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UPDATE: Child Critical But Stable After Bike Accident

He was hit by a car attempting to cross Tienken Road.

A 12-year-old Rochester boy is in critical but stable condition at an area hospital after being hit by a car on Tienken Road on Tuesday night.

According to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, the boy attempted to cross Tienken just east of Rochester Road; he cleared stopped eastbound traffic and entered the westbound lane when he was struck.

The driver of the car that struck the boy was a 19-year-old resident of New Haven, which is in Macomb County. She attempted to brake and steer away from the bicyclist but was unable to avoid a collision, according to a sheriff's office news release.

The accident happened at 5:12 p.m., according to Sheriff Captain Michael Johnson.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash; it was unknown whether the boy was wearing a helmet.

The sheriff's office and the Rochester Hills Fire Department were on the scene for about two hours; traffic was re-routed through nearby neighborhoods east of Rochester Road.

David Gifford August 31, 2011 at 01:04 PM
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/A-Promise-to-Beth-other-Cyclists/168091463263163 - Here is a Facebook page dedicated to a Canton woman named Beth. She was a 27 year old mother of 4 children who was struck and killed this summer while on her bicycle. As our communities grow and more cars are on the road, we must be ever aware of bicycles and motorcycles. While it is their responsibility to watch out for cars, it is our responsibility to watch out for them as well.
Liz August 31, 2011 at 03:07 PM
Bikes should stay off the roads.While driving and watching out for other cars I should not have to try to focus on not hitting someone on a bike. That is why we have sidewalks and trails.
Claire Ahearn August 31, 2011 at 03:41 PM
Unfortunalty most people do not realize is it is safer for a bike to be on the road if they follow all the rules. When I ride on the sidewalk I must slow down at every driveway not only residental but business driveways because most people pull out of a driveway and stop after they cross the sidewalk. I have been almost hit numerous times when riding my bike on the sidewalk in town and I watch traffic all the time. I much prefer the road, I do not ride on the road now because drivers are to distracted. Drivers who pull out of a business parking lot drive past the sidewalk and look only one direction and as a cyclist coming the other direction we become targets. I am in no way slamming drivers but if we drove our cars and paid more attention to the road both cyclist and pedestrians would be safe. I tell everyone when you approach a sidewalk from a parking lot slow down, look both directions and make sure no one is coming from either direction. I was hit while riding my bike on the path at 28 mile and VanDyke, I was following the directions of the crosswalk signal and a driver turned right and never looked to see that I was already crossing the street. So even while on a bike path I was a target. So drivers please slow down, there are lots of us outdoors getting fresh air and exercise. Take a moment and make sure there is no one in the crosswalk or driveway before you proceed. When you come to a red light, do not block the crosswalk we want to be safe when we cross.
Dave Schall August 31, 2011 at 04:15 PM
If this happened at the cross walk going from Courtland Ave across to Tienken (near the fire station), some hell needs to be raised. Flashing lights, stop light, something needs to be put there. I frequently ride from the downtown area over to Stony Creek via this route I cannot tell you how many times I have stood in the middle of that cross walk blocking one lane of traffic while cars from the other lane just whiz past me, WHILE I AM STANDING IN THE CROSSWALK!!! If there is some one in a cross walk the law says you have to stop people! I really hate that this happened to a kid.
LUV2MTB August 31, 2011 at 04:18 PM
Liz, you may not realize it but in many areas it is illegal for bike's to ride on sidewalks, and myself as a cyclist have more issues on a sidewalk than in the road? Tell me how often at a road/sidewalk crossing do you actually stop at the stop sign and not pass all the way through to the road and actually check both ways to see if someone is on the sidewalk? How often are you making a right hand turn at a stop light and blocking the sidewalk when pedestrians have the white light? those things happen to me every time I ride! Yesterday I rode past the accident, I saw the young boy lying in the road before any help had arrived, as I crossed Teinken, I was verbally attacked by some idiot in a car for no other reason than I was on my bike! He had his daughter in the car who probably the same age as the kid who was hit, he proceded to chase me down the road in reverse and I stopped several times at one point I actually thought I was going to be assualted! There are good cyclists and bad cyclists just like there are good drivers and bad drivers, Yes you should have to watch out for cyclists, pedestrians, motorcycles, mopeds and everything else that can legally ride in the road, oh wait I know, its pretty difficult to text, yell at your kids, eat a big mac and drive a car at the same time. By the way, the boy yesterday was not riding in the road, he was on the sidewalk until he had to cross the road, and the past few weeks Teinken has become a freeway
Chrissy McKenzie August 31, 2011 at 04:19 PM
