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Cyclist sues TriMet

Posted by on January 13th, 2006 at 7:53 am

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[Photo from TriMet bus video]

Long time bike advocate and current city employee Randy Albright (seen here at a June Critical Mass ride) has filed a lawsuit against TriMet seeking damages of over $48,000. The suit, which was filed last Friday, details an incident which occured on the Hawthorne Bridge back in January 2004.

I recently met with Randy to get his side of the story:

On the morning of January 22, 2004 he had just entered the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge heading into downtown when he noticed the bike lane was full of gravel debris. The roads had just thawed from an ice storm and despite several attempts to get maintenance crews to clean out the bike lane, it remained unusable. Because of this dangerous situation, Randy was forced to ride just to the right of the main traffic lane.

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[Randy and John Doe, pre-punch]

A few minutes later a TriMet bus came up from behind and buzzed him “less than a foot” from his handlebars. This was much too close for comfort in Randy’s mind. A few minutes later Randy caught up to the bus near a stop (still on the bridge) and proceeded to walk his bike directly in front of the driver’s window, yelling and screaming at the driver (for anyone that knows Randy, this is not hard to imagine). Before long, the other traffic continued on, but Randy remained in front of the bus, causing a delay.

[*Note, the bus was standing-room-only full at this time.]

This delay apparently upset the driver and one passenger in particular because suddenly the bus door opened and a man stormed out. He approached Randy and instantly began hitting him. The first punch broke Randy’s lip open (later needing stitches) and eventually this “John Doe” wrestled Randy over to the sidewalk (see photos).

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[This is the man who
assaulted Randy]

After the incident, John Doe walked right back on the bus, the door closed, and the bus continued on into town. According to timestamps on the images made from TriMet video, the entire incident took less than one minute .

Randy and his lawyer feel TriMet is responsible because the driver:

  • Failed to operate his bus safely.
  • Allowed John Doe to leave the bus at an unapproved stop.
  • Allowed John Doe to return to the bus after committing a criminal assault and battery.
  • Failed to call the police after witnessing a criminal assault and battery.
  • Failed to call for medical assistance.
  • Facilitated assault and battery by a patron.

Randy has met with TriMet and reviewed video of the incident (that’s where these photos came from). Despite being cooperative with Randy’s requests for information, TriMet claims that John Doe is responsible for the incident and they have not assumed any responsibility so far.

In the background of all this is the fact that many cyclists have had run-ins with TriMet busses. Just glancing at my close call submissions, I found five of them involved a TriMet bus (here they are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

That being said, I’m not so sure Randy handled this right. Did he really have to make a big scene and get all irate with the driver? Would he have had more luck by just taking down the bus number and going through the proper channels? My heart says I can’t blame him for getting upset, but I wonder what would have happened if cooler heads prevailed…and so does Randy. At one point in our meeting, he said sheepishly, “I don’t hate TriMet or anything…after all, I take the MAX to Zoobomb!”.

But regardless of Randy’s outburst, there’s simply no justification for a TriMet driver allowing a passenger to beat someone up and then leave them without any more respect than roadkill. And what’s up with this psycho passenger? That guy needs to relax and stop assaulting people he doesn’t even know. Too bad no one knows who he is because I’d love to hear his side of the story.

Perhaps the judge will make TriMet begin a new cyclist safety training program. If something like that comes out of this we all win, because regardless of how it turns out I think there’s a real need for cyclists and TriMet to work together to share the road. They’re the heaviest road user and we’re the lightest, it’s a recipe for disaster.

What have been your experiences riding around TriMet busses? Do you think Randy’s lawsuit is justified?

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Comments
  • Ayleen January 13, 2006 at 8:27 am

    In a lot of ways, I think Randy handled this right because he handled it the Randy way: it’s in his nature to be so bold.

    I’m still not convinced there’s an overwhelming TriMet bus driver problem as far as safety with cyclists is concerned. I’ve ony had two near breezes in six years. I generally try to move out of the way of busses since they’re carrying so many people and their vehicles must be so annoying to operate.

    I hear a lot of outcry that “TriMet Bus drivers have a thing against cyclists and try to run them down” but I’m not buying it. I have had far more run-ins with car drivers.

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  • tim January 13, 2006 at 8:54 am

    A few times a year i get the ‘Trimet squeeze’ and am cut off by one of their buses. So i call Trimet, the person there is very nice, and say they’ll talk to the driver. When i ride my same commute route, seems like the buses do give me more room now. So that’s cool.

    One other thing that comes to mind is an incident i had after crossing the St Johns Bridge (in NW). i was descending South (at around 30mph) with a Trimet bus within a yard of my rear wheel. At the nearby stop sign, i rapped on the buses door, and asked the operator if he could give me a little more room. He replied that he couldn’t, for he had a schedule to keep.

    Agreed with Ayleen about motorists being a much greater problem for us. Hoping that some bike-tolerant education can be introduced in driver’s education classes.

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  • Jim F January 13, 2006 at 10:21 am

    After the passenger assaulted Randy, the bus driver should have called the police and let them handle it. Allowing the passenger back on the bus and driving away was just wrong.

    That said, I find that Tri-Met drivers are like everyone else. Most of them are very respectful of bikes, but some aren’t.

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  • Caroline January 13, 2006 at 10:47 am

    What I want to know is where is the aggressor shown in the video stills? Did that person get away without criminal charges? Because although it seems to me that whereas two mistakes were made by Randy (he was in too much of a hurry to walk his bike over the glass, and crazy enough to leave the bike path while still on the narrow-laned Hawthorne bridge) one more paramount mistake was made by the anonymous Tri-Met rider (he assaulted a stranger because he’s a hater in a hurry). Hurry schmurry.

    Come on, people. Buses are huge, and they are operated by PEOPLE who have schedules dictated by both customers and management breathing down their necks. If they are not on time, they do not get a break. Just stay out of their way! And when you meet a driver who is inconsiderate, take it upon yourself to politely ask whether they noticed their mistake, and if they did and do not seem empathetic or apologetic or both, write a letter or notify the police (whichever is appropriate (bus drivers abide by laws, as well). Don’t yell. Obviously it accomplishes nothing. I am usually extremely embarrassed when someone I am riding with yells at a driver. It only serves to make drivers more alienated from bikers, and makes the yeller look like an ass. After years of driving without a horn on my car, I carried over the silent “WTF” look and exaggerated “WTF” gestures to my on-road encounters. Usually people send back non-verbal apologetic looks and gestures.

    I have been car-less for over a year and commute by bike and bus (more by bus now that it is winter). I routinely get into pleasant conversations with bus drivers, normally because they are curious about something about my bike or style. Sometimes I have not-so-pleasant experiences with buses. But, Tri-met is people and machines we want and need on our side! Make a point of letting them know what they are doing right, and be careful how you let them know what they are doing wrong.

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  • Jonathan Maus January 13, 2006 at 11:01 am

    I just added a photo of the man who beat up Randy. From what I know, he hasn’t been identified.

    I tend to agree with you Caroline, yelling rarely accomplishes something…however I can sympathize with Randy’s emotions and I still think TriMet messed up on this one by not at least apologizing to Randy or reprimanding their driver.

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  • Curt Dewees January 13, 2006 at 11:49 am

    My reactions:
    1. Most Tri-Met drivers are very good bus handlers. They know exactly where the edges of their vehicle is, and they are very skilled at maneuvering in tight situtations. Randy may have felt that is was a “close call” but realistically, he probably wasn’t in any real danger, other than having his comfort zone violated.

    2. Unless Tri-Met has a written policy that busses must keep a three-foot distance from other vehicles, including bicyles, at all times, then the Tri-Met driver probably wasn’t breaking any rules by passing a bicyclist with only a foot to spare.

    3. With those assumptions in mind, Randy’s reaction was innapropriate. He wasn’t hit, he wasn’t hurt; no harm, no foul.

    4. On the other hand, two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because an irate cyclist was blocking the bus, the bus driver shouldn’t have let the passenger off at that point.

    5. Did the bus driver know that the passenger intended to assault the bicyclist? Maybe not. Maybe the passenger just told the driver, “Can you please let me off now. I’ll just walk the rest of the way, thanks.” Tri-Met drivers have been known to pick up and/or drop off passengers at places that are not designated bus stops as a courtesy to their passengers, if they’re in a good mood. If the bus driver is smart, he’ll say, “I had no idea that guy was going to attack Randy. If I had known, I wouldn’t have let him off the bus.”

    6. Still, after witnessing the assault, the driver should have reported the assault to the police and/or called 9-1-1. He didn’t, so he acted negligently. Perhaps Randy is owed something on that score.

    I’d say both the bicyclist and the bus driver (and obviously the passenger) all made some serious mistakes on this one. There is plenty of blame to go around.

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  • Caroline January 13, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    Is that a Steelers jacket? Hm. Explains a lot. Nah. Just kidding.

    I agree with you Jonathan. Just because I don’t normally scream doesn’t mean I don’t harbor those violent emotions when automobiles violate my space. And yes, some people owe Randy apologies!

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  • Hugo January 13, 2006 at 1:09 pm

    Okay,

    Two ways to approach this, legally, and as a guy.

    Legally, the driver aided and abetted the escape of someone who had committed assault. You have a legal case.

    But as a guy to a guy Randy, you threw down and got all aggressive and blocked the bus when blocking the bus was totally unnecessary. You should have just gotten the bus # and called TriMet. BUT, you didn’t and that’s fine. I myself have taken the law into my own hands, and after one particular close call with a TriMet, I removed his rearview mirror. But when I did that, I understood that I sure as hell better have an escape route, or be willing to deal with the horns.
    You wanted to be the Dude, be big and bad and block the bus. But when push came to shove, you just weren’t ready for it and got your helmet handed to you. In court you will probably win, but as a dude, you get no props.

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  • Ayleen January 13, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    (off the TriMet topic, on to Caroline’s preferred gesture)
    I’m a BIG fan of WTF gesturing and facial expressions. It’s probably my most common form of communication with drivers. To me, it says (other than WTF), “Come on, aren’t you smarter than that?” and “I noticed, and that’s not cool”.

    Commander Sinnett, when interviewed on the KBOO Bike Show, said that most motorists who make errors are aware that they are violating the law. I found that comment very interesting.

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  • David Auker January 13, 2006 at 3:45 pm

    >TriMet bus came up from behind and buzzed him “less than a foot” from
    his handlebars< Anger when threatened bodily is human nature, like it or not.

    >This was much too close for comfort<

    Comfort? This sounds like possible injury/death. TriMet buses do have an
    inherently awkward role in traffic; however…once in a while I’ve seen
    manuvers that could only have come from drivers with some kind of chip
    on their shoulder. In my encounters with TriMet, they go out of their
    way to avoid admitting any error, so a lawsuit is likely necessary to
    even get them to actually say they’re sorry! I received a letter from
    them once, that I requested, and the wording was, “We’re sorry YOU had a
    problem with one of our drivers!”

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  • Doug Hormann January 13, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    While the acts of the driver and the passenger are pretty bizarre and in the case of the passenger apparently criminal, Randy’s actions were also out of line and certainly led to the asault. (I’m not justifying the passenger’s action, merely stating that he probably wouldn’t have blown up if Randy hadn’t been blocking the bus.) Had he gotten the bus number and reported the incident, or calmly tried to speak to the driver at his next stop, we wouldn’t be discussing this here.

    Randy also, by his own admission, likely committed the offense of Disordery Conduct (B Misdemeanor)(ORS 166.025(1)(d) in which, “A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, the person:

    (d) Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic on a public way;

    I’ve been breezed by buses a couple of times. Once I spoke to the driver and he apologized, not realizing he had come that close. Blocking a street and holding up traffic is no way to influence bus drivers or gain the support of the general public. While the bus driver probably owes Randy an apology, Randy owes the passengers and other traffic one as well.

    Bike commuter and cop for 17 years.

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  • Aaron January 13, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    Curt Dewees comments are right on the money. He was definitely wrong and asking for trouble to block a bus (especially fully loaded). The bus driver however should definitely know the space of the bus and perhaps knew he was too close. That we don’t know. I also have little trouble with Trimet and I talk to drivers all the time and hear their complaints about bicyclists (at least half are not pro-bike).
    Both the driver and TriMet screwed up royally in this incident and should be forced to pay up if only to enforce the notion that they should be more responsible than some bicyclists. I disagree with Doug’s final comment though. While that might be the letter of the law, it’s obviously car-centric and could be used against Critical Mass. Holding up traffic should not be illegal unless it’s gratuitous.

