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Wanted: your close calls

Posted by on August 9th, 2005 at 5:28 pm

We as cyclists risk our lives every day on the streets of Portland. Many of us have had near-misses and other altercations that left us rattled, angry, and feeling vulnerable. Yet the only people that ever hear about these incidents are our friends, families and riding buddies.

The media, the police and our elected officials usually don’t take notice until someone is killed. This needs to change.

If our elected officials and city leaders realized how dangerous our daily rides and commutes were, they would begin to take the needs of the bike community more seriously. Now is your time to speak out. If you have had a near-miss incident, or other dangerous interaction with a vehicle while riding your bike in or around Portland, please share your story below.

In your comment please include:

  • The nearest cross streets of your incident.
  • A short description of what happened.
  • What neighborhood you’re from.

In a few weeks, I will draft a letter with all your comments attached and send it to the appropriate politicians and city leaders. Thank you for taking time to make your voice heard.

[For more close-calls, read this thread on the Portland Bike Forums.]

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Comments
  • Marjorie August 9, 2005 at 5:53 pm

    I’ve got one that happened this spring, on that one weird night where it haled. I was biking down E Burnside, right by the Jupiter Hotel at about 9:30 pm in the rain and hale. I had lights, and a cop turning right onto Burnside waited until I passed before making a right turn onto the road. Several blocks later, at the intersection of Grand, the same cop car sped up and cut me off so closely I had to slam on my brakes in the slippery stuff so he could careen onto Grand. He most definitely saw me, it was definitely intentional, and apparently malicious. (Like I wasn’t already uncomfortable and in danger biking through that weather.) If it hadn’t been completely miserable out, I absolutely would have turned after him to get his patrol car number and reported his ass to the Bureau in whatever hope there is in the agency doing anything about one of its officers completely unprovoked and unnecessarily threatening the life of a random citizen, even if she wasn’t a racial minority or even dressed like a political activist.

    More recently, I was turning left off MLK onto that street just south of Hawthorne, and was in the far left lane to do so when some jock in a giant truck began incessantly honking his horn at me and riding dangerously close behind me, jerking forward threateningly. He harassed and physically threatened me all the way through the intersection, no doubt goaded on by the fact that I was swearing and flipping him off. Wheee!

    Also I almost got doored downtown on Park and Alder, by some fat asshole in an SUV who saw me just in time to avoid causing the loss of all my teeth. After this graceful consideration he sputtered that I, as a “fucking bicyclist” should be riding on the sidewalk, because “it’s the law.” I was in a hurry, so I didn’t ride my fucking bike through his fucking windshield.

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  • Heather Andrews August 9, 2005 at 7:25 pm

    My worst “close call” happened last summer when I was commuting home, right down the hill from my house, where the Springwater corridor crosses Johnson Creek Blvd. and SE Bell Avenue. Because the trail goes diagonally across the intersection and there is limited sidewalk space, it has always been a little tricky to navigate. Also, because of the nature of the traffic I’m extra careful there, to watch out for people who don’t watch out for bikes.

    Several times I’ve almost been hit by a motorist “sneaking past” on the right, watching for traffic, the light and crosswalk turns green, and then they don’t look but start turning, and I’m in the crosswalk. I should also note that I always ride very slowly across crosswalks, as I am not regular traffic at that point.

    One time I was crossing one of the crosswalks, and there was a man approaching the red light at full speed. He wanted to turn right, and decided he wanted to stop in the middle of the crosswalk instead of behind the stop line. When he saw me and screeched to a halt, my front tire was about two feet away from his front bumper. It scared the heck out of me, and I’m pretty sure it startled him as well.

    As I recovered from the shock, he kind of sarcastically yelled “sorry!” out his window, and I yelled back, “you almost hit me!” Then I just started riding up the hill to my house, in the bike lane, as I was still shocked but wanted to move on. Unfortunately, it’s kind of a steep hill, so I was not riding as fast as I would on a flat.

    He had turned right to go up the same hill I was, and slowed way down next to me as I ascended the hill, in order to yell at me some more. “Sorry!” “You almost hit me!” “Stupid bitch!” and then he peeled off up the hill. I was glad he was gone, as I don’t deal well with heated situations.

    I wish I would have behaved differently, I wish that the shock wouldn’t have made me say “You almost hit me!” but instead keep my mouth shut so maybe he wouldn’t have harassed me. But then again, he did almost hit me.

    When I drive my car, I do not stop in the middle of crosswalks. I drive at the posted speed limit (much to everyone’s chagrin behind me!), and generally obey all the rules outlined in the Oregon Driver’s Manual. People know how anal I am about safety I am in my car, and on my bike–but particularly with cars, I feel I am in the minority, an “old lady” driver at the age of 27.

    I also think that particular intersection (and I should know, because I live right up the hill!) needs a bike/pedestrian light to go diagonally across, which would help the Springwater users immensely. However, I know this will never happen, because that intersection is on a series of borderlands (Portland/Milwaukie and Clackamas/Multnomah Counties), and no local government has ever really taken much responsibility for it. Again, I should know–I’ve lived in the same neighborhood since I was three years old (1981).

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  • Eli August 9, 2005 at 7:45 pm

    I bike to school up Broadway, so close calls are a way of life.
    There’s always somebody so anxious to turn or get a parking space that he or she can’t fit checking a mirror into their busy schedule.
    My first near-miss was last summer when I had just started commuting by bike. I was turning left (south) on SE 7th Ave from Ash St. As I got into the bike lane on 7th, the east-facing driver entered the intersection, nearly hitting my right side. I was so scared I couldn’t even yell, something I’ve now mastered.
    One particularly heinous offense on Broadway sticks in my mind. As my boyfriend and I rode to PSU, an SUV pulled quickly out of the parking spot and into the bike lane where I was. I swerved to miss her – this was in stopped traffic – and got back in the bike lane ahead of her. Realizing she couldn’t pull into a car lane because of backed-up traffic, she stopped. My boyfriend knocked on her mirror and said “bike lane.” A few blocks later, a passenger of another SUV yelled from the left lane, “good thing that wasn’t MY car you touched! I woulda kicked your fuckin’ ASS!”
    My adrenaline was still high from nearly becoming one with the RAV4, and I yelled, “She was in a bike lane!” He yelled back “So what?” Further exchange was cut off when they sped off.
    On the Fourth of July, I was nearly hit on a dead-end street in my neighborhood. The driver was wildly drunk. He motioned me to go and then started to drive too. I stopped quickly, falling. Then he got out see if I was alright, and struck up a conversation. I wanted to lecture him for driving drunk, but I think the effect was lost on him.
    Every time I have a run-in with a car, which happens multiple times a week, my main reaction is to think of how easily I could be irrepairably damaged, and how easy it is to avoid close calls altogether. I’m 22 years old. I don’t deserve to be injured because drivers don’t pay attention.

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  • James Price August 9, 2005 at 9:53 pm

    I have had two “too-close-calls.” Sorry I cannot give exact dates.

    One was 2.5 years ago at the corner of NE Holladay and NE 7th. It was evening time in the winter and it was raining. I had the right-of-way using the bike lane and bike lights. The motorist did not look carefully, even though I was sure I made eye contact. He turned left around the very poorly laid concrete center island and hit my rear bike tire. Private Lloyd Center security which patrols that area was there within a few minutes. Luckily I just fell and missed the car. I was unhurt but very rattled. The motorist admitted all fault and gave me the insurance information. I asked Lloyd Center security if I should contact police, but they said no need to, they had filled out information in case the insurance company wanted information. I was able to replace my bicycle completely with insurance money because the fram was completly bent after bike shop looked at it.

    The second incident was about 2 years ago. I was riding east on NE Going St at about 29th or 30th. I had the right-of-way and a truck came to a stop at a stop sign. It was around 5 in the evening and light out. I assumed the truck saw me. I was unable to see driver in tinted side windows. As I went through the instersection the truck driver proceeded and knocked me over. Luckily he stopped immediately. I dusted myself off, made sure the tires turned, and walked home. All was fine, though the driver was not particularly thoughtful or helpful after seeing I was ok.

    Those are just 2 actual incidents where I was lucky enough not to get injured. There are many more where I have been able to head off problems because I am a very defensive cyclist.

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  • Michael August 10, 2005 at 8:45 am

    I have two recent incidents that did not result in accidents, just jangled nerves. Both were on SE Clinton, a bike route with very little traffic.

    1 – I was traveling east on Clinton approaching one of the small traffic circle islands in the neighborhood of SE 30th. I could hear a car quickly approaching from the rear. The car came alongside me perhaps 25 feet before I came to the island. It did not want to slow for the island and began to move right to push me to serve. I did not budge from my path and the car had to stomp on its brakes to avoid collision with the island.

    2 – Again on SE Clinton I was going east approaching the stop sign at 50th. A small pickup came from behind me, on my left. I looked at him, he was talking on a phone. As I was at the stop sign first and slightly ahead of the pickup, I began my crossing of 50th. The pickup started rapidly about the same time. He was on my left, but turned right in front of me as I was crossing the street. He clearly knew I was there and decided to cut me off anyway. I had to swerve to avoid hitting the moving pickup broadside.

    Both of these incididents reflect common problems on SE Clinton. This street is clearly marked as a bike route in several places and also has numerous speed slowing devices. It should be a safe route, but has many of the hazards of biking on much busier streets like Division.

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  • Michael August 10, 2005 at 8:58 am

    Another very bad location is anywhere on the SW Broadway designated bike lane. That lane is a suicide zone and it will only take you one trip to experience this.

    It is too narrow – A bike is skinny, but needs a wide “wobble zone” in the event of avoidance of obstacles. A swerve to avoid a door or pedestrian can put the bike right into the very busy motor lane. There is simply too little room for safety.

    It is much too close to parked vehicles – Many people get open doors without looking, or by looking out a part open door. Any door opening in front of a bike is very dangerous and especially here.

    It is much too close to fast moving motor traffic – Cars, busses, trucks, etc speed by bikes close enough to be touched by an outreached arm. It would take very little error on their part to squash the bike rider.

    Right turns across the bike lane – Many motorists pass by a bike then turn right, across the bike lane, with no regard to the bike. The Broadway bike lane is especially bad for this.

    Summary – I avoid Broadway altogether and take 10th. The bike lane gives an illusion of bike safety and respect, but it is dismally inadequate in delivering this function.

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  • vj August 10, 2005 at 10:11 am

    Jonathan, thank you for doing this. Could we map this somehow?

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  • Bryan August 10, 2005 at 10:42 am

    I’ve had three in the span of a couple of weeks:

    1. Last Wednesday, on SW Hall in Beaverton, going towards Beaverton Mall. I was in the left-hand lane because, amazingly, I needed to turn left shortly. The driver behind me speeds up, passes me on the left, yells something to the affect of “use a bike lane!”, and nearly hits me as he cuts me off to jump into the far right lane. Temporarily forgetting my need to turn left, I catch up to the driver at the red light he urgently needed to hit, asked if there was a problem, and told him that I’m legally allowed to ride in the road just like he in his car. Evidently the act of shouting at a biker from a 2000lb car makes people feel better about themselves.

    2. Next day, 7am – SW Beav-Hillsdale, going toward Portland, in between Hall and Watson. Tri-met driver pulls up next to me, honks and speeds away after scaring the shit out of me from her air horn going of next to my ear. She too was in a rush to come to a dead stop at the next red light. With her, I too ask if there was a problem, to which she replies that there’s a sign saying I have to walk my bike. I tell her that I’m allowed to ride in the road like her, but she speeds away before I can tell her the sign applies to people with bikes on the sidewalk. I guess this bus driver thinks it’s smart/funny/just to try and scare bikers and nearly cause them to go under the bus itself.

    3. This am, NW Portland – don’t know which street I was on. Almost doored. Common driver’s mistake. Fortunately the driver caught her door before it swung all the way open and knocked my face in.

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  • Becky August 10, 2005 at 10:44 am

    Last March, on my 1st day riding in Portland (I had just moved from Seattle where I biked to school daily), I was doored. I had just been at Wild Oats and was traveling north on 28th. A lady in an SUV opened her door right in front of me. Even though I was riding a fair distance from the parked cars, the SUV’s door was extra wide (that 3.5 ft – 4 ft distance most safety manuals and bike lanes recommend is way too short..). I swerved but my handle bars hit and I went flying into the road, landing on my head. Luckily I was wearing a helmet and mostly had superficial injuries, though I spent a few hours in the emergency room and was shook up for a few days. I was lucky to have a driver who felt bad about the incidence and put her phone number in my backpack before the ambulance came. But no one asked her too – I was suprised the bystanders or ambulance didnt make sure she gave me her information (I was pretty out of it right after the collision).

    Two weeks ago I was riding down NE Broadway near 28th in the bike lane. A lady turned right in front of me to parallel park. I had to brake hard and still hit her, but at low enough speed that I wasn’t hurt when I fell over. She, however, didn’t notice, and simply continued to park and leisurely get out of her car. I had to yell at her for her to even realize I was there, and still she did not acknowledge that anything really happened. She simply stared at me and said “I apologize” sarcastically only after some bystanders confirmed that she had indeed turned in front of me.

    All in all, I think most bike lanes are traps, disasters waiting to happen, and try to avoid them. I try to ride in the lane on most streets even though that often means getting honked at by an angry driver that speeds by. At least in the lane they are guarenteed to see me and will only hit me on purpose (which of course is possible but not as likely as being hit by accident/negligence).

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  • Mark August 10, 2005 at 11:23 am

    Too many to count, here are a few:

    Struck in the bike lane at 16th(?) and Everett by right hand turning auto (turning onto I-405 SB) while riding in the bike lane. May 2001, filed a DMV report. Bruised ribs, could not ride bike for 8 weeks.

    My daily commute is from Goose Hollow to SE Portland. The near misses consistantly happen in the same places, which I think illustrates a traffic design problem. The three most common “close call” points are:

    Uphill from Goose Hollow to 405 on SW Columbia.
    There are always fast, impatient cars there. I encounter an aggressive passer and/or yelling driver every month or so. Bike lane would make much more sense going uphill on Columbia instead of downhill on Jefferson (which is unsafe).

    start of Hawthorne bridge EB. traffic on the side onramp often does not wait/pay attention or blocks the crosswalk that cyclists must take.

    SE Hawthorne EB between Grand and SE 12th. Once a month or so, a driver will turn right across the bike lane, almost striking me. I think these drivers do not realize that cyclists in this lane ride at or close to posted speed and misjudge it.

    I had a close call a month ago. While stopped at a red light SB on SE 34th at Belmont, a driver in a van passed me on the left and made a right hand turn as the light turned green, almost striking me and two pedestrians in the crosswalk. This was approx. 7:30 AM.

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  • Webly Bowles August 10, 2005 at 11:45 am

    1. N. Minnesota Ave and Alberta.
    2. Every morning and evening I see cars coming off the freeway or
    going on the freeway that barely look for others before yielding
    (there is a stop sign). Cyclists in at intersection are so often
    ignored because they aren’t getting on or off the freeway.
    2. Traveling East on Alberta. Stop at sign. Car to the left, traveling
    in the same direction, doesn’t use blinker and tries to turn right
    onto I-5.
    3. I am from N. Portland, Overlook neighborhood. 2 blocks north of
    this intersection.

    1. N. Albina and Alberta.
    2. I was turning left (west) from Albina to Alberta. Left hand out in
    the signaling way, waiting for the light to turn green. A car pulled
    up to my right and told me to get on the sidewalk. I told him that’s
    illegal and how bikers get hit. Ignoring the rest of his yells I
    turned left when the traffic was clear, as did he, turning the same
    direction on my right side onto Alberta. He nearly ran into me,
    knowing full well I was there. I yelled and he stopped abruptly in the
    middle of the road. Again, I swirved to not hit his car. He got out
    and I was scared for my life that I was going to get beat for making a
    legal left hand turn.
    3. Overlook Neighborhood.

    1. NE MLK and Columbia Blvd.
    2. Traveling north on MLK, in bike lane. Pick up truck, traveling in
    the same direction in car lane. The truck turns right (east) on
    Columbia Blvd. (without using a blinker) while I am crossing the
    intersection, turning into me, knocking me off my bike and across the
    intersection.
    3. Overlook Neighborhood.

    All of these have happened during daylight hours.

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  • Seth August 10, 2005 at 12:09 pm

    Just last night, as I was riding home I had my most recent close call.

    It was at the intersection of Teal and Murray Blvd. in Beaverton. I was on Murray, headed south. I was riding in a traffic lane, and was stopped at the very front with cars lining up behind me, waiting for the light to change from green to red. I was in the traffic lane because the next block, where I make a left hand turn is really short.

    As the light changed from red to green, I pushed off and snapped back into my right pedal. I was about a 1/4 of the way through the intersection, when a woman on Teal decided not to pay attention to the red light. And it had been red for a LONG TIME. . .at least 30 seconds. She zoomed about a foot in front of me, and never looked back.

    So had she punched the gas a few seconds sooner, I might have been t-boned.

    I’ve been hit before, spit at, verbally assaulted, had cans full of soda thrown at me, and even called out to fight. But I still ride to work, for fun, for fitness. Close calls are part of the game. They are not fun, but, if you have your wits about you, you can minimize most of your chances of being taken out.

    One other note on anyone who says “luckily I was wearing a helmet.” Wearing a helmet is not luck. It’s using your noggin — if you want to turn into a drooling pile of goo, ride a bike without a helmet. There is no luck involved.

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  • Jeff August 10, 2005 at 1:42 pm

    Heading up (North) on MLK last week at about 6PM, as I was riding to the right in the right lane many cars were passing in the same lane very closely to me–too close. As I approached an intersection, the space available on the right side became extremely narrow just as a very large trailer truck was passing me in my lane leaving me no option but to stop suddenly and hope that the rear wheels of the truck didn’t wipe me out. The driver obviously had absolutely NO intent to share the road with me. Then, as I continued to head further North, I decided to ride out further in the lane such that cars (and trucks) would be forced to go into the left lane to pass me. Shortly after this, a woman in a black four door japanese-made sedan passed me while honking repeatedly I guess to let me know she didn’t think I should have a right to be on the road. By the way, her car had a british flag bumper sticker, so if you see her, be sure to give her my regards. Thanks.

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  • John Judy August 10, 2005 at 3:14 pm

    I experienced an extremely unsettling confrontation with an employee of the bureau of Development Services. I was verbally assaulted and physically threatened by a city employee driving a Bureau of Development Services vehicle while attempting to commute to work. The driver threatened me both with the car and by stepping out of the car and chasing me.

    At around 9:20AM I was heading West on Clinton at approximately 20 mph on my bicycle. As I was approaching SE 22nd Ave., I noticed a city sedan (id 991048) heading south on 22nd run the stop sign and stop with his car blocking the first 1/2 of the right hand lane of Clinton. After a split second, without looking left (where I was), he continues out into the intersection to the point where he complete blocked both lanes, finally looking left and slamming on the brakes when he saw me. I was forced to hit my brakes and swerve. I barely managed to avoid becoming part of his Dodge.

    I shouted “nice driving”, to which he replied “f**k you. I went a few more meters to rub off speed, and then turned around to try to get his plate number. I turned right on 22nd and give chase. He sped down 22nd but apparently saw me. He quickly, without signaling, slammed on his brakes and swerved to the curb. He then jumped out of his car and ran directly at me, waving his arms and shouting “You’re lucky I’m at work as**ole”. I swerved to avoid him, and (as I was afraid for my safety at this point) got far enough ahead that I felt he could not catch me should I need to take off again. I stopped and began record information on my cell phone. He got back in his car, yelling something about calling his super visor, and drove the car to within a foot on my rear wheel, then swerved, stopped to say “I hope you get it right, I didn’t run that stop sign” before sped off.

    This man broke the law, put my life in danger, and threatened me, all the while driving a car I pay for and drawing a salary I pay for as well.

    This is unacceptable.

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  • Jeff S. August 10, 2005 at 4:04 pm

    the Right Hook

    about 2 weeks ago I was ambling (about 10 mph) along the bike lane on SW Broadway, when, as i approached the intersection with Taylor St. a car pulled just past me — not far enough for me to see the right rear taillight — and proceeded to make a right turn into the space i was about to occupy. Since i was moving quite slowly, and had a funny feeling about
    it a few seconds in advance, it was really pretty easy for me to stop, but i was really upset by the fact that this guy seemed oblivious to my presence (how could he have not seen me as he passed?). I screamed “WAKE UP!”, & he slowed after having turned the corner and yelled back “You Wake Up!” Well,
    in fact i was awake, which is why i didn’t T-bone myself into the side of his car, but he was gone & having a discussion of who was or wasn’t awake would likely not have worked at that point.

    Drivers often pass me & then make a quick right turn in front of me, but it’s always been an irritating & rude thing (can’t you just wait 5 seconds for me to clear the intersection so you can turn..?), & never felt
    especially dangerous. This was just a case of out-and-out obliviousness, & i’m still puzzled as to what the guy might have been thinking…

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  • Anne August 10, 2005 at 4:31 pm

    Just this week I had an extremely frightening experience as I was approaching the light at NE MLK and Lloyd Boulevard. I was coming up the hill eastbound, just a little bit past where the bike lane shifts in one lane from the shoulder. As I neared the intersection, the light changed, stopping MLK traffic, and allowing westbound Lloyd Blvd. traffic to proceed. But someone coming down MLK ran the red light. He would have hit the cars starting to cross on Lloyd, but he quickly pulled a hard right, tires screaming, onto westbound Lloyd ahead of them. Needless to say, his turn was very wide and very fast, and had I been closer to the light, I most likely would have been run down.

    I had an even closer brush with death a few months ago, when I was crossing East Burnside from south to north on (I think) 22nd. This was during the thick of evening rush hour, and I had to wait a good long time for an opportunity to cross. While I was waiting, a small pickup truck stopped opposite me, waiting to make a left into the eastbound lane, but of course since I had been waiting first I had the right of way. (Ha.) When I finally got a chance to go, I hesitated long enough to make sure he wasn’t going to go, albeit only briefly so I could make the crossing in time. I had a close eye on him because he was doing the head-flail thing — you know, looking left and right repeatedly really, really fast, probably without truly seeing anything — but because he didn’t go right away, I thought he had seen me. Next thing I know, I’m in the middle of crossing the eastbound lane, and he floors it. I really thought I was toast, but he saw me in time to swerve around me — probably only because I was yelling my head off and his windows were open. He never slowed down.

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  • James August 10, 2005 at 4:36 pm

    Around the third week of September, I was riding in Hillsboro (on 229th by Intel) and was turning left to go into the parking lot. This guy in a blue Subaru WRX (with custom wheels and one of those mufflers that sounds like a chainsaw) passes me… As we are turning left. If I had been any closer to him, I would’ve been on the ground, a bleeding mess.

    I yelled at him to obey traffic laws (however, I was quite vulgar in doing so)… Probably didn’t do any good… He probably assumed there are not such things.

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  • Steve Long August 10, 2005 at 4:45 pm

    Last Sunday, June 12th, 2005 I narrowly escaped injury while riding my bicycle south on 82nd Dr. just south of Highway 212. I was clearly and legally in the bicycle lane and a motorist came so close to me as to frighten me nearly off my bike. As the driver passed, I noticed that his blonde female passenger snarled at me and jerked her thumb to the right as if to say, get over. I was a little confused by this as I was already in the bike lane so I went to ride up alongside of them to find out what I might have been doing wrong. As I did this, they moved their vehicle over to the right completely obstructing the bicycle lane. I then moved out into the lane of traffic to come around them, thinking that maybe there were just turning right when the driver of this late model, grey Tahoe or Blazer moved his vehicle back out into the lane of traffic as if to either hit me or force me into the oncoming traffic. At this point I hit the side of his vehicle with my open hand. The driver of the vehicle then pointed his vehicle at me and raced toward me as if to hit me. He got out of his vehicle and we had words while he was trying to provoke me to hit him. When I told him that I wouldn’t hit him, he kicked me but I was able to block his kick with my bike. This man’s behavior was so bad that a person, driving behind us that had seen the whole thing, stopped and offered me his phone number and said he’d be a witness. The man confirmed my version of what had happened additionally.

    On Monday, I called the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office to report this behavior as it seemed like something should be done about a person that tries to run bicycles down with their vehicle. Case number 213 was opened at that time and Deputy Adams called me back. Deputy Adams empathized with me about the behavior of this driver but said there wasn’t much he could do about it but call the person and perhaps document it so that it would be on the driver’s record. I relented and we terminated the conversation. In the meantime, I had been talking to an attorney, which was telling me that this man’s behavior was indeed illegal and that I had to push to get anything done. I called back and talked to the Sergeant in charge of the day shift that day who confirmed what Deputy Adams had told me earlier. At that time I asked the Sergeant that if I was to throw a knife and miss somebody if that would be a crime and he said no, it would be attempted assault and that someone from their office would have to witness it for it to be a crime. I have a hard time believing, however, that if someone threw a knife and one of the Deputies or Sergeants, that the person would not be arrested as it would more likely be attempted homicide rather than attempted assault. My assertion here is that this man used his vehicle in much the same fashion and if we let him continue about his merry business, he’s going to kill somebody with that weapon of a vehicle of his.

    Offending vehicle license number: 289 BKC
    Driver description: Male, approximately 5’ 10” to 5’ 11”, 180 to 190 lbs.

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  • theresa August 10, 2005 at 5:28 pm

    * se 70th and division
    * minding my own business, riding as far to the right as i could without crashing into parked cars. rush-hour morning traffic is speeding past me, a car leans on its horn, startling me into almost crashing, and nearly side-swipes me as it speeds by.
    *i’m from the hawthorne/mt. tabor area.

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  • Ann August 10, 2005 at 11:22 pm

    I was crossing over the Broadway Bridge on my way downtown when a car in the center lane took a free right hand turn. There is no free right hand turn heading west over the bridge. There was already a car stopped at the red light in the designated turn lane. I had a green light on the bike signal and proceeded to go when the car making the illegal turn nearly hit me. Not too mention that when they turned they were entering into the oncoming lane since there aren’t two lanes going right on the Broadway Bridge. Had I not been stopped at the red light before it turned green and had been going full speed off the bridge hitting a green bike light there would have been another bike fatality last month. Broadway is a hellacious ride every day. I am constantly getting cut off, turned in front of and edged out of the bike lane because of drivers who are in hurry or not paying attention.

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  • david August 11, 2005 at 9:03 am

    The traffic control islands (circles) in Ladd and along SE Clinton.

    I’ve had numerous close calls in these areas. I don’t have any exact dates but here are some examples of the most memorable instances. Traveling south along the north section of Ladd, I had a huge pickup race past me around the circle nearly running me into the curb. He had is hand out the window with that all too familiar salute. At the time, I was traveling just above 20 mph too (the speed limit is 25). Needless to say, I caught up to him at the center of Ladd when he reached the stop sign. I then (not one of my best moves) returned his salute. As we continued through the center of Ladd, he turned on the diagonal just before 16th – also cutting me off again. So, I ‘saluted’ again and then continued on my way, turning on 16th. I then hear his brakes screach and I look back to see him backing back into the circle and coming after me with the wheels ‘a squeelin’. I stop on the side of the road – not wanting to be chased and ran down. He squeals to a stop inches from me and jumps out of his truck screaming that he could have and should have just ran me over. I try to explain that I have the right of way in a situation like this only to have him get directly in my face and threaten my life. I then decided it was time to take off. This dude scared the crap out of me – and I ride all the time (I have no car).

    I also have had a few instances of almost having head on collisions with cars that have turned left in intersections with these circles without going around the circle. The best part about this is that with the plants growing in these circles, you can’t even see that the car is coming. I have to mention this has happened even more often from me with other cyclists though.

    I also had an instance along the south section of Ladd where a driver floored it and swerved around the wrong side of the circle to pass me. Again, I was traveling somewhere between 20 and 25 mph. He had to have sped up to at least 40 to pass me as quickly as he had. Of course, I also caught up with him at the light on Division. I pulled up next to him and asked what the h*ll he was doing to which he repeated over and over “I gave you enough room”. This was his chant even to my comment that it was a residential area with many children living in it as well as a school only blocks away. I guess that didn’t matter.

    I now make sure I am directly in the center of the lane when approaching these areas.

    Oh, I just thought of a kind of humorous incident too which happened earlier this summer at the intersection where 12th, Burnside and Sandy all come together. I was traveling south on 12th and stopped at the light in the left lane (so that I could make the turn onto 11th after the light). A big 70′s boat of a car rolled up behind me – I glanced back as he pulled up since he sounded kind of close. The guy looked a little ‘out of it’, but I didn’t really think about it. I turned back around to watch the light and after a few seconds, I feel a bump from behind. I turn back around to see the guy seem to startle himself awake as he rolls into my back tire. No damage or anything – it was really just a tap, but still!

    Thanks so much for setting this up! I’ve been thinking there should be a way for cyclists to communicate to each other about bad areas and also bad drivers. Maybe even a posting of license plates and car descriptions of the some of the most dangerous drivers. I know I’ve had run ins with a few that really feel justified in running a cyclist down for being on the road.

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  • Michael August 11, 2005 at 10:01 am

    This is a comment related to this issue.

    The increased incidence of motorist/bike/pedestrian problems might be correlated to a decrease in respect for and compliance with traffic laws in general.

    I am a cyclist, pedestrian, and occassional motorist. In all three contexts there appears to be a significant increase in unsafe behaviors. There also seems to be a general decrease in police intervention.

    Pedestrians frequently jaywalk; cyclists run lights/stop signs, use the wrong side of the street, ride without lights after dark; motorists speed, run lights/stop signs, drive aggressively, etc.

    By simple observation, it appears that police have increased enforcement of traffic laws in downtown Portland, especially with regard to pedestrians and cyclists. Again by simple observation, it seems police enforcement of traffic laws in all other respects has decreased to a noticable degree.

    In particular it is very easy to witness red lights being run at almost every light cycle at almost any major intersection in Portland as well as gross speeding on every class of street.

    I have personally witnessed many cases of dangerous violations in full view of marked police cars where no police action followed. I have been personally put at risk in some of these same situations.

    The unhappy result is the increase of fatalities and injuries to cyclists and pedestrians that we are seeing lately.

    A suggestion is that the Portland police need to begin to enforce traffic laws. They need to pay special attention to the class of violations that pose the greatest danger. In particular speeding and stop sign/red light running need to be dramatically reduced.

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  • Randall August 11, 2005 at 10:31 am

    As a cyclist who for two years had commuted into downtown Portland from the Hawthorne district, I have had more close calls with other cyclists than with cars. I have had close calls with cars, nonetheless. The close calls I have had with cyclists have mostly been because the other cyclists were riding on the wrong side of the road or they were blowing intersections; not stopping for red lights or stop signs or not yielding right of way to the vehicle that was at an unmarked intersection first. It seems to me that, while a great deal of Portland cyclists are into obeying the law and practicing safety, too many cyclists are determined that doing so isn’t cool, just as it isn’t cool to wear a helmet.

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  • Jeffery August 11, 2005 at 10:47 am

    I had a close call with a cyclist yesterday in the area around 26th and holgate. The cyclist was riding “hands free”, arms outstretched and had headphones on – singing away. They could not stay in the bike lane for some reason. I could not veer around them because 26th is a pretty narrow street in that area. Instead I slowed to 8 mph until the cyclist became aware that they were putting their life in danger needlessly.

    I guess its not cool to ride in the bike lane, just like its not cool to stop at intersections or wear a freaking helmet.

    As a survivor of a near fatal car/cyclist wreck a few years ago, I urge all cyclists please maintain traffic awareness while riding on the street.

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  • carrie August 11, 2005 at 11:16 am

    I have had too many run ins with tri-met drivers. I am a responsible bike rider. I am aware that buses can not always see me as well and i never cut them off when they are trying to pull out. Just last week, as i was riding up lincoln, I was almost run off the rode by a tri-met driver. I was riding up lincoln and about to go by a median in the rode, there was a bus turning (2 streets behind me) onto lincoln from 52nd. As i approached the median the bus sped up and tried to drive around it at the same time.I as almost knocked off of my bike and had to put my foot up on the curb. I had a similar experience downtown on market street (?) A bus came up from behind me and tried to go through a very tight space (a median) at the same time as me. Then a few blocks later he pulled into my lane. It seemed like he did it on purpose. I don’t know if anyone else has problems with tri met drivers, but they are a source fear for me. I do see many bicyclists cutting off buses and riding carelessly, so i do understand bus drivers’ anger with bikers. I think we all need to be more careful. It angers me when bus drivers are so careless…all it takes is once.

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  • jordan August 11, 2005 at 11:57 am

    i’ve had several close calls on Hawthorne going east, right before the Burgerville on 12th, where the trafic merges from two lanes to one. many times car drivers do not want to allow a bike to merge lanes here and i’m nearly hit.

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  • chris August 11, 2005 at 1:02 pm

    I do not ride through this intersection but there is a problem with East Broadway and N Williams. If you head east on Broadway and want to go straight past the N. Williams intersection you head straight past one lane on your left that can turn right to go on N williams and onto
    I-5. I saw someone the other day almost get hit here b/c someone wasnt paying attention when they were turning right onto N Williams. There are marked bike lanes but they go straight through this hazard. Bad engineering for bikes.
    I had a close encounter with a guy in a pickup over by the Darigold plant near OMSI- he drove up on me and was about a foot off my back tire for about 30 seconds- not fun, didnt get his plate (unfortunately)

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  • mike August 11, 2005 at 1:28 pm

    I work as a driver, and am around downtown a majority of my shift.

    I want to make a counterpoint of bycyclists who do not obey the laws. Twice in the past week, I have had riders run red lights, with the latter time I hit the rider, and knocked them onto the ground, as I was passing through with the green light. Fortunately, they only had bumps and bruises, and were able to continue (after I verbally scolded them for running a red light). They are doing the right thing, and offered to pay for my broken turn signal lamp, and would not report to the police.

    I am on your side, but you need to start policing your own for safety’s sake. The person I hit, I NEVER saw them, until they were right in front of me, and there is NO way I could have avoided the contact.

    PLEASE obey the traffic laws

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  • Bryan August 11, 2005 at 5:49 pm

    That’s a fair point Mike – there is a problem with shitty cyclists not obeying the laws and putting themselves, and others, in danger. That problem is exaserbated because its these dolts – who ride on the wrong side of the road, run lights, don’t signal, etc – that people remember more than the hords of respectful and law abiding bikers that are more abundant in our good city.

    But I think the idea of “policing our own” misses the point. What a majority of the people here have been mentioning is that while bikers have to (and should) be in the street and are legally regarded as a vehicle by the state, often they aren’t given the respect on the road needed to lessen the chance for a collision; likewise, when an accident does occur, the normal venues for grievance and restitution for motorists are closed to cyclists. As the WW and the O pointed out recently, bikers who are hit (and live) and who can show the accident was no fault of their own have little legal recourse, with the police able to do little to help. What we’re trying to say (and I think you understand this) is that there are legitimate problems with how certain roads and drivers accomodate us – some do so very well, others not at all – and that, for all of our safety, it needs to be addressed – not just by bikers, but by the community as well.

    Ideas like “policing our own” also perpetuate the double-standard that bikers need to take the first step to solving this problem, instead of it being a joint biker/driver/walker endeavor to keep everyone safe. Drivers certainly don’t feel obliged to police other drivers – that’s kind of why we have police. All we bikers can do is the same thing drivers do – yell at the idoits we see on the road that give us all a bad name, encourage others to behave better, and report the gross offenders.

    But lastly, I just want to say that while Stumptown does have its share of biker/car problems, we all are definitely in a better place than in many other communities across the nation. As a native Texan I recently tried to ride a bike near my father’s home outside Dallas – where highways take the place of roads, and bike lanes are virtually non-existant. Talk about a place where drivers have no respect for bikers, and Lance Armstrong (a Texan as well) just won the Tour de France. I’m just glad that here in Portland, we’re trying to better an already good environment for biking, rather than having to fight for our rights while having no protection or respect on the road.

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  • Alec August 11, 2005 at 5:59 pm

    On the 8th of this month I was nearly hit by a big white pick-up truck, which pulled quickly out onto 23rd street, one block N of Sandy, moving directly towards me at a quick speed. The driver was looking the other direction the whole time, until he was litteraly in the middle of the street, before screeching to a stop- as did I. 23rd is not a one-way street, or even close to it.

    I have close calls like these nearly every day. I am convinced that automobiles are not suited to share the road with more civilised forms of transportation.

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  • Neil August 11, 2005 at 6:33 pm

    This morning at 4.15 am on the way to People’s food co-op.After turning from N.Mississippi on to N.Interstate,I had just crossed the light where the road splits,the right side goes up onto the Broadway bridge, and the left (straight) carry’s on along Interstate to the convention center.I was on the bike lane which goes up the middle of this split,I started hearing a truck coming up behind me,the front truck part came alongside and past,then when I was about in the middle of the trailer,all of a sudden he indicated to go right and started heaing over towards me.I immiately swerved off to the right with only inches to spare from going under the rear wheels.Anyone riding along that part of North Interstate becareful of the trucks coming out of the Albina yards, there is a corner at Interstate and Albina that the bad drivers cut,with the rear axle cutting into the bike lane.Someone is going to get killed their.
    Yes I have had lot’s of close calls, but even though it’s probably not a good idea,i get my own back when they are out of their WMD and walking on the esplanade.I want to get a nice loud boat airhorn….

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  • Jesse August 11, 2005 at 7:42 pm

    I have close calls almost every time I commute by bike. Making a left turn is always frightening; to get into the turn lane I have to go from the bike lane and across a lane of traffic. Sometimes I’ve missed my turn b/c I was unable to get over. Another daily complaint is that cars never leave enough passing room. When I’m driving, if there’s nobody coming, I pull into the other lane to give cyclists room. I’ve also had experiences similar to several described here: getting run off the road (into the dirt, baby!) by a speeding pickup truck (up NE 15th before that intersection w/ the minimart); having a truck (or van) get just barely in front of me when I’m riding in the bike lane, then signal and make a right turn into a parking lot or onto another street, forcing near collisions and a dangerous yank on the brakes (this has happened multiple times, two of them close to MLK and SE Clay); trying to merge lanes w/ a line of cars who won’t make way & don’t care that there’s no place else for me to go. A lot of bicyclists commute during rush hour, and for the same reason as the drivers; and during rush hour, drivers tend to be more irritable, inattentive, and hasty. Everybody should just chill out.

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  • bEn August 11, 2005 at 8:30 pm

    I biked to school almost every morning on a very old and horrible bike. This bike could not keep up with traffic, so I would either be in the bike lane or the farthest right. When going to school near 6th and 405 I have to go on 6th in order to get into downtown, or else I would have to go on the highway which I can’t. So when I am on 6th I go to the farthest right and am always honked at by a incredibly loud airhorn from the bus. On the beginning of 6th there is a place where two roads meet, right before a stop light. When turning to the very right a bus nearly hit me because of the speed I was going. Now, I have no other choice but to take the sidewalk to prevent from me being injured.

    In many parts of downtown, the street train tracks are always in the way. There is no bike lane so bikers have to go on the street train tracks. My and many other bikers tires get caught in the tracks and we fall over. Other cars have nearly ran me over while I was down on the ground.

    When I have to bike home late at night because the busses are shut down. I have to take an extra long way home because of the amount of drunk drivers in downtown. I see them zooming by as they yell thing at me, so I try to take the sidewalks. There, I am hassled and in one case have been mugged and my now new bike almost stolen when I was on it.

    Biking in Portland is not a safe place and I can see why many bikers are switching to cars.

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  • setha August 11, 2005 at 9:28 pm

    My tri-met close call happened at about 9AM 11/17/2004. Here’s the email I sent to customerservice@trimet.org, edited to remove my identifying information and to fix spelling. And, no, I’m not the same Seth that had the close call near Murray and Teal.

    —-start of first email to tri-met—-

    Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 9:27 AM
    To: customerservice@trimet.org
    Subject: bus yield sign when I cannot see it

    I rode my bicycle to work this morning. I think that one of your buses cut me off. I wasn’t hit by the bus, but I was annoyed.

    Here’s what happened. I was going eastbound on Capitol, at the intersection of Capitol and Terwilleger. The right hand lane there is right turn only, except for buses. So, I moved into the center lane on Capitol, since I wanted to go straight.

    There is a #44 bus stop on Capitol at that point, in the right turn lane. That’s why buses are allowed to go straight, despite the right turn only lane.

    The light turned red for me. So, I stopped. I was the first vehicle at the red light. The bus pulled up to the stop after the light turned red. So, the bus was behind me on my right.

    The light turned green. I started to go. Then I could not help but notice an enormous bus coming up on my right, about to cut me off. So, I stopped, mid-intersection. Having no choice in the matter, I allowed the bus to pass. Only _after_ the bus got in front of me did I see the yield sign blinking.

    Buses with their yield signs blinking are entitled to the right of way. However, I have to be able to see that yield sign in order to know to yield to it. Since I was unable to see the blinking yield sign, I should not have had to yield to the bus. The bus driver should have waited for me.

    I caught up with the bus (2549 in white letters on the back of the bus) at Hamilton and Barbur. I tried explaining this, politely, to the driver, but I am afraid I was not able to get the point across.

    Since you have many other drivers, I thought that I should also write to you about this. I think that if drivers of whatever vehicle cannot see the blinking yield sign, it is unreasonable to expect them to yield to it. Therefore, when the driver turns on the yield sign, any vehicle already ahead of the back of the bus should be allowed to proceed, I think.

    —-end of 1st email I sent to Tri-met—-

    The Tri-Met representative wrote back (I have removed his identifying information since I don’t have permission to publish it in a blog:)

    —-email from tri-met to me follows—-

    This e-mail is in response to your report from 11-17 about the bus at Terwilliger and Capitol that passed you on your right side after you had started moving ahead when the light turned green. I just spoke to the operator and his version pretty much matches your report except he mentioned at that location that the bus gets a priority light when it’s in the right lane which gives the bus an opportunity to get ahead of traffic that is stopped to the left before that traffic gets a green. He said he proceeded when his light turned green and made the assumption that you would remain stopped. I do see in your report however that you mentioned you had gotten ahead of the bus. The operator was advised that he always has to be extra careful when proceeding around bicyclists. Is there additional information that I should know about?

    —-end of email from tri-met to me—-

    I replied:

    I had thought that all the eastbound traffic had the green. Thanks for the follow-up.

    —-end of my reply—-

    Yes, I know that the reply was somewhat lame, but I had the feeling that I was not going to get anywhere with them.

