Are Phoenix Road Design Flaws to Blame for Bike Death?

Posted on Nov 15, 2014

A fatal bicycle accident involving a car on Pecos Road near 17th Avenue has left many area residents wondering if road design was to blame.


On Wednesday, November 12, 60-year-old Dwayne “Highly” Falkner, an avid cyclist and triathlete, was riding his bicycle on Pecos Road when he has struck from behind by a car turning right onto 17th Avenue. Pecos Road is a popular road for cyclists to ride, as it general hosts a low volume of cars.


Many residents and area cyclists are questioning the design of that particular intersection where the accident occurred, as it has long been a place where cyclists have felt uncomfortable. The current bike lane is on the right shoulder until it approaches 17th Avenue, where the bike lane and right turn lane cross, leaving bicycles in the center of the road in an attempt to stop cars from turning right into cyclists that are continuing on Pecos Road.


Falkner was following the bike lane into the center of lanes to continue westbound on Pecos when a car attempting to turn right on 17th Avenue struck him. Police are still investigating whether the driver of that car was speeding or intoxicated.


While many streets have similarly designed bike lane/right turn lane designs, especially in Tempe, these intersections are also controlled by traffic signals. The 17th Avenue and Pecos Road intersection does not have a traffic light or signal, and following Falkner’s death many people are calling for improved traffic control at that location.


The personal injury lawyers at Curry, Pearson & Wooten extend their deepest sympathies to the Falkner family, as well as Falkner’s friends and cycling community.