Man “intentionally” hits cyclists on SE Clinton

Posted by on August 17th, 2007 at 5:44 pm

[Updated 8/17, 10:23pm]

Here’s the word from the Oregonian blog (full story):

Portland police say a 46-year-old driver appears to have intentionally used his car to strike two bicyclists who were riding along Southeast Clinton Street this afternoon.

The cyclists, whom police haven’t yet identified (see below), were taken to Oregon Health Sciences University with non life-threatening injuries.


Also on KGW (full story):

“It all started around 12:30 on 1000 block of Southeast Clinton Street. Police said 46-year-old Johnny Eschweiler was driving along when he reported a cyclist kicked his car. Officers said Eschweiler sped up and hit the cyclist, who rolled onto the hood of the car, smashing the windshield.

The car continued on about 75 feet, sideswiping a car and hitting a truck before turning a corner where another cyclist heading towards the car was then hit, investigators said.”

FOX12 has reported the names of the cyclists: 25-year-old Ben Ramsdell and 41-year-old Timothy Mastne.

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122 Comments
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    S Tabor Rider August 17, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Does anybody know more about what the heck happened? I ride Clinton everyday and I have noticed more and more motorists using Clinton as an alternative to Division or Powell. I feel Clinton is a road where cyclist shoud feel safe. My thoughts are with the two men who were hit.

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    wyatt August 17, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    \”Assault\”!?

    Attempted murder is more like it.

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    Donna August 17, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    From the address, it appears that the 2 bicyclists were coming either from the direction of or towards the warehousey area one must cross through to get between the Esplanade/Springwater and the Clintion neighborhood. I\’ve found that area to be somewhat full of motorists with short tempers.

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    jrdpdx August 17, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    We need to follow this case in court, case numbers will be an easy way to follow the court dates etc

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    Amanda August 17, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    The attempted assault charge will merely hold him, set a bail amount, and then the DA/grand jury takes it from there. He can be charged with whatever a grand jury finds more likely than not occurred, including attempted murder if the facts support it.

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    SKiDmark August 17, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    I don\’t understand how it is just \”Attempted 1st Degree Assualt\”. Judging by the front of his blue RAV4 it was pretty \”successful\”. The Oregonian released the names of the assailant and the names of the two victims. KGW 8 showed his license plate number, too.

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    rixtir August 17, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    When this guy ran down some cops and pedestrians, the charges filed were \”attempted murder of a police officer,\” and \”assault with a deadly weapon\”:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rampage2aug02,0,2673158.story?coll=la-home-center

    I guess it\’s just \”attempted assault\” when the target is on a bike….

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    toddistic August 17, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    rixtir @ 7

    no thats oregon being soft on crime and not having a vehicle manslaughter law, using a vehicle as a deadly weapon.

    i say we just give him a $1000 fine, thats the going rate around here isnt it?

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    Duane August 17, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    i don\’t live in portland but if there was ever a time for a mass showing of outrage then this is one. call it \”mass justice\” or legalpaluzza or whatever but it\’s great opportunity to expose the conflicts and create peace (hopefully) and change

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    rixtir August 17, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Under Oregon law, assault in the first degree is \”assault with a deadly weapon\”:

    163.185 Assault in the first degree. (1) A person commits the crime of assault in the first degree if the person:

    (a) Intentionally causes serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon; or

    (b) Intentionally or knowingly causes serious physical injury to a child under six years of age.

    (2) Assault in the first degree is a Class A felony.

    So it\’s a serious offense, and would be an appropriate charge in this case.

    The question remains, however: Why \”attempted assault\”? Perhaps the injuries weren\’t sufficiently serious to warrant an assault charge, but an \”attempted 1st degree assault\” charge is warranted, and a serious charge nonetheless.

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    Kevin Putnam August 17, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Why is it relevent that the riders were not wearing helmets, as reported in the KGW article?

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    madhickey August 17, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    grrrr….it still pisses me off when stories like this include teh words \”tneither cyclist was wearing a helmet\”. How is this bit of information relevant to the fact that some wacko tried to kill them?

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    Ian Clemons August 17, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    This part of the Clinton/Division/11th/12th St nexus is a traffic disaster. I don\’t know enough about the situation to assign blame, etc., but we all need to be really careful going through there.

    What disturbs me is that Clinton is a \”Designated Bike Street\” that has a LOT of fast moving, short tempered drivers on it. I don\’t think we can have it both ways.

    -Ian

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    D Rock August 17, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    #12 Its the same thing for driving accidents as well. If some drunk, wacko, road rager hits a car the story will always say, Driver X was wearing their seatbelt but their passenger was not and was thrown from the vehicle or something along those lines. Its not a bicycle conspiracy.

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    matchu August 17, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    Where does Johnny Eschweiler live?

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    Elizabeth August 17, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    I had a somewhat similar experience riding up Clinton at around 28th a few months back. A car driving waaaay too fast got pissed that he had to drive *around* myself and my friend on bikes. He started honking his horn, revving his engine super-agressively. It was awful, and we are experienced cyclists. Lord only knows how a small child would have reacted to this kind of behavior.

    I\’m sick and tired of cars using Clinton Street as a cut-through. Speed humps do little to slow down two ton, super-suspension SUVs these days, They don\’t slow down one bit going over them.

    I\’m sick and tired of all our bike boulevards becoming victims of their own success. You take out all the stop signs, and cars use them as cut-throughs. It\’s sickening, and frustrating.

    One word.

    Diversion.

    Diversion.

    Diversion.

    Diversion.

    Are you listeining, Sam Adams?

    Diversion at SE 26th & Clinton would prevent 90% of cut-through traffic that is too lazy to take Division or Powell.

    One more time, bring back DIVERSION as a traffic calming tool.

    Our bike boulevards are failing without it.

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    td August 17, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Apparently Oregon City. Google \”John Eschweiler, Oregon\” if you want his specific address so you can send him a note about how you\’re feeling. Even gives Johnny\’s phone number in case you feel like talking it through with him. You\’ll have to wait til he\’s outta jail though.

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    Jen August 18, 2007 at 12:00 am

    @ 11 & 12 (Kevin & madhickey)

    Thank you for voicing exactly what I was thinking. While it is my personal preference to shield my melon in a helmet, I find it to be completely and utterly irrelevant to note the presence or absence of one on a person who\’s been struck with a car. It feels to me as though there is some subtle implication that they were somehow reckless or asking for it by not wearing a helmet. When, given that these two bicyclists were both forced into the windshield of a car (by no fault of their own), I\’m sure that head injuries are only some of a myriad of what they\’ve suffered.

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    Peter W August 18, 2007 at 12:28 am

    Does anyone else find it strange that they call a RAV4 a \’car\’? Its a freakin SUV.

    The city of Portland needs to recognize the fact that SUV drivers are jerks and their choice of vehicle is more dangerous to both themselves and others [1]. In addition, people don\’t need to be commuting in an SUV.

    SUVs SHOULD BE BANNED IN PORTLAND.

    read \”High and Mighty: SUVs — The Worlds Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way\” or this review:
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0212.mencimer.html

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    Todd B August 18, 2007 at 12:47 am

    And why does KGW add the last bit of information…\”Neither cyclist was wearing a helmet.\”

    It does not have any legal status in describing this incident within Oregon.