    What I should have emailed was that apparently the bus had not started when the right turn arrow turned green. So by the time it managed to get going, I had the green. So the bus should have waited for me.

    –setha

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  • An automobile driver August 12, 2005 at 10:08 am

    Yesterday, I was late for an appointment (bad traffic, the irony!!!!) and there was this biker going probably 7 or 8 miles per hour in a 25mph zone. She was towards the right of the lane and had just entered a stretch where there was about 150 feet of wide shoulder to the right of the traffic lane. I couldn’t cross the center line because of traffic, and she seemed to be considerately easing into that space so I speed up–but then she weaved back towards the traffic lane! I probably came within two feet of hitting her. Sorry! I believe the incident was on 15th and Lovejoy (under the highway). Yes, I think she was riding foolishly, but I should have been a bit more patient. Thus the apology. Sorry!

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  • Tina August 12, 2005 at 10:14 am

    This was around sometime in may by anna banana’s coffee shop in NW.
    I was almost doored by some jerk in a jeep. He was not paying attention at all, and had I not been, I would be hurt. I swerved, my heart racing wildly. I was in the street, not on the sidewalk since it is a heavily populated area.
    I feel a little bad because directly afterwards I said “that fag almost doored me” so if anyone was there and heard me say it, I’m sorry I used the word fag. The guy didn’t even notice, and I didn’t say anything to him, as I’ve noticed it’s really pointless to even say anything; drivers are stupid and they are simply sheep waiting for the lights (their pastor) to turn so they can be lead.

    I live on Belmont, right on the bike lane. When I get into my car, I ALWAYS look for cyclists, to make sure I don’t cross in front of them. I don’t mind waiting the extra .5 seconds. I am not that impatient.

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  • Sarah Friedel August 12, 2005 at 4:09 pm

    I now have two scary memories of deliberate, threatening aggression aimed at me from a guy in a motor vehicle (and in both cases there was a passenger who was also a male).

    Wed. evening, Aug. 10, 2005, I was preparing to cross N. Interstate Ave. at N. Overlook Blvd. (by Kaiser), heading east. The intersection was empty except for one car waiting to go north. I was on a BikeE and when the light turned green, I started up. I had thoughtlessly taken a drink of water and as I was putting my bottle back, my foot slipped off the pedal, so I got a slow start. My husband on his BikeE was 3/4 of the way across when I was only approaching the median. The E-W light is very short — too short in my opinion unless you stop and push the “walk” button — and sure enough, it turned yellow on me when I was in the middle of the street.

    I looked straight at the one driver in the intersection and waved at him as in “thank you for letting me finish this crossing” and continued hustling my butt across. The fact that my husband had already crossed was a factor in my not deciding to stop on the median. We are both borderline senior citizens; my grey hair around my helmet and my husband’s grey beard are both quite visible. For whatever reason, drivers usually insist on indulging us by waiting until we both complete a crossing, although of course we don’t expect them to and normally both cross before a light turns.

    But this guy was different. Not showing any sign of objection, resistance or irritation, he held on until I was exactly in front of his car, when, no doubt, his light turned green. Instantly he floored his accelerator and vroomed north, tires squealing. He turned his wheel about 30 degrees to the left so as not to actually hit me. His car jumped as he accelerated. As I briefly glanced at him and his also-male passenger, I knew I was not going to be struck, but his violent eruption of power was meant to scare the shit out of me. I’m glad that at least he was a good enough driver that his steering correction was effective.

    When I began bike-commuting in 1998, a guy in a giant pickup with a young boy in the passenger seat purposely veered over to the very edge of my bike lane on the Willamette Blvd. bluff. I don’t know if he actually wanted me to lose control and fly off into the abyss, but that certainly could have happened.

    I have had the usual experiences of drivers putting me in danger because they did not see me when they should have, but the two incidents above are reminders that bike-haters do exist in our bike-friendly town; people-haters, actually.

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  • Michael August 12, 2005 at 4:23 pm

    Two more close calls on my 30 minute, 5.5 mile ride home from work downtown to home by Mt Tabor today.

    (A bike ride home ought to be a relaxing and refreshing way to commute that brings exercise and low cost. Very angry is how it too often leaves me!)

    Crossing the Hawthorne Bridge, about 3 pm, going east on the viaduct I was cut off by a motorist turning right onto the MLK off ramp. This end of the viaduct has a very good bike lane – no complaints there, it is a model bike lane. There is a wide sidewalk for walkers, a wide bike lane, then about a 10 foot white striped buffer zone before the first lane of motor traffic. As I was approaching the MLK southbound turn off, in the bike lane, I put out my left hand in a semi-left turn gesture to let traffic know I was going to continue straight ahead, in the bike lane. As I always do, I looked back as I approached the blue marked bike lane, where motorists are clearly signed to yield, and saw an SUV barreling up the striped buffer lane where no traffic was allowed. She was headed straight for me and was clearly not slowing down at all. If I had not quickly swerved toward the sidewalk she would have hit me broadside at 30 mph! As it was, all I could see what that she DID look right at me without surprise and continue on her trajectory. All I could do was slow, notice her open windows, and scream a stream of obscenities. If she had stopped at the bottom of the ramp, it would have been hard to not to follow her. As it was, I watched her enter traffic and aggressively change lanes in dense traffic to move to the left side of MLK.

    The next incident was on SE Clinton at about 34th, at the traffic circle. A driver to my left, on the side street, stopped at their stop sign to turn left on Clinton. I could see the woman driver look to her right, directly at me in my bright orange vest, then pull ahead to make a left by rounding the traffic circle. If I had not slowed I would have broadsided her. As it was, in spite of her need to cut me off, she drove slowly enough from there that I was able to overtake her. As above, her windows were open and she heard some explitives that would make Dick Cheney blush.

    I feel like many motorists simply won’t take bikes seriously. With their comments about moving off to the sidewalks, etc, it seems like they equate bike with toys and riders as annoying children to be punished.

    I am not even a crazy youthful biker! I am a short haired middle aged man who not only wears a helmet, but a bright orange highway worker’s vest, too. I just want to get home safely and use the most conservative route I know. Regardless, I am all too often treated like crap by drivers who seem to have nearly zero regard for anything other than their speed and convenience. It is very difficult to not get upset and angry when it appears nothing will ever be done on the cyclist’s behalf. Maybe you can do something. I sure hope so.

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  • Stuart Griffith August 12, 2005 at 7:09 pm

    Felony hit-and-run:

    I was waiting to cross the street at 52nd and Foster on the south side of Foster. The walk light turned to “walk” and just as I stepped off the curb, a bicyclist zoomed by me going at least 20-30 mph and hit my arm. I yelled for her to stop but she didn’t. My arm was cut very deeply and bleeding. I went to a nearby restaurant and they gave me a towel to stop the bleeding. I took the bus to the emergency room and I got 8 stitches. The bill for the emergency room was $130.

    There needs to be some restraint on this sort of arrogant behavior by cyclists. I have had this happen to me many many times. They seem to have some kind of sport about how close they can come to threaten a pedestrian. This was just the one time there was a felony hit-and-run involved.

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  • corina August 12, 2005 at 10:57 pm

    I have commuted by bike for years, through many different neighborhoods, and I can honestly say that nearly every day I have a negative experience with a motorist. Right now I live on SE 50th & Stark, and I work downtown. Last Tuesday, Aug. 9th, around 5 pm I was riding down SE Stark near 39th, when a lady in a minivan cut me off, passing me on the left with barely an inch to spare. That part of Stark, right by Laurelhurst, always has lots of cars parked on the side of the road, and it’s a single-lane street. I guess instead of driving into oncoming traffic, she decided she could squeeze by me. I almost hit a parked car trying to get out of her way. And I was keeping up with traffic! I was not slowing anyone down. I caught up with her and yelled that she was going to kill someone if she kept driving like that. She didn’t respond. Then I pulled in front of her so she couldn’t pass (I don’t advocate this behavior, but she deserved it!) and rode a bit slower. A ways down the road, Stark splits into 2 lanes, and I got over into the right lane. She streaked by and swore at me. I ended passing her eventually, lawfully. When will drivers learn they aren’t saving any time by driving recklessly around cyclists?
    I’d like to add that I used to live downtown and regularly rode down Morrison from 18th ave. to 3rd, and back up Yamhill. Those are narrow streets shared with MAX tracks. I cannot count the number of incidents I had on those streets…drivers would pull up onto the tracks to pass me. This includes one particularly scary incident with the #15 bus. A couple years ago, I was riding home about 9 pm up Yamhill around 12th ave, and the bus laid on the horn and sped up so it was right on my tail, scaring the crap out of me, then drove up onto the tracks and narrowly passed me. I jumped the curb onto the sidewalk to avoid him. Thank god there wasn’t a car parked in that spot. I got the license but never complained to Tri-Met. Anyway, I’ve heard lots of horror stories involving Tri-Met drivers vs. cyclists.
    On my bike I have a sticker that reads: “Bicycles allowed full lane, ORS 814.430(2)(c)” Everyone should get one!

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  • CH White August 13, 2005 at 12:11 pm

    I was riding last night, 8/12/05, on SE 34th (I think) a couple blocks behind the Zupan’s on Belmont. I had lights and reflectors all over the bike and was riding to the right through the neighborhood. A young woman on a cell phone blew through a stop sign on my left and turned in front of me. I started screaming at her and yelled as she came to the light on Belmont, “you’d better run that one as well because I’m gonna be kicking your bumper!” And she did.
    I commute by car to out near Hillsboro and I’m of the opinion that drivers have a gigantic disconnect between what they do and what happens-a nation in denial, everything’s somebody else’s fault. And I’m a firm believer in getting some revenge if possible so when I see someone driving dangerously in a company vehicle I turn their asses in with glee. Also people driving like they’re drunk. Some people just don’t learn through rational discussion.

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  • Grant Swanson August 13, 2005 at 5:38 pm

    These aren’t near-misses. I was struck in the head either by a mirror or a heavy object on Sept. 11th 2004 at approx. 11pm. My collerbone was broken badly and will never heal. I was on Yamhill near 71st ave. going with gravity down Tabor. I wasn’t wearing a helmet but I always do now. I live in the Woodstock neighborhood and I still bike commute 20 miles per day to the east edge of Gresham. I was also “bumped” off my bike at 52nd and Division in the crosswalk in the winter of 2003-2004. I reported the serious accident to the police and it is an open investigation AKA they will never catch this “good ole boy” hick in a pick-up who has negatively affected me for the rest of my life.

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  • Royston Vasey August 13, 2005 at 8:22 pm

    About 18 months ago I was driving at 30 mph or less northbound in the right lane on SE 12th Ave between Hawthorne and Belmont when I passed a cyclist on my right. I was fully aware of him and consciously and deliberately gave him such wide berth that I entered slightly into the left lane of traffic. We both had to stop for a red light at 12th & Belmont, where he dismounted his bike and approached the passenger side of my car carrying his bike lock. Foolishly, I thought he was taking a moment to thank me for being such a thoughtful motorist, so you can imagine my surprise when he began to completely destroy the windshield of my car with his lock. Then he tried to open the car door, I’m guessing so as to give me a similar treatment. Luckily, for me the door was locked.

    Since bicycles are not required to be registered or display identifying tags or plates, I could only give the cops a general physical description of him and his bike, so of course he has never had to take responsibility for this criminal assault.

    If bicyclists want to claim equal right to the use of public roadways, they should be required to register their bikes just like every other vehicle on the street so that when something like this happens, the victim has some recourse.

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  • David B. August 14, 2005 at 12:09 am

    More times than I can count, I’ve had frighteningly close calls on NW Everett St. and 16th Ave NW. The bike lane on that block of NW Everett is incredibly unsafe — it forces bikes (almost all of whom want to continue straight, across I-405) to the right of the cars, about 75% of whom wish to turn right to get onto I-405.

    The result is a “cross-cross-crash” where cars make last-minute turns directly in front of bikes. I’ve had to take last-minute evasive maneuvers more than once. It matters not how slow I ride — there’s always a steady stream of cars, with at least one clueless driver who doesn’t see me just waiting to wipe me out. It would be safer to ride in the traffic lane, but (a) the bike lane means cars aren’t expecting that, and (b) it pisses off drivers (and makes them aggressive) when bikes don’t stay in “their” lane.

    That bike lane should either be (a) flat-out eliminated, or (b) moved, either to between the two lanes, or to the left side of the street. (a) is probably more practical — the bike lane goes away in another block or so, and at 15th there’s a lot of left turns, which would make a left-hand bike lane equally deadly.

    As it stands, it’s just about the most dangerous bike lane I’ve ever seen, anywhere (and I’ve lived in a number of places).

    I live in the Goose Hollow/Kings Hill neighborhood.

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  • lexi August 14, 2005 at 10:27 am

    where to begin? First off, after 3 years of peddling up SW Broadway with right turns cutting me off, almost being rear-ended, having car doors and delivery people flying out at me, pedestrians jaywalking in front of me, etc. I wisened up to an alternative route. But one of my nearest misses comes from an intentional person on Mississippi after Fremont on the way down the big hill. Some jerk decided it would be funny, as I was halfway down the hill and going rather fast, to drive in front of me and slam on his brakes. I almost flew off my bike trying to avoid him and thank goodness there were no other cars around to hit me. I was too shook up to get a license plate number but got a good curse at him in. Other bad places in town include any place the cars need to cross my lane (aka. the bike lane)- NE broadway before I-5, getting on/off the Hawthorne bridge going East, Getting on/off the Broadway bridge- just to name a few. And my final gripe- car drivers and passangers who get a kick out of throwing things at bikers or think it is funny to startle them by yelling at them. I have had both happen on several occassions. For the love of… people, I am just trying to commute, have fun, and be healthy! Whew!! Thanks for listening and doing this piece!

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  • setha August 14, 2005 at 6:50 pm

    I’ve have one possible solution to the problems listed in this thread. I’ve been thinking about a second solution as well.

    First, to cut down on the right and left hooks, when I see a car in front of me that’s thinking about turning into my path, I yell, “car on the right” or “car on the left”, as appropriate.

    This serves several purposes:

    A. It lets the driver know that I’m there. Even with the windows closed, I can yell loudly enough that they hear me. Yelling that warning _may_ help stop them from doing something stupid. It won’t stop someone who is intent on being malicious.

    B. It’s not an insult. They are, after all, on my right, or left, and, well, they are driving a car. So, me saying “car on the right” is, at worst, simply stating the obvious.

    C. It lets Lance and Eddy know to watch out for the car on the left/right. OK, Armstrong and Merckx are really not riding with me. But, my yelling a warning to my hypothetical riding partners gives the impression to the driver that I’m not a lone bicyclist on the road. If the driver thinks there are other bicyclists nearby then maybe s/he’ll be less likely to do something to me. Maybe by the time they figure out I really am a lone bicyclist, I’m past the intersection or driveway.

    Second, I’ve been thinking about a bike-cam survellience system. I’d like 4 small video cameras, one mounted near the headlight pointed forward, one near the taillight pointed backward, and one each pointed right and left, maybe near the front fork where my arms and legs would not block the view.

    The cameras would feed into a digital video recorder (DVR) that would do a “loop” recording of, say, 10 minutes. That is, I would press the start button on the system, the DVR would start recording. After 10 minutes went by, the DVR would start recording over the video feeds from 10 minutes ago. When I pressed the stop button, the DVR would keep the last 10 minutes of video.

    So, every time I went for a ride, I would start the DVR. If I had an incident on the ride, I would stop the camera. I would then finish the ride. I’d then upload the video to my computer, and email it to the authorities. And, maybe, upload the video on a web page so that the bad driver could be viewed by everyone with access to a computer, including the driver’s insurance company and his/her family.

    I would like the system to not weigh more than a pound or two, with batteries. The batteries would have to power the system for at least, say, two hours. Longer would be better. The cameras would have to have sufficient resolution to record a license plate.

    Additional options that would be nice are:

    1. Upload videos to a PDA. If I had an incident on a ride, I could then upload the 10 minutes of video to the PDA, and restart the camera.

    2. Even better, have the PDA act as the DVR, rather than requiring a separate DVR unit.

    3. Even better than that, have the PDA email an incident video to myself through a WiFi, or a cellular, connection. I would not want to automatically email a video to the authorities, just in case I bumped the “email” button accidentally.

    4. Tie-in to my bicycle computer, so that I could know how fast I was going at the time.

    5. G-d forbid this is necessary, but an auto shutoff if the bike is no longer upright. That way the DVR does not record over whatever led the bike to no longer be upright, if you know what I mean. If network connectivity is available, if the bike is not upright, the system would also email the last 10 minutes of video. And, yes, in the worst case, this requires someone else knowing how to get into my email to be useful.

    Some problems with this idea are:

    1. Is it legal to video people on a public street without their permission?

    2. I’m guessing that this setup wouldn’t be cheap. Someone might try to steal the bike, maybe while I’m on it, to get the expensive video rig in the pannier.

    The big advantage of this idea is that if drivers know that their bad behavior toward bicylists is going to potentially show up on the web, in full motion mutli-angle color video, they might not engage in that bad behavior in the first place.

    I have seen web pages advertising systems something like what I describe, but with only one camera, and only for motorcycles. That system ties into the motorcycle’s speedometer and other instruments. That system draws power from the motorcycle’s electric system.

    I also know that digital cameras can take short movies. My Olympus can store about 11 minutes of video with sound. But, once its memory is full, it stops recording. If it looped as I described, that camera would be at least a partial solution to the problem.

    If you know of a system that does something like what I describe, or even a digital camera that does continuous video looping, could you please post a link here?

    Thanks

    -setha

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  • Severt August 15, 2005 at 11:13 am

    About two months ago my son-in-law and I were riding our bikes at Sauvie Island and a local resident drove up to us from behind, came long side us, and started yelling at us to get out “fat asses” off the road. He continued to verbally harangue us for about 2 minutes or so and then drove off with a squeal of tires, spinning rocks out at us from under the tires.

    My son-in-law, in his infinite wisdom, decided that was proper cause to flip the driver off and did so. The driver slammed on his brakes and put his car in reverse at a high rate of speed and came right back toward us. I veered off to the left side of the road to avoid him and he came back until he was along side my son-in-law, who continued riding his bicycle forward. The driver then put his car in forward, pulled slightly forward of my son-in-law and then quickly turn to the right and ran him off the road. My son-in-law was able to avoid him by riding into the ditch and the driver did the same thing again. He did this for a total of 4 times and on the fourth attempt my son-in-law went down on his bike in the gravel along side the road.

    The driver jumped out of his vehicle and attempted a physical confrontation with my son-in-law who got back on his bicycle and attempted to avoid the driver who was physically blocking his escape path. When it appeared that continued physical conflict was inevitable, I physically intervened by putting my bicycle and myself between the driver and my son-in-law. The driver asked me if I “want some of this too” and I said “sure, I don’t have anything better to do” at which point the situation broke down into some weird legal debate between him and my son-in-law about rules of the road.

    After 4 or 5 minutes of this guy yelling, spittle flying, he got back into his car and drove off in another spray of rocks.

    We did get his license number and I called the Portland Police when I got back, but I was told that Sauvie Island is out of their jurisdiction. When I asked whose jurisdiction it was, the officer told me he didn’t know but that it might be Multnomah County. I was surprised by the lack of interest by our local constabulary and chose not to pursue it further.

    Severt

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  • Caleb August 17, 2005 at 11:10 am

    Most recent: a lady running a stop sign near NE Burnside and Ankeny.


    Caleb

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  • Lisa August 19, 2005 at 9:16 am

    I had my closest call this morning, heading south on SE Sandy & Oak (soon after the Sandy/12th/Burnside fiasco intersection). I was in the bike lane on Sandy (it’s fast, downhill) and a giant truck turned right onto Oak and cut me off. I had to swerve all the way around the front of the vehicle and it was just luck that we didn’t collide. It would have been bad.

    There was no malice in this incident although I’ve encountered plenty of jerks in my time. The truck just didn’t see me.

    I live in NE Portland.

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  • Raya August 19, 2005 at 2:35 pm

    Just this past Sunday I was struck by a car downtown. We were dead tired after the Bridge Pedal and to get back to our car parked well uphill we decided to walk the bikes the last few blocks. We were crossing with the bikes on a green light when a lady in an SUV drove right into me, she was looking the other way the entire time and talking on her cellphone. She didn’t even realize what happened until I screamed out of fear as I felt her bumper. It wasn’t a serious accident as she was going slow but it could’ve been a lot worse.

    Most of my other close calls are from motorists driving too close. Usually they are on the phone and are not paying attention.

    One time on SW Allen Blvd as it crosses 217 a large pickup truck driver decided that instead of getting into the left lane (on a 4 lane rd) he would buz me first, then get right in front of me and pop his clutch to cause a huge plume of black smog to hit me right in the face. He then sped away and got on the highway. The lanes are wide in that section and I was staying very close to the far right, other cars had no problems passing me; he clearly did that on purpose.

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  • eric August 19, 2005 at 5:29 pm

    Broadway, Broadway, Broadway. It’s been said many times already here, but from Stark to Taylor, I, daily, get cut off by cars turning right with no blinkers and people stopping in the bike lane to pick up passengers.

    If police wanted to write some “dangerous non-use of turn signal” tickets, they could just camp out on Washington Morrison and Taylor and have a field day.

    Thanks for comiling this. I hope it can lead to some improvements.

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  • Roger J August 20, 2005 at 8:24 am

    Here are my real near miss spots in town:

    Joan of Arc Circle. Say no more.
    NE Broadway near I-5. in 1999-2000 I used to ride this road to work. That stupid bike lane where cars to the left of the lane can turn right. I never ride NE or SW Boadway anymore.
    Boones Ferry betwen Terwilliger and Country Club. No shoulder, uptight AM commuters. This is a bad mix. I’ve been brushed by a side view mirror 3-5 times on this road.
    NW 23rd. One of my worst commute crashes. A pedestrian walked onto the road between 2 parked SUV’s. In order to avoid her, I swerved, endo’ed and left a mess. Again, NW 23rd is on my list of plain ugly bike roads.
    Lloyd Center. 2 near misses with the car load of kids going to the mall, all of a sudden they see the turn, and abruptly turn across my path.

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  • Ethan Swan August 22, 2005 at 8:07 pm

    June 23rd, 2005, 9 AM–Foot of the Broadway Bridge, west side. The green bike lane arrow had just turned for me, I began to cross Lovejoy when a driver headed in the same direction as me down Broadway changed her mind and turned (against a red arrow) onto Lovejoy instead–I tried to turn with her but there wasn’t enough room and I crashed into her car just behind the bumper. My collarbone was broken and bike totalled. If I hadn’t been such a wreck I would’ve done a better job thanking all the other cyclists and drivers who stopped to make sure I was okay, the remains of my bike were collected, and the driver gave up her insurance information.

    Besides that, I have close calls almost every morning in front of the Fresh Pot in North Portland on my way to work with car doors thrown open wildly and without warning; “I haven’t had my coffee yet” is not an adequate excuse. Actually now that I think of it I’m probably going to stop riding down Mississippi altogether.

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  • tim August 22, 2005 at 11:21 pm

    near sunset tc. going a cros a road when it had a red light and it said no turns on red. when i was crossing this woman in a pt cruzer skimed me when she was on the phone

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  • Michelle August 23, 2005 at 10:58 am

    I was riding south on NE 15th just past Fremont, and a bus drove by me so close that my bike handle hit the mirror of a parked car…I couldn’t stop or get out of the way because I was blocked in, and if I had fallen I would have easily slipped under a fat tire.

    Everywhere-cars taking right turns cut me off in the bike lane, as if it was a turning lane created just for their use…luckily I have good brakes, but one of these days, I’m just not going to have enough room.

    I skidded out because of gravel on the road taking a left turn off NE 15th two blocks south of Prescott. I have a street bike with skinny tires since I commute many, many miles a day, and the gravel on the road is like trying to bike through quicksand or on marbles.

    The worst experience I had was biking to work from school in SW, on 4th. I was on the left of the road, obeying all traffic laws…saw this green minivan almost hit some older women, and then when I passed the van and came to a stop at the red light, the guy tried to throw his coffee on me, then threatened my life. For what? I have no idea.

    I live in North Portland.

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  • Peter August 23, 2005 at 2:58 pm

    Here is mine that happened just the other day. SW 10th & Oak & Burnside. I was turning on to 10th off of oak and hate riding near tracks as I have nad bad accidents in them before, so I turned into the middle lane rather than the right one, which has tracks. Traffic turning left onto burnside was backed up, so a guy in a big SUV swerved out of that lane and into mine, scaring me. My only way to avoid getting run over was to turn to the right and my front wheel got stuck in the tracks. Luckily, I planted a foot and pulled my wheel out of the tracks and watched as the guy burned some rubber down the road. I got a huge scare and all he got was a piece of my mind as he road away.

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  • Katie August 23, 2005 at 4:21 pm

    This happened yesterday afternoon (Monday 8/23) around 4pm. I was riding in the bike lane down NE 47th about a block north of Glisan when I got hardcore doored. The driver of the of SUV opened his door just as I was passing – I didn’t even have a chance to swerve or hit the brakes, I was already alongside him when he opened the door. I was sent flying forward into the street and would like to thank the woman behind me in the pickup truck for 1) being alert enough to stop before running me over and 2)for giving me and my bent bike a ride home -(just a few blocks, near Burnside and 60th).
    I was badly bruised and badly shaken – I also had a growing bump on the head for which I went to emergency room. Once there, the doctor told me that it probably wasn’t a concussion and since I wasn’t seriously injured, I had no reason to be upset about it. (I responded by getting more upset.) I was also told that I needed the driver’s car insurance to avoid being billed the full cost. Yesterday, he felt terrible and “assumed full responsibility.” When I called him this morning, he suddenly felt that it was my fault “for riding into a parked car.”

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  • Michael August 23, 2005 at 8:24 pm

    Cell phones. Way too many times drivers making bad moves are talking on their phones. Getting them off the phones would do everyone a world of good.

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  • Mike August 24, 2005 at 10:37 am

    NE 29th & Alberta

    A soccer mom made a left turn into me. T-boned me on my way to work. I was coming from NE 33rd… by New Seasons Market.

    She was quite apologetic and concerned at the time… crying, blah blah blah… I didn’t feel any pain at the time, really, because I was in shock… However, about two hours later… the started up, and hasn’t stopped since… This happened in Late May.

    We exchanged numbers, and she acted like she was going to be more than helpful. WRONG. I call and her badass, ignorant husband answers.. and is nothing short of rude to me.

    So, I contact her insurance, the guy comes to my house, lies to my face, tells me… “Oh, yeah… you’re not hurt… I can tell by the way you’re sitting” Blah… I tell him to go ahead and leave.

    Then I call a lawyer.

    Always get a lawyer, screw trying to be a nice guy!

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  • Kevin Wagoner August 24, 2005 at 9:11 pm

    Riding home from downtown over Twilliger today. Cresting the last hill before Barber there is a road that cuts to the right. Today a car cut infront of me…must have thought I was going slower. It is not too uncommon to get cut off or squished up against the curb around a curve. 8/24/05

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  • Casey August 24, 2005 at 10:23 pm

    SE 39th and Hawthorne

    I was in the left turn lane on Hawthorne at 39th, facing west and waiting to turn south. When the turn arrow finally turned green I checked to confirm that the cross traffic was stopping and proceeded into my turn. As I was about to cross the south-of-Hawthorne crosswalk a bike came zipping out past the waiting pedestrians westbound into that crosswalk. I slammed on my brakes and barely missed running into the idiot. He had no bike helmet or lights, of course, despite the fact that it was late evening and after dark. I double checked the crosswalk light. Solid red “Don’t Walk”. But I guess he wasn’t walking – he was riding like a suicidal idiot.

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  • Jessica August 25, 2005 at 11:01 am

    I actually have very, very few close calls, and my interpretation of that is that a) I choose my routes carefully to minimize conflict and interaction with cars, b) I am a very attentive cyclist, and I can often sense a possible problem (driver opening car door, driver about to make an unsignaled right turn in front of me, etc.) and take evasive action, and c) I follow traffic laws, use lights, and signal my turns, which means drivers can generally see me and know what to expect from me. And, of course, Portland drivers are much more used to bikes and much mellower than in other cities (see Peter Jacobsen’s Safety In Numbers study for an explanation of why more cyclists on the road leads to safer conditions for all cyclists–most of it has to do with drivers expecting and looking for cyclists).

    Nevertheless, I did have two close calls over the last several years that were really disturbing. They’ve stayed with me as very clear examples of what is systemically wrong with our car-oriented transportation system.

    In the first, I was proceeding north on NE 9th. I was signaling a lane change because the lane I was in was turning into a right-turn only lane, and I was in the middle of the lane, completing the lane change. I should note that it was an overcast day and I was wearing a bright yellow rain jacket. A driver pulled out of a mid-block parking lot to make a left turn in front of me, and caused me to crash into him. The officer who wrote up the crash report indicated that I was to blame for this accident. I was not cited, but I did have a very difficult time with insurance issues because the crash report stated it was my fault. I was following both the letter of the law and best biking practices. The driver failed to yield, but suffered no consequences. To my mind, this is completely outrageous, yet I knew I had no recourse.

    In the second, I was southbound on N Vancouver Ave. Just south of the intersection with Fremont, the right vehicle lane turns into a right-turn only lane for getting on the Fremont Bridge. There is a bike lane for part of a block south of Fremont that is to the right of the right-hand lane, and then the bike lane drops and picks up between that lane and the next one over (it then becomes the standard right-hand bike lane when the right-turn-only lane disappears). Sorry; it’s hard to describe. Anyway, if you are heading south and you hit a red light at Fremont, especially during AM peak, car traffic piles up on N Vancouver, and it’s exceptionally difficult to get one of them to let you through in time to make the transition from the right-hand bike lane to the new through bike lane. So, the safest and clearest thing to do is take the right-most vehicle travel lane at the red light, and when you get a green light, proceed for one block in the travel lane and then move into the new through bike lane. This means that for one block you are in the travel lane instead of in the striped bike lane that’s about to abandon you on the right-hand side. One day I was doing this, and a driver in a green minivan rushed me and passed on my right, very agressively, and far too close. I shouted at him, of course. On that, he screeched to a stop in the middle of the lane, flung open his door, jumped out of the car, and, near-apoplectic with rage, shouted at me, THE BIKE LANE’S OVER THERE, BITCH!!!!!! This guy was in his fifties, driving a minivan. I could have been his daughter. It’s completely inexplicable to me how being behind me for one block justified his actions, but nevertheless, he felt that his anger justified him putting me in danger. I am 100% certain that if I had called the police, nothing would have happened. I wonder how many times this driver has taken out his anger on other cyclists, and what it would take to make him stop.

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  • KATE August 25, 2005 at 4:30 pm

    JESSICA, I ride through the place you describe in your last paragraph all the time. It is where the bike lane to the far right suddenly ends (just south of the Fremont/Vancouver intersection) and relocates to the middle of the street BETWEEN 2 car lanes. The car lane to the left heads south only, and the right car lane acts as a turning lane for motorists wishing to go to either the Fremont Bridge or Legacy Emannuel Hospital. That intersection is SO dangerous! It would be helpful if there were a sign overhead (next to the light) that warned motorists of a bicycle lane merge. I have had too many close calls there to count…

    I have also seen many accidents occur on N. Alberta. This is a very busy biking route with no bike lanes, on-street parking, and heavy traffic. Not only have I seen cyclists hit, nearly hit, and harassed, I have seen many drivers who have just parked on-street open their car doors suddenly and HIT cyclists with the door head-on. Just two weeks ago I saw such an incident on a busy “Last Thursday” afternoon. I hope that the city recognizes the safety needs of cyclists in this rapidly growing neighborhood. I’d also like to note that alternate routes along the streets parallel north and south of Alberta are nearly impossible. Many of these streets dead end and then start up again a block later, or have “Roadway not improved” signs indicating rock and gravel passages with huge pothole puddles and mud! YIKES.

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  • Michael August 27, 2005 at 6:57 pm

    I have had several close calls in the past three weeks. Mostly with drivers feeling the need to pass me only to immediatley make a right turn right in front of me. No warning, no signal, no anything except for me coming to a grinding halt to avoid a collision. This is especially noticeable in evening traffic around the 5:00 – 5:30PM time period when everyone is in a hurry to get home or get to the on-ramp in order to take their place in line sitting on the freeway. I ride down the hill on SW Salmon almost everyday at that time. It is a frightening time to be riding downtown. I take this route to get to the water front so I can have at least a portion of my ride be enjoyable without having to negotiate the random acts of automobile drivers.
    I have also experienced many drivers who, I believe are playing a game to see how close they can get to a biker without actually hitting them. Yes, at these moments I have lots to say, and they do tend to turn into heated yelling and finger gestures. This in reality doesn’t do anyone any good. The driver seems to feel it’s his right to play that game since I am on the road and bystanders seem to portray the belief that the person on the bike is somehow at fault.
    Thus the behavior of the cyclist is viewed as being wrong or inappropriate. This has lead to additional heated discussions with bystanders who often didn’t witness the event. When I am on my bike and someone is getting close enough to hit me I am going to have things to say and they won’t be full of pleasantries. I shouldn’t have to feel that everytime I get on my bike I am taking a risk. Will I make it to work without being hurt or permanently maimed. I have been feeling like the more I ride the more the odds are not in my favor of avoiding an accident.
    Thursday morning August 25th at 7:45AM on the corner of Broadway and Stark downtown, the odds were not in my favor.

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  • Michael August 27, 2005 at 7:16 pm

    So apparently that was all the time I had to rant and tell my story.

    PART II

    On Thursday morning August 25th, near the intersection of Broadway and Stark in downtown, I had a collision with a car door that was suddenly opened in front of me. I was travelling in the bike lane when the door opened and caught my handle bars, it stopped me abruptly. I was lucky, all I ended up with was a bruised right hand and a very bruised chest where I hit the corner of the door. My bike also survived the incident, only a few adjustments to the handle bars and rim were needed. The above letter mentioned my close calls, this little bit describes a closer call.

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  • Scott August 30, 2005 at 12:10 pm

    While an ultra-cautious rider, it seems I have at least one close call a week. This is the one that really stands out in my mind as the worst, and the only instance where the car made contact with my bike. It happened at the beginning of this summer, as I was riding eastbound on Hawthorne shortly after 9:30 pm on a weeknight (with both front and rear lights a-blinkin’). As I was crossing 12th a sedan sped down Ladd (the diagonal street) and swerved into and through the parking lot of Johnny B’s presumably to avoid the traffic signal. The driver never came to a full stop and instead drifted slowly into Hawthorne while looking only to his right. Having never looked left, he accelerated out onto Hawthorne as I was passing in front of him, and directly into the back half of my rear wheel (had it been a second earlier, I would have gotten it full on my side and ended up on his hood). I got spun, but luckily stayed upright as I watched the car travel west only to be stopped at 12th by…the other traffic signal. The motherfucker. I managed to catch him at the light, pound on the passenger side window and point to the parking lot across from Tiny’s yelling “You hit me! Pull over!”. The well dressed middle-aged man behind the wheel only glanced sideways at me and peeled out as soon as the light went green. I tried to chase again, but lost him when he turned south onto 11th, back in the direction from which he came originally. At that point I was shaking too hard to really give chase anyway. Now I’m left with an admittedly cool looking little scar on my rear fender (miraculously escaping any real damage to myself or the bike), the memory of my life flashing before my eyes and the wish that I’d had the presence of mind to tear the guy’s antenna off.

    I live way NE now and my daily commute is considerably longer, but it seems I don’t have nearly as many problems as I did whenever I rode Hawthorne or any of the surrounding streets (designated bike path roads included).

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  • colin September 1, 2005 at 10:29 am

    I often have to cross the intersection of N Broadway and Larrabee from the south and have found the light to be much too short to make it across in time. The green light does seem to last longer if there is also a car crossing the street with me, but if I’m on my own, the green light lasts a matter of seconds. Numerous times, aggressive drivers coming from the east side of the intersection have buzzed my back tire as I cross.

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  • Enraged September 1, 2005 at 11:09 am

    I had a close call the other day in Aloha. I pulled up to the stop sign and looked both ways before proceeding to cross the intersection, when from the left side a guy came flying past me, just missing me by inches. I yelled out at him as he skidded to a stop, and he turned around and spit at me. I told him that it was a 4-way stop and he should be looking out more carefuly. He told me to go f- myself and took off. I know for a fact he either did not stop or look before entering the intersection. I have ridden many a bike over the years and there is no way in hell you can get a bike going that fast in the distance of 1 lane of traffic. Poor dumb ass nearly plowed into the side of my Jeep. He whould have been dead had I not been able to stomp om my brakes fast enough. I have many more stories about bikes not stopping for red lites, blasting through intersections, nearly getting creamed by people turning right onto the cross street as the bikes head striaght on thru. Not much sympathy for these types of riders.

    Myself and those I ride with are always watching each others backs out there, obey the laws of the land and not one of us has been taken out yet. I have had more close calls with bikes trying to implant themselves into my Jeep than I have had cars try to tag me when I ride. Heads up, eyes open, mouth shut.

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  • Amanda September 1, 2005 at 11:47 am

    I have to echo the other comments about the east side of the Broadway Bridge. My commute route includes a right turn from Flint onto N. Broadway, then continuing across the Broadway Bridge. Getting across that lane of traffic from the right-side bike lane to the bridge-bound bike lane on the left side of the Interstate right turn lane is scary. This morning I checked for space several times and then signaled that I was taking the lane as I approached a yellow light at N. Larrabee x N. Broadway. The driver behind me changed lanes to the left quickly and then sat at the red light in the lane to my left and complained that bicyclists shouldn’t be on the road. There is not enough protection for bicyclists in that whole bridge interchange; drivers are going fast, trying to beat lights, change lanes, etc. Not much fun to drive that area in a car either.

    I’ve also had the frustration with trying to use the light at N. Larrabee to cross N. Broadway on my way home. It’s too short for bikes/pedestrians to cross safely and at times it allows traffic to proceed on Broadway for 10 minutes before it finally allows traffic to cross Broadway (very quickly).

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  • Jessica September 1, 2005 at 2:00 pm

    Colin and Amanda, in theory, it’s very easy to change signal timing, and that sounds like a very reasonable request. It’s not even like anyone has to go out to the intersection–an engineer should be able to look up and change the signal timing from their desk at PDOT. Try starting with 503-823-SAFE; that’s exactly the kind of thing that number is set up for.

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  • Michael September 2, 2005 at 8:05 am

    This morning at 6 am I was biking west on SW Oak at SW Park, lit up like a Christmas tree with lights, when a huge black SUV blew through a construction site, then through the stop sign at Oak crossing my immediate path at speed. The SUV turned right on Ankeny. I guessed correctly the driver would then head south on Broadway. I turned back and intercepted him there. I yelled at him that he ran the stop sign and almost hit me. He rolled down the window and said, “I did not see it. I was on the phone.

    I may have woken half the Benson up with my verbal response.

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  • Laura C. Shaffer September 2, 2005 at 4:29 pm

    I was hit at SW Terwilliger and Condor. I was headed north (downhill) in the bike lane and was right-hooked. I rolled diagonally over the hood of the car and ended up in front of it. Police weren’t called.
    I was headed east on Hawthorne Blvd. when a car that had just passed me moved into the bike lane, and me, as the driver attempted to parallel park (in “drive” not “reverse’) at the liquor store between 10th & 11th. Two ribs and my scapula were cracked. I called the police the next day to fiel a report, but they said they don’t take reports of that kind of thing. They suggested I call the DMV. They said they don’t take reports of that kind of thing.
    As for close calls, I’ve had too many on Broadway between Madison and crossing 405 to mention individually. The intersection at Powell & SE 26th is an especailly dangerous one. I’ve nearly been right- and left-hooked there, and have witnessed others’ close calls.

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  • Amy Jo Rist September 2, 2005 at 9:27 pm

    I live on NE 7th near Prescott, and on July 19 around 10 am, I was riding south on NE 7th with my burley in tow. In the burley were my 2 children, ages 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. On this side of the street, there is no street parking, and the lane is narrow enough for a car, but not for a car to pass a bike with a burley safely without going out of the lane. As I was travelling, I heard a car approaching me from behind, not slowing down, almost as if it were speeding up. I looked in my handlebar mirror, and could see a white car approaching me very quickly. Ahead, there was oncoming traffic, which would make it impossible for this car to pass me safely. I hugged the curb as closely as I could and tried to keep my handlebars steady, so as to not swerve in the least, as this car blasted past me within an inch of my handlebars. I yelled “Jesus Christ, Man!” as this was happening, and the person driving flipped me off. In another block, I caught up to the person, as they were sitting at the red light at NE 7th and Fremont. I sized up who it was, and saw that a woman was driving the car, license plate ZXZ 433, and confronted her. I said, “You almost hit us. I have two small children in this trailer.” She just kept saying,”Get off the fucking road.” I said, “I have a right to be on the road.” She still kept repeating,”Get off the fucking road.” And then said,”Go the the fucking park.” I said,”Where do you think I’m going?” Then the light turned green and she sped off. I was left shaking and crying, as I felt that we were almost hit. My children would have been very badly injured, if not killed had she rear ended us at the speed she was travelling. I called the police, who told me that technically, she did nothing illegal, and that they could do nothing about it. Only if she had hit us, or swerved at us, causing us to run up onto the curb, could they have taken a report, is what they told me. They also told me,’Not that I am advocating anything, but when we get a report from a motorist, that a cyclist has damaged their car, we call that street justice.’ They basically told me, ‘believe in karma, that she’ll get what’s coming to her,’ and they left.

    I live on this street, and have a right to ride my bike, with my children, on it. I ride with them in tow, at least 2 or 3 times a week. Until this incident, I always got the sense that most motorists were more cautious when they saw the burley attached to my bike, but this lady was out of control, and very mean-spirited. I’ve certainly met my share of assholes yelling ‘get off the road,’ more so when I’m riding without my children, but never felt that someone was behaving aggressively toward me with their vehicle, like this.

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  • colin September 6, 2005 at 5:33 pm

    Just wanted to let everyone know that I called the 503-823-SAFE number today in regards to the intersecton at N Broadway and Larrabee and Todd Rosenbaum with the city called back within a couple hours. He apparently rides the same route and was familiar with the problem. He told me that he went ahead and changed the timing of the light from 5 seconds to 10 seconds.

    Hey look, sometimes the “city that works” actually does work! Props to the city of Portland for being so responsive.

