Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

A bike-on-bike hit-and-run and a call for civility (updated)

Posted by on May 28th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

The bike signal near where
the collision took place.
(Photo: PBOT)

I got an email from reader and BTA Board Member Mary Roberts yesterday that I thought should be shared with others. It has to do with topics we’ve covered several times on this site — increasing bike traffic and riding with courtesy for others.

Congested bikeways, and how people on bikes handle them, could very well define the oncoming summer biking season. Here’s the email (emphasis mine):

“I was riding with a group of five friends yesterday and as we rode to the top of the bike/ped trail junction at NE Lloyd Blvd [near the bike-only signal], one of my group collided with a cyclist coming down onto the path from the intersection of the Steel Bridge.

Story continues below


My friend was riding in the middle of the path and angling to the right to get out of the way of the cyclist coming down. The faster-moving cyclist rounded the corner wide and aimed to his left, rather than his right, and collided. She fell from her bike and was unable to rise. The other cyclist did not fall or stop.

My friend is now in the hospital and will have surgery today for a broken bone in her leg. Needless to say, her summer plans have suddenly been altered.”

[Update] Roberts just emailed more precise details on where this happened:

“She was climbing eastward from the railroad overpass bridge and still on the cement pathway rising to the sidewalk. He was headed south from the intersection and rounding the corner coming down. The collision took place about 6′ from the sidewalk.

She also added that, “It is a treacherous area – where there are steps to avoid, a narrow passage, and lots of traffic. Poorly designed for the level of use it gets.”

Back in November, PBOT installed
these yield markings to help with bike
traffic in this location.
(Photo © J. Maus)

This collision raises a lot of issues.

One I’d like to put forward is how our busy bikeways are not treated to the same level of engineering as roadways. For instance, the area where this collision took place is a major bike intersection, however it is essentially a wide sidewalk with a standard width curb ramp leading up to it from the roadway.

It is unheard of for a roadway that sees two-way traffic to not even have a yellow, dotted line through the middle. Perhaps it’s time for PBOT the Parks Bureau to look at doing more pavement markings and on off-street paths? Would that help?

At the end of Mary’s email, she had a question that I’d like to pose to you:

“What can we cyclists do to make Portland’s bike culture even better through riding defensively and with civility (stopping when we crash)? And, what suggestions are there for communicating more dangerous areas as this one surely is?

NOTE: Back in November, PBOT installed signage and pavement markings to help tame bike traffic near where this collision took place. I’m still trying to confirm whether or not the crash happened directly at this location.

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  • April May 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Jerks are jerks, unfortunately. That person probably would have done the same in a car. :^(

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  • nahbois May 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    As cycling becomes more common, the community will dilute. I know I had never heard of this website before and never considered myself part of a biking community. I am sure lots of riders feel that way and do not feel that they ‘belong’ to something more.

    Just as drivers are not courteous, there will be riders who act the same. At least with drivers there is a reporting system. The more I read of jackasses no matter what they are using to get around, the more I am for a way to identify people who risk our lives. I really do think bike license plates is the way to go. I know its a barrier to ridership, but I can see it solving alot of problems. (bike saftey pamphlet when applying for license, coupons for lights and helmets, bike laws and how to protect yourself). It would be a great touchpoint for spreading education.

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  • DJ Hurricane May 28, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    My take on this is that the hit-and-run statutes, ORS 811.700 &. 705, apply to bicyclists and that the fleeing cyclist may have committed a felony. That analysis would be independent of who may have been at fault in the crash.

    Bicyclists can hold people like this accountable by keeping them at the scene or by getting a good description, following them, etc, whenever possible.

    For example, maybe one of the injured cyclist’s friends could have followed the guy?

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  • buzz May 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    First of all, I am really sorry to hear about this person’s friend. A broken leg once the weather starts getting nice and being in a cast for maybe the next eight weeks? Ouch!

    And, shame on the other cyclist for not stopping! Crap like this is only going make the anti-bike crowd scream louder that we need some form of bike registration.

    I do, in a way, feel a yellow line in a bike path like that may be helpful. I do see too many groups of cyclist not riding single file when on a busy path like that and it could help. But, there are plenty of people that are going to ignore it!