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  • RobCat January 13, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    Randy (I don’t know him personally but have read many of his posts on bikeforums.net) reacted much as many frightened human beings would when they perceive their safety threatened. Still, though his behavior is understandable, it isn’t laudable. Had he damped his temper and thought the incident through in a practical manner he wouldn’t have gotten a fat lip. This is in no way meant to infer that the actions of the passenger were warranted; HIS behavior was reprehensible.

    The driver had responsibilities in this situation that he did not fulfill, much as I might otherwise sympathize with him for the daily abuse and harried schedule with which he has to contend. I detest the “look the other way” school of urban survival.

    One thing not mentioned: The deportment of the rest of the passengers on that bus. Did they applaud the assailant once he re-boarded? Or did they stare at him silently, or perhaps even berate him? I don’t suppose we’ll ever know, but I’d hope that at least one of them voiced his or her disgust of him aloud.

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  • Russell January 14, 2006 at 11:12 am

    Quote:
    “I still think TriMet messed up on this one by not at least apologizing to Randy or reprimanding their driver.”

    There is no excuse for the driver to not be terminated. Just a reprimand for facilitating the assault and then escape of the assailant isn’t enough. If this isn’t a fire able offence at Trimet, then what is?

    As for aggressive bicyclists such as Randy: While I don’t think he deserved to be beat up, if he was being that obnoxious, he should have been ready to fight. You can’t get up in someone’s grill (so to speak) and not be ready for fists to start flying. I usually ride with a telescopic baton, as I’ve had a couple drivers get out of cars at stoplights to confront me when I’ve taken the lane. If someone risks my life so blatantly that I feel like I have to confront them, I don’t assume they are going to listen attentively and then thank me for pointing out the relevant bicycle law so they can improve their driving. I’m ready to fight if it comes to that.

    Randy would probably say from what I’ve read that he was willing to take a punch to make his point. I’d just have preferred he’d gave as good as he got I guess. He had a right to defend himself and he didn’t use it.

    While most here are saying the best course of action is to call or write Trimet; if Trimet isn’t going to fire a driver for this (let alone punish him/her at all), you all are crazy if you think anything is going to come of a letter or phone call. “They were so nice” is just them telling you to kiss their ass in corporate speak. I don’t think forty-eight grand is gonna be enough to get their attention either.

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  • Dabby January 14, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    Screw Tri Met and the Horse they rode in on!!!!!
    As someone who deals with Tri Met 9 hours a day downtown, and in the short SE side, I have quite a bit of thought on this subject. Probably too much thought. I will try to be brief.
    Tri met buses abuse their “privilege” to use the road. It is not a right, it is a priviledge. We are supporting through subsidation, a money losing private organization that lives beyond it’s means.
    Through this, we have given them the right, with their little triangle, to do what they want, when they want. I believe that is what the triangle means on the back of the bus.
    We have also given to them the right to abuse our streets, our pedestrians, our bicyclists. Hell, the even are rude and abusive to bus riders!
    I have had incidents with buses of course, I had one last year.
    After being told they compiled the videos, and agreed with my point of view on the matter, I heard nothing else. I was chased through downtown by a bus! You would think that they would take care of this situation properly, since thier driver was running me down.
    People on the bus , who got off , also filed complaints against the driver. I have been told nothing, and surely nothing has been done.
    Tri Met will not be found at fault. We have given them the right of way, over all traffic.
    I have moved the mirrors on a unruly bus, because supposedly if the mirrors are moved, they must be recalibrated to the driver, which causes a investigation into why the mirror was moved. I hope this is true, but we may never know.
    I will not go on and on here like I could, and want to.
    I think that we need to form a citizens watchdog group, to deal with TriMets abuses, of all types. I mean, shit, we gave them the power to have their own police!
    We have citizen police watch groups.
    Why nopt a Tri Met based one, where it is needed.
    They have a loophole which allows them to drive as the want.
    I want to sinch up the slack, and close the loop hole down.
    Who’s with me?

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  • Dabby January 15, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    It also appears I cannot spell….
    For this I am sorry….
    I still like to ride my bike though….

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  • C3PNo January 15, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    I was just wondering how many people ride with a mirror in situations like this. Being able to see (if not hear) a bus behind you squeezing your comfort zone before it happens allows one the opportunity to take appropriate preemptive action. I feel like, as cyclists, we are stewards for the next generation of commuters. The more we pay attention to our 360 environment, the more respect we will get from these people, because we are making an effort to integrate ourselves (as non-violently as possible) into a system which was not designed with our presence in mind. Oh, and it might save your life.

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  • H January 15, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    The lesson I’m taking away from this incident is the same one I learned on my paper route at 11 years old: If a mean dog is chasing you, and you can’t get away, keep your bike between you and the dog, and use your bike as a weapon, if necessary.

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  • David Auker January 16, 2006 at 8:33 am

    C3PNo (“use a mirror so we can take appropriate preemptive action”) are you saying we should just get out of the way? There is some good logic to that, but on the other hand, the more you give, the more they will take. Besides, this situation was one of no option for Randy, as the bike lane was unusable and he had no other place to hide. Shouldn’t have to hide.

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  • Caroline January 16, 2006 at 8:48 am

    I have to sincerely disagree with the notion of statement “the bike lane was unusable” in comment #19.

    Whereas in most cases I would veer around glass into traffic/out of bike lane assuming I had the attention or clearance of traffic, I would NEVER leave a bike path going over a TALL curb onto a narrow BRIDGE auto lane with an oncoming BUS.

    One, as I previously mentioned, the rider could have walked the bike (myself, I just carefully ride through glass; whatever). Two, what the heck is the rider supposed to do with that uncomfortable space between the BUS and the TALL curb? No escape! If he is uncomfortable it is because he KNOWS that if something goes wrong he cannot veer off into a ditch or shoulder. He will crash and get run over, most likely.

    I’m going to put out the dangerous opinion that leaving the Hawthorne bridge bike path over the curb is a *drastic mistake.* Personally, I would avoid it at all costs, even if it meant slowing down and looking like a weenie walking my bike. I’m sure the rider in question had to slow down anyhow to leave the path off the curb…

    Can we all not be so militant? We’re bicycle lovers, not haters.

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  • David Auker January 16, 2006 at 9:26 am

    According to law, the bicyclist is allowed to move out into and take the entire traffic lane when making a left turn or when necessary to avoid surface hazards such as glass, car doors, storm drains, gravel, or visual hazards like blind driveways. The bicyclist’s skill, boldness and existing visibility conditions will dictate the exercise of this right.

    Our information about this incident indicates the bike lane was unusable.

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  • Caroline January 16, 2006 at 9:34 am

    David: you consider the bike lane unusable, fine. That’s a fair judgement and “the law.” But don’t you find going off the tall curb on a 30mph narrow-laned bridge slightly insane? Maybe had he taken the entire lane so that he didn’t end up with a bus on his side, but he went off the curb and hugged it while letting a bus pass him. Suicide. Personally I wonder why there are not metal fences or guard rails between the walkway and the auto lane, to prevent people/bikes/things from going over into traffic.

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  • David Auker January 16, 2006 at 10:09 am

    According to Randy, the bike lane “remained unusable.” When you (Caroline) refer to the curb, I’m unsure it factors in…was he on the sidewalk, or was this on the bike lane”proper,” at the downtown end of the bridge, where there is no curb?

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  • Russell January 16, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    I’d say claiming that he deserved to get punched or run over for lawfully (although dumbly) riding is the militant point of view on this one.

    Blaming the victim is fun and all, but the assailant did the punching, the driver did the facilitating, and Randy did the instigating. Keeping that in mind, the blame doesn’t stop at Randy. I know that this town is full of “can’t we all get along?” types, but getting along stops being an option when someone threatens to kill/assault you, or does. It doesn’t matter that Randy stopped the bus, it doesn’t matter that Mr. Clean had an unhappy childhood, and it doesn’t matter that the bus driver had a schedule to keep.

    Many of you sound like the people who ask: “well, was he wearing a helmet?” after they hear someone got plowed by a car going 35 mph. “He might be alive today if he’d been wearing one, or if he had a mirror, or if he’d traveled two blocks over, or if he hadn’t had that beer with dinner. It’s such a shame he made those mistakes and how he’s dead.”

    Stop being an apologist for Mr. Clean or the driver just because Randy did something legal (up to the point he stopped the bus) and consider that just because someone won’t avoid conflict at any cost like yourself (or will insist that a bureaucracy handle such unpleasantness in your stead) it doesn’t mean the rest of us need to plod off to city hall for a constructive conversation about the bigger issues at play when someone tries to run us over.

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  • H January 16, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    At least the mystery of what happened to Larry “Bud” Melman (who used to appear on Letterman) has finally been solved. That assailant looks an awful lot like him. He shouldn’t be that hard to find.

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  • David Auker January 16, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    I wonder…is this the same TriMet driver that squeezed me into the curb on the bike lane at the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge, westbound? My incident was in broad daylight, blue skies, VERY light traffic, perfect visibilty. He passed me, then almost scrapped the curb with his bus…problem was: I was there! If this is the same driver (it’s the same route!)…wow.

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  • Dabby January 16, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    Ok, so I do not agree with the postings here telling someone they should not hop off the sidewalk, out of the bike lane….
    In case you don’t know this, some people ride their bicycles to ride them, not walk them.
    Anything happening in or near a bike lane that causes you to get off your bike, or out of said bike lane, is not your fault, and it is within your right to take precautions in order to be safe.
    I have flown off the sidewalk, on to the roadbed of the hawthorne bridge, in order to avoid being taken out by Bicyclists!!!
    Mainly because they were riding too slow, weaving, blocking the path of other peds or bicyclists. I have flown off the curb in to the path of a Tri Met bus, after he cut nme off at the east end of the bridge, I hauled ass, and cut him off on the west end of the bridge, With My Signaling Middle finger highg in the air…..
    I believe , here on this comment posting, as I have been reading, people are more worried about how others are riding, and about presenting yourself properly, than they are about the real issue, which is Highly Visual And Flagrant abuse of our road by Tri Met., by armored cars, valets, and such.
    Hemming and hawing about where this person should have been riding, that isn’t it.
    Standing outside trimet offices, going to the courthouse for this suit, and changing things, this is what we should be doing.
    At the point that the driver stopped and opened the door, anyblame laid on the bicyclist is now mute, as a bigger crime has occured.
    Just like a hit and run, even if you are at fault, when the other guy takes off, it is automatically all his fault from the moment of the larger infraction……………

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  • West Cougar January 16, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    I happen to think the shame of it is Randy got cold-cocked and the guy ran off like a sissy, aided by Tri-met no less.

    Being verbally accosted from someone having a bout of Cage Rage has probably happened to all cyclists. In fact, it happened to me just last Saturday. I largely ignore it. But my rule to live by has been, and this only underscores it, the moment someone leaves their vehicle they have taken the offensive and are explicitly threatening assault.

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  • C3PNo January 16, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    David,

    I am simply advocating informing one’s self of one’s surroundings to the fullest extent through the use of mirrors. The more information you have at any given moment, the safer the situation for everyone. I do not consider sacrificing three seconds to hop up on the sidewalk “hiding.” That’s what I would have done in this situation, given what I know about it. Or, if occupied by pedestrians, I would take THE ENTIRE LANE. To me, a former messenger, there is no greater invitation to a good “scraping” than being vague and inconsistent about one’s position on the road. Don’t give motorists room that you need to maintain a safe path of travel. Many times, seeing that there are no cyclists behind me in my mirror (wink, wink), I will stop altogether to let a potentially conflictive traffic situation “breathe itself out.” We have this unique ability as cyclists to affect the situation around us. Let’s be good custodians of the road.

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  • Jonathan Maus January 16, 2006 at 3:28 pm

    By the way, TriMet has video of the entire thing so it will be interesting to see it live. I expect the video to surface locally any day now…I’ll link to it as soon as it does.

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  • Caroline January 16, 2006 at 5:40 pm

    If we’re talking the bridge proper, that’s a tall curb. I really would have either slowed and ridden carefully through/around the glass or walked my bike. It really takes so little time to dismount, walk/run a little and remount, esp. cyclocross style! :P

    For the people who think I’m a weenie for my last few posts, I invite you to read all the posts in succession again. I may sound like a weenie, but I’m commuting in central Portland almost every day without a car – on bike, bus, and foot – use my bike every day, and have not gotten hit in almost ten years. I guess had I gone over the curb in this guy’s situation, I would have 1) sped up considerably to get off the bridge as fast as possible and not aggrivate traffic and 2) taken up more than just the side of the lane. Traffic is totally unpredictable, and bridges just don’t provide many viable escape routes.

