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KGW: Driver was “frustrated cyclist wasn’t sharing the road”

Posted by on August 21st, 2007 at 11:17 am

Last night, KGW aired a report about Friday’s road rage incident. The headline of the story on their website is “Driver frustrated cyclist wasn’t sharing road”.

Reporter Jane Smith presented the incident like this:

“Police say he (Eschweiler) got into a confrontation with bicyclist Ben Ramsdell. Investigators say Ramsdell kicked Eschweiler’s vehicle. Eschweiler than struck Ramsdell with his SUV. A second bicyclist coming from the opposite direction pedaled straight into the path of the collision…”

The piece then featured this statement from Portland Police Bureau (PPB) PR guy Brian Schmautz:

“We have our motorist giving us an indication that he’s had some frustrations with bicyclists in the past, he doesn’t feel that bicyclists..really, move to the right as they should, and that creates quite a bit of conflict.”

KGW’s story and Schmautz’s comments have already raised concerns from two BikePortland readers who watched it last night.

One commenter said they were “particularly peeved at the Police Spokesman’s comments,” and another said, “I noticed the seemingly biased reports,” and then added, “are the police reports just as one-sided?”

I spoke to the PPB’s Schmautz this morning and expressed my concerns with what I heard in the story. Specifically I asked about KGW’s claim that “investigators say” Ramsdell kicked the SUV.

I’m concerned that this is being perpetuated as fact when in reality it is merely the testimony of the driver and remains unproven.

Schmautz clarified that PPB investigators on the case, “have seen no foot marks or anything that support this theory”. He said KGW asked why the driver did this and that he answered the question based on claims made by Eschweiler.

So, is it accurate to say that “investigators say Ramsdell kicked the SUV”? Or should KGW have said, “investigators say the driver claims Ramsdell kicked his SUV”?

Schmautz also expressed challenges faced in dealing with this case.

He said the collision was initially responded to by Traffic Division investigators. Then, once it was clearly seen as an intentional act, a criminal investigation crew came in. At that point, he said there was a “disconnect between the two disciplines (criminal and traffic investigators)” and because of that, all the evidence, information, and witness interviews had to start from scratch.

There are clearly many pieces left to put back together before we have a clear picture of what happened in this case. In the end, Schmautz said, “it will eventually all come together.”

In the meantime, we should watch closely how the media reports about this case. They play an important role in how the general public perceives this incident (which impacts their behavior and attitude toward cyclists on the roads).

Let’s hope the reporting is sensitive and as balanced as possible.

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Comments
  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Schmautz clarified that PPB investigators on the case, “have seen no foot marks or anything that support this theory”. He said KGW asked why the driver did this and that he answered the question based on claims made by Eschweiler.

    So, is it accurate to say that “investigators say Ramsdell kicked the SUV”? Or should KGW have said, “investigators say the driver claims Ramsdell kicked his SUV”?

    Sounds like appallingly bad reporting…

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Not to try to blame the second cyclist, but something is unclear in this report.

    Was the second bicyclist riding against traffic? Was the driver going the wrong way? Did the driver veer across lanes after striking the first cyclist?

    What exactly happened to create the circumstances where \”A second bicyclist coming from the opposite direction pedaled straight into the path of the collision…”?

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  • BURR August 21, 2007 at 11:25 am

    to many SUV drivers from Oregon City, \”Share the Road\” means \”Get the F**k Out of My Way\”

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  • brian August 21, 2007 at 11:27 am

    It is local news. Sensationalism is much more important when reporting local news that actual investigative journalism. Shoot, if any of these \”reporters\” had any skill, they wouldn\’t be working at a local news station.

    It\’s raw, but it\’s also the truth.

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  • wsbob August 21, 2007 at 11:41 am

    \”So, is it accurate to say that “investigators say Ramsdell kicked the SUV”?