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  • Vance Longwell May 28, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Right, but there were alternative routes available to the group of 5, correct? For instance, they could’ve been using a motorist lane there that is marked and well regulated. If that’s indeed what the sole cause of the accident was, of course. What was the status of the group? I mean, were they single-file, well spaced, and riding at a safe speed? Was any one in the group using a helmet that might have impeded their vision, or helmet mounted mirrors the same? Did the guilty cyclist here have a helmet, or mirrors impeding their vision? Did the guilty cyclist even KNOW they hurt some body, i.e. were they aware of the collision? Did everybody’s safety equipment, i.e. brakes function properly? What about the skill and experience levels of the cyclists involved? I’m just curious if, “rude”, as J is stating, was the only cause of this accident, is all.

    When you drag something as abstract, and complex, as, “Feelings” (Etiquette), into a traffic environment it inherently creates a situation where both parties can technically be in the right. What does that ultimately solve? Besides, what’s ruder than to plop yourself down in the middle of a lifestyle I’ve been practicing for decades, ride 5 m.p.h. all over the road, and then tell ME I need to chill out?

    Riding a bike in Portland on fairly unregulated MUPs, or crowded bike-lanes, is a recipe for disaster. Who doesn’t know this, and make the necessary plans?

    I’m not in the practice of defending jerks, while bashing injured cyclists. Please, save it. I’m also not for laying blame, taking action, grabbing the pitch-forks, and burning somebody down without just cause. Or implementing policy the same.

    I’ve broken both of my femurs a couple of times each and that ain’t no fun. I’m truly sorry for the injured party. It’s rough out there folks.

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  • Nicky V May 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm


    I thought the same thing about license plates for bikes but then I wondered how it would be enforced, especially with people who already have bike(s). I also agree that we’re in an increasingly “me-first” self-entitled society and there are people with that kind of attitude in every facet of life.

    I have trouble figuring out exactly where that intersection is. I’m guessing that it is in the Rose Quarter and I tend to avoid cycling in that part of town – high traffic, train tracks, long lights, etc.

    The only solution I can think of is for those of us who ride responsibly to be that much more diligent in spotting dangerous situations and planning/anticipating how to proceed safely. I continue to be “on-guard” if there is anyone within 20-30 feet of me when I ride.

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  • Nicky V May 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    DJ #5,

    When you’re following the guy, what happens when you catch him? If it’s the sort of person who leaves an accident like that, it’s most likely the sort of person who won’t cooperate if you (a civilian) catch up to him and “question” him.

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  • TofuTodd May 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    How terrible! And not one of her mates chased this person down? Ignoring moral accountibility, is there no legal accountibility for these type of collisions? Even if they cought them, what do you do, call the police, hold the person there, and file a report? What if I have no money, no job, I cause $5,000 in medical bills to someone else, am I legally required to pay for that? Lets say I “buzz” someone with no contact and they lose balance and fall and break their leg, what then? Should cyclists be required to have insurance?

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  • Lazlo May 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    One thing that has always bothered me about that spot is that the signal tripping spot painted there is smack dab in the middle of the ramp, so that cyclists entering from the north have to avoid people waiting for the signal. Given that it’s designed that way, it’s incumbent upon the riders entering the ramp to exercise due caution, and for this guy to come in fast and veer to the left is just assinine. I really wish riders would slow down on the entire length of the Esplanade. It’s the season where traffic greatly increases, and pedestrians, runners, etc. are often busy enjoying the river view. Slow down, don’t pass until it’s clear, and give notice. Speedy healing to the fallen rider.

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  • DJ Hurricane May 28, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Nicky V (#5), all Oregonians have the legal authority to arrest others who have committed a crime in their presence.

    I’m not necessarily saying you should follow someone or question them, but you should do whatever you feel you can safely do to hold the guy accountable. That sort of behavior will make people think twice about running from the scene of a collision.

    You might be just dial 911 or follow far behind the guy while you call 911 and give a description.

    In this incident, we don’t even know whether the police were called. But they definitely should have been.

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  • are May 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    not much engineering is required to set a protocol as to who has right of way in these intersections (usually, the person who is still in the roadway and is trying to get onto the sidepath). with such a narrow access point, a dividing stripe would not help, though it might be useful to designate a corral for people exiting the trail and waiting for the light to gather in, so that people coming in do not have to fight their way through. I agree with comment 2 that a leaving the scene charge might apply here, but I do not agree with the other comments that licensing is indicated. getting around under your own power is a basic right.