    So what I cater to cars and buses?! I also stop at lights and most stop signs! Call me crazy, maybe I value harmony life! And no, I absolutely do not believe this guy should have been assaulted!

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  • Dabby January 16, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    On the subject of mirrors, they do work well, but, I believe, lead to handicapping, or less head turning and looking like you should be.
    I do not reccomend mirrors for this reason.
    And to know what is coming behind you, even more usefull than sight, is sound. Nothing tells you it is coming more than a Tri Met bus.
    And catering to the buses, letting them cut you off while pulling out of a stop, through a yellow or red light, or moving out of YOUR lane for a bus, only makes this situation worse.
    For too long now, Tri Met has been running around the chocolate factory with a Golden Ticket.

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  • C3PNo January 16, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    Dabby!

    Head turning is what mirrors help you avoid! Let me clarify that mirrors mounted to your cranium (helmet, glasses, etc.) is far more effective than a frame-mounted mirror due to the ability to “look around” behind oneself. Mirrors also allow one to observe the “body language” of vehicles behind you (including buses and other bicyclists) and react appropriately (Is that “vroom” going towards or away from me?). I do not exaggerate when I say it has saved my ass more than a couple of times. And you can have fun with cops who think you can’t see them. :P

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  • Dabby January 16, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    You cannot look someone in the eye with a rear view mirror. You are looking into a reflection of the persons eyes.
    Lookingfor, and recieving eye contact with drivers, pedestrians, and other bicyclists is the main way we have to interact safely.
    Mirrors do not allow others to see that you see them.
    Mirrors allow you to see a reflection of what is going on, warped as mirrors can make things depending on what angle you are looking through them.
    Yours eyes, generally, do not lie.
    Your head, turning and looking at a car, leaves no question that you are aware of their presence.
    Mirrors are added conveinence for some, but IN NO WAY take place of common sense, using your eyes and ears, and paying attention.
    Thank you, and have a gooday.

    bringing it round the Turkey, and into your home,
    Dabby.

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  • Mark January 16, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    OregonLive now has the video online here.

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  • greenbike January 16, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    I just saw this on channel 8 news and I laughed my ass off.

    Bus driver bad for letting a man who assaulted someone back on the bus.

    Randy bad for making bicyclists look bad. When bike lane blocked with gravel, I get off my bike and walk it (in the bike lane). I don’t ride in the traffic lane on a busy road. Duh.

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  • josh m January 17, 2006 at 12:36 am

    greenbike – well, that’s your choice.
    If the gravel is blocking my path, I ride in the Road. It’s my privilege.
    Why should I make myself take 20 minutes longer just so someone in their car doesn’t have to take 2 minutes longer?

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  • bhance January 17, 2006 at 8:27 am

    Seems like a few well armed fellow bikers just need to ride that particular line until the guy shows up again. Problem solved.

    Hope they catch the guy.

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  • matt January 17, 2006 at 8:29 am

    I bike and take MAX to Beaverton for work every day. If this schmuck Randy causes the price of a MAX ticket to go up again, he can expect another ass-kickin’! Hahahahaha.

    He deserved to get beat up. He instigated the whole thing. It’s really foolish to veer to the left at anytime without looking back first! And it’s unbelievable that he’s suing. I hope he loses and has to pay the lawyer fees for both parties. He deserves that as well. What a jerk.

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  • Jessica Roberts January 17, 2006 at 10:04 am

    According to this morning’s Oregonian article about the incident, “the driver, Harold R. Cooper, 61, died in August in a boating accident on the Columbia River.” So TriMet doesn’t really have the option of firing him.

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  • Carla January 17, 2006 at 10:07 am

    Wait, he “deserved” to get beat up?

    I don’t care what he did, but people don’t deserve violence.

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  • Severt January 17, 2006 at 10:20 am

    I’ve contracted with Tri-met and have worked with bus drivers on a regular basis for 3 years and I know how they REALLY feel about bicyclists. Tri-met as a corporation might put their PR guys into action and come across with some goody-goody pro-active sounding response but I know that the majority of drivers rabidly dislike and even hate bicyclists and they all admit to knowing plenty of “other” drivers who intentionally buzz cyclists in an attempt to frighten them off the road. Of course, the ones telling me this are never the ones that actually do it, right?

    Their ignorance of the law astounds me. You’d think professional drivers would actually know the rules of the road but they don’t. I argued with a driver just this morning who admitted to going by a cyclist and honking his horn as he passed. When I asked him why in the world he would do such a thing he said it was to let the cyclist know that the road was narrow and that the cyclist needed to get up on the sidewalk and out of the road. This driver actually believes that it is against the law for a bicycle to be in the road in traffic if there are no cleared bicycles lanes for them to use.

    That’s just one and the lastest example. I have many such conversations with bus drivers. Most of them list bicyclists as being the number one thing they hate about their jobs. Some of them we make nervous, others just angry because we threaten their schedule and when their schedules are threatened, they end up with less break time at the end of a run. When I point out that they get the same $23.00 an hour whether they are on schedule or not then we REALLY get to have some interesting conversations.

    Severt

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  • [...] As expected, the local media is all over the Randy Albright/TriMet lawsuitI reported on last Friday. (By the way, if you haven’t checked in a few days, that post has sparked some spirited discussion that is well worth a read). [...]

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  • John Boyd January 17, 2006 at 10:38 am

    Why are busses that are too big for the road on the road?
    Traffic laws don’t bend for who you work for or how many passengers you have. Busses downtown can’t even operate safely in a single lane!
    (As a non bus rider), I think all would be better with more smaller vehicles. Passenger vans even.

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  • [...] Did anyone notice the posts to the Portland forum on OregonLive.com in response to the Albright/TriMet lawsuit? I clicked on them just out of curiousity. Wow. They reveal the dark underbelly of how some Portlanders feel about cyclists. I’m not posting these to get cyclists all pissed off, I just think its useful to know how “the other side” feels about us. [...]

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  • Caroline January 17, 2006 at 10:55 am

    OMG some people are starting to sound irrational, if not militant. Heh. Tri-Met is supposedly one – if not the – best public transportation service in the US, and personally, I LIKE IT! And… I use it!

    Instead of hating them back, just work to share the road. I took an experimental bike ride the other day, just being courteous to bus drivers by avoiding the spaces they needed to stay on target, and it didn’t detract from my ride at all. Is selfish riding worth having 217 more cars on the road than that big bus? A lot of drivers think so!

    I agree that some bus drivers have problems (and have blogged even recently about it). Instead of monetary compensation, and esp. in light of the fact that the driver of said bus DIED in a boating accident, maybe some sort of arrangement so that Tri-Met agrees to mandate its drivers to attend bicycle law/road sharing seminar/training (maybe w/BTA involvement) would be more efficacious. Well, either way you’ll end up with people just rolling their eyes it seems.

    Come on people, spread the bicycle love!

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  • Grant January 17, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    Dabby,

    You are unfortunately a large part of the problem. With statements like this:

    “I have flown off the sidewalk, on to the roadbed of the hawthorne bridge, in order to avoid being taken out by Bicyclists!!!
    Mainly because they were riding too slow…With My Signaling Middle finger highg (sic) in the air.”

    How can we cyclists ever be expected to be taken seriously? Do you think it’s ok for drivers to pull onto the shoulder to pass cars that are driving too slow? Why should it be ok for you to do that on a bike? Is cutting someone off and flipping them a bird not the very definition of road rage, bike or not?

    The bottom line is that cyclists must act like equals on the road if they ever expect to be treated as such. If Randy had done what he did as a motorist rather than as a cyclist, no one would waste breath defending him. He would have been 100% wrong, just as you apparently so often are.

    Stop thinking you own the road. Stop being a jerk. If you don’t, you might as well go buy a Hummer; at least then you will be amongst equals.

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  • organic brian January 17, 2006 at 2:33 pm

    [my letter to TriMet]

    TriMet customer service: this is in regard to the “training”, if there is any, your bus drivers receive about traffic law. Below is a message posted to a local bike email list, this person’s experiences echo my own as far as TriMet drivers not knowing about cyclists’ rights to the road, and rude / dangerous behavior. These drivers are paid highly enough (they make more than many computer engineers!) that I think they can perform their jobs professionally and safely, or get replaced. Could some training be implemented to educate them? Are drivers disciplined in response to complaints? Please reply with what you are going to do about this unacceptable lack of education and professionalism, before any more
    cyclists get hurt.

    I’ve contracted with Tri-met and have worked with bus drivers on a regular basis for 3 years and I know how they REALLY feel about bicyclists. Tri-met as a corporation might put their PR guys into action and come across with some goody-goody pro-active sounding response but I know that the majority of drivers rabidly dislike and even hate bicyclists and they all admit to knowing plenty of “other” drivers who intentionally buzz cyclists in an attempt to frighten them off the road. Of course, the ones telling me this are never the ones that actually do it, right?

    Their ignorance of the law astounds me. You’d think professional drivers would actually know the rules of the road but they don’t. I argued with a driver just this morning who admitted to going by a cyclist and honking his horn as he passed. When I asked him why in the world he would do such a thing he said it was to let the cyclist know that the road was narrow and that the cyclist needed to get up on the sidewalk and out of the road. This driver actually believes that it is against the law for a bicycle to be in the road in traffic if there are no cleared bicycles lanes for them to use.

    That’s just one and the lastest example. I have many such conversations with bus drivers. Most of them list bicyclists as being the number one thing they hate about their jobs. Some of them we make nervous, others just angry because we threaten their schedule and when their schedules are threatened, they end up with less break time at the end of a run. When I point out that they get the same $23.00 an hour whether they are on schedule or not then we REALLY get to have some interesting conversations.

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  • rafa January 17, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    Randy’s mistake: he didn’t take the lane. Sure he could get off his bike and tippy-toe around the muck but it’s in his right to take the lane. Motorists can bitch and moan this but its a 2 minute gripe and we all still get to work.

    Still, kudos to Randy for making a statement.
    All the gutter bunnies out there who want to apologize for Randy’s behavior can park their bikes and hop on Tri-Met-”See Where it Takes You”.

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  • Anonymous January 17, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    This has got to be a joke. Sueing tri-met because he was acting like a child and therefore got spanked like a child (from what it sounds like this is how angry randy would spank a child, by punching them in the face). If he felt wronged he should have taken it up with Tri-met. Randy should not have gotten in the way of a bus full of people during rush hour expecting to not anger a single patron. It sounds like randy got exactly what he deserved.

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  • Russell January 18, 2006 at 1:19 am

    Welcome to all the Trolls.

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  • Chris Dailey January 18, 2006 at 12:43 pm

    I think it takes guts to ride a bike on the streets these days so I am giving respect where it is due. BUT, a lot of bicyclists act like they own the road and have no concern for blocking or slowing traffic. I think Albright is one of those arrogant cyclists and I am glad he got his a$$ kicked for stopping a passenger bus.

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  • Biking Bis - Bicycle Touring and More January 18, 2006 at 1:30 pm

    To flip or not to flip, that is the question

    I was returning from a bike ride on Christmas Eve when I paused, then started to make a left turn at a four-way stop in my neighborhood.
    A brown Ford Explorer pulls out in the intersection toward me. I sit up in the saddle, yell, “Hey,” an…

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  • Jim F January 18, 2006 at 2:29 pm

    I have to agree with a lot of Caroline’s statements.

    I commute by bike from NE Portland all the way out to Tigard every day. I come upon quite a bit of crap in the bike lane during the course of my rides — especially out on Barbur Blvd. I also have to cross 3 or 4 narrow bridges.

    Do I have the right to ride in the lane to avoid these hazards? Sure.

    But sorry, it’s just not worth my getting killed to make a point. I’m happy to slow down, come to a complete stop, then wait until the road is clear before crossing a narrow bridge or going around debris, then continue on my way. It’s no big deal.

    Unfortunately, a car going 55 with some idiot on a cell phone behind the wheel may not be aware that I have the right of way. And “But Daddy had the right of way” isn’t going to be of much comfort to my kids when I’m not around any more.

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  • Bob Dobbs January 18, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    Simple. Biking in Portland is dangerous. Carry a pistol.

    Problem Solved.