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    John Wilmot August 18, 2007 at 1:28 am

    It\’s funny that people are up in arms about the fact that it was reported that neither cyclist was wearing a helmet. Obviously, the sentiment here is that reporting that they were not wearing helmets is akin to subtly blaming the victim for what happened. Maybe that IS what is happening here, but I also think that it\’s perfectly valid to point out that the cyclists were themselves not taking full responsibility for their own safety. Not wearing a helmet certainly doesn\’t cause people to run you down, but, like it or not it, wearing one does give you the moral high ground beyond question when that sort of thing happens. Being unsafe and irresponsible does not. You\’d still be a victim, but you\’d be seen as a stupid victim who doesn\’t deserve quite as much sympathy. Isn\’t the reporting of (accurate) information that diminishes the level of victim status for the cyclists why you\’re really upset about with the news?

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    Crash N. Burns August 18, 2007 at 1:43 am

    Provocateur.

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    N.I.K. August 18, 2007 at 2:29 am

    Not wearing a helmet certainly doesn\’t cause people to run you down, but, like it or not it, wearing one does give you the moral high ground beyond question when that sort of thing happens.

    (note that I\’m saying this as a never-bike-without-a-helmet safety nut)

    If you want to pick nits about safety precautions, sure. In which case you\’d best also be listing how, say, what sort of service/repair the automobile\’s steering and transmission systems were in, or how neither cyclist was wearing a pair of Depends in case their bowels suddenly cleared themselves in the midst of an intentionally aggressive collision.

    Otherwise, what moral high-ground *is* there? Some asshat apparently intentionally ran down two cyclists. This isn\’t about \”shouldas\”, this is about stupid murderous bullshit.

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    rainperimeter August 18, 2007 at 2:54 am

    #19 i couldn\’t disagree more with you. and i\’m a helmet wearer. are ben ramsdell and timothy mastne \”stupid victims\”? wtf?

    #1 Lincoln in my opinion sees way too much traffic also (avoiding hawthorne and division)

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    John Boyd August 18, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Standard for news is relevancy, not just accuracy. If head injuries were part of the story, helmet wearing would be relevant. Reporter might as well as added that one of the car\’s tires was underinflated, or the cyclist is a recent immigrant.
    Safety gear is in no way relevant to attempted murder, and the reporter\’s accurate but irrelevant details are chosen soley to reinforce opinion that might makes right on lane priority.

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    bArbaroo August 18, 2007 at 8:16 am

    anybody know how the two cyclists are doing?

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    Deb August 18, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Yesterday @ about 2:30 between 38th and 39th on Clinton a sedan with 4 young adults speeding pass me in the oncoming lane and make a right turn on to 39th. The driver didn\’t even slow down for the red light before turning. Usually I find most drivers on Clinton are very aware of the bikes sharing the road. This driver though was very aggressive in his driving and gunned the engine several times before passing.

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    Jerrod August 18, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Shall we unite and protest another retarded bit of \”justice\” on cyclists? Nothing will be done unless we show interest and concern. Remember when Mayor Potter changed his mind on the Bike Master Plan?

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    wyatt August 18, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Oh Jesus, it\’s turned into a helmet debate.

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    SKiDmark August 18, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Who saw the smashed in front of the SUV and the windshield? Maybe if he was wearing 20 helmets all over his body he would not have been hurt.

    I understand the importance of wearing a helmet but I choose not to impose my will upon others. Please helmet zealots, refrain from prosteletizing, just once. A helmet would not have stopped the aggressive SUV driver from mowing down a cyclist.

    The reason the media points out the the victim was not wearing a helmet is to make it look like cyclists are reckless.

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    Duncan August 18, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Hmmm banning SUVs? I dont think that will help, last guy who tried to run me down was driving a honda civic..

    I think that a better option might be to start brining the requirements of obtaining (and the ease of losing) a DL in line with European standards- where it takes a year and thousands of $ to get a liscence, which can be taken away for first moving violations. Doing so would mean that the people with issues would lose their liscences BEFORE someone got hurt. and that the people who got a DL were able to handle the car they drove, and were aware of their responsibilities.

    (And yes I drive what could loosely be called an SUV… 89 Toyota 4 runner its basicly a truck with seats. As a person who goes to the end of the road alot, I need it. My beef with SUVs is that they have turned into rolling sofas unfit for dirt road driving- basicly macho minivans.)

    One of my favorite Portland SUV stories comes from my time on Hawthorne. my neighbor Jeff owned a landcruiser that he took camping a few times a year. Jeff was an urban planner, biked to work, was active in the community- some one keyed \”ELF\” into his car…

    The funny part is that I had to tell him because he hadnt noticed after two weeks. So dont go pointing out one kind of car as the problem- especialy in this instance as a RAV4 is smaller than many sedans that are made by american car companies (seen a chysler le baron lately?) its the attitude of the driver that makes a car dangerous.

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    Cynic #539 August 18, 2007 at 10:24 am

    Oh Portland!

    \”The Bike Friendly\” City of America??

    This claim wasn\’t made by the everyday biker of Portland!

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    Jasper August 18, 2007 at 10:56 am

    Ben Ramsdell is a friend, I just spoke with him in the OHSU hospital where he spent last night. His nose was split & broken, his bicycle destroyed, he may spend tonight at OHSU too. I called him, to offer support, he sounded groggy & okay & just wanted to rest & recover.

    I\’m also sorry this is devolving into the super-tired helmut wars (here\’s another discussion about it, if you really wanna go there: http://tinyurl.com/2jpomq). gawd.

    i don\’t know what happened, but I sure wish for peace & health to everybody involved.

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    Tbird August 18, 2007 at 11:09 am

    This is sad on so many levels. I think the only real long term resolution, short of SEPARATED BIKE LANES is severely limiting auto traffic on \’bike blvds\’. I don\’t exactly know how; but riding this exact route daily along with Ladd\’s Ave ( both of which are virtual raceways at some times), makes me think that we need our own space free of cars.

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    Dabby August 18, 2007 at 11:14 am

    \”The reason the media points out the the victim was not wearing a helmet is to make it look like cyclists are reckless.\”

    Do you people really believe that the media reported that they were not wearing helmets simply to masterfully undermine cycling?

    The police reports this as a rule. The media reports what the police tell them, when it comes to seat belts and helmets, in or on cars, motorcycles, and bicycles.
    It is a matter of public awareness, and if you search here on this same site, I think you will find a police explanation of such.

    If they media and police really wanted to undermine cyclists in this manner, all the would need to do is use this fact as a headline, in nice bold print.

    \”Police said 46-year-old Johnny Eschweiler was driving along when he reported a cyclist kicked his car.\”

    While it in no way justifies what the driver did, it appears they assaulted his car, right before he ran them over.

    And before I hear the bitching about me bringing this up, realize a fact is a fact.

    If the car had not been kicked by the cyclist, the driver \”most probably\” would never has used his car as a weapon.

    Chew on that for a while.

    (This thought comes from someone (me) who has a habit of slapping car fenders when they cut him off, and has caused this same reaction many times. I have always been lucky to get away unscathed.)

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    SUV? August 18, 2007 at 11:16 am

    I guess in the technical sense a RAV4 is an SUV and should be BANNED FROM ALL ROADS!!!!!!!!!! I suppose a guy in a Camry (which is longer than the Rav4, weights pretty much the same and gets very similar gas mileage) would have been polite and courteous to the cyclists. Give me a break.

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    JE August 18, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Set him on a bike (without a helmet) and hit him with a RAV4.

    Then leave him there.

