Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

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Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby RobertFrith » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:48 pm

Bike smash tests Sam’s dream
By ROMY RANALLI
A 16-year-old boy has spent the past two months in hospi- tal with his back broken in five places after crashing into an- other cyclist in Subiaco’s Haydn Bunton Drive underpass. And his mother and other cy- clists have warned of what they say are serious design faults with cycle paths through Subiaco. The promising career of Sam Berry, an elite cyclist with the WA Institute of Sports’ National Talent Squad, is in doubt after the crash on December 9.
Cyclists bolt through the tunnel, part of a main bicycle route between the western suburbs and the city, sometimes at speeds of more than 40kmh. Sharp turns leading into the tunnel at both ends inhibit visibility. The underpass runs along the railway line where it passes under the road next to Subiaco Oval.
Sam, of Wembley Downs, was lagging behind a group of friends when he collided with a cyclist coming in the opposite direction. He was thrown about 10 me- tres; and was knocked out, his hel- met smashed to pieces. His dream of attending the Junior World Titles in Italy later this year is over. “It has been horrible,” Sam said. “I can’t describe the pain.
“I remember bits of it, I re- member everything before the collision and then I just re- member the pain.” His back was broken in five places, from vertebrae T5-T9. His left hand was also smashed. Doctors kept him immobile on his back for 23 days, fearing he might be paralysed.
The Churchlands High School student was supposed to begin Year 12 next week.His mother, Deborah, said she did not consider her son was lucky to be walking again. “Luck has nothing to do with it,” she said. “This was an accident that did not have to happen if the tunnel had been designed so you could see what was coming in front of you. “The design forces you to go on to the wrong side of the path. The lane comes to a complete stop instead of merging. “We are yet to know the full extent of his injuries.” Sam’s bike, valued at more than $6000, was also destroyed, Mrs Berry said.
Main Roads WA spokesman Dean Roberts said the department did not have concerns about the design of the path and tunnel. “Problems arise when cyclists, in par- ticular, are not as attentive as they should be or are riding at high speed,” he said. “This is an issue Main Roads and local government face all over the principle shared path (PSP) network. “Riders, as with motorists, have an obligation to act responsibly and safely.
“There is a convergence of paths on the western side of the tunnel but there is also clear visibility.
“Again, it is up to cyclists and pedestrians to act responsibly and share the path.
“Tomorrow our traffic and safety guys will visit the site with an officer from Subiaco council to look at the location and see if there is anything we can do to im- prove safety for cyclists.
“We might be able to put up some safety signs.”
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by BNA » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:56 pm

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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:56 pm

RobertFrith wrote:“We might be able to put up some safety signs.”

That's big of them.

Comments re: riding to the conditions may be fair, though. Any pix of the setup with the path? That imageshack linky ain't working.
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby RobertFrith » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:20 pm

trailgumby wrote:Comments re: riding to the conditions may be fair, though. Any pix of the setup with the path? That imageshack linky ain't working.

Working here... The path is under a traffic bridge, which goes over a railway line. There's a drop and a wiggly sort of turn as you approach from the west. Visibility isn't good, easy to get surprised by someone coming the other way. Local roads are busy and there are lots of traffic lights so if you want a good unbroken run into town from Subi the path's the place to be.
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Kalgrm » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:53 pm

I've come very, very close to hitting an elderly pair of pedestrians who were walking on the wrong side of the PSP as they entered that tunnel from the west. Scared the hell out of me, and I was only doing about 20km/h at the time (knowing it's a blind corner). What ever possessed them to do it, I'll never know, but I did stop my bike and give them a big serve for walking on the wrong side of the path.

They just looked at me with a dumb stare and proceeded as before. :roll:

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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby RodneyOlsen » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:40 pm

Kalgrm wrote:I've come very, very close to hitting an elderly pair of pedestrians who were walking on the wrong side of the PSP as they entered that tunnel from the west. Scared the hell out of me, and I was only doing about 20km/h at the time (knowing it's a blind corner). What ever possessed them to do it, I'll never know, but I did stop my bike and give them a big serve for walking on the wrong side of the path.