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  • Caroline January 18, 2006 at 7:17 pm

    Hey! 30 miles on the bike today and only one “run-in” with a motorist.

    She was being polite, stopping to let me leave a median turn lane, but I refused to turn in front of her because traffic was veering around her passenger side. She didn’t seem to understand that stopping for me was unnecessary and dangerous, and got huffy, I guess for “making” her stop. Oh well. This is an example of the most frequent type of “run-in” I have: a motorist just slowing things down and annoying me by treating me special, where really they should be treating me as another (nevertheless much slower) vehicle.

    Now that I have seen the video of the TriMet incident I realize that all my previous comments related to the “tall curb” are not pertinent. I was thinking the incident happened more towards the center of the bridge. Maybe as a daily commuter aware that the gravel was posing this problem, the cyclist might have taken the sidewalk up the hill instead. I am sure the sidewalk is hard to get on unless you’re on foot, and narrow, and you’d have to defer to pedestrians, but what the cyclist did in rush-hour traffic was, IMO, death-defying. And again when he stepped out in front of the bus. Obviously the bus driver didn’t give a flying bahooey about him. Just death-defying.

    Amazing that Randy only got a fat bloody lip!

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  • Chico Gino January 18, 2006 at 7:31 pm

    I think that this cyclist deserved to get knocked around for being an idiot. The reality is if you ride a bike, you’re going to have runins with cars, buses, pedestrians, etc. Don’t hold up a bus full of uninvolved people because of it. You might get your ass whipped.

    Beyond his potentially deserved ass kicking, I’d say the bus driver acted improperly to let an assailant back on his public bus. Bad way to spend civic dollars.

    I can’t help but think there was a big ugly verbal exchange between the stupid cyclist and the ass kicker. This cyclist is a known loud-mouthed disrupter of civic activity – for what? In the name of bicycles! Ridiculous.

    Cyclists need to get off their high horse, and take responsibility and accept the risks that come with cycling. And yes, I’m a cyclist. I ride hundreds of miles a month. I ride my bike every day to work, and I ride on the weekends. I’ve had runins. I totaled a bike when a cop turned in front of me and I t-boned him. I spent months in physical therapy because of it.

    But I don’t act like a douchebag and stop city buses because someone made a mistake.

    -Chico Gino

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  • nothstine January 18, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    I want to know what happen to the guy who got off the bus, punched the cyclist out, and then got a TriMet-abetted getaway.

    That sense of entitlement–and the indication that the driver knew him–suggests he’s a regular.

    I’ve got his image ready to be iron-on transfered to T-shirts. What better way to find him than wanted posters on every cyclist [and TriMet rider] in town?

    bn

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  • Chico Gino January 18, 2006 at 9:07 pm

    BN,

    Don’t conveniently leave out the obscene sense of entitlement on the part of the cyclist, who took it upon himself to hold up about 50 bus riders. He wasn’t even harmed by the bus, and he was also not in the bike lane. He was just puffed up about nothing, and a guy pushed him around a little for being a whiny punk. I think we as a group should iron the cyclist’s bloody lip on some shirts with the slogan, “Civic disruption isn’t the way to make friends on a bicycle. Just look at this idiot.”

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  • Jonathan Maus January 18, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    A note about the guy who punched Randy…they’ve only got about 4 days to find him. The statute of limitations is 2 years and that comes up on January 22nd.

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  • nothstine January 18, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    Hi, Chico Gino–

    I didn’t leave the rider out–I think his hands may dirty too, and I’ll even go so far as to say he could be like some cyclists I know who ride with a chip on his shoulder, although “obscene entitlement” is a term I usually reserve for drivers of 4400lb SUVs with tinted windows who are talking on cell phones during rush hour [or Metro buses weighing something like 20 tons when they're full], not riders on 30lb bikes.

    Still–are you saying you’ve never been a driver/cyclist/pedestrian who was so pissed off by someone who cut you off in traffic that you’d have whacked their vehicle with your fist if you could have, to say nothing of pulling in front of them to stop them even if you didn’t really have a very smart plan for what to do next? Never? Ever? I think I’m a reasonably reasonable guy, and yet I know *I’ve* had moments like that. Lighten up. That’s not a lip-spitting offense.

    The cyclist will have his day in court and that’ll be that, win or lose. But I want to know about the guy who got off the bus and assaulted him. Stick up for him if you want, but pray you never J-walk, make a right-turn with out stopping, etc., while he’s around.

    thanks
    bn

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  • Josiah January 18, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    Send Randy to a real city and he will cry and whimper in the corner of the street because the cabs and busses are right on your ass and passing you within inches. If you stand on sidewalk, the bus mirror will pass by your face – don’t lean forward!

    Oh, go ahead and stand in front of a bus in NYC and see what happens. But i guess everything is different for Randy and his bike. If the bike lane had gravel then Randy should have just gotten on the bus. HAHA Randy got beat up for being a dumbass.

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  • Josiah January 18, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    Why is everyone so ignorant? The man on the bus could have said anything to the bus driver. For example, “Hey let me off – I’ll walk, im not gonna wait for this guy to move.”

    And after unknown guy beat up Randy and got back on the bus, the bus driver may have been intimidated and/or unwilling to deny him re-entry. There is no proof the bus driver is at fault.

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  • rafa January 19, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Josiah,

    Portland _is_ a “real” city. For the most part, there is great respect for cyclists, buses, motorists, peds, etc. among those who use the streets. People live here b/c it’s a LIVABLE CITY. Get it?

    We’ve all had our close calls but as you state, if you’ve ever had the luxury(?) of riding or walking in these “real” cities, then you know Portland is an anomaly. It’s why I moved here from Atlanta. Portland is a great city for commuters. Unless you’re on the west side.

    “If the bike lane had gravel then Randy should have just gotten on the bus. HAHA Randy got beat up for being a dumbass.”

    Can you explain this? This makes no sense to me.

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  • Bulldog January 19, 2006 at 12:39 am

    If Randy had been in a car and cut off a Tri-Met bus and forced it to stop to “engage” (his words) the bus driver, wouldn’t that be a road-rage offense of some sort? And if so, why would his being on a bike NOT make it a road-rage incident? Seems to me Randy acted illegally which started a series of other illegal events (the passenger giving him a deserved though illegal smack-down and the bus driver for not reporting it). Randy is a known participant in the Crital Mass rides that illegally block intersections. He is a known instigator.

    Why was he not charged with a road-rage incident? I agree that Tri-Met and the passenger were in the wrong and must accept the consequences … but so should Randy.

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  • Greg January 19, 2006 at 6:35 am

    Jim F,

    I’m getting off topic, but please share your preferred commute route from NE to Tigard. Thanks.

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  • Doug January 19, 2006 at 11:43 am

    As an avid cyclist since I got my first Schwinn Stingray, as a bicycle commuter, and as a police officer for 17 years, I’m surprised at the ignorance amongst my fellow bicyclists as to the rules of the road, particularly those rules that pertain specifically to bicycles. Having read the posts regarding this issue I’ve learned that some cyclists really have no idea what is expected of them when they are on the road. What is most concerning is that many of the people who have posted here, who rail against motorists for not knowing the rules, have clearly not taken the time to educate themselves first. So let me clue some of you in—

    As a cyclist you share most, but not all of the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Here are a few exceptions to that statement:
    1) You do not have the right to impede traffic. In fact, in many circumstances you must pull off the road and let faster moving vehicles pass you if it is not safe for them to pass using the oncoming lane of traffic. (ORS 811.425)
    2) You do not have the right to take up an entire lane of traffic. There are limited exceptions to this, but for the most part the rule that you must stay to the right (or sometimes the left on a one-way) holds. (ORS 814.430)
    3) You are required to use the bike lane if it is available. Interestingly enough, there is no exception to this rule except of after a public hearing the path is deemed unusable. (ORS 814.420)

    This is not an exhaustive list, but I have a feeling that these rules will come as a surprise to many people who have posted regarding the Tri-Met incident.

    Now you can rail against the “system” that created these rules, argue that they are “car centric”, but if you don’t like it, get involved and change the law. We can now legally pass on the right. Many of you probably didn’t know that was illegal until January 1st, 2006. This change happened because people got involved, not because they blocked buses.

    Lastly, the law says: “The provisions of the vehicle code relating to the operation of bicycles do not relieve a bicyclist or motorist from the duty to exercise due care.” In other words, use your head! Altercations between 4000 lb. cars and 20 lb. bicycles don’t constitute a fair fight, so relax and be smart.

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  • Caroline January 19, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Doug (re: comment #66):

    Thanks for laying down the law. Only thing is, knowing the law doesn’t mean I still ain’t gonna break it sometimes. Breaking the law don’t make me ignorant, either. SNAP!

    Whenever I’m breaking the law on the streets I always give motorists around me a little leeway to break some laws, too, as long as it’s reasonable and seems consentual. I mean, if I’m going to be an “asshole,” I should allow others that freedom, too. Sometimes traffic just flows much better when you California roll stop, pass illegally, etc.

    As soon as cyclists start riding like angels, we can expect the same from motorists. Ain’t gonna happen!

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  • Doug January 19, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    Caroline,

    Your right. I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to rolling through stop signs in my quiet neighborhood. (I’m trying to do better, especially when my kids are riding with me.) I don’t think that makes me ignorant either. The message that I hope people will take from my last post is that in order for us to be able to argue for our rights as a cyclist, we have to understand what those rights are. Randy thought it was his right to make the bus move for him. He’s wrong. By claiming, in a very public forum, a right that he wasn’t his, he comes off looking ignorant and got himself smacked to boot.

    Doug

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  • Robert January 19, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    Randy was right. He asserted a just and natural reaction to the bus driver’s disrespect for his presence and essential humanity. The behavior of some drivers toward other people who are not inside motor vehicles is incomprehensible. Operation of a motor vehicle does not confer special rights on a person, it adds to their responsibilities.

    People have stated that since Randy held up 50 people he was at fault. So, a few seconds of their time was more valuable than the rest of his life? Some drivers are not deterred by possible future consequences, even when their actions are recorded on video! If they are confronted with the very real outrage of the person offended, perhaps they will think twice another time.

    I have to thank Doug for posting. I have long suspected that some police have a skewed view of traffic law and he tends to confirm it. If I understand it, the bike lane law seems to say that bikes are not required to ride exclusively within a bikelane _unless_ some committee has met previously and adjudged it to be safe. He has it exactly backward, and as far as I know, no such committee exists. The condensed version of ORS offered conveniently omits the exceptions which depend on the judgement of–the cyclist.

    Whenever I hear somebody say “I’m a cyclist too, and. . .” I know that some really fresh stuff is coming down. Like, do you put the bikes on the roof, or your rig large enough to put them inside?

    Robert

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  • Doug January 19, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    Robert,

    I ride 16 miles round trip daily too and from work. I worked at a bike shop while in college and owned one for several years, while also working as a cop. I used to race “back in the day” but don’t much anymore, my son (age 12) does and my daughter (age 8) is starting this year. I own two cars, a Jetta diesel and a Toyota Land cruiser, which I use in my alter-ego as a search and rescue volunteer.

    If that makes me “one of them” I’ll gladly accept the title.

    Doug

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  • Hub January 19, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    Another scenario: Mr Genie makes his way through the crowded bus, obviously ticked off at the bike rider/bus situation, stalled on the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge. He bypasses the side door, heads to the very front of the bus, a look of determination on his burly face (captured by secret TriMet cams). In another world, another universe, he would step outside and smack the bike rider a “good one.” In this case, he “winds it up,” and hits the bus driver right in the face.

    (care to add some story here, continue our tale?)

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  • Josiah January 19, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Randy was scared of the bus. It wasnt even that close whatever. Now he acts like a tough guy (im gonna file a lawsuit!) All those “charges” listed above are complete crap.

    Failed to call the police after witnessing a criminal assault and battery.
    Failed to call for medical assistance.

    Is there proof the bus driver didnt call? Maybe the bus driver called after the crazy man finally got off the bus (driver afraid of crazy man). Maybe some passenger on the bus said to the driver, “HEY IM CALLING THE COPS!” and the bus driver said, “OKAY THANKS!”

    Randy is dumb and his lawyer is a stupid bikey-head lawyer fool. haha when randy gets too old to ride his bike (wait, that doesnt happen to you portland bikers does it?) he may ride the very bus that beat him up. he should learn his lesson, swallow his pride.

    IF GRAVEL is on stupid bike lane and you are too afraid of the busses, then get off bike, pick up bike, walk onto bus. Dont the busses have room specifically for BIKES??