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  • Jessica Roberts September 6, 2005 at 11:33 pm

    Colin, I’m thrilled to hear that you got a good response. Theoretically, it serves PDOT to listen to its “eyes on the street” (tires on the street?) instead of trying to monitor everything with city staff. I’ve had nothing but exceptional response from the sweeping hotline as well (503-823-1700, actually the 24-hour maintenance dispatch line).

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  • colin September 7, 2005 at 11:33 am

    Jessica, is the 823-1700 number one that we could call about glass in the street? I remember about two or three weeks ago, NE Broadway’s bike lane was completely covered in shattered glass from 15th all the way to the I-5 overpass. It made for nervous going. I had to ride on the sidewalk almost the whole way to avoid getting a flat.

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  • Jessica September 7, 2005 at 11:51 am

    Yes, that is the right number. You can get the same response by calling 503-823-CYCL, but all they do from that number is call the dispatch line at 503-823-1700. So, if you’re only trying to remember one number to tell people, 823-CYCL is a perfectly good one, but I figure you might as well call the people who send the sweeper trucks out directly.

    Occasionally they will need to send you to someone else if the facility is run by another agency (e.g. most of the bridges are owned and/or operated by the County or ODOT), but for most purposes this is the right number for Portland sweeping requests. And as I mentioned, I’ve always found them to be very responsive.

    Don’t forget that you can call the maintenance line for non-glass sweeping too, such as for the coming plague of leaves that will be rotting in the streets soon enough. I especially encourage people on Terwilliger to use it, since I know leaves are such a problem up there.

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  • [...] bikeportland.org has been collecting stories from people about their close calls on bikes in the city. [...]

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  • Kevin Wagoner September 9, 2005 at 5:02 pm

    Tuesday Sept 6th around 4pm. Going up SW 6th toward Terwilliger. After crossing I405 there is a sharp turn to the right. There is a bike lane. On tuesday a car over took me on the corner and forced me to the curb, I slammed on the brakes and was able to stay up right. I yelled loudly and saw the driver look in the mirror.

    I caught up the the car at the light to turn left onto Terwilliger. When I informed him he almost hit me he said, “oh I did?” Then he said he was sorry and told me to be careful.

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  • Kevin Wagoner September 9, 2005 at 5:05 pm

    Wednesday Sept 7th. Going home on Terwilliger, heading south from downtown. About a 1/2 mile or more from Capital Highway. I was giong downhill at roughly 20 mph when someone pullled out of a drive way to my right. They saw me and slammed on their brakes which left them in the bike lane. I slammed on my brakes, the back end fish tailed….no crash though. I did have to come to a complete stop. It was close.

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  • Kevin Wagoner September 9, 2005 at 5:08 pm

    Thursday Sept 8th around 5pm. Heading downhill on SW Taylors Ferry Rd after the corner of Twilliger headed west. There is no bike lane. While going 25 mph a car tried to over take me. They did a terrible job of going through the corner, could not over take me which left us both going through the corner together. They swerved toward me….I slowed down to let them through. 3rd close call this week. When I first saw this web site I thought things like this didn’t happen that often. Pretty dangerous week!

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  • endurance September 10, 2005 at 8:21 pm

    today, sept. 10th about 1:15pm NE 38th and Tillamook. i was riding west in the middle of the lane on tillamook(i have given up on bike lanes, they have proven to be too dangerous), and a mini-van heading south on 38th ave. rolled the stop sign and pulled out, and slammed on the brakes 5 ft. from hitting me as i passed at 15 mph. if i had been in the bike lane i would have been hit. this was in broad daylight, this happens to me everyday.

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  • Enraged September 12, 2005 at 11:42 am

    Ore. Bicyclist Charged With Manslaughter

    http://tinyurl.com/brv3u

    It was going to happen sometime, remember when that guy tagged the little boy at the rose garden and just rode off? what ever happened to him?

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  • Enraged September 12, 2005 at 11:54 am

    Here’s another one, while coming down 58th from Sylvan highlands heading toward Skyline Blvd. I was going around the 20mph posted limit when two guys came hauling past me, swerving into the oncoming lane to go past. When they got to the bottom of the hill they shot straight into the intersection with out looking. Damn fool skidded to a stop nearly plowing into the side of a car that had stopped and was procceding to turn left to go down hill. They pedaled on around laughing about it like it was some big joke. Yeah, real funny dumb a**, nearly killed yourself and scared the beans out of the woman trying to drive home. I called out to them when they did stop at the next light, they were still laughing it up. I said that it was pretty stupid not to stop or slow down at least, they gave me the finger and hitched their spandex up and rode off into the traffic. Another organ donor in the making.

    I have had more close calls with bikes trying to implant themselves into my Jeep than I have had cars try to tag me when I ride. Heads up, eyes open, mouth shut.

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  • Elicia Cardenas September 12, 2005 at 9:54 pm

    I was riding east on NE Irving, between 12th and 13th at about 3:45 in the afternoon on September 8. I was in the bike lane. There was a motorist stopping in the east-bound auto lane, waiting to turn left into a parking lot. A small white sport-car style vehicle was impatient behind the stopped car and swerved, very quickly, to the right, into the bike lane where I was. I screamed and the car missed me by about six inches, then the driver flipped me off and sped away.

    Two witnesses stopped and asked if I was ok. Thanks guys.

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  • Esther September 14, 2005 at 5:38 pm

    Amy — you should read this: http://www.stc-law.com/motorharass.html
    “If someone endangers you by violating the law, it is probably not worth taking them to traffic court for some technical violation of the Rules of the Road. Instead, translate your anger into writing a letter. Memorize their license plate number, obtain their name and address from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) (an easy procedure, just call the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) or our office), and then write the driver, or better, the driver’s employer if they are in a work vehicle, letting them know what the law provides regarding your right to use the roadway, citation to the traffic code violations they committed in your presence, how their conduct made you afraid and angry, and finally, that you are going to wait until you hear from them before you decide about whether or not you will pursue the matter with a citation for a moving violation in traffic court. Writing the letter is therapeutic, and in most cases you will hear from the worried motorist. While you may not get a direct apology, your follow up provides an excellent learning experience for most drivers, who are keenly aware of the effect a potential traffic code conviction will have upon their insurance rates and driving record.
    ….
    Call The Police

    Tell them what happened and what laws were broken by the motorist. Hopefully,
    law enforcement will be sympathetic and will have sufficient time to investigate and cite or arrest the driver. However, if the police are not responsive to your initial contact, do not give up, call the BTA or our office and we will help you to initiate a prosecution. “

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  • endurance September 19, 2005 at 3:26 pm

    about 30 minutes ago. i was in the lane on NE 42nd Ave. riding south between Thompson and Tillamook. i heard a car speeding behind me, and saw on-coming traffic in the northbound lane. in spite of me being visibly in the road, the car decided to pass…nearly hitting both me and the on-coming traffic. if i hadn’t moved slightly as the car passed i would’ve been hit. the car must’ve passed me at around 40mph in a 25 mph zone, and all of this within less than one block of the stop sign at 42nd & Tillamook. i caught the person at the stop sign and when i confronted him, telling the man he almost hit me, he asked me if i “had a problem” with him…while unbuckling his seat belt. i told him i had a problem with him almost hitting cyclists, and rode away.

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  • mamá joey September 19, 2005 at 7:20 pm

    I was riding Hawthorne towards downtown, across from the Safeway, when I felt a smack on my shoulder. A bumbling green 70s or 80s van had hit my shoulder with its gi-hugeous mirror. Driver: completely oblivious. I bombed down the street on my single-speed MTB (catching her was difficult, but doable, thanks to the light I usually hate.

    I pounded on her window and gave her a stern ‘what for,’ shaking with adrenaline. She lives down the street from me, and had taken so long to pull onto Hawthorne I had passed her. My own neighbor! Hit and run! Good thing I didn’t get dragged under.

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  • David September 30, 2005 at 1:28 pm

    SW Broadway + Morrison = terrible intersection. If being hit by a car is a close call, then my experience there last summer suits this blog.

    D

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  • Ken Patton September 30, 2005 at 8:03 pm

    Since you are only asking for the close calls, I will not describe the time a car wandered into the bike lane and knocked me off of my bike with its rear view mirror. It was an exciting story too, with lots of police cars and an ambulance and a fire engine and a terrified wife and a beat up body. But since you only asked for close calls I will not tell you that story. I also will not tell you about the car I rolled over when it turned right in front of me. That was a good one too. I’ll just limit myself to the latest of many close calls. It happened last Wednesday when car turned in front of me while I was riding home from work.

    I was on Hall blvd heading South in a bike lane when I approached the intersection with Sattler. A lady who had passed me a few seconds earlier was stopped by the red light. The light turned green just before I reached the intersection so I mashed down on the pedals to accelerate through. That is when she decided to turn right in front of me. If she had signaled I would have seen it coming and been better prepared but it was a complete surprise. I hit the brakes and yelled. She continued the turn and I braked and turned hard to keep from hitting her. The yelling did have some effect; she stopped her car right in front of me. She looked back to see what all the ruckus was about and I yelled that she had just turned across a bike lane in front of me. She gave me an incredulous look that said “So what’s wrong with you? You almost ran into my car!” And then she just drove away.

    We need some public education. People think it is okay to turn in front of cyclists. They don’t even look. How about some signs that show bike riders in bike lanes have the right of way.

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  • Kevin October 3, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    Making the ride home from PSU, just before the right turn onto Barbur, at the corner of the Dunaway track (YMCA). I was riding in the middle of the right lane (no bike lane on this section.) A lady in the lane next to me and moved over into my lane as she turned the corner with me. A quick grab of the brakes (thank god the section was dry and my tires are sticky) kept me from being sideswiped. I caught back up as she made the right turn onto Barbur. A polite knock on her window and her shocked look let me know that I hadn’t existed until now.

    I ride this section 2-3 times a day, and people constantly drift through this corner into my lane. The safest way I found to ride is hard and fast, keeping my bike and body in front of the cars and easier to see. But this time I was going slow (still beat up from interbike and sketchy with all the wet stuff falling from the sky.)

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  • Allie October 14, 2005 at 7:23 am

    In the summer of 2005, a bicyclist hit my car near the intersection of NE 28th Ave and E Burnside St. I mention this, not to mock the good deeds being done in favor of cyclist safety, but because I care about safety for all persons on the road.

    I treat cyclists with respect on the roads. I truly value the expression “share the road” but it has to apply to EVERYONE. It does not mean “share the roads and cyclists are first”. I do not turn in front of cyclists, I would not turn in front of any other vehicle or pedestrian who otherwise had the right of way.

    We afforded the cyclist who hit us all the courtesies of another vehicle stuck in immobile summertime traffic. I watched as this cyclist plowed through a crowd of pedestrians with children, pushing many of them into oncoming traffic. He then attempted to pass my car on the right and there simply was not enough space to do so. He hit my side mirror, cracking my hubcap in the process, and flew over the front of my car. Horrified, we got out of the car and asked if he was alright. We offered to call him an ambulance or taxi as he seemed to have broken his bike.

    As we had been at a dead stop, it was clear that we had not hit him. Other passersby indicated that they had witnessed the same thing. The guy was being a jerk and because of that he hit my car. He then explained with much foul language that he was going to call the police with my license plate number and tell them that I intentionally tried to run him down.

    Come on! I’m trying to do the right thing in my car. Do the right thing on your bike. There are a lot of idiots with cars out there– don’t make it WORSE.

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  • Peter W October 15, 2005 at 10:17 pm

    Heading south on NE 231st in Orenco around 6:30 PM, I was nearly hit by an SUV. The driver was going to turn left out of NE Campus Way from the west side of 231st, and came up to the stop sign there but didn’t stop. This was as I signaled for a left turn and moved to the middle of the lane. She pulled out without stoping and started her turn (coming towards me). “What the F$#!” is all I could think to yell as I slammed on my brakes (which I’ve determined need to be upgraded). At that point, right in the middle of her collision course towards me, she saw me and slamed on her brakes as well. I swear tomorrow I’m going in to get new brakes ‘cuz our two vehicles ended up stopping much too close for comfort. I looked down to make sure my Planet Bike BRT-3 was on and blinking (it was, and was bright), and then in disbelief shook my head at her in disgust and made my left hand turn. When I looked back her SUV was just sitting there in the middle of the road… perhaps she was shocked to have seen (and nearly hit!) a cyclist in the bike-desert known as Hillsboro.

    I consider myself a very safe cyclist; I signal for turns, ride with lights, and try to ride defensively. Tonight was one of the first nights I’ve been out wearing a dark shirt, but it was not completely dark out at the time and I’m sure that any decent driver would have seen me, especially those who bother to stop at the stop signs! I’m sure there are bikers in Hillsboro who don’t ride as safely as I do, but I hope for their sakes that they watch out for crazy drivers like this!

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  • Joel October 21, 2005 at 2:27 pm

    South side of Lombard Ave. and Farmington, right in front of Stars.

    Riding home last night at 10:00 pm, I crossed the intersection heading south on Lombard. As you enter Lombard, the lane narrows between a sidewalk on the left and a median strip on the right. Just as I got to the narrowest part, I heard the #88 bus leave the stop across the intersection behind me, so I did a quick head check to find it approaching. There isn’t enough space there for a car and a bike, much less a bus. The bus still had enough room to slow down, so I signalled and took my place in the lane so he’d have to wait until we got through the squeeze.

    Imagine my surprise when the bus actually accelerated as we approached the tightest spot!! I was forced to hug the curb, with about a foot to my left to the side of the bus. As the bus passed, he actually drew *closer*, and cut me off. Looking back on it, I have to assume he never saw me. Considering I had front and rear flashers, a reflective yellow bike jacket and messenger bag, I find that hard to accept. If he didn’t see me, it was negligence. If he did, it was malicious.

    I called Tri-Met this morning to lodge a complaint, and the woman I talked to was very understanding and helpful. She took all the info, (glad got that bus ID!) and is passing it on to the supervisor. She took my name, and asked if I wanted a followup call. I do, and they’re willing to oblige.

    I expect this kind of thing from some yahoos I’ve seen, but not from a city bus.

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  • Javen October 23, 2005 at 12:07 am

    143rd Ave & Burton Rd

    A few weeks back I was coasting down 143rd, crossing Oak Hills/Burton Rd. 143rd lacks a bike lane. Furthermore, this intersection is controlled by a flashing yellow for traffic on 143rd and flashing red for Oak Hills/Burton Rd. A pickup truck with a trailer containing lawn mowers and other landscaping and yard maintenance equipment pulled out from Burton, turning south on 143rd as I was traveling through the intersection. I was squeezed when the truck sped up, trapping me between it and the curb (and that gap was narrowing).

    I live in Bethany and there are few, if any, bike lanes north of Cornell Rd & 143rd or Bethany Blvd.

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  • Tim and Mindy October 25, 2005 at 10:52 am

    We were riding up the I205 bike path just north of I84 on the way to the airport. Going under a bridge we both slid and fell on a freshly painted yellow center line. There was NO signs / cones or anythign indicating the lines were freshly painted. We did’nt even no what happened until we got off the ground and found we were covered in yellow paint. We headed up the path to find a worker from trimet who told us the line painter truck from ODOT had just went through about 5 minutes ago. So far we have got little response from ODOT. The comment of the workers “Normally the paint dries in 10 minutes so we don’t bother marking it with cones”. Well for the first 10 minutes it is like putting 1/8th inch of grease on the road.

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  • [...] Reporting dangerous intersections: Sinnott is really keen on 823-SAFE. He said if you have a problem with a dangerous intersection, call the number and it will be logged and put through to a traffic safety officer. He wanted everyone to know that every single one of the calls gets recorded and assesed. If necessary, the officer will work with an ODOT engineer to fix the problem. He also recommended I send the 96 close calls submissions to Greg Raisman at PDOT to look for problem areas and cross-reference them with his existing crash maps. [...]

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  • Laura C. Shaffer November 16, 2005 at 8:59 am

    Almost got hit last Friday November 11th on the Hawthorne Bridge. I was headed east and had to cross the exit onto 99E south. There’s a blue bike lane there and a sign that says “yield to bikes” with flashing yellow lights, I think. Long before reaching the crossing I always stick out my left arm and point straight out to my left as though I’m actually moving into the neighboring lane when I’m crossing there, just to make sure I’m at least noticed. This guy was driving his car right alongside and a little behind me for maybe 80 feet so I thought he saw me and was pacing himself to stop at the blue bike lane. Maybe he was racing me or something weird though. He slammed on the brakes in front of the blue bike lane as I was crossing. His brakes squealed and he skidded toward me a bit. I made it across and he continued on his way onto 99E and luckily that’s the end of the story.

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  • jj and krista December 1, 2005 at 6:49 pm

    near the end of summer 05 – two bikes traveling down taylor [toward downtown] in SE crossing 23rd. A monday night, car with oregon plates [a uur?] – car nearly hits us both – likely speeding and running a stop.

    this is all the info from my shakey hand in the faded back of my slingshot organizer.

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  • [...] A team comprised of BTA, PDOT, and the Bureau of Technology Services (BTS) reps is developing a web tool to report bicycle crashes and near misses. This close calls map should be ready for beta testing this March and the initial database will be populated with data from your comments to my “Wanted: your close calls” post. [...]

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  • tim hanson January 2, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    guess i should respond to this..

    NW Everett where it meets I-405 is bad for me, i’m often cut off by motorists merging from Everett onto 405. Once i wound up on the hood of some kid’s pickup truck! He felt pretty bad for not noticing me.

    Broadway where it meets I-5 is difficult too, i’m usually cut off there a few times a week.

    I got the ‘Trimet squeeze’ on Alberta/26th a few months ago..

    Thanks for the great work, Jonathan!

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  • Matt Fox January 3, 2006 at 7:55 am

    I commute from Multnomah Village out to Aloha (185th and Kinnaman).

    I have been hit at the intersection of 5th and Franklin in Beaverton.

    I constantly have close calls along 5th street in Beaverton at the lights as cars turn in front of me.

    I have been cut off consistently along multnomah blvd where it turns a corner (at the old market pub) and there is a “blue lane”.

    Thanks for all your work

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  • Martha February 7, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    Tuesday, January 31st on my way home (raining hard and after dark). I had a blinky front light and reflectorized yellow jacket. At the intersection of SE 48th and Woodstock, I was southbound on SE 48th. After I arrived at the intersection, a northbound car arrived across the street and eventually turned on his left turn signal. When there was a gap in the Woodstock traffic, I did my usual brief pause before starting up across the street. I made it part way across the intersection before the driver started up. I screamed in terror, he kept coming, eventually hitting my rear wheel and taking the bike out from under me. Thankfully, he pulled over. The Woodstock traffic wasn’t so kind — I got back up and stood in the center turn lane and the traffic did not stop to allow me to cross the street. Brutes. The driver said he never saw me. I’m guessing that he had only really checked for cars: after asking if I was okay (“No — you just hit me!!!”) he said in a very patronizing tone of voice, “What were you doing trying to cross the street when you could see there was a car turning left?” The poor boy just didn’t have a very strong grasp of vehice laws. I hope he’ll start seeing bicycles — he doesn’t live far from me.

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  • Elljay February 10, 2006 at 8:10 am

    this is more of a rant than an actual incident, as it seems to happen at least weekly. The problem? Runners in bike lanes going opposite traffic. They can see the bikes and the cars coming at them and choose to stay in the bike lane!

    For example, up on Willamette Blvd (aka Overlook) northbound runners run in the southbound bike lane. The other day, we had a TriMet bus behind us. My ride buddy yelled “TRACK” at the runners, and then “get on the sidewalk” but we ended up stopping, rather than swerve into a bus…

    It also happens on the bike lanes down by OMSI…not the waterside path, but the street in front of OMSI where the fast bikers bypass the maze on the waterfront. Also on the painted bike lanes down on Bybee by the golf course/rhodie garden.

    Many of the problem runners seem to be part of the big training program for the Portland Marathon (Portland Fit or something?).

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  • Eddie February 20, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    If I am riding through intersections, I go when it is safe – that is when there is no opposing motorized vehicle traffic – not when the light says “go”. I’ll look both ways and if it’s safe, I’ll go. A bicycle is not a “vehicle” no matter what the fuzz or Lars Larson says. If you wait until traffic piles up, someone will run you down as they speed around the corner. You have to watch out for yourself because the auto drivers don’t give a rip about the laws, and give even less of a rip about bicycles. As I’ll soon demonstrate.

    I’ve been run down almost daily by the anti-bicycle blather of Lars Larson on his radio show on 750 AM. He incites people to dislike bicyclists and is a threat to bicyclists. He claims to drive a big gas hog pickup. Can you imagine someone in a 6000 pound tank whining about a 200 pound human powered vehicle? What a man.

    Since the Republicans took over congress and passed the higher speed limit laws, the public, especially automobile drivers, no longer respect the laws. They now drive as if they’re Indy 500 drivers. By repealing those laws, the message to all drivers is that laws are just crap passed by liberals, so you don’t need to obey that crap – drive any way you like. And with the Republican failure to fund police there is no enforcement of any kind on the highways today.

    Thanks Republicans.

    I was hit by a car a few years ago. I was going west on West Union. Waaaay out almost to North Plains. Going that direction, as you approach Jackson School Road you pass a house on the right. That house obstructs the view of any traffic approaching West Union from the north. Some people understand that, and some don’t. This is the story of them that don’t.

    Note: at this location, traffic on Jackson School Road has stop signs. There are no signs on West Union. I had the right of way.

    As I crossed the intersection with Jackson School Road I looked to the right. What I saw when I looked to the right was the stuff of nightmares. A small car was going to run the stop sign at a high rate of speed! They saw me enter the intersection, and they hit the brakes and the car was ALL OVER the road as they tried to stop it. A woman in the car was screaming and I heard it. I was ALL OVER the brakes on my Mongoose Mountain Bike. The car contacted my front tire, just barely, knocked me over, and went through the intersection at about 30 mph. They got it stopped on the other side and came back to where I was laying in the road. I got up and moved out of the road to keep from getting run over. I had some scrapes and bruises and an out-of-alignment steering, but I was able to ride home.

    Moral to the story: Idiots are everywhere. There are even idiots on the radio inciting hatred for cyclists. And idiots in Congress inciting hatred for the laws of the land. Welcome to hell.

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  • dave March 1, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    I was on SW Broadway downtown, heading up the hill to PSU. A car in the lane next to me stopped suddenly just ahead of me, and the passenger opened his door into the bike lane. It caught my bars and sent me a-tumbling. He was really sorry and turned out to be a cyclist also! To be doored by another cyclist, oh the irony!
    Broadway is crazy everyday, go it slow and careful.

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  • Eddie March 4, 2006 at 1:03 am

    I read in the March 3, 2006 Oregonian on page C5 that a 48 year old man on a bicycle had a close call with a Tri Met bus near SW Main and SW Third downtown. The biker went up and banged on the bus window to get the bus drivers attention. The window broke. The biker was charged with criminal mischief. There we have it: a bus driver nearly runs you over, you strike back and you go to jail. This is how bikers are treated in this “bike friendly” town.

    In the March 2, 2006 Oregonian on page B2 I read that a 27 year old man was attacked by a group of 30 to 40 teenagers aged 13-16, while riding his bike on North Garfield Avenue in NE Portland. He tried to ride past them but they knocked him down while laughing and yelling “We need some bikes.” He grabbed his bike and they punched and kicked him. His wife was riding nearby and yelled at them and one of the teens waved what appeared to be a gun at her.
    The couple called 911. The article said there have been at least two similar incidents: one to a male jogger and one to a guy who just got off a bus.

    A word of advice: Arm yourselves. I’d avoid taking on a gang at all costs since you would not fare well aginst 30 or 40 a$$holes even if mere teenagers. As the article pointed out some are as large as adults. Also, they could be carrying firearms. Don’t want to become a statistic.

    Like I say, avoid conflict if at all possible, but if it occurs it is best to be armed. I’d recommend at least carrying a small can of pepper spray. The BIG canisters of bear spray sold at REI would slow down most attackers long enough to get away by bike if you could ride or allow you to run if you are in condition to do so. Be careful and guard the stuff so it doesn’t accidently go off inside your pack or inside a building. It is unpleasant stuff. Also, don’t leave it in the sun or in a hot car or on a radiator where it will get hot and explode, releasing the nasty stuff. Check the laws on carrying it. Our idiot society will put you in jail for carrying a weapon to defend yourself – in fact, they’ll let out a robber or rapist so you can have a jail cell. That’s where we are today. In hell.

    Seriously, I’m going to always have at least a small can of mace. The bear spray would be better if you have the room for it. Needs to be accessible quickly. You could buy the nylon holster for it at REI and strap that to your bike. Or make one yourself. Just put it in your pack or coat pocket when you get to your destination.

    As I wrote in my earlier “close call” out at Jackson School road, you have to take care of yourself. The police do not prevent crime – they show up to take pictures of crime scene, take eyewitness accounts, and then they go eat doughnuts. They cannot help you if you are attacked. They are too far away.

    Similarly, in traffic, I do not obey the laws. But if you feel safer obeying the law, then do it. I ride to keep alive. I run stop signs, I pass on the right, I do ANYTHING when it is SAFE to do it – not when a light or a sign or a law made for cars says to do it. It is your life, you do whatever works best for you. The cops and Lars “Bike-Hater” Larson can kiss my big white hairy butt if they don’t like it.

    Be careful out there in biker hell. We’ve got Lars “Bike-Hater” Larson filling the AM radio airwaves with hate for bicyclists almost daily, right here in “bike friendly” Portland, Oregon – I mean Hell.

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  • Shane March 10, 2006 at 11:51 am

    I ride my bike to work everyday, and I thoroughly enjoy it. I came from Texas where the traffic is much more unfriendly. My quality of life has improved immensely from riding to work, and I follow the traffic laws. I stop at every stop sign, and if there is a car nearby, I put my foot down. If people see cyclists not obeying the traffic laws when they have to, they will start to believe the extreme minded radio personalities.

    I’ll just know that the extreme minded people feel a little better about cyclists when they see me stop at stop signs and stop lights.

    Cheers

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  • Eddie March 13, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    Excerpt from the Saturday, March 11, 2006 Oregonian newspaper, page E7:

    A man, age 81, of Vancouver died Tuesday in a Vancouver hospital of chest injuries received four weeks earlier in a bicycle-car collision, according to the medical examiner. He was not wearing a helmet. The driver of the car, age 29 was cited for suspended license and no insurance.

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  • lianagan March 17, 2006 at 8:08 pm

    Ideas: In addition to the mace, learn close range self-defense techniques (ie: Silat, Ju Jitsu); carry large locks and chains to protect your bike and yourself. Keep them off-guard with confidence in place of fear.

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  • Alex March 20, 2006 at 10:29 am

    A friend and I were biking on Friday night (St. Patricks Day) on 72nd and Flavel. We approached the intersection and signaled our turn as a car approached from the opposite direction. the driver failed to signal until the last moment after coming to about a complete stop. He then signaled, I gave him the go ahead to take the turn in front of us and he promptly turned into the parking lot of the market on the corner. In the process of turning into the market he miscalculated his turn and ran into the curb. Since he was driving a smaller sports style car there was a loud noise and me and my friend started laughing, cause, well, it was funny. It seemed he turned into the parking lot more out of a panic or something then anything else (he had no intention of shopping there).

    He then chased us down a couple of blocks and sped past us and then swerved into us forcing us to stop. He asked “what are you laughing at?” which we responded we were laughing at him driving over the curb, because it was funny. luckily both my friend and I had pepper spray and he was aware we had something but didn’t know what so he backed down. He was driving with his kid and both stepped out of the car and aggressively came towards us. Basically it came down to us telling him that we gave him the right of way and we didn’t do anything wrong. He was pissed and didn’t know to do so he got back in his car, turned around and on his way out he said “you aren’t nothing but a nigger” and spit at us, setting a good example for his son.

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  • Eddie March 29, 2006 at 11:21 pm

    Oregonian newspaper, Tuesday, March 28, 2006 – page C3:

    A 7 year old boy was critically injured Monday when he apparently lost control of his bike and was hit by a semi on East Burnside Street, according to police.

    The accident occurred at 2:46 pm in the 18200 block of East Burnside. The boy was riding on the north side of the street when he ran into the side of a truck in the westbound lanes.

    The trucker was taken to the hospital for a blood test. The police said there wasn’t much he could have done to avoid hitting the boy.

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  • lianagan April 4, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    5:30 p.m. April 4th on East Burnside between 102nd and 82nd, heading west:

    Well, apparently, the warmer weather has not only brought motorists windows down it has also brought out some of the worst I’ve seen in in attitudes.

    Beware of this one: a white-haired female driver, 60-something, driving a white Chevy (from Tonkin) license plate: YDR-154. I didn’t get the exact model of the car.

    I was riding in the bike lane going west on East Burnside coming home from work. She had pulled out of her driveway into the bike lane and was sitting there. I signaled to take the lane to go around her and as she saw me passing she started backing out into me, although I waved my arm trying to get her attention. I was sure she saw me in my bright fuscia-sleeved jersey. She then drove up beside me, keeping to my speed, and proceeded to cut me off while I was in the bike lane with only a few inches to spare to move into position in front of me for a right turn, apparently trying to push me off to the side of the road. There was still a bike lane at this point before it disappeared about 50 yards later at the corner of 82nd Avenue. As we were stopped at the light there, I voiced my opinion of what she had just done, and reminded her that there was a bike lane there since she could have easily hit me. Her response was: “You guys are a real problem.” She then proceeded to take up as much space as she could in the middle of the lane as she made her turn, trying to block my way. I signalled again and went around her. So what happened to “share the road??”

    I consider this harassement and maybe something else as well (reckless endangerment?) and will report her. So if anyone else uses that stretch of road, beware of this wierdo.

    Li

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  • Eddie April 9, 2006 at 11:53 am

    Oregonian newspaper, Wednesday, April 5, 2006 page C5:

    A 19 year old man pleads guilty in bicyclists death. Apparently he fell asleep at the wheel of his car and hit a 56 year-old cyclist from Tigard, killing him. The Washington County judge sentenced him to 17 months in prison.

    It’s dangerous out there. Stay as far from moving traffic as you can – you might get hit anyway.

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  • D April 11, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    So, there are plenty of posts about the danger of this celebrated bike lane on Broadway downtown. The fact of the matter is that the SW portion of this lane is unnecessary. The law allows a cyclist to occupy a lane, so why endanger us with a death trap of a bike lane on a street where drivers are either lost or too busy driving erratically in search of parking. They make a sudden turn right accross the lane and parked cars open doors into guess where? That’s right our “safe” bike lane. Riding in traffic, which is controlled in such a way as to limit speed to a manageable degree, is by far safer. Having a bike lane also confuses drivers into road raging. They tend to believe that is where we ought to be. It (bike lane) sends mixed messages to cyclists and drivers alike. It is a bad idea and should be taken care of.

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  • J April 11, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    Li, I’m wondering exactly where this idiot woman on Burnside lives? 20 blocks is a wide range.

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  • Chakra Lu April 13, 2006 at 7:20 am

    One yesterday, 4-12-06, coming home from work on Broadway. I was on the sidewalk after I crossed Broadway to go down Flint. There was this lady in, yes, a SUV and she looked like she was in a hurry. She was stopped at the stop sign on Flint and Broadway and there was another car stopped at the Vancouver? stop sign, or some street east of flint. Anyway, that white sedan saw me, and I looked at the lady in the glorified suv and thought she saw me. I was going the speed of a pedestrian and making sure that I could get across to turn on Flint. Right when I proceeded, thinking everyone was watching for sidewalk traffic, the SUV jolted out right when I am at the driver left front tire and the shite car jolted out at the same time. ALL of them in a hurry to get to the stop light on Broadway. The suv stopped only a couple of inches from me and the white car about a foot and a half. Thank God I was on my bike, and not walking, cuz it gave me more heighth and the driver DEFINITELY would not have been looking for a pedestrian. Who knows…one of many close calls…
    Cheers!

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  • Spencer April 13, 2006 at 9:08 am

    Maybe 5 years ago going east bound off of the hawthorne bridge. I passed a trimet bus at the light. A half block later is a bus stop. The bus cut me off forceing me endo into the back of a pickup. I recover and catch up to the bus only to have the driver give me the finger.

    I go through all the channels at Tri-Met to resolve this and get the run around. The final result is a year later, when I get a letter saying my complaint has been investigated and has been resolved. The driver did not even receive a warning and I never go an apology.

    I complain bitterly about the litigousness of our soceity, but next time I’ll sue because it is the only kind of action that get attension. All Tri-met busses are equipped with cameras. See how they stone wall you guys next time when you bring a supenia.

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  • Chris April 17, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    In response to Chakra Lu’s incident – This location on Broadway can be VERY dangerous! I notice a lot of folks riding up the north sidewalk along Broadway heading East to make this connection to Flint. In this location Broadway is one way heading West so drivers pulling out from Benton, Wheeler, Flint, Vancouver and from the freeway exit are looking East and are not generally looking West for pedestrians or bikers (even though they should be). I work in this location and have seen MANY close calls. In addition, some pretty large City maintenance trucks live in this area and tractor trailers make these turns frequently so please be very careful! Consider staying in the Eastbound bike lane, taking the right hand curb cut before crossing I-5, and jump into the bike lane heading North on Williams.
    Sometimes it is better just to avoid scary locations such as the eastbound sidewalk on lower Broadway.

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  • D May 4, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    I commute daily, aprox 25mi total and have an average two close calls a day. No big deal, expected results based on way I choose to commute. My major concern when on the road is the attitude of other bicyclists who have an utter disregard of the law. How in the world do we ever expect drivers to give us any room if we consistantly disregard the simple rules we are all responsible for. Get a clue bicyclists, we’re all in this together…

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  • Eddie May 7, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    What types of laws do you see being broken by cyclists that are causing you “major concern” when you are on the road? (My major concern is usually to keep from being squashed flat by a car, bus, SUV, monster truck, etc.)

    For example, if a cyclist comes to an intersection with a light, and there is no opposing traffic does it cause you “major concern” if the cyclist runs the light? I view that as a smart cyclist going when it is safest to do so: when there isn’t someone to run him over. Or would you prefer for the cyclist to stop at the light to wait for the green while a lot of cars pile up at the light right next to him so that when the light turns green he then has to mix it up with a bunch of cars, trucks, buses, SUV’s, and monster trucks?

    You can chose the latter if you wish. I’ll go when it is safest. Typically a cyclist who runs a stop sign will be traveling no faster than a car that does a “rolling stop” and the bike can stop in a small fraction of the distance it would take the car. There is no danger to anyone if a cyclist goes when it is safe instead of waiting for a light or sign.

    There are lots of things cops should be doing: giving bicyclists tickets for riding safely (even if breaking the law) is not one of those things.

    They should however be giving tickets for: cyclists who “intentionally” block traffic (a group riding too slow in the center of a lane for example), or cyclists who zip through an intersection and hit a pedestrian. They should also be giving tickets to the people driving cars with the intentionally loud illegal exhaust systems (disturbing the peace), to drivers who have jacked up vehicles that makes them unsafe in a collision with normal vehicles, to any vehicle with lights higher than a standard passenger car because they shine in the drivers eyes of a normal car, to drivers of vehicles using “driving lights” at night since it is the law that in any situation requiring you to dim your lights you can only have on your two headlights, not four.

    Right now Portland is looking for a new Police Chief. I suggest the cyclists contact the mayor to ensure that the next chief will stop the harassment of cyclists. We do not need bully gestapo cops picking on bicyclists.

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  • Eddie May 31, 2006 at 11:17 am

    Two Articles in the Tuesday May 30, 2006 Oregonian Newspaper:

    Page B1: Bicyclists seek new Willamette crossing

    Page B3: Two bicyclists die after being struck by vehicle.

    They were struck from behind. Both were wearing helmets while riding North on Oregon 47 south of Forest Grove.

    Play it as safe as you can: stay as far from cars as possible – if this means breaking laws (for example by running stop signs or lights) then look carefully and do it. Cars Kill Bicyclists. Don’t listen to the cops and man-made laws for cars. Listen to the laws of physics. Do whatever it takes to stay as far from cars as possible.

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  • Tree June 4, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    There is a female bus driver (#32 I believe) who must need glasses. Twice now, after work, around 5pm, as I ride east in the bike lane on SW Madison, just blocks from the Hawthorne bridge, she drives on the white line of the bike lane. I have actually banged on the side of the bus windows for her to move over as I’m pinned between her bus and the curb. Once I yelled at her, “are you blind?” This is 2-3 blocks before the last bus stop at the end of Madison, right before the bridge.
    The bike lanes there are an improvement from none at all, but it’d be nice if the buses would stay out of them.

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  • Andrew Klossner June 7, 2006 at 9:50 am

    Close call with law enforcement. In Lake Oswego, turning left from SW-bound Boones Ferry Road onto Reese Road. I sat in the left-turn lane for one full cycle of the traffic light. The road sensor didn’t detect my bike and I never got a green arrow, so I waited for the intersection to clear and then made the turn. Oops — forgot to check my rear-view mirror first. LOPD pulled me over and instructed me that, in this situation, I should proceed straight through the intersection, turn left into somebody’s parking lot, then come back and turn right. Yeah, like that’s going to be safer.

    The officer asked for my driver license. I explained that I wasn’t driving and showed him my employer-issued photo ID. I got off with a warning, no citation.

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  • Rich June 8, 2006 at 9:02 am

    “Gentleman” in SUV, turing right into residential neighborhood to avoid trafic on SW Murray, just north of Allen. Traffic was backed up (PGE working at TV Highway), no turn signal, just gas and attempt to go. Unfortunately I was in his rear quarter panel with he hit the gas. Fortunatley I was able to avoid being hit, but got a nice adrenaline rush to finish my morning commute. When the drive saw that I didn’t go down, he just drove off

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  • Steve June 10, 2006 at 10:04 am

    Crossing SE Powell near Creston Park at either of the cross walks is a dangerous undertaking. The two closest lanes will always stop for me. I will ALWAYS get off of my bike when using a cross walk. The further two lanes aren’t so awake, especially the furthest lane. At first, I just got mad, then I got even. After daily close calls, I decided to pick up a stick on the way home to throw at the next driver who decided to blow through the cross walk.

    Just like clockwork, the latter lane was sleeping and as a BMW came flying through the cross walk, I let him have it. The stick made a solid “thud” and skidded across his hood. He slammed on his brakes and got out of the car.

    “What the hell are you doing?!”
    “You almost hit me!”
    “I’m calling the cops!”
    “This is priceless, what are you going to tell them, that you almost hit a bicyclist in a marked cross walk while he was walking his bike?. Fuck off!”

    He tried to grab me, but I rode off giving him the finger. I’ve since thought about my actions and have decided that an airhorn would be better.

    Have a nice ride!

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  • natoe June 14, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    -just last saturday on se 15th and approaching broadway,with cars backed up (giving her space to turn)some lady turns left onto the street 1 blk n of broadway right at me while i walked my bike..I yelled at her and i could tell she felt pretty stupid.
    -about 3 yrs ago i got hit by a jaguar by reed college..luckily it just screwed my bike up,but the guy took off while i was in shock..hes lucky because i would have f-in killed him..
    just a few days ago i was riding a side street by 7th and knott and some idiot turned right in front of me,no signal and driving as if it was a track..hes lucky i was in a good mood but i did yell at him..
    Cyclists need to stand up for themselves and dont be afraid to do what you got to do..if i need to kick someones ass to get my point across-so be it

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  • Anita June 18, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    Monday May 8,about 7am. Im a cyclist and normally bike to and from work, but this day I was taking the car. Heading down Greely to the Interstate intersection, I have a green light that turns yellow as I approach in my car. Instead of trying to ‘gun’ it as most cars would, I decide not to and slow way down even before it’s red. Lo, a figure ZIPS past in front of me along Interstate. A female, blonde, wearing a bright yellow fleece jacket, RUNS HER RED LIGHT! She could have been KILLED!!!!! I see many many vehicles run yellow lights. This day would have turned out quite differently for both of us had I decided to run my yellow.
    Im so petrified of other drivers that when Im on my bike I am over cautious at intersections and even in bike lanes. Cars are big and drivers are sometimes stupid and uncaring jerks. I do hope this woman cyclist learns safer riding.

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  • Martin June 19, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    I think it’s a mistake to run red lights, even if you personally feel it is safer. First, I am not convinced it is, not in the long run. But that one is your choice. The main reason why not to run red lights is that it feeds the road rage that in turn threatens us all. I hear about you (or someone like you) from drivers as they try and justify the boneheaded things they’ve done. Why give them the opportunity?

    I try to minimize close encounters by avoiding cars whenever possible. Sandy would be my best shot in to downtown, but it is too much of a people mover. If you can avoid the cross traffic, Ankeny is a much better bet.

    Besides eating it once or twice on the dreaded NE Broadway, the scariest time was a bus coming off the W end of the Hawthorne Bridge. He just kept coming over into the bike lane, I pounded and passengers yelled and he still ended up at the light 3/4 in my lane. I know they suffer their share of indignities, but there is something venal about some Tri-met drivers….

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  • arcellus sykes June 20, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    all i can say after reading a bunch of these is:

    please, please PLEASE get the driver’s info (name, dl#, plate #, insurance info, phone #) and pursue as much legal action as you possibly can – what we need more of is word-of-mouth hype among drivers outlining the legal dangers of hitting a cyclist.

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  • Janaki June 28, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    June 28th, about 3:30 pm, Alberta and Williams. A car swerved into the marked bike lane and I just barely got out of the way. The passenger in the car stuck her head out the window and yelled, “Stay the F*** out of the way, F****** hipster!”, also earlier in the day on a side street near killingsworth and garfeild, a sears delivery van had a huge box in the middle of the street. I rode around it and it toppled over onto me and I fell into the parking strip. The sears employee was very considerate, though and I was fine. I think it was a mattress or something.

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  • Katy June 29, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Not so much a close call, but a hit and run resulting in only a few scratches: On June 28th at 10am, I and my fiend were biking to work at OHSU from SE Portland. A brand new silver four door Honda (still with the dealer plates) hit my boyfriend at the corner of SE 8th and Powell. He was flung onto this guy’s hood, then to the ground. The driver took one quick look at my friend, then sped off. Thank goodness my friend only had some scrapes on his arm.
    There were three good witnesses. One had been cut off by this speeding and reckless driver approximately 20 blocks back. Another witness would have been hit by this driver as he careened through the turn, had it not been for the crash with my friend. The police came to the scene, but did not take much information. Because of the lack of plates, I fear that this guy will get away without prosecution.
    I have had a close call at this EXACT intersection, just one week previously. I had been waiting to walk my bike across this intersection, and had started to move across when a speeding car came around the corner, slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting me. Then, had the gall to get out of his car and yell at me for trying to cross the intersection in front of him.
    Please, be careful if you try to ride the lower blocks of SE Powell.

