City Government

New Twist To “First Responder.”

DoanBoise Fire Chief Dennis Doan has been a first responder to numerous traffic accidents, but Friday he set a new record with a a “0” response time.

He was riding his bike northbound in the newly painted bike lane when a motorist turned in front of him, causing the Chief to smack the car. Doan left some elbow and knee skin in the freshly chip sealed pavement, but declined any medical treatment. The bike is not equipped with red lights or siren and Doan was not on a call.

His bike reportedly wasn’t as lucky. The driver was cited for “lack of due care to avoid a collision with a cyclist,” Boise Police Department spokesman Ryan Larrondo said.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Grumpy ole Guy
    Sep 5, 2015, 2:08 am

    That’s really getting some skin in the game. Glad the Chief’s injuries were no worse.

  2. Bicycles used on roadways, thus mixing with other vehicles need to be licensed and insured.

  3. Zippo, do you feel the same way about pedestrians?

    Guardian, LOTS of cyclists get KILLED in this exact situation- not something to be light about of “siren and not on call”. The right hook kills people.

    EQUAL fault is with the Chief.
    In the TV interview the Chief said, “She said she just didn’t see me”.

    Well that is 99% the bicyclist’s fault.
    A bicyclist’s #1 priority in traffic is to BE SEEN.
    Secondly, when approaching an intersection where a right hook is possible, a cyclist should be looking to the left for a car overtaking them ready to turn right. DEFENSE.

    Imagine a fire truck on call zipping through an intersection and crossing traffic vehicle t-bones it.
    “I didn’t see it”
    Well, that is why emergency vehicles have lights and sirens- To be seen.

    In fact, there is a bike horn available that sounds like a car horn.

    A bicyclist in that situation has the right of way. But the RIGHT and safe thing is to BE SURE drivers can see the cyclist on the road.

    Major fail on Chief Doan’s part!
    He should have been cited too- “Lack of Due Care to be seen”.

    When this happens, some day, to Chief Bones on his bike, or the Mayor, perhaps Boise Police (& Ada) will get serious about enforcing bicycle rules, etiquette, and good practices.
    Or maybe, just maybe Chief Doan will have a good conversation with Chief Bones after this ‘close-call’.

  4. Yes Zippo. That would have prevented the motor vehicle from striking him.

  5. I am glad that he is okay. Capitol and Grove is the intersection where this happened. 2 things happened there last week. First ACHD painted a green “bike Box” without educating people in cars or on bikes as to what the green box means. Secondly, ACHD allow a contractor to block the bike lane while Dunkley’s music was demolished. Both of these leave all road users thoroughly confused.

  6. Easterner, there is definitely not ‘equal fault’ in this case. If it’s a right hook collision, it’s the car driver’s fault, period. Yes, it pays to be a defensive cyclist, but that does not excuse the car driver for poor driving. This is why the driver was cited and not the fire chief. The car drivers are the ones (by far) with the grater share of responsibility, due to their excess speed, weight, and damage capability.

    I agree with you that it’s important to be seen, and bike defensively – I do those things, and encourage others too, as well. Personally, I try to bike as if no one can see me. But in no way should this be a legal excuse for others to be less alert while driving.

  7. Eastern, others: Yes! Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Motorcycles… all are like ants on an active pool table. It’s not if, it’s when will they get crushed. The cost of this foolishness often falls on society. I’m a proponent of minimizing the foolish tempting of fate… so as to minimize the cost. Fees and insurance to be certain there is cost coverage falling on the individuals involved. Bicycles in particular have been getting a free-ride at the expense of all. Just look at the money diddled away by unsuccessfully attempting to overcome the obvious physics problem when mixing with vehicles. I’m not sure how, but passing the cost of accommodating bikes onto the bikers seems logical. Don’t worry though, it would make Bietter and friends look bad in all the lifestyle magazines… so it’s ain’t gonna happen.

  8. I’m curious about why motor vehicles need licensed and insured operators, while bicycle operators (so far) have not been. Could it have something to do with the massive, consistent, and continual loss of life and property damage motor vehicle operators cause? Maybe bicycle operators have been getting a free ride – I can’t specifically cite any statistic – but if I had to guess, it’s less of a free ride and more acknowledgement of their minimal capacity to injure others or cause severe damage.

