View Full Version : alder street

11-04-2007, 12:17 PM
About 7pm on saturday. Coming down alder into downtown.

Stopped in the right lane at the light at 15th or 16th. I'm going straight and
the bike lane ends in several blocks. The left lane is empty.

Minivan pulls up behind me, the woman starts shouting: "Get in the bike lane!
Get in the f---ing bike lane! No wonder you people got killed!" The light
turns green and I proceed straght, 15-20 mph down the hill. She lays on the
horn. The passenger also a woman, chimes in as well. "You idiot, you asshole,
get in the bike lane!" They continue yelling. We proceed another block through a green light.

I am now behind a van which is going about 15pm, hugging the bumper so if they
want to hit me they have to risk hitting the van as well. We continue for
several more blocks, past 13th, the bike lane has ended and every five seconds
or so they are still laying on the horn and yelling for me to "get in the
f--ing bike lane you moron!"

Past pioneer square. The van turns right, I cut around the left side and
accelerate to make the next green light. Lose them around 5th or 6th, then
I go onto 3rd and over the hawthorne bridge.

The bike lane on alder turns right at 13th and then you can go down Salmon.
But you still need to merge left before the turn onto salmon. You hit the red
light at morrison and again at 12th.

I probably should have entered the bike lane until it ended and then merge over
between 13th and 14th. Anyway I was moving at the speed of traffic.

Option three, take the _left_ lane. That'll keep em guessing, and I don't have to worry about
merging behind cars turning right on 13th.

What would you do?

11-04-2007, 02:54 PM
Pitch a brick over my shoulder sounds about right ;)

Sounds like a psyco... I'd want them off my ass ASAP! I'd probably found a way to get the hermeroid off of it.(pun intended).

11-04-2007, 11:26 PM
Did you try communicating with them non-antogonistically, like for example, by just waving them on by into the left lane? If that lane was open, they had no business honking and yelling at you. It's been so long since I actually rode downtown, I forget if there even are bike lanes on Alder east of 13th. No way would I ride 15-20mph in the bike lane next to all those potentially opening car doors. That would be my response if anybody challenged my decision to be in the main travel lanes.

The description of the two people in the van and their behavior suggests that they were definitely out to harass someone. They might even have been intoxicated or high. Who knows? I would have got their license plate number and prepared to file a police report. Work to get those nut-cases off the road. It's not their business whether you're in the bike lane or not. With enough complaints, the police might just send drivers like that a little letter in the mail, for a start.

If I'd spotted a police car, I would have definitely flagged it down, and risked a ticket to get the cops to zero in on those morons. Just watch what happens when the cops get a pretext to go search the driver's van. Who knows what they might find; a little crack rock maybe? Open containers? A gun? That's the kind of fun cops love. It's enough to make them forget all about trying to quibble over whether the bike should or shouldn't have been in the bike lane.

I've read people's accounts enough times, but I can't get used to some of the thinking associated with bike lanes that's going on. The way I see it, bike lanes are more or less an escape zone for bikes; if you can't keep up with the traffic, you dive for the bike lane, but shouldn't be obliged to be there just because some lamebrain wants to zip it into town in their van 10mph over the speed limit.

11-08-2007, 01:24 PM
If the bike lane was "safe", I would have stayed in the bike lane until it was ending, and then merged into the through lane. Even if you are the speed of traffic, might as well use the bike lane if it is there and safe.

Regardless, these peeps probably would have been haters no matter what you did.