    Or should KGW have said, “investigators say the driver claims Ramsdell kicked his SUV”?\” BikePortland/Maus

    The latter of the two is the correct way to have related this development of the story if, as seems to be the case, this is how the PPD is relating the details to the news.

    KGW seems to be sloppily inflating their presentation of the story to headline grabbing hysterical proportions. This is how facts and the true nature of what happens in certain incidents often gets completely twisted and lost in translation. We might as well be getting the story from the National Enquirer.

    Maybe in a satirical sense, KGW would be more appropriately named, KGW/National Enquirer affiliate.

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  • SKiDmark August 21, 2007 at 11:48 am

    I find it interesting that the \”cyclist speaks out\” video doen\’t work, but all the other videos work.

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  • Bjorn August 21, 2007 at 11:50 am

    From an earlier report on KGW

    \”The car continued on about 75 feet, sideswiping a car and hitting a truck before turning a corner where Mastne, who was riding towards the car, was then hit, investigators said.\”

    I assume the car and truck also did something to impede the free flow of Johnny\’s precious SUV. Also from the look of the windshield he was probably having trouble seeing where he was going as he left the scene which may be why he hit the second cyclist…

    I wonder why since he was clearly fleeing the scene when the second cyclist was hit that there was no hit and run charge.

    Bjorn

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  • Todd B August 21, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Jonthan,

    Thanks for sticking to this issue and working with PPB to clarify and correct the information that the public has ready access to.

    I looked on line and on TV (late last night and this morning) but did not see any coverage of this.

    [Much of the AM TV news was all fluff...other than the hurricane and skitching death in Vancouver.]

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  • Martha S. August 21, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    \’ \”The perception on the part of the of the motorist was that the bicyclist was not yielding the roadway to him and that leads to the motorist striking the bicyclist,\” said Sgt. Brian Schmautz with Portland Police Bureau.\’

    He wouldn\’t get out off may way so I ran him over. What\’s that? brakes you say? why, what are those? >_

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  • Me 2 August 21, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Schmautz\’s comments really bother me. First I\’ve never seen a cop of all people speaking on behalf of the accused and communicating why he committed a crime. He is PPB\’s spokesman not the accused\’s. Let his attorney make statements on his behalf.

    Second, Schmautz says move to the \”right as they should.\” For me, watching the report last night it was unclear as to whether this is the accused statement or a police officer interjecting as an authority figure and saying cyclists should move to the right.

    My initial and still reaction to Schmautz\’s comments are… thanks, by communicating how the accused is trying to justify his actions you\’ve just contributed to making the roads a more dangerous place for cicylists.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 21, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Me 2,

    I too was a bit uneasy about how Schmautz\’s comments sounded. But remember, he probably spoke for a long time and they only used a snippet of his quotes.

    That being said, I do think he has to be very careful how he chooses his words.

    I agree with you that it sounded as if he was speaking for the accused, not simply relaying what the accused said… but I\’m trying not to base my judgments on a short TV news clip.

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  • Matt Picio August 21, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    \”Sounds like appallingly bad reporting…\”

    KGW = appalingly bad reporting. No, wait a minute, that\’s KOIN. KGW is merely \”bad reporting\” and \”sensationalistic\”.

    Thanks, Jonathan, for staying on top of the story.

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  • Matt Picio August 21, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    BURR (#3) – it\’s not just Oregon City. I\’ve seen the same attitude throughout Clackamas County. If my experiences around Newberg last week are any indication, Yamhill County seems to be even worse – and the bigger the SUV, the more likely the problem occurs.

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  • janis August 21, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Unfortunately, it may be bad reporting but a lot of people heard a police representative say that \”cyclists are suppose to move to the right\”. That really hurts our forward movement with educating the public about cyclist\’s rights.