    HAHA randy got beat up for being a dumbass.

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  • Dabby January 19, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    Well, I believ the true point here is still, the moment the bus pulled over, and let the passenger out to attack a person, all blame is on the driver and the attacker.
    A actual crime took place at the momnet the driver opened the door. Stopping a bus to talk to him about almost hitting you isnt a crime. It is our right, and dammit almost our responsibility, for the good of a cyclists.
    You people are totally missing the point here, talking about deserved to be beat up, how he should be beat more, blah blah blah.
    I have the impression that thee people that come here are all great, for like Jonathan, we love the same thing.
    But after reading these posts, I am let down.
    Sure. I posted about flipping off a driver.
    I posted about having to jump off the sidewalk
    because of slow bikes. I have alot to say.
    But, some of the idiocy in this long list of comments is overwhelming.
    I am glad most of these are annonymous. That is very good for you. You can hide your shame, or should, as I would If I were you.
    Everyone knows me, I invite you to question me about any comment I make here, or anywhere.
    Don’t hide behind your posts.
    Write posts worth putting your real name on,
    Ride Bikes Throw Bricks!!
    John David Campbell
    AKA Dabby McCrashalot

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  • organic brian January 20, 2006 at 2:17 am

    Doug: correcting police officers regarding Oregon Statutes seems to be a hobby with me. Your comment about cyclists being required to use a bike lane and “there is no exception to this rule except of after a public hearing the path is deemed unusable. (ORS 814.420)” is totally incorrect.

    Below are the exceptions to the requirement to use a bike lane, and from what I hear about court cases the precedent is that the cyclist, and not anyone or anything else, determines what is “hazardous”:

    (a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle that is proceeding in the same direction.
    (b) When preparing to execute a left turn.
    (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

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  • organic brian January 20, 2006 at 2:20 am

    BTW, some of the crew at ODOT have assembled a document that consolidates all of the bike / ped related statutes, so that you don’t have to go searching through all the ORS chapters. It is here in the link “ORS Summary”:
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/laws_regs.shtml

    Now we can all get studied up on the rules and not waste time going back and forth over this or that point of law.

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  • Lorax January 20, 2006 at 10:12 am

    You can also Check out NW Republican where they are applauding and think the assault was funny.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 10:23 am

    What cracks me up is everyone talking about the “hater”, the guy that got OFF the stopped bus. A bus that was stopped illegally by a genuine case of Road Rage by the bicyclist. A man that was screaming and yelling at the bus driver.

    A passenger got off a stopped bus. that’s not illegal. It’s illegal to demand them to stop enroute at a non-designated area. The bus was already stopped.

    Then if you watch clearly the video, there was NOT an immedate attack by the bus rider. They exchanged words. then, ten seconds later, the fight started. A fight that RANDY STARTED, and the other man ended by physically moving the bike and rider out of the way.

    Then everything was back to normal as the bus rider got back on. If there’s a fault to be raised with the Tri-Met organization, it’s that they don’t have procedures to follow when they are stopped by citizens, be it in cars, other busses, trucks or even, yes, bicycles.

    Randy broke several laws, and wants the CITY to pay?? Give me a break. Randy should have followed the law as stated in the DMV. The lane he drove in was NOT clear of traffic, so he should have moved over to the sidewalk and negotiated the traffic that way. I believe you’re not allowed by law to RIDE on the sidewalk… he should have walked past the debris he was so concerned with, and then went on his way. He was in as MUCH a hurry as the folks on the bus, and an incident that could have been totally bypassed happened because Randy was full of himself and rage. That’s ILLEGAL.

    Period!

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  • Jonathan Maus January 20, 2006 at 10:32 am

    Matt (and others), according to Oregon law (ORS 814.420) it is legal to leave the bike lane when debris makes the lane unusable. Randy should have taken the entire lane, if he had none of this would have happened.

    According to the law: “a person can leave the bike lane when “reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions including…surface hazards or other conditions that make continued operation along the right curb or edge unsafe”

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  • brodie January 20, 2006 at 10:33 am

    Me bike commuter (hawthorne br.) says: a. it seems funny to me (above note). b. Randy should have been on the sidewalk – I remember the gravel. hawthorne bus lane vs. pea gravel on bike lane – get some legs. Lots of battles to fight, why pick a bad and losing one. Fellow bikers should: a. support a bus drivers organic method of sticking to schedule, b. lament loss of public funds defending stupid lawsuit.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 10:34 am

    yes, they can… but NOT in moving traffic! There was a 3,000 lb BUS that was there! And even if you’re completely right, RANDY forced the issue, and confronted the bus! He’s an activist and WANTED to be confrontational.

    And that, my friend, is ROAD RAGE!

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  • Jonathan Maus January 20, 2006 at 10:38 am

    Matt, I agree Randy is an activist and he forced the issue which in hindsight probably wasn’t very wise.

    But I don’t agree about your other comment. Bikes have the right to be in the lane of travel if they cannot safely ride to the right (the safety of the lane has to figured out in court cause none of us really know). Bottom line is that bikes have the same rights to the road as motorists do…whether the traffic is moving or not and whether it’s a 3000 lb bus or a small car.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 10:41 am

    Oh, I’m not debating if bicyclists don’t have a right to be there… but they need to look to see if they CAN merge into other lanes of traffic the same as other vehicles! Sometimes that path is not clear, and a FULL STOP must be executed by the merging vehicle!

    In city traffic that is going at a good pace, does ANY bicyclist feel that they truly have a right to just jump lanes, without checking to see if it’s a valid path or that by doing that, are they putting themselves into a dangerous situation??

    This is not just limited to the bicyclists. Many a traffic incident happens when the mergers FAIL to yield to the ongoing traffic.

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  • Nick January 20, 2006 at 11:03 am

    With current laws in the books regarding Road Rage, the cyclist should consider himself lucky that he has not been charged.

    Hey, I’m a bike rider, as well as a bus rider. I know that bus drivers will sometimes drive in a manner that isn’t quite proper. But Randy took an event that could have been handled civily, and turned it into a dangerous situation. He should have as much blame for the escalating situation as anyone else (though the bus driver was certainly out of line in this case).
    And I’m entirely unsure about this… is it NOT a crime to stop a public transportation vehicle for something other than an emergency? I had the understanding that they had supreme right-of-way under most conditions. I would have assumed stopping in front of a public transportation vehicle in order to confront the driver would be a law in and of itself.

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  • God January 20, 2006 at 11:04 am

    ***this comment has been deleted due to inappropriate content

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Oregon Bicyclists Manual PDF

    THE FOUR BASIC PRINCIPLES
    PRINCIPLE #1: maintain control of your bicycle. Never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) laws apply when you’re riding a bicycle.

    PRINCIPLE #2: ride on the right, with traffic, in a predictable manner.

    PRINCIPLE #3: be visible and ride alertly.

    PRINCIPLE #4: protect yourself:

    Now on page SIX of the manual it clearly states this:
    Road surface hazards
    Keep an eye on the road ahead. Avoid running
    over potholes, gravel, broken glass, drainage
    grates, puddles you can’t see through or other unsafe road conditions. But first look over your shoulder to avoid swerving suddenly into traffic. If necessary, signal before moving over.

    Being an advocate for bicyclists you’d think he could at least LEARN the smeggin’ laws he’s trying so hard to flaunt to folks!

    I quote this from his letter to the Portland Tribune:

    Bikes are part of Hawthorne flow
    I am writing to clarify some potentially misleading statements in your article on Hawthorne Boulevard (Hawthorne tackles its traffic, Sept. 14).
    In May 1996, the city’s Bicycle Master Plan included Hawthorne Boulevard as a designated bike route and recommended placement of bike lanes on the boulevard. Bicyclists use Hawthorne for the same reasons motorists do — it is the most direct and convenient route to multiple commercial and other destinations in this part of Southeast Portland.
    At public meetings on the Hawthorne Boulevard Transportation Plan in the fall of 1996, approximately 50 percent of the attendees from the adjacent neighborhoods supported bike lanes on Hawthorne. That’s a huge show of support from local residents, who want to be able to bicycle safely on Hawthorne.
    In the end, even after extended negotiations resulted in a potential compromise solution of placing more limited one-way bike lanes only in critical uphill climbing sections of the boulevard, Portland’s Office of Transportation yielded to local business interests and eliminated bike lanes on Hawthorne from the project.
    Because of the narrow lane widths, cyclists are allowed to occupy and use a full travel lane on Hawthorne. Signs to this effect are in place on Hawthorne. The proper lane position for bicyclists is near the center of the lane, at least 3 to 4 feet from parked cars, to reduce the risk of being hit by an opening car door. Motorists encountering a slower-moving cyclist should slow down and yield to the cyclist, wait until it is safe to pass, then signal a lane change and use the left lane to pass as they would with any other slow-moving vehicle.
    Our public streets are a shared resource, and we all have the shared responsibility of keeping them safe by driving and cycling safely and responsibly.
    Randy Albright
    Hawthorne Boulevard Transportation PlanCitizen’s Advisory Committee
    Southeast Portland
    ————-

    He wants folks to recognize the bikes and their riders, but clearly not the other way around, as the video shows in his erratic behavior.

    He violated the LAW, and now wants the city to pay? Hysterical!

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  • rafa January 20, 2006 at 11:32 am

    those are principles, not laws. Guidelines at best. The laws do not tell you how to ride, only what not to do. Randy did everything in his right, except for stop the bus which triggered a whole lot of illlegal activity. I’d say the bus made an illegal move by grazing Randy when they the bus could’ve waited for a safer opportunity to pass. We’re talking seconds here for all you impatient motorists.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 11:45 am

    LOL! I’d love to see someone debate the “principles” of driving a motorized vehicle against known “suggestions”.

    You want to argue that it’s a “princilple, not a law. A guideline at best”. He STILL fought against a moving bus! I dunno, but I know if I had a bike and was in traffic, I’d look and YIELD before confronting a vehicle. He thought he had the right of way… and maybe he did. But many folks have gotten into accidents assured by the knowledge that they themselves were in the RIGHT. Yet they are dealing with the results of an accident! Common sense has to prevail in most situations.

    If Randy would have looked before he made the maneuver into traffic and executed common restraint and wisdom, this wouldn’t have happened.

    IF Randy would have behaved calmly ONCE the brushing incident happened, and jotted down the bus’ license number, the final incident would have not happened.

    IF Randy would have stepped away from the non-illegal confrontation before he got smacked, yet again, the incident wouldn’t have happened.

    THREE issues against him. He’s lucky the bus STOPPED!

    I’m astounded at the sheer audacity of those that would side with him in such an instance. Even confronted with the “guildelines” will still insist that he didn’t do any wrong!

    as I said before… hysterical!

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  • Jonathan Maus January 20, 2006 at 11:49 am

    Matt, you’re making valid points and I agree with most of them, but you’re assuming Randy made a “maneuver” into traffic and that’s not the case. He was riding along and the bus decided to pass him too closely. He never swerved into the busses path and the bus was already stopped when he stepped in front of it. just wanted to make that clear.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 11:53 am

    Oh… you may be right. If the bus driver passed him and not moving into the lane, I do stand corrected on that.

    I was going by his own statements of he saw debris in the bike lane and moved into the regular lane.

    I’ll admit I’m a bit lost on the exact nature of the incident. I wasn’t there, and nobody else was either. But I did watch the cam video… and he clearly was trying to impede the bus… and stopped it.

    Thanks everyone… I’m a bike enthusiast myself, but I can tell you I doubt I’ll ever go into major traffic with it!

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  • Lorax January 20, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    Matt, there are 2 events here: Randy’s behavior and one of criminal assault. While related, they are mutually exclusive. Using the first to make your argument against the 2nd is not a logical argument. Unless, of course, you want to lay out an argument in which there are instances that justify assault outside the scope of “self-defense.” Is that a society that you want to live in?

    I’m astounded at the sheer audacity of those that would side with him in such an instance.

    Not sure how you construe holding Tri-Met accountable for abetting assault as “siding” with Randy.

    Randy behaved inappropriately imo and committed a misdemeanor. That does not, in any way, constitute a legitimate case for assault.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    none of us knows what Randy said to that guy that confronted him. That driver and every other rider were inconvienced by Randy, and they had every right to confront him.

    It didn’t immediately go to blows…. Randy said something to the other man.