They just looked at me with a dumb stare and proceeded as before. :roll:

Cheers,
Graeme


Slightly OT but I do find that a lot on PSPs. For some reason there is a number of pedestrians who feel they should walk on the right hand side of the path. I feel like yelling "KEEP LEFT" whenever I have to pass them.
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:37 pm

RodneyOlsen wrote:
Kalgrm wrote:I've come very, very close to hitting an elderly pair of pedestrians who were walking on the wrong side of the PSP as they entered that tunnel from the west. Scared the hell out of me, and I was only doing about 20km/h at the time (knowing it's a blind corner). What ever possessed them to do it, I'll never know, but I did stop my bike and give them a big serve for walking on the wrong side of the path.

They just looked at me with a dumb stare and proceeded as before. :roll:

Cheers,
Graeme


Slightly OT but I do find that a lot on PSPs. For some reason there is a number of pedestrians who feel they should walk on the right hand side of the path. I feel like yelling "KEEP LEFT" whenever I have to pass them.


They're so used to doing and getting away with it on the freeway they reckon they can do it wherever they like. Thanks to Harold, they've got a champion telling them "No care and less responsibility, it's always someone elses fault." :roll:

Regardless of the finger pointing, I hope the young bloke comes back stronger.

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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby citywomble » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:31 am

Graeme wrote:
I've come very, very close to hitting an elderly pair of pedestrians who were walking on the wrong side of the PSP as they entered that tunnel from the west. Scared the hell out of me, and I was only doing about 20km/h at the time (knowing it's a blind corner). What ever possessed them to do it, I'll never know, but I did stop my bike and give them a big serve for walking on the wrong side of the path.

They just looked at me with a dumb stare and proceeded as before.

Cheers,
Graeme


Actually Graeme (and most of you) THEY WERE NOT IN THE WRONG!

Cyclists are obliged by Law (Road Traffic Code 2000) to keep left on a Shared Path
That same law requires a pedestrian, when they must walk on the carriageway (road), to walk on the right and face oncoming traffic!
That is why, in 2000, the requirement for peds to keep left on a shared path was REMOVED, to avoid a conflict between the two.

Although the Shared Path 'road' markings may imply a pedestrian should keep left, and many do, the Law does not. In fact, for a safety conscious pedestrian, where cyclists go fast, it makes sense to face oncoming traffic. So next time dont abuse them, they were actually in the right and you were wrong!

They chose to see you coming - a wise move if misunderstood by you. They chose not to be shocked as you, and many others, whizzed by fast and close and scared them to death all because they don't have eyes in the back of their heads.

Take care :)
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Christine Tham » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:52 am

Looking at Google Sattelite view of the underpass, it does not seem to be badly designed or inherently dangerous, but I would not cycle at 40 km/h into the tunnel - the risk of hitting a pedestrian would be high.

Generally I would keep to under 30 km/h on any bike path, if possible. 40 km/h+ speeds are best done on a good road, and taking up a whole lane, I think.

I feel sorry for the young athlete.
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby EricAdams » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:47 am

Hornestly, if you know it is a blind corner and you "profression" team sometimes try to do 40km/h before that, it is maddness.

As a cyclist have so much trainning he should know the basic fact that the PSP is NOT designed for you to do any racing and high speed race trainning on it.

It is a sad news :( , but before blaming the government for this and that they have to reconsider are they acting negligently towards other PSP user if you trying to do 40km/h in situations like a blind corner.

Road design is not always perfect, we can advise government to improve that, but should not say something like "...he need not to be like that if the government did XXX before...", it sounds like the City of Subiaco is the one and only one to be blamed :?:

Can the government says something like "...he need not to be like that if he slow down to 15km/h before the corner..."? :shock:
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Sven Nijs » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:20 am

Kalgrm wrote:I've come very, very close to hitting an elderly pair of pedestrians who were walking on the wrong side of the PSP as they entered that tunnel from the west. Scared the hell out of me, and I was only doing about 20km/h at the time (knowing it's a blind corner). What ever possessed them to do it, I'll never know, but I did stop my bike and give them a big serve for walking on the wrong side of the path.