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  • jeremy August 21, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    hey Janis..
    your \”rights\” as a cyclist under Oregon law require you to move to the right side of the road as is \”reasonable\” under the flow of traffic…meaning you CANNOT ride in the center of the lane if you are not traveling the speed of traffic…you MUST be over to the right side of the road as is safe. this is VERY subjective throughout PDX, but the law doesn\’t allow any of us to impede traffic simply because we feel like it or think we have a \”right\” to the road.

    I race Cat. 3 during the summer months and can often travel around PDX streets at 25mph when I\’m training..so I can often take center lane without impeding the flow of traffic…if I start to slow, I am VERY careful to move over the right side as quickly and efficiently as possible…I sometimes get in trouble with vehicles who do not expect me to be moving this quickly (cut me off with a right turn in front of me, for example).

    Little poor Johnny\’s frustrations aside, the guy needs some anger management..as may the cyclist in question if he indeed kicked in somebody\’s car fender..

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  • SKiDmark August 21, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    The cyclist didn\’t kick the fender. The Police said there is no evidence that the cyclist kicked the fender. The car driver is just trying to create sympathy for his plight. There is sympathy to be had, he intentionally ran down a cyclist with his car.

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  • SKiDmark August 21, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    There is NO sympathy to be had.

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    NOW you\’re making sense, SKiDmark. ;)

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  • SKiDmark August 21, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    jeremy, you might want to read ORS a little more carefully. The statute states that you can take the lane if it is unsafe for a car and a bike to travel next to each other. I half having a half inch between the end of your handlebars and a car passing you qualifies as \”unsafe\”. The statute also states you must get over and allow cars to pass when are able to, and the fact that he was passing parked cars says to me that he could not get over yet. So the car driver was impatient and blew past the cyclist, causing him to run into some parked cars. Then he informed the driver of how he was endanger and the driver said \”F**k you\” with his finger. And then when the cyclist was in his path and to the right judging by the damage, he struck the cyclist with his car.

    This is by no stretch of the imagination the cyclist\’s fault, and there is nothing wrong with informing a car driver that they almost killed you.

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    On the Portland Tribune site, somebody commented that we don\’t know that the driver intended to buzz the cyclist.

    I would suggest that his extended middle finger is ample evidence of his intent…

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  • N.I.K. August 21, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    your \”rights\” as a cyclist under Oregon law require you to move to the right side of the road as is \”reasonable\” under the flow of traffic…meaning you CANNOT ride in the center of the lane if you are not traveling the speed of traffic…you MUST be over to the right side of the road as is safe. this is VERY subjective throughout PDX

    Actually, it\’s exactly as the language itself implies: it\’s subjective to what\’s on the roadway. Parked cars? Dangerous ebris off to where the slower-than-automotive-traffic normally goes? That\’s not safe. Despite every third cyclist you see who weaves between parked cars or crosses intersections in the left-most edge of the crosswalk before darting out of the way of the curb and back into traffic, this behavior is not required when it\’s clearly unsafe to do so (let alone in other instances where impeding through-traffic just happens, such as waiting to safely execute a left turn). It\’s one of the few common sense bits of bike-centric legislature we\’ve got written as such.

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Actually, it\’s both subjective, and objective. The cyclist makes a subjective decision about what is \”practicable.\” A police officer also makes a subjective decision about what is \”practicable.\”

    If the cyclist is ticketed, the court is supposed to apply an objective standard to \”practicability,\” based on what a \”reasonable person\” would have done under the same circumstances.

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  • BURR August 21, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Regarding ORS 814.430(2)(c) – it is the cyclist\’s decision to make regarding what constitutes a hazard s/he must avoid, be it parked cars/dooring hazard, drainage grates, debris or too narrow lanes. It IS NOT the following motorist\’s decision to make.

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  • Dabby August 21, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    Sounds to me like he did kick the car.

    You can butter it up all you want, but some it is still going to run off the toast (I have no idea what that means, by the way).

    I understand where this is coming from, but many people, here and on the streets, don\’t want to imagine it is true that he kicked the car.

