even try as I have been on both sides of this issue and seen both drivers and cyclists behave badly.

The problem in many auto/bicycle encounters, most I believe, is attitude.

Bikers need to be aware they are at a disadvantage and take responsibility to ride safely. This means riding with traffic at the extreme right, using proper equipment, employing signals and being vigilant and courteous.

Drivers need to realize bikes are there and will probably become more numerous, and share the road. After all, more bikes, fewer cars, less congestion, especially on major roads and interstates.

Another major difference between America and Europe is culturally, bicycles and autos have shared the road for decades, with drivers and cyclists accustomed to encounteringeach other from the start. ( A related, sort of, footnote, when I was first stationed in Europe, traffic regulations still included rules for horse drawn wagons and even push carts.)

Bottom line: drivers and cyclists need to respect each other and share the road.

By: Moonglow1 on 5/18/12 at 7:48

Moonglow1: The death of a 31 year old bike rider is very sad. Ask01 brings forth valid points. I do hope Nashville continues it's focus on fitness and heath and will expand bike lanes and sidewalks.

In my neighborhood, sidewalks were recently installed and many people who were initially opposed to them now use them daily. I do notice on quiet neighborhood streets without sidewalks, drivers are often "irritated" when they see a walker-these are drivers driving 50 in a 30. I have experienced this same attitude of some toward cyclists-like drivers do not believe they should be sharing the road.

Today, Nashville is under a code orange air quality alert. Walking and cycling helps to reduce the carbon footprint!!

By: Left-of-Local on 5/18/12 at 11:55

Another side effect of the Barney Fife B.S. in Lakewood from all these past years. They certainly cared more about writing tickets than making things ACTUALLY SAFE, like with bike lanes. Maybe now that the idiots that ran that place have been shut down by the will of the people, Metro can make things a little better.

By: yucchhii on 5/18/12 at 12:02

Again...the DISHONERABLE MAYOR KARL "DINK" COULD CARE LESS ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT PUTTING MORE $$$ INTO HIS LITTLE BABY CALLED "THE NEW MUSIC CITY CONVENTION CENTER!!" The things that absolute attention that are URGENT, don't get it because it's all going into the new convention center!! It's obvious!! If you can't see it...THE CRIMINAL POLITICIANS HAVE YOU BLIND!!

By: geekinstein on 5/20/12 at 8:24

We need more ridable bike lanes in congested areas, tickets for those who
Ride bikes without lights at night
Fail to signal (cars and bikes)
Crowd closer than three feet to a bike
This case sounds like manslaughter by car to me...if the guy had lights.. 99 percent of our drivers respect fact that bikes reduce congestion, pollution and demand/price for gasoline..

By: slzy on 5/20/12 at 11:24

I imagine the difference in Europe is the auto drivers spent years on bicycles ,mopeds,and scooters before they bought a car.

No such shared experience exists here.