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    Anonymous August 18, 2007 at 11:37 am

    From #33: \”[I]t appears the [cyclists] assaulted his car, right before he ran them over. And before I hear the bitching about me bringing this up, realize a fact is a fact.\”

    You\’re wrong; one cannot assault an inanimate object. This is not just a matter of semantics. The law and public policy draws a stark and important distinction between destruction of property and injury to humans. Don\’t mix up the terms, because there is no equivalence, morally or legally.

    But more importantly, the cyclist most likely never would have allegedly kicked the vehicle if the driver had not committed some act of assault or harassment prior. We don\’t know what that act is yet, but that\’s a safe assumption; people don\’t kick cars for no reason. And that of course doesn\’t justify kicking a car.

    But once again we see the victim being blamed, even by supposed cyclists. Very sad.

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    wsbob August 18, 2007 at 11:40 am

    I think John Wilmot (#21) nails down exactly why the news (KGW)would note that the assaulted cyclists weren\’t wearing bike helmets. Arguments about the level of protection they provide, aside, wearing one seems like one of the surer ways to clearly establish that any cyclist wearing one is concerned about their own welfare.

    That said, other people have made good points in past about different ride settings where it would seem reasonably safe enough to ride without one. I\’m not so familiar with the 1000 block of Clinton, but surely in the neighborhood further up around the theater, I\’d probably feel basically just fine about not wearing a helmet, even though there\’s always going to be people saying you should always wear one, just like they say you should always wear a seatbelt when you drive or ride in a car.

    KGW mentions that the driver claims that one of the cyclists kicked his car. As a pedestrian and a cyclist, there\’s been times when I really felt like doing that, but I didn\’t, because I know that, just as this Johnny Eschweiler has amply demonstrated, some of the people in those cars doing the crazy shit are borderline psychotic. Better to get their plate number, description, etc. file a report and so forth, and work to get these imcompetent drivers off the road.

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    lyle August 18, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    it\’s too bad this guy didn\’t have his SUV painted as a bike. because if that was the case, PPD would have a speed trap on every corner of clinton today.

    oh well, maybe next time.

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    dalas v August 18, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    I think you\’re being overly sensitive to the helmet thing. If this was a car on car accident and the people were not wearing seatbelts, they would have said that. It\’s just one of the circumstances of any accident that people want to hear reported.

    @Dabby, the two cyclists were not riding together. The second one happened to round the corner and get smashed by the car, so he was a totally innocent victim.

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    organic brian August 18, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    \”Why is it relevent that the riders were not wearing helmets, as reported in the KGW article?\”

    Because, with stories like this, every time the media doesn\’t report about the use or lack of helmets, fifty people call or email the office asking \”were they wearing helmets?\”

    If you put yourself in the reporter\’s position, it should be easy to see why they would try to head off this barrage by preemptively including the info.

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    lyle August 18, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    \”Because, with stories like this, every time the media doesn\’t report about the use or lack of helmets, fifty people call or email the office asking \”were they wearing helmets?\”\”

    those are the same people who call into news departments every time there\’s a story about a car getting shot up asking if the shooting victim was wearing his seat belt.

    why? because it REALLY matters.

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    freddy August 18, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Helmet wars are verrrrrryyyy boooooringgggg.

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    sb August 18, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    Googling the drivers name did give up his address and why does it not surprise me he lives in Oregon City? Talk about a town that despises cyclists. Flame on…

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    Anonymous August 18, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    #13
    Agreed that this \”nexus\” is horrible for cyclists. There\’s no easy way through it and often the only options are unsafe and probably illegal. The city needs to do something to create a safer connection between the Esplanade and inner SE.

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    Lazlo August 18, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    #46
    Not cool to post his address. You may open up his family to undeserved harassment. What he did is horrible, but you need to let the legal system, feeble as it my be, deal with it at this point. Vigilanteism is never right, no matter the cause.

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    jordan August 18, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    i\’ve lived and biked in Portland all my life and 80% of the agro drivers I\’ve dealt with were on Clinton. I don\’t know why.

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    Dabby August 18, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Anonymous,

    First of all, don\’t hide, use your name.

    Second of all, if you are going to try to show that I am wrong, try quoting me correctly first, instead of piecing together a few different ones.

    I never was speaking in legal terms.

    I will point out, since you used the terminology, that when they kicked the car, it was definitely \”morally wrong\”, and doubly \”morally wrong\” when it backfired on them, causing horrific injuries. I believe this is how we learn from morals.
    I also wouldn\’t be surprised if the police charge him with destruction of property, or something related, for the kicking incident.

    I will tell you that if someone kicked my Audi, I would stop the car, get out, and hold them responsible for any damage, if possible. Even just to get the proper info, so my insurance will cover it easier. (an example of the right thing to do)

    I once saw a guy randomly spit on my bike, just some punk at the square. I had the perfect angle, so I body checked him.
    (an example of an effective wake up call, but the wrong thing to do).

    I especially at this point feel very badly for the second, separate cyclist (I did catch that earlier by the way Dalas, it seemed apparent in description, even though it wasn\’t mentioned).

    While the first cyclist is the victim of an altercation gone bad, the second just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    I wish I could send him flowers.

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    Biking for Peace August 18, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    At minimum, Eschweiler should be charged with aggravated assault. This wasn’t an accident… this guy hunted down bikers with the intent to do major harm. It should be totally irrelevant how injured the bikers are.

    Regarding the helmet thing…the media will always be looking for some twist or innuendo depending on the stance of the writer. Credibility is always relevant no matter what the issue.

    I find it totally lame that bikers choose not to wear helmets – in general. There are no GOOD arguments for lack of safety when biking and I agree with some other comments, that whether we like it or not, credibility is called into question always. And when we don’t take proper steps to be safe it will be brought up by the media – and maybe it should be, if anything, to make bikers aware of how they are perceived by the people they/we are trying to get to support the movement.

    I think the ONLY way to get protection and adequate laws is if all bikers join together and act consistently – leaving ego’s at home. As far as I am concerned there isn’t much unity in the bike community currently and no one outside the community is going to take us seriously until there is.

    I am glad these guys are not critically injured – and I plan to contact the prosecutors and defense and push for a more serious charge.

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    SKiDmark August 18, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Dabby, you are forgetting that it is manditory to wear a helmet on a motorcycle and it is manditory to wear a seatbelt in a car. When the Police reports those instances they are reporting that someone broke the law. Helmets are not required on bikes, unless you are a kid. So why is it relevent?

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    Phil Jones August 18, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    My prediction is the SUV driver will be allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, say Assault 2 or 3. He will probably receive a huge fine and a suspended jail sentence. His automobile insurance (newer car, probably has it) will pay thousands to the bicyclists and they may very well sue him in civil court for much more. If the driver owns a home, he may very well lose it.

    This should be a learning experience for any other hotheaded drivers who think they can use a car to intimidate bicycle riders. I\’m sure there was a reason the bicyclist kicked the guy\’s SUV to begin with.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 18, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    hey folks, I have gotten calls and emails saying that the driver\’s address and contact info has been posted in the comments.

    I can\’t find any instance of this in the comments above, but if by chance I\’ve missed it (I\’ve had a few beers).. Please refrain from doing this.

    thanks.

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    Dabby August 18, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Skid,
    I forgot none of those facts.

    It is relevant (in my opinion) in the interest of public safety.

    We pay, no matter how well they do it, the police and fire to do their job.