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  • Adrian Russell-Falla July 4, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    last 2 years, many close calls on morning commute downtown from NE Glisan area, using marked bike routes.

    my peak danger is crossing NE 39th Ave between Glisan and Burnside during “rush hours”. I always dismount from my bike on approaching the marked crosswalk, and stop before departing the curb (I comply with all traffic directives). a medium-height/weight male, I generally wear hi-vis clothing, and have brightly-colored bike frame and bright yellow fenders. NONE of that matters.

    car drivers do NOT like to yield to crosswalk users, even when vehicles in the adjacent lane (i.e. travelling in same direction, on their side of the street) have already stopped. I have seen dozens of drivers fail to yield the pedestrian right-of-way on 39th; twice I’ve pulled my bike sharply back to narrowly avoid a collision as a car drove through without slowing whatsoever.

    I highly recommend an air horn.

    CityBikes coop [citybikes.org] sells a great bike airhorn (probably availble at other stores too). it’s ~$35 IIRC, made from lightweight plastic, the air reservoir fits inside a bottle cage, and when fully charged — I check before each ride that it’s at 100psi — it’s VERY LOUD.

    when some a$$hole approaches a crosswalk without showing clear signs of braking, a looo-oong airhorn blast gets ‘em to instantly drop anchors (nearly) every time.

    the horn is similarly effective as a preventive measure in many other situations where imminent conflict is probable.

    I rode motorcycles as my sole transport for almost 20 years. it taught me to assume that all drivers of 4-wheel vehicles are homicidally inclined towards cyclists. They are inhibited from greater success in fulfilling this goal only by:

    — their deep incompetence
    and
    — their sluggish reaction times
    — their ponderously-handling vehicles

    it is worth remembering that people who purchase gas-guzzling double-track vehicles which isolate them from their environment with thousands of pounds of steel cage invariably have done so out of fear, and a sense of personal inadequacy. they recognize they are not fit enough, fast enough, or fearless enough to ride a single-track vehicle.

    they also resent that their lifestyle choices are oppressing them — they do not believe they have the freedom to “take the kind of time” they imagine that commuting by bike must require.

    they are therefore understandably aggrieved at the mere sight of those of us who are stronger, fitter, faster, braver than they are; and moreover, as commie cyclists, we have made different lifestyle choices that do not leave us trapped in steel cages (with or without cupholders) for an hour every day.

    but they are handicapped by their perceptual prisons – vision blinkered by roof pillars, bodywork and mirrors; hearing occluded by radios and soundproofing and engine noise; kinesthetic senses dampened by bloated suspensions, power-brakes, cruise control and seat cushions.

    consequently, they are set up to be reactive.

    I believe cyclists should always take the initiative, and proactively seize command of any potentially ambiguous road situation. the key is to operate with a faster OODA cycle.

    your body language, your facial expression, and your road positioning are all enormously important. making eye contact is critical – it doesn’t guarantee anything, of course, but without it you’re hosed for sure.

    act first; act boldly and decisively; and act in a way that confidently and preemptively asserts your rights as a road-user. and WATCH THE BASTARDS.

    (poor things, they’re only dimly functional even on their best days.)

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  • Jim Bombardier July 10, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    While not in the city, my accident was in Multnomah county on Hwy 30. I was riding 2-4 feet to the right of the fog line and got hit by a truck/SUV. Luckily there was a witness and the driver got cited but it should have not happened in the first place. I was way off the road. I guess I am lucky to be alive and I just hope I will heal completely.

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  • sean July 10, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    this is not a close call nor did it happen in portland but I feel I have to tell because there is no outlet for me here in this horrible city of las vegas. I get threatened every day as most roads here are very busy and there are no side roads to remedy the situation and only bike lanes on some of the streets in the outskirts. anyway, my friend and I decided to go camping at the nearby wilderness area red rock which is about 25 miles away.We left at night because the heat is unbearable to ride in during the day but made sure we had plenty of lighting including two large lights on our seatposts and one on my bag including our headlights. the whole ride is uneventful, surprisingly until we get to the edge of town about 5 miles from being away from civilization when out of nowhere a rush of cars come and before we had time to react one of them hit us going about 50 (although he made a very feeble and short attempt at braking). my friend was drafting me so he sat close off my back wheel as we were going about 20. the car hit him and he flew into me as the car made impact with both of us and quickly drove off. luckily my friend shielded me from most of the force but he did break his thumb and got gnar road rash. I miraculously came out unscathed and the car got away. some guy stopped for us and said he almost got hit by the same car, which was a cadillac sts, but he did not manage to get plates. we feel extremely vulnerable now and
    are now out 700 dollars in bike gear. I count down the days I move back to portland so I can ride my bike in a lot more bike aware conditions. be thankful for what you have in portland because I am jealous.

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  • Jeff July 11, 2006 at 6:41 am

    10/30/05 Heading home east on Hawthorn and veared on to SE 13th with the traffic. Interstate Bud truck parked in right hand lane in front of Basement Tavern so I looked hard to my left and seeing no one coming went into the left lane. It was a long truck. By the time I got to the cab a car I had not seen and which was going very fast clipped me as he passed and kept going. Some kind of blue/green small SUV. Fractured elbow and separated shoulder.

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  • Matt P. July 12, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    07-11-2006 Milwaukie, not Portland. Turned left from SE Oak onto SE Washington. While riding SE on SE Washington and preparing to turn right onto SE 34th, I was cut off by a car. This was at about 9:30pm. I was wearing dark clothing but I was also wearing an orange reflective vest and had all lights and blinkers turned on.

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  • Matt Picio July 18, 2006 at 10:50 am

    07-18-2006 Milwaukie again: Turned left from the left-hand turn lane of northbound McLoughlin onto SE 17th Ave. I was following behind another car, and moved into the bike lane on SE 17th. The car in front of me while turning the sharp bend in SE 17th put both wheels at least 1 foot over the solid white line demarcating the bike lane, coming within a foot or so of my bike. It was obvious that the driver didn’t think I would accelerate that fast from the intersection. Gave audible warning, driver responded with something I couldn’t hear through his mostly-closed window.

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  • Matt Picio July 18, 2006 at 10:56 am

    Oh – that last one happened about 7:30am on 7-18-2006

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  • Drake July 18, 2006 at 1:33 pm

    On Friday 7-14-06 at about 4:30 pm I was riding west on SE Clinton Ave, near 34th Street. A motorist pulled up beside me in my lane, layed on the horn and flicked a burning cigarette on me. He then sped off, nearly running into the traffic circle at 36th and Clinton.

    I was unable to get his license # as I was too busy brushing hot cigarette ashes off myself. He was driving a large, loud, 2-door 1970s domestic oldsmo-buick-type-vehicle. It was powder blue, extremely rusty and dented all over.

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  • [...] Stolen Bike Listings | Forums | Close Calls | Photos | Resources | Links | About « Stolen: Green Bianchi Photo of the year, an airport bike shuttle, and brazen bike theft » [...]

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  • Clarissa J July 20, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    This is kinda late…but on Friday June 30, 2006 I was hit by a motorist at the intersection on NW Murray Blvd and Walker Rd. (Yes, that is burbs)…The driver was in a gun metal greay CRV (newer with matching spare tire cover)…this vehicle left the scene and proceeded down Walker Rd. If you know anyone that could have been in that area around 4:45 to 5:00pm (like those Nike employees)…then please have them contact me at kissaloo@yahoo.com. Thank you.

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  • Matt P. July 21, 2006 at 8:04 am

    Friday, July 21st, 2006, 7:40am

    westbound on SE Linn St. in Sellwood. I was approaching the intersection with SE 16th St. when a tan pickup truck passed me on my left side, then proceeded to “squeeze” me at the intersection when he stopped for the stop sign there. He then continued into the construction site on SE Linn between SE 11th and SE 13th. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t deliberate – it was an easy sqeeze, not a sudden one, and he was on the phone (earpiece hands-free).

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  • Matt P. July 21, 2006 at 8:10 am

    Friday, July 21st, 2006, 7:43am

    Just after the previous reported incident, also in Sellwood. Travelling northbound on SE 13th Ave, a woman in a car facing EB on SE Clatsop (i.e. on my left) pulled out directly in front of me while attempting to cross 13th. She saw me in the middle of this and stopped suddenly, preventing what would have been an unpleasant collision to say the least. There was no obscuring traffic or vegetation, I was wearing my bright blue StP jersey and the weather was sunny and clear. She had a stop sign and I did not.

    I was going to get upset and point at her stop sign and then at her, but she made the “I’m sorry, that was stupid and I wasn’t paying attention” gesture, so no harm, no foul.

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  • Woodchuck July 21, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    I was crossing Mill Plain BLVD today just west of the 205 interchange. Two young kids in a purple Mini van started yelling about PK and the Playhouse and were trying to turn right and cut me off. I had the right of way, green light crossing the BLVD. I had stoped for the red light and had one car pass me as I crossed.

    If people think that this thing with PK and the playhouse is just going to go away, their wrong.

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  • laura July 22, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    thank you for taking this initiative – here’s my close call…
    I live in the Mississippi Ave neighborhood and ride down Vancouver in the Mornings on my way to work. There is a well defined bike lane on this road and I feel safer riding on a street with a lane set aside for cyclists. Right around the Red Cross and Hospital I noticed that a sedan truned onto the road and was driving in the bike lane. I was directly behind the car and (because the windows were down) asked them if they wouldn’t mind getting out of the bike lane. The gentleman in the front passenger seat began to yell every word that goes with Fuck and Bitch (and many that don’t)out the window. I explained to them that this wasn’t a two lane road and that the bicycle painted in the lane was there for a reason. The driver got over into the car lane but they kept pace with me continuning to verbally assault me as I continued with my commute. I was getting nervous and when we got to a stop light I asked them to please leave me alone, he informed me that I had ‘started this’ and as the light turned green the driver decided to try and run me off the road (into the guardrail) as we crossed the interstate – I was now being chased – I lost them by (safely) running a red light and turning right the first chance I got. I stopped my bike to catch my breath, i was shaking – I couldn’t believe his anger and aggression towards me – I was scared, I shouldn’t have to worry about being run off the road or chased down, or verbally assulted and followed by irate law breaking drivers. I’ve had cars run stop signs and turn right without a signal, all things that I expect cars to do so I’m ready to quickly react – but this situation had nothing to do with my reaction time – this type of road rage against cyclist is the most dangerous because it is intentional.

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  • Jon July 25, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    I was riding up Alberta between 11th and 12th,1:30pm today, when a 12 or 14 year old kid came out into the street and grabbed me. I saw him coming and was lucky to have taken my hand off the handle bar before, otherwise I would have crashed. I have lived in Portland for 11 years and this is the first time anything like this has ever happen to me.
    I know car are a threat but never thought a person would grab me going 15mph in the middle of the day. I did get away but was stuned but the whole thing.

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  • Andrew Santosusso July 26, 2006 at 2:21 pm

    Three close calls in two days last week.

    1. Coming down SE Powell a black truck made a right turn directly in front of me at 8th or 9th. I slammed on my brakes and stopped about a foot from the side of his truck. He didn’t seem to notice.

    2. At 21st and SE Clinton (about 5 minutes after the black truck incident). I stopped at the four-way stop sign and, when it was my turn, proceeded to cross the intersection going east up Clinton. A blue and silver boxy Honda Element coasted through the four-way stop making a left onto SE Clinton sideswipping me. We bumped, though not too hard as neither of us was moving very fast, and we was well aware of my presence as I was yelling from the second I saw him coming and we made eye contact.

    3. The next day at 39th and SE Clinton, I was again traveling east and passing through the intersection when a car failed to stop at the STOP LIGHT, slammed on their brakes and came within about two inches of sending me sprawling.

    I live, work and bike almost exclusively in Southeast, thus almost all of my close-calls/incidents occur there.

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  • Tom July 27, 2006 at 2:02 am

    using the crosswalk at the NW corner of 39th and Hawthorne (Fred Meyer), while walking south bound was nearly hit by a gold minivan turning westbound on to Hawthorne. im from the clinton street neighborhood.

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  • Tom July 27, 2006 at 2:19 am

    Clinton Street is a designated bike route but people still drive too fast on it and often its like playing frogger. Why don’t they just take Division?

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  • clinton rider July 27, 2006 at 7:05 am

    Because Division is getting more congested! In evening rush hour, the 39th signal backs-up eastbound traffic nearly to the 34th signal, so people bypass the queue and go over to Clinton. Same thing down by 26th where the lane is closed. With the City’s plans to do more “calming” on Division and Powell, I suspect we are going to see more car traffic on Clinton. Ditto Lincoln with the upcoming Hawthorne “improvements,” and on 42nd (Powell to Woodstock) if they take a lane off 39th.

    Regardless of what the traffic engineers models say about volume and available capacity, if a driver percieves a route is faster/less congested, he will take it. (“If I’m still moving, I’m not wasting time in a queue…”)

    I’ve lived and ridden Clinton for about 10 years, and have seen the volume of traffic, particularly west of 39th increase. Also, the aggressiveness of drivers there has increased in the past couple of years. The humps and circles aren’t calming devices, they are “challenges.”

    Andrew’s #3 is a near-daily occurrence, according to my friends and neighbors. Add to that having your back tire clipped by someone trying to make a right turn on the red (against the law per “no right on red” signs) or being honked at incessantly because you are using the bike-priority space and some idiot can’t pull all the way to the crosswalk.

    If the Portland Police want an easy revenue source, they should set up at 39th/Clinton!

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  • Joe Planner July 27, 2006 at 7:16 am

    I was riding westbound on NE Irving in the bike lane, when the 74x (Lloyd Center Xpress)passed by me and stopped about a hundred feet in front of me. I’m thinking, no problem, I’ll just go around, and I did. I passed the bus and returned to the bike lane. The bus took some time to drop off some passengers and starting driving right next to me and slowly passed me. I noticed my space becoming ever so narrow as the bus starting pulling in with less than 10 feet between us. Not OK.. It made a stop right in front of me with no room to get through, so I wrapped around the bus and nearly got hit with oncoming cars since the bus didn’t pull in far enough. Couldn’t the bus just wait til I passed, especially since we were going at nearly the same speed?

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  • mea culpa July 27, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    leaving the bike mural celebration and headed toward the kick ass bike film festival, my mind was somewhere other than where it should have been. instead of dealing with hawthorne, I headed to the warm safety of lincoln. As I took a fast, no stopping right from SE 43rd onto SE Lincoln. I did not see the Honda Civic heading west on Lincoln. Thankfully, the driver was paying attention and was able to swerve and slow enough to avoid taking me out. she stopped, I stopped and apologized and thanked her for paying attention and sparing my life. PAY ATTENTION!

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  • laura July 27, 2006 at 4:26 pm

    This was posted on Craig’s List – there are crazy people out there who have a lot of misplaced agression ready to vent on anyone that gets in their way – I hope this biker, whoever they are, got the license plate # and is pursuing legal action, and of course I hope they are ok…..

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  • laura July 27, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    oops – here’s the post

    ***Vulgar language warning***

    Reply to: pers-186911559@craigslist.org
    Date: 2006-07-27, 9:27AM PDT

    Too fucking funny!! You bike riding fucks think you’re above the law…running red lights, pedaling your ignorant ass down the center lane of 4th @ a scorching 11 mph while backing up morning rush hour traffic for blocks, making your own “bike lanes” when it’s conveninent for you, riding on the sidewalk, etc, etc, etc…

    You all think your a bunch of badasses and talk a LOT of shit from behind a keyboard. I had some punkass “toughguy” grab my window. He found out immediately that his vision of his invincibility was flawed when I hammered my brakes and swerved into the parked cars along the left side of the road, wiping his stupid ass out in front of the 24hour fitness on 4th. I jumped out of my car and kicked him in the head and BEGGED him to call the police. He tried to run to no avail.

    I’d like to buy a drink for the guy who punched that stupid fuck on a bike. HE WAS BREAKING THE FUCKING LAW AND ENDANGERING ALL WHO WERE LAWFULLY USING THE SIDEWALK. Of course, the bicyclist didn’t see it this way and figured “hey, everyone’s doing it, why not me?”. Well, hear THIS you fucktard: YOU ENDANGER MY LIFE AND YOU’LL DO WELL TO ESCAPE WITH A PUNCH ON THE ARM. If it were ME you endangered I’d beat you mercilessly with the brass knuckles I have in my pocket and throw you into traffic where you belong.

    Stupid fucks. Yet another reason bicyclists will NEVER be accepted as legitimate “traffic”. Law after law after law are passed and the self-important bicyclist will ignore them all to catch a whiff of their own farts.

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  • Joe Planner July 31, 2006 at 7:39 am

    Here’s my second close call within a week’s time. Again, riding westbound on NE Irving between 12th and 15th St. This time, I happened to be crossing that treacherous on-ramp to I-84. Despite being in the bike lane and clearly having the right-of-way, I was nearly hit by a rushing driver anxious to experience her Monday morning commute on that ever beautiful and magical freeway. I didn’t quite catch her facial expression since she whizzed by so quick after just barely tapping the brakes. She was obviously in a hurry and the life of someone pedaling his way to cleaner air did not seem to slow her down one bit.

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  • Julia August 1, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    I was riding with my boyfriend along NE 15th near broadway when a mid size SUV squeezed me into parked cars. The woman on the passenger side yelled out the window “Get off the road. There”s no fucking bike lane.” I pedaled hard to catch them at the light. I tapped the side of the car with my foot cause I sure as hell was not going to take my hands off the handlebars after they tried to run me off the road and yelled “Bikers get a lane if there is no bike lane” THe male passenger threw his soda on me and the female passenger got out of the car screaming that I had damaged her vehicle and what was I going to do about that. She then smacked me across the face leaving a bruise around my eye. My boyfriend got between us. The two men got out of the car and started coming towards me at which point I crossed the street. We called the police. When I called in they said that it had already been reported and that someone was on their way. I gave the police the licence plate number and descriptions as did my boyfriend and another unrelated witness. The officer promised to call me back that evening. He never did. I have called a few times about it but the station is never able to connect me to the officer. I get so mad when I hear about stings organized to catch bikers rolling through stop signs or fixies ticketed for not having breaks. I gave them all the infomation they need to prosecute someone who was actively going after bikers and nothing was done.

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  • Julia August 1, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Oops it took place on the 30th of June 2006.

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  • andrew August 7, 2006 at 4:29 pm

    Maybe we should all watch this:

    http://www.archive.org/details/i_like_bikes

    Remember, GM likes bikes, too!

    -bunny

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  • Molly August 8, 2006 at 11:02 am

    Downtown Portland–on Columbia, only a few blocks from the Goose Hollow Max station. I was riding in the middle of the lane, going with the flow of traffic. There was no bike lane, and I was going the same speed as the cars around me (12-14 mph in between lights), aka breaking no laws. I hear honking behind me and yelling. I begin to wonder if this honking is directed at me, when I hear loud and clear “Get off the fucking road, you fucking bitch!” The honking was incessant, as was the yelling, and this guy was right on my ass. I ignored him & didn’t look back or change my riding pattern. This continued for about 3 blocks until he squeezed around me on the left (we were in the left lane) as we were going through an intersection. He immediately braked in front of me as we came to the next light. I pulled up right behind him and just shook my head (didn’t say anything to further provoke him). We made eye contact in his rear view mirror and he yelled, “FUCK YOU!” Verbal harrassment, illegally passing, agressive driving, etc. etc. There were so many things wrong with this situation. I called the Police to make a report, but waited until I got home. That was a mistake. The person I spoke with told me to call immediately after an incident like this happens so that the report is announced on the radios of all the policemen in that area. I programmed the non-emergency police line into my phone (503-823-3333) for the next time something like this happens. I ride on those same streets 5 days a week and have been doing so for over 2 years. This is the first time I’ve ever had such an upsetting experience.

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  • Molly August 8, 2006 at 11:05 am

    Oh yeah, to answer the third question, Jonathan, I’m from the Mt. Tabor neighborhood.

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  • Patrick August 8, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Today coming down Burnside a Light Blue sedan License OR TAU 426 cut off my access to the right hand side of the road. I was riding on the ride side of the street. A few lights before Sandy/Burnside. I braked and came around him on the left side so as to avoid hitting him in the back. The driver (male mid 50′s,holding a cigarette, dishelveled and listening to loud country music) opened his door in an attempt to prevent me from passing and stated, “That’s not legal to pass on left”

    I calmly suggested I would not have had to pass on the left if he had not cut me off forcing me to manuever around him.

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  • Tasha August 12, 2006 at 6:07 pm

    Many many in the past few years. Most scary was on SE Harrison and 20th in October of 2004 in that weird intersection where only bikes can go East or West and cars have to turn onto SE 20th. This woman obviously didn’t see me at the 4 way stop (which I was there WAY ahead of her). her jeep hit my front tire – thank God she was going slowly – I walked away with bruises and a bent up bike. She felt bad and paid for the repairs herself.

    Also, NE Broadway and the I-5 turn-off A LOT; SW Broadway with all the hotels (cabs, cars, buses double parked in the bike lane, open doors, etc.); NW Everett and the I-405 turn-off (16th?) when the cars turn right sometimes WITHOUT signals (I’ve had this happen way too many times -I usually yield to the right turners, but I can’t if I don’t know they’re turning!).

    All along NE Skidmore as some intersections do not have stop signs for either direction (which I have always found weird), so cars just assume they have the right away. I always go alow, but sometimes they come speeding around a corner and I’m still in the intersection. Turning right onto 33rd from Skidmore and then left back onto Skidmore. Sometimes I get stuck in the middle lane trying to turn left for AGES before a car lets me through and I’ve had cars speed past me on the right and one hit my handle bars once without even realizing it.

    I am a by-the-book cylcist. I don’t run red lights or stop sign, I signal, wear a helmet and my lights, follow every rule there is, yet I STILL get honked at, yelled at, cut off and ignored. It’s really starting to piss me off.

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  • John McCaffrey August 13, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    Intersection of SW Capital Hwy and SW Vermont, about 100 yards east of MJCC.

    The danger occurs while riding in the bike lane eastbound on Captial. The vehicles stopped at the stop sign waiting to turn left onto Capital westbound have a hard time seeing the bikes coming at them from their left. This is because the bike is coming at them at about a 45 degree angele, directly behind the A-pillar of the vehicle. They may look left but the part of their car between the front windshield and side windown is blocking their view.

    On three occasions, I had cars turning left onto Capital pull out in front of me. Once while I was pulling trailer with an orange flag.

    I’d like to see a sign attached to the bottom of Vermont’s stop sign that says “look for cyclists”. And another sign saying the same thing across Caital and facing the stopped cars since some cars stop beyond the stop sign.

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  • Travis Wiggins August 13, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    SE Division just west of 42nd
    8.12.06 around 5:15pm

    i was riding westbound and signalled to make a left hand turn. there was no oncoming traffic and the car behind me was at least 15-20 feet away from me. i turned safely, and then as i was heading down the sidestreet the man from the car behind me on division threw a golfball sized rock and hit me in the head. it hurt. i was wearing my helmet, if i hadn’t been i would have surely wrecked my bike.

    i always try to be safe on the road. i drive a car and ride a bike. i understand the frustrations on both sides, but i feel like i made a legal and rational turn! i wouldn’t throw a rock at anybody in traffic for any reason!

    this man looked 20 something and had brown hair and sunglasses. he was driving a smallish white car.

    please let me know if you witnessed this. i’d like to report this to the police.

    ride safe.
    xo

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  • Damon August 14, 2006 at 7:39 am

    SE Steele and about 44th
    2006/08/14 about 7:15am

    While riding westbound, taking the lane and easliy keeping pace with traffic ahead, a silver/blue early 90′s model Camry or Accord (I think) started to pass me while I was in the lane. My position was approximately in the right tire position of auto traffic.

    While the silver car held position to my left (straddling the dotted center line) for about 5 seconds, the car in front signalled and pulled to the curb. I do not fault this driver, and I was able to safely stop behind them on the shoulder and wait out a long line of traffic that had piled up behind a TriMet bus.

    Of all streets I ride on my commute to the Lloyd Center area from the Holgate/Foster crossing area, Steele is consistently a problem despite being a bike boulevard. The route is wide, lightly travelled, with sporadic parking on-street, a dotted center line but no bike lane.

    http://tripplanner.bycycle.org/?region=portlandor&q=4400%20SE%20Steele%20%2C%20Portland%2C%20OR&pref=default&format=html

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  • andy August 14, 2006 at 11:34 am

    Oh, the usual:
    8/14/06 at about 7:30 AM.
    I just turned right off of N. Flint onto N. Broadway, headed toward the Broadway Bridge. One truck had just crossed Broadway at the intersection with N. Wheeler, with a second truck waiting behind. I waited to turn until the first truck had gone (simple courtesy, you know?). Then the second truck decided that he could make it, despite the fact that I was already into the intersection with Wheeler. Usual crappy motorist behavior, but then it’s a crappy series of intersections.

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  • Michael August 14, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    By a car. Yesterday (8/13/06) on Jackson Quarry Rd. in Hillsboro. No traffic. Rural, curvy two-lane road. An old guy in an ’80′s gold Honda Accord passed us extremely closely for no reason. He had plenty of room in the other lane. We yelled. He stopped in the middle of the road. “Do you have a problem?” he asked. “That was way too close,” we said. “This road is too narrow for bicyclists,” he said, “You shouldn’t ride here.” Legal discusssion to no avail.

    By two bicyclists. Four years ago in August. I’m riding north on NE 20th. At NE Broadway, I stop for a red light. When the light turns green, I start across the intersection along with a car. Two teenage cyclists blow through the light going the wrong way (east) on Broadway. The car stops, But I don’t see them and they both plow into me, sending me over the handlebars. Both of my rims are bent and I am shaken up. The two cyclists take off, pursued by a witness who follows them to a house on NE Clackamas. The witness gives me the address, and when I can walk, I go to the house. The woman who answers the door says no teenagers live there, even though I can see their bikes in the dining room. I am insistent that it was a hit and run. She tells me to leave. I call the police, who respond to my house that evening. I give them the name and address of the witness and the location of the house. They say they can do nothing because no crime has been commited. I ask them if these kids had hit a woman walking with a child in a stroller across the street, would that be a crime? They so no, it would just be an accident, unfortunate but not a crime, and the perps had no duty to stay at the scene.

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  • Uma Kleppinger August 15, 2006 at 8:50 am

    Last Friday I was leaving River City Bikes, having schedule a pro fit for my brand new racing bike. I was heading south on Water Street heading towards the Hawthorne Bridge, riding in the bike lane, and a huge Ford f350 decided to turn right, cutting me off without looking. I was right beside him on the road, and pribably doing about 15, when he turned right into me. I saw maybe a second to react, screaming, and trying to swerve right, but too late… I bounced off the truck door, wacking my head on the mirror and window, and somehow ricocheting to land on my left side in front of his right wheel. Fortunately he stopped!

    I lost consciousness briefly, and when I came to the medics were already there, and about half a dozen witnesses, and I have no serious injuries… A couple days off from work, and no racing this week for me, and I’ll be a little gimpy from the impact to my hip. My new bike is in the shop which pisses me off to NO END, getting a crash/insurance eval. I expect to be fully conpensated through the driver’s insurance for property damage as well as injury and loss of income.

    I was very lucky. I know that. there is nothing like getting hit by a truck to make one appreciate one’s mortality. However, in all honesty, i will say I intend to avoid bike lanes like the plague. I prefer to take my chances out in “traffic” where other drivers MIGHT actually see me, risking that they may be ANNOYED by me presence. I figure it’s less likely someone will mow you down out of malice because they have a bike vendetta, than you’ll get plowed over by sheer ignorance and stupidity. What good are bike lanes IF THE CAR DRIVERS DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THEM???

    Sorry to yell. Guess I’m still a little beligerent from the concussion :-)

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  • Charles Ross August 16, 2006 at 9:53 am

    The best defense a bicyclist can have in an altercation with a driver who is assaulting/harassing you is a cell phone. Stop, take the cell out of a readily accessible pocket and dial 911. Have license number/description of vehicle/description of driver ready.
    Doing this will alert the driver that you are calling the police. Doing this will also start a file on drivers who conduct themselves this way. I suspect people who act this way do it more than once.

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  • Joe Planner August 16, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    NE 12th St. and NE Irving St.

    The 12th St. bridge over I-84 is integral to hundreds of daily bike commuters, yet there are no bike lanes and the intersection of NE 12th St. and NE Irving St. is particularly crazy.. Most cars going south on the bridge intend to make a left hand turn onto Irving in order to escape into their den of the bliss – the I-84 parking lot. along this bridge especially, cars seem to be hellbent on getting to the I-84 onramp as fast as possible. Most bikers similarly intend to make a left onto Irving.

    As I was riding south on NE 12th St. towards Irving, I stayed in the right lane to let cars continue speeding toward the intersection (there was a green arrow for left turns). I had to block the right lane because it is too narrow for a car and bike can’t be side by side in it. Apparently, I was going 100 mph too slow for a middle-aged woman driving her sedan. She attempted to go around me by driving onto the left-only lane just as I’m throwing my left turn signal to enter the intersection.. She had to abandon her unsafe pass, but only after hitting her brakes and nearly colliding with me. She swerved to the right of me and proceeded to honk and flip me off as she sped south on 12th st. toward something very important I suppose. The L.A. driver in me instantly reacted with a flip of my own middle finger.

    So here we are. She’s angry at me for moving to slow and I’m angry at her for her impatience.. What do others do when following this route (east on Lloyd, right on 12th and immediate left onto Irving. I’m not sure if I should immediately go into the left turn lane and block all those cars from left turns til I go, or stay in the right lane and block less cars from speeding forward. If I stay in the right lane to let the left lane continue moving fast, I need to eventually make a left turn and inevitably, someone will be upset with me either way..

    Any advice??

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  • Damon August 17, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Joe – I ride this bridge all the time and I feel your pain regarding the people anxious to idle on the freeway. My cubicle overlooks the intersection in fact. :)

    The bike lane from Lloyd Blvd is already on the left of the traffic headed south on 12th. I would hold your position and take the left lane on 12th to the light at Irving. You have every right to the lane, and should take the center of the lane to block cars from squeezing by. Drivers swinging wide into the left lane from the turn is a definite thing to look out for.

    Alternately, take your place in line on Lloyd and make the right turn as a car. Or, take the sidewalk across the 12th Ave bridge and Irving
    then rejoin traffic at the light crossing 12th. There’s nearly zero traffic crossing your lane when the light is green there.

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  • gabrielamadeus August 17, 2006 at 12:49 pm

    As I was riding south on NE 7th ave this morning a large Nissan Altima blew by me about a foot away. I then passed this same car a few blocks down the street at a light and continued to ride. Then, right as I was going around one of those small traffic circles, the same car blew by me again, even closer.

    Now I’ve got this rule that some of you may dissagree with, but if a car is audacious enough to pass me within arms reach and at speed, I feel obligated to slap that car’s rear window as a reminder that, “Hey, you’re close enough to be hit, then you’re close enough to kill me!” I end up having to do this at least once a week! (most commonly on 11th at belmont)

    So anyway, the lady slammed on her brakes and stopped in the road, so I rode around her. Then she peeled out, at which point I began to fear for my life even more, and as she came up behind me, I darted on to the sidewalk. But this wasn’t good enough for her either, she screeched into the next driveway and hopped out of her car yelling. Freaked out about her window, told me I should be on the road, etc.

    I explained my “within arms reach logic” and “bikes are legal on all roads” to her.

    I don’t think we came to an understanding, as she was still foaming at the mouth as I rode away. Bummer.

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  • Samantha August 18, 2006 at 10:30 am

    I’ve been commuting by bike in Portland for several years now so I’ve had several close-calls, but there are a couple that stand out in my mind.
    The first one happened several months back at about 52nd and Belmont. I was behind a car that was waiting to make a left hand turn onto belmont. It was busy so she decided to back up (to turn around?) without looking. I was a few feet behind her so luckily she heard me scream before she actually hit me, but it was scary.
    The second even happened late at night (around 1AM) at Woodward and 50-something. A friend and I were riding along, when we saw a car approaching from a sidestreet. We slowed down to make sure they were going to stop at the stop sign. They slowed to a stop and waited a moment, so we figured they had seen us. When we got directly in front of their car they slammed on the accelorator lurching forward, then slammed on the brakes, missing us by a couple of inches. I don’t know if this was intentional, it was dark and I couldn’t see in their car. Scary.

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  • Anita August 20, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    The intersection of NW 16th/Everette is a death trap for cyclists. Ive witnessed drivers cut off cyclists to get the 405 on ramp, Ive seen cyclists cut off as drivers turn into the parking lot of the allergy clinic there on the corner. Drivers dont watch, dont wait, and apparently dont care. I was driving down Everette in my car (normally I commute to work by bike) and I needed to turn left there at 16th to get to Burnside. I slow way down and am nearly stopped because I saw a cyclist about a block back and knew he’d be gaining on this corner. I wait for him to pass so I can make the turn, and lo….the motorist behind me rear ends me!!! I stare at her in my rear view mirror, the cyclist stops because he saw it all, the lady is clearly embarrassed as she JUST notices the cyclists and probably surmises what I was doing…..no damage, but mostly no injuries to a cyclist.

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  • Aaron Walker August 22, 2006 at 7:15 am

    The bike lane that once graced the shoulder of “Portland Highway” as it joins with Sandy Boulevard near Parkrose has been “modified”. It now points riders up onto a glass and gravel laden sidewalk, and then dumps them out, mid-lane transition, into traffic that is trying to get onto the 205. The bike lane rejoins traffic, literally in the middle of a lane, which caused a close call involving a driver who was unfamiliar with the concept of the painted lane divider.

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  • sheldon August 22, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    After a year and a half of dealing with too many cars on NE Knott St that aren’t willing to share the road, I decided this spring to start using the NE Weidler bike lane on my homeward bound commute. It generally seems the rush hour drivers on this stretch are aware of their surroundings. I was approaching NE 9 going about 25 mph when an Altima decided to make a right turn on NE 9 without signalling or shoulder checking. I let out a loud whoa which caused him to stop, but luckily in this instance speed saved my behind.

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  • DW August 23, 2006 at 9:11 am

    Yesterday afternoon, Stop Sign corner of Kingston Dr, Kingston Ave/Sherwood Blvd. Bottom of the hill coming from the Zoo @ Washington Park. Thanks to the yahoo on the baloon tire cruiser that passed me on the right at the stop sign, as I was signaling to turn right and had just kicked off after stopping. 1 inch closer and you would have really been pissed and as I noted by your reply when I passed you, saying “Passing on your Left”, you would have probably blamed me for stopping at a the stop sign. You have no idea how to ride a bike and your attitude sucks. And thanks to all you other riders out there that can’t seem to follow the rules. It’s not only drivers that are a hazzard to riding in this city.

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  • David August 23, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    I was biking to work yesterday morning (8/22/06) on SW 2nd, in the left lane, about to turn onto Ash, when a driver in an SUV (license number WVD-817) came up fast from behind, swerved around me, honked, and gave me the finger as he drove off. I followed, caught up to him at the next corner, and knocked on his partly open window to ask what he was so angry about. Before I could say anything, he screamed, “You’re not a motor vehicle–get out of the fucking road!”. He took off; I turned back and went to work.

    I called the police today to ask if there was any way to contact the driver with information about the relevant laws; I was told that they can’t do anything, and that next time I should call the police immediately, but that they still can’t do anything unless a police officer witnesses the person driving recklessly.

    The DMV doesn’t give out personal information, so there’s no way I can contact the driver.

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  • Nikki August 26, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    Tuesday, August 22nd around 6pm. I was riding my bike along Skyline when a gold convertible Lamborghini came speeding around a bend, veering over the double yellow lines into my lane of traffic. I had to jump off of my bike into the ditch to avoid the possibility of being hit. I pointed at him, speechless, from adrenaline, hoping he would notice what had just happened from his rear view mirror. He then came to a screeching stop in the middle of the road, made a u-turn, revved his engine and headed straight for me, fully speeding. I had to run up the side of the ditch carrying my bike to avoid him. He turned down Skyline Heights Rd into the Forest Heights neighborhood. I called the police non emergency number right away, but I didn’t get a hold of an operator for another 10 minutes. The operator was rude and basically wasted my time. No, I did not get a license plate. I did look, but I did not see one. I think the car might have been brand new, but I was not asked anything further and she simply said she would pass the information on. I did not feel as though anything would be done about this scary driver, who was possibly drunk, or simply a road rager. There were many cyclists on Skyline that day, as there are most days, but I’m unsure if any witnessed this guy wrecklessly driving as I did. How many gold convertible Lamborghinis can there possibly be in Portland?

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  • Adam Rust August 28, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    I was heading east on SE Taylor at 5:00pm. There is a crossing light at 39th. As I came up to the crossing, the traffic on 39th stopped, and the riders ahead of me were given the walk sign by the traffic signal. Meanwhile, a white mid 80s blazer was attempting to turn left from the oncoming lane onto 39th. The riders ahead of me made it through the intersection fine, but the blazer didn’t want to wait for anymore cyclists, so it made its left hand turn right infront of me. I had to grip my brakes really hard and swerve to avoid the vehicle. It was a narrow miss, and I replayed the scene several times in my mind wondering what I would do if we would have collided. My anger about the situation even drove me to issue a friendly hand gesture to the driver. I never resort to hand gestures, so that tells you how upsetting this incident was. My suggestion for improvement would be to add more frequent police patrols in the SE area around rush hour times. I see a lot of close calls along Taylor and Salmon, mostly due to drivers who don’t obey stop signs or traffic signals. I think a few extra tickets might slow people down a bit.

    P.S. I’m from the sunnyside neighborhood.

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  • eddie August 28, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    To Post # 179:

    This happened to me in another state many years ago:

    Once while driving my car I passed another car. I came upon a double yellow and so moved back into my lane, but pissing off the driver of the car that I had passed because I cut him off.

    Three months later, I was given a ticket by the State Highway patrol for passing on a double yellow. The driver of the other vehicle had made a complaint (including a description of me) and the cops gave me a ticket. I went to court and complained that I didn’t remember such an incident so long ago. I think there may have been a passenger as a witness. The judge didn’t listen to me and threatened to charge me with reckless driving! I had no choice – I paid the fine.

    Can citizens file a complaint, especially if they have a witness, and have the police give the offender a ticket? I can certainly understand them not giving out a persons identity. (If they gave mine out to someone I’d sue their asses off.) However, the police should be able to write the person a ticket and have you show up as a witness.
    It would be good if you had a description of the person.

    If the police can’t help you, do you know anyone who works at the DMV? :)

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  • [...] Bike Theft Info | Forums | Close Calls | Photos | Resources | Links | About « Cartwright creates ”Cleverchimp Gate” [...]

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  • blue August 29, 2006 at 8:29 am

    i wrote in my journal about this incident and in a portland community and someone directed me here to post it again.

    sunday evening (08/27), barely down the street from my house a middle aged lady decided to lean on her horn while coming up behind myself and my boyfriend in her big van and then, once at the stop light (n alberta and albina), she was next to us yelling, “get off the fucking road!” i turned to her and simply said, “this is where i am suppose to be, on the right side of the road.” she started yelling that there was no bike lane, that i had to get off the road and ride on the sidewalk, get my white ass off the road, etc. and i just repeated myself and added, “hey, i am obeying the law. legally, i am allowed to be on the road.” she then proceeded to tell me, “when this light turns green, i am gonna run your white ass over. you fucking bitch. you hear me? i am going to run you over when this light turns green!” i said, “go ahead, then the cops will come and you’ll get arrested. is that what you really want? that’s ridiculous.” she kept yelling, repeating how she was going to run me over in various ways including various insults and the young adult in the car with her (in the passenger seat) joined in (which made me more frustrated, way to set an example for the young woman with you). when the light turned green, she got ahead of us past the intersection, then slowed down so we had to pass her, then sped up again to pass us once more. which gave me ample time to check out her license plate number… as i pulled over to call the police and was describing the van and giving the number, i realized they had turned left where i had turned right to pull over and were just down the street from me (n alberta and n commercial).. parked and unloading their van.. at a barbecue. interesting. so, i told the operator that i saw them ahead of me, gave them the intersection and they sent a car. to make a long story just a tad shorter, john and i gave them our story, they talked with the woman letting her know that we were, indeed, where we were suppose to be and that if we had not, in fact, been where we are legally allowed to go on the road with our bikes, threatening to run me over, insulting me and intimidating me would not have been an appropriate course of action. they let her know that she had been threatening my well being and my life and that they could arrest her and impound her vehicle had i choose to press charges. she claimed that she thought bikers were suppose to be on the sidewalk and they let her know that they understood that there didn’t use to be so many bikes around and that the neighborhood was changing, but that she had to share the road with bikers.
    now, i know that calling the cops doesn’t change this woman’s idea that when someone does something she doesn’t like she can threaten to hurt them or kill them, nor will it probably change her animosity towards bikers using the street with her. it does, however, let her know that i bikers are legally allowed to be on the street and that she can get in trouble for acting like that – though those things still might not inhibit her acting so ridiculously given the occasion of a similar situation. also, she can’t honestly claim ignorance because she’s been warned.
    given that she lives in my neighborhood and i commute by bike everyday, i think that i did the best thing that i could and i hope she, at the very least, thinks twice before threatening another biker with her big ol’ van. if she had just called me names and told me to get off the road, i would not have called the police, but the threatening was just unacceptable.

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  • Bob August 29, 2006 at 8:46 am

    Something like this cut-off-by-right-turning-driver thing happens almost every day … I ride north on NW 14th coming home on my evening commute. Yesterday as I was approaching Flanders a car quickly cut across a full car lane, then cut me off in the bike line so she could make her unplanned right hand turn. At least her window was open so she could hear my loud “HEY!”. I wonder how many riders out there use air horns for these magic moments. The Pearl District and NW 14th is truly the most dangerous part of the Beaverton to Hollywood district commute.