They just looked at me with a dumb stare and proceeded as before. :roll:

Cheers,
Graeme

They're old and have earned the right to walk however they please without being abused by cyclists who are unwilling to spend an extra 10-20 seconds slowing up in a shared area. If it had been a two year old child would you have stopped and given it a smack for getting in your way too?
Old folks and young kids don't have the same sense of keeping exactly to the marked routes and it's your responsibility to ride accordingly.

They were probably dumb struck at being given "a big serve" from some ranting cyclist when all they wanted to do was get from one place to another without being killed by a vehicle... :roll:
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby EricAdams » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:24 am

citywomble wrote:
Actually Graeme (and most of you) THEY WERE NOT IN THE WRONG!

I think you may have some misconception on the legal terms the other is only partly wrong, as PSP is NOT a carriageway, but it is true the pedestrians do NOT need to keep left. Under Road Traffic Code 2000 Part 1 REG 3:

carriageway,
means a portion of a road that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic, and includes the shoulders, and areas, including embayments, at the side or centre of the carriageway, used for the stopping or parking of vehicles; and, where a road has 2 or more of those portions divided by a median strip, the expression means each of those portions, separately.

PSP,
shared path means an area open to the public (except a separated footpath) that is designated for, or has as one of its main uses, use by both the riders of bicycles and pedestrians, and includes a length of path beginning at a “shared path” sign or “shared path” road marking and ending at the nearest of the following:

(a) an “end shared path” sign or “end shared path” road marking;

(b) a “no bicycles” sign, or a “no bicycles” road marking;

(c) a “bicycle path” sign;

(d) a carriageway;

(e) the end of the path;

So a PSP is NOT a carriageway.

(Major Traffic Laws Relating to Pedestrians in Western Australia, by DPI August 2002)
S.4.1
Paths
There are four types of paths – footpaths, separated footpaths, shared paths and
bicycle paths. Traffic regulations allow the following use of each

-Shared paths
These are paths designated by signs that pedestrians, skaters, scooters and bicyclists of any age may use. Other users must give way to pedestrians. Bikes, scooters and
skaters must keep left. Action is currently proceeding to allow the option of pavement markings to designate a shared path.

so pedestrians do NOT need to keep left however, they must not walk facing the traffic as general path rule apply they must in the correct direction.
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby roller » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:01 am

having ridden through there hundreds of times i can safely say it's a pretty sketchy section of the path, but if you've done it before then you know what's ahead and you should act accordingly.

if you haven't been through it before you should be exhibiting caution, ringing your bell, slowing down, etc etc.

interesting that they're happy to point the finger at the council and not the other cyclist, or even Sam Berry himself.

When was the last time there was an accident between 2 vehicles and the first reaction (front page news no less) was to blame the council rather/main roads rather than one or both of the operators of those vehicles?
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:46 am

citywomble wrote:They chose to see you coming - a wise move if misunderstood by you. They chose not to be shocked as you, and many others, whizzed by fast and close and scared them to death all because they don't have eyes in the back of their heads.

Take care :)

No, they chose to NOT see me coming by walking within the exit zone of a blind corner. If they were on the proper side of the path, a cyclist coming the other way (from behind them) would have been able to slow, then pass when safe and I would have been able to continue with caution as a reasonable expectation to have a clear and unimpeded path. If they "chose to see me coming" by hiding themselves behind a blind corner, they need to rethink their strategy for walking on PSPs, especially if they can't hear bike bells.

As a city planning engineer for the City of Stirling, I'm sure you've ridden on this particular part of the PSP. You would therefore know that they could not have seen me coming from that position on the path: it's a blind corner. I was less than 5 metres from them when I first saw them (and they saw me). Even though I had slowed considerably from ~35km/h to 20kh/h as precaution for just such occurrences, I was only just able to avoid a collision with the lady.

roller wrote:having ridden through there hundreds of times i can safely say it's a pretty sketchy section of the path, but if you've done it before then you know what's ahead and you should act accordingly.

if you haven't been through it before you should be exhibiting caution, ringing your bell, slowing down, etc etc.

This was, and will continue to be, my method of approaching this corner and others like it. Apparently, people like citywomble would rather we dismount and walk though.