    Part of that job, or most of it, is looking out for the interests of public safety.

    When a police spokesperson (the police use people that are trained in how to say the right thing you know) relates the part of a story where the rider was not wearing a seat belt, or the baby was not in a proper travel chair, or that someone crossed the street without using the crosswalk (which is not always illegal), these things are related in the interest of public safety.

    This is what we pay them to do, know matter how much we don\’t like it.

    Trust me, I hate being told to wear my helmet. By anyone. And I don\’t like it when they relate publicly that a cyclist was not wearing a helmet.

    But it is the right thing to do, and it is the job we pay them to do.

    Think of the children…..

    Then think of the parent\’s of the children, being reminded by the news that a bad accident happened, and those involved were not wearing a helmet.

    Now think of the parents making extra sure that the helmets are on the heads of their children, where they belong.

    Now think of the swelling on my brain that gives me massive headaches and medium seizures.
    (I added that for flavor)

    As I pointed out above, I recall on this same website a interview with a police officer about why they bring up whether or not a person on a bike was wearing a helmet.

    I do not recall the police reason for it, nor could I just find it now when I looked.

    Maybe Jonathan can help us out here?

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    S Tabor Rider August 18, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Dabby,
    if you want to start a big tired helmet discussion (which you seemed determined to do) please start a new thread. Road rage and safety on bike boulevards are relevant issues here. Why distract this important discussion with completely irrelevant helmet banter?

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    Phil Hanson (a.k.a. Pedalphile) August 18, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Johnny Eschweiler\’s actions were particularly egregious and reprehensible. Attempted assault? How about aggravated assault with intent to kill?

    As for Eschweiler\’s story that Ramsdell kicked his SUV, I\’m inclined toward skepticism; unless there\’s actual physical evidence that Ramsdell kicked the RAV4 (and barring credible witnesses), it\’s just as likely that Eschweiler concocted the story to justify his own stupidly dangerous and irresponsible behavior.

    At the very least, Eschweiler should do some seriously hard jail time–and maybe lose his driving privileges for life.

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    Dabby August 18, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    S Tabor Rider,
    I neither started, nor endorsed the helmet tirade, thank you.
    I was simply answering a legitimate question from Skidmark.

    \”Road rage and safety on bike boulevards are relevant issues here.\”

    Actually, the issue here is road rage and safety on ALL roads, not just bike boulevards (I mean, who really relies on bike boulevards anyway?)

    If wearing a helmet or not, is brought up during the reporting of a road rage incident, it is entirely because of safety, as I tried to point out above.

    This qualifies the helmet conversation, under your above guidelines (Road rage and safety on bike boulevards are relevant issues here.)

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    felony flats August 18, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    How about an organized effort to educate drivers. Its been a while since I took a driver\’s test, but I don\’t remember there being much emphasis put on sharing the road with bikes and motorcycles.

    I would say most of the driver\’s who live in Urban areas are very careful around bikes. The problem is with people who drive into Urban areas from the suburbs or rural areas. They\’re just not educated/trained enough on how to maneuver around bikes.

    Have you ever tried riding your bike in Beaverton, Tigard or Oregon City? it\’s a feakin\’ suicide wish.

    The bike community should reach out to their local DMVs about doing a better job educating drivers.

    I\’m afraid aggressive driving is really starting to hamper quality of life in Portland to the point where parents are afraid of letting their little ones play in the street. We live on a quiet street, but our vicinity to a local elementary school makes our narrow street very hazardous for bikes, pedestrians and children alike. Some of the neighbors are organizing to make our street either one way or closed completely to through traffic.

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    SKiDmark August 18, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Are you kidding, Phil? He wouldn\’t get much more than a thousand dollar fine if he had killed the bicyclist, even if he was driving after his license was suspended.

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    jasper August 18, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    i heard that people on the streets who witnessed the event surround the car and prevented him from driving away

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    sheldon August 18, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Dabby has it right about police reporting. They are required to report certain things such as safety equipment (e.g. seat belt, air bags, and bike helmets in relevant cases). This is not to harass people, but the police are required to have this stuff, especially if the accident results in a fatality. This way the coroner has the data to help himher determine the cause of death.

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    Elizabeth August 18, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    If he lives in Oregon City, what on earth was he doing driving on a quiet neighborhood street? He clearly doesn\’t live on or near Clinton.

    Diversion!! At 12th!!

    Diversion!!!! at 26th!!!

    Diversion!!! At 34th!!

    Bring it on! !!

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    SKiDmark August 18, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Those \”diversions\” are EXACTLY WHY people speed down sidestreets. Traffic calming? More like traffic frustrating.

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    ianlitmans August 19, 2007 at 12:51 am

    the fact that it was an suv is as irrelevant as the lakc of helmets. the banning comments are rediculous. the rider should also be charged for kicking the car. as far as murder, that requires intent to kill. that would be difficult to prove. grand juries don\’t pick the charge. they merely indict against a charge the da or sa files. the rider\’s lack of self control probably caused the driver to lose it, but no one wants to call him on it. it sounds like a two way case of road rage. fwiw, I was hit & run off the road intentionally about a month ago.

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    zilfondel August 19, 2007 at 4:47 am

    The new Oregon law gives a $12,500 fine to any driver who seriously injure or kills a pedestrian or bicyclist.

    from wiki:
    \”All states except Alaska, Montana, Arizona and Oregon have vehicular homicide statues. The laws have the effect of making a vehicle a potentially deadly weapon, to allow for easier conviction and more severe penalties.\”

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    jami August 19, 2007 at 10:05 am

    ianlitmans, sorry about that, hope you\’re doing okay and the dude (i assume) whut done it is in real trouble. in this case, intent to kill is pretty clear. he intentionally ran over two people and, for all he cared, dragged them 100 feet. if i were on the jury, he\’d be going to prison for a good-long time.

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    Ken August 19, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Lazlo (#47), no one posted up this mans address. Mentioned was a commonly known way that one could find his address if they wanted to. There was no mention or suggestion of vigilantism or punitive behavior against his family.

    Even if someone did post up his address I say fine. I happen to live only a few blocks away from this nutjob and I like knowing it so I can be extra careful if I am riding anywhere near his place. The fact is, in most of our smaller community newspapers they routinely publish the names and addresses of lawbreakers in the police blotter section. I guess our city has gotten so big and disconnected and some people would just as soon let criminals and predators go unnoticed and unchecked as they work the legal system. I say bring back some public shameing. A scarlet \”B\” should be painted on all future vehicles of his so we can see him coming next time.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 19, 2007 at 10:38 am

    just FYI, the address was posted but has been removed by a moderator.

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    Ken August 19, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Thanks Jonathan, I stand corrected but still stand by the rest of my post. People need to be aware if they live next to dangerous people and I think this man qualifies as one.

    I just watched this report:
    http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_081707_news_bicycle_accident.43aeac69.html

    They reporter says that he is being charged with 1st degree attempted assault which is a Measure 11 crime. Doesn\’t that carry a mandatory 5 or 10 year sentence?

    Also I found it interesting that the news cameraman showed all sorts of angles of the damage to the vehicle and I failed to see any damage to the side of the car as a result of someone kicking it in. Not saying it isn\’t there, just saying it I didn\’t see it.

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    Cynic #539 August 19, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Unfortunately, knowing my sense of rage, I would\’ve kicked that guy\’s car…

    the key is to have an ESCAPE ROUTE…

    The driver\’s temptation is huge — Don\’t ride their same path once you piss them off…

    Damn crappy lesson– I hope my own temper is better the next time!