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  • steph September 1, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    i was just on about 17th and Hoyt or thereabouts at 3:30pm. there was a road closure a few blocks in front of me. a black subaru came up from behind me, drove up and then a tad past me on the left (i was in a bike lane) before making a right turn directly in front of me. now this would be no huge thing (i used to bicycle commute in southern thailand among coveys of 15-year old motorbike drivers), so i would have been okay just skidding a little and veering around. but then the subaru stopped (i mean DEAD STOP) in the bike lane before completely executing the turn. i skidded to a stop just before flying into her rear window.
    i slammed my hand on her rear window before riding around her, partly to stop and partly from adreneline (she was still parked in the bike lane, by the way). she rolled her window down and told me, “that’s what blinkers are for. you should be more careful”. i replied that it’s hard to see the blinker when the person’s coming from behind and cutting you off in your lane, and she made a few comments and then said, and here’s the clincher:
    “you give bikers a bad name”.
    now that hurt. it hurt all the more for its lack of veracity. what’s worse, that comment made me realize that this incident is going to stick with her and that she’s going to chalk this up to one more reason why bikers do not deserve her respect or her attention on the road.
    had she stuck around, i would have happily offered her my copy of “pedal power” with all traffic regulations regarding bicycles therein which i keep about me at all times (thanks again, Ray!) and labor to adhere to, but she sped off, which was probably all to the good since her comment spawned first speechlessness and then a pretty significant dose of anger, and i would have potentially given her the copy after saying or doing something mild-to-spicily atrocious, which might actually give bikers a bad name.
    next time i will endeavor to have my traffic code at the ready and compassion to back it up.
    phew. thanks, Jonathan! it’s great to have a place to mention close calls in the hope that their telling might be of use.

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  • steph September 1, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    ps. sorry it wasn’t short, and i live in the clinton district.

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  • Chris September 2, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    Last night, five friends and I were riding through the Lloyd center area. We were making a right hand turn. There was right hand turn lane which required us to take the lane for safety. I was in the front and heard a horn right behind me. The car passed by me, cut into the bike lane right in front of me and then sped off. I was a bit annoyed but chalked it up to city life. But then one of the guys in the back said that the car had thrown a bottle at him (glass, not plastic)!

    Well that changed things. We sprinted after the car (there was a red light up the road). But the car pulled over. As we came up on it, suddenly, the backup lights went on and the car sped in reverse right at us! People scattered, trying to get out of the way. The light turned green and she – yes she – sped off. “Get the license plate number!” I yelled over and over.

    The car hit the red light. We sprinted.

    As we caught the car, someone threw their helmet, and then their entire bike at the car. I mean really threw it — the bike arced through the air and hit the car. The light turned green and the car sped off.

    We got the license and used two cell phones to call the police. The police asked us to stay were we were, but my friends wanted to keep riding. The thrown bike was miraculously ridable. Aside from a massive amount of adrenaline we were OK. But somewhere out there, there is a green or blue late 90’s Ford Taurus with a right hand taillight out, Washington license Plate # 985 UZZ with a dent in it.

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  • Jeremy September 2, 2006 at 8:24 pm

    Steph, I’m no lawyer, but I would say that is no close call; that’s hit and run!

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  • john bloss September 4, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    My close call happened on September 3, on the Hawthorne Bridge, heading east. I was coming up to the bridge itself and about to cross the area that is the car on-ramp that has a stop sign. I saw a car slow down and assumed that there was not problem…what actually happened was that the driver was not paying attenion and came within about six inches of hitting me.

    I swore at the guy and pedaled on somewhat agitated. To the driver’s credit he caught up to me on the bridge, apologized and said he didn’t see me and that he almost hit me. I said I know, and please pay more attention (there is really no way he couldn’t see me…but it is just a situation where drivers are not paying close attention and just casually go through stop signs).

    Anyway, while it was a close call, it also ended with a Share the Road moment.

    That is a tricky stretch of road and bikes clearly have the right of way…but everyone should be extra cautious there.

    JB-NE Portland

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  • GK September 5, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    I was driving up the 68th Avenue exit ramp from I-84 to Halsey when a bike disregarded the stop sign and rode right in front of me. If I didn’t have anti-lock brakes there would have been a silver bike at that intersection. Many times I have almost hit bicyclists running stop signs, or blowing lights. I think for every whining biker there could be 50 motorists with even better stories. I am getting sick of the bicyclists. It is amazing that probably 5 to 6% of the citizens of Portland actually commute and frequently use their bikes on roads, however they get an overwhelming majority of representation in law and politics. Someday people are going to get real tired of it, and figure it out.

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  • Damon September 5, 2006 at 3:21 pm

    Since I can imagine that GK will not return to read replies to their comment (feel free to prove me wrong)… I think it’s fair to address the points raised to the rest of the readers of this topic.

    Meet me in the forums for further discussion…

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  • eddie September 5, 2006 at 9:02 pm

    Post 188 above: Did the police pursue prosecution of the car driver?

    If you have a description of the driver, witnesses, and the car license number there is no reason that they shouldn’t.

    If they don’t go after the car driver I’d take them to court. Let us know what they do about it.

    If they can ticket cyclists for fixies, running stop lights, and other frivilous infractions they can sure as hell go after people throwing things at cyclists and trying to run them over.

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  • GK September 6, 2006 at 9:53 am

    Yes I am monitoring your site to see the feedback, and I think you are doing a good job to get bicyclists to obey the rules. If everyone were more courteous 90% of the problems wouldn’t present themselves. In particular one rule Oregon Traffic Law a lot of bicyclists ignore is that when overtaking a vehicle (passing) either on the left or the right), you yield right of way. This means when approaching an intersection even in a bike lane, and passing stopped traffic, you must yield if that traffic that turns. It is a little unrealistic to expect a vehicle that is making a right turn, has been waiting to make this turn either for pedestrians or the light to change, and come barrel up with your bike and expect that motorist to see you too. That is just not wise.

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  • Scott Buntin September 8, 2006 at 11:17 am

    GK -
    No. ORS 811.415 specifically states bicyclists may pass on the right when safe to do so. This does not require the cyclist to yield to turning vehicles, nor to vehicles that may turn.

    Note that this does not require that a bicycle lane be present. Bicycles may pass vehicles on the right even in a one-lane situation.

    Further, ORS 814.050 spells out right of way in bicycle lanes – Vehicles *must* yield to bicycles in the bike lane.

    Yes, I expect motorists to yield to me in the bike lane whether they pass me, or I pass them. This is why drivers are supposed to check behind them before turning.

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  • GK September 8, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Mr. Buntin,

    I am sorry, but I believe you are mistaken. Please take a further look at the laws you mentioned. First of all sir, 814.050 is a law stating that pedestrians must yield to an ambulance, if in emergency.

    814.050 Failure to yield to ambulance or emergency vehicle; penalty. (1) A pedestrian commits the offense of pedestrian failure to yield to an ambulance or emergency vehicle if the pedestrian does not yield the right of way to:

    (a) An ambulance used in an emergency situation; or

    (b) An emergency vehicle or an ambulance upon the approach of the vehicle using a visual signal or audible signal or both according to requirements under ORS 820.300 or 820.320.

    (2) This section does not relieve the driver of an ambulance or emergency vehicle from the duty to:

    (a) Drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway; and

    (b) Exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.

    (3) The offense described in this section, pedestrian failure to yield to an ambulance or emergency vehicle, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §556; 1995 c.209 §4; 1995 c.383 §85]

    811.415 states:

    1.It is illegal to pass on the right if it means leaving the paved surface of the roadway;

    2.However it is legal to pass on the right if the vehicle passed is turning left;

    3.And it is also legal to pass on the right if the passed vehicle is in the left lane of “two or more clearly marked lanes”.

    There have been amendments to this statute, however, with the lobby power of the BTA. It was in question whether or not bikes could pass in slow traffic situations or not. So they made it clear by revising the statute. It still says nothing about yielding to cars. It states:

    { + (c) Overtaking and passing upon the right is permitted if
    the overtaking vehicle is a bicycle that may safely make the
    passage under the existing conditions. + }

    The key word here is safely. I don’t believe it is safe to overtake a car on the right, if he is ahead of you and signaling to turn right at a stop light, nor is this smart. The result is a flattened bicyclist, and a loss in the court of law, regardless how well the bicyclist thinks he knows the law. No where in this law does it say the car must yield to the bicyclist. So in other words, this law provides bicyclists with the permission to pass on the right, but they still must do it safely. The law DOES NOT state that bicyclists are the center of the driving universe, and therefore must be yielded to at all times, which is what I think bicyclists believe.

    This is taken from the Law offices of Swanson Thomas & Coon:

    “While it is a fact question in each situation, it is likely that judges and juries will have a dim view toward passing on the right when it occurs at reckless speeds on lane divider lines of multi-lane roadways, or when riders fail to cautiously approach cars stopped with blinking turn signals waiting for the light to change.”

    Now, there is a law in Oregon that says a car must yield to a cyclist when turning in either direction, when the cyclist is going straight. This is true. If you’re approaching an intersection and there’s a biker there, you have to yield before making a right turn. That is true. And you may interpret that as in all cases, but the language is such in the revised statute that you must approach a car safely. If you approach a car with blinker signal on, and still decide to blow past him on the right, that is not safe. That argument alone will win in the court of law.

    I can see why bicyclists are upset though. While I may always look in my mirrors and over my shoulder, many do not. In fact, I have lived in many metro areas, and traveled many places in the world, and I have found the drivers in Portland to be the worst I have ever seen. I don’t know why this is.

    But anyway, laws aside, my first and main argument was that there are a certain number of cyclists out there that do break laws(read: blow loghts and stop signs), and put themselves and motorists in harms way.

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  • steve September 9, 2006 at 11:06 pm

    Post # 105 above mentioned Lars “Bike-Hater” Larson spewing hate speech about cyclists on his 750 AM radio program.

    Thursday evening, right before the Labor Day weekend I heard another hate speech artist at work: Victoria “Bike-Hater” Taft on 860 AM. She was all in an uproar because cyclists might be able to ride bikes on the shoulder of freeway. Called cyclists anarchists and other insults. She demonstrated a vast ignorance of cyclist issues (as she does on many issues).

    Be careful out there. There are many followers of these hate-speech morons who hate cyclists. I heard some of them call in to her program.

    Here’s the verdict, in advance, of the idiot that hits me on my bike: “guilty of intentionally running over a cyclist.” I have two red flashing lights and also a flashing white one facing the rear and a flashing white one in the front. And I wear yellow or orange. If I get run over, especially on a straight stretch of highway, they did it on purpose. Murder. Period.

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  • Jeremy September 10, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    GK,

    He probably meant 811.050 and 811.055 regarding yielding to bikes in bike lanes.

    At no time may an auto use a bike lane to pass or may an auto stop in the bike lane, thereby blocking it (see 811.440).

    You are right, though, when you say a little patience and courtesy among all users would go a long way. Although, I have never seen a bicyclist use the bike as a weapon on the road. Cars are scary even to other cars. I just about got ran off the road with my infant daughter in the back or my car
    by a guy who was pissed I actually stopped my car to yield to oncoming cars at, of all things, a yield sign. :-(

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  • poncho September 11, 2006 at 10:28 am

    It seems more and more I am being cut off by unaware, oblivious and careless motorists who do not look for cyclists when turning right. Maybe I am in their blind spot, but half the time they don’t even signal. I am going to start carrying a bag of paint balls and rocks! really.

    It happens all the time on SW Main St. coming off the Hawthorne Bridge to 4th, and on SW Madison between 4th and 2nd.

    From these postings it seems like an epidemic. What can be done about this? I think at least some signs need to be installed showing a picture of the conflict, to make motorists aware, because half the time they don’t even know they cut the cyclist off.

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  • Gregg September 11, 2006 at 3:57 pm

    Logie Trail, Saturday 9/9/06. Straight stretch of roadway, no traffic, I’m riding a straight line climbing in the saddle at about 10mph. About a 1/4 mile back I hear a large vehicle (Gold, late model Chevrolet Silverado Pickup, License #382BCL, Oregon Plate) accelerating hard. The vehicle passed very close to me at at least 50 to 60 MPH, perhaps faster. A mile or so later, I came upon the driver, a woman in her 50′s, unloading her groceries. I ‘thanked’ her for her lack of courtesy and she muttered that I should “get off the road”. I was angry and wanted very much to further confront her but held myself in check and continued up the hill, watching behind me in case she decided to return to ‘teach me another lesson’. The address is 14251 NW Logie Trail. I have not reported it to the police because I’ve already had enough negative energy into this and don’t think I’d get any satisfaction from filing a report. It really put a damper on my ride and I rarely get the chance to go out for a nice long 50+ miler on a Saturday. This woman is going to hurt someone and I’m very upset by her attitude.

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  • HillSlug September 11, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    I’m on the westside. Just rode Logie on the 10th. Is her house on the grade? I can start doing hill repeats in front of her driveway. :)

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  • GK September 12, 2006 at 11:39 am

    Poncho,

    It would not be wise to throw rocks or paint balls at cars. You will anger them even more, and perpetuate the biker / car driver conflict. Not only that, there are many hot tempered people that will explode with anger. When this happens, they are irrational. Just remember that they are in a big heavy car, and you’re totally exposed. You could get yourself killed. Sure, they may go to jail, but what good would that do to you? Don’t be stupid.

    Also, the next time you pull out a bike lock and go into self defense mode, remember it won’t hold up to a gun. There are people that carry concealed weapons, many legally. You never know who is carrying, you can’t tell until it’s too late.

    Don’t thrive on conflict. Let it go. You’ll just get hurt. Nothing good will come out of conflict. Ride defensively, just as I ride my motorcycle. I imagine that everyone pulling out onto a street can’t see me. I don’t want to die either.

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  • steve September 12, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    Lots of hate toward cyclists displayed on this website. Pretty spooky. Pretty sick.

    On Victoria “Bike-Hater” Tafts radio program Thursday evening (860 AM) before the Labor Day weekend she had her listeners in an uproar because ODOT apparently decided to let bikes ride on the shoulder of the freeway -which for the most part they have ALWAYS been able to do.

    Several of her listeners called in talking about running over cyclists and she got a big kick out it. She’d say “That’s funny.” Maybe the scumbag at 14251 Logie Trail in the Gold Silverado with plate # 382BCL has been listening to Victoria and Lars?

    From the posts on this website it appears they have lots of followers. What a shame. Why, Dear God, did you put so many scumbags (who don’t deserve the air that goes up their noses) on this planet?

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  • norserider September 13, 2006 at 7:19 pm

    Not to derail any posts but does anyone know of a good alternate route at the interchange of Beaverton Hillsdale HWy and Oleson, and Schools Ferrry Rd? Twice this week I have almost been run off the road at this location. The bike lane ends at this intersection and the only real safe alternative seems to be the sidewalk. The four wheeled blindeyes seem to get really anxious at this intersection. Thanks for you feedback.

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  • Tommy September 15, 2006 at 2:55 am

    Well, here’s something that happened to my friend John and myself last night as we were riding eastbound along Fremont street at about 10:30 pm. We were around SE 8th or 9th, when we saw three guys walking into the street. We figured they didn’t see us, so I hollered “Pardon us” at them, and the next thing you know, they were pulling us off our bikes and shouting “You got money? You got money bitch?”, that sort of thing. One of them managed to get me on the ground, and had something to my head. John swears it was a knife, but it felt more like house keys. John managed to get his bike between himself and his…assailant I guess is the word, and started shouting “Call the police” at anyone who would listen, first at a car that drove by and then at a couple coming the other way on their bikes. They stopped, and the three guys, realizing they’d begun to attract attention, took off without having stolen anything from us, and more importantly of course, without having done either of us any physical harm. I’m originally from Detroit, so I know violent crime, and my feeling is that these were kids pretending to be badasses, but you never know. Moral of the story: If you see people slowly moving into the street in the near distance in a dodgy neighborhood (or a good neighborhood for that matter) and you have the presence of mind to do so, as long as it’s safe, steer wide or pull a U-turn. Be careful out there folks!

    By the way, not to be a shameless self promoter or anything, but I sent a letter to the “I, anonymous” column at the PDX Mercury about this, and I’d love to see it printed. If anyone reads this in the next few days, call or e-mail them and request that they publish it. The more publicity we get for bike issues, the better!

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  • bob September 18, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    2 cyclists killed in Oregon over the weekend that I am aware of:

    1 on Hwy 101 near Newport when a vehicle veered over the line. 69 year-old cyclist visiting from Montana.

    1 at the intersection of West Union and Helvetia due to the driver of an (I think) Excursion reportedly having sun in their eyes. This intersection has 2 “triangles” for getting on/off of West Union. Not sure exactly at what point the wreck happened. I always thought this was a fairly safe intersection but this is the second fatality I am aware of recently due to claimed sun in the eyes. Something to be aware of. Especially now that the sun is low in the western sky when cyclists might be doing an after-work ride. Apparently a lot of people driving blind into the sun.

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  • lyle September 19, 2006 at 2:15 am

    I’ve been relatively lucky with close-calls. the one incident that sticks out in my mind though was a few years ago driving east on broadway coming up to MLK. the bike lane ends (or ended then) temporarily, so i merge left into the next lane because after MLK it turns into 2 lanes. Some no-necked ‘i enjoy golf and think negros are rather lazy’ type guy in a BMW, with (i’m not kidding) a rugby shirt wrapped around his neck, in the most vicious voice you’d ever hear, screams out an open window at me ‘YOU HAD A FUCKING BIKE LANE!!!!’ I look over, and his face is just absolutely blood red with rage. And he’s slowed down severely just to yell it at me through his open window. I drove by him again, waiting at the stoplight, and could hear him spitting expletives at me again. At which point any type of rationality was pointless, so i just tried to ignore and hope he didn’t try anything.

    It actually shook me up more than i’d typically expect. Just the amount of rage that people have bottled up, where they’re going around in the world subconsciously BEGGING for something or someone to throw all that rage at. It goes SO FAR past bikes vs. cars. It’s about the way humans relate to each other, or don’t. And the way some people are able to continue to mature after they’re 12 years old, and others aren’t (you know who you are).

    Also, let me just re-iterate that we need to report EVERYTHING to the police. Even people who are on their cellphones and brush you or people who just shout threats out their windows. Everybody. If these people have these things on their record and they end up doing worse (which they probably will eventually), the judge and judicial system will have more leeway to convict them and hand down a harsher sentence if it’s proven they’ve acted in similar ways in the past and aren’t showing they’re capable of improving their horrid driving skills, and that there is also a live human being able to attest to past stuff in open court.

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  • Carl September 19, 2006 at 9:48 am

    The intersection of NW Everett and 16th — has anyone else almost died here? Heading east, there’s a right turn for cars to get onto the 405. There’s also a bike lane TO THE RIGHT of this right turn lane, and a large prominent sign saying RIGHT TURN YIELD TO BIKES.

    In my experience, bikes always see this sign and assume the right of way, and cars almost never do. I’ve had to screech to a halt several times to avoid running into an oblivious driver, who invariably drives off without even realizing he or she did anything wrong.

    This morning, however, the streets were slick with rain, the light had just changed, the driver shot out without looking, and I had to lay my bike down on its side to avoid slamming into this white sedan’s door. A good crash as they go — banged up a shoulder and tore up my pants, but that’s it.

    Does anyone else think this is a massive and potentially fatal traffic management screw-up? Short of a huge flashing red light or a permanent traffic cop handing out tickets, I doubt even half of the cars turning onto the freeway are going to obey this sign. Having it there just emboldens cyclists to a dangerous degree. Are there any solutions that preserve both cyclist safety and lawful right of way?

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  • Carl September 19, 2006 at 10:11 am

    OK, to answer my own question…I just did a quick search through the comments and at least 4 other people in the past year have had close calls at the NW Everett 405 ramp. How do we do something about this??? I just want to ride to work without getting hit!

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  • Ayala September 20, 2006 at 9:38 am

    Monday, 9/18, 7:55 AM. Rainy conditions, but day bright. NW Cornelius Pass Road in Hillsboro, at the entrance ramp to 26 heading east. There are to straight lanes, the bike lane, and the turn lane for the entrance ramp. Lots of signs that say “YIELD TO CYCLISTS IN THE BIKE LANE”. I was heading north in the bike lane with both my rear blinking light and my front headlight on, reflective vest, etc. just before the intersection when a large TriMet maintenance box van, ID #884, swerved from the northbound straight lanes, across the bike lane and onto the on-ramp, coming within a foot of hitting me. No blinker, no horn, nothing. I called TriMet to complain and they just took down the info and didn’t even apologize.

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  • Aaron September 20, 2006 at 11:14 pm

    I witnessed a close call at the corner of SE Woodstock and SE 39th. The bicyclist passed traffic on the right (in the bike lane) and was almost struck by a car (plate#551-87X) who turned right without signaling. Unfortunetely it was a fairly non-descript grey sedan, so it was hard to catch the fool.

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  • Cosma September 26, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    8:05 am this morning on SW Broadway. Dumbass Yellow Cab driver in cab #595 was stopped in the bike lane so I went around him and then he decides to pull out into the street without looking and cuts me off. Dumbfu**. I wonder how he even passed the driving test.

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  • Cosma September 26, 2006 at 5:41 pm

    …in addition, I had a headlight on.

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  • Mark Bosworth September 27, 2006 at 9:52 am

    A good day to NOT die….

    This morning at around 6:45, my friend and I were westbound on SE Anekeny (lovely bike blvd.) when a huge, white Ford F350 simply did not stop at the stop sign at 17th Ave while we passed. At first I thought the pickup was simply pulling way out – doing a kind of rolling stop. I waved at him but it was dark and hard to tell if I was making any contact. Anyway, my partner screamed as we realized that we were inches away from the huge front end of this vehicle. I think he finally applied the brakes at this point and we got around him. I pushed my friend forward to get her out of the way, and I actually had my back wheel rub against the fender as I past.

    The driver did pull up to us as we stopped to gather ourselves and deal with the waves of adrenalin coming on. He was very apologetic at least. He didn’t just not see us, he didn’t see the sign either I gather.

    Be ever vigilant out there. Always ride defensively. And enjoy each day we are given.

    BTW: We were fully lit and very visible: blinky lights front and back, reflective vests and all.

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  • Jeff September 28, 2006 at 5:35 pm

    Valet drivers and double-parked hotel guests on SW Broadway.

    Nuff sed.

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  • steve September 30, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    I saw a headline in a newspaper in Gresham today that read something like: “Cyclist lucky to be alive”. Apparently a school bus ran over the cyclist. I didn’t read the article so don’t know the details.

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  • john q public October 2, 2006 at 9:02 pm

    I was driving down NE 28th today and as I was passing Fred Meyers, noticed someone laying in the gutter on the corner. I stopped to help. What I understand, was that a cyclist headed north on 28th had been clipped at relatively low speed by a driver turning left into Fred Meyers. Unfortunately, his hat didn’t protect him very well, and he appeared to have sustained a severe head injury (read: not really breathing when I arrived). Another bystander and myself got his airway open, and he was still alive when the ambulance drove off.

    The reason that I’m posting this is not necessarily that this is a super-dangerous intersection, but more as a plea for people to wear their helmets. Although I love being useful, and plying my trade (RN), I really do not like people getting injured, permanently or otherwise. I ride by so many people without helmets every day. Even if you are careful, even if you are an awesome rider – you can easily sustain a head injury when you wreck without a helmet. Come on Portland cyclists – it isn’t hard to wear a helmet, and it could save you a lot of suffering.

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  • Michael October 3, 2006 at 12:07 pm

    Driving north on Cornelius Pass Rd. before the intersection with Germantown Rd, a cyclist was riding north as close as he could to the fog line. He was impeding traffic because no one could pass for awhile. I was in the first car behind him, giving him room, and waiting for a safe place to pass. Behind me were three motorcyclists and several other cars. When the road straightened out, I passed, as did the motorcyclists. Two of the motorcyclists swerved and tried to hit the cyclist with their open hands. I slowed down so my wife could get out a pad and pen to write down their registration numbers. Unfortunately, they turned right on Germantown before I could get the numbers on their bikes.

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  • [...] Bike Theft Info | Forums | Close Calls | Photos | Resources | Links | About « Stolen 2005 S Works FSR FSR [...]

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  • Hazel October 3, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    On my way home tonight I was turing off the Burside Bridge onto Grand. A middle aged man driving a newer Black Beetle OR plate # YBS 106 attempted to turn into me and then proceeded to run me out of the lane since I was obviously in his way.

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  • Kessa October 5, 2006 at 9:51 am

    Can I do a vicarious near miss? I have had near misses at the same intersection (SE 42nd and SE Powell Blvd) but this one seems particularly heinous and more relevant as it involves tiny, helpless, passive bikers. This morning I saw a law- abiding biker mom with an infant in a Burley and a toddler in a back rack seat. A driver sped around her AFTER SHE WAS IN THE INTERSECTION and made a right turn in front of her. It was literally INCHES from an accident. I can only hope that the driver was confused by the intersection (which is VERY CONFUSING) and thinking the biker was turning right as well. Otherwise, she was putting the lives of the mom and two small children in mortal peril to get where she was going faster. Exactly two minutes later, when my light changed a non-law-abiding biker started crossing when his light was still red, which he quite possibly does not know means my light is green. None-the-less, I slowed as to not run into him, but had I been one of THE MANY people who tries to rush and get the green for that long light, there is no way I would have seen him.

    I have two children and when I only am transporting one, I sometimes ride with the Burley through the intersection. I have learned that I must go through as a pedestrian. I can deal with that, but even as a pedestrian I cannot safely go through with two children because we can’t all get onto the sidewalk without hanging out onto Powell as we navigate onto the sidewalk. I would bike ride to school with them very often if this weren’t the case.

    As I am not a traffic engineer, I do not know the exact solution but I know there must be one. I think better lights there and signage would be a big plus. Also, There are two driveways, one from the Catholic Church School and one from Arby’s. These people have no way of knowing what is happening with the lights in the intersection and often pull out- with a Roast Beef in one hand and a large drink in the other. From the other side are a disproportionate number huge SUV’s with A LOT of people on cell phones. They can not pull out and fit into there own lane if there is a car there at the red light, but if they wait, they will miss the light. That driveway should not be allowed to be used for exiting!

    I have called about this intersection numerous times and am sure they are starting to say, “Oh it’s her again” but I will continue my barrage of irritating calls if that’s what it takes. I am also considering setting up there with a movie camera and taping the number of near misses… I hope they continue to be near misses instead of dead on.

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  • tonyt October 6, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    Long story short, I was riding East on the St. Johns Bridge, on the sidewalk, and nearly got brained by the mirror of a semi that was cruising VERY close to the edge of the sidewalk.

    It doesn’t take too much imagination to conjure up a scenario where the braining does happen, and if they’re lucky, the impact doesn’t throw the brainee off the edge of the bridge.

    My humble suggestion is that semi-truck traffic be restricted to the left lanes on the bridge.

    I’ve seen such travel restrictions before and I don’t think, given the height of the sidewalk and how far semi mirrors protrude, it is unreasonable in this situation.

    Thanks ODOT!

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  • tim October 10, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    on sw montgomery some old fart in a maroon buick tried passing me on the insdide of a a left hand turn and came about a half a foot away from hitting me. so i swereved out of the way then let him pass then chased him donw politly asking what was that about.

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  • Bruce October 15, 2006 at 8:50 am

    I am a 62-year old who has been avidly cycling daily for over 30 years. I usually cycle 35 miles per day, leaving at 5AM and returning home by 8:30 before leaving (on my bike) to work. I live in SW Portland, but my morning ride usually takes me throughout the east side to Mt. Tabor. I stick to the safest streets that are designated bike roads (with the painted cycling logo on the pavement) or that have dedicated bike lanes. I have excellent lights on my bike (HID in front and flashing red on back) and, of course, always wear a helmet. Although I have frequent, daily, close calls with both cyclists and motorists, I’m lucky to relate that I have avoided accidents. This is because I expect the motorist or cyclist or busdriver behind me or approaching the intersection to be a jerk and/or to be completely unaware of the rules of the road. In other words, I ride super-defensively.

    My morning route takes me over the Hawthorne bridge, which is, or should be, the safest bridge to use in crossing from the east side. To the contrary, the west end of the bridge as the bike lane exits onto Main St. is, to me, the most consistently unnerving and dangerous spot in Portland. The bike lane inconveniently comes to an end at Main and 2nd, at which point the cyclists become pinned between buses that often sweep the cyclists into the curb or motorists who won’t let the cyclists maintain the center of the lane. Sometimes I will take the sidewalk along Main St. It is criminal that the city allows this situation to exist (i.e. termination of a bike lane with nowhere to go).

    The poor cycling situation here must be shared by cyclists, some of whom have little consideration for other cyclists as they catapult themselves onto the Hawthorne bridge from the stop light at Grand. This appears to be a macho thing, as they weave in and out on the narrow sidewalk that spans the Hawthorne bridge.

    Portland, and its cycling organizations, need to become advocates for educating the public on the rights and obligations of cyclists. More than half the young people I see during the morning commute are not wearing helmets and many cyclists do not have any lights, even in total darkness. Many cyclists ride while listening to their IPods and consequently cannot respond to auditory cues that cyclists need to maintain safety on the roads they share with cars. To me, motorists yammering on cell phones and cyclists spaced out with headphones are equally annoying and dangerous. Motorists are frequently unaware of the rules of the road; many of them do not realize that bicycles are vehicles and have the same rights as larger vehicles. Fortunately, residents on the east side of Portland are accustomed to cycling traffic and are usually accommodating, especially on streets that are designated bicycle through streets. I often see cyclists riding on streets that lack bike lanes and are major arteries instead of taking parallel bike-friendly routes that are much safer and friendlier. Sure, we should have a right to take these routes, but why not take a safer route? I believe that organizations could help by distributing bicycle maps of Portland and encouraging cyclists to use these avenues whenever possible.

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  • molly October 16, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    i was riding my bike with a somewhat large group of people ( i’d say 7 or 8) about 3 weeks ago down mlk toward dekum, and this truck with three guys pulled up and started tormenting us. words were exchanged, and the truck sped away, but before doing so, one of the men in the car threw a tennis ball out the window. it bounced and hit me square in the arm right above my elbow. i swerved and was able to regain my balance, but i was left with a huge bruise and shaken nerves. i wasn’t the one yelling back, i was just riding along with my friends. and this asshole decides he’ll teach me a lesson for thinking its ok to ride my bike on the road with his big truck. it’s people like that who make me afraid to ride my bike around portland.

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  • Cecil October 26, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    Two days ago I was riding up Broadway (in the bike lane) by PSU when the car that had been taveling next to me suddenly accelerated and swooped in front of me to stop in the bike lane in order to pick up a girl who was standing on the sidewalk there. Fortunately, because I ride with the assumption that at any time the drivers around me will do something stupid, I was able to react quickly enough to hit my brakes and swerve left (fortunately there was no car there) so as not go up and over the back of the car. Being a bit flustered and pissed off, all I thought to do about it was to call out “Learn to drive” as I recovered and rode past. I know – a very lame response. More lame, though, was the passenger’s retort that I should “learn to look.” Honey, I was looking – that’s why I didn’t crash . . .oh well.

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  • Johan October 27, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    10/27/06: Three near misses within a ten-minute span tonight, TWO of them from the same driver. First, at approximately 6:30 PM, going east on Multnomah by the Lloyd center(heading by the movie theater parking lot), this dude is making a left turn and comes within mere inches of bowling me over. Harshly, I warned him to pay attention, to which he simply replied “f*** you!” (They hate it when I’m right.) Minutes later, going north on NE 15th, someome in a VW Jetta buzzes by me somewhere near Tillamook, again coming within inches of a collision. Rattled, I pick up the pace and catch up to them at Knott where they are sitting at the red light so I can memorize their license plate number. Light greens up and I’m back on my way, and what does this troglodyte a**hat do? Yup. The EXACT SAME THING, at about Stanton or Siskiyou this time and again I catch up with them at the Fremont’s red light. Right around now, I am wishing for this individual to be impaled upon the member of a particularly large stallion. My lights and reflective gear were in full effect; these abortions to society had NO excuses.

    *Raises hand* Who needs a drink?

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  • Tom October 30, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    I was riding north on NE 28th st past Thompson in my neighborhood, Iverington, on a wuiet Sunday morning about 8:45 am. The next street Brazee, has a stop sign for traffic. A white Ford F 150 ran through that stop sign and turned left heading directly towards me. I yelled at him and he stopped. After rolling down his window and scowling at me, the first thing out of his mouth was, “There is no right of way in Oregon.” I then pointed out to this older man that there was a stop sign pertaining to his line of travel. He then said, “I did not see it, sorry.” Then he drove off. He did not seem to know or care that he almost hit me at speed which maybe would hve dented his truck, but probably would have killed me. Oregon law needs to be changed so that the rights of pedestrians and cyclists recieve higher protection, both real and percieved protection.

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  • Cecil November 2, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    Two today, in the space of about 40 seconds. I was headed east on Harrison between Broadway and 6th when a pedestrian darted out into the street in front of me (mid-block, not a cross walk). Then, literally seconds later, a car headed west turned left directly in front of me to enter a parking lot. Perhaps they were blinded by my bright yellow reflective rain jacket, blinking helmet lamp, high-power handlebar mounted lamp, reflective tires and flashing light leg band. :-)

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  • Travis November 6, 2006 at 9:41 pm

    Many, but I’ll describe two here.

    First, riding King’s Valley Highway (northwest of Corvallis) with a friend and we’re on the fogline/ shoulder of this rural highway in a long straight stretch on a clear, sunny day, not a car to be seen… then here comes jackazz in his/her cruiser going 70 within ridiculous close proximity. That would have been manslaughter NOT criminal negligence.

    Second, on my ride down the coast from B.C. this summer I hit several islands… this one just north of the ferry terminal for the San Juans and only 20 miles long. Beauty of a hwy and I’m riding the shoulder, loving it… again, here comes jackazz in a flatbed service truck going 60 or 70 within two feet when there was zero opposing traffic. I rode like the maniac I was to catch up with him/her at the terminal to deliver an ear full… but (s)he wasn’t to be seen, likely saving me the embarrassment of a ridiculous scene in front of the bourgeois.

    I’ve been getting better at handling my occasional rage and avoid the conflict. Be safe everyone, and don’t forget to enjoy the biking.

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  • Bonnie November 7, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    November 6th, about 5:20pm.
    I was East bound on SE Harrison and stopped at the intersection with SE 20th. I saw a truck North bound. It just barely stopped at the stop sign, like it had just noticed it. I waited for a few moments and the truck didn’t move, so I assumed the driver saw me. I couldn’t see into the cab of the truck. I started through the intersection. Just as I reached the truck the driver started. I swerved left and screamed like crazy. The front bumper was let than an inch from my right knee. The driver motioned at me like she hadn’t seen me, but she did manage to see the runner dressed all in black that crossed just before me. Figure that.
    BTW, that intersection is pitch black on a rainy evening. There are some big beautiful trees that cover SE Harrison on the West side of the intersection, blocking out all light. And, there’s no street light.

    A short time later, at the intersection of Stephens and SE 27th, a South bound car failed to stop at the sign and nearly plowed into me as I was going East on Stephens. Again, another very dark intersection, and really poor pavement which forced me to ride in the middle of the street.

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  • mikehugo November 7, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    The nature of the beast. PDX is not bike friendly, have you heard otherwis? Until the city has true bike lanes; segregated from auto traffic this is what you’re signing up for. Too often i see the it’s my right of way and watch me take it! Bikes and Autos alike, not one more or better than the other but both. Defer to the 8,000. pound GORILLA and chalk it up to experience. Don’t let you’re ego put you in a no-win situation… ouch..

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  • Bonnie November 15, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Just a quick ammendment to my Nov. 6 experiences:
    There IS a streetlight at 20th and SE Harrison. Either it wasn’t working or it just doesn’t put out enough light to help during crummy weather.

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  • lyle November 15, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    we need to police our own, too. i’ve seen several bicyclists very recently riding during the night/bad weather/rush hour on 39th. which happens to be very busy, produce very fast traffic and also is able to not be that wide. just today there was a man riding up the hill by the joan of arc circle. granted he was as far as he could get right, he had on lots of lights. but people were still buzzing by him, after having to switch lanes to get by, at 30-40 mph, and it was dark, the street was wet, etc.

    it just doesn’t make any sense, and it is really frustrating to give all bike riders in this city a bad name while creating that many more people who are looking for reasons to justify their irrational dislike of bikers. so, driving your bike on very busy streets when there are tons of safe options that make it less likely anybody will be hurt (including people trying not to hit you): a) you subconsciously want to be hit or b) you have a sense of entitlement that is a little too big for your own good.

    stupid either way.

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  • adam November 15, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    dangerous cycling is, inherently, a self policing problem.

    if we can educate each other about routes, lights, safey, etc – it is easier…

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  • Adrian Russell-Falla November 16, 2006 at 10:57 am

    From: adrianrf@gmail.com
    Subject: Re: [BikePortland.org] New Comment On: Wanted: your close calls
    Date: November 16, 2006 10:56:02 PST
    To: jonathan@bikeportland.org

    wow, lyle, lotta conclusion-leaping here.

    you know nothing about the rider beyond what you saw, yet assume much.

    your guy:
    * might have just moved to Portland last week, and as yet be largely unaware of the Bike Route system
    * might be a career-long cage-driver on the return journey of his first-ever commuter cycle ride, a bit overwhelmed, and just routing on the habit of 20 years
    * might actually live on 39th, maybe a couple blocks past where you saw him, and might consider this the most direct route to his entranceway
    * might actually be someone who has the simple good nature to reasonably expect other human beings to yield him his share of space and consideration on a public street as he would do for them
    * might, since you say you’ve seen “several bicyclists very recently” in the area, be in the vanguard of an underground group of guerilla campaigners — with a higher risk profile than yours — who have decided to begin bold, proactive cage-driver re-education about the imperative to be aware of, and allow for, cyclists on a public highway

    [re the latter: one could argue strong logic for engineering such encounters in a) relatively well-lit areas where b) propensity for crass reactions will be restrained by the proximity of dozens of other witnesses and c) limited opportunities for offensive cagers to secure a hasty escape from the scene of any potential crime]

    …and yet, despite the existence of these and no doubt many other more-or-less plausible top-of-the-head possibilities, and despite the fact you yourself acknowledge the guy was conscientiously yielding lane space, and was responsibly well-illuminated, you want us to “police” other people who may actually dare to ride at night; in rain; on an efficient cross-suburb reasonably illuminated street; with frequent traffic lights and a 35mph max speed limit?

    not only that, you evidently are so utterly conditioned that Cars Are The Natural Order And Top Priority Forever that you reckon everyone else must be too, ‘cos they’d only do this because they “subconsciously want to be hit”, or are a little too well-endowed — in the entitlement department of course, no double entendres here…

    here’s an alternative for ya: you may be suffering from some quite substantial personal insecurities. [for entertainment's sake, by all means feel free to share more of them with us, at your leisure.]

    or, grow a pair.

    this is America, pal.
    some of us are never gonna buckle down and operate from fear. it’s a Good Thing.

    Adrian Russell-Falla
    412 NE 57th Ave
    Portland OR 97213

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  • lyle November 16, 2006 at 1:44 pm

    you’re the one assuming things, adrian, not me. there’s a difference between not operating from fear and putting your life at risk needlessly, which is what most people you or i see driving on extremely busy streets in portland are doing, when safe streets with a lot less chance of having a careless driver hit you are a block or less away.

    yeah, some don’t know the bike routes, some are new to town, some are trying to prove a point, but most just aren’t concerned with anything other than getting to where they’re going.

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  • Peek November 16, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    11/15/06 I was going east on Broadway just on the east side of the Broadway bridge. A car started coming through the bike lane to turn almost got me but i was screaming quite a bit. Then two blocks up, the same type of thing but there was a car stopped in the bike lane where they cross the bike lane into the car turn lane so i swerved out to the left to avoid the car and another car was pulling into that lane at the same time. She ran over my front wheel and I flew off. I got up unhurt but my wheel is bent out of shape. She asked if I was okay and since I was I said yes and got my bike out of traffic. I just started riding this summer so this is my first crash. I was a bit stunned/disoriented. I didn’t know what else to do other than start walking home. The lesson I learned here is to wait behind cars in the bike lane and just yell at them like everyone else.

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  • lyle November 16, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    oh, may i add driving on extremely busy streets with absolutely no bike lane whatsoever. in case you’re assuming again that i, as an obviously extreme bicyclist hater, think even if you’re in a bike lane, you still have no right to be near cars. and if, to address another point you’re were trying to make, he was near his house and that’s why he was on 39th, at night, in really bad visibility and braking conditions (raining heavily), don’t you think it would be prudent to be on the sidewalk WALKING your bike for the short distance to your house or destination?

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  • Adrian Russell-Falla November 16, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    you’re still not getting it, Lyle.

    your idea of what’s prudent may not [does not] correspond to his, or mine. yet you called on “us” to “police our own.”

    there are plenty of cage-drivers who reckon ANY adult who’d cycle anyplace around town is a nutter, putting their life and limb at “needless” risk.

    “what, propel yourself around on a flimsy, statically-unstable vehicle, with marginal acceleration and no airbags or seatbelt? no full-face Snell-approved helmets? no heavy gloves? no boots? no metal guards to prevent these stupid people from the obvious hazard of getting their digits caught in those cheese-cutter wires you call spokes? outweighed 100x+ by SUVs, trucks and buses? why, there oughta be a law to protect those idiots from themselves…”

    yes, a reductio ad absurdum argument; but I started hearing at least half of that crap logic for real when I began bike commuting.

    your small-minded self-righteousness about your elevated aversion to risk is your problem, mate; what pissed me off enough to respond was the suggestion that the guy you saw must, too quote you: “subconsciously want to be hit”.

    that’s the same logic that says “women who wear revealing clothing are asking to be raped.” and that moves your first posting from moronic toward harmful-and-must-be-opposed territory.

    idiot.

    Adrian Russell-Falla

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  • andy November 16, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    This fine evening my roommate and I were riding west on Wygant. Some of you know this street: lots of uncontrolled intersections, potholes, but a much more chill ride than Alberta. We were riding side by side, probably doing a nice comfortable 15 mph, which is just about right for any vehicle on a sidestreet like that. A car came up behind us at 18th or so and, finding that they couldn’t go as fast as they could on Alberta or Prescott, laid on the horn. Laid on the horn all the way to 15th, where we stop to wait for traffic to pass. Continues to lay on the horn to 14th Place, even as they round the corner. Did we flick ‘em off? No. Did we say anything? No. We were just there, exercising our rights to use the public right-of-way. Reason enough for a motorist to try to intimidate off the road.

    And, having read a couple of the latest posts, I’d like to make a note to Lyle: this was on a nice, quiet side street. Guess we can’t win for trying, eh?