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  • jb May 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    I am sorry to hear that this is happening. I have experienced some discourtesy from other riders recently as I’ve started to bike-commute again. I was riding across the Bway Bridge this am in a fairly big pack of bikes and was staying toward the right as I know I’m not a fast rider (on bridges particularly). Not one rider that passed me on the left alerted me that they were passing. I had several pedestrians in my *lane* and almost got sandwiched between a passing cyclist and a pedestrian because I didn’t know the cyclist was coming.

    How hard is it to say “on your left” as you pass someone? Would probably avert several accidents and just promotes good will among fellow cyclists? Just disappointing that all of a sudden cyclists are exhibiting the same aggressive, inconsiderate behaviors as motorists.

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  • Vance Longwell May 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    nahbois #1

    Seriously. Plates add weight. Plates are just another thing to come off and injure you in a crash. Plates without lighting can’t be as easily read at night. So does that mean adding a light for it too? Or can I just not ride at night any more? Same for hand signals BTW. They can’t be seen at night. If I don’t have to use them at night, why then during the day when it’s safer? Or do I have to get little battery powered LED rings now?

    How are we gonna mount plates? Put your pipe-clamp on a Kestrel, or other Carbon or Aluminum Monocoche frames, I’m waiting. What about single-wall 531 chro-mo? I can push my finger into tubing like that, where ya gonna mount?

    Of course it would be kool to call the cops and have them instantaneously respond to your every traffic gripe, just like they do now, right? Put the plates on. Go ahead. Then what? A tiny fraction of civil suits get sorted differently? Meantime, we’ve all got Katana swords attached to our machines, waiting for us to crash.

    The solution to this problem is to slow the mixing of unlicensed, wildly differently skilled and experienced, often new cyclists, with a roughly equal number of people who’ve been out here for years doing just fine. Slow it down is vastly different than stop it. I forget though, there are profits to be had…er…I…mean…a mode to be grown. Sorry, I always forget.

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  • minister May 28, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Good point Lazlo. PDOT needs to move that signal trip line to the right. It’s way too tight for cyclists going Southbound even at a slow speed.

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  • Pancho May 28, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    You should have chased him down and knocked him of his bike. EYE FOR AN EYE!
    Be careful out there people. I see close calls everyday. I’m surprised that more people dont get hit. There are a lot of idiots that need to be, then maybe they will think twice about being a jackass.

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  • Dan May 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    This morning I was biking around PSU on a two-way road, and had two bicyclists veer into our side forcing us to slow down. Biking at lunch today I had someone pass on the right without a word, coming close to me, whom I could have easily hit. Also, as I was biking on 5th south, was passed on the right, illegally, since he veered into the bus lane, and cut in front of me.

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  • Mike B. May 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    That sounds like a very unfortunate incident. If I’m not mistaken that area is the area with the new yield signs that went up this year and those wacky painted arrows. I don’t know anything about the incident, but I do recall that people coming off the esplanade have to yield to the traffic coming onto the steel bridge, which is not clearly understood by the markings on the pavement. It does seem like trying to have 5 cyclist come through such a small area seems to be a bit much, especially for anyone trying to get onto the steel bridge ramp. Is it possible the cyclist did not see your friend go down? I know riding through that section has a few soft turns before you ride over the tracks below, with usually someone sleeping on the ground by the steps. Anyway, I hope your friend recovers in a timely manner.

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  • Hart May 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    If cycling congestion is a problem, then we should be spending more to widen cycling lanes. Use the car driver logic, it seems to bring in the billions.

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  • Vance Longwell May 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Ya. Personal, or property damage in excess of five bills requires a police report. Exchanging all yer stuff, and stuff. Bet most of that is applicable to bikes. Bet. I’m with the potential hit and run guy up thread too. Which is a felony. Which is why I’m writing yet another comment (sorry).

    Oregon’s citizen arrest laws are crystal clear. You may only deploy a citizens’ arrest upon some one you’ve personally witnessed commit a felony, and no other time. THAT’s called kidnapping and the fuzz is a little fussy about that one. Oh and can some one close that italic-tag at the end of comment #4?

    Cutsie note: Did you know this is essentially what defines a cop in this state? Yup, an exemption from the citizen’s arrest law.

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  • Mike B. May 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Can this location be clarified. The picture shows the crossing at the light, but the way the letter reads leads me to believe it is where the lane markings and yield sign went up a few months ago?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) May 28, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    “Can this location be clarified?”

    sorry it’s not more clear folks. i’m trying to verify the location… from my initial read of the email I didn’t think it was near where the new yield triangles have been put in but I’ll check.