    The fault STILL lies with Randy A, no matter how much spinning anyone wants to put onto it. Although I do concede that if the bus driver illegally passed Randy while on the bicycle in the same lane, the fault is indeed with the bus driver, and therein, with TriMet.

    Trimet is NOT responsible for the assault, however. Randy did all that by himself.

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  • Cameron January 20, 2006 at 1:00 pm

    Trimet IS responsible for letting the man get away, facilitating his escape.
    If the bus driver had closed the door and/or not let the man back on the bus and reported the assualt there would be no problem here.
    No lawsuit anyway.

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  • organic brian January 20, 2006 at 1:18 pm

    Matt is confused about the law on many points. I also think a lot of people posting here should watch the video again. Randy didn’t swerve in front of the bus before it passed, and you can definitely see that he was trying ot engage the driver in dialogue from outside the front door, BEFORE catching up with the bus and getting in front. The driver’s obstinance in not talking was part of the situation.

    Matt believes that Randy may have started the fight because he was talking with the assailant before being attacked. Regardless of anything Randy would have said, free speech is protected and grabbing / throwing punches is assault. Speech is never a justification for violence. The assailant started the fight, from the video he was obviously the only physical aggressor.

    Many posters here are reiterating their points again and again, I’ve noticed. Does anyone have anything NEW to say?

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  • Doug January 20, 2006 at 1:23 pm

    Organic Brian,

    ORS 814.420 refers to bike lanes. The citation you quoted is from 814.430 which refers to regular traffic lanes and the general requirement to stay to the right unless you are keeping up with traffic. In any case I stand corrected because in 2002 an appelate court ruled that the whole public hearing thing doesn’t apply.

    Regarding the ODOT Oregon Bicycle Manual; I’ve browsed through it a couple times and am flabbergasted by the errors it contains. Don’t depend on it as a factual reference as to the law.

    Unfortunately, even the law can sometimes contain gray areas. One local attorney who represents people in bike issues says that ORS 814.425 doesn’t apply to bikes. I respectfully disagree using as my argument that it is specifically mentioned in ORS 814.430 and I can’t see why the drafters of that law would mention it specifically in a bike law if they didn’t intend for it to apply to bikes. Until such time as it is ruled on by a court of record or appelate court, Ray and I will disagree on this, so even the ORS isn’t always cut and dried. (I still think his book on bike law is a 10! Everyone who rides regularly in Oregon should have a copy.)

    What I mostly don’t understand by the replies to my posts is this. I’m not the enemy here. I’m a cyclist too and just last night nearly got clobbered by a lady in a mini-van on my commute home. All I’m trying to say is that if you are going to fight this battle, you need to be standing on firm ground when you start arguing about your rights as a cyclist.

    Friends??

    Doug

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  • Adron January 20, 2006 at 1:29 pm

    This is insane. Ok, Portland roads are generally narrow.

    The law states in almost EVERY state that a bicyclist has a right to the road IF they are NOT obstructing traffic. That means if you are going slower than traffic GET OUT OF THE WAY!

    As for the bus driver, assailant, and others on the bus. What happened is Randy should NOT have blocked traffic. People are trying to get places (maybe even home) and he does this. He DESERVES to get punched in the face. From what I’ve seen though Randy STARTED the confrontation and someone else brought his bluff tough guy.

    Randy needs some prozac.

    Btw – I pass people ALL the time with approximately 6-12 inches. People should NOT expect more clearance when there is already only about 6-12 inches between the car and the OTHER side of the road/oncoming cars/lanes etc.

    I’m all about riding bikes, I have one and commonly ride it. But I’m sorry, I am in no way stupid enough to do this. What Randy did was stupid, and if I have the opportunity wouldn’t rat out doing what EVERYONE on that bus surely wanted the man to do anyway.

    Randy is having a fit, and fighting against what boils down to a reality that will NEVER change. If he’s gonna be a jerk, something is gonna happen.

    He’s lucky though he did it in Portland, if it where in some other city he probably would be comatose or dead, Portlanders are extremely passive.

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  • john January 20, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    Watching the video, it is clear that the bus was farther than a foot away, and also clear that as the bus passed, Randy moved more centrally into the bike lane, as any intelligent cyclist would ahve done.

    You slow down, you make sure your bike is in control, and you coast over the gravel while the bus passes.

    He actually swerves back into the bus just so he can smack it with his hand.

    Notice also that two passengers got off the bus.

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  • David January 20, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    Adron, you say: >>Btw – I pass people ALL the time with approximately 6-12 inches.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    Brain,

    What exactly about the law am I confused about?

    And sorry I don’t have anything “new” to say, but this IS my first day here, commenting about something that I JUST read about on the news TODAY.

    Free Speech STOPS being free speech the moment someone is insulting, or you feel threatened. That’s been argued time and time again in the courts. Reactionary tactics have been upheld by the court. Not every time, but in the PROCESS of breaking the LAW? Gimmie a break!

    I have no idea what Randy said, but I can tell you he was not “speaking” with the bus driver, but yelling and screaming. He said so in his own testimony from what I gather. He most certainly was combative when the dude got off the bus.

    By stopping the bus, he did an illegal act. By swerving and hitting on it, he interferred with it, which ALSO is illegal I believe. Only in matters of emergencies is it okay to stop a moving vehicle, let alone a city or state vehicle.

    Let’s face it. He never should have been in the driving lane… he should have slowed down, and resumed his path. He got in the way of traffic. Even if he was RIGHT in his position, he was wrong to STOP the bus.

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  • Lenny Anderson January 20, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    This incident points to the failure of the City of Portland to build, operate and maintain a bike network. I am tired of hearing talk about Platium, when bike lanes end and dump you into traffic, when lanes are not maintained, when signage is a joke, when streets with both transit and bikes are poorly engineered. We have so far to go…I think we deserve Copper status, but hardly Gold, let alone Platinum.
    Why was BOM not out the day after snow melted removing gravel from bike lanes? This should be the first thing they do, as it poses the greatest danger to vehicles…in this case bikes. End of problem!
    Why are traffic police not enforcing traffic laws that threaten life and property? not wasting time with bicyclists who…at their own risk…coast through a stop sign?
    Why are not leaders we elected and who claim to be bike friendly not pointing out to the enraged motorists out there, that encouraging bicycling is City policy and it works.
    Remember…I can be in a bike lane next to you or I can be in my auto in front of you. Bikes are better for everyone.
    OK, I got to get on TriMet, then get my bike and have a great ride home.

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  • Lorax January 20, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    Apologies in advance to Organic Brian and the rest for continuing this line of thought. I continue belaboring the point to clarify that there are 2 separate discussions/incidents here.

    As goofy as it may seem to some. Randy getting smacked for being a jerk does not dissolve his right to hold the person(s) responsible for assault. Which is what the suit is about.

    If you want Randy held accountable for his actions, press the city to file charges for obstruction.

    Matt said:
    It didn’t immediately go to blows…. Randy said something to the other man.

    As others have reiterated, this still does not provide a case for assault.

    Again, I ask you: Are you sure you want to declare open season on people with road rage on the streets? Would you also support me if beat the crap out of anyone who spits on me or hits me with burning cigarette butts as I’m riding my bike?

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  • Dan January 20, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    Adron, several of your points deserve a response.

    First, you say “if you are going slower than traffic GET OUT OF THE WAY”. That is a misinterpretation of the obstruction statute, which primarily addresses stopped vehicles. SLOW-MOVING vehicles do not have to pull off unless they are obstructing 5 or more vehicles. And they don’t have to pull over at all if there is more than one travel lane — as is the case on the Hawthorne Bridge approach. In general, any vehicle has the de facto right of way over any vehicle behind it regardless of speed: the overtaking vehicle has the legal requirement to do so safely.

    Short version: bikes are not “toys” that have to get out of the way of faster vehicles. If the bike lane was unrideable, Randy had every right to be in the travel lane.

    You also say that “people should NOT expect more clearance when there is already only about 6-12 inches between the car and the OTHER side of the road/oncoming cars/lanes etc.” I think you’re misperceiving distances here. Even on SE Hawthorne, with the narrowest arterial lanes in Portland (9.5′ if I remember right), there’s more room than you think. Most cars are about 5 feet wide, so while the car in the next lane FEELS like it’s a foot away it’s really more like 3-4 feet. And oncoming cars are even further away, they just “feel” closer when the combined approach speed is 60 mph. If a car were actually within 6-12″ of you at anything above parking-lot speed, I guarantee you’d be blasting the horn at them.

    Short version: 6-12″ is pretty darn close when you’re talking about a 30,000 pound bus going 30 mph. I’d have been mad too, though I like to think I’d have handled it differently.

    Finally, you say that Albright “DESERVES to get punched in the face.” I do think that he deserves something — ideally, prosecution under the disorderly conduct, roadway obstruction, and road-rage statutes — but not violence. Committing an act of physical violence against another person is never, ever justified except in defense of oneself or others. This is easy to forget in a society which glorifies violence, but fortunately the law still recognizes this fundamental principle.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 3:57 pm

    Lorax and Dan,

    You’re asking and describing a point-blank situation that is begging to be debated “after the fact”.

    In the heat of the moment is the situation that happened. Randy was belligerant, and would NOT cooperate until he was MOVED. He wasn’t going to move, nor should we have to sit there and wait until he’s had his say and finally, after an indeterminate point of time, moves and “allows” the bus to move on it’s way.

    He had NO right to interfere with it’s passage other than his arrogance. To use your analogies, he had no right for the road-rage and should have instead taken whatever peaceful actions to take down the bus number, followed it to the next stop, etc…

    you can’t have it both ways!

    There was a cause VS reaction situation. he point blank wouldn’t have gotten punched if he hadn’t interferred AND refused to step aside once he was confronted.

    In a perfect society, yes, we should all be calm and rational… but if you flip a cigarette butt in my face and it hits me, yes I’ll smeggin’ respond! If you slap me, yes I’ll respond! If you threaten the life of my child or fiance, you better bet I’ll respond.

    And that’s been defended in court too!

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  • Lorax January 20, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Randy was belligerant, and would NOT cooperate until he was MOVED. He wasn’t going to move, nor should we have to sit there and wait until he’s had his say and finally, after an indeterminate point of time, moves and “allows” the bus to move on it’s way.

    Or hey, how about doing somethign completely outrageous, like simply calling the Police and let them deal with the situation. I’m sure their response time would be less than 3 to 4 minutes… nahhh, what am I thinking. Yeah lets just beat the crap out of him.

    he had no right for the road-rage and should have instead taken whatever peaceful actions to take down the bus number, followed it to the next stop, etc…

    Again, I agree with you (not sure why you can’t understand that), but that does not that give someone else the right to commit assault.

    If you slap me, yes I’ll respond!
    Self-defense is legitimate cause.

    In a perfect society, yes, we should all be calm and rational.

    Its not perfect. So, screw it, its open season on anyone who pisses you off? Perfect or not, I’d rather live in our current community rather than the one you are promoting.

    This has gotten just plain silly. Being a jerk, being stupid, verbal abuse are not leagal causes for assault. You are being adamant about holding Randy accountable for his actions and simply dismissing holding the assailant accountable.

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  • [...] The Randy Albright/TriMet thing has spilled over from this little corner of the web to the, the local media, the blogosphere, and now to the national media (someone saw the video on Fox TV in Utah). The result is an avalanche of comments (101 on this blog at last count) and emotions from people on all sides of the issue. And I hesitate to say “sides” because I’m afraid this whole thing is becoming more about which side you’re on rather than recognizing that we all have a right to the road and life is much better when we peacefully coexist. [...]

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  • Dan January 20, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    Matt, I don’t think we’re trying to have it both ways. Hardly anyone is defending Albright’s actions here. He was belligerent and his obstruction of the bus was probably a crime. But two wrongs don’t make a right, and an escalation from obstruction to violence is still wrong. I was raised to remember “sticks and stones” and avoid starting fights, but evidenced by the responses in the Oregonian there are a lot of latent playground bullies — or more likely, wannabes — out there.

    I don’t buy these “heat of the moment” arguments, and certainly neither do the courts! Many a citizen has come to regret their momentary heat in the harsh cold light of the courtroom.

    This is not analogous to flipping a cigarette butt in your face, which (like spitting) IS an assault and an act of violence. Nor is it analogous to a verbal threat of violence, which is not protected speech — and against which one may DEFEND with violence if the threat is real and imminent.

    So on that point, I will say that IF — and only if — the assailant threw the first punch in direct response to a threat on Albright’s part, then it might have been justified. So far no evidence has come to light that that was the case though, and we’ll probably never know.