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  • Kazimar November 17, 2006 at 9:51 am

    I almost died today, or at least almost had something important on my body rendered useless. Commuting into work this morning I was riding at a mellow 15 mph west on NE Hancock. As I approached 45th I noticed a lady in an SUV heading south on 45th slowing down for her stop at the sign (I didn’t have a stop sign at that intersection). Everything seemed fine and I continued along Hancock. As I started entering the intersection, however, I noticed she didn’t even come to a complete stop and was starting to continue through. Now I realize it was morning and a little foggy out, but I had a bright yellow jacket and flashing lights. I think since it was a pretty quiet area that she didn’t even look both ways or she definitely would have seen me. When I saw her I had to slam on my brakes and skidded like I did when I was a kid on my BMX. What’s funny is that it was apparent that she noticed me as I was skidding, because she braked for a second, but then continued, then braked again. When she finally stopped, I just looked at her intently, and she wouldn’t even look at me. She just pretended like nothing happened, and was simply waiting for me to pass. As shook up as I was I’m glad I kept my cool and didn’t do anything out of line in retaliation. Although now looking back I’m fantasizing about telling her to get out of her car, give me her keys, and then chuck them onto Sandy and watch her scramble to get them…

    Anyways, I’m certainly going to ride much more defensively after this near-collision.

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  • Cecil November 17, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    For once, this close call did not involve me on my bike being almost hit by a car. Rather, it involved me being almost hit by a bike. I was walking, crossing Salmon at Broadway with the light. A Transerv bike messenger who was unwilling to wait for pedestrians to clear the crosswalk before turning left onto Salmon from Broadway strafed me. I am sure he assumed that being almost struck by a bike in the crosswalk would not be nearly as disconcerting to a ped as being almost struck by a car. I am sure he also assumed that as a skinny guy on a small, swift bike he did not have to obey the law about waiting for peds to clear the lane before turning the way a car would have to wait. Wrong on both counts, buddy. I have nothing against messengers. I do have something against being placed in fear of being struck, whether by a bike or a car, and that kind of move only feeds the ire against messengers in this town.

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  • Qwendolyn November 19, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    I had a glass bottle thrown at me tonight.

    I assume the bottle came from a car traveling west on NE Glisan. By the time I realized what happened, the suspected car was down the hill and out of sight.

    I’m still a little rattled. It came literally inches from my face. I was riding east on the north side of the street (on the sidewalk) of NE Glisan between 82nd and 92nd avenues.

    I estimate traffic was going 30-40 mph.
    I was going 5-10 mph the opposite way. So the bottle was traveling between 35-50 mph.

    Best case scenario: This was a careless litterbug.

    Worst case scenario: Someone just threw a bottle that could’ve killed me.

    Cars are already dangerous enough. Now we have to start dealing with projectiles?!

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  • J Fo November 23, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    So, lately I have been extremely, shall we say, dismayed at the level of inattention and poor judgement displayed by some of the more impatient people on the road. Now I take full credit for being an asshole in my line of work, but I try to be as safe and courteous as I can while doing it. This might sound like an oxymoron, but I realize that not everyone knows I am fully aware of them while splitting lanes or riding on the sidewalk, which contingency occasionally impels me to do. So even though I might look reckless and retarded and about to run into someone, I have already observed their current and future position and have plotted a vector to avoid them, and other obstacles, at all costs.

    I have had 3 “incidents” thus far, none involving any utilizers of our streets save myself, (I use “Our” purposefully) and damaging none but myself and or my trusty steed. As I write this I knock discreetly on my wooden desk. My safety record is in large part due to my own fear of injury and/or embarassment, but as well it stems from my basic desire to live in a well-functioning and well-mannered city.

    This commitment to civility is a thing that I find seemly in those I admire and so strive to emulate. A civilized society is not worth 2 bits if it citizens cannot treat each other decently during peacetime (wartime is quite a different story…but that’s for another day). As such, I warn and make audible apology to those who I slip thru in crosswalks, and wave to drivers that let me pass. These things are an unspoken part of the duty I feel to represent bicyclists in general and messengers in particular, in order to give others the impression that we are aware and in control and thus not an object of fear and uncertainty. Just let us ride and there won’t be any problems, is the message that good riders impart along with our packages, a sort of laissez-faire credo of efficiency embodied in a flash of steel and a smile.

    And so it becomes clear that there are those whose level of respect for others on the road is quite sadly low. For example, crossing the Hawthorne Bridge yesterday on my way to class, I passed the usual cluster of commuters strung out along the concrete approach from Grand Avenue, and then as I swooped down onto the actual bridge, I had the irritation of observing someone up ahead carving a path thru the other cyclists and joggers (brave souls, those), in a manner startlingly reminiscent of those who you might see cutting back and forth on the freeway at speeds 4 or 5 times as fast. His main goal seemed not to get across the bridge, but to show others he could go faster and more nimbly than them. I myself will pass someone if there is sufficient room to not give them a scare, but I saw this person pass another commuter on the extreme left of the raised walkway, whose own wheels were perhaps 2 feet from the edge, brushing his arm in the process and almost causing the slower one to fall. Which, at that speed, could have done serious damage. If it had been I, I would have been quite tempted to veer to the left and cause the inconsiderate jerkface to ride off onto the grate in front of the #14, but it was not I, and so I followed him, noticing the shaken look on the commuter’s face.

    Upon reaching the other side, I took advantage of a break in the line of cars to shoot ahead and so passed Jerkface. I admit that I do play this game of “I’m faster so haha”, but usually only with other young males on uphills (who seem to get a huge boost to self esteem if they beat or match a courier…good for them) , or other messengers in friendly competition, or in the sanctioned form of mayhem known as alleycats. But there is little merit in scaring the shit out of people going to work, and even less if you are as old as this guy was. I mean, you should be done with those kid games by 30, right? This guy was at least that old. The best and most badass messengers I know are scrupulously observant of being safe in traffic, and I never see them have a near miss. The fact that I barely ever manage to catch a glimpse of them while they are working is, I feel, testament to their ability.
    In any case, I hope that the objective of this particularly obnoxious example of how to set a bad example was on his way to win a huge amount of money that he would donate to charity, or to deliver a baby, or something of merit. But most likely he was just following the statistics that would have endowed him in a rather unfavourable way…In any case, if he truly wished to be quick, he would have learned to split traffic and ride between lanes. I admit to sometime being what a friend’s roommate dubs “Outtamyway Guy”, but I strive not to be a total idiot about it.

    As I continued on my way, I pondered the outcome of this incident. To witness an innocent bystander forced into an accident is the last thing I want, but other than that my greatest fear is that dipshits like that unavoidably give a bad image to cyclists everywhere, and messengers especially, for whom he was likely mistaken by the commuters and drivers. He was most definitely not any messenger I know, and if I see him again I shall get rid of my xtra Kryptonite by locking his bike up and leaving a copy of this diatribe affixed to his seat.

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  • Spencer Bushnell November 27, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    The new bike traffic signal is great at E 41st and Burnside. Its horrible when drivers BLATANTLY RUN IT (ie 3 seconds after it is red) and almost hit me.
    Is there any way police can enfore that traffic signal (photos, stings, etc)?

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  • Dylan November 28, 2006 at 10:21 am

    I had a close call with a SE precinct police car this morning. I was riding West on Ankeny on the stretch between 28th and 20th. A police car, numbered SE 0300…041, failed to stop at a stop sign while travelling South on 24th (approximately). Due to wet, slushy roads, I was unable to stop myself and yelled instead. The police car skidded to a stop less than 6 feet from my bicycle.

    Shortly after, the same car passed me on Ankeny, proceeded to turn right on 20th, crossed a double yellow line into the mini-mart parking lot at 20th and Burnside, and must have crossed another set of double yellow lines to travel West on Burnside, because he re-appeared on Ankeney around 18th.

    I caught up with him as we waited for traffic to clear at the awkward intersection at Sandy. When a gap appeared, he gunned his engine and actually spun wheels, leaving a mark on the pavement.

    During none of this were his “emergency lights” on.

    Such aggressive behavior was certainly frightening for me. Out of curiosity, how would I “gently suggest” to this officer’s superiors that he be asked to “calm down a bit” without fear of reprisal?

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  • adam November 28, 2006 at 10:40 am

    you could file a complaint. google ppb complaint process.

    it takes about 5 minutes.

    good job getting the facts on this “person”.

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  • griffin December 9, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    December 9th, 2006 SE Glisan & 82nd, approx 6:45pm. No rain, very dark out
    I was traveling East on Glisan, and had stopped for the light at 82nd. There is no designated bike lane there, so I was in the lane. Just as I started into the intersection with the light, a car that had been behind me came within inches of hitting me as the driver attempted to make a right hand turn through the intersection (and ME). Interestingly enough, just earlier today I added extra red Planet Bike lights, oriented sidways, to the back of my Xtracycle, in addition to my regular rear-facing light and reflectors, in order to be more visable from the side. I think they may well have saved my life tonight.

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  • josh m December 13, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    December 12th, NE Broadway and Victoria, around 2pm, no rain, dry.

    As I was in the bike lane that is between two traffic lanes, a large truck in the right lane started vering into the bike lane pushing me into the left traffic lane. eventually I was in the left traffic lane and it took me hitting the truck for them to realize what they were doing(or so I assume). a couple seconds later they honked at me…

    December 12th, NE Broadway and 2nd ave, 5pm, dry, no rain, dark.
    Traffic was dead stopped. I was riding in the bike lane. About 20ft before 2nd ave I noticed a van going north across broadway… right into my path. I turned onto 2nd ave to avoid getting hit, but w/ my speed I was swerving wide so I had to put my hand on their hood to not get hit. they slowed down and then started going again right into me, I had to yell at them for them to stop. The guy stopped and rolled down his window, probably to appologize or something. I just yelled at him to open up his effin’ eyes. and then continued riding.

    Everytime I’ve been hit or almost been hit it’s been in the bike lane on NE broadway. I was hit by a lady in a jeep turning right onto 3rd ave right in front of me in the lane. I didn’t have time to stop or turn so I just pedaled harder and made it by her. She caught my rear tire and triangle w/ her bumper. i stopped but she just sped off down the street. There are still paint marks on my rim from it as well as it warped my rim and eff’d my hub up.
    eff bike lane.s

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  • Adam Rust December 13, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    December 13, SE Taylor & 39th, about 1:30Pm

    There is a crossing light at this intersection. Both south-bound lanes on 39th had come to a complete stop at the red light. One north-bound lane had also stopped. The cross walk light lit up, and I proceeded to cross 39th. Luckily, I decided to check the north-bound lanes as I started into the road. Despite the glaring red light and all of the stopped traffic, a lady in a red SUV in one of the north-bound lanes conveniently ignored the stoplight and sped right through, missing my front tire by less than a foot. I would estimate that she was traveling at 30-35 miles per hour, and never even slowed down for the stoplight. I tried to catch her attention with a yell, but I don’t think she even noticed. I wished so badly that a police officer had been at the stop light at that moment. That would have been a glorious ticket for the flagrant disregard for the traffic signal and endangering cyclists and pedestrians.

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  • daniel December 14, 2006 at 10:11 am

    riding a fixed gear, it’s sometimes crazy riding in downtown. but i have to say that SW broadway and alder, you never know whats going to happen. you have cars then you have have those huge buses that don’t really care about anyone, they jus wanna get where they’re going.
    leaving a coffee shop heading down alder not really going that fast. in the far left lane i saw this “ok” size green car. wasn’t thinking too much about it, then right after the light on broadway the car jus slowed down and changed lanes right in front of me. now i know he saw me. it was like 7pm so it was kinda dark. but i have a bright ass headlight.

    i dunno. i jus think ppl should be a lil more carefull

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  • daniel December 14, 2006 at 10:11 am

    riding a fixed gear, it’s sometimes crazy riding in downtown. but i have to say that SW broadway and alder, you never know whats going to happen. you have cars then you have have those huge buses that don’t really care about anyone, they jus wanna get where they’re going.
    leaving a coffee shop heading down alder not really going that fast. in the far left lane i saw this “ok” size green car. wasn’t thinking too much about it, then right after the light on broadway the car jus slowed down and changed lanes right in front of me. so close to jus taking me right out. now i know he saw me. it was like 7pm so it was kinda dark. but i have a bright ass headlight.

    i dunno. i jus think ppl should be a lil more carefull

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  • sheldon December 14, 2006 at 9:31 pm

    Interesting ride home, I was heading east on NE Broadway and right after I pasted the Rose Garden that is when the chaos began. It was bumper to bumper traffic and had to slow down to avoid a truck that was merging into the right lane coming off of I-5. Funny thing is when I looked over the driver and his wife were passing there baby around (WTF). Then every other block I had to slow down because some was blocking the bike lane turning right or trying to squeeze through the gaps between cars. By NE 9th I was cursing. How could be almost cut off 5 times in 5 blocks.

    But then, as I got to NE 10, my mood changed. The traffic lights were out and while it was bumper to bumper hell I was able to cruise along.

    It sure is frustrating sometimes out there, but its also a good feeling to know you aren’t inching along with the rest of the tiny metal coffins. I bet those car commuters on NE Broadway are still trying to make their way home.

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  • josh m December 16, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    For once, buzzing another rider may have done some good.
    Where else? NE Broadway and Grand. 12/15 8ish dark.
    I was riding down broadway in the bike lane at a decent clip. there was a red light at grand. Another biker was stopped at teh light. I could see grand’s light turning red, so I just kept going as I was in a hurry and had enough room to safely pass the rider. As I passed him and was about to cross grand, the truck in the lane next to the bike lane started turning right onto grand, into both myself and the other rider… I was going fast enough that I cleared the truck but was able to easily slap his headlight w/ my hand as he was turning. I hope this stopped the driver and the other rider was safe to go through as he had the right of way. I don’t believe the driver even had a turn signal on.
    I believe had I not just rode through this driver would have turned right into the other biker(who was wearing a bright yellow jacket and had lights, btw).

    ah, NE Broadway, how I love thee and my daily close calls.

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  • latifha December 25, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    I was in Houston crossing Montrose onto Rosedale when the car (I am serious) sped up and hit me. Totalled my frame. I had a helmet on but as I was dragging my bloody body off the curb where I landed, this little stupid F jumps out and starts telling me that I should know better.
    Takes all kinds…

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  • john January 2, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Watch cars that turn right onto Interstate Avenue from the Ramp that comes down / goes up to Broadway, right after the Colisium, and right before one goes under the Broadway bridge while heading north.

    There was a gap in car traffic (but in this gap was me) and a guy gunned it to get his car in this gap, right in front of me. My body just reacted by locking the brakes, and when my brain caught up both tires were sliding and almost slid under the pickup. I must have missed him by mere inches. Luckily he was accelerating. He must not have seen me ? even though I have two bright headlights.

    Note my attention had been diverted for a couple seconds, otherwise I would never have let myself get into this situation. Please watch those right turning vehicles and be prepared to swerve or stop…

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  • gabrielamadeus January 3, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    On my way home from the se to the ne tonight I got buzzed. Going north on 12th at the intersection of madison a large semi truck blew by me 6″ away and accelerated as it went by. I’ve been buzzed many time but this is the worst one yet, had I flinched at all I would have ended up under several tons of truck or plastered against a parked car. It was a definite act of aggression against a bicyclist. So of course I caught up with it at the next light and made sure he/she saw me behind him, looked everywhere for a license plate but it didn’t have one. So I passed and continued when the light turned. The truck passed me and at the next light I got a good description of it rode around it to get the make, etc. Then took off (now on the 12th ave bike lane north of sandy) and the truck accelerated past me again this time half way into the bike lane (I was smart and riding WAY over to the right). Then I passed the #$%@#$ again at the next light and that was that.

    So I got home 15min later and found the non-emergency number, after 15min on hold I got a lady who said yes it was illegal to not have plates, but too much time (30min) had passed, and it could be anywhere. There was nothing they could do. She did recommend that next time I just call 911 at the scene if I had felt threatened.

    Here is the truck info for what it’s worth:

    5:45pm
    e madison and 12th
    Volvo semi truck cab
    “WHITEGMC” on grill
    white in color
    “freight lines” on both doors in generic black lettering
    “221″ red adhesive numbers attached to back left of cab
    no license plate

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  • Mike January 4, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    The intersection/4-way stop on 25th & SE Clinton St is always bad. All the cars are rushing to stop then run through the light. So waiting your turn does no good, you just wait and wait until the car behind you honks. Lady in a gold Toyota looking SUV almost hit me yesterday, drove up to the stop sign and just pulled right on out.

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  • Adam Rust January 5, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    A car rolled through a stop sign at SE 36th & Taylor today (01/05/07). Though there was ample time for the driver to notice me approaching the intersection from the West, he apparently failed to notice me. I locked up my breaks and skidded to a stop in order to avoid toppling over the hood of the car. The vehicle continued its slow progress through the intersection without any apparent recognition of my presence whatsoever.

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  • Ben Parsons January 7, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    This is more than a close call, and a unique situation overall, but I need some advice if anyone has any.

    I was in a bike-bike collision. The other rider didn’t see me, and didn’t stop at his stop sign riding west bound. It was dark and I had front and rear lights, he did not. I had the right away riding south bound with no stop sign at the intersection (I saw him, but figured he would at least slow down). To avoid collision I braked quickly just before colliding and flipped over my handle bars… and the other biker fell into me.

    I have all his contact info – name, address, phone, DL#, and health insurance. Him and I wrote out on paper what happened and he admitted to this being his fault.

    I have made a claim with my auto insurance company, but waiting to hear back from the adjuster on Monday. Renters Ins. covers any property damaged.

    I didn’t file a police report because police told me not to since it’s not fatal or trauma.

    I am going to have a crap load of medical bills (torn AC joint) , wage lose, etc. Is this guy liable by any Oregon law or will I have to take it to civil court?

    Any advice is very much appreciated!

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  • bArbaroo January 8, 2007 at 9:54 am

    On Sunday 1/7 about 10 am, I was headed to the grocery store, trailer in tow. Cruising west along NE Skidmore on the north edge of Wilshire Park at a good clip (trailer considered)and a goldish Chevy Suburban(?)turned right onto NE 35th in front of me. He cleared me with very little room to spare -inches, not feet. I say the car cleared me because it was going so fast that it passed in front of me in a blink. Had it been going the speed limit I’m pretty sure we would have shared some paint.

    Normally, I hear traffic coming, anticipate those making right turns and avoid fright. In this situation the driver approached so fast, turning at 30+ miles/hr, that I had no time to do anything but be thankful he missed me. I did not hear the car coming, did not sense it until it was smack in front of me.

    The behavior exhibited made me feel as though the driver’s intention was to harass me and as I turned north I watched at the first few cross streets nervous that I might be a target again. I was being paranoid and never saw the car again.

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  • Aaron Tarfman January 10, 2007 at 8:56 am

    I would like to report a reckless driver who I encountered while traveling westbound on SE Glenwood Street. At approx. 7:45am this morning a ‘souped up’ red pickup with the license plate #170-CRX entered the roadway and made a left turn at approx 25mph. I avoided being struck by braking fast, but watched him turn into the parking lane before then returning to the travel lane and taking off at twice my speed. Such behavior is seriously disturbing given that it does not reflect unusual behavior in SE Portland for commuters going (I assume) to the industrial district along SE 21st Ave at the train tracks.

    I sent this to: policeIandR@portlandpolice.org
    which may or may not be successful.

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  • Cecil January 10, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Last night (January 9, 2007) at about 6:15 – I was headed west on SE Lincoln/Harrison at 32nd – driver headed north stops at stop sign (no stop signs for East-West travel), looks at me (I am lit up like a Christmas tree, makes eye contact! and nevertheless starts into the intersection as I enter it – I scream, he stops. 1 blocks later, at 31st, I see another driver do the exact same thing to a woman riding east. She is also light up like a Christmas tree and she also has a pretty good loud scream. 3 blocks later, I barely escape being hit by a woman who jets backwards out of her driveway without looking. I hit my brakes, she doesn’t even acknowledge my presence, but instead proceeds to head West as well, so that I end up following her. We both turn left at 26th and start down the hill toward Division. I am still behind her – she suddenly slams to a halt just before Grant and just sits there. Fortunately I was far enough behind her that I didn’t end up going over the back of her car. I don’t know if she was screwing with me or just an idiot, but either way it was messed up.

    And this was on “bike-friendly” streets :-)

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  • Jeff January 11, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Last night, Jan 10, a little past 5pm at SE 21st & Powell. I was driving north on 21st, waiting to turn left onto Powell a couple of cars back from the light. I see the car in front start to turn left just as a bike enters the intersection crossing Powell. The cyclist was quite adroit and veered well to his right to avoid being hit, but I was amazed at the lack of reaction from the car. I can understand not seeing the cyclist at first, but when he was right in front of the car, it didn’t seem to slow down at all. I saw no brake lights. A lesser cyclist might not have avoided it. I bike through that intersection whenever I bike to work, and I think it’s one of the most dangerous between there and St. Johns.

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  • levi January 11, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Sometime last summer(’06), I was on my way home, which is basically in the woodstock area. I was turning right onto SE 4th off of Caruthers by OMSI, in order to hop on to the esplanade, when a little grey sports car cut me off at the turn. I was forced to try to bike out of the way, but ended up being sandwiched between the car and the curb. I was inches away to getting a smashed tire, or worse, but fortunately I got off with only a little burn on my arm and a very mad adrenaline rush. As for the car, it actually sped up–no stopping to see if I was ok or anything.

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  • Josh January 19, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Riding along north on N. Williams on January 8th, I came to an intersection a few blocks south of Fremont (it might have been Monroe, maybe Fargo). We were both wearing highly reflective jackets and both had headlights – mine the blinking white kind, my friend the really super-bright headlights with the external battery pack.

    I am always a bit leary of cross streets which have a car sitting on the west side of the street at a stop sign waiting for a gap in the traffic to either turn left onto Williams or cross over.

    Well, on this day, the gap in traffic coincided with my friend and I entering the intersection. Just as we enter the intersection, a stoned (I’m assuming…) driver of a white cargo van guns it and heads straight for us. I slam on the brakes and my friend collides into me from behind and we both go down on the wet pavement.

    The driver, thankfully, slams on his brakes and doesn’t hit us. Then, to my EXTREME aggrevation, he inches by us and leans out the window to say, “I wasn’t gonna hit you, maaannn.”

    I believe I hyper-extended my elbow on landing, as it still hurts, but other than that and some ripped cycling gear, there were luckily no injuries.

    I would like to propose that, if the three-strikes you’re out law is legal in California, there ought to be a three-strikes and you’re out law for driving. One runned stop sign, one instance of speeding, one caused “accident” and you get a steep fine ($1000+). Second runned stop sign, or second other infraction, incurs a $2500 fine and a 6-month suspension of driving privileges. Third, and final infraction, causes the driver’s license to be revoked permanently (in all states). I’m sick of being hit by, and pushed around by, these cars.

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  • shiress January 21, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I have the same experience as Mark – August 10th, 2005 11:23 wrote –

    “SE Hawthorne EB between Grand and SE 12th. Once a month or so, a driver will turn right across the bike lane, almost striking me.”

    and exactly like jordan
    August 11th, 2005 11:57 wrote:
    “i’ve had several close calls on Hawthorne going east, right before the Burgerville on 12th, where the trafic merges from two lanes to one. many times car drivers do not want to allow a bike to merge lanes here and i’m nearly hit.”

    The worse however was being completely side swiped by a bus pulling over at that burgerville. The driver “pushed” me up to onto the curb.

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  • Dennis January 22, 2007 at 7:47 am

    I learned a new RULE this morning. Apparently when it’s dark out pickup trucks don’t have to stop at stop signs.

    These happened South Waterfront area. I live and was headed to Sellwood.

    SW Boundary, eastbound, stop sign before train tracks. I had stopped and was making a left turn onto the bike trail next to the Trolly stop when a yellow & white pickup truck blew through the stop sign and nearly nailed me. He slid to a stop inches from me, opened his window, yelled obscenities, and gave me the finger.

    Shortly after, corner of SW Boundary & SW Landing Square Dr. the same thing happened. I had stopped at the stop sign and a red pickup truck blew the stop sign eastbound on Boundary and almost nailed me. He also rolled down his window, yelled obscenities and gave me the finger.

    It’s a new world with lots of less knowledgable people around. Lessons learned. Becareful out there..

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  • emily January 23, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Monday Jan 22, 2:30 pm
    Northbound Williams at Weidler
    Light turns green for traffic on Williams. When I am in the middle of the intersection a white 4-door car comes speeding through the intersection on Weidler. Just sped right through a light that was red when he got to it, going around 30-35 mph I’d guess. I was on a bike and a pickup truck was in the intersection on Williams as well. 6 inches to a foot further north and I’d have been toast.

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  • pdxwoman January 26, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    My close call came tonight, and involved a group of about 12-16 cyclists from the Critical Mass ride. One of them rode at my car, into my lane, on purpose (after giving me a sly grin) and then one of them positioned himself and his bike in front of me (in traffic) so I could not move. All of them where screaming that I had tried to kill this guy who had come out of his lane at my vehicle, which was in a completely different lane.

    I cycle for fun. My partner cycles for transportation. I’ve even got bumper stickers educating other drivers about a cyclist’s right to the full lane.

    I’m tired of the kamikazi cyclists. The ones out at night with no light or almost dead lights, the ones without helmets. The ones crossing the intersection on a red light because there aren’t any cars coming the other way. IF YOU WANT THE RESPECT OF DRIVERS AND YOU WANT TO BE SAFE, YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES.

    If you, a cyclist, see another cyclist disrespecting the laws meant to protect them or doing something that promotes driver’s disrespect toward cyclists, tell them about it.

    Here’s to my partner staying safe. Here’s to you staying safe.

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  • adam January 28, 2007 at 8:45 am

    “I’m tired of the kamikazi cyclists.” – if it is any consolation, we are also tired of complainers like you!

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  • Ryan Burke January 28, 2007 at 10:26 am

    I’d hardly call a vehicle which gears out at 27mph ‘kamikaze’.

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  • Jason January 28, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Critical Mass does nothing but create hatred for cyclists and problems for us all who enjoy and ride bicycles on city streets. One step away from thugs really. Can someone please tell me what they’ve constructively accomplished?

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  • Wyatt January 28, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    “If you, a cyclist, see another cyclist disrespecting the laws meant to protect them or doing something that promotes driver’s disrespect toward cyclists, tell them about it.”

    I would love to see car drivers attempting to police other motorists they feel have broken the law.

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  • Sara January 28, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Haha, Wyatt, you haven’t seen me drive! I can’t stand people who don’t zipper properly, or who don’t wait in line like the rest of the cars, and I get pushy to make my point. It’s a good thing I usually bike!

    My close call just happened. I was on Bybee and 22nd, just north of the duck pond and a few blocks from my house, when a vehicle drove by going the opposite direction, and someone threw a salad roll at me. They missed and said “Damn!” I’m sure glad they missed: I think a 50 mph salad roll (with me as the reference frame) could have made me crash.

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  • Aaron February 3, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    I’ve had the same basic incident occur twice. Traveling north from the Springwater Corridor. Once on 46th (big hill) and once on 52nd. Cars don’t seem to understand that there is a legitimate reason for bikes to be on the road and I’ve been honked at or had cars come very close while ascending this hill. On 46th, there has been a deep trench which prevents the use of the bike lane, so riding in the road is necessary to get around it. I don’t know how long that will continue to be there.

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  • DJ February 3, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Yesterday (2/2)I was riding down 10th at around 6 pm. As I passed the library a car pulled up next to me and the driver started yelling obsenities at me. I rode off not thinking too much about it. However, he proceeded to persue me down the street yelling “You wanna die mother f***er? You Wanna DIE?!?!” He was leaning out his window and swerving at me trying to run me down. I quickly turned down a street where he couldn’t follow but why would anyone want to run down a guy riding home from work?

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  • tonyt February 11, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    So this does not qualify as a close call as in someone ELSE almost killing you. But I thought some of you might find some entertainment in it.

    Preface this to say that the 3-speed hub on my sweet old Schwinn cruiser has been a bit on the hair-trigger side lately; a bit too close to the next gear. I’ve been meaning to fix it.

    So I’m riding my sweet Schwinn 3-speed cruiser at my neighborhood park like I do every morning with my dog and this morning he was feeling especially speedy. So we started racing, and I started hauling. I’m leaning forward really far and at the worst possible point in the downward stroke of my right leg, the hub just lets go. Nothing. It’s like the chain breaks. WHAM!

    At the moment I made contact with the ground, I’m thinking, “Oh for SURE I just broke my collar bone.” And then I’m on the ground making that animal sound you make when you get the wind knocked out of you, and this woman runs up to me and asks if I need her to get help. I continue to make animal groaning sounds but somehow get the idea across that I just need a minute so I can learn to breathe again.

    A few minutes later I’m able to get up. The woman offers to help me walk home, But I think I can make it on my own. Despite being in the most pain I think I’ve felt in, oh I don’t know, 10 years, I get on my bike. Hey, it’s easier than walking. My house is downhill from the park.

    At this point I swear I’ve broken my scapula, or whatever the hell that thing is. Holy cr*p, it hurts.

    But I make it home, call my friend who’s in the medical field and she hears me barely able to speak between gasps of air and says, “Get to the hospital.”

    So her husband, my best friend, drives me to Emmanuel, the staff of which absolutely rocked I might say. Hardly any wait at all and everyone was super nice.

    So then there’s morphine, going into shock, more morphine, X-Rays and a Cat Scan, and more morphine, and I learn I have four broken ribs. Time to go home.

    Woo hoo! So here I am at home, nursing wonderful pain meds and pausing every 10 minutes to breathe into some ping-pong ball-in-a-tube, breathing aparatus. It’s supposed to keep me from getting pneumonia. And did I mention the pain meds?

    Hoo boy, let me say that four broken ribs was really freakin painful and I LOVE pharmaceuticals. Oh, and I did NOT break my collar bone.

    So watch out for those maladjusted 3-speed Sturmey-Archers.

    Ride on!

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  • David February 13, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    Up until yesterday when my car was stolen, I only rode my bicycle occasionally. My most recent disheartening and dangerous experience happened when I lived in the Laurelhurst neighborhood and was riding home from the Hollywood Farmer’s Market with my roommate. Not wanting to put ourselves at risk by crossing I-84 using 39th, we rode out of our way to cross using 47th and then cut back into our neighborhood using the neighborhood streets. However we still had to cross 39th which is always busy. We turned right onto 39th from Royal and then 3 blocks later we were turning left at the traffic light at Hassalo, which is the street on which we lived. A minivan came speeding down 39th after we had already moved to the left turning lane. The driver honked at us, swerved around us cutting in front of us to turn left, and quickly accelerated. Although we were trying our best to bicycle safely, lawfully, and courteously, this driver clearly disapproved of us and went out of his way to make us feel unsafe. It is moments like this that make me reluctant to bicycle more in Portland.

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  • Qwendolyn February 14, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    hey tonyt in post 279, you should be careful!

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  • J February 15, 2007 at 11:10 am

    I was driving in the NW yesterday on a busy street, a cyclist, no helmet, big headphones on blew through a stop sign on 22nd and Overton right in front of me. As an avid cyclist and a regular bike commuter I have my wits about me when it comes to intersections, but seriously, if I had been going 5 mph faster he would have been on my hood. This sort of riding gives cyclist as a whole a bad name, but it is dangerous and ridiculous. I would urge cyclist to use their head while cycling in a city environent, leave the headphones at home, and atleast slow at intersections.

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  • Richard S February 15, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    I had two close calls on my commute home yesterday.

    The first was at the junction of SE 169th and SE 29th in Vancouver. This is one of those wide streets – very tractish. SE 169th has a stop sign. I was riding west down SE 29th. This woman in a minivan stopped, then crossed 169th, cutting me off. She was talking on her cell phone, and wasn’t paying attention. About 50% of my close calls are at this particular junction.

    For the second close call, I decided to try a route from East Vancouver to Portland mentioned in the forumes. This involved crossing the 205 bridge, then turning west onto Alderwood Dr. Some idiot in a pickup was crossing Alderwood, stopped at his stop sign, then proceeded to cut me off. This was much closer then the Vancouver incident above. He slams on his brakes (I’m already braking as hard as I could), yells something, then roars behind me.

    Note, I didn’t like the Alderwood option – it’s back to Prescott for me.

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  • Lindsay February 15, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    I was on my way to work back in December when I was nearly squished by a women on the corner of 7th and Weidler.

    I had passed the woman prior at the stop light at Broadway. Because of the Kinko’s, there is occasionally cars parked on the street. As I was avoiding the parked cars, and coming to a stop for the light, I caught the woman out of the corner of my eye. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid being squished between her and the parked cars. She consciously tried to get in front of me, that was very obvious. I yelled at her asking what she was thinking, all I got the finger and the horn. Needless to say I cried. I was very angry that someone could deliberately make the choice to potentially hurt someone, and then to have them not apologize and blame you is very sad indeed.

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  • Dave D February 21, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Hillsboro just east of 185th on Evergreen

    Ridding into work this morning I was cut off by a white delivery truck making a right turn in front of me. The truck was driven by a 20 something white male with two white male passengers. Now this kind of thing happens almost every ride, but as I locked it up and skidded to avoid hitting the truck I could see the passengers grinning at me, like this was some kind of game which is what pissed me off and made me follow the truck. When they stopped at the Shell station I approached the driver and said “what the F#$k do you think you where doing? His response “gets the hell off the road” at which point I went into the gas station and called 911. I figure the 911 operator would hang up on me, but instead stayed on the phone taking information for about 15 mins. As I was on the phone one of the passengers approached and asked “if we could deal with this without the cops” that the driver “was a bad driver”, ya, no kidding and not really way to pursued me from getting the cops involved. I figure the truck would leave, but they stayed around until their boss told them to leave. Believe it or not they actually gave me their phone number, their bosses phone number and the name of the company they work for (they make marble products and have a flower in their name). The police showed up about 45 minutes after this all happened. The officer was very polite and seemed concerned. He took my statement and said he would make contact the occupants of the truck as well as their boss, but nothing he could do unless he witnessed the incident. Oh well hopefully having the cops call the driver and their boss will be enough to make these guys think twice before they do this again.

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  • Beth February 23, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Feb. 22, around 6 p.m., just north of SE Powell on SE 21st. Turning left into Seven Corners cycling shop, in the left side of the lane. I had been signaling left, and since there were oncoming cars and I needed to stop, I put my hand back on the handlebars. Right after doing this, a beige Volvo (older model) passed me on the left, zooming to make it before the oncoming cars got there. He could have slowed to pass me on the right.

    On the other side, a happier story: Last week, at SE 26th & SE Ivon (near Clinton), a group of teenage boys was carousing. I was stopped, waiting to turn onto 26th, and as they approached, one said, presumably as a joke, “Gimme the bike, bitch.” Then he ran up and jumped over my front wheel. One of the other guys in the group said, “Dude, don’t mess with her. Apologize.” He didn’t. “Dude, apologize!” He apologized, and I thanked him before running off. Made me feel better about the world.

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  • Ron March 2, 2007 at 2:35 am

    Just found this site and I have one unusual close call of my own. This was about 5 a.m. in the morning as I was headed to work on N. Vancouver past Legacy. As I approached N. Russell, I timed it so that I would hit the green light and as I got to the middle of the intersection, a car was bearing down on me going about 50 mph (it seemed!) with no intention of stopping. I skidded to a hault on my side and ended up in the middle of the intersection. The driver had seen me in time to stop about 5 feet before he plowed me over and at that point I realized it was a police car! He was going to fly through that intersection with no intention of stopping and with no flashing lights or sirens. I felt like giving him the bird but held my finger. Just collected what was left of my dignity and rode on.

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  • Jason S. March 6, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I have many, but this one is clear in my mind and easiest to write about. An older Suburban cut me off when he made a right turn off of SW Terwilliger just before the highway overpass (near Lewis and Clark college)into a mini-mall area. I was on the shoulder (I think there is actually a bike lane there) riding when he passed me and made a right turn without signalling. Luckily, I was travelling slow enough so I hit my skidded and turned into the parking lot entrance where he was going. I may have actually hit his truck with my outstretched hand, but I am not sure. Anyway, I saw his head and he did not even notice I was there. He simply made turned right without looking. Failing to look before turning right is probably the most annoying driver oversight.

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  • andy March 7, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Typical lawless motorist behavior. I was crossing MLK at Skidmore – on a green light – and was nearly hit when a car (beige sedan, Oregon URH 432) made a turn at nearly full speed from MLK onto Skidmore, against the red light, barely missing me in the process. It might have been even closer if I hadn’t decided to play it safe. I confronted the driver about it, all she had to say was “uh?” She just couldn’t be bothered.

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  • Anonymous March 11, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Short and simple. Cop traveling west on Division Street at the 205 bike trail, at about 11:15 at night. Had to have seen all my blinking lights, but blew by anyways while I was in the crosswalk. Then also I was heckled the other night by a trucker at the corner of columbia blvd and 47th Ave at about 10:30. Asked me from his truck which way I was going, and pointed straight ahead, and then proceeded to yell at me how I was a fuckin’ idiot dumbshit, yadda yadda yadda. Pretty brave talking shit to a cyclist while you’re in a semi truck. This guy felt he owned the road. It’s time the public got filled in about how cyclists must ride in traffic. They all think we’re out to get in everyone’s way. We’re just trying to get where we’re going like everyone else. Too bad we all can’t hide inside 20 ton semi trucks.

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  • Spencer March 13, 2007 at 2:22 am

    riding on hawthorne bridge, crazy guy threatened to force me into traffic.

    riding north on sandy/7th between hawthorne and belmont. light truck pulls out in front of me at 10 am proceeding north one block around the post office and then turns right while i have overtaken him (due to slowly moving traffic) i was forced to dive right with him, and i gently tapped his truck 4 times to let him know i was there and to check his blindspot when turning. he did not have his signal on. its a good thing i ride a track bike because the only way i made that turn was because i skidded it, and who says i need brakes?

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  • pdxcommuter March 20, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Oregon NDS 878, old beige pickup truck, with a wheezy sounding engine, corner of SW Beaverton-Hillsdale/Oleson/Scholls Ferry Road. I’m making the left from BH to southwest-bound Scholls Ferry. I’m in the left turn lane. Pickup decides I’m not moving fast enough for him. He passes me on the outside of the single lane left turn. He couldn’t wait 30 seconds extra for both of us to get through the intersection, and then he could pass safely.

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  • Martha March 21, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Several months ago I was on my way through the intersection of 12th, Burnside, and sandy. I was on 12th, headed north. 12th has three lanes at the point where I was, two that go straight across and a right turn only lane, from which bikes and busses can also go straight through; it becomes a bike lane after the intersection.

    I was in the turn/bike lane with a car to my left, in one of the lanes that went straight across. When the light turned green the car turned right, cutting me off. It was a good thing I hadn’t been timing it so that I could start as the light turned green, as I usually do, or he would have hit me. (He was quite oblivious to my presence)

    In another incident I was riding in the bake lane on NE 12th in front of the high school. One of the parents decided that, as all the parking spaces in front of the school were already occupied, she would just pull into the bike lane (directly in front of me) and let her kid out there. I narrowly avoided slamming into the back of her car, as I was blocked from swerving on one side bye parked cars and on the other by cars waiting for the light to turn green.

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  • Loren March 24, 2007 at 12:56 am

    Here I am again! Almost run over today by an SUV turning into a shopping center on Stark. I literally skidded to a stop about six inches from this guy, as he turned into the shopping center. It was the center with Harbor Freight, a bit west of 257th.

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  • Max March 29, 2007 at 10:58 am

    My close call happened the other night in Gresham after I got out of school (MHCC). I was winding up the left sidewalk of 257th toward division from the school and in the intersection about halfway up, some dude was stopped with his blinker on until I started through the green light on the cross walk. He was so impatient that he started to pull forward before I even got across even the front of his car. He side-swiped me and took off at high speed. : 2000-something Subaru :

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  • Michael G. April 2, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Around 2:45 pm today I was on N. Mississippi stopped at the redlight at the intersection with Skidmore when a large Ford SUV starts honking behind me. After the light turns green I start pedaling down the hill. The driver of the SUV revvs his engine and roars past even though there is oncoming traffic in the other lane. He narrowly misses me and honks again.

    The SUV was a newer Ford Expedition or Excursion with a Bass fishing sticker on the back and Oregon plate number 493 CMB

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  • pdxcommuter April 4, 2007 at 12:03 am

    Around 9:30AM this morning, northbound Barbur at Hamilton. (I think) green 2 or 4 door sedan right hooks me. Not badly enough that I went down or contacted the car, but badly enough that I jammed on the brakes. Oregon plate 613 CTR. I turned right and followed her down the hill on Hamilton. I caught her at the stop sign at Corbett. I asked her to pay attention next time, please, and that she had turned right in front of me.

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  • helmholtz April 4, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    riding home from work around 6:30 pm on SE 45 near Belmont. Driver closing in fast behind me and passes between me and parked cars on both sides at over 30mph, with inches to spare, then swerves in front of me to ‘make his point’.

    I flip him the bird in a gesture of thanks and he proceeds to pull over at the next stop sign to wait for me. as I pull up i get the typical rhetoric of ‘you don’t belong on the road’ ‘stay out of my way’ and when told that i had his plate number ‘who you gonna call, no body cares about what happens to you’.

    newer green cadillac, oregon tag 837 BRV

    and yes, i know i should have kept my finger to myself and just reported the aggressive driving and that he probably wouldn’t have pulled over had i not flipped him off. lessons learned…

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  • K. April 4, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    I was traveling south at about 7:45 pm on southwest Broadway in the bike lane approaching the intersection of SW Columbia and SW Broadway when a black Porche Boxter #GPC ESQ came from the far left lane to within three or four feet of hitting me so it could reach a parking spot. I then road to the corner, parked my bike, and walked back to write down the vehicle description and number.

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  • Cecil April 5, 2007 at 11:01 am

    This morning, about 7:10 AM, I am headed south on SE 11th Avenue at Mill – I am in right side of right lane. There is a stop sign on Mill, not on 11th. At the stop sign, headed west, are a pickup truck and behind the pickup some kind of muscle car – Trans Am, I think. Black.
    Pickup truck has time to cross before I get there – he goes. Dude in black muscle car pulls up to the sign and then, without looking, also starts to go (apparently on the theory that because he was already stopped once, albeit behind another car, he has satisfied the law re: stopping for stop signs). Unfortunately, by this time I was in the intersection. Fortunately, I operate under the assumption that almost everyone out there on the road is an idiot and should be expected to do something idiotic (and that assumption is not confined to motorists, BTW). So my antenna were already up enough to realize what was happening in time to yell loudly enough for him to stop before he hit me. The funny thing was that he had no expression on his face whatsoever when he looked at me. Usually in these situations I get one of two reactions: the driver either looks chagrined and mouths an apology, or looks pissed and mouths a swear word. This one had no reaction whatsoever. Just waited for me to clear the intersection and drove on. Maybe he was on Ambien and sleep-driving . . .