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  • Stig May 28, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery to the victim.

    Any description of the guy who did this? The cyclists that I have close calls with are usually the really rough looking dudes who would probably otherwise in their truck if not for a driving ban type.

    Seems crazy that you can break the law in a motor vehicle, but still get on a bike and cause all kinds of mayhem on and off the road.

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  • Refunk May 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Huh. There are several questions I’ve got about this and the responses it’s raised here.

    1. If this occurred on a MUP, does the ORS regarding hit and run apply, since it did not occur on a public roadway? (obvious moral aspects aside) Or would it fall under some other consideration – negligence, assault, whatever?

    2. Yeah, why didn’t her friends chase down the other rider? Hell, I’d have done so, even if I had just been a witness. As for what would happen upon catching up with ’em (if able), well – pretty sure something useful would come to mind for the occasion.

    3. As for licensing: auto licensing barely provides an education for motor vehicle operators. Bicycle licensing cannot be expected to penetrate any further through people’s “me-first” thick skulls. Have those suggesting license plates be hung on bikes figured out how to make them readable beyond a meter or so in all conditions?

    4. What about insurance? I ride knowing that at least my motor vehicle coverage extends to my operation of a bicycle on a public road. There is a huge number of uninsured operators out there, regardless of state law. Would bicycle operator’s insurance become mandatory along with that invisible license? Yeah, good luck with that.

    4. Last year, performed a bike count at the intersection shown in the article photo, along with another volunteer (@700 bikes/hr?). The signal activator denoted by a stripe painted right in the middle of the ramp from the street is poorly located, an invitation for northbound riders to pile up there waiting for the light (and foolishly, thoughtlessly – me-first!, blocking most of the ramp to incoming south-bounders). I made a note of this on the tally sheets submitted to PBOT, and I bet it’s not the first they’ve heard it. The fix would be just to move the frickin’ sensor over so the waiting bike traffic would get [more] out of the way of the crossing southbound riders.

    Best wishes for the injured rider’s speedy healing. Maybe somebody can give her some bakfiets love and take her out riding when she’s settled into the cast.


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  • hanmade May 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Pancho #15
    Eye for an Eye makes the world blind.
    That being said, we all must be vigilant in defensive riding and holding each other accountable for being irresponsible. The person should have stopped.

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  • hanmade May 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I would have been happy to chase him down and ask him some hard questions

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  • KruckyBoy May 28, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Here’s a concept for civility- if you almost cause an accident with your bike, instead of giving the other biker or driver the finger and saying ‘f**k you’, stop and say ‘I’m really sorry’. It boggles my mind how few cyclists in this town know how to apologize!

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  • Phr3dly May 28, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I’m not familiar with this intersection, but it sounds as though there is a confluence of several paths.

    Perhaps this would be a reasonable area to place stop signs to assist in the safe flow of traffic?

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  • Alexis May 28, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Stopping is the polite thing to do, obviously. When my boyfriend hit somebody who was passing on his right and knocked him over he stopped to make sure he was ok. The guy had been passing on the right with no warning, making him clearly at fault (though my bf veered a little bit) and he still wanted to know my boyfriend’s “information” and wanted to just be a huge dbag about it. He wasn’t injured at all, no visible scrapes or damage to his bike… he seriously had just fallen over, and he wanted to be a jerk. And (when information was not provided) he made a graceful exit and spit at our feet.

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  • toddistic May 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm


    There’s two sides to every story and I would lvoe to hear the guy’s side of the story. I find it unbelievable that someone could collide with another cyclist to the extent there are broken bones (a little vague in the email imo) and ride off. Even more appauling is that not one of the five riders gave chase to the guy who allegedly caused the crash. I also do not believe the witchhunt mentality going on in the comments section. I would encourage you to try and vent the entire story as well as verify facts before posting. This is BikePortland, not KATU.

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  • LoneHeckler May 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Interesting. Just yesterday afternoon, I had a close encounter with two bicyclists on my commute home. They were turning left from SW Harrison to 5th Ave. I was biking straight (east) on Harrison — taking the lane, with a green light and the right-of-way — and both riders rode directly in my path, one right after another. I yelled at them to “yield” but both were either oblivious or rudely ignoring me. There was a car behind them, following the same trajectory, but the driver did stop and let me go when she saw me.