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  • organic brian January 20, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    Matt, it’s “Brian” not “Brain” but thank you for the compliment.

    “What exactly about the law am I confused about?”

    You just reiterated it, right after this statement. Free speech is free speech, doesn’t matter whether it is insulting though I understand making threats of violence would be an exception. If there has ever been a court case that decided that violence was a legal response to insulting speech, then I’d sure like to find out all about it. Any examples?

    My comment about posting again and again with the same point(s) holds for you now, since you’re on about two or three repeats of some of the same info. We get it, we get it.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Dan, I respect what you said…

    But what would you have done, man? Would you have stood there waiting patiently while this moron illegally stopped the bus (thank God the late driver had enough compassion to at least stop!), and waited for Randy’s tirade to expire?

    I’m not defending the assailant here. Only pointing out in the world of armchair generals there is often a lot of highbrow bravado, but many of us would act quite differently than the one person on the bus that did act.

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  • Matt January 20, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    This will be my last post (and the crowd goes “Yayyy!”) on this subject.

    I will admit that I do side more with the “assailant” than I do Randy, but I find it funny that some folks would rather just sit there while someone breaks the law and do nothing. Unfortunately, we all don’t have a Trunk Monkey button to take care of when someone ELSE takes the law into their own hands. My response would probably be in line with the assailant… that of confrontation.

    Not necessarily assault, but then again, none of us knows what really happened then. Maybe I would have ended up doing the same thing. maybe not. I might have just walked back in the bus and said to the bus driver, “Dude, you nearly HIT him back there! And is he PISSED OFF!!”

    As a martial artist, I will admit that confrontation is often my means of deflecting an altercation, even in words. As a Karaoke Jock, humor has led me to more peaceful solutions than anything else.

    But when someone will NOT give up their attack (as Randy looked like he wouldn’t back down, and as his character is well documented in his activities as an activist), then yes, I’d make him move!

    Y’all have a great one. Sorry I wore my welcome out Brainy Brian!

    Let me know how it all worked out in the courts!

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  • Lorax January 20, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    But what would you have done, man?

    Called the police.

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  • RobCat January 20, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    Regardless of the issues of “sides”, I’m betting Randy now wishes he’d been anywhere other than where he was that morning. I don’t envy his spot in the limelight at ALL.

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  • Herb January 20, 2006 at 11:56 pm

    In Toronto bus drivers are required to give cyclists a wide berth and they are all trained to deal with cyclists. It’s not to say that close calls don’t happen – I’ve had it once or twice – but it is much, much rarer than other large vehicles.

    I’ve also had my share of outbursts – mostly they’ve been less than constructive.

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  • [...] In Portland recently a cyclist, [more information] who was angry at a bus driver who had passed him much too closely, cut off the bus and made it stop. Unacceptable behavior to be sure. Unfortunately, the incident escalated when the bus driver let someone off the bus while it was stopped who proceeded to physically assault the bicyclist. Then they assaulter got back on the bus, which drove off! [...]

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  • jami January 21, 2006 at 10:16 am

    what the heck was randy doing taking the bus’s lane at the beginning of the hawthorne bridge? in the video, he had a big, clear bike lane luxuriously unfolding ahead of him, but he was biking in the car lanes. why? i bike that route all the time, and unless you’re passing another bike, there’s no reason to be clogging up the cars, making them hate bikes, and increasing the likelihood that all of us are gonna get mowed down by drivers who just don’t care any more if we die.

    it seems like this randy was looking for trouble and he got it. i don’t want my trimet fares to go up because he has a chip on his shoulder about vehicles you can’t pedal.

    of course the bus driver shouldn’t have driven someone involved in an assault off to freedom. the driver should be fired. the crewcut guy should go to jail. and randy should get some heavy duty counseling.

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  • jami January 21, 2006 at 11:33 am

    a second viewing of the videos (hollywood couldn’t have made something more compelling!), and i noticed that after the assault, the biker gets back in front of the bus. at this point, he’s exactly right to do so. this is a crime scene.

    so what does the bus driver do? drives right at him. that driver has to go. call trimet (503-238-ride) and tell them so.

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  • Scott Mizée January 21, 2006 at 11:49 am

    Jami, Keep in mind that this event happened TWO YEARS AGO. The driver is already dead. I believe the article stated that he died last August in a boating accident?

    I’m afraid calls to tri-met asking them to terminate the driver would not be worth much at this point.

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  • Dabby January 21, 2006 at 1:07 pm

    I would like to point something out, in relation to the fact that the bus passed closely by him, within a foot.
    If you have been near a bus, especially within a foot of a rolling bus, you would know that the mirrors stick out at head level, about a foot, on both sides.
    Being hit by a mirror would be as bad, or worse, than being hit by the rest of the bus.
    A mirror will crack you in the back of thehead, possibly instantly killing you.
    Possibly knocking you to the ground, wrapped up in your bike, either under the bus, into the path of another car, etc….
    If a bus is within two feet of me, passing me, he is in the wrong. If a bus is closer to me than two feet, he is either not paying attention, or doing it on purpose.
    THIS IS A FACT!!!!!
    And, at the point that this happens, either not paying attention, or trying to buzz me, he is in the wrong.
    And since reporting a incident to TRI MET is fairly useless, what do we do?
    We let the driver know we are there, then we try to find out why they are wrong….
    What would you do?

    My friend Ed woke up in the hos[pital one morning.
    It turned out that he had been smacked in the back of the head somehow while crossing the burnside bridge.
    After talking to him, and doing some heavy thinking on the matter, I concluded that he had either been hit in the back of the head by:
    Some kids on the bridge playing Bicyclist Baseball,(very unlikely)
    Or a Tri met bus, or possibly semi truck mirror.
    Of course it was never investigated, or solved.
    Seems to me that some blood and scalp material on a bus or truck would be easy to find, if you only look.
    So Randy was probably scared, and we know what endorphines can do to one’s mind…..
    I would like you to think about this for a while, before you make some idiot comment, please..

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  • David M Cutts January 22, 2006 at 8:20 pm

    Randy was wrong and should be cited for road rage. He is just another stupid human and is lucky to be alive.

    The driver might have done better, he is dead.

    The passenger who assualted Randy has not yet been found.

    Tri-Met does not condone assualt or roadrage

    The courts do not approve of frivolous lawsuits

    get over it…….

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  • [...] The TriMet/bike incident has the spread across the country, but unfortunately of all the parties involved only the cyclist has made a statement. TriMet has been silent (they sent me a statement but it did not address this issue specifically), the driver is deceased, the passenger has not been found, and no witnesses have stepped forward, until now. [...]

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  • [...] A group of cyclists intends to put a TriMet twist on this Friday’s Breakfast on the Bridges. The event (which happens on the last Friday of every month) usually consists of volunteers handing out free coffee and pastries to early-morning bike commuters on the Hawthorne and Broadway Bridges. However, in light of recent events organizers have decided to fight fire with flour. [...]

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  • [...] Someone just emailed me a link to Phil Stanford’s column in the Portland Tribune. They got an interview with the guy that beat up Randy. Turns out his nickname is “Gater” and he’s an ex-boxer! Here’s an excerpt: “Gater says he was on his way to work that morning when this guy – who’d been keeping the bus from passing him for several blocks – up and stopped in the middle of the Hawthorne Bridge. … At which point, Gater, who happens to be an ex-boxer, got off the bus and told him to move it. … When he didn’t, Gater says, he threw just one punch, and not a very good one at that. … As for the police, Gater says, he’s not particularly concerned, since by his calculations the statute of limitations expired Monday.” [...]

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  • Jeffrey February 15, 2006 at 10:09 am

    Doug,

    Your post 67 is mostly half truths. Perhaps you should preface your post with, “here’s my [decidedly anti-bicycle] biased, selective interpretation of some Oregon traffic laws pertaining to bikes.”

    You claim to avidly ride a bicycle, but you curiously omit most of the beneficial points for cyclists in the statutes you presented.

    First, you claim that, “You do not have the right to impede traffic. In fact, in many circumstances you must pull off the road and let faster moving vehicles pass you if it is not safe for them to pass using the oncoming lane of traffic. (ORS 811.425)” Actually, the circumstances requiring a slow moving vehicle to pull over are pretty specific in that statute: Assuming the bike is moving slower than the posted speed, this only applies on two directional, two-lane highways AND when there is no clear lane for passing available to the driver of the overtaking vehicle. Therefore, the obligation to pull over is irrelevant on many city streets becaues they are multi-lane or one-way. It is also irrelevant when there is clear opportunity to pass on a two lane highway.

    Second, you claim that, “You do not have the right to take up an entire lane of traffic. There are limited exceptions to this, but for the most part the rule that you must stay to the right (or sometimes the left on a one-way) holds. (ORS 814.430)” You are wrong. The right for a bicycle to take an entire lane is clearly specified in the law you cite. For one, the law provides entire lane use if you are travelling the speed of normal traffic given the conditions presented. But, the important part of the law you conventiently fail to mention is that the statute allows for a cyclist to use the full lane “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.” As you can see, the so-called “limited” exceptions you refer to are actually pretty broad and common circumstances.

    Third, you also mention, “You are required to use the bike lane if it is available.” Yes, this is true. However, the law was amended and exceptions are allowed for: passing another bicyclist, vehicle, or pedestrian in the bicycle lane or path, making a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway, avoiding debris or other hazardous conditions, making a right turn, continuing straight at an intersection when the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must turn right.

    Also, keep in mind that a cyclist is in no way obligated to use the shoulder on highways either. ORS 801.450 specifically defines the “roadway” as the portion of a highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, EXCLUSIVE of the shoulder.

    Let me expound upon your astonishment of your “fellow” cyclists ignorance by saying that I am even more surprised at the ignorance a supposed veteran police officer has about the law. You maintain that you are not the “enemy,” but given your ommission of critical statute components, it’s pretty apparent you aren’t really much of an advocate for cyclist rights either.

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  • Adron February 15, 2006 at 12:48 pm

    I’m so glad Randy got smacked… even on this pro-bike site it’s awesome how many people have not just openly sided with him and taken a more objective approach.

    Also good to know that someone can still get a well deserved smack for obstructing dozens of people and no one gets killed…

    I remember seeing something like this in New Orleans once… at the end of the day one person was in jail for murder and the other was dead.

    Portland is such a nicer city. :)

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  • Caroline March 18, 2006 at 5:37 am

    Three days ago, I overheard a Tri-Met busdriver tell another passenger a disturbing story about a cyclist.

    A favorite topic of discussion amongst bus drivers seems to be the stress of maintaining an on-time route, and how annoyed they get when PEOPLE GET IN THE WAY. These two were discussing how cyclists, especially those who ride “slow” in the lane and then “go right through lights after holding up traffic” are the bane of existence.

    The driver went on to say how one day a cyclist had the nerve to ride in the street like this, and kept coming up alongside the bus in his blindspots. The driver expressed anxiety about how when cyclists do this he never knows if the cyclist is “going to just disappear.” Evidently the cyclist was holding up the bus by doing the accordian behind and in front of the bus and passengers were becoming very angry. He came upon an intersection where another driver flipped him off for some reason before speeding into traffic in front of the bus. He did not see the cyclist coming, and hit him. The bike was crumpled, it is unclear from the story what happened to the cyclist himself (as if that matters anyway), and the busdriver stated that everyone on the bus “cheered” and were happy that both the cyclist and driver got in trouble.

    Is this not the most MESSED up story for a Tri-Met driver to be telling out loud, on his bus, with other people (cyclists) listening? He’s allowed to have opinions, but he also represents Tri-Met.

    I’m getting really tired of Tri-Met drivers discussing their job remorse out loud while driving. If I did that with my patients while at work, would I get away with it? NO WAY! These are things Tri-Met drivers need to be discussing with their management, not with passengers. Passengers just want to get there, and feel safe – we don’t really want to hear the driver bi**hing.

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  • matt March 18, 2006 at 9:04 am

    yeah Caroline… it’s sure a shame that these guys can’t be more silent about their jobs, when hitting someone can be a fatality. I’m sure the frustration at your job, whatever it may be, may not be able to compare to the stress of driving such a big rig.

    Drivers of cars are required to let the busses have the right of way. They signal and we have to let them in. And a tiny thing like a bike has little to no business bouncing around all over the Trimet bus.

    So if “passengers just want to get there, and feel safe”, how about the biking and motorist community that ARE doing these unsafe things, back off?