    While the fault for the accident is definitely on the driver, I would think that many of you here who are such big \”Bicycling Advocates\” would recognize how much REALLY knowing whether or not he kicked the car can help us all.

    I hope he didn\’t, but everything points to the fact that he may have.

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  • SKiDmark August 21, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    I believe the cyclist, AND the Police (!), before I would ever believe a car driver who intentionally rammed a cyclist.

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  • peejay August 21, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    I have used my open palm to slap cars that get in my way, after verbally warning them not to do so. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, since the slap is designed to make maximum noise with no damage. It sure wakes up an otherwise inattentive driver, though.

    You\’d better believe that I check my escape routes first!

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  • wyatt August 21, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    \”Sounds to me like he did kick the car.\”

    I\’ve had people try to hit me in the past and I did not contact their vehicle in any way. Why is it hard to believe that the driver is merely trying to \”cover\” his own ass, Dabby?

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Even if he did kick the car– and there\’s no reason to believe that he did kick the car, given the statements from the police investigators– the driver was not justified in running him down.

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  • Nick August 21, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    Of course, cyclists in Portland have to complain about biased reporting…

    Anyone who complains about Portland news organizations being biased AGAINST bike riders should really buy themselves a clue.

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  • Nick August 21, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    By the way, the actions of a looney in a car cannot be condoned. The problem is, Portland has an attitude where road rage incidents from cyclists are condoned. As is dangerous riding, riding illegally at night, etc.

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  • Mr. Viddy August 21, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    Agreed, the driver had no right to run down the two cyclists but if the guy kicked the car or cussed at the driver then he also helped escalate the situation.

    But I forgot, this is all about us vs. them so cyclists have every right to slap a vehicle open handed or do anything else they please. After all we are on bikes, we are superior.

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  • G.A.R. August 21, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    I would like to call attention to a discrepancy between the KGW content and the KGW headline. Headline writers are such exhibitionists!

    If you follow the link to KGW you find the phrase \”… the bicyclist was not yielding the roadway …\”. Above this is the headline with the phrase \”sharing the road.\”

    I am a cyclist who frequently \”takes the lane\”, as directed by the Oregon Cyclist\’s Manual, when circumstances dictate. It seems to me that they certainly could \”dictate\” along that narrow stretch of Clinton Street.

    KGW\’s equating of \”yielding\” and \”sharing\” is wrong. Sharing the road is a broad principle. It means agreeing that there are a lot of different kinds of users, and they all have a place. Sharing the road might mean moving aside to let motor vehicles by, but not in places where it is unsafe to do so. In those places, sharing the road means \”I\’m using this part of the road and you\’re using the part behind my part.\”

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  • OBEY August 21, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    If all the cyclists posting here would actually obey the traffic laws, you\’d find yourselves more accepted by the motorists.

    (Yeah I know, everyone here stops at all Stop signs. ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Mr. Viddy, I do not buy into that \”us vs. them\” attitude at all. I don\’t think it\’s conducive to cycling advocacy. Nor do I believe in actions that escalate tensions between cyclists and drivers, whether the escalation is between individuals, or groups. Again, that escalation is not conducive to cycling advocacy.

    I\’m merely observing that in my opinion, whether the cyclist kicked the vehicle or not, the driver has no excuse to run the cyclist down.

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  • Mr. Viddy August 21, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    rixtir, I was not coming down on you at all, it was a comment by peejay above that got me a little irked.

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    OBEY, as everybody here has heard from me on numerous occasions, I *do* obey the traffic laws, including stopping at all stop signs.

    Can you say the same?

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  • SKiDmark August 21, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    OBEY, next time you are in your car play this fun game : count the moving violations made by the cars around you. That include not signalling when turning and changing lanes. Extra points if you see one not yield to a bike in the bike lane when making a right turn. Yes, that is against the law. Better yet, hop on a bike and count how many people in cars needlessly endanger you by \”not seeing\” you.

