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Mainstream media coverage of Albright/TriMet suit

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 17th, 2006 at 10:25 am

As expected, the local media is all over the Randy Albright/TriMet lawsuit I 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).

KGW (our local NBC) ran a story with the TriMet video and an interview with Randy last night. I thought their coverage was good, much more calm than I expected. I thought they'd try and paint this as a bus vs. bikers thing but it was pretty balanced. The video from TriMet wasn't quite as exciting as I'd hoped it to be. All and all, a respectable job by the TV guys.

KATU (CBS) will cover the story tonight with perhaps a new angle (I hear they're trying to find the guy who assaulted Randy).

The Oregonian's coverage hit the web last night and stills from the video splashed across the front page of the paper. The actual story by Tony Green was very solid. But I think their headline (in the web version) is bad (remember, Tony didn't write the headline). "Pressure builds as more bicyclists and motorists dispute right of way". I think the editors purposefully try and make this seem like it happened recently ("pressure builds") when we all now the incident took place two years ago. And did you notice how the actual date isn't even mentioned on the front page? [Oops, my mistake. The date is mentioned in the photo captions right up front. Thanks for pointing this out Mark.]

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  • Mark January 17, 2006 at 11:24 am

    Jonathan,

    The headline in the print edition is: "As more bicyclists and motorists share the road, tempers rev up". And the date is mentioned in the caption under the top three photos. No effort to obscure when this happened.

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  • Jonathan Maus January 17, 2006 at 11:28 am

    You're right Mark...I sure messed that up. I meant the headline on the web version and I completely missed the date. Thanks for catching that. I really need to be more careful in the future.

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  • Aaron January 17, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    I wrote a post about Randy on the previous thread but I want to make this point. If we want to foster greater animosity towards bicyclists, the easiest way to do so is to make some drivers REALLY PISSED, and then sue them so news of it spreads like wildfire. Thanks Randy for setting bicycling rights back about 5 years.
    I fully believe that Randy's safety was compromised and that the driver acted like a putz. However this incident will make the job of promoting positive bike/driver/bus relations much more difficult in the coming year.

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  • H January 17, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    I keep thinking if the city had sent a street sweeper to clean up all the gravel left over from that ice storm, none of this would have happened.

    I noticed in the video that there are places where you can't even see the bike lane line because the lane was so full of crap. I remember it taking a week or more to get it cleaned up, and only after several cyclists complained to the city. The bridge should be a high priority cleanup zone.

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  • revphil January 17, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    #1 There were many injuries after the snow melted. One of the most grusome zoobomb crashes ever was when a virgin broke fingers and lost her grill when she lost control due to the gravel on Fairview.

    That portion of the west hills is not in the city limits (I am told). The city was up there spreading gravel lickely split, though it was weeks before it was cleaned. This promped the zoobombers to clean the road themselves, using brooms, brushes and fallen tree limbs.

    #2 Is Aaron a troll? only time will tell.

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  • organic brian January 17, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    "Is Aaron a troll?"

    Rev, not everyone who isn't aligned with the majority on a forum is a troll. I agree with much of what Aaron is saying. As someone whose efforts to educate / enlighten motorists are continuously complicated by the actions of cyclists who ride erratically / blatantly illegally (I'm talking blowing through stops / signals in front of moving cars here, not coasting cautiosly through a stop where no traffic is present), who don't use lights at night, and who give attitude for no apparent reason except that they're looking for conflict, I feel a lot of annoyance about certain actions and attitudes. I take a lane when it is not safe to ride all the way to the right, but in the video I didn't see anything I would consider hazardous enough to need to leave the bike lane. Apologies to Randy if the video just wasn't clear enough to see the gravel.

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  • rafa January 17, 2006 at 9:31 pm

    Aaron is not a troll, just an apologist.

    "REALLY PISSED" drivers should not drive. Same goes for bikers. In fact, really pissed people should not leave there houses.

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  • Anita January 18, 2006 at 10:59 am

    Anita from KATU here -
    Here's the link to our story.

    http://www.katu.com/stories/82598.html

    We put all the pictures in motion so it's much like actual video.
    Thanks to Randy for talking with us - and good luck finding this guy in the next 4 days.

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  • Foster January 18, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    To anybody reading this.

    Randy's actions are completely out of line. He should be arrested for purposely blocking a public transportation vehicle. Which is a crime.

    By reaching out and touching a moving bus while moving, you put yourself in much more danger than the bus ever put you in. Just because the bus scared you, and you are to macho to walk your bike over the gravel in order to keep out of traffic, you are now causing the city money, and trying to be compensated well beyond any suffering you experienced. If I was on that bus, your actions would have further convinced me that taking my private car to work would be much better than riding the bus just to minimize the chance of having to deal with a hothead that does not know how to keep himself safe.

    The bus rider should not have gotten off the bus and physically moved you out of the way (I see no evidence of you being knocked down like the story says), you were the cause of this altercation by your actions alone.

    This from an avid cyclist and tri-met rider.

    If you have any advice of when it is appropriate to touch a moving vehicle from your bike, please let us know.

    If I ever see Randy's name on any biking event, charity or anything else, I certainly will think twice about participating.