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    wsbob August 19, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Ken, actual damage from a cyclist riding along and kicking a car passing by him would probably be very slight, maybe unnoticeable. The sound of the kick, and knowing they\’ve been called on some dumb and dangerous thing they\’ve done is what really sends some of these psycho drivers over the edge. They just shouldn\’t be driving until they\’re demonstrably capable of maintaining the self control and consideration for others that operating a vehicle on public streets and roads calls for.

    Negotiating travel amongst traffic, however a person happens to doing this, can be a very stressful, anxiety producing experience. Allowing people with hair-trigger tempers to be present there just isn\’t acceptable if it\’s somehow possible to remove them.

    I\’m sure some people are really good at the kind of guerilla kick and flee strategy cynic (#71) mentions. The problem with doing this sort of thing is the resentment and crazy sense of justification certain nutcase drivers draw from this that has them go wail on some basically innocent pedestrian or cyclist in future.

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    SKIDmark August 19, 2007 at 11:53 am

    The rider\’s explanation that he tapped on the window and explained to the driver that he almost hit him and the driver reacted by flipping him off, is completely plausible. The contention by the driver that his car was kicked sounds like a flimsy excuse for ramming the cyclist. You decide…

    I still think if more cylists retaliated, the problem would lessen. If drivers thought there would be repurcussions for their actions, they would not assault cyclists, or think they could push them off the road. This \”retaliation\” can be constructive and legal, by reporting the act of road rage to the Police. I think every time a motorist cuts off or otherwise bullies a cyclist it should be reported.

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    Cøyøte August 19, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Tapped or kicked, it does not matter. There is no justification to intentionally trying to run someone down. (Even if is that someone is a no account cyclist that is not wearing a Styrofoam hat.)

    Not charging this driver with assault with a deadly weapon and/or attempted murder is a crime. Perhaps the BTA and others should point this out to the DA. To call this an \”attempted\” assault is a joke, attempted assault victims don\’t end up in the hospital, assault victims do.

    Scott Bricker you are at helm now, it is time for your organization to step up and make the DA/mayor/police chief/city councilors know that many people are watching this very closely. If the DA does not file appropriate charges on Monday, I would expect you and others to asked a pointed and insistent: Why?

    This assault appears to be specifically pointed at more than a single cyclist. Many of us who do not rage at motorists have wives, sons, daughters, and loved ones that ride the streets of Portland. This cannot stand.

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    Dabby August 19, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    By the way,
    The man\’s personal info was fully posted here.
    Including phone number.

    I saw it, immediately called Jonathan.

    The idiot, or idiots, who posted it had put him at risk.
    I say idiots, and I mean it.

    Then it was gone, which made me very happy.

    Vigilante-ism only works in Charles Bronson movies people…..

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    Dabby August 19, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Oh, I just saw Jonathan\’s comment on this same note. Sorry.

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    wsbob August 19, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    \”retaliation\” is kind of a loaded word. Sounds a little too closely related to revenge. A \”…constructive and legal…\” response is definitely in order regarding incompetent and irresponsible users of public streets and roads.

    It seems very important to take steps towards keeping various problems between users of public roads from turning into petty but potentially lethal street brawls.

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    rixtir August 19, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Coyote, if you read the text of the statute (Post 10), you will see that it may be impossible to charge him with assault with a deadly weapon, because the charge requires an accompanying \”serious physical injury.\”

    The amount of physical injury required to support the charge is defined by law, and *probably* means \”physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious and
    protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.
    \”

    It *may* be that he has been charged with the most serious offense the D.A. can prove in court. It\’s possible that there may be a more serious charge that would be applicable, but we would need someone with some criminal law expertise to weigh in on that.

    Assault with a deadly weapon (i.e. assault in the first degree) is a \”class A\” felony, the most serious category of felony, and is punishable by fines and/or incarceration in state prison. Offhand, I don\’t know whether attempted assault carries the same penalty or not.

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    Chad August 19, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    #59

    Good points!

    Why is the subject of driver education not brought up more often?

    I\’ve always been a careful driver, but when I moved here from Fargo five years ago I had no idea how to drive around bicycles and had a few \”uncomfortable\” moments arounds bikes.

    Through observation, not the proper education I should\’ve received before I got my Oregon drivers license, I learned how to operate a car safely around bicycles.

    True, this tool from OR City would\’ve done what he did regardless of proper drivers education, but it\’s important to realize not every stupid driver from the sticks is not always intentionally crowding a bike or doing other unsafe things in the presence of a bike. Alot of times this bad behaviour, although always inexcusable, is the result of the lack of proper education.

    So…anybody up for getting the DMV to help us educate the drivers of Oregon?

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    zilfondel August 19, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I\’m afraid we will probably see more of this happen if we don\’t get more designated space on the roads for bikes. Why don\’t our \”bike boulevards\” (yea right!) get some lines or something to denote they\’re for bikes? Most citizens of Portland don\’t even notice those bicycle arrows!

    One of the reason Europe has a superior biking environment is due to extraordinarily clear & consistent signage.

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    Ken August 19, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Rixtir, you would know…the report I saw online said they were going to charge him with a measure 11 crime. Doesn\’t that carry a mandatory prison sentence of 5 or 10 years? I\’m hoping they try to make it stick and aren\’t just coming at him with it so he pleas to some lesser charge.

    Dabby, I\’m sure that people who run over cyclists everywhere are pleased that you are working for their anonymitiy. While I am all for letting the justice system do its work, I personally like knowing when I live close to a dangerous person.

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    Ken August 19, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    wsbob, I was just looking for damage from a kick because I figured for someone to come so completely unglued that they would run over someone and in their mind \’supposedly\’ have a reason, it would have to be some Bruce Lee kick that caused some major damage. (Still not a valid reason but whatever)

    I went back and reread a report that says that he claims he was driving along when the cyclist kicked the car, indicating that it happened while he was moving if I read it correctly. I find this even less believable. If he paid so little attention that he passed within inches of this cyclist and heard a sound, how would he know if it was a kick versus and hand thump versus him clipping the cyclist with the bike hitting his car?

    I\’m curious as to how the facts are eventually layed out. I hope these guys get some justice for what was done to them. This is total BS.

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    Cøyøte August 19, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Rixtr, Dude has 30 stitches across his mug – i.e. Protracted Disfigurement. If Johnny had a knife instead of a Rav4 there would no discussion. Don\’t by into car-head, just because it also called \”road rage\” does not mean it is not mano e mano violence.

    Johnny crossed the line. It is time for our advocates to start advocating.

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    Dabby August 19, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Ken,
    His name is all over the press. we all know that.
    But, if you think about it, the liability to Jonathan, if it was discovered that someone took the info from this site, and used it to find the man, could be devastating.

    He could be held accountable if someone using a public forum he created, used it to enact their vigilanteism. (not really a word)

    I would think this would be obvious to most….

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    Dabby August 19, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    And, you can make a very loud noise on a fender without doing a bit of damage…..

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    VR August 19, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    The city of Portland needs to recognize the fact that SUV drivers are jerks and their choice of vehicle is more dangerous to both themselves and others [1]. In addition, people don\’t need to be commuting in an SUV.

    SUVs SHOULD BE BANNED IN PORTLAND.

