Road Rage

Man says he was doored intentionally on NE Tillamook this morning

by on April 28th, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Riding on Alberta-1
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s a reason bicycle operators are legally defined in Oregon as “vulnerable roadway users.” We use the streets without all the steel and glass that protects others. And that’s why we take harassment and road rage so seriously. Even when people think they’re just pulling what they think is a harmless stunt like revving an engine or “rolling coal,” they often have no idea just how much their actions hurt and scare us.

BikePortland reader Reed Andrews says he was the victim of a “prank” last night that left him trembling with fear and the aggressors laughing in delight.

Here’s his story: (more…)

Road rage erupts on Williams Avenue after woman gets called out for distracted driving

by on April 7th, 2016 at 10:47 am

Woman accused of road rage on North Williams last night.
(Photo: Jessica Roberts)

An interaction between road users on North Williams Avenue during rush-hour last night turned ugly when a woman driving a car physically threatened a woman who was cycling by swerving her car into the bike lane and then chasing her into a nearby restaurant.

It started around 5:15 pm when Piedmont neighborhood resident Jessica Roberts saw a woman in a white sedan using her cell phone. Roberts told us this morning she first saw the woman on her phone when her car passed her while she was biking in the bike lane near North Stanton (Dawson Park). As usual during the evening rush Williams was completely backed up with auto traffic. Upon passing by the woman’s vehicle a few seconds later (near Fargo Street) Roberts looked at her and yelled, “That’s illegal!” In response, the woman, “Looked up and just exploded with rage,” Roberts says.

Road rage assault leaves man feeling helpless, frustrated and scared

by on February 4th, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Image of the altercation taken by a witness.
Watch video below.

Menacing behavior from motor vehicle users is something that happens all too often. It can take many forms and has varying levels of severity — from annoying and almost comical (like yelling, revving an engine or “rolling coal“) to serious and life-threatening behaviors like aggressive passing and throwing objects at another person.

Reader Jason K. just shared his experience. And we’re sorry to report it was the latter. Jason says he was passed so closely by a man driving a car that the rear-view mirror might have made contact. After that unsettling experience, Jason caught up to the man at a train crossing, tapped on his window, and tried to talk with him. It went downhill from there. Fast.

It all happened this past Saturday afternoon at the intersection of SE 11th and Division.

Jason shared a video with us that was taken by someone in a car who saw the situation unfold.

Here’s the video, followed by excerpts from an email Jason shared with us (emphases mine):

Police investigate after road-rager is caught on camera

by on August 24th, 2015 at 3:22 pm


A third-party view of that u-lock-throwing-road-rage story

by on May 11th, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Screen Grab from OregonLive.com. David Robinson
is on the right.

You know the drill. A provocative photo and/or incident illustrates the long-running “bikes vs cars!” narrative and then all heck breaks loose. Comment sections light up, the BikeSnob takes his cut, then the story gets piled onto our collective mental legacy about how we get along — or don’t — out on the streets.

Over the years I’ve gotten tired of these types of stories. The fact is, people yelling at each other and doing emotionally-charged things to each other is not news. It might be worth publishing if you’re in the content business, but if you ride a bike everyday you’ll know that jerk behavior — on both sides of the windshield — happens all the time.

Given how much attention the recent U-lock throwing incident got (over 1,600 comments on OregonLive!), I didn’t even plan to post anything about it.

DA can’t prove criminal conduct in downtown road altercation that led to driver’s arrest

by on May 29th, 2014 at 12:22 pm

SW Jackson just before Broadway.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office has decided they won’t move forward with criminal charges against a woman arrested for what was initially thought to be an intentional act of road rage.

Celine Geday was arrested by Portland police officers on April 3rd and charged with Assault in the Second Degree for her role in a collision in southwest Portland. According to the Portland Police Bureau, Geday was driving her car on SW Jackson when she and Brian Groce got into a verbal altercation. Groce claimed she almost cut him off. Then, after he caught up to her and told her about it, he claimed she intentionally rammed him as they both entered SW Broadway. Groce suffered lacerations and minor bruises.