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  • adron March 18, 2006 at 11:52 am

    That is kind of annoying. I don’t like to hear anyone complaining about such things.

    There are two major circumstances that change how I look at this though.

    Tri-Met has a monopoly on the real public transit assets and basic right of refusal on anyone that really wants to compete in the market. The service is highly subsidized by taxpayer money. Tri-Met employs a Union who has an attitude of “we have a right to this job and a right to this and that (especially the roads)”.

    With all those things in consideration I’m AMAZED when I hear or am greeted positevely from a Tri-Met Employee. As long as the Union exists and Tri-Met has a monopoly there is absolutely zero reason for them to give a hoot what a single rider says, complains about, or what they might be thinking as two drivers talk about the above mentioned things, or any of their other 900 million complaints.

    Tri-Met does an amazingly good job compared to most publicly run, publicly owned, monopolizing transit agencies, but they still have a long way to go to meet the basic service level that most regular corporate entities have to maintain (even when THEY have a monopoly – such as Microsoft). One hears something of this sort said by an employee of a self sustained company or corporate entity, all it takes is ONE complaint and that person is gone.

    If you want responsible public transit, get the Government and the Unions out of the services. Get them out of the roadways if you want them repaired and to even remotely meet demand.

    There is no way except more confusion, manipulation, and subversion of society’s actual needs so long as inordinate and arbritrary rules & regulations, monopolies, and laws are implemented in the transportation industry.

    But then of course… I just enjoy the choices I have here, knowing there could be a LOT more choices. Smile, and carry on. I make sure that I don’t, “hold my breath” waiting for things to change.

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  • adron March 18, 2006 at 11:55 am

    My last quote was in reference to Caroline above… sorry about being off topic.

    but it still does correlate to the topic.

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  • Matt Picio March 31, 2006 at 12:50 pm

    In regards to “Matt”‘s last comment (#125):

    “And a tiny thing like a bike has little to no business bouncing around all over the Trimet bus.”

    It was “accordianing” in front of and behind the bus. This means that the cyclist was at a relatively constant speed, except for slowing down for and speeding up after intersections. The “accordian” effect is due to the bus constantly passing the cyclist and then the cyclist passing the bus when the bus stops. The cyclist has every business being there – he’s just trying to ride. It’s perfectly legal for him to pass the bus on the right side (since January 2006).

    The issue here is that the drivers (bus and automobiles) are not paying enough attention to their surroundings, are in too much of a hurry (too impatient), and when in a hurry they do not drive safely. Look at the statistics: motorized vehicles kill about 5,000 pedestrians and 500-600 cyclists each year. Bicycles kill 0 automobile drivers and 0 pedestrians each year. (Roughly. I’m sure if we look hard enough, we’ll find an exception or two where a driver swerved to avoid a cyclist and drove into a cement mixer or something)

    Vehicles that weigh 2,500 to 40,000 lbs are DEADLY. A car is a deadly tool, much more dangerous than a firearm because firearms are typically given respect and operated with care. (most firearm fatalities are due to people NOT giving them respect) A motor vehicle garners no such respect. People routinely operate them with no ill effect, and over time a person’s attitude towards driving becomes very lax. It’s this climate of control (or lack thereof) which endangers cyclists and pedestrians. Bicyclists are not the greatest problem and certainly not the greatest danger. I think we should focus on the biggest problem, and once we have it relatively under control we can start dealing with the next biggest problem. I’ll leave it an an exercise to the reader as to what the biggest problem is, but I can tell you with some certainty that it is not the bicyclists.

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  • adron March 31, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    I have a solution. Stop ALL subsidies to auto based travel. I bet you 10-60% of the people driving today. That’s a much better ratio which would create a much safer biking atmosphere!

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  • [...] In picking up on this incident Biking Bis also highlights another assault on cyclist caught on camera. In this case, the security camera of a TriMet bus in Portland, Oregon. There’s definitely nothing faked about this one: the cyclist is suing TriMet. [...]

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  • [...] Now, if only Randy Albright would have had this site back on that fateful day back in January ‘04… [...]

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  • Corrick September 8, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    If bikes are considered motor vehicles then I expect to be treated as though I am a car. Would the bus driver to that to a minivan full of kids? No. Why is it okay for bikes to get no respect from cars and yet have to adhere to the same laws and provisions? Get the picture, bikes arn’t cars. Be careful when you drive.

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  • [...] “Bikes vs Cars:” You hear it everywhere, though, particularly since the Randy Albright case against TriMet became public. One can question whether it’s anything more than a sound byte, but the idea certainly has galvanized media commentators and much of their audience, as we found during the 95.5 fiasco. It’s partly a natural process of media trying to grasp an emerging subject, and partly a byproduct of the anger and fear felt on the roads every day by motorists and cyclists alike. [...]

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  • bob September 19, 2006 at 12:26 pm

    As a car driver I think Tri Met buses are driven dangerously. They pull out in front of you as if the road is just for them. There are LOTS of poor bus drivers.

    It is not surprising that someone yelled at one of the bus drivers.

    Randy will win the lawsuit with essentially no opposition. The bus driver had a duty to call the cops AND more importantly to not allow a passenger to get off, beat someone up, then get back on and drive off. The bus driver is guilty of a crime. The passenger is guilty of a crime. Randy may be guilty of a traffic infraction for delaying traffic. I’d have gone for MUCH more money than Randy. Tri Met’s got deep pockets. Time to give them the legal equivalent of a good old-fashioned ass whoopin’.

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  • Cecil September 19, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    Bob said, “Tri Met’s got deep pockets.”

    Actually, no – damages in lawsuits against Tri-Met are subject to a $200,000 cap under the Oregon Tort Claims Act . . .

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  • [...] The case between TriMet and Randy Albright took a step closer to resolution today. Albright, a reporter from the Oregonian, and lawyers from both sides met in downtown Portland for an arbitration session. [...]

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  • [...] He finds both parties negligent in the infamous events that transpired on January 22, 2004. [...]

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  • [...] This Saturday (1/13) will mark the one-year anniversary of when we all first heard about Randy Albright’s lawsuit against TriMet. [...]

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  • KnowsRandy January 26, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Just an update. Randy did not prevail against Trimet, the chicken**** MFs got off. The driver, who knew the ass-alter, died in a boating accident in the summer of 06. Can you say bad Karma?? And the ass-alter is still at large. Goes by the name of “Gator”, I think Jerkoff McDipshit would be a better handle. I am still on the look-out for him, although the statute of limitations is up on getting anything done about him. He even had the cahones to do an interview with Phil Sanford. What a big man. By the way I have been nearly run down several times in Portland and it wasn’t by motorized vehicles, but by bicyclists barreling down the hill, hell bent for leather. The next time someone comes that close to me I am going to clothesline them. I may get hurt, but I bet they don’t do it again.
    On the other hand I see at least 2 buses a day run red lights. So I see both sides.
    Tri-Met should have had to pay. Randy got shafted. Nuff said.

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  • tryggvy February 10, 2007 at 5:10 am

    Why do I hate bikes. By a Tri-Met driver.

    I love riding my bike, I have biked across all of northern Europe on my last vacation and nothing is better then getting out the bike on my weekend and riding around Portland.

    When I ride my bike I do everything I can to limit my exposure to cars, trucks and busses.

    The way I ride follows a simple logic. The less I interact with vehicles that can kill me instantly the better my odds of living. It’s not about being right or legal it’s about being smart. There are many things that are legal and unsafe or unwise. The way you ride a bike shows the choice you are making.

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  • Tryggvy more February 10, 2007 at 5:34 am

    Opps sorry I hit the wrong button and that printed undone so here is the rest of my thoughts

    Too many Bikers are worried about being right and being legal and not about getting home alive.

    I see this every day when I make decissions to protect bikers. I always try to pass more then 4′ away from them when I am at speed. I always try to give them as much space as possible and when they are not even going half the speed limit I suffle along behind them a good distance until I can pass.

    Most bikers treat a bus as just another obsticle not something that could crush the life out of you in a moment.

    Just like gun handlers never point a gun even unloaded at some one when I ride I do everything I can to stay away from large vehicles. Things that are so deadly to me I avoid at all cost.

    This is not the way other bikers live. If they make a mistake it will be thier life but a driver of a bus has everyones life in the bus and the bikes life in their hands.

    Because of this the biker making an agressive action even if legal puts in the hand of the driver their life.

    Drivers I would say hate this more then anything else.

    You see there is such a thing as task saturation and Bikers take up your entire attention while you are around them even when they are doing everything right.

    Nothing else does this. Peds, Cars, Trucks, trains you name it. All of them more often are perdictable while Bikes are such wild cards that you have to in a sense drive their bike for them.

    You have to look ahead and say is that grate in the road going to force him or her out into my path, Or is that biker with no light some place around my bus?

    The ratio of adjustments, attention and close calls with bikes is just way way out of proportion with the amount of times you come into contact with them.

    I don’t care about getting anyplace on time when I drive. I give bikers all the space I can, I don’t buzz them or honk. I just watch them and shake my head.

    If they make a mistake they may get a flat, miss a street but if I make a mistake in the bus around a bike I will kill them.

    From the actions of most the bikers I come in contact with I do not think they are looking at the life and death part of it. THey are more interested in talking about the law and that they have rights. Well rights are great but if I crush you with my bus they will have to put those words on your tomb stone.

    Now let me tell you about my last encounter with a biker.

    I was coming down Barber just after the last snows. Lots of students bike Down Barber into down town and I am use to that. Now Barber becomes a very nerrow and fast road as it drops into downtown Portland and I was deadheading back to the bus barn when I came upon a biker having a conflict with a VW bug.
    The Biker pulled off the road hit some ice and wiped out. Now I had been holding back and was able to stop, secure my bus and get out to help the biker.
    To my shock he was ok but his bike was not. Dispite that he wanted to ride away but I would not let him. My bus was empty and I made him put the bike on the rack and I drove him down to PSU for free. He was beat up and still shaking so I did not think it was safe to just drive off.
    I dropped him off and drove back to the garage. All I could think about was why was this biker in such a conflict with a car. Sure the biker had rights, but it was a wet road, covered in gravel and patches of Ice? could this have been a good day to ride the bus? I think so.
    Such poor judgement to hop on your bike on such a deadly day, then to get into a conflict with a car with flipping off and yelling while going thirty five miles an hour down a nerrow and dangrerous road… well even if the biker was as right as could be they were stupid as a rock.

    This is not a common encounter but this is what I see all the time. Lots of “I have the right” not enough “Oh shit I don’t want to die”

    Any biker who would like to spend a day with me on the bus. I will pay, you travel with me and check out how most bikers act around busses and you will shocked.

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  • IslanDuck May 10, 2007 at 9:58 am

    I ride my bike to work everyday…all of the drivers I’ve encountered have always provided a “buffer zone” between me and their cars. However, Tri-Met buses NEVER give a “buffer zone” to cyclists. I’ve been “buzzed” by Tri-Met buses than anyone else.

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  • Mike August 17, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    I\’m a former Portland resident and now live in Seattle. I\’m no stranger to being \”buzzed\” by city buses in both places. I\’ve also occasionally yelled at bus drivers who\’ve menaced me or honked at me for simply being on the road. I don\’t know if yelling \”works\” or whether it is a sure sign that I have a death wish. What I know for sure is this: there\’s a huge power imbalance between a city bus and a bicycle. Saying an injured cyclist \”had it coming\” because they chose to assert their place on the road, is like saying a battered woman \”asked for it\” because she unwisely chose to argue with her abusive boyfriend. Drivers who abuse their power on the road should not be permitted to drive a bus. Period. Driving a bus, or any motor vehicle, means driving on real streets in the real world. In part, that means choosing to drive on steets that contain people on bicycles. If you become homicidal or criminally reckless when you face common and predictable delays on the road, you\’re not someone who can responsibly make the choice to drive. Two or three minutes of your life is not equal in value to the risk of killing or permanently maiming someone who inconveniences you, even if that someone behaves foolishly. Get real.

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  • [...] the people who own them as Evil Incarnate. Thus, many of these same spandex-clad dullards — in their limited and polarized worldview — consider everyday traffic flow an epic battle of “Good” vs. [...]

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  • [...] follow and have participated in the comment string on the newsworthy BikePortland.org piece, “Bicyclist Sues TriMet”. All of my comments were made before I was able to watch the TriMet video. The video speaks for [...]

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  • [...] true that cyclists rule Portland with a green fist, the city has a promising system of checks and balances in [...]

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