    It’s frustrating enough dealing with careless motorists, but seeing senseless acts on bicycle — ironically, one guy was even sporting a bright yellow safety vest — irks me to no end.

    And it sounds like the collision above probably took place not at the light, but closer to the path. Nonetheless, I second the argument that the signal trigger is located awkardly in the middle of the curb cut, making it difficult for sharing the road with approaching bikers. Perhaps the cut could be widened so folks riding west can get onto the path safely, out of the way of bikes waiting for the bike signal.

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  • Refunk May 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Phr3dly @ #27!!

    Thanks for the laugh!! (tears of mirth on my cheeks as I type)

    Stop signs??

    If it’s the intersection in the photo (cars coming off a bridge, bikes off a popular MUP), 99% of bikers only stop there because it’s so busy with automotive traffic. Stop signs would have no more affect on safety than at any other location. They only “stop” anything when the rider respects the concept of law as opposed to respecting power – like the power of a car to crush, similar to the power of a patrol officer to cite speeders having an affect on car drivers which is shown when they fearfully slow below the speed limit as the cop passes before speeding up again.

    Theoretically, law is what protects us from bad, destructive behavior – not our own personal ability to resolve every conflict on the spot by virtue of strength, weapons, guile, etc. (let alone common sense). Car drivers generally violate traffic law as far as they feel comfortable in doing, and bicyclists are generally no different. One can be flipped-off for commenting on riding style in passing for the same reason the cop gets temporary respect from the scofflaw car driver. No cop, no penalty for the motorist; the cyclist blows traffic control because in their opinion it doesn’t apply to them and their attitude is, “So what? F*** you, what ya gonna do about it?”

    It may be that stop signs and other traffic control measures are not as necessary for safety as courtesy and common sense. Some experiments in Europe doing away with ’em seem to point that way. Think about it, though – there must have been a reason for the evolution of the practice of their use.

    Besides, I don’t think that the situation as described in the article could have benefited by any additional traffic control. Way, way too many people ride through there safely every day for me to think that this was anything but operator error(s).

    Stop signs. Har-har…


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  • naomi May 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    toddistic #28 makes a good point. It seems odd the four would just watch as their friend was knocked down in such a way and not give chase to stop the guy or call for police.

    Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if this really did happen the way the 5 cyclists say it did.

    The number of horrible/speeding cyclists out this spring is more than I can count. All these people trying to race everywhere are a total headache to deal with.

    I also know of the area where this above crash happened and it’s definitely a tricky one. Then again, if both cyclists are being smart and not racing, there shouldn’t be any problem there.

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  • sumadis May 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I live in LA, read this site to learn about progressive cycling city things. Few years ago, similar thing up in the hills above H’wood, only I was descending, far right on a bad road, 12% grade. Group coming up, hairpin turn, last girl in the group goes wide left instead of right to avoid a puddle. Slam. Wind knocked out, fair bit of blood, happy for helmet. Bike tweaked. Regain breath, figure rib and possible arm busted. Look around, and the whole group – a local club team – gone on up the hill. No one stopped. I straightened the bars, kicked as much hop from the wheel and limped 7ks home. Bleeding. Broken (rib yes, arm no, 7 stitches to close my hand). Emailed the club ’cause I recog’d the jerseys, no response. Seen’m up there since, no comment. Bottom line, we are all riders and need to look out for each other. That means more than just staying to the right, slowing down, holding a line, etc. It means being respectful, mindful, conscious. It means if you’re on a public path and you’re ‘training’, remember and respect that everyone else out there isn’t a Cat-1 wannabe for you to overtake or treat with disdain. It means being human. And it carries over to blog comments too.

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  • Hart May 28, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Really, though, it is pretty dang rad that we even get to argue about cycling congestion. I know people all over the country who wonder why they even have bike lanes in their city because they never see a single cyclist on them.

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  • Alexis May 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    #29–seriously, the fact that some people failed to react fast enough to chase a fast-moving rider who was moving in the opposite direction is more appalling than not stopping after that rider just broke somebody’s bones? You seriously need to get your priorities straight, Captain Vigilante. Yes, we all like saying how we would have raced after them and performed a citizen arrest (with what handcuffs? are you going to strap them to your bike rack to take them to the police station?) If your friend is seriously injured, your first instinct is generally “are you ok” and not “to the batmobile!”

    Also, it would be nice to get the other guy’s side of the story, but that is always conspicuously missing in a hit and run.