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  • witness April 7, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    This afternoon while heading west on ne broadway a cyclist ahead of me in the bike lane was nearly hit by a truck making a right onto the freeway at Williams. When the cyclist yelled at the driver to watch out, the driver responded angrily and the two exchanged words ending with the classic middle finger.

    At this point the light was green, but as the cyclist continued on his way the driver of the truck pursued him and intentionally struck him with his truck, hitting him with the front right fender of the truck and throwing him over the sidewalk and onto the ground.
    As a witness, I immediately stopped and called the police. The motorist jumped out of his car and while it initally looked as if he was going to further assult the cyclist, he restrained himself and stayed on the scene as he saw me on the phone with the police and another witness writing down his license plate.

    Luckily the cyclist had only minor injuries and damage, but he was understandably in shock.

    When the police arrived they began talking with the driver and the cyclist, and after taking my information asked me to leave.

    If anyone knows anything about this accident or can do any follow up, I’d be very curious to know how the Portland police deal with a motorist who was extremely dangerous, aggressive and completely unjustified in the assult of a cyclist riding within his rights…

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  • TJ April 7, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    From post 285: “The police showed up about 45 minutes after this all happened. The officer was very polite and seemed concerned. He took my statement and said he would make contact the occupants of the truck as well as their boss, but nothing he could do unless he witnessed the incident. ”

    This is laughable. It took them 45 minutes? If you’ve ever been by the Washington county Sheriffs office you may have noticed there are a massive number of cop cars. To take 45 minutes is ludicrous.

    But the important thing is that if the cop didn’t see the crime then he can’t write a citation. That’s good to know. Guess we can get away with just about anything in that case. I feel better knowing that.

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  • Dave D April 10, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    TJ,

    It was Hillsboro PD, and they honestly had more important calls at the time. I’m glad that cops can’t just write tickets based on our acusations, that is one slippery slope. I’ve been passed by this same truck now several times on my way to work and they given me room, so someone did something.

    On another note I did get hit last Thursday on my way home at Glenco and Camp Ireland. I was going along at about 25 when a woman in an SUV made a right turned in front of me. I was able to hit the brakes and scrub some speed before impacting the side of her car. I was able to make the turn leaned agaist the car and banging on the side to get her to stop (yes 20 years of crit and cross ridding paid off). I had an off duity reserve officer behind me and a Washington Co. Sheriff going the other way when it happened. The woman said she did not see me, then said I was going slow (guess I’d better do some more speed work)Glenco is 45 in this area, should be 35 in my opionion as there are a couple of schools and houses in the area. The Sheriff was in the process of transporting a “passanger” but stopped and called Hillsboro PD. Hillsboro PD was tied up again and after waiting 20 mins or so the Sheriff asked what I wanted to do. I had already read the woman the riot act and the Sheriff gave her a good talking to as well,she was scared Sh*tless by this point(just for context, she was Asian and I think somewaht new to the country). I didn’t see what pressing charges would accomplish. I had a couple little scraps on my elbow and a sore hand from pounding on the car my bike was fine. I told the Sheriff to call off Hillsboro and we where done.

    Maybe I should have had her cited? I don’t know. I think she learned her lesson on this one. In todays socity I’m not sure how much of impact tickets are. There are 1000 of people driving around without insurance or drivers Licenses every day. Until we have tougher trafic laws, better skill testing of new drivers and start taking peoples cars away instead of having them pay fines we’ll have to deal with these idiots on the road with us.

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  • Sean April 16, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    On April 14th, I was traveling at a modest pace (12 mph?) along the bike lane of 14th Ave; at Kearney, a motorist turned right quite suddenly, before I could turn or stop – I fell into the roadway by the car, but was uninjured except for my left hand, which was under the rear wheel of this auto. The driver was very helpful, calling 911 and providing his information, a bystander offered to be a witness if needed, another biker locked my bike up. No serious injury resulted. No police, no citation.

    This accident underscores the increased danger of tiny unprotected bike lanes – I was being hypervigilant of the parked cars so to avoid being doored, but … If I had been in the traffic lane, this accident would never have happened.

    Thanks to the anonymous biker and bystander.

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  • Ahnicko April 16, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    man people are so crazy, a few weeks ago, i was going down 26th right off of Powell in front of Cleveland High and this dick totally swerved in front of me, in his huge white truck, to drop his kid off and started backing up. i tried to skid to get out of his way and i couldn’t stop fast enough. he basically pinned me between his back wheel, my bike, and the curb. i couldn’t believe that he didn’t see me, but i hit his giant truck with my U-Lock, to let him know i was there, and h ehad his window down, and yelled “Fucking damn fixies, get some fucking brakes, god dammit!!!”drove off. i was so upset and confused, i didn’t get a plate number. and i have a broken wrist. and a dented left rim. i couldn’t believe it. i don’t have insurance, and my medical bill was way to much for me to afford. just ridiculous.

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  • sean April 18, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    this morning I was travelling south on MLK just before belmont and I was in the right hand lane getting ready to get over when a huge white suburban came barrelling towards me at about 40. at the last second he swerved to miss me but he hit his mirror against my elbow. I am fine and he stopped but I was already runnning late to work and I kept going. I am glad he stopped but it was probably just to fix his mirror.

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  • krista & jj April 23, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Interesting weekend…

    Aggression
    04.21.07
    Parking lot of Walmart (don’t ask why we decided to cut through their lot) on SE 82nd. While on the throughway – a newer silver nissan with two passengers pulled out very fast in front of us. Around 3:00 – 5:00 pm Likely noticing us – however, going faster to outrun us or avoid hitting us rather than giving us right of way (as we assumed we had). We both stopped as it/they pulled out. Caught up at stop sign, looked in window with a WTF looking face – they didn’t look at us. We rode on.

    Minor Hit
    04.22.07
    Side walk of Foster in the 54th – 56th area. Asian Market driveway S. side of Foster – teenage woman pulls out fast and stops fast – i.e. stopping as she notices me in front of her car. Bumper hits front fork – no immediately visible damage, bend to fork etc… My excited front braking lifted the rear wheel off the ground. No face plant though – stayed on. Young woman apologized profusely.

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  • Julie April 25, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    I was on NW 20th and Everette going North. I had the right of way, yet this BMW SUV makes a left turn not looking at traffic but rather when he could turn onto Everette. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. He stopped just in time; I was right at his grill. He then started yelling at me that if I didn’t have headphones on that I would have heard him coming. Of course this makes no sense, since I obviously heard AND saw him coming, I had the right of way, and he should have been yielding to me. Also, just because someone has on headphones doesn’t mean that they’re blaring and that they can’t hear their surroundings. At the time I lived in the NW which is a complete war zone for biking. I now live in the SE. This happened at the end of November 2006.

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  • Danielle April 27, 2007 at 9:33 am

    This morning I was riding my daily commute from North Portland, Arbor Lodge neighborhood, heading south on Denver. One block south of Killingsworth, I signaled to make a left off of Denver onto Willamette. I saw a car, heading west on Willamette and assuming the driver was aware of the stop sign I continued to signal and make my left turn. The car in fact ran the stop sign and managed to come to a halt only a mere few inches from my front tire. I glared at the driver and upon seeing her young child in the front seat, drop jawed, backed my bike up and rode on my way. A woman with her two children was walking nearby and had seen the close call, she asked if I was okay and remarked about the obvious oversight to stop made by the driver of the car. Thankfully indeed I’m unscathed.

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  • Will Workforf Ood April 30, 2007 at 12:57 am

    The most noteworthy of the few automobile related bike accidents i’ve been in was a hit and run.

    At the intersection of 33rd and killingsworth two young motorists started yelling at my friend bizzy as she proceeded north on 33rd. The motor vehicle was heading the other way on 33rd so the verbal exchange was short and greatly impaired by the dopler effect. Bizzy was on her track bike and took advantage of the gradual hill we were biking on. As i lost sight of Bizzy i heard some particularly aggressive internal combustion over my left shoulder. Within seconds the two, who had turned around, started shouting out their windows at me matching my speed as they quickley disproved any assumption i had about their verbal communication skills. “do you have problem with bicuycles?” i asked over and over again as the recited top 40 hip hop slang from their tiny red economy car.

    It was half a block later that they told me they were going to run my over. Using the passenger side of the car the pushed me square into the back of a parked car and stopped. To my great fortune, and with some help from years of physical training, i flipped over the mess of steel and aluminium, my should bag broke loose and i landed on both feet just infront of the enemies economy tank.

    I stood enraged and surprisingly centered, their jaws dropped and as i made every attempt to rip apart their car with my bare shaking hands they drove off and a witness memorized the license plate number and called the police. A police officer arrived half an hour later, looked me up and down took the info and later that night called to tell me that the plate info did not match my description of the car.

    Had my bag not flown off in the opposite direction when i was hit i would have put my U-lock through their window. Maybe next time.

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  • Loren April 30, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Coming home from work at about 3:20 in the afternoon on tuesday the 17th of this month. Crossing the south crosswalk at the southbound offramp for Sunnyside road on I-205. It was raining/hailing, I checked over my shoulder for cars coming in that particular lane, nothing. A green volvo in the next lane crossed the solid line and changed into the lane with my crosswalk (just after I checked). Just as I entered the crosswalk he blasted by, I hit my brakes, they were wet and didn’t do much of anything, and luckily he made it past before we collided.

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  • michael May 4, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    i was riding up powell on the sidewalk and right past the safeway on 39th. a minivan pulled right up to the curb leading to powell (they were leaving safeway) in heavy rush hour (4:30) traffic. i slowly rode around the van as there was no way she was getting out. she revved her engine and yelled something mean, then a block and a half later, she yelled at me again when she was on powell and made an illegal left turn onto 42nd before the church.

    hopefully her kids ride bikes

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  • peejay May 9, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Last Friday morning, I was coming down SW Jefferson Westbound on the way to the Goose Hollow Max stop. It’s a rather steep (and bumpy) hill from 14th to 16th, and Jefferson has the right of way at 16th. Oh, and it’s raining. So, a Black Taurus comes out of 16th crossing from left to right without even stopping, and I went into full lockup for about 20 yards, passing within three feet of the car (he skidded to a stop just in time). I turned around and pursued the car on 16th, and caught up just as he was parking on the side of the street. I said “did you know you nearly killed me?” and he apologised right away, saying it was entirely his fault. I thanked him for admitting it, shook his hand, and told him to please stop at stop signs and watch for bikes in the future.

    I don’t want to make enemies – I just want to stay alive.

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  • Mark May 10, 2007 at 8:56 am

    May 9, riding home from work up the Lovejoy St ramp from 9th to Broadway. I was traveling within the bike lane. As the light turned green, a tractor-trailer vehicle next to me slowly climbed the hill. As the driver approached the light at Broadway, he moved into the bike lane. I was followed by another cyclists, both of us remarking in expletives about how close the trailer was to squeezing us into the guard rail. There was no place to exit or retreat. I believe it was just sheer luck that neither of us were struck and/or pinned against the guard rail. At the closest point, I was within 1.5 feet of the trailer with just that much room or less on the other side. When I reached the Broadway Bridge, the truck was stopped. I tried to get the driver’s attention, but he was blissfully smoking a cigarette, completely unaware, or unconcerned, about the near accident he caused.

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  • Paul May 10, 2007 at 10:03 am

    This is more of an accident than a close call, but it didn’t seem like it would hurt to post it.
    Thursday May 3rd, 9:00pm.
    Bike: riding north on ne 9th
    Car: driving west on Broadway
    As I was crossing Broadway with my lights on with the green light, thankfully wearing my helmet, a suvish vehicle ran the red and ruined the bike and banged up my knees pretty well. From that point on everything went great. The driver stopped, the police issued a citation, there was a witness, the ambulance,fire, and police were there right away to whisk me away to Legacy Emanuel, there was a first responder trained type person there five seconds after I hit the pavement. A week later and I’m hobbling around, still can’t work my landscaping job ’cause I can’t bend my knees very far. But its okay because it could have been so much worse.

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  • Jason May 10, 2007 at 10:06 am

    Here’s a Shout Out to the geared helmet-less cyclist, sporting the Portland Fixie kit, who zoomed by me flying southbound on North Interstateat at about 8:40 am this morning. He narrowly missed my front wheel. I didn’t know traffic lights had shades of red; apparently the red light at the intersection with North Skidmore simply means avoid the goofy lycra clad geek (me) who’s having poor luck with the trackstand and barrel through the intersection; F-it all.

    So thanks for the helping hand in spreading Bike Love. There is nothing like blowing red lights at speed to give the public that warm fuzzy feeling about cyclists.

    Peace

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  • Jason Skelton May 11, 2007 at 10:49 am

    While heading north on SE 7th (a few blocks soutn of SE Ankeny) a man in a large truck opened his driver’s door into the bike lane one moment after I passed him. To his credit he apologized.

    About 30 seconds before that an old ford pickup truck made an unannounced right hand turn into the car repair place at SE Morrison and 7th. I was able to stop in time.

    My close calls tend to happen in two’s. Knock on wood!

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  • matchu May 14, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Yesterday, I was bicycling west along NE Wygant when I came upon 15th Avenue. There was a stop sign for the street I was on as well as cars traveling north on 15th Ave. Needless to say I stopped so that I could wait for the crossing to clear.

    As I waited, a grey minivan stopped opposite of me on NE Wygant (heading east). Since I had arrived at the intersection first by a span of several seconds, I pedalled across 15th Avenue as soon as it was safe to do so. I wasn’t a quarter of the way across the avenue when the minivan roared out while making a left hand turn onto 15th Ave. They were forced to stop abruptly, just inches away from colliding with my bicycle.

    I was unable to see the driver through the window. So I couldn’t judge, based on their facial expression, whether they had somehow failed completely to see me or if they were simply an aggressive driver who thought they should always go first regardless of who arrived before them at the intersection.

    Whatever the case may be it is unnerving to have close calls where you, as a cyclist, will be the only one to suffer physically as a result of such an interaction.

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  • andy May 15, 2007 at 8:43 am

    This morning, N Vancouver just south of Hancock. Some yahoo in a big SUV decided he wanted a prime parking spot and abruptly swerved across the bike lane without checking if the lane was clear. I had to brake hard to avoid his bumper. Goddamn lawless motorists.

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  • jb May 15, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    I was stopped on the Spring Water at Foster on my way back to Sellwood after work last night. I had pressed and waited for the bike signal to kick in. I could hear a Semi coming down the road and could tell it was braking. When my light kicked green, I started to push off when the Semi came into my forward view and skidded to a stop thru the bike lane. I was then looking straight up at the driver. He gave me a shrug. The only acknowledgement I gave him was the wide path I had to ride to clear his truck.

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  • Cecil May 15, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Sunday, May 13,on Pacific Avenue in Forest Grove. A wrong-way cyclist in the bike path forced me out into traffic. Fortunately, the drivers around and behind me were more courteous than he was.

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  • jordan May 15, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Just got home (SE 49th/Hawthorne) from PSU. I usually take Madison or Main up from the bridge till I reach 30th and then cut over to Hawthorne for the rest of the way home. I know Hawthorne’s a busy street and there are 2 bike thoroughfares within blocks … but this is the most direct route, and I’m uber-conscious of the auto drivers I have to share the road with – which is surely the only reason why I was to avoid a serious collision this afternoon. Just before 37th Ave. the driver in left lane (heading E. like me – although I was in the right lane) decided clearly, VERY last minute that he wanted to make a right onto 37th, not only did he not check for cars OR cyclists in his rear-view or by looking over his shoulder, he didn’t use his signal either. I slammed on my brakes, missing the rear of his car by mere inches. Shocked, all I was able to holler out was a warbly, but loud “HEY!!” – he simply stuck his left hand out his window at waved at me?!? Not sure what the gesture meant or if he understood that he had just cut me off AND nearly collided with me. He made his unforewarned turn down 37th and I shakily finished my ride home.

    Light blue Toyoto, late model(early 1990′s maybe) sedan – Ore. PZJ 167

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  • joe May 21, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    westbound turning left on N IDA off Lombard,in the turn lane with the setting sun in my eyes. When the left turn light went green for me, i took off and nearly collided with an eastbound car who jumped the light. She probably saw the car in the thru lane next tome take off and thought she could.Then she flipped me off. How dare i get in her way?>

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  • bonnie May 23, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Heading in to work this morning. Took my usual route which include SE Division Pl to SE Grand and under the 99 viaduct on SE Caruthers. Goin’ really slow because of the construction and traffic. I was westbound in the bike lane under the viaduct and the guy in the construction truck decided he wanted to turn right onto the dirt lane on the west side underneath the overpass where they all seem to park their vehicles. Of course, he wasn’t paying attention and turned in front of me. I yelled at him and he just looked over his right shoulder at me and continued his turn. I”m trying to figure out who to contact about this as it is not the first close call I’ve had with the people working on the 99 viaduct. Anybody got suggestions?

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  • Bonnie May 25, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I guess I’m on a roll, so to speak.
    Riding in NoPo about 6:30pm on the 24th. Westbound on Skidmore. Crossing 23rd a friend and I had a close call with a car southbound on 23rd. Thing is, it was a completely uncontrolled intersection. No stop signs for anyone. I know it’s been said that people pay more attention at uncontrolled intersections, but, really, when it’s not the ‘norm and only residents in the immediate area know about it, shouldn’t at least one direction have a stop sign?

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  • Ted May 25, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Collision with motorized scooter (I lost the battle, ouch!) at north end of I-5 bridge path where path empties into Clark Utilities parking lot. Scooter dude going wrong direction (southbound on the northbound path), and going way too fast.
    I was surprised to learn:
    scooters are allowed on bike path (http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/vehicle/pocketbike_factsheet.shtml), and
    814.526 requires scooter to yield only to pedestrians.
    This reinforces my belief that wheeled traffic on I-5 bridge needs to be one way. RIDE WITH THE TRAFFIC. East side of bridge for northbound, west side for southbound.
    How can we get some signs for this?

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  • Tomas Quinones May 29, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    I was on mile 89 of a century ride when i stopped on 120 and Division when all of a sudden something flew by my head, some kind of fluid splashing on my head and a large can of RockStar smashed onto the concrete ahead of me, as I looked to see where it came from, a pickup with 4 late-teen boys were laughing and cheering to my shocked face. Seeing that it was a full can, I could have been hurt had I been moving at the time.

    5 minutes later, I was trying to cross a highway entrance by looking to my left to see if there was any merging traffic and if it was clear to cross when someone jumped a lane and slammed on their brakes and nearly hitting me but they still honked their horn like it was my fault.

    Talk about a stressful end to 100 miles.

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  • JeremyE May 30, 2007 at 9:19 am

    I got right-hooked yesterday on River Rd in Keizer. A dark green Ford Explorer pulled next to me and hung a right as I was even with his mirror and doing about 25 mph. Thankfully, I was able to brake and slide sideways to avoid collision. How do you not see someone you’re passing?

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  • Jason S. May 30, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Just this morning, May 30, 2007, a black Mitsubishi Eclipse with license plate “Blazer Fn” rolled through the stop sign at NE 29th and Couch, almost hitting me. I was westbound on Couch, she was turning west from northbound 29th. I had no stop sign but slowed because I saw her. She slowed slightly and turned into my path oblivious. Fortunately, I steered to the edge of the lane, near parked cars, and avoided an impact. The whole time her eyes did not even wander over to my lane.

    I live in the center neighborhood.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis May 31, 2007 at 7:39 am

    Three in one morning. May 31st, Springwater/Eastbank:

    1. The guys driving the 18-wheel flatbeds in and out of the Ross Island Destruction Co were blocking the bike lane on 4th *again.* So I took the lane, passing the first guy on the left. As I’m passing, he looks in his mirror and sees me — we make eye contact — and he starts to pull out, forcing me to swerve into the oncoming lane.

    What’s the mentality behind that? Stupidity or hate, take your pick; it matters not.

    2. Guy in a gray PT Cruiser stops at the dead-end light on Caruthers, signaling his turn right into the Opera/OMSI. He sees me approaching in his rear-view mirror and intentionally waits at the intersection approx. 10-15 extra seconds so he can use his car as a weapon to force me to stop.

    When I slow, check the intersection, and pass him on the left, he yells, “Stop sign!” Dude, you bought a Chrysler product and you question whether I can perceive the obvious? What an unbelievably self-righteous prick you are. Please go focus your vigilante efforts on a worthwhile cause, like child abuse. Meanwhile, here’s some news: I’m not stopping unless I need to give right-of-way or the Pigs are watching. (Almost) nobody else is either. Get used to it.

    3. Some helmetless douchbag took the shortcut around OMSI and rode full speed straight into the stream of traffic headed north as we go through the gate just above OMSI. This forced me and the guy in front of me to have to swerve to the left to avoid being taken out. Fortunately, an aware lady coming the other way yelled out, “Heads up!” and I was able to get back to the right enough to avoid a head-on. I guess if you have no consideration for your own safety it’s too much to ask that you have some concern for mine.

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  • PBM May 31, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    RMW-501,

    The thing sticking out of the steering column of your blue Ford Ranger is used to signal turns. The answer to your question about what right I have to go straight in the bike line through a green light lies in the Oregon Drivers Manual. And chasing me down and threatening to “beat me” because you “hate bicyclists because they’re always in the way” probably could have a charge or two made up around it. Fortunately a cell phone and witnesses who saw your behavior and followed us were convincing enough to get you to go home and calm down.

    I remember leaving Millikan Way onto Murray last night and seeing the full moon rising and thinking “something lunatic could happen; be extra cautious.” Yet there it was, only a few blocks up on Allen… I can’t believe I managed to unclip balancing on the front tire while your swerving truck reflected back my 50 watts of headlights.

    I grew up in a scrappy city, lift weights and kickbox, and ride a bike uphill both ways to work so I wouldn’t ordinarily mind you getting out of the truck, but I’m guessing it wasn’t to accept my apology for pissing you off so much by saying I wouldn’t have been inside your illegal turn if you’d have used a blinker.

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  • Albyn June 6, 2007 at 10:42 am

    I just discovered this thread. Question: whatever happened with the \”close calls map\” that was in development back in January of 2006?

    I have had numerous close calls with bicycles running stop signs this year. Most memorable: I was on Lincoln at 39th, heading west. The light turned green, the traffic on 39th came to a stop, and I started into the intersection, to be almost t-boned by a cyclist going east on 39th. He was going fast, so it would have hurt.

    \”Multi-use trail\” incident: I was going west at about 15 mph on the Springwater near Powell Butte. A young guy dressed in black, lots of tattoos and silverware, also westbound on a bmx on the left side of the trail, listening to his Ipod. I yelled \”passing on your right\” as I approached; he turned broadside and stopped, blocking the trail. I locked up the wheels, stopping about 2 inches from a collision. He looked genuinely puzzled…

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  • Albyn June 6, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Oops, that was \”a cyclist going north on 39th\”.

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  • Jesse June 7, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I was almost hit by a driver with Deschutes Black Butte Porter stickers. I sent the following email to Mt. Hood Brewing and Deschutes.

    \”This morning I was placed in a very dangerous position and cursed at by one of your drivers. A man in a white van with Deschutes Black Butte Porter stickers and Licence plate #623 CWP made an illegal pass in my lane and screamed out the window at me to \”Get the f*ck out of the way you mother f*cker.

    The situation was made more dangerous by the fact that there was an car in the lane to my left.

    There will be many more bikers on the road as the summer weather sits in. If the driver continues this kind of driving he will probably seriously injure or potentially kill someone.

    This incident occurred at 9:45 going north on SE Milwaukie near Gladstone.\”

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  • jordan June 7, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Heading down (West) on SE Hawthorne this morning around 9:15 am. A minivan turned left in front of me, with plenty of room taking into consideration my speed … the SUV behind this minivan however followed suit without stopping to check for oncoming traffic (i.e. ME!) I came so close to slamming into the rear passenger side of her silver SUV that my hands and feet did not stop shaking until I made it to PSU. I screamed at the woman out of sheer shock and fear – she only turned to look at me through her window AFTER completing her turn, but never came back to check on me, or apologize, or show any kind of concern. There was another cyclist behind me about half a block or so that did stop with me, told me he saw the whole thing, wanted to make sure I was OK … I was very grateful someone was there just so I could calm down before completing my commute.

    Are we really all in such a hurry that we can\’t stop to look before making left turns across traffic ?!? Scared the sh*t out of me!

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  • tonyt June 14, 2007 at 10:30 am

    More of a \”close call\” with a jerk, than a close call with injury.

    This morning just west of MLK, I was riding south on 3rd and this unmarked Isuzu truck was entering from the left. (he had a stop sign, I didn\’t) He didn\’t even look in my direction and pulled out and turned to drive south as well just as I was going by. Once he saw me, he tapped his brakes and did the shocked \”oh poop\” look, at which point I put my arms out in the \”can\’t you even be bothered to look where you\’re going gesture?\” There was no anger or aggression at all on my part, I was just baffled.

    He then honked at me at which point I looked back and asked out loud, \”What are you honking at me for?\”

    He honked again. I stopped and turned around and he proceeded to accelerate and drive AT me. But I called his bluff (okay, in hindsight maybe it was dumb, but I figured he did want to keep his job) and didn\’t move but instead attempted to engage him in conversation, at which point he said, \”You want to play games?\” To which I responded, \”I\’ll play games . . . In court.\”

    That instantly changed his facial expression. I started to ride away but circled back and said to him quite seriously, \”I do NOT play games.\”

    I was dead freakin serious and I think at that point he realized he wasn\’t dealing with a kid and he just went on his way.

    No commercial identification on the truck so no one to call.

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  • Mike June 17, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Had a very unpleasant road-rage encounter yesterday (6/16/2007):

    While riding on SW Hewett, west bound towards SW Patton, we heard a car behind us. We made sure we were riding single file towards the shoulder to give the car an opportunity to pass, but Hewett is curvy and double yellow. The person decided not to try and come around and we just continued to ride single file at about 18mph until we got to Patton. We stopped for on-coming traffic, then turned left on Patton heading up the hill. At that point, this same vehicle goes into a hard acceleration, lays on the horn and gave me the closest buzzing I have ever had from a car… just a few inches. Scared the crap out of me, and I had nowhere to go as I was pinned up against the curb. Fortunately, I kept it upright and had the presence of mind to get the license tag, a reasonable description of the car and a sketchy description of the driver.

    I\’m checking with a lawyer friend to determine if I have any reasonable recourse. I just want this person to get the message that this behavior is really dangerous, totally illegal and discourage it from happening again.

    In the interim, if you see a cream colored, late model VW bug with OR license XXK-961, be careful. The female driver is unstable and dangerous.

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  • Kyle June 17, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    If you\’d like to start charting these on a map…

    http://www.routeslipper.org/incident.tracker.php

    Still in beta, but let\’s get it filled in!

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  • spencer June 20, 2007 at 10:55 am

    traveling east bound off hawthorne bridge. i was in left lane to turn left onto 7th st. car pulled out after hesitating because he saw me in the left lane. i was traveling 25 to 30 mph. i had to lock up the back wheel and skid to the middle lane to avoid rear-ending him.
    after both of us having a blunt verbal exhange, as we were both turning onto 7th, he pulled over and got out of his car. i then called 911, as did he. he continued to gesture wildly with arms waving, in a confrontative manner.
    untill two cars arrived, (5 minutes later). he was forced to sit on the curb while they questioned both of us separately.
    moral of the story, \”you can be right and dead\” (officer Sorenson).
    as if you dont know already. watch out while coming off the bridge.

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  • Cecil June 20, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Mike (post #337) – you should report the incident to the police as an assault. Who knows if they would follow up on it, but if you don\’t report it they are guaranteed not to follow up on it (kind of like \”if you want to win the lottery, you have to buy a ticket first\” – perhaps the chances of success are the same, but you might as well at least try).

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  • Roger Wirt June 28, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    On Tuesday, February 13, my bicycle was run over by a pickup truck. I managed to get out of the way, in the manner of a bullfighter … \”Here, you charge this, I\’ll step aside.\” Lucky me. When the driver stopped in response to the crunching sound, the bike was under the truck\’s engine. This might have been a fatality, except that I had been closely watching the truck from an habitual defensive-driving orientation.

    As I\’d done hundreds of times, I was riding to work at the still-dark hour of 6:15 a.m., with 3 white lights facing forward and lots of reflectors including a 100% reflective jacket. As I proceeded west on N.E. Davis, I noticed that the large white pickup truck had stopped for the stop sign at N.E. 6th. Since Davis is a \’through street,\’ I had the right of way, and continued. As I approached the intersection, the truck started forward; I slowed down; the truck stopped again, so I continued at a slower speed. Next thing I knew, the truck was accelerating toward me: its nose was advancing toward my nose.

    The driver said he did not know what happened; he appeared genuinely surprised to see the light on my helmet shining into his eyes as I greeted him through the left door window, and surprised at my explanation of the crunching sound. He was cooperative; I was told that his employer sent him to an immediate drug test; and they eventually reimbursed me for my loss.

    Origin of my trip was Ladd\’s Addition; destination was N.E. 7th & Oregon.

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  • Roger Wirt June 28, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Follow up to prev. message:
    Shortly after the event I spent some time calling several numbers at the Portland Police Bureau. To my astonishment they refused to record any aspect of what had happened. Their position was that, in order for them to file ANY sort of report, an officer would have to visit the scene, take measurements, etc. Moral to that story would be, don\’t move anything and call them immediately. Data resulting from present policies obviously would tend to understate the problem.

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  • Roger Wirt June 28, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    On Tuesday, February 13, my bicycle was run over by a pickup truck. I managed to get out of the way, in the manner of a bullfighter … \”Here, you charge this, I\’ll step aside.\” Lucky me. When the driver stopped in response to the crunching sound, the bike was under the truck\’s engine. This might have been a fatality, except that I had been closely watching the truck from an habitual defensive-driving orientation.

    As I\’d done hundreds of times, I was riding to work at the still-dark hour of 6:15 a.m., with 3 white lights facing forward and lots of reflectors including a 100% reflective jacket. As I proceeded west on N.E. Davis, I noticed that the large white pickup truck had stopped for the stop sign at N.E. 6th. Since Davis is a \’through street,\’ I had the right of way, and continued. As I approached the intersection, the truck started forward; I slowed down; the truck stopped again, so I continued at a slower speed. Next thing I knew, the truck was accelerating toward me: its nose was advancing toward my nose.

    The driver said he did not know what happened; he appeared genuinely surprised to see the light on my helmet shining into his eyes as I greeted him through the left door window, and surprised at my explanation of the crunching sound. He was cooperative; I was told that his employer sent him to an immediate drug test; and they eventually reimbursed me for my loss.

    Origin of my trip was Ladd\’s Addition; destination was N.E. 7th & Oregon.

    Unclear whether this got sent the first time; apologies if this is arriving for 2nd time. I\’d sent a follow-up note mentioning that the police declined to take ANY sort of report after the fact. With hindsight, apparently I should have insisted on leaving the bike under the truck, getting a uniformed officer to the scene, and allowing the procedure for noting what happened to proceed at its own pace before clearing the intersection.

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  • Everett June 29, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    This morning I was on my way home and crossing Powell at 21st (A Common bike route) I was almost through the intersection when a white panel van passes so closely that the mirror comes within inches of my head. If he had hit me i would have been sandwiched between two panel vans. I have a feeling that this would have caused excruciating pain. After he passed and drove off I decided to follow to get the plate # When he (The Driver) was confronted he said \”The Bikers were in my lane!\” There was one lane and i was ahead of him the whole time. The biker has the right of way.

    O well, just life as an eastmoreland biker.

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  • Laura June 30, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Hmmmmmm……

    After reading the majority of these posts a couple of things became evident. Bicyclists in Portland think that they dein be looked out for and bowed down to when a driver doesn\’t SEE THEM.

    Read each of the \”incidents\” and ask yourself one very simple question \”Would this same even had happened had this been a car?\” I am referring to the near misses and run stop lights and stop signs. The answer is YES. There are poor car drivers AND poor cyclists in Portland. As a driver, I ALWAYS anticipate when crossing an interesection that someone may not be stopping from the oncoming direction – it is called \”Darwinism\” at it\’s finest.

    My favorite cycling route is going South on Sylvan hill at 5pm. This road isn\’t even wide enough for two oncoming cars, let alone a cyclist that is wobbling their way around bits of gravel on the 6\” shoulder…..in this scenario – WHO is in danger? Certainly not a driver – but the cyclist that impedes traffic and runs the risk of getting hit by cars coming around blind curves. Common sense would dictate that the cyclist a) choose a different route or b) not travel this route at 5pm during rush hour.

    The minority does not dictate to the majority. Recognize this. Instead of griping about drivers – lobby, organize and spend tax dollars to get established bike routs throughout your city with wide, safe shoulders on which you can travel.

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  • btw July 2, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Laura, #345:

    \”The minority does not dictate to the majority. Recognize this. Instead of griping about drivers – lobby, organize and spend tax dollars to get established bike routs throughout your city with wide, safe shoulders on which you can travel.\”

    And the majority does not dictate to the minority. We elect officials who create laws, including the ones that assert a cyclist\’s right to ride on the street (not in the gravelly shoulder) in the situation you describe above.

    Don\’t like it? \”Lobby, organize\” and get the laws changed.

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  • RW July 5, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    This morning you were riding your bike on Burnside at around 7:40 through Laurelhurst. This letter is to you, and to other’s who share your preference to riding in the same areas.

    Let me start off by saying that I think bicycling is great. It is a wonderful thing that a human can turn leg power into relatively fast forward motion. The balancing of a two wheeled machine zooming down the road is awesome. The physics involved are classic Newtonian physics, leverage, friction, inclined planes, and centripetal force, etc.

    Physics aside, bicycling is also wonderful because it promotes good health, and also reduces the consumption of fossil fuels and can also lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases! This is awesome! Yes, I ride a bike as well.

    I also think it is wonderful that our city has the foresight and though to make the area very accessible to bicycles. We should be proud that there are so many places to ride a bicycle in this city.

    E Burnside has a bicycle path the entire length east of NE 71st Ave. West of NE 71st Ave, Burnside becomes a windy, hilly and thin road which is not really safe for bicyclists. It is not conducive to bicycle and automobile traffic. It is dangerous, it causes delays and flares tempers. This is why there is a designated bicycle route a block or two north of Burnside.

    You were riding along Burnside at a pretty good pace. I must admit, I was impressed and slightly jealous of your physical strength and stamina. Even though you were riding at a pretty nice clip, you were still riding about 15 to 20 MPH slower than the normal flow of traffic. This means that, affectively, you are closing the right hand lane. It did actually make a difference on my commute time. Even though many people took the day off today being that it is July 5th, and traffic was less congested, I was still 5 minutes later to work than usual. 5 minutes may not sound like a lot, but I’ll explain later why it is.

    Now, I didn’t yell at you, or cut you off or ride close. I don’t like to initiate confrontation. Confrontation serves no purpose in this world. You obviously thrive off it though. I could tell you loved flipping off motorists, and having them honk and yell at you. Did you notice that about one in every 5 cars were yelling at you? Did it make you feel good to split the lanes, and zoom up to a car at a red light to continue yelling at him? I can tell you love it.

    Is it really worth your life? You must get an adrenalin kick that you just enjoy, because otherwise no rational human being would put his life on the line in a dangerous situation like that just to make a point.

    Being that our city has so many options, I find it absolutely idiotic that you ride on that section of Burnside. Not only are you angering many motorists, you are really risking your own skin. When I commute or ride for pleasure, I find there to be more than adequate options in this bike friendly city. Not only are these options much safer, they don’t piss people off, and they are much more enjoyable rides. I love riding on residential streets. I can zoom along, not worry about too much traffic, I hear only the noise of my chain running though the gears and I get to look at pretty scenery. Being that the entire east side is a grid, you can get by on virtually any street, except when you need to cross a freeway or river.

    So, like I said earlier, making me late for work for 5 minutes is pretty significant. You see, you didn’t only make me late 5 minutes; you probably delayed 250 or so cars for 5 minutes. That is 1250 minutes.

    If a car were driving at 60 Miles Per Hour for 1250 minutes, and it averaged 25 miles per gallon (about the American average) it will have traveled 1250 miles (about the distance from here to San Diego) and will have consumed 50 gallons of fuel.

    Being that the average city driving fuel consumption in the area is probably less than 20 MPG, and say that on average traffic was moving at 30 miles per hour during the entire commute, at 5 minutes per car that would be 625 miles, or about the distance from here to San Francisco. A car consuming gasoline at a rate of 20 miles per gallon (which is the most efficient an American truck or SUV will get at highway speeds, so this is still very optimistic), the fuel consumption would be around 31.25 gallons.

    So basically, by delaying everyone for 5 minutes, you’ve caused there to be an additional 31.25 to 50 gallons of fuel consumed. This means you could have driven to San Francisco, at least, and consumed as many resources and put as much carbon dioxide in the air as you have caused by riding your bike along Burnside. That’s not really green at all. You would have done better by driving a hummer to work.

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  • a.O July 5, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    @ #347:

    1. This whole argument amounts to \”You only belong on the road when it\’s convenient for me, the motor vehicle operator. If it\’s not, you must get off because I get to dictate how the roads are used. Otherwise you might slow me down and that\’s not acceptable to me.\” Those days are coming to an end quickly, buddy. And this reveals how you fail to truly respect bicyclists as equally entitled to use the roads under the law. Instead, it makes clear that you see them as second-class citizens.

    2. When you stop using gasoline and spewing carbon into the air, then you can quibble over who is greener. Until then, stop blaming cyclists for your own emissions. By your logic, everyone who pushes a crosswalk button would be responsible for the emissions of those who drive instead of walk. Insanity.

    3. By your own admission, this was not a close call.

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  • JeremyE July 5, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Wow, RW. Sorry for your inconvience, though it was not me who inconvenienced you. Sounds like the rider was a tad aggressive (perhaps unlawfully so) and some of the motorists were, too.

    You seem to forget a couple of very important things:

    1) The rider has the right to the lane, no matter where he/she is or how much you or anyone else is inconvenienced. The rider must pull out if there if there is a safe pull out to allow traffic to pass. We cyclists do forget that sometimes.

    2) Drivers are not allowed to harass, intimidate, honk, yell, follow too closely, etc. in an attempt to get said rider to move, just as drivers are not allowed to do the same to riders of motorscooters, motorcycles, or other drivers.

    While I\’m sure we are all grateful for your appropriate response to the rider on the road, I would hope you would spread the word: Bike belong.

    Here\’s to a better ride tomorrow… on your bicycle. :-)

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  • SKiDmark July 5, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Also # 347:

    I guess you are not aware that if there are two lanes in the same direction that a cyclist is well within their rights to take the lane.

    CYCLISTS ALLOWED FULL LANE:

    814.430 Improper use of lanes; exceptions; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of improper use of lanes by a bicycle if the person is operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic using the roadway at that time and place under the existing conditions and the person does not ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.
    (2) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is not operating a bicycle as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway under any of the following circumstances:
    (c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or other conditions that make continued operation along the right curb or edge unsafe or to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side. Nothing in this paragraph excuses the operator of a bicycle from the requirements under ORS 811.425 or from the penalties for failure to comply with those requirements.

    By your own admission, the cyclist was in the right lane, which indicates to me that there was a left lane for you to pass in. If there had been a street sweeper or a slow-moving piece of construction equipment occupying the right lane,would you still have a complaint or is it just because it is a bike?

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  • Tbird July 5, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Dear#347,
    Sorry to hear that bicycling is OK only when it doesn\’t inconvenience motorists. I think you\’re right. It\’s those darn commie, pinko, left leaning, and possibly sexually adventurous cyclists that are to blame for all societal ills, including you being 5 minutes late for work! Perhaps the end of days is near. Let\’s face it, if it weren\’t for fine upstanding and patriotic oil burners like yourself we would have never gotten the chance to go over to Iraq and teach those godless mongrels about democracy at the point of a gun.
    You da MAN!

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  • pushkin July 5, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    #347-

    Perhaps you should leave for work earlier.
    There could be a car accident or a stalled bus on any given day.
    Early = always on time.

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  • peejay July 5, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Hey # 347:

    Your math is 100% wrong. 250 cars had to drive an extra 5 minutes, but they ALL WENT THE SAME DISTANCE as they would had the bicyclist not been there. Which means that they just travelled slower, which, in most cases, means they used LESS fuel, all other things being equal. So, the E Burnside cyclist, in addition to not using fossil fuels him/herself this morning, prevented you and 249 other motorists from burning as much fossil fuels as you otherwise might have! Good for him/her!!!

    BTW: How far do you drive to work every morning? If you\’re such a fan of cycling, why don\’t you ride to work? Just asking.

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  • Aaron July 6, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Well this is being posted as a warning to others in Ladds Addit.
    An older man around 60 driving a very old black 4-door Toyota sedan passed me with about 12\” of space and when I reached out and patted his car to warn him, he pulled over and told me he wanted to exchange info because I damaged his car. Of course I just laughed at him. But apparently he was serious. So after a little more debate in which I told him he was threatening people\’s safety and he replied \”I don\’t give a $*%^&.\” I then got out my cellphone and pulled back to get a look at his license (T66-933). At that point he started driving off.
    I\’m posting this so that if you see an old black Toyota, be sure to check the license. There are only a few people like this, and we are many. So if more than one person sees such a person threatening people, we need to take action.

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  • Terry Nobbe July 6, 2007 at 11:42 am

    I\’ve not suffered a significant collision or fall since coming to Portland in 1997. The last time I was hit by a motor vehicle was March 1993. I was traveling north in Albuquerque NM on a major arterial at about 8:00am and was struck broadside by a mini pickup southbound, turning left across my path.
    My bike frame was bent, helmet cracked, and my right kneecap was shattered. The motorist acknowledged fault, provided pertanent info and followed through on my recomponse.
    I ride 50 to 100 miles a week year-round.