    This whole \”bicyclists are traffic scofflaws but car drivers aren\’t\” idea is completely delusional.

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    SKiDmark, you forgot one: Observe how many drivers are violating the speed limit…

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  • BURR August 21, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    5-10 mph through a stop sign is OK for a motorist but not for a cyclist??? ROTFLMAO!!!!

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  • BURR August 21, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    based on the weight of the vehicle, a cyclist can stop in less than 1/100 of the distance a motorist moving at the same speed can.

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    OBEY\’s argument appears to be that until cyclists as a group obey all traffic laws, then cyclists as a group will not be accepted by motorists.

    Presumably, the inverse is also part of OBEY\’s argument: Until motorists as a group obey all traffic laws, then motorists as a group will not be accepted by cyclists.

    Is that how it works, OBEY?

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  • peejay August 21, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    OBEY:

    If you cut me off and I catch up with you, I will slap your car. If you do it again, the U-lock comes out. I am a reasonable person, but if my life is endangered by your inattentive or malicious behavior, all bets are off. \’Nuff said.

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  • drbolsin August 21, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    biased? the Oregonian is blatantly left. I am happy when there is some balance on the other side around here.

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  • rixtir August 21, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    the Oregonian is blatantly left.

    My turn, I guess:

    ROFLMAO

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  • tonyt August 21, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Oregonian is blatantly left?

    Move over rixtir, there\’s gotta be room on that floor for me too.

    BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!

    This is the Oregonian that endorsed Bush in 2000? Right? And hasn\’t met a big business ballot initiative that it didn\’t like? Right? The Oregonian that pushed 26-91? Yup.

    drbolsin, you gotta start hanging out with some of us who are really \”blatantly left.\”

    Seriously.

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  • bab August 21, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    drbolsin: ummmmm… when did road rage in any of its forms become a left/right issue?

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  • marc August 21, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    the oregonian a \”left\” paper???!!!

    i\’m going to go with you\’re REALLY wrong on that one.

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  • Ken August 21, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Well OBEY, on the off chance you are a troll who actually comes back to read responses let me point out some other facts than the ones mentioned already.

    If a cyclist is breaking the rules of the road and/or cycling recklessly, he/she increases the risk of getting themselves hurt, or worse, killed.

    When a driver in a car does the same thing, they increase the chances of hurting or worse yet, killing an innocent person. Which situation seems more unfair and aggregious to innocent parties?

    Yet somehow drivers seem to give a free pass to other drivers but treat cyclists like the scourge of the Earth. As someone who has spent more miles on the road driving than probably anyone reading this, I never can understand this illogical type of thinking.

    We know that cars kill around 40,000 people a year. Do you want to tell me how many people are killed each year by a cyclists disobeying the law? Do yourself a favor, educate yourself about the facts, identify the real problem on the road and start to clean your own back yard before you worry about your neighbors.

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  • Dabby August 21, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    By the way, I also slap cars, not to dent them but to wake them up as to what is going on.

    I am just saying, this is a cycling advocacy website. Knowing whether or not the kicking happened, and allowing other to possibly learn from a mistake, if that is what happened, would be the ultimate goal here.

    Also, increased driver education, based on a public display of the penalties brought on this driver for the incident.

    The combination of these two facts equals education .

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  • SKiDmark August 21, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    People drive sooooo slow here. It is why I parked my motorcycle and why I hate to drive. It isn\’t the speed traffic travels at that bothers me, it is all the inattention.

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  • Alicia August 22, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    The reporting, the investigation, all of it is pathetically incompetent. What the hell? So, from KGW\’s perspective it\’s ok if I just run over all the kids running around the esplanade by omsi if they don\’t just get out of my way? good to know.