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  • John Lascurettes May 28, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I got into a rear-ender/side-swipey kind of thing with another cyclist on N Williams a couple of weeks ago. My fault totally (looked down at my rear wheel for one second too many and cyclist in front came to a full abrupt stop). I apologized up and down profusely and asked him repeatedly if he and his bike were okay. Later when he and his friend biked by me around a corner they asked if I was okay (I was re-securing a loose pannier) and I apologized again.

    If you make contact, check in with the other cyclist, people!

    Jene-Paul, regarding insurance: Actually auto-coverage nearly never covers you riding your bicycle. Your liability is more likely covered by your homeowner’s policy if you have one. I speak from first-hand experience. A guy who cut me off (after running a red) a couple years ago tried to collect on paint damage. My auto insurance wouldn’t even hear it. They handed it over to my homeowner’s insurance who would have covered it if I was at fault (but the told him to f-off since he ran the red).

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  • Anonymous May 28, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I wish the person with broken bones speedy recovery and hopefully s/he has insurance. If not, maybe his/her friends can through her/him a fundraiser?

    That said, I also have questions – if the crash was hard enough to break bones how did the other cyclist not fall down? Was there actually impact or did the injured party lose balance after the other cyclist passed too closely?

    Also – groups of 5 should ride single file at busy intersections and on busy routes like the east bank esplanade – I see lots of extremely impolite groups of riders who think their pleasure cruise is the most important thing happening at this moment and that they need not move or yield to anyone. I’m not saying this group was being impolite – I can’t tell from the story so I’m asking: what were they doing? How were they aligned?

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  • it ain't about "feelings" May 28, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Hi there, I think that having common courtesy and road safety should not be confused with “feelings”. Traffic law as we know it is built upon common sense vis-a-vis public safety.

    I am becoming weary of hearing excuses for unsafe bicyclists. We are riding vehicles, not toys. We should really consider the ramifications of unsafe actions such as turning too quickly, clipping off the other lane (or oncoming traffic, rather, when we don’t have lane lines), and passing.

    This doesn’t have anything to do with fuzzy feelings or purely subjective perspectives of correct or incorrect bicycling form (or theory behind speed, &c).

    This has to do with not posing a road hazard to others on the road.

    and oh my god, if you hit someone, STOP. What kind of human being can be so detached?

    I have only been in the states for 15 years and will refuse all attempts to desensitize me to the point where one makes me feel underfoot because I am not speeding along at 25 mph. Yo, I run on “island time”. Americans think we’re bumbling idiots because we’re not in a hurry.

    ride safe.

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  • JoseR May 28, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I would first like to say that this is a bummer deal and that the cyclist veering the wrong way cyclist (not the friend of the story) did a horrible thing.
    But I don’t think this is a poorly designed area. The sidewalk is very wide. It’s a windy route that causes problems for people staying on their side of the path (just like in the case of this accident) but compared to may other sidewalks, roadways, and paths, this area should actually be considered higher on the list for good travel. This is more of an issue of cycling knowledge and respect than of transportation regulations and accessibility. I both like and strongly agree with Jonathan’s comment about how putting yellow lines all around town would help out. Especially in this area and all areas surrounding the river (the Waterfront path and the Esplanade). It is very irritating having people run/walk/cycle/skate/sit/horseback ride/dance on the wrong side of the path. I get frustrated with this at least 4 or 5 times a day as I take this route to and from work everyday. It’s beyond frustrating!!! But let’s not jump to too negative of conclusion because of a random accident. Let’s make sure to point of the goodness of what we have here in the city.

    Please don’t take this post in the wrong way. I agree that it is horrible that the friend now has a broken leg & hospital bills. I also think that someone should try to describe the wrongful cyclist with the hopes that he could be caught. Plus, I haven’t even finished reading through the comments and so this might have already been covered. But I just read the paragraph about how bad this intersection is claimed to be and wanted to interject.

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  • murfee May 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Yeah … that intersection is not sized right for the popularity. I ride everyday every season for years and I don’t go through there on a commute hour anymore. Same issue with parts of the Hawthorne bridge westbound. Just some dicey bottlenecks now that bike-commuting is becoming more popular.

    As said above, the signal strip is right in that ramp. If they moved it back it might create enough space so that waiting bikes dont glog the ramp.


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  • Blah Blah Blah May 28, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    A combination of the people and the intersection it’s self makes this intersection suck, plain and simple, and I’m a pretty confident rider.