    Too bad there are more SUV owners than bicyclists, huh? Because then your comment wouldn\’t just validate every reason why many drivers on the highway hate bicyclists.

    Jeeze – some people wonder what makes people pissed off and then they spout junk like this.

    While I think that most people tend to buy vehicles that are too large for what they really need – it is just plain silly what you said.

    This incident has nothing to do with the guy having an SUV.

    We have no idea what caused this. Perhaps the guy is normally a really nice and responsible guy who just had 100 different things go wrong in his life and the bike incident was the straw that broke the camel\’s back.

    Everyone likes to jump to conclusions – when in reality we just don\’t know.

    Sure, he should be held accountable for his actions and punished accordingly. And I hope he doesn\’t get off easy.

    But seriously folks – in today\’s society there are lots of factors that can cause people to snap.

    We should be looking to improve things BEFORE people snap – not just punishing people when they do go.

    We need more good paying jobs, better all inclusive health care, better schools, calmer quieter roads, nicer neighborhoods, more recreational activities and opportunities, and more fair laws. More things to help prevent people from reaching those breaking points.

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    Lazlo August 19, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Dabby,
    Vigilanteism is indeed a correct word. Ken, I realize no one specifically called for any actions against this man\’s home or family. I\’ve just seen enough fanaticism on this site to deem it in the realm of possibilities.

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    sofemale August 19, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    For all of you concerned for the two riders assaulted on Clinton street, thank you on behalf of my boyfriend Ben.

    …. … **In order to not jeopardize the impending legal situation, the contents of this comment have been deleted by a moderator** …

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    jeremy August 20, 2007 at 10:24 am

    I find it fairly humorous to all of the vigilante cyclists who care to post on this forum about how they condone the actions of the rider who kicked a car…

    grow up…this was a case of escalation by both parties…where one guy got in the last word with his actions. had the cyclist known he was going to be flying into a windshield a few seconds later, I\’m guessing he would have made a different decisions. I think what a lot of you don\’t realize (you whom have not been hit by cars) is that the car ALWAYS wins…the driver may not, but the car always will. you can be right and dead at the same time…

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 20, 2007 at 10:28 am

    jeremy,

    The kicking of the car has not been proven to have actually happened. The statement from the cyclists I\’ve heard and the reports I\’ve read deny that a kick happened.

    I realize how escalation will always hurt the cyclist more… but I don\’t think we should jump to conclusions that what either cyclist did warranted such an extreme response from the motorist.

    Let\’s wait until we know what really happened.

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    rex August 20, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Can someone tell me what diversion is and how it would help traffic flow?

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    destin August 20, 2007 at 11:34 am

    i was messed up pretty bad in a hit in run on yamhill st. downtown about 11 years ago.

    i did not do a thing to escalate the incident.
    all i heard was acceleration and then someone pulling me out from underneath the rear tire of a parked ups truck on the side of the road.

    i think some people have severe mental problems and unfortunately drive around in a 1 ton weapon.

    be careful out there, portland is better than most cities for cycling, but there will always be people without respect for others.

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    jeremy August 20, 2007 at 11:51 am

    Jonathan…good point, my apologies for believing the media…its Monday morning.

    my point was mostly to remind as many that care to listen that we can all still be right in our assertions and dead at the same time…

    good luck to Ben in his healing..and his legal battles. I am glad the guy is currently sitting in prison thinking about it however..

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    rixtir August 20, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Coyote, post 82:

    Why not get really macho and charge him with first degree murder? Or cannibalism? Could it be that he\’s charged with what the D.A. can prove to a jury so that he doesn\’t walk free on a \”not guilty\” verdict?

    Yes, it seemed at first glance that the incident wasn\’t being taken seriously– it even seemed that way to me. But on second glance, it was obvious to me that the D.A. was intent on charging this guy with the most serious charges he could get a conviction on.

    As it turns out, he\’s now being charged with two counts of first degree assault, and two counts of second degree assault. The D.A. is clearly taking this case seriously.

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    yes it is August 20, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Coyote:
    Can you please tell me where you find out the actions of the DA? I am very interested in following this case and I don;t know where to look for the legal information.
    thanks!

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    Ken August 20, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Dabby and Lazlo, maybe I havn\’t been reading on this site for long enough. I haven\’t seen anything here that would make me think that that someone here would really try to take the law into their own hands and do something to this guy or his family. If I am wrong I would suppose the person would also be so committed to doing it that he would Google the guys name and get the info himself, with or without this site. I don\’t think Google can be held responsible for such actions, nor do I believe Jonathan could. I do however, understand Jonathan not wanting to take that chance.

    I guess I just like to see the light shined on nutjobs like this guy. The fact he lives so close to me probably increases that feeling.

    jeremy(#88), I have read every message in this thread and fail to see \”all the vigilante cyclists\” condoning kicking a vehicle. Most of the discussion of the supposed \’kicking\’ has been about if it even happened. It sounds like you have a bias coming into it. You are right about cars vs. bicycles though. The only time the bike wins is in Quicksilver.

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    jeremy August 20, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Ken-
    I was referring to some of the posts condoning violence against property or people in order to deter violence..I could have gotten them off of one of the other related posts…whomever was writing about breaking through a window and roughing up the driver

    its a pretty stupid and childish statement..

    anyway, stories like these are really troubling…and very much makes me think twice about my daily commute..

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    Biking for Peace August 20, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    ianlitmans,

    You are obviously not a biker and I would imagine you are one of those drivers who choose to hate bikers rather than learn more and be a positive part of the community.

    ANY accident involving an SUV IS ABSOLUTLY relevant because SUV\’s are more dangerous and cause more damage (more fatalities) than a car. If you were a biker you would understand that bikers get cut off my drivers and when they do the biker may react by using a middle finger, swearing or kicking a car. Besides the fact that the car kicking is hearsay and improvable – I would guess the biker was not kicking the SUV just because he felt like it. Based on this case, the driver had likely already caused the biker stress thus resulting in the biker kicking the SUV.

    Arrogance is unhelpful and has no place in a community with a goal of harmony and peace. If you want to pick a fight, why don\’t you sign up on one of those ridiculous political/religious web blogs…

    my guess is ,,, you already have.

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    VR August 20, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    ANY accident involving an SUV IS ABSOLUTLY relevant because SUV\’s are more dangerous and cause more damage (more fatalities) than a car.

    B.S.

    This is a blanket statement which has little validity.

    You have to compare each SUV to each car, individually.

    Yes, an Excursion causes more damage than a Civic. No, a RAV4 does not cause more damage than an Impala.

    The big factor is weight, followed closely by handling capability. Most PEOPLE drive SUVs beyond their safe handling capabilities (I am probably even guilty of that myself from time to time).

    However you can lose control of a car just as easily, and a car can kill just as easily as an SUV.

    Could the biking community here PLEASE take the high road, and not make absurd blanket generalizations? We tactically have to be the ones who are perceived as being \”right\” because we are in the minority.

    All it takes is one reporter to come and snag these anti-car and anti-SUV comments and read them on the air to get another 100 or 1000 bike haters out there nodding their heads and confirming their prejudice.

    We want more people to be bike FRIENDLY – not create more adversaries.

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    Biking for Peace August 20, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    VR

    Your points are invalid.

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    Biking for Peace August 20, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    VR,

    To elaborate…

    Aside from the fact that SUV\’s are bad for our health in general due to pollution and devastating to the planet, they are also bigger than cars. The issue here is whether a person may be more injured by being hit by an SUV rather than a standard car.