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  • Bike Friend August 27, 2007 at 9:43 am

    i\’m confused. your article is critiquing tone and possible use of hearsay by…being critical in tone and using hearsay?

    and–though it has nothing to do with this case, i\’m a cyclist and drive a car and have, on probably a dozen or more occasions, seen bicyclists kick and slap autos and yell at drivers–often for no reason other than they were riding in the middle of a busy street, slooowly, without a helmet, practically giving car drivers the finger.

    on a busy street where the speed limit is 25, how much \”right\” do cyclists have to 8-10mpg and flaunt it for a string of cars waiting to drive?

    and, by the way, i\’m a regular cyclist myself. you want to know how to improve the reputation of cycling? OBEY THE RULES OF THE ROAD, JUST LIKE ALL OTHER VEHICLES ARE REQUIRED TO DO.

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  • Matt Picio August 27, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Hey, bike friend

    I also think that cyclists should obey the law, but I have a serious problem with your comment \”you want to know how to improve the reputation of cycling? OBEY THE RULES OF THE ROAD\”

    What the hell does improving the reputation of cyclists have to do with motorists a) obeying the law themselves and b) not assaulting cyclists with their vehicles?

    It doesn\’t matter whether cyclists obey the law or not. Isn\’t doesn\’t matter what their reputation is. The bad behavior of others does not give you, me, motorists, cyclists or anyone else the right to do the same. This is NOT a \”tit-for-tat\” situation.

    So what if some cyclists are not obeying the law? So what if they\’re giving \”the rest of us\” a bad name? That does not justify illegal, unethical, or maniacal behavior of anyone else, especially some angry motorist who decides to use his RAV4 as a baseball bat or a flyswatter.

    The whole discussion of the \”reputation\” of cycling frequently seems to be used as some sort of justification for the bad behavior of others. It doesn\’t matter – take responsibility for your own actions, your own words, your own beliefs. Don\’t blame them on the behavior of others. (Bike friend, this isn\’t aimed at you personally – it\’s aimed at anyone who uses the behavior of others as justification, or as a shield)

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  • Bike Friend August 27, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    \”When a driver in a car does the same thing, they increase the chances of hurting or worse yet, killing an innocent person. Which situation seems more unfair and aggregious to innocent parties?\”

    Wrong. over 92% of all serious traffic fatalities and injuries are inside the car.

    \”Yet somehow drivers seem to give a free pass to other drivers but treat cyclists like the scourge of the Earth. \”

    No, there is no free pas. and yours is the kind of attitude that does nothing but increase the problem.

    \”Do you want to tell me how many people are killed each year by a cyclists disobeying the law?\”

    i can do that, and more. of non-fatal bike injuries, only 11% involved a motor vehicle. only a fraction of bike fatalities involve a motor vehicle, and bike injuries and fatalities account for only a fraction of the overall total.

    http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/index.htm
    http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/almanac-safety.html

    look, biking is excellent–i do it, a lot. but i also ride with the awareness that i\’m not King of the Road–there are other people on scooters, bicycles, trucks, cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, etc. i\’m just one more transportation method–not the best, or simplest, or safest–just one among many.

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  • peejay August 27, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Bike friend is a concern troll and should no longer be responded to. Period.

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  • SKiDmark August 27, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    That is, only 11% of all bike injuries. That would include bike injuries incurred by mountain biking, BMX, racing in velodromes, etc. So, including things like people attempting backflips off 15 foot high ramps, cars make up 11% of all bike injuries.

    I think in street accidents the percentage would be closer to 50%, like it is for street motocycle injuries.

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  • rixtir August 27, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Actually, he\’s saying of all non-fatal bike injuries. The total of all car-related bike accidents is higher, although I don\’t recall offhand the exact percentage. It\’s a lot less than 50%– most bike accidents are \”solo\” accidents– but more than 11%; probably somewhere around 20%-30% of all bike accidents involve a car.

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  • The United States Handicapper General August 27, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    \”i\’m just one more transportation method–not the best, or simplest, or safest–just one among many.\”

    Actually, biking is the best.