    And I never ride the switch backing ramp, I practice my dismount and run the stairs.

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  • Refunk May 29, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Hey, John @ #36. I don’t know about yours, but MY auto insurance DOES cover me on the bike. This is a topic important enough to me that it was established a long time ago (and is confirmed yearly). The policy covers me and mine, not just the car. When I’m gone for a month in the saddle touring, it provides a little background peace of mind. That said, I do know that not all companies work that way.

    And Alexis @35, your idea of priority is correct, of course, in terms of addressing the needs of the fallen rider. With so many other riders, however, unless they’re all EMTs or ER RNs or bird-colonel Flight Surgeons or whatever, it would seem that somebody might be available to give chase at least in an effort to keep track of the other party while contacting the PoPo. No Batmobile or restraints required. Sometimes friendship & responsibility involve trusting others and doing harder work than scheduled.

    Who the hell knows, the other rider may have never noticed the crash, but perhaps they’d have stopped if they had been informed by a pursuer. OTOH, the bandit rider may also have just been a jerk. Apparently none of the subject group felt it was important enough to find out.

    Take care of each other, huh? A quick healing leg to the lady.


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  • indy May 29, 2009 at 12:05 am

    #33/L.A. biker dude
    For you to hit someone that hard to break ribs going downhill, concerns me. What happened to the woman? How do you hit someone that hard and nobody stops?


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  • K'Tesh May 29, 2009 at 12:38 am

    My prayers go out to the injured cyclist. I hope she heals completly and quickly.

    My suggestion, carry a camera at all times. With it, I find that I can document all kinds of issues. Should I witness a crash, perhaps the image of the situation could lead to some justice for the victim.

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  • Barbara May 29, 2009 at 8:13 am

    FYI from experience. After being hit by a bicyclist & incurring significant injuries & bills ($5000). Your auto insurance does not apply if bicyclist to bicyclist. Only motorist to bicyclist. Bike to bike goes against the homowners insurance of the cyclist that hit you.
    Also there can be issues since not on a roadway.
    One has 2 yrs to file suit against the bike rider to recover damages.
    The $500 police report DMV doesn’t seem to apply to bicycles.
    These kinds of inconsistancies need to be addressed legally with the significant increase in bicyclists.

    Having been cycling in PDX since 80’s I’ve has a few encounters over the yrs. The lack of courtesy on cyclists & drivers in some areas is on the increase. I’ve been gently hit 2x by cyclists in downtown both red running ligts on fixed gear who bot hsaid the couldn’t/wouldn’t stop since on a fixed gear. Why not? Both irritated when I asked for name etc in case of need t ocontact for further unkown injuries

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  • Jimmy P May 29, 2009 at 8:26 am

    I ride through this area everyday, as do many others. It’s a really scary intersection. Coming up, you’re blind to bikes on the right due to a hill and shrubbery. And on the left people come flying down the hill. It’s a huge downhill, and then at the intersection there’s a very big right hand turn.

    If this areas going to be made safer, it’s going to be the riders that have to do it. The city would have to take out the stairs and garden area to make it really safe. Just slow down. We all love getting to where we’re going quickly, but slow down. I see lots of close calls and near misses on the bridges and waterfront, and most of them are because some cyclist thinks that they need to ride at Tour De France speed everywhere they go.

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  • sumadis May 29, 2009 at 8:28 am

    to clarify for indy #43 – I didn’t hit her. she went left instead of right on a tight bend and i went down. period. no contact. i wouldn’t have crashed – had reason to push my line further right than necessary – if she’d stayed where she should have thru the corner coming up. sorry i wasn’t clear about that in the post. the point was to say accidents happen and we’ve all gotta take a breath (maybe slow down) and look out for each other.

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  • Anonymous May 29, 2009 at 8:30 am

    This is a rant which is only partially related to this story…

    Its OK to go fast if you’re riding an arterial, its not OK when you’re on a crowded sidewalk where there are pedestrians and bicycles trying to pass one another.

    Try to treat other bicycles and peds the same way you want cars treating you — make sure there’s time to pass, give adequate room, don’t startle people, etc.

    For Gods sake if you are involved in a crash stop and make sure everyone is OK.

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  • PdxMark May 29, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I’m a friend of the injured cyclist and the other riders in the group. There are a few comments here that warrant a bit of clarification. These are my personal comments and not in the name of my injured friend or the other riders.