Cheers,
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:03 am

Sven Nijs wrote:They're old and have earned the right to walk however they please without being abused by cyclists who are unwilling to spend an extra 10-20 seconds slowing up in a shared area. If it had been a two year old child would you have stopped and given it a smack for getting in your way too?

No, but I would have given the parents a serving for letting their kid play on a blind corner on what is effectively a road. However, being old doesn't absolve them of responsibility for their own safety, unlike a 2 year old, who doesn't yet understand responsibility for anything.

Old folks and young kids don't have the same sense of keeping exactly to the marked routes and it's your responsibility to ride accordingly.

I was, and that's why the lady is still alive. Not through her "wise" use of a cycle path, but because I was being cautious. You'll note that I had slowed considerably upon entering the tunnel. Even so, if I had arrived 5 seconds later (allowing the walkers to get even closer to the blind corner) I would probably have killed the lady. Had I been one (or all) of the riders from the first post in this thread, both elderly walkers would be dead.

They were probably dumb struck at being given "a big serve" from some ranting cyclist when all they wanted to do was get from one place to another without being killed by a vehicle... :roll:

I certainly hope so. I would hate to think I gave them a big serve and none of it sunk in. Maybe they will have learned that blind corners on bike paths are not the place to exercise their right to walk however they please.

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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby humpy125 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:35 am

Why do people who design these path treat the users as if they are stupid. Cars drivers are not forced to maneuver around obstacles and cross to the wrong side of the road to go around a corner, why should cyclists?

I know the designers will say it is to ensure cyclists especially will slow down. This same thinking is not applied to car drivers and yet they are responsible for more death and carnage on the roads than anyone else.
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:41 am

humpy125 wrote:Why do people who design these path treat the users as if they are stupid. Cars drivers are not forced to maneuver around obstacles and cross to the wrong side of the road to go around a corner, why should cyclists?

Agreed. Citywomble is the very person to ask too, since he is one of those people.

Here's a Google-eye view of the path in question and my own situation on it. Had the designers of the path chosen to place it on the green line, the line of sight through this tunnel would have been significantly improved.

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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby RobertFrith » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:58 am

I'm surprised at how obvious the bend in the path on the west side is in the aerial view. Visibility is bad from both directions. There really is no excuse for it. A smart planning department would hire an engineer who actually rides to design these things!
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby blkmcs » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:18 am

Kalgrm wrote:I've come very, very close to hitting an elderly pair of pedestrians who were walking on the wrong side of the PSP as they entered that tunnel from the west. Scared the hell out of me, and I was only doing about 20km/h at the time (knowing it's a blind corner). What ever possessed them to do it, I'll never know, but I did stop my bike and give them a big serve for walking on the wrong side of the path.

They just looked at me with a dumb stare and proceeded as before. :roll:

Cheers,
Graeme

The pedestrians had every right to be where they were, you had no right to "give them a big serve".
Why couldn't you just have smiled and ridden around them?
What if instead of walking towards you they had been walking in the same direction but still in the same place on the path?
Would they still have been abused?
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:37 am

blkmcs wrote:The pedestrians had every right to be where they were, you had no right to "give them a big serve".
Why couldn't you just have smiled and ridden around them?

Because stupidity deserves recognition. More so when it puts their lives and the lives of others at risk.

You seem to be ignoring an important point here - this time they were lucky because I'm a safe rider, riding safely enough to avoid a collision. Had less responsible riders (or a large group) been in my position, these people would have died. "Smiling and riding around them" does absolutely nothing to inform this couple that they would have been killed in other circumstances. Is "smiling and ignoring the problem" the responsible thing to do? Would you have been comfortable letting this couple die, knowing that 100m behind you, there was a pack of 30 lycra-clad roadies bearing down on them at 40km/h? (Not so this time, but it could have happened.) If giving them a serve teaches them to be more careful, I'll do it EVERY time.

What if instead of walking towards you they had been walking in the same direction but still in the same place on the path?
Would they still have been abused?

