View Full Version : Menaced downtown today

04-16-2006, 05:49 PM
Wow, just got home and I'm kind of shook up right now.

Just wanted to put a heads up for all the other portland riders out there to keep an eye out and ride safe.

I was riding home from Peet's coffee in the Pearl today and cruising up SW Broadway through the heart of downtown. I was in the left lane and came to a red light on Stark St. I believe. As I trackstanded at the light, I looked to my right to see if there was any traffic coming down stark which is a one way. A block and a half up there was a slow moving pickup truck in the right hand lane, so I made the decision to turn left into the left hand lane of Stark. As I get onto the street and pedal, I hear the sound of an engine racing and frantic honking. I look over my shoulder and see the truck running up on me at a high rate of speed. The guy then proceeds to accelarate to get even with me then slam on his brakes repeatedly. I ignore him and continue riding. Then, he rolls down his window and starts screaming at me "You fucking reckless bike riders, I should fucking kill you!!!" he repeats his threats several times while I try to explain that I am fully in my rights to occupy a lane if there is no bike lane present. Finally, he slams on his brakes and opens his door. At this point, I decide it would be prudent to get out of there as quickly as possible and whip through a parking lot and ride the wrong way down an empty one way street towards the river, reasoning that he's unlikely to follow me and that if I can make the safety of the river path he has no way of getting to me.


He whips around the block and starts parallelling me on Front. Ave as I ride the bike path near the river, stopping periodically to scream threats at me across the road and grass. Finally, I pull out my cell phone and dial the police and he slams on his brakes and begins to get out of his truck. Luckily at this point, a Portland Police car pulls in behind him and he quickly gets back into his truck and turns right onto the cloverleaf interchange for the Burnside bridge (i think it was the burnside).

I gave my report to the police just in case this guy is a habitual bike stalker, but the whole experience left me feeling very shooken up. I can't really figure out where I was at fault in the incident except for the possiblity of turning left onto a one way against a red light (I alwasy thought that if there was no traffic, this acted sort of like the "right on red" rule). When I made the turn, the guy was nowhere near me (he was at least a block and ahalf away at this point) and I accelarated up to speed very quickly. Regardless, I did not deserve to be menaced. I realized the situation was turning seriosu when he kept following me and attempting to get out of his car repeatedly. I don't know if he was armed or not.

The pertinant information about this man is that he was white, skinny with brown hair, and a mustache, looked to be in his mid forties and was driving a grey extended cab Dodge Dakota with a diamond plate tool box in the back. He also appears to dislike cyclists.

Anyways, I thought I'd post this up so you can all be on your guard. If you see the guy, I would not even attempt to converse with him since this appears to agitate him even more. Also, if you are menaced by this man, please call the portland police to report it.


04-16-2006, 09:47 PM
Sinfield, you remind me that it's a good idea to keep my cell phone handy when cycling.

I just don't understand the hatred some drivers have against cyclists.


04-17-2006, 12:06 PM
Yesterday's incident really drove home how important it is for me to keep my cell at hand at all times. It also unfortunatley drove home another point, that just like motorcyclists, as a bike rider I need to (sadly) assume that all the cars out there are out to get me whether through inattention or malice. Living in such a great and bike friendly city like Portland is almost worse because I get so used to having so many friendly and attentive drivers granting me courtesies as a cyclist that I feel that I get lulled into a false sense of security sometimes. :(

Yesterday drove that point home again. Even if 9999 out of 10000 drivers in this city are great, there are the crazies who are piloting two tons of steel and possibly armed. Watch out and ride safe out there.

04-23-2006, 04:39 PM
that guy should get in trouble/psychiatric attention. did anyone get a license number?

organic brian
04-25-2006, 01:24 PM
You can legally turn LEFT from a ONE-WAY street onto another ONE-WAY street at a red light if there is not traffic to yield to. So, turning from SW Broadway onto Stark would be legal if you don't obstruct traffic. Could you have misjudged the truck's trajectory and pulled out in such a way that you would have obstructed their progress if they didn't change lanes? If not, probably another hothead motorist who looks for any reason to be outraged at cyclists (maybe didn't realize that left on red can be legal).

I would definitely have gotten the lic. # while defending myself with my U-lock. When drivers are allowed to get away with this kind of behavior, it emboldens them more.

Here are the Oregon statutes regarding bikes / peds:

All of the Oregon statutes (traffic-related ones are in several chapters):

The part about legal left turn:

811.360 When vehicle turn permitted at stop light; improper turn at stop light; penalty. (1) The driver of a vehicle, subject to this section, who is intending to turn at an intersection where there is a traffic control device showing a steady circular red signal or a steady red arrow signal may do any of the following without violating ORS 811.260 and 811.265:

(a) Make a right turn into a two-way street.

(b) Make a right or left turn into a one-way street in the direction of traffic upon the one-way street.

(2) A person commits the offense of improper turn at a stop light if the person does any of the following while making a turn described in this section:

(a) Fails to stop at the light as required.

(b) Fails to exercise care to avoid an accident.

(c) Disobeys the directions of a traffic control device or a police officer that prohibits the turn.

(d) Fails to yield the right of way to traffic lawfully within the intersection or approaching so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

(3) A driver who is making a turn described in this section is also subject to the requirements under ORS 811.028 to stop for a pedestrian while making the turn.

(4) The offense described in this section, improper turn at a stop light, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 628; 1997 c.507 7; 2003 c.278 7; 2005 c.746 3]

Matt P.
05-10-2006, 08:50 AM
You can legally turn LEFT from a ONE-WAY street onto another ONE-WAY street at a red light if there is not traffic to yield to.

Almost. You don't have to be on a one-way street to start. You can legally turn left on red from a two-way street onto a one-way street provided there is no traffic to yield to. ORS811.360 does not require the vehicle operator to start from a one-way street.

-Matt P.