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  • Jimbo January 18, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    Randy was clearly riding in the middle of the road and didn't leave anywhere for the bus to go. His reaction was pretty lame both hitting the bus and stopping a bus full of busy people (for what? eye contact?). Why not ride on Salmon (such a beautiful bike route, which intersects with the carless Esplanade)? It seems pointless to ride in the middle of Hawthorne and then react when a vehicle comes close.
    And because the bus driver took off, Randy will now be able to continue his juvenile lifestyle courtesy of my tax $s and increased trimet prices (most affectiving to disadvanted people in our community). It's almost funny that he calls himself a transportation activist.

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  • rafa January 19, 2006 at 12:55 am

    W.W.Jimbo.D?

    "Randy was clearly riding in the middle of the road and didn’t leave anywhere for the bus to go."

    I believe you are confusing Randy with the cars that are actually taking up an ENTIRE lane and not allowing any buses to pass. Can you believe they actually caught those motorists on tape?!?

    "His reaction was pretty lame both hitting the bus..."

    His behavior is inexcuseable. Smacking a bus like that, tsk-tsk.

    "and stopping a bus full of busy people"

    I'm sure Randy had nowhere to go. I'm sure it's just his "juvenile lifestyle" to go for joyrides.

    "(for what? eye contact?)."

    Yes, I believe everyone on that bus gave him the evil eye. That is why he stopped the bus.

    "Why not ride on Salmon (such a beautiful bike route,"

    It is. The view is to die for. I mean really, if you are going on a joy ride, why not take the scenic route.

    "which intersects with the carless Esplanade)? It seems pointless to ride in the middle of Hawthorne and then react when a vehicle comes close."

    When a vehicle (car, bus, or bike) breezes past my left ear, I get this rush of warmth, like a York Peppermint Patty...or perhaps it's my wet drawers...it's exhilerating!!! That's why I take the lane...

    "And because the bus driver took off, Randy will now be able to continue his juvenile lifestyle"

    One all these readers share...

    "courtesy of my tax $s"

    Actually, your tax dollars go to cleaning the streets from gravel and debris. Are you evading?

    "and increased trimet prices (most affectiving to disadvanted people in our community)."

    Like those with spelling impediments...

    "It’s almost funny that he calls himself a transportation activist."

    No, it's ironic. This issue, this thread, the fact that someone refuses to see cycling as a serious mode of transportation. If anything, threads like this serve as a good measure for the work that's left. Thanks, Jimbo.

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  • George Wilson January 19, 2006 at 1:19 pm

    Someone should follow this person around with a video camera while he rides. Dollars to donuts that he probably breaks at least 10 traffic laws and consistently puts himself in unsafe situations during every one of his rides to and from work.

    In my experienc, most (not all, granted) bicyclists will not stop at stop signs, especially if turning. Most will disobey traffic signals (crossing against the light if no traffic). Most will ignore the safety of pedestrians. A few will ride against the direction of traffic...this happens most often on one-way streets. Some wear MP3 players and are oblivious to their surroundings.

    In my latest experience, two cyclists were riding side-by-side, forcing one to be outside of the bike lane. I drove slowly behind them, hoping they would notice and one would pull behind the other to allow me to pass. After waiting for a long time, I beeped my horn (not a long, blaring blow, but a short, little beep) to let them know I was there, in case they didn't notice. I promptly received a single-finger salute and one purposely rode further out in the lane so I couldn't pass.

    If you all want respect from drivers, then you all need to respect the traffic laws that govern you. At this point in time, I cannot name one cyclist I know that obeys traffic laws as they should when riding.

    That should tell you something

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  • Scott Mizée January 20, 2006 at 5:55 am

    Mr. Wilson,
    You stated, "At this point in time, I cannot name one cyclist I know that obeys traffic laws as they should when riding." --You may make some points with merit. True, many cyclists do not always obey traffic laws to the letter of the law. And, true, many of them are disrespectful to those around them and may "put [themselves] in unsafe situations." The disrespectful and unsafe behavior of the two cyclists you interacted with is inexcusable.

    However, your summarizing statement, "If you all want respect from drivers, then you all need to respect the traffic laws that govern you." points right back at you representing "the drivers" as well. I do not believe that the cyclists, when all things are considered, are any worse offenders than the car drivers. Speed limits and ignorant drivers "hanging out" in the left lane on a freeway are just two examples that come to mind when thinking of the subject. I do not offer this as an excuse or justification for disobeying laws, I'm just trying to provide a balanced view of the truth.

    I think the real issue is that the "traffic laws" we have are generally not really aimed at the needs of those on bicycles. They were put into place to make our streets more efficient (and hopefully safer) for automobiles--and under that line of thinking, all other methods of transportation that use the street as well.

    Unless we are going to "right" our world from its "upside down state" and/or completely change our culture to a point where the bike is more dominant than the car (like in the geographically small, flat, country of The Netherlands) we are going to continue to observe offenders from both sides.

    In my opinion, the best we can do is work together with as little "finger pointing" (index finger or otherwise) as possible and look for solutions of how to resolve these contentious issues.

    "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults--unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own."

    Respectfully,
    Scott Mizée

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  • john January 20, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    check it out. they zoo bombed when the road was full of gravel after a serious winter storm.

    damn city. didn't clean up for the zoo bombers. what the heck were they thinking?

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