Tieken Road has been a nightmare since Parkdale is closed. The amount of traffic that has re-routed to use Tieken is out of control - and the speed of the drivers coming up to Rochester Road is often very fast...I am surprised there haven't been more accidents. I live in the sub at Courtland and Tieken (aprox. where this accident took place) and try to avoid this area at all costs... I am afraid of getting hit in my car when turning, let alone my bike!! Even though I can get onto Paint Creek faster by going up Tieken, I always go the long way to avoid the traffic. They really need to investigate the effects of closing roads and should have thought about adding a temporary stop light and/ or stop sign between Rochester Road and Dequindre or they should have the sheriff patrol that area more often - it's a little nuts. I feel horrible for this child, and hope he recovers quickly.
Dave Schall August 31, 2011 at 04:29 PM
BTW Liz, even if the child were to ride on the sidewalk, The sidewalk only exists fully on the north side of Tienken. Regardless, the child would have had to cross the street somewhere. Between drivers who don't slow down for cross walks, poor to no bike lanes, and incomplete sidewalks, Tienken road really needs help. Especially since it is a prime route to Paint Creek and Stony Creek.
David Gifford August 31, 2011 at 04:46 PM
This is certainly a sensitive issue for everyone, cyclists, drivers, parents and area residents. The closing of Parkdale has certainly increased the traffic everywhere else in Rochester and Rochester Hills, not to mention the bottle necking at Avon and Livernois, another area popular with cyclists and joggers. It will only get worse over the next year with the replacement of the bridges at Avon and Livernois, the Bridge on Avon next to Yates and the replacement of Main Street in Rochester. Rochester is a unique city with its train trails and proximity to Stoney Creek. Everyone needs to conscious that Rochester is a cycling town. I don't have a solution for the road / sidewalk debate. Some will say the sidewalks are only for pedestrians and bicycles should be on the road. Drivers will say bicycle riders belong on the sidewalk because they are not cars. Many cities make bicycle lanes but even they are not safe from drifting texters or drivers who pass on the right. We just all need to be extra cautious, especially now that traffic is heavier and the temps promote outdoor activities.
Jessica P. Opfer August 31, 2011 at 07:49 PM
Unfortunately, although Rochester purports to be bicycle-friendly, the facts are not in our favor. I am a downtown resident and frequent walker and biker on the streets and trails of Rochester and the safeguards for bikes and pedestrians are next to nil. We have no bike lanes, no traffic calming measures, and very few crosswalks except at major intersections. Speed limits are constantly and flagrantly violated and red light-running is common. Many drivers in this area are not well-educated about the rules of the road in relation to other users, and there seems to be a general lack of respect for anyone who is not in a car. I cannot tell you how many times I have almost been hit by drivers who are not paying attention - either while walking my dog and pushing a bright orange stroller, or while riding a bike pulling a brightly colored trailer with an orange safety flag. Drivers are not looking for pedestrians or cyclists, even right in downtown Rochester, where such users are extremely common. The statement that bikes should "stay off the roads" is ridiculous, and not even applicable in this case. Bikes have every right to use the road, and it is often more dangerous to be on the sidewalk. What happened to this child could be avoided with the proper safety measures. Given the proximity of the schools in the neighborhood and the traffic volume on Tienken, it is imperative that the city take actions to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
Kristin Bull (Editor) August 31, 2011 at 08:12 PM
The comments show this is a very sensitive issue. A couple thoughts come to mind: First of all, the bicyclist involved in this incident was not using the crosswalk at Courtland Avenue, according to information from the sheriff's office. Also, to the comments about Tienken being busier since the Parkdale Bridge construction: the bridge is set to be finished next week, which will allow normal (albeit busy) traffic to resume there. Third, thanks to Nina for mentioning "Complete Streets" -- more information on this program is available at www.completestreets.org. Complete Streets is an effort to make sure roadways are usable by bikers, walkers, runners, those who use wheelchairs — others, besides automobiles. We are working on a story about Complete Streets as is applicable to the Rochester area; the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition is holding an event on Sept. 28 for city officials to learn more about possible roadway improvements that could be made.
Liz August 31, 2011 at 08:50 PM
I have parents that live in Danish Village and ride their scooters everyday. As they cross Adams to go to Busch's they almost always get hit by a car not waiting for them to cross. People can not even respect older people on carts,why would they be patient for someone on a bike or walking?
megan perrera September 01, 2011 at 12:08 AM
I have lived in this town for 45 years. This town was never meant or designed for the amount of traffic that is present ! Its crazy.............Enough to make you want to move .sad stuff
Joshua Raymond September 01, 2011 at 01:12 AM