    You have to accept that one of the reasons people choose to commute by bikes is because they/we oppose the frivolous gas consumption of our culture. By default, SUV’s are more gas guzzling than any car on the road and are more offensive to the issue of global warming and overall air quality health.

    Speaking from my own experience… when I am cut off by an SUV it is much more dangerous than when cut off by a car. If I hit an SUV in my car I will not do much damage, but if an SUV hits my car it will do damage. Size does matter.

    What we are talking about here is not the SUV itself as far as being more dangerous than a car… it is the SUV driver that we are talking about. You, yourself even stated, “Most PEOPLE drive SUVs beyond their safe handling capabilities (I am probably even guilty of that myself from time to time).” With this statement you are proving why I am concerned.

    It is not a “haters” issue, it is a reality check. The reality is that SUV’s pose no good to the environment. That isn’t a generalization it is a matter of fact. To say that SUV’s can cause more damage than cars is just a matter of logic – not a generalization.

    http://www.polkonline.com/stories/122900/opi_james-nahl.shtml

    The size of the vehicle matters and so does the attitude of the driver.

    peace

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    Logan 5 August 20, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Sorry BfP, getting buzzed by a car is no excuse to go ahead and kick that car. The venting of anger on an inanimate object is quite ridiculous in itself and will only lead to an escalation of violence regardless. The automobile driver was wrong if he buzzed the bicyclist at such a close range – strange that nobody is doubting THAT testimony – but so was the bicyclist by expressing his anger in such a violent way. If somebody lashes out like that so quickly, there have obviously been other episodes of the same type of behavior and there will be more unless fundamental changes are made in attitude. I have reacted both hostilely and cheerfully to drivers cutting me off and/or bumping my handlebars and although the results were never quite to my satisfaction, I felt better after the altercation when I kept my cool. If a person practices reacting to stressful situations in the \”offtime\” in a constructive way, that attitude will manifest itself much easier when the time is right. This will help create that community of harmony and peace.

    Let\’s get off the \”SUV\” bandwagon. Although they are heavier, deadlier, and ridiculously impractical for many of their owners, it\’s ultimately the driver\’s responsibility to handle it properly. It may be a cliche but \”cars don\’t kill people, people kill people\”.

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    Mark August 21, 2007 at 6:30 am

    I agree with Logan. These guys did not deserve to get hit. The guy that hit them was an ahole but too many cyclists ride around like they are the only ones on the road.

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    Ken August 21, 2007 at 9:48 am

    That\’s funny Mark. What I see is too many drivers who drive around like they are the only ones on the road. This story backs up my case.

    The first cyclist was giving drivers so much room on the road that when he got buzzed he was sent careening into parked cars. So who wasn\’t sharing the road? The second victim wasn\’t involved in any way other than the driver purposefully ran him down with his car.

    So who uses the road like they are the only ones entitled to it Mark?

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    VR August 21, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Which SUVs are specifically worse than which cars?

    A Toyota RAV4 is essentially a taller Camry, and is smaller than many cars. A Mercedes AMG SUV has better handling characteristics than a Chevy Aveo.

    A For Escape Hybrid gets better mileage than a BMW 3 series.

    Why is it SUVs are worse than Cars?

    Why not say Some SUVs suck and some Cars suck?

    God, and you people wonder why drivers are pissed at you.

    Look, here are the FACTS. 96% of the population of Portland takes their trips in cars.

    I don\’t care how high and mighty you want to be about biking, but making blanket statements like \”SUVs are worse than cars\” won\’t win you any votes.

    By default, SUV’s are more gas guzzling than any car on the road and are more offensive to the issue of global warming and overall air quality health.

    I have an SUV that gets 30mpg on the highway, and I fuel it with biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil. How does that fit in your equation?

    According to Fueleconomy.gov I can get a 2007 Toyota RAV4 SUV that gets 21/27mpg for combined 23mpg and I can get a 2007 Toyota Camry that gets 19/28 for a combined 23mpg.

    Or how about a 2007 Tahoe that gets 14/19 combined 16 and a Cadillac CTS that gets 14/22 combined 16.

    Or how about a 2007 Jeep Patriot that gets 21/25 combined 23, compared to a Subaru Legacy that gets 17/23 combined 20.

    But those comparisons don\’t fit into your little world of \”cars are better than SUVS\”.

    IT DEPENDS ON THE CAR AND IT DEPENDS ON THE SUV. There are some cars that are worse than some SUVs. A BMW X5 will out handle a Honda Fit in every measure. A Toyota RAV4 will get better mileage than a BMW M5 hands down.

    I ride my bike when I can because I enjoy it and I believe it to be a better method of transportation in may aspects.

    But the real world fact is that some SUVs are not all that bad, really.

    And where do crossovers, mini vans, and trucks fit in your generalizations?

    The reality is that SUV’s pose no good to the environment. That isn’t a generalization it is a matter of fact. To say that SUV’s can cause more damage than cars is just a matter of logic – not a generalization.

    Again, I challenge you to show me how the SUVs that have better mileage and emissions than some cars yet are worse for the environment than those cars.

    Let\’s get off the \”SUV\” bandwagon. Although they are heavier, deadlier, and ridiculously impractical for many of their owners

    2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara: 3682 lb
    2007 Volksawagen Passat Wagon: 3952 lb

    Oh wait, I thought all SUVs were heavier than all cars.

    Forget facts when we are dealing with bike zealots – they like to throw those out the window, no matter how much it damages their own case.

    I hope that every anti-bike nut out there picks up on some of your ridiculous comments and uses them as an excuse to hate bikes more.

    That REALLY helps make things better for bikes…

    At the same time people are complaining about the gross generalizations that people make about bikes – they turn around and do the same and then use erroneous logic to back themselves up.

    Next time a CAR almost kills you you can relax, it is just a CAR! They are perfectly safe and don\’t ever hurt anyone like those dastardly SUVs.

    ARRGH!

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    rixtir August 21, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    VR, I understand what you\’re saying about making blanket statements. However, as argued in High and Mighty, in at least four respects, SUVs are \”worse than cars\”– at least in the sense of their appropriateness as passenger vehicles. In no particular order of importance:

    1) In the event of a collision with a pedestrian, cars are designed to hit the pedestrian at knee level, and to channel the pedestrian up onto the hood of the car. SUVs, on the other hand, are designed to hit pedestrians at chest level– or rather, SUVs are designed with \”ruggedness,\” rather than safety, in mind. Those basic differences in design mean that SUVs are far more deadly to pedestrians than are cars. How that design difference affects car/bike collisions, I don\’t know.

    2) SUVs are not designed to meet the bumper height regulations that cars are required to meet. My last car did met those regulations, and there were many times on the road when I was in front of an SUV whose bumper could have easily ridden over the top of my trunk, and right through the passenger compartment.

    3) SUVs are generally much heavier than cars, which means that any SUV involved in a collision with another car is going to inflict massive damage on that car and its occupants.

    4) SUVs are basically trucks with passenger compartments, and thus, they \”handle\” like trucks, which is to say, they don\’t handle as well as cars. The irony of the SUV market is that people buy them for their perceived \”safety benefits,\” when in fact, SUVs are demonstrably less safe than their car counterparts– both to other users of the road, and to the occupants of SUVs.