Had they been walking "with the traffic flow", I would have seen them as I entered the underpass (they would also have been in the underpass) and I would have waited behind them patiently until safe to pass. I would have made no comment other than to smile and wave as I passed them when it was safe to do so. There's no need to abuse people who are taking safe and responsible actions, so no, I would not have abused them. Would you have?

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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby trailgumby » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:30 am

The fact that there is a broken line down the middle of the path is a prima facie indication that it is a traffic route and that you should keep left.

However, applying the principles of the road rules, the fact that the pedestrians were already "in" the path means that Graeme is obligated to give way. He also needs to be travelling at a speed that allows him to pull up in time to avoid a collision with another vehicle (ie bicycle) or pedestrian in his way. (This is in addition to the requirement that cyclists give way to peds that applies to shared paths here in NSW - assuming the same rule applies in WA.)

That is exactly what Graeme did.

However, I fully support his response to the pedestrians' utter stupidity. Some pedestrians behave as though their brains are disengaged, or they're prepared to die to defend their "right" to channel sheep while on a bike path.

I also agree with his assessment of where the bike path should have been routed. The current installation is just symptomatic of the generalised complete ignorance of bicycle behaviour as vehicles by road planners. They seem to think of us as pedestrians with wheels. Wheelchairs, mebbe? Our bicycle advocacy organisations really need to be lobbying harder to address this ignorance among planners.
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:35 am

Thank you for the informative image Graeme. :shock:
It's about time to mention those "duty of care" words, something that is supposed to apply to all. Not just one group.

Planning Fail.

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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby humpy125 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:42 am

In my experience it is nearly all pedestrians that behave in a way that is likely to get them injured on a shared cycleway/footpath. They spread out all over the path as if the line markings at not for them or their safety. They will often enter onto the cycleway without looking to see if there are any cyclists approaching.

Another gripe (slightly off topic) why do pedestrians insist on walking on the ramps provided for bikes, prams etc when they can just as easily step off the kerb?
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Sven Nijs » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:47 am

Kalgrm wrote:Because stupidity deserves recognition. More so when it puts their lives and the lives of others at risk.

They're not 'stupid', they're just old and will fully expect those travelling at faster than walking pace to take reasonable care not to run into them no matter where they happen on a pathway (shared or otherwise).

You seem to be ignoring an important point here - this time they were lucky because I'm a safe rider, riding safely enough to avoid a collision.

Sorry but you seem to be ignoring an important point too - If you'd been a pedestrian yourself or riding slower around what you classified as a blind corner (instead of riding at ~20km/h) there probably wouldn't have been a near miss at all.

No matter what, I suspect they deserved a bit more respect than you appear to have given them.
I can fully appreciate that you'd feel the need give some out of control teenage skater dude "a big serve" for getting in your way but in this particular case would a concerned suggestion (accompanied by a smile) to these oldies that they walk on the other section of the path in future not have been more appropriate and effective than a mouthful of abuse?
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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:49 am

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong-sanctimonious tones need not apply.

Didn't the large majority of those paths in WA start out as bicycle paths? IIRC the gov decided it was easier to rename them as shared than to keep peds off?

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Re: Underpass collision and finger pointing going in Subiaco

Postby jules21 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:02 pm

Sven Nijs wrote:I can fully appreciate that you'd feel the need give some out of control teenage skater dude "a big serve" for getting in your way but in this particular case would a concerned suggestion (accompanied by a smile) to these oldies that they walk on the other section of the path in future not have been more appropriate and effective than a mouthful of abuse?


i don't agree. for any adult, the concept of walking on the LH side of a shared path with a marked centreline is fairly basic common sense.

the fact is, some pedestrians insist on making a point by claiming 'ownership' of shared paths - walking on the wrong side or in a group, sprawled right across it. the law may require cyclists to give way, but that doesn't mean we must accept all such irresponsible, selfish and dangerous behaviour.

remember that 'giving way', is not subject to the legal concept of absolute liability - like most laws, it is subject to the test of reasonableness, which means individual circumstances would be accounted for in determining liability. in other words, there is a responsibility on all users of a shared path to behave reasonably. if these idiots had been struck, i would expect/hope that their contribution would be properly accounted for in any eventual distribution of blame.
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jules21
 
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