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  • Dabby August 27, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    \”i can do that, and more. of non-fatal bike injuries, only 11% involved a motor vehicle. only a fraction of bike fatalities involve a motor vehicle, and bike injuries and fatalities account for only a fraction of the overall total.\”

    We all know that due to how the Portland Police deal with bicycle car accidents, any statistics involving bike/car accidents are neither correct, nor even close…

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  • rixtir August 28, 2007 at 1:02 am

    Actually, there are data that are not based on police reports, which are notoriously inaccurate. Every set of data will have some sort of error built into it, but the data based on emergency room visits presents a far more accurate picture of bicycle accidents

    The flaw in using that data is that there is an unknown, and presumably large subset of accidents that do not result in a visit to the emergency room.

    The flaws in using police data are that (1) police often cyclists for accidents in situations where the cyclist was riding legally, (2) police often fail to interview the injured cyclist before writing an accident report, and (3) police only respond to car/bike collisions, and only when there is serious injury.

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  • Ken August 28, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Well OBEY, errrrr….Bike Friend I hope you did not spend too much time digging up those stats since they do not apply to what I was talking about. Since I was resonding to a post about cyclists not following the law I was pointing out that the reality is a driver not following the law is a much bigger threat to public safety than a cyclist not following the law. Drivers want to focus on the cyclist, who is really only a danger to themself, versus focusing on other drivers who are much more likely to hurt someone when they drive recklessly. Think about it. I doubt you will be able to dig up a statistic on it. It is a more a cereberal exercise. Who is more likely to hurt someone else…an innocent party…the public in general? The driver not following the laws or the cyclist not following the laws.

    It\’s funny you say that my attitude does not help the situation. I am the cyclist who probably annoys some other cyclists because I stop at all the stop signs and observe my obligation to follow the rules of the road. As a driver I realize that I am in a vehicle that can kill someone and I take my responsibility of that vehicle very seriously. I drive defencively and I observe the rules of the road. I can just about guarantee that unless you drive long haul, I have clocked more miles in the last 10 years than you have. So I find it very amusing that you think my attitude hinders anything. If more drivers had my attitude I believe it would help the interaction between motorists and cyclists, not hurt it as you seem to feel.

    So please OBEY, errr….Bike notFriend, errr…who ever you are, please stop hiding behind fake names and realize who the bigger problem truly is. If you can dig up how many pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, skateboarders, ect. are hurt each year by cars versus bicycles I would love to see it.

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  • jeff August 30, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Hey, nice work people!

    I exchanged a few emails with KGW yesterday regarding the “bicyclist kicked his car” language as I\’m sure others did as well, and it looks like they made an update to the second story about Tim\’s bike (but not the original referenced in this post):

    \”Police say the driver, Johnny Eschweiler, deliberately hit a different bicyclist who the driver claimed had kicked his car. The cyclist denies kicking the car. Police say Eschweiler then struck Mastne from behind.\”

    Little late, but I applaud KGW for making the change. Go Bikeportland!

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  • [...] the man in the car also hit a second person on a bike in the same incident. The driver of the car later told KGW-TV that he was “frustrated the cyclist was not sharing the [...]

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  • Adriel July 12, 2008 at 11:10 am

    If you think I should reword the headline let me know. I agree completely with the above that the media coverage is biased and am surprised you found my post so quickly.

    If you read my comments on it:

    \”Of course the prejudiced ones would like to turn this into a bike vs car issue, which is the whole point. Bike vs car thinking needs to stop.

    You don’t believe me about media bias and traffic prejudice?\”

    etc etc

    I cycle about 100 miles a week so the last thing I want is angry motorists.

    I think the point is that drunk people can do stupid things, whether on a bike or in a car, or in a bar.

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  • Adriel July 12, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I changed the title.

    Sometimes the angry person is the cyclist…

    how is that? Let me know if you have any suggestions.

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