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London designer, Moira Gemmill, dies in cycling accident on way to work

 
 
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 12:41 pm
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-arts-visionary-moira-gemmill-killed-by-lorry-while-cycling-near-lambeth-bridge-10167161.html

I never heard of this woman before this morning when I read some articles about her death. She had been head of Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum until recently being picked by the Queen for a new set of projects. She was apparently both very accomplished, and very well appreciated, loved by many.

Rest in Peace, Moira.
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 02:01 pm
She will be sadly missed. There is perceived to be a big problem of cyclists getting killed and injured in London nowadays. Between 1993 and 2013, the worst year for deaths was 2005, when 21 were killed, and the best was 1999 when 10 died. Serious injuries have been fairly consistent at around 450 to 500 per year. In that time the number of daily cycle journeys has roughly doubled from around 270,000 to around 580,000.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 02:17 pm
@contrex,
One of the articles I read said that that particular roundabout was one of the worst places and needed redesigning, or some similar wording.

I used to live in Venice, California, near the beach, and once in a while would bicycle on the bicycle path there. It could be scary even on a pathway designed for cyclists. A lot of folks did use it as a way to get to work, so at some times of day it was more speed oriented than others. I didn't have the guts, really, to bicycle in LA to work, having tried it a few times. (Tangential story: I did take my then wonderful expensive-to-me French bike, a slim Motobecane, resting on the back seat of my open Fiat convertible, on the freeway down to and through Tijuana to an area south of there, and later back to LA. Looking back, that was gutsy.)
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 02:28 pm
@contrex,
I'm not familiar with her but I feel this issue hits closer to home for me. I had spent many enjoyable miles on my cycle, having done work commutes and done many long distance fitness rides (50-100 miles). Biking safety is in my blood. But biking in insane urban traffic areas like London is often at cross-purposes with safety. sooner or later something bad will happen.

If the amount of bicycle trips increases, the amount of car trips increases..and add to that the amount of foreign drivers increases...and the roadways are designed from prior to the invention of cars, you have the worst possible combination.

Appropriately is concern for any cyclist not wearing a safety helmet. I have no idea if she did or if it would have mattered. However, in my case, my life and (what's left of) my brains was most likely saved due to my wearing a helmet.

I cycled around for a good decade in the dangerous urban area of Boston-Cambridge MA and its suburbs and outlying areas. Furthermore, my then-wife at the time worked as a trauma nurse in famous Boston head-injury clinic. She saw the bad end of many motorcycle and biking accidents. She saw first-hand what the difference was with wearing a helmet.

Furthermore, I picked up a friend at a hospital after a week of recovering from his fall from a biking accident. Mild concussion and loss of teeth. He wore his helmet. Docs said he'd not have been nearly as lucky if he wore no helmet.

London urban area seems to be far less safe than ever for cyclists.
How very sad that is.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 02:30 pm
@Ragman,
I commuted to work for 4 1/2 days. Not a scratch on either helmet or the bike, but boy oh boy!
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 02:43 pm
@roger,
Yup. You could have a heart attack from the close-calls, I'll bet. I'm glad that I wore a small mirror on my helmet. At least I was able to ditch my bike and fall to relative safety off the road when I saw danger coming.

My leg or arms became road pizza more than once. Never a broken bone. Only once did I fall (no car involved) and hit my head...but the helmet absorbed the blow. Had the beginning of a mild concussion...and then tossed the helmet away as it did its job. Wife told me it was very close to needing an MRI but it cleared up fairly quickly.

In the instance of certain collisions...say one with a lorry or large vehicle going faster than you in the opposite direction, the results will be poor no matter that you have ...even a suit of armor might not help.
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 02:52 pm
@Ragman,
No broken bones is good. I had three fractures of the pelvis, couple of ribs, and a broken collar bone. Still, the bike and helmet came out just fine.

I tried the mirror on the helmet, but couldn't make it work. Would have been wasted anyway. My bike tried to run over a Toyota. Didn't work.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 02:56 pm
@roger,
An artist friend, husband of a colleague friend, was like you, Ragman, taking very long bike rides, mostly on the ocean adjacent highway near us but that road could be "something else", re danger, maniacs at large and driving. On the longest rides they rode as a group. (I'm remembering that a key guy re the Babe movie was part of that group.) He was the picture of health, an extremely able person; died in his sleep in his forties or maybe early fifties from some undiagnosed heart glitch. I miss him still. No, I wasn't in love with a friend's husband, but he was a great great person, still remembered.
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 02:58 pm
@roger,
Sorry for your bad fortune. Biking is such pleasure, and mostly so practical.
But the road come up so quickly. Cars come up even more quickly.

That must have taken months to recover. When did that happen to you?

Some areas of this country are so notorious for lack of awareness for cyclists.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 02:58 pm
@Ragman,
One article I looked at fast said the lorry driver admitted running a red..
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 03:00 pm
@Ragman,
April 27, 2007 at 12:27 pm.
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 03:04 pm
@ossobuco,
Yeah, i hear you there. That is a shame about your friend. However, had the person not taken up cycling the same heart glitch might have been there regardless.

In fact, after a long bike ride back 13 years ago, I was biking up a long steep hill in CT. During the ride, I had an extended dizzy spell that didn't correct itself for more than hour. it was right after that I got my annual physical, cardio appointment and after several dozen diags, they found the hidden rhythm problem that was beginning to rear its ugly head. They fitted me with pm/defib unit within a few months after that. I switched over to doing brisk walking ever since.
Ragman
 
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Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 03:06 pm
@ossobuco,
That is awful. Wonder if they will ever punish the driver appropriately? He might as well have shot the person with a gun.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 03:07 pm
@roger,
You have my heartfelt sympathies. That is awfully recent. Did you have to learn to walk again?

BTW, thinking about this might be very unpleasant for you. Feel free to tell me to change the subject.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 03:13 pm
@Ragman,
We're so glad they did, Rags.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2015 03:16 pm
Roger had a thread about it back then, and lots of a2k people emailed him and so on. Oh, and joked about nurses.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2015 04:24 am
@Ragman,
Ragman wrote:
But biking in insane urban traffic areas like London is often at cross-purposes with safety.


When was the last time you drove in London?
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2015 07:40 am
@izzythepush,
What's the point of that question? Why would you be questioning my credibility?
I haven't ridden there at all. I have friends who are from London and I certainly believe their accounts of what it's like.

Are you saying that you bike in London and it's safe?
izzythepush
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2015 08:32 am
@Ragman,
I've driven in London, and I would not describe it as an insane urban traffic environment. They are trying to encourage cycling. A lot of money has been spent on cycle lanes, including most of the parks and there is a congestion charge which keeps a lot of traffic out of the centre.

There's still a way to go, most problems are to do with large vehicles with blind spots meaning cyclists can't be seen. Those are vehicle design problems not, London traffic system problems.

Calling London an insane urban traffic environment is unfair, and a throw away remark from someone who does not know what it's really like.
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2015 08:36 am
@izzythepush,
My comment's source is a London resident who is lifetime resident and cyclist.

What bears that out is cyclist death rate is increasing markedly, as the new article stated.
Quote:
Those are vehicle design problems not, London traffic system problems.

But, that scenario (large vehicles with blind spots) is part of London traffic scenario and problem, and as such, makes it less safe and less sane to cycle there,.
 

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