    As far as getting a ‘free ride’ in terms of infrastructure spending, well, the ACHD website has a good answer for that –

    Q: Motorists pay for the roads with gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, so why should we pay to put in things like bike lanes?
    A: While bicyclists in Ada County don’t have to pay a registration fee for their bikes, they are probably paying to fund ACHD in other ways, such as through property taxes (the largest source of ACHD revenue) or sales taxes. Most adult bicyclists are also car owners, so they’re likely paying registration fees on a motor vehicle. Taxes and fees born directly by motorists in the form of vehicle registration fees and highway user fund distributions (fuel taxes) make up only about one-third of ACHD revenue. With the exception of the rare person who pedals in from outside the county, it’s fair to assume that bicyclists in and around downtown Boise are contributing some amount to the upkeep of Ada County roads.

  9. Jason, agreed- from the legal standpoint the driver is at fault.
    As they say in driver’s training, “Being right aint much good if you’re dead.”

    However, the “drivers fault, period” at all times is not correct. In the absence of an actual bike lane, the vehicle and bike are equals using 1 lane of traffic. IMagine 2 motorcycles approaching and intersection and the motorcycle on the left side of the lane uses a blinker and turns into a parking lot like the another motorcycle is proceeding past the turning motorcycle… whoa! What is the second motorcycle doing?

    A bike “passing on the right” presents questions.
    A bike “exceeding speed for the conditions” (cars stoppped in front) is another possibility.

    When in doubt, refer back to Rule #1. Stay alive. -which means a driver (biker) has a duty to avoid a collision if possible.

    So, it is not always “green and white”. That’s an analogy to a green painted bike lanes for the non-library types. 😉

  10. Note to Zippo, most people in bicycles own cars and other vehicles and pay license fees as well as insurance costs on them.

    The solution to the bicycle deal is to make pedestrians and bicycle people the same in the eyes of the right of way on the streets. Cars must yield to pedestrians and ditto to those on bicycles. They don’t stand a chance if the cars and other vehicles don’t give way to them. I would also advocate bicycles riding against traffic. At least you can see cars coming at you and you have a chance to get out of the way.

  11. Saw a beautiful one of these today!

    Idaho & 8th.

    the biker was in the bike lane accelerating and going faster than the traffic.
    Me in middle lane.
    Black truck on right lane. And a crappy green Gremlin car in front of the black truck.
    The green car does a sudden right turn onto 8th street – NO blinker, of course. But everyone turns onto 8th St there. Otherwise you wouldnt be in the right lane jammed up with buses.

    But as the biker passed the truck, I expected the truck to do the right turn onto 8th. I was getting a little nervous- about my schedule and having to write out a witness statement.

    But then bang! it was the green car instead.
    Biker was passing vehicle traffic and made a bad situation.
    Fortunately the bike braked hard, hopped, skipped… changed his underwear and then proceeded.
    I don’t think the driver of the green car had any idea what happened.

    I– from the luxury of an nearby car saw it coming. That biker should have too.

  12. I think anything with less than four wheels needs to pull to the side of the road if anything with four or more wheels is within 500 feet.

    Eastie, I saw the same sort of thing with a spandex-queen passing a fuel truck on the right… the truck made a lawful right turn… trailer would have squashed bike but for extra heavy duty trailer wires to grab onto. Had it been a smooth-sided truck cyclist be dead. Totally the bikers fault… biker total jerk to driver and others. Please get off the road! You are a hazard to all much like a deer or elk.

  13. Easterner, I do agree with you, and I believe that’s why the bicycle markings on that street are ‘sharrows’ in the right-most lane of traffic, rather than in the marked bus/taxi lane.

    On a bike, I do filter forward on the right when cars are stopped at a red light, and generally this is OK – especially so on a road like Main – with limited inter-block driveways. Once the light goes green, I merge back into the lane to not become a victim of a right-hook. Main st. has slow enough traffic that I can reasonable keep up with cars, and it’s usually not a problem.

    If I had it my way, I’d have ACHD re-time the downtown core light ‘green-waves’ to 15-20mph, so cyclists would feel more comfortable biking this way. When cars are going this slow, the rate of collisions greatly decreases, as well as the severity of collisions.

  14. Jason, yes the solution is with ACHD. Unfortunately ACHD sucs.

    They need to reduce the speed limit AND change the lights to be 20 mph. Better for businesses too. Drivers will notice businesses at a slower speed.
    Downtown core from Bway to 16th, State to Myrtle should be designed and implemented to be pedestrian and bike friendly. Chief Doan, Chief Bones, and the Mayor can lead that objective.

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