    In comparison, the minivans you asked about are built on car chassis, and so handle like cars, are designed to strike pedestrians at the knee and throw them up on the hood, and don\’t weigh as much, generally speaking, as SUVs.

    As I said, I understand your point about making blanket generalizations, but really, the jury is in on SUVs– they are unsafe, and have no place as passenger vehicles on our roads.

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    Matt Picio August 21, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    VR said \”Look, here are the FACTS. 96% of the population of Portland takes their trips in cars.\”

    Where are you getting your \”facts\”? About 8% ride transit, and 3.5% ride bikes (I still think that census number is low, but we\’ll use it here). That means, at best, 88.5% take their trips in cars.

    As for SUVs being worse than cars:

    Try this link, this link, or this link here.

    Also, and most salient (and highly amusing)- there is this story about SUVs

    You can quibble about the definitions, and many particular vehicles don\’t easily fit into one category or another. (BTW, mini-vans are not SUVs – they significantly miss on the \”sport\” aspect of \”SUV\”) As far as the generalized statement goes, comparing the large class of \”SUV\”/\”light truck\” with the large class of \”passenger auto\” (\”car\”) it\’s true – the generalization holds, and is supported by facts. It *is* a generalization, however, so of course there will be many individual exceptions.

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    rixtir August 21, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    VR, to further address your points about blanket generalizations, the manufacturers of SUVs have exploited loopholes in the laws that allow them to escape CAFE fuel efficiency standards, bumper and headlight height standards, weight limits, and so forth. They\’re being marketed as passenger vehicles, but escaping the safety and environmental standards applicable to passenger vehicles because they\’re classified as \”trucks,\” which are not subject to the same standards as passenger vehicles, because they are \”work vehicles\” that were never expected or intended to be on the roads in the same numbers as passenger vehicles. The SUV manufacturers have had their cake, and are eating it too.

    The solution is simple. All vehicles capable of carrying passengers must meet the passenger vehicle standards in order to be operated on the roads. All vehicles that do not meet the passenger vehicle standards are \”work vehicles,\” and may not be operated on the roads for any purpose other than \”work,\” and must pay a special, significantly more expensive work vehicle license fee in order to receive the exemption from the passenger vehicle standards.

    And the day after that law takes effect, 99.9% of the SUVs now on the road disappear…

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    SKiDmark August 21, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    You guys understand that any laws passed only effect the manufacture and sales of new SUVs, right? It\’s not like \”they\” go around and round up all the older SUVs and crush them.

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    Matt Picio August 21, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Figure 10-20 years before the current fleet would be replaced. Those of us who remember the Reagan years 😉 will recall that the early 80s still had lots of giant cars with V8 engines – all the way up to the end of the 80s and into the early 90s.

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    rixtir August 21, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    True SKiDmark (and Matt). One solution would be to require all new SUVs to meet the passenger vehicle standards. That would invite massive resistance from the auto manufacturers.

    The other solution would be to require all vehicles currently on the road that do not meet passenger vehicle standards to be equipped with a \”work vehicle\” license plate. That would invite insurrection from the SUV-driving public: \”You can have my SUV when you pry the keys from my cold dead hands…\”

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    Dabby August 21, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    I had a friend who was killed by a dump truck once, let\’s outlaw them too. (extreme sarcasm, though dump trucks scare me).

    I agree that some of you should quit focusing on the SUV point (it wasn\’t a SUV anyway that hit them) and move on to productive conversation.

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    Matt Picio August 22, 2007 at 8:35 am

    The RAV4 is an SUV, but at the very bottom end of the scale – the Mini Cooper of SUVs (or the VW Beetle).

    Dabby\’s right, though – the focus should be squarely on agressive drivers and people who use their vehicle as a weapon. Larger vehicles (regardless of class) are much more dangerous, and I certainly wouldn\’t mind seeing disincentives in the form of a progressive tax based on gross vehicle weight – but that\’s a side issue.

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    Andy August 24, 2007 at 9:04 am

    To all the folks pointing out how SUVs are \”more dangerous\” remember that this story started with a RAV4 – afaik, this is NOT classified as a \”light truck\”, and therefore *IS* subject to all the same rules and regulations as a Ford Taurus. It might\’ve changed for this model year, but at least with the previous gen (which was around the time I used to drive a Subaru Forester) those mini-SUV\’s were hardly any different than a small hatchback like an Impreza other than having a more squared body.

    The guy who drove the RAV4 in this story? A goddamn menace. But lets not make broad sweeping generalizations. Am I unsafe because I used to drive an SUV? (and yes, I take \”SUV\” broadly because as I said a Forester is barely a square hatchback) We don\’t like it when people make generalizations about bicyclists. Let\’s not make the same mistake with them.

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    SKiDmark August 24, 2007 at 9:40 am

    They used to call them station wagons. Most SUVs are really station wagons. Sport Utility Vehicle just sounds cooler.

    I would love an old Ford Country Squire. I could put it on blocks and sleep in it.

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    jeff August 24, 2007 at 9:55 am

    The AMC Eagle was the original SUV… 🙂

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    SKiDmark August 24, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    More likely the Jeep Wagoneer.

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    Sprocket Rocket August 25, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    #104 asked which SUV\’s are worse than others. I can give my 2 cents worth as far as driving a small car goes:

    The most dangerous SUV\’s seem to be those with the tall shiny wheels and the low profile tires. Many times these are really shiny black SUV\’s, perhaps with other modifications besides the tall wheels. You can see them weaving in/out of traffic while traveling 80-90 mph on any weekend on the local freeways.

    BUT, as a car driver, I can testify that SUV\’s and MONSTER TRUCKS are driven by a higher than normal percentage of rude, dangerous drivers. There are those type drivers in cars too, but when you have a rude and dangerous driver 10 feet off your bumper at 70 mph it is more scary when the only thing you can see is the front bumper and license plate on a monster vehicle. It isn\’t QUITE as scary if you see a moron in a Camry, etc. If you don\’t drive a small car you would not understand.

    #104 also asked about how Biodiesel fits in. Here\’s how: Biodiesel is a politically correct buzzword to make people who drive diesel guzzling vehicles feel good. That\’s it. You cannot grow enough crops of ANY kind to make a significant dent in the fuel equation. That whole idea is a diversion from the only thing that will work: VERY STRICT FUEL EFFICIENCY LAWS MANDATED BY THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO ELIMINATE THE FUEL HOGS. Bicycles would fit into that efficiency equation very nicely.

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    elgeneralsv September 12, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Dang this is a long post no city in the US is what I consider bike friendly US people believe the bike is a toy something for going out on weekends. I have been to Canada and Europe definatly way beyond what I think we will see in the US until kids become educated about bikes and where they belong.

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  • […] at him for no good reason this Saturday night.  A”very important person” had a road rage problem two blocks from my house.  I generally feel like I know my routes and feel safe but I know first […]

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    livermore November 5, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    today one of cycling\’s finest nearly knocked me out of the cross walk – I had the walk, he had red, as he wizzed on by, no helmet, not caring in the world that a car also had to break hard to miss him also. 5th and alder downtown about 1:30 PM.

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  • […] contrast, in a major road rage incident last year, a man in a car intentionally ran down a man on a bike on SE Clinton Street. The collision nearly killed Ben Ramsdell, and the man in the car […]

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    Elly Blue April 1, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Got a tip that Johnny Eschweiler, who intentionally drove into two people on bikes in 2007, will plead guilty on Friday http://tiny.cc/baEBu

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