Based on an initial investigation, PPB officers had the probable cause they needed to arrest Geday and make the charges. However, as we reported a few days later, Geday was released shortly thereafter because the DA felt there wasn’t enough conclusive evidence to hold her. (more…)

Man claims he was victim of intentional smoke screen from passing truck

by on February 13th, 2014 at 11:33 am

A tour of East Portland-5.jpg
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Getting hassled on the road for no other reason than simply being on a bike is unfortunately relatively common here in the United States. Usually it involves someone yelling at you, or honking, or revving their engine, or all of the above.

But yesterday we heard of a disturbing new method of anti-bike road rage: a smoke screen that sends a huge black cloud from a truck’s tailpipe. We’re not talking about someone intentionally revving their engine and sending a bunch of exhaust into your face (that’s bad enough, and yes, it’s all too common) — what happened to reader John M. Tuesday night was worse.

John says the incident happened while riding near the Mt. Tabor reservoir. Here’s his account: (more…)

PSU researcher delving into “multimodal road rage”

by on April 18th, 2013 at 11:30 am

Traffic observations- NE Alberta St-8
Could road rage tell us something
about the gender gap in bicycling?
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tara Goddard, a PhD candidate in Urban Studies at Portland State University (PSU), is devoting her thesis to a subject that gets a lot of traction in the media but so far has received scant attention in academia: road rage between people who drive and people who bike.

According to Goddard, her research will focus on the “interactions between drivers and bicyclists,” an aspect of “transportation psychology” research that is largely untapped (most major studies have focused on driver-to-driver rage). Goddard plans to delve into the mechanisms and predictors of driver-rider road rage. “For example, as drivers, we experience (and sometimes perpetrate) law-bending/breaking all the time,” she shared via email. “It is socially acceptable, in many ways. But any scofflaw behavior on the part of a bicyclist suddenly condemns the entire bicycling world.”

Why does that happen? Goddard has a few hunches: (more…)

Slapping of car leads to road rage incident in North Portland

by on April 5th, 2013 at 11:27 am

Bike lane in action
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Vancouver resident Don Joling claims he got an unwanted surprise after he slapped the body of a car on North Interstate Avenue this morning. The person in the car became enraged and, according to Joling, it almost led to a shooting.

Here’s what Joling just posted to the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association email list:

I almost got shot on the way home. Literally. I was rolling down Interstate between New Seasons and Fred Meyer and some car came over almost putting me in the sidewalk, so I slapped the rear quarter panel just hard enough to get his attention.

So at the next stop light, at Fred Meyer, I’m que’d [sic] up with a couple other cyclists, and he comes up on my right, and goes ballistic. Tells me that he’s got a gun and is going to shoot me in the leg. I stay super calm, not reacting at all. I tell him I was just letting him know he almost hit me. I can see in his car and the glove box is open with his hand in it. He settles down a little telling me he rides too, but I’m lucky I didn’t dent his car (he had gotten out to look apparently). A couple more standard issue cuss words (ya I’d say them, but trying to keep this family friendly) from him and we went our separate ways.”


A Portland road rage roundup

by on March 20th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Keep calm and carry on.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

I hate to do this.

I get a lot of emails, Tweets, and sometimes even phone calls about collisions, close-calls, and other scary incidents involving people on bicycles. The vast majority of the time I just take in the information in and do nothing about it. After all, there’s a lot of traffic out there and I don’t think every time a person on a bike has an unfortunate experience it merits a blog post.

Not only that, but I constantly debate with myself whether posting about these things will only create more fear among readers, when overall, riding a bike is not dangerous.

However, earlier this month I received three emails in less than one week that shared three different and equally troubling road rage incidents. Given that, I felt that the community should know. I’m sharing the emails verbatim below in hopes of raising awareness that intimidation and harassment remains a part of Portland’s transportation culture: (more…)