As a member of the Pathways Technical Advisory Committee for Rochester Hills, we are working hard to try to make Rochester Hills safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. If there is a way that we can help make Rochester Hills safer or more bike and pedestrian friendly through pathways, please feel free to post your idea.
Jessica P. Opfer September 01, 2011 at 02:08 AM
I think the issue in this particular case was not the pathway (which exists along the north side of Tienken) but the fact that there is no safe place to cross Tienken between Rochester Rd. and the roundabout by the schools - and even then, those are two extremely dangerous intersections for bicyclists and pedestrians alike due to traffic volumes, high speeds, and blatant disregard for the rights of crosswalk users. I would like to note, however, that sidewalks or pathways separated from the roadway are not always the best solution for bikes. It is very dangerous for cyclists to travel on pathways that are frequently crossed by driveways and roads because drivers are not inclined to watch for bikes - especially those coming against road traffic. For instance, a bicyclist traveling west to east on the north side of Tienken has to be extremely cautious when crossing driveways and roads. As was mentioned in a previous post, drivers tend not to stop before the pathway but drive straight through to the actual roadway. I honestly believe that better driver education is key here...an education that is focused on ALL road users, not just drivers. Unfortunately it is impossible to train and/or enforce common courtesy!
christine September 01, 2011 at 02:44 AM
Drivers really need to realize that in a lot of places it is actually ILLEGAL TO RIDE A BIKE ON THE SIDEWALK! Also, in many cases it is safer to ride a bike on the road. Recently I saw a cyclist cross at the crosswalk on Rochester and Romeo, in front of Dairy Queen, and get run down by someone taking a right turn there, even though cyclist had the right of way. It's not just Tienken, but I have tried to cross Tienken at that crosswalk so many times and cars just about run me down. More than once I have made a left turn signal with my arm and had a driver think it meant "pass me on the left." In any case, I hate that this happened to a child. I am not surprised, however. I do not get how Rochester can call itself a "bike-friendly town". I have lived in towns that are bike-friendly (Asheville, NC, Cary, NC, and a few others) and Rochester is really not a friendly place to cycle .
Rita September 01, 2011 at 03:58 AM
This is not the first time a child has been hit crossing Tienken near Courtland. I personally know two other children that were hit by a car in this area. My kids are actually walkers to Hart and Stoney from the North Hill Elementary neighborhood and even with a crossing guard this is extremely dangerous. There is a dip in the road and the cars come so fast that they approach before you even realize it. I have written letters to the school board and they stated that busses are used for transporting kids that are 1.5 miles away from school and that having a crossing guard for Tienken is sufficient for kids safely crossing the road. What I don’t understand is why the kids living on Letica near Tienken get bussed across the street to Hart and Stoney. I was told it is because it’s too dangerous for them to cross at the round-about. As far as I’m concerned, it is safer crossing at the round-about because at least the cars are slowing down. An overpass cross walk should have been put in place years ago after the first child was hit crossing in this area. I don’t know what it’s going to take for the city to take action on this. Crossing guard or not, kids should not be crossing Tienken at Courtland. I walked the route from my house to Hart and I had to run across the street in order to avoid being hit. The cars come way too fast!!! I’m so sorry this had to happen to this innocent child.
lisa September 01, 2011 at 12:18 PM
Road design, speed and people rushing too much! Let's put others first! Gov't needs to do better planning and could do more on education especially to keep our children safe! Where was the cell phone?
Claire Ahearn September 01, 2011 at 01:04 PM
This will always be a sensitive subject between drivers and cyclist, education will be one of the only ways to get drivers more aware of their surroundings. Also parents when you are driving with your kids during their training why don't you start making them aware of cyclist/pedestrains and the importance of stopping before crosswalks. Until drivers slow down and become more aware of the foot and bike traffic this will be an issue. If for one day drivers had to get themselves to their destination without a car they too may realize their driving habbits can be dangerous to cyclist/peds. Hitting someone will change everyone's life.
Nina Misuraca Ignaczak September 01, 2011 at 01:16 PM
Rita, I am in the same boat as you with regard to being a "walker" when the roads are not remotely safe to walk or ride on. My kid is in elementary school and I don't even think the roads within our neighborhood leading to the school are safe to walk on (no sidewalks, high volumes, fast speeds) yet being within a mile of the school we are so-called "walkers" too. This issue is very upsetting, and I fear nothing will change until parents and residents get together to demand it. It will take a coordinated effort between multiple entities (RCS, the 2 Cities, and the Road Commission for Oakland County). I would be very interested in participating in such an effort.

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