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  • Josh Leitner July 7, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    ok, so I commute and have three or four very very close calls with one accident (driver at fault) but don\’t want to bore you with that right now. I do have one story that is more note worthy. I almost got hit by a house. no i\’m not joking,listen. My buddy and I were touring the coast riding from astoria to california on 101. I little ways after newport we were riding on a section with little shoulder. I hear a polite honk from a truck behind us which is fairly common both as good wishes and to let us know they were there. My friend suddenly careens off the road into the gravel on the side (he is in front of me). Knowing this can\’t be good and not risking the time to look over my shoulder I follow. That is when a semi carrying a \”wide load\” sign and a prefab house rolls by at about 45 – 50. No joke the house missed me by less than four feet after I swerved and the drivers honk was not very long or loud. If I was about to kill someone I would be honking like a madman. I was obviously shaken up. A house nearly killed me. but I maintain and still commute by bike every day. Ohh I live in Tigard and ride Barbur into portland. so hopefully this is the first time you have heard about a cyclist almost being struck and killed by a house.

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  • Jason Skelton July 10, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Why do so many cyclists ride like hillbillies drive?! They do not signal their intentions to turn or pass. Just this morning a rider scared the bajeezus out of me as I was making a left turn on my bike. I was on the right of the laneturning from SE Ankeny onto SE 7th when he passed on my left to also make a left turn. Problem was he did not signal his intention to turn left, so I had to stumble because I thought he was going straight. uuggh.

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  • Keith July 10, 2007 at 10:29 am

    I noticed that in almost all of these submissions the cyclists were \”in a hurry\” it seems everyone is in a hurry auto drivers and cyclists alike. Another noticeable indication is that both parties are equally rude. It is hard for drivers to see cyclists coming when they are coming at high rates of speed on rainy wet streets at night. The cyclists need to use more common sense when they should or should not be out on the streets.

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  • Susan July 12, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    I was riding down Terwilliger toward Capitol Hwy. and went to take a right on Cheltenham. I came face to face with a pickup truck and was almost creamed. It was really more my fault. It\’s a blind corner and a right turn on a downhill. It is hard to signal, easy to go too fast and easy to go wide. If the truck hadn\’t been with it, I would be an ex-biker today. Please be careful on Terwilliger!

    The other place I\’ve seen real trouble is the Ross Island exit off Barbur Blvd heading into Portland. That spot has a cross-walk and needs one, but cars stop at their own risk…it\’s like stopping on a freeway. I\’m unwilling to merge across Barbur in heavy traffic, so my only option is to use the cross-walk. I recently witnessed a rear-end accident there.

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  • Marc R July 13, 2007 at 12:54 am

    First, I\’d like to note that while the blue lane for cyclists going east on the Hawthorne Bridge is pretty, all cyclists should look back before riding in it rather than simply assuming that cars behind them will wait for them to cross the exit ramp. This is just good defensive biking, plus I\’m not convinced that the signage and the pretty colors alert drivers as clearly as possible that most cyclists will be crossing the ramp.
    Perhaps a much more dangerous spot is where the Blue train line to Gresham merges with E. Burnside around E. 99th. This is one of a number of places in the Portland area where tracks cross the road at an oblique angle. This is a possible death spot for cyclists. Indeed, if you are going west on Burnside there, to cross the tracks at the right angle (pun intended) you have to turn your bike toward the center of the lane, which means at the very least blocking the lane with respect to cars behind you, and at the most turning into a car. When I did this a few years ago, I changed my mind in the middle during a moment of weakness (= concern for cars lined up behind me), and turned my handlebar back to the right to get back to toward the right edge of the road. Unfortunately, I apparently turned into a track in doing so, and went down quickly. There was little pain and no blood, but a broken hip and about $23,000 of medical and ambulance bills for a part-time, uninsured community college teacher. TriMet was no help, and lawyers told me that they are legally protected against lawsuit in a situation like this.

    At the very least, there should be very aggressive signage warning cyclists in such situations that tracks are at a dangerous angle, and warning cars to give cyclists room to cross the tracks safely.

    Another place even more dangerous than this is where Yamhill runs into E. Burnside way out near the Ruby Junction TriMet stop. It is very tricky to make a right turn from Yamhill onto Burnside going east there because to cross the tracks at an angle you have to steer into the middle of the road. So at best you wait for a green light then pray that the metals beasts lined up on Burnside don\’t take off toward you while you are still negotiating the tracks.

    And it is not reasonable to say that every cyclist should simply walk their bike at both places, and/or take the path behind the TriMet stop at Ruby Junction. Most of us cyclists like to ride on the road and keep out momentum. And I think I went by Ruby Junction many times before realizing there was an alternate path that puts you out on Burnside a block to the east — and who wants to take a path that risks broken glass?

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  • Jack July 14, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    I had almost completed a nice ride Thursday morning from Oaks Park north, across the Hawthorne Bridge, and south to the Sellwood Bridge. I turned left onto SE 6th (I think) after leaving the bridge and noticed a new ramp and bike logo embedded in the freshly paved road. The next thing I know my bike is standing straight up on the front wheel and I\’m over the bars and headed for the asphalt. Seems they also put two large speed bumps across the street and failed to mark or paint them. I never saw the one I hit, never hit the brakes and was very lucky to get away with road burns, bruised ribs and a sprained wrist. It could have been much worse. I thought speed bumps were intended to slow fast moving traffic. This section of road is only about 100 yards long from a stop sign to SE Tacoma and is a DEAD END, not a through street. Why the need for speed bumps especially on a much used downhill exit from a popular bike path? I wonder if anyone else has suffered the same fate on this street?

    PS: thanks to the very kind biker who came to my aid and offered help. (She reported not seeing the speed bump she crossed over as she came to my assistance). I\’m grateful that you took the time to help.

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  • Brad July 16, 2007 at 10:35 am

    This is not about a near miss but intimidation by a driver. (I wonder if this is illegal?)

    Sunday July 15th at 11am my wife is pulling the trailer (with two red blinkers on the back) with our one-year-old and two-year-old in it and I am right behind them with a red bliner as well. We are going very very slowly south on Vancouver in the bike lane, nearing Fremont, and there is almost no traffic, when a white SUV passes us and the young black driver leans over and screams really ferociously something at my wife as he passes. I was watching the whole time and she did not swerve into the lane at all, she was riding very straight and VERY slowly the whole time. I thought maybe he had yelled something sexual, but I caught up with her and she said he had said \”GET OUT OF MY WAY BITCH!\” This was a clear Sunday morning, with almost no traffic, it is inconceivable that we provoked this.

    We turned right on Fremont, and a couple blocks up the same car was parked on the right as the driver waited for a passenger to get in. We entered the street lane to pass his car, saying nothing, though I could see the driver was glaring at my wife. Soon enough the car pulled out and, again, as he passed he yelled at her, this time \”GO HOME BITCH!\” She then flipped him off, and he did the same sticking his arm straight up out of his window as he drove away. We are white so I speculate racism was part of it. Later we discussed and decided that that it was a bad idea to flip him off or do any backtalk at all, because it wouldn\’t be surprising to us if such a character had a gun, this is North Portland after all.

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  • wsbob July 16, 2007 at 10:44 am

    why didn\’t you get the license plate number? Or did you?

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  • Washington resident July 17, 2007 at 11:41 am

    I live in Vancouver and I only go thru downtown Portland a few times a month, but I am always so frazzled by the time I am done, I tell myself I am NEVER going to go back down there again. I cannot tell you how many times I have come off the Morrison bridge and as I am waiting for the PEDESTRIANS to cross in the crosswalk, and I am in the left lane, a bicycle will come up on my left side and shoot thru the intersection even though I have my left blinker on and he damn well knows I am turning left. If I decide to turn left at the same time he whizzes past me on the left, he is going to be picking his teeth out of a lightpost on the corner and of course, since I am the EVIL auto driver, I will be blamed for the whole thing. I would like to open my door sometime and watch these fools tumble over the top of my evil SUV door, but I refrain. I am more concerned with the innocent bystanders walking down the sidewalk who may be hurt in the process. I do not mind bikers as long as they follow the laws of the road, but I see them constantly going thru stop signs, red lights and anything else they can get away with. If the Portland police bureau would have 2 bike cops sit on a busy corner one day, I bet they could write numerous tickets to these bad bikers and at least put the word out that they cannot get away with this behavior. The pedestrians are in danger as well as the motorists who are following the law. I see bad bikers all over Vancouver too…..its not just a Portland thing. I wish they would stay in the bike lanes….that is what they are for. The auto lanes are for autos and the bike lanes are for bikes. Let\’s keep it this way and we can all get along!!!

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  • jeff July 17, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    \”The auto lanes are for autos and the bike lanes are for bikes.\”

    Clearly, you don\’t ride a bike. It is rarely possible or safe to ride exclusively in bike lanes.

    \”I do not mind bikers as long as they follow the laws of the road, but I see them constantly going thru stop signs, red lights and anything else they can get away with.\”

    And I see cars constantly going through stop signs, speeding, not stopping for pedestrians, or turning accross bike lanes. The difference? A couple thousand pounds…

    \”I would like to open my door sometime and watch these fools tumble over the top of my evil SUV door.\”

    This comment of yours is the most telling, and is a true insight into your character. I hope we never meet.

    \”Washington resident\”

    Please stay there, thanks.

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  • Fritz July 17, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Washington Resident
    \”I would like to open my door sometime and watch these fools tumble over the top of my evil SUV door.\”
    If I\’m ever in my car, on my motorcyle or a bicycle and I see someone like you intentionally harm another human being you will wish that there are cops around to save your pathetic hide.
    You should get some help before your attitude(s) gets the best of you.

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  • jeremy July 17, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    \”I do not mind bikers as long as they follow the laws of the road, but I see them constantly going thru stop signs, red lights and anything else they can get away with.\”

    please don\’t lump \”us\” all together…we are all hardly the same creature…

    are there bad, uneducated, and careless riders in PDX? YES, plenty of them. Are there educated, respectful, and careful riders in PDX? Yes, moreso.

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  • Tim July 17, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    \”The auto lanes are for autos and the bike lanes are for bikes.\”

    Not really. Bikes get to use the auto lanes in many circumstances. In particular, I\’d like to point out to the woman in the blue/black bronco driving East on Hawthorne Blvd. between 9th and 10th aves today around 5:15 pm that ORS 814.420(3) specifically states that:

    (3) A person is not in violation of the offense [Failure to use bicycle lane or path] under this section if the person is able to safely move out of the bicycle lane or path for the purpose of:

    (a) Overtaking and passing another bicycle, a vehicle or a pedestrian that is in the bicycle lane or path and passage cannot safely be made in the lane or path.

    So really, honking at me, demonstrably waving and yelling at me to \”Stay in my lane!\” when I was back in my lane…safely…about 100 feet in front of you…is not only obnoxious, but sort of misguided.

    We get to use your lanes sometimes too. That\’s all I\’m saying. Please don\’t take it out on me. Call your legislator.

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  • Tbird July 18, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Washington Resident, First of all if you\’re driving a car then it is YOU, my friend, who are the problem. Maybe you haven\’t heard? There is a \”War for Oil\” raging.

    Sure some cyclists don\’t behave themselves, but do you honestly think that those of you in your Steel Coffins are the model of social responsibility? I agree cyclists should use bike lanes, so instead of making your hollow threats behind a veil of internet anonymity why not work to help us get safer and more complete bike lanes so you won\’t have endanger us with your giant gas sucking SUV?
    Have a nice day, Troll!

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  • D July 19, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Why are you guys even responding to this person? It’s most likely a comment made just for that effect. Don’t give them the satisfaction!

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  • Rodman July 23, 2007 at 6:49 am

    I was riding home from work @ Macadam Zupan\’s to West Linn on Thursday. It was still light out but was getting close to dusk. So I pulled over to put on my helmet light. I just wanted to make sure that someone could see me a little bit better. About five miles from home at the intersection of McVey and highway 43 I was struck by a car.
    I was going about 25 miles an hour with the flow of traffic. The car that struck me was supposed to yield to on coming traffic since she was turning left. I saw it coming and tried to avoid it, but was unable to do so. Luckily the brain works so fast, I somehow told tell myelf not to tense up hoping the impact would hurt less. I hit her front fender and landed on the windshield, then went over the car into another lane of traffic. Luckily there wasn\’t another car there. Some pedestrians helped call 911 and I was taken to OHSU. I am grateful that my only injuries at the moment seem to be a large laceration, punture wound, fractured knee, & bruising. I was asked by the paramedics if I was normally a calm person because I wasn\’t freaking out or anything. I was just happy that I was alive and the leg seemed trivial compared to death. As I type this it is Monday and I am going crazy sitting in a hospital bed. I am to active for this kind of stuff. I was hoping to go to Whistler to ride this coming weekend. Those plans are off. The best thing to come out of this experience, is my friends all proved to me why I chose them as friends. They all have been supportive of my current situtation. Coming from all over Portland & Hood River to see if I am alright. I have learned to not take your friends and family for granted. Little things like a broken leg aren\’t as important as true relationships with the family and friends you love.

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  • Scott August 6, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I was riding down MLK between NE Broadway and Multnomah on the right side of the street when I was sandwiched between a parked car and motorist. This young male motorist came up on me from behind and intentionally edged his car further and further to the right, closer and closer to me, until I had to stop.
    I yelled at him through his open sunroof and wish I\’d of had the time to take the cap off my water bottle and toss it in to his lap!

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  • Alicia August 14, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Post #362 – it is sad that people treat each other this way, but perhaps you should research racism a little bit more. What you have assumed, that a young black male driving an SUV in North Portland would have a gun, is racist. What he said was rude and prejudice, potentially, yes, but not racist. That you got all on your own.

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  • Wendy August 17, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    On July 23rd at about 8:30 pm I was on my way home west on N Ainsworth. I stopped at the 4-way at Albina, had the right of way and proceeded through the intersection. There was a car opposite me waiting to turn north (left) onto Albina. As I started into the intersection the car gunned the accelerator and aimed for me. Aimed. The driver continued to turn tighter attempting to hit me as I passed through (to the point that the car was turning into the oncoming traffic lane). He did manage to hit my back tire, but I did not fall. There were several witnesses, but they only laughed. Although I did not get a license plate, I did file a report.

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  • christine August 18, 2007 at 12:14 am

    Hit and Run: Today, around 1 pm or a little after, i was riding downtown on SW 11th. 1 or 2 blocks N of Main St., I was riding straight and a car was turning right, and hit me, and left. I have a fractured collar bone, sprained neck, and a headache from hell. Hours wasted at the ER, crazy bills to deal with, a busted helmet (thankfully), and a scratched up bike. The person who hit me never stopped.

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  • hailbob August 23, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    You know, I have been biking 12 miles a day in this city for three years now, every day in the summer months, and a few in the winter when I turn to the bus for transportation, and I have to say that some of these accidents listed here (the few I have read) seem avoidable.

    Yah, I have had many near misses on both hela busy roads and quite neighborhood streets but I believe that my defensive riding, forgiveness and patience has kept me crash free. I have accepted the fact that I have to constantly take the few extra seconds to look, slow down and anticipate the thought process of those drivers who don\’t see me or have not yet made eye contact with me; is it really worth it to carefreely ride as if everyone will yield to you even if there is a stop sign or bike lane? Someone may be fiddling with their CD player, or sneezing, or just simply not paying attention! It happens, even to you! Does it solve anything (other than making you feel better for a brief moment) when you yell and flip folks off? People screw up, both on a bike and in the car, even me (!) and you have to have a little forgiveness and patience for that.

    One other point: I don\’t ride on streets like Fremont, Alberta, Sandy, or MLK, that is just stupid. Those roads are not meant for bikes and should not be used by bikes or you run the risk getting hit, plain and simple. There are plenty of routes on side streets available if you take the time to study the city maps. Rule of thumb, if the road is narrow and busy and does not have a bike lane, get the hell off.

    And to the folk with the North Portland comment:

    \”because it wouldn\’t be surprising to us if such a character had a gun, this is North Portland after all.\”

    Nice attitude :(

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  • Jessica August 23, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Near Miss #1: Today, August 23, 2007, I was on my bike from my house (N Portland–near Lombard and Greeley) to my dentist just past the Rose Quarter. On the way there at the Rose Quarter, I was at a red light waiting for the green. The light changed, I proceeded through the intersection next to a van that was also waiting at the red light next to me. As the van passed because they were going faster, I see a minivan headed straight for me from the side (running a red light)!!! I made motions with my arms so they could see me (hopefully) and the driver of the minivan just had a dazed and confused look on their face. I sped through the intersection as fast as I could.

    Near Miss #2: Also today, on my way home from the dentist, I was heading north on N Delaware just south of N Ainsworth at 1:30pm when a maroon pick-up truck with the Oregon license plate XHR 924 passed me only inches away. This is a quiet residential side street with cars parked on both sides, but plenty of room for a car to pass a biker at a safe distance even with cars parked on both sides. I yelled to the driver \”too close\” as he drove by with the windows open. The white male driver, approximately 60 years old with gray hair, slammed on his brakes and put his car in reverse. As I rode up onto the side walk to avoid getting run over again, he yelled at me \”Do you know what the rules of the road are? Slow moving vehicles need to keep far the right of the road\”. I stayed a good distance from the car so yelled back that \”there are parked cars I need to get around\”. He kept yelling things, I tried to ride off and he kept creeping along yelling out his window. I just kept saying how there were parked cars there because my brain was rattled and could not think of anything else somewhat intelligent to say. As I turned the corner away from him, he sat in his truck for a brief moment at the intersection staring at me before driving on. I continued in the direction I was going to go around a different way in case he decided to chase after me. I headed away from home first until I felt it was safe to continue home. I certainly did not want him following me to my house.

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  • Greg August 28, 2007 at 12:53 am

    The biggest problem is that we ALL make sweeping generalizations way too much about the other folks we must all share the road with. I work for TriMet and have to personally deal with customer or motorist or bicyclist\’s complaints. I see highly embellished complaints, I see misunderstandings, I see bus operators being vindictive, I see bicyclist\’s being highly vindictive …whatever…it\’s such a totally mixed bag of BS. Most often, it\’s about personal judgment and skills…on BOTH sides of the fence. And there is the piece on personal vendetta\’s …again..on BOTH sides of the fence or traffic lane or bike lane. We have extremists on both sides and also a lot of innocents ON BOTH SIDES that get caught in the fray. We at TriMet are making earnest efforts to recognize those operators that cross the line intentionally. We seriously want to pull those perspectives of folks back into reality and what is safe for all. I am fairly certain that there are folks on the bike side doing the same thing. I certainly hope so. Both are in different worlds and different perspectives. We seriously need to find the common ground and learn how to cope with each other. It is frustrating in both arenas.

    How can we accomplish this realistically?

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  • Greg August 28, 2007 at 1:02 am

    Hailbob.. you are right on!
    I used to ride all the time in Portland 20 years ago and I always rode parallel streets in the direction I wanted to go. I didn\’t ASSume I had any traffic \”rights\”. I watched out for MYSELF. It\’s all about defensive riding and driving. Defense, not OFFENSE!!
    If you go offensive…you are a fool on your own.

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  • Jeff August 31, 2007 at 8:35 am

    I had an \”encounter\” last night in Lake Oswego, around 6:15 PM. Not really a close call. I was on Westlake Drive, going up the hill. Westlake has portions which have a bike lane, and others which do not. I was in the portion with no bike lane. A guy in a maxi-sized SUV started honking at me, and yelling for me to get on the sidewalk. I yelled back, and he continued to honk and scream. The irony was that after he passed me, yelling the whole time, he went one block farther, and pulled into his driveway on a sidestreet. I toyed with confronting him, but didn\’t want to bother. I did, however, go home, print pages from the DMV driver\’s manual relating to \”sharing the road\”, and left it on the guy\’s windshield on my way in to work this AM.

    I toyed with calling the Lake Oswego police, because I have his license number, but I suspect that that is pointless…

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  • Me 2 August 31, 2007 at 11:39 am

    Hailbob,

    Thanks for sharing your comments, but how about being a little less patronizing in your comments. People have different skills, speed levels and preferences.

    I share your concerns about driving defensively, but people need to figure out what works best for them.

    For example, I live in NE and commute 3 times a week year round to the Pearl District. When I moved to NE 3 years ago I took NE Knott for 20 plus blocks of my commute. This is a \”designated\” bicycle street, but after my fair share of being buzzed by drivers I gave up. It\’s not like I was riding in the middle of the road, I was a few inches to left of parked cars, but still found 2-3 motorist per day on each way not willing to give me sufficient space when passing.

    I decided to adjust my morning commute by taking NE Fremont from NE 21 until NE 13. In your book this is \”stupid\”, but I find if I make a the right off of NE 21 on a green light and sprint (I can ride at around 25 mph for several blocks). I make it to NE 15 most days without having to worry about a car trying to speed past me. I then signal a right hand turn onto NE 13. I\’ve been doing this for almost as long as you have been riding and have yet to have a bad experience with a driver.

    So please show some consideration for the fact that people can make different choices about what they feel is the safest way to drive their bike on Portland roads.

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  • Me 2 August 31, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Pardon me I meant that I signal left onto NE 13. Contrary to Greg\’s opinion I feel it is about visibility and predictability as opposed to defense or trying to make yourself as invisible as possible.

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  • carl larson September 2, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    My Name Carl Larson I was in Oregon City on the first of Sep. and got hit by a car but I\’m doing ok

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  • Paul Sowards September 3, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    I turned off of SE 49th Ave. onto Hawthorne Blvd. heading west. I look over my shoulder at 48th Ave. to see a vehicle turning off of 49th about one block behind me. At this point in time, I had already established myself in the lane of traffic because i was going to get into the middle turning area to make a left turn onto 46th. No more than 8-10 seconds later the same vehicle tried to pass me on my left hand side using most to the turning area and sideswiped me at 20-25 mph. This cause me to be thrown from my bike with minor injuries. I was transport to Providence for examination and to clean up road rash. After looking over the police report later that night, I saw that the man who had hit me was about two months shy of his 80th birthday. I am doing well considering; very sore though. This is my second time being hit by a car. It is with much thought that my family and I have decided that it would be best if I sell the bike. I will miss riding to work very much, but not as much as my family would miss me if I got on my bike again and I was fatally killed by a negligent driver. For exercise I am looking into getting a spinner. For all who ride—-stay as safe as you can!!! Lastly, I thank the LORD for answering the prayers of my loving wife.

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  • Whiney McWhinerson September 5, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Traveling North on Milwaukie in Sellwood at 6:45am this morning: I looked behind me, signaled and pulled out to make a left into the Oaks Bottom trailhead parking area. I heard someone rev their engine and speed up (they weren\’t close initially). They then passed me on my LEFT in the oncoming lane. I\’m just glad I hadn\’t actually started turning left yet. The street is under construction (ground down for repaving) so the surface is already challenging to ride on (they have warning signs for motorcycles to take extreme caution) without the added danger of people in little red plastic sports cars thinking it\’s cool to buzz cyclists early in the morning.

    At least I wasn\’t sideswiped at 25 MPH (#384).

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  • max adders September 5, 2007 at 9:45 am

    NE Sumner and 9th: black four-door sedan nearly blows through the four way stop as I enter the intersection. She slams on her brakes, I shout \”STOP SIGN\” and get treated to a whole mess of obscenities. My favorite: \”you better keep riding your bike motherfucker, I\’m gonna get you\”

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  • hailbob September 5, 2007 at 11:08 am

    Me2,

    I guess I am not trying to be inconsiderate or patronizing, but rather real to those who never take the time to learn the streets of Portland. It is my experience that people won\’t listen to you if you coddle them and say \”oh, I feel for you, it\’s OK, you can go ahead and drive on dangerous roads and risk dealing with unruly drivers if that works for you\”. NO.

    Let\’s break down your \”dangerous\” route then. You say you used to take Knott street? In case you haven\’t realized, it is NOT a designated bike street…where is this posted at and at what section? Here is proof right here:

    http://www.bta4bikes.org/docs/10NEEast-WestBikeways.pdf

    The pamphlet encourages the possibility of this street being a bike-laned street, but it most definitely is \”KNOTT\”, it even suggests taking neighborhood streets north of it! And on the Portland Bike Map it is not highlighted at all as an option, in fact, there is a really dangerous connection close-in:

    http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=101387

    Don\’t even get me started with your alternative, Fremont. You are very likely to have an incident riding that street east of MLK, I assure you. You are not stupid in taking it, but rather foolish I guess, but that is your risk to take.

    Here are some suggestions that I really didn\’t even have to look up but just knowing from studying the maps and taking the time to figure our a killer route: Depending on where you are coming from in NE, there are tons of options, Klickitat, unless you are coming down the steep part near 38th, in that case use 38th to get into the gulch. And for closer in, why not Mason, Beech, Failing?…or farther south like Stanton, Brazee or Thompson? I come from Roseway to SW Downtown, and use Tillamook which I love as a commuter street. These are all neighborhood streets with hardly any traffic and can be used efficiently once you get a good route down.

    Oh and another point, if you are going to ride your bike in the city, I suggest you start getting used to getting buzzed. It is a part of bike riding, I hardly think that drivers are out there to hit you so try to summon up courage to deal with cars passing you close and understand that this is just part of biking on narrow, busy roads if you must ride them to make a connection or whatever.

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  • hailbob September 5, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    defensive riding = means not only taking responsibility for yourself and your actions but also keeping an eye on \”the other guy.\”

    AND

    \”defense or trying to make yourself as invisible as possible\”

    …is not the same thing

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  • a.O September 5, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    \”[I]if you are going to ride your bike in the city, I suggest you start getting used to getting buzzed.\”

    Suggestion not taken. We\’re not going to get used to it. Drivers must get used to us being on the roads and not commit this crime against us. If they can\’t, we\’ll start making sure the law is enforced. Deal with it, hailbob.

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  • hailbob September 5, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    See, that is the problem right there, a beligerant display of an unwillingness to compromise….\”ME, ME ME, it is all about the biker\’s right-of-way….narrow, busy Fremont (with buses, mind you) will just have to get backed up for 20 blocks because of my selfish attitude to constantly ride into traffic to miss parked vehicles and not take the time to find and then use a more reasonable, alternative route one block south\”…whatever. How, prey tell, are you going to enforce this law?…by yelling out loud at a driver who can\’t even hear you and doesn\’t think they are doing anything wrong? Calling the cops? Don\’t make ME laugh out loud! You know those drivers have to take a risk too by going into the oncoming traffic lane to drive around your a$$…

    You HAVE to get used to it, drivers are not going to change just because of your righteous attitude or by throwing some subjective law in their face….they grow more resentful and the biker-driver rage grows even more with it as a matter of fact.

    On dissecting that law a bit further: what may be close and dangerous to someone else, may not be close and dangerous to another. Overall, I think this law can be interpreted more like the golden rule: \”Do unto others as you would have done unto you\”. And that rings true for those bikers who occasionally drive every now and again and don\’t want to follow a caravan of bikes 15 blocks down Hawthorne.

    Oh and by the way, I cannot count how many times I have been buzzed by BIKES on Vancouver or Williams as if I was racing the Tour de France, on a road with a HUGE bike lane…I don\’t scream bloody murder at them because we are all guilty of disregard (ableit not flagrant)at one point or another.

    I am merely trying to be the devil\’s advocate here because bikers tend to get way too self-righteous and use roads they shouldn\’t. I think there are crazy or spacey drivers out there that have no business being on the road too but remember that those aformentioned trouble streets were NOT designed for bikes. It would be nice one day, but until then, avoid them when you can unless briefly to make a difficult connection, and eliminate the argument (and a possible accident) completely.

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  • a.O September 5, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    \”[B]ikers tend to get way too self-righteous and use roads they shouldn\’t.\”

    If you\’re telling me I do not have the right to use a road I have a right to use, then that\’s your problem. It\’s just not true. As for how we will enforce our rights, you\’ll see. I\’ve got that part covered, so don\’t concern yourself with it. Your interpretation of the law is baseless and demonstrates your utter ignorance of how the law works.

    Spewing hazardous air pollutants, greenhouse gasses, perpetuating dependency on foreign oil and the obesity epidemic, and reducing the livability of our communities epitomizes selfishness.

    As time marches on, there will be more of us and fewer of you, inevitably. Your argument regarding cyclists not using busy streets will be seen by history as analogous to those people who argued in the 19th century for motor coaches to stay off the rights-of-way because they spooked horse-and-buggies.

    You\’re an anachronism. YOU will have to deal with us … and your impotent rage.

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  • SKiDmark September 5, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    hailbob. I can use any road in this city I damn please to, besides the Interstate. When I use the road, I am required by law to give way to vehicles that are travelling faster than me, (if I am not doing the speed limit) when it is safe to do so. If cars are stacking up behind me, I need to get over and let them pass. The problem is that people in cars tend to be VERY impatient and the end of the block is not soon enough for them. Also, even if a bike is doing the speed limit (25 mph is not that tough) the bike is often percieved as being slow just because it is a bike.

    ALL streets are designed for bikes, with the exception of the Interstates.

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  • Me 2 September 5, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Hailbob,

    For someone who writes about bikers being narrowminded and unwilling to compromise, you sure spend a lot of time trying to tell people to be like YOU.

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  • hailbob September 5, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    \”ALL streets are designed for bikes, with the exception of the Interstates\”

    …not true, have you driven on Sandy Blvd or MLK recently? They most definitely are not designed for bikes. There are many more too…

    \”The problem is that people in cars tend to be VERY impatient\”

    …hmmm, sounds like some bikers I have witnessed before! We have all been impatient at some point…I have seen bikers run red lights or ride on the sidewalks to get to where they are going in such a hurry!!! All this is so stereotypical (yes, including my comments but I am trying hard not to)…you shouldn\’t lump all bikers or all drivers into groups, and say they express some negative trait. You have no idea what is going on in the mind of someone else that you cannot communicate with at the time.

    \”Spewing hazardous air pollutants, greenhouse gasses, perpetuating dependency on foreign oil and the obesity epidemic, and reducing the livability of our communities epitomizes selfishness. As time marches on, there will be more of us and fewer of you…\”

    Spare me, I ride 13 miles/5 times a day in the summer and walk/bus in the winter, I can\’t remember the last time I used my car to get to work. Don\’t give me the \”save the world\” lecture…you don\’t even know me…for your information, I have made major lifestyle changes and contributions to helping our environment for the past twenty years..so step off.

    \”For someone who writes about bikers being narrowminded and unwilling to compromise, you sure spend a lot of time trying to tell people to be like YOU.\”

    Yah well, I think riding your bike on less busy roads is a good idea if it is an option. I have had safe travels in my commuting and I think that I should pass on my experiences. If you want to run the risk of riding on those streets, like I said before, go right on ahead, but don\’t expect sympathy for putting yourself out into the busy non-bike-friendly streets and intersections and then whining you got into an accident.

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  • SKiDmark September 5, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    I actually prefer \”less busy roads\”.

    Thank you for taking my comments out of context. If a person can\’t wait a half a block for me to yield to them, they ARE impatient. That IS sharing the road, and it is doing so by the law.

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  • a.O September 5, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    \”Spare me, I ride 13 miles/5 times a day … [blah, blah, blah] …so step off.\”

    It\’s not about you, man. It\’s about the role cars and bikes have in setting public policy and how we want, nay need, our public policy to encourage bicycling and discourage the rapidly approaching destruction of our environment (climate change) and our economy (peak oil) at the hands of the continued policy of supremecy for the Single Occupancy Motor Vehicle. By telling cyclists to stay off roads, you are perpetuating that policy and you are thus PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    The roads are more than adequately designed for cyclists to operate them within the law. It\’s only for the continuous harassment and criminal assault of cyclists by drivers that roads like Sandy have become filled with people in armored boxes and the brave (or insane) few who take their lives into their own hands. It\’s time you started respecting the rule of law as it applies to cyclists. You\’ll not find a receptive audience to any argument to the contrary here.

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  • hailbob September 6, 2007 at 7:33 am

    \”As time marches on, there will be more of us and fewer of you…\”

    \”It\’s not about you, man.\”

    You see, when you really look at it, your comment was ALL about me. I am not saying you need to stay off these roads and sit on your hands and do nothing forever. I commend the fight to change policies so that bikers have more routes, but like I said before: \”until then\” it would be smarter and safer to stay off these streets.

    \”I can use any road in this city I damn please to\”

    Nice attitude. It is well within your rights, but \”should\” you? Come on, why can\’t you yield a little and use a more bike friendly street? Isn\’t this the very attitude you bash the drivers for? And this is the internet man, taking things out of context is commonplace when you can\’t see one\’s facial expressions or hear voice tone.

    All arguments aside, I love to bike in this city, it is the most bike friendly city I have ever had the pleasure to live in or even visit for that matter, thanks in part by people like you folks fighting for bikers rights to have designated bike routes.

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  • a.O September 6, 2007 at 8:10 am

    \”Come on, why can\’t you yield a little and use a more bike friendly street?\”

    Why can\’t YOU yield a little and make them ALL a little more bike friendly?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) September 6, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Folks, please respect the purpose of this post. It is to share close calls, not to debate other issues. I love the back and forth, but I will ask that you please take it into the forums to discuss further.

    Thanks.

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  • Dorothy W. Hopkins September 6, 2007 at 9:59 am

    I was riding southbound on Murray Blvd. in Beaverton…waiting patiently at the crossroads of Murray and Farmington Rd. The light turned green and the bus next to me allowed me to go first. As I started through the intersection, a contractor van coming the opposite direction in the left turn lane accelerated to make his left turn in FRONT of the oncoming cars, nearly killing me in the process. Thank goodness I had good brakes or I would have been killed. No question about it.

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  • Ben Hodgdon September 6, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Posting for my girlfriend. During the first week of August she was riding north on NW 10th between the Portland Streetcar tracks. This street is a two lane one-way going north. A sportscar sped up behind her, honked, then proceded to cut around her so closely that she was forced to swerve into the tracks. Her tires caught in the tracks, throwing her from the bike. She scraped up her face, shoulder, hand, hip and knees, but luckily no broken bones. The car that cut her off didn\’t even stop. Thankfully the driver of another car saw the incident and stopped to help get her and her bike out of the street.

    It\’s scary that some drivers can be so disrespectful toward bicyclists.

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  • Judi Allen September 6, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    I would like to commute to work more often, but because of some of the nasty drivers out there, I do not feel very safe.
    I have had many close calls, but I must say that people driving in the morning are much more cordial than the people driving home after work. I have had several let me over into the left hand lane to turn in the morning…good luck at night!

    Sometimes I take Hall Blvd home to Tigard.
    There are 2 kinds of people you see, the timid moms in minivans that are afraid to pass, or the assholes in pickups that would just as soon run you down. I have nearly been taken out several times on Hall…people trying to turn right will \”forget\” there is a bike lane, not a turn lane.

    I could go on and on…

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  • true September 7, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    SE Woodstock and 52nd – I was stopped at the red light towards the right hand side of the street and the driver behind me started honking to get out of the way. I turned and pointed out that I was following the law and the light would change in a few seconds, and the driver laid on the horn, began yelling, revved the engine, and edged forward towards my bike. I felt threatened enough to get off of my bike and move to the sidewalk as the car sped around the corner. I know this was a pretty average event – and I\’ve been run off the road, bumped, had objects and expletives thrown at me – but this was actually the first time I got the license and description and called it in. 895 CGE, light grey station wagon with bondo patches.

    No actual crime committed, but the PoPo that came by and took my statement was exceedingly polite and assured me that the young driver would get a talking to about driving etiquette and sharing the road. Thanks PoPo!

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  • Julie September 7, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    The crosswalk on Stark at 30th Place. I was biking with my dog – on the sidewalk and I was crossing the street and this dark, 4 door Neon looking car came about a foot from hitting us. Basically as soon has he had enough space to drive by he did. I wrote down his license plate number, XXE 826, and called non-emergency. I would like to follow up tomorrow to see how the non-emergency process works. I live in the SE, one block from where the near accident occurred.

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  • jenn September 12, 2007 at 11:07 am

    I bike out in the beaverton/hillsboro area. Most of my clsoe-calls are due to drivers simply not paying attention to bikers.

    Ive had 2 close calls at the same place in the last year. I bike mostly on baseline road, b/w SW 185th and 231st. As you can imagine out here in the \’burbs we have wide, fast streets with developments all over the place. The biggest hazard in my experience is people turning left across traffic to get into these developments. They scan for big cars but not bikes before turning.

    The worst close call I had was last year on baseline at SW 201st. I was biking home from work with my husband (he was behind me) & we were passing in front of an apartment complex entrance. I looked up to see a car ~4ft from me that was turning across traffic into the complex. my reflex reaction was to let out a blood curdling scream. Thank goodness the woman had her windows down & she heard me. I could see that she had been sheilding her eyes from the sun with her right hand (sun was behind me) and from the horrified look on her face I could tell she hadnt seen us at all. My husband thought she had hit me after i let out that scream.. we were both pretty shaken up, fortunately we live ~0.5 mile from that area so we were almost home.

    Just last week I had another close call at this same apartment complex (i really should jot down the name…) but it wasnt as bad since i preemtively breaked after i noticed the driver was looking at the complex entrance, not me.

    That being said most drivers out here are very courteous to cyclists. Both of the scenarios i mentioned would have been prevented with better education to motorists about how to share the road with cyclists.

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  • Jaskirat Wild September 13, 2007 at 10:15 am

    I work at OHSU and commute by bike & Max there from NE PDX (82nd & Prescott) daily. I was heading home on Friday, August 31st, around 6:30 pm. I got on my bike in front of the OHSU Hospital building and turned right at the Kohler Pavilion to head down the hill. There was a royal-blue minivan (one with a really long & pointy front) that had pulled out of the parking lot under Kohler Pavilion and was waiting in the drive to turn left (the direction from which I was coming). The person clearly saw me and proceeded to pull out very quickly right in front of me. She had waited for the car in front of me to pass before pulling out, but I suppose she doesn\’t realize that bikes are vehicles and pulled out right in front of me, assuming she had the right of way and that I was supposed to stop for her gas guzzler. I had to stop so quickly and forcefully that it broke a spoke on my wheel. She stopped within a couple of feet of hitting me, but that\’s not what prevented our collision – it was me stopping first. She laughed after almost killing me. The woman was obviously an OHSU employee, wearing blue hospital scrubs. She seemed to be of medium build with medium-length brown hair. Bikers, beware. OHSU sucks for bikers, bike safety, bike parking, bike awareness, etc.

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  • jaami September 16, 2007 at 4:33 am

    I don\’t know if anyone\’s mentioned this before, it\’s possible. There\’s a woman in a white late 80s – early 90s pick up truck, I believe a Toyota?, who enjoys driving down Belmont, Hawthorne & Division late at night to hassle anyone on a bike. She has targeted me more than once & continues to be a pain in the ass. My most memorable encounter was as I rode down Hawthorne, the 11 o\’clock hour. Moderate traffic, but I ride with lights, a helmet, ride the right hand lane & use hand signals. She was in front of me, slowing to a near crawl as I was behind her. The traffic on my left was coming & she took up too much space for me to cut right, so I paced behind her. When I was able to pass on her left, she immediately sped up so I could not get back into the lane. She slowed, sped up, slowed. She started yelling at me, which I ignored, until I realized she was stretching her arm out the window, close enough to grab my bag. She pulled next to me, as I tried to get around, again, without being clipped and she yelled \”Get out of the road! You HAVE to use a bike route!!!\” My response was \”Bicycles have shared roadways, I will ride where I want.\” She then attempted throwing something at me, which looked like a map, as she continued to yell. Mind you while this happened, there were cars behind me as well as her, infriging on traffic flow & my safety. She swore something about how I wouldn\’t listen, cut into the lane I rode in, immediately cut back into the right and took a sharp turn down 37th.

    She\’s done this more than once, as I said. If anyone else has encountered her, I\’d really like to know.

    People need to be more educated that we share the roads. Portland is built on shared roadways. This city needs more direct information to the non-riding residents. Actions like this woman uses are dangerous, inconsiderate and downright uncalled for.

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  • S September 19, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    My close call happened about 10 minutes ago on NE Alberta/around 15th.

    Don\’t lose sight of this, but I was in, yes, a car. Driving east on NE Alberta I saw a fellow biker doing the increasingly annoying trait of biking in dark clothing (hoodie over the head) without any lights on a single speed. Dude also had no helmet. As my big evil car approached him going about 15mph as per the usual speed of the street and said \’hey man, I can\’t see you\’ from my window he told me: \’Fuck you!!\’. I slowed down and said \’hey man, I bike too, I just can\’t see you\’ and he replied \’fuck you asshole, where\’s your bike!??\’. To which I said, \’cmon, man where\’s your light\’. As this brief exchange went on and was obviously ridiculous (in hindsight) he told me to get out off my car like some sort of crap schoolyard threat….then cut me off in front of my car and peddled off like Kevin Bacon. Let me say this- I FUCKING BIKE TOO. What\’s up with all the shitheads weaving in and out of busy streets at night *without any kind of lights*? I\’m posting this in hope that you read this, you mr. black clothing wearing, single speeding riding, no helmet/no light rad person that I could have collided with? Portland, c\’mon, you can do better. Sharing the road means being properly equipped. Yeah, I was in a car, but I\’m not the enemy. Seems like me even saying something to the effect that I couldn\’t *see* because of his choice not to wear safe gear him caused the dude to lose his shit. Why do people do this?

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  • dr September 19, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    This afternoon at about 4:30pm, on SW 3rd between Taylor and Madison. I was on my bicycle in the center of the center lane, up front casually riding at the speed of traffic, timing the lights so I never needed to slow or stop. As I was doing so a large, newer, white Ford Super Duty diesel pickup truck with OR vanity plates \”PCS-1\” kept rushing up to me. After about the second time, I turned to make eye contact with the driver to acknowledge each other. When I did so he gunned it and sped right up to me between blocks, literally within about 4 inches, all the while laughing. I then split a lane to get away from the guy, letting him no that he wasn\’t going anywhere as it was rush hour traffic. I was very rattled and pissed that if he\’d have hit my rear tire with his truck I\’d have gotten sucked under and probably been crushed to death, all for his little ego stroking. All I was doing was following the rules. If something were to happen to me the guy will say it was an accident and get off with a minor infraction. That is how the law is and it\’s wrong. Anyone who says it isn\’t is literally insane.
    It should be noted that several times throughout my week I have people, usually downtown, do useless things(other than to make themselves feel like they showed me) like pass me in my lane only to get stuck at the very next light that I ride through as it changes. Sometimes these drivers will do it twice. Frustrated or not it is unsafe and does them absolutely no good while putting cyclists as great risk.

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  • wsbob September 20, 2007 at 11:00 am

    dr, I\’m not sure I exactly understand what you mean by \”I then split a lane to get away from the guy,…\” Are you simply saying that you moved to a lane different than the one the truck driver was in, to get away from him?

    Also, perhaps you noticed that I posted a note on the following thread:

    http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1201

    about your craigslist ad. You probably should consider doing something about the situation. Talk to the police and file a complaint if nothing else. It\’d probably be