    (1) It’s quite easy in a bike-bike collision for one cyclist to go down, hard and fast, while the other cyclist doesn’t. If your front wheel is knocked to the side, even with a gentle bump, you stand a very high chance of going down very fast. If your rear wheel is hit, even pretty hard, you have a good chance of NOT going down. I don’t know the details of this crash, but it is quite easy for one cyclist to ride through and away from a collision while the other goes down.

    (2) The cyclist who ran away from the collision knew full well about the collision and the crash. He is utterly guilty of hitting and running. As he rode off one of the other riders called to him to come back. He yelled back that “you were in the way” as he fled. There is no mistaking that he knew about the collision and the crash.

    (3) The cyclists were middle-aged women who are as experienced and considerate a group of road riders as you’ll find. When one of their friends goes down their first concern is the friend, who is laying on the ground, not chasing after some likely younger man heading the opposite direction without even a pause in his pace. It’s preposterous to opine that the failure of a woman to chase after a man for the sake of a direct confrontation on a bike suggests some lack of concern, seriousness, or whatever else was being implied in some comments.

    (4) Speed of the hit and run rider was the major cause of the crash. He was going too fast to make his turn from the sidewalk on NE Lloyd Blvd. and also keep to the right side of the path he was turning onto. He swung wide, to his left, across the front of the rider he hit. Simply put, he was going too fast to be in sufficient control under the circumstances of other riders being on the path.

    (5) Finally, we riders need to slow down in congested mixed-use areas like the Esplanade. The dense mix of walkers, riders, boarders, dogs, etc., particularly now with the warmer weather, requires riding slower than the 15-18 mph, or more, that some people seem to NEED to ride. Simply riding with consideration of others would have prevented this collision and others that are sure to happen there.

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  • PdxMark May 29, 2009 at 9:51 am

    (2) The cyclist who ran away from the collision knew full well about the collision and the crash. He is utterly guilty of hitting and running. As he rode off one of the other riders called to him to come back. He yelled back that “you were in the way” as he fled. There is no mistaking doubt that he knew about the collision and the crash.

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  • toddistic May 29, 2009 at 11:22 am

    PDXMark @ 49

    “I don’t know the details of this crash”

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  • PdxMark May 29, 2009 at 11:39 am

    toddistic – I note that I don’t know how the bikes made contact. What is your point?

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  • hemp22 May 29, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Hey Jonathon – this is unrelated to this incident, but do you have any reporting or followup on the cyclist that was hit (left crossed) by the City of Portland pickup truck this week (reported on KATU on wednesday, I believe).

    My brief take on this incident, and the earlier hawthorne bridge incident: “Jerk” is a condition which won’t be cured by infrastructure.

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  • anna May 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I hope that we see more bicyclists calling out others, such as running traffic lights and blatantly breaking other traffic laws (which clearly apply to bicyclists) or putting other riders in harms’ way.

    also, it is incredibly ableist to insist that we be going fast. Not all traffic moves at such speeds — either because of loads we might be carrying home from the store, or being survivors of chronic pain or arthritic challenges, and other such factors.

    It makes me sad to think that in this day when people want to think we’re post-racial we still have people telling other folks to get off the sidewalk after judging that they are not “good enough” to share the spaces in our town.

    thank you.

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  • spotter May 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Ditto above and for what it’s worth, I think as cyclists we need help other less knowledgeable and younger cyclists understand the rules of the road and help them practice some civility.

    What I have experienced a number of times this Spring is cyclists passing on my right (between me and the curb) when I’m waiting for a light. The riders passing timing the light to enter the intersection just as it turns green. All the times this has happened, it’s also come without any kind of warning.

    One of the times this happened, I caught up to the young man (he in his 20’s and I in my late-30’s, both of us on fixed gears) who passed me and said, you know, it wouldn’t hurt that even if you’re going pass me like that you let me know you’re coming. He nodded his head in shamed agreement and said you’re probably right.

    I think we need to hold ourselves to better account, be good examples, and actually talk to people we see doing stupid (read: dangerous) shit.

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  • Vance Longwell May 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    anna #53 – I’m not sure I understand your position. I further can’t identify any difference between demanding that people ride slowly, and people ride quickly.

    I hope that we see more bicyclists calling out others, such as running traffic lights and blatantly breaking other traffic laws (which clearly apply to bicyclists) or putting other riders in harms’ way.

    This too is unclear. Can you clarify what you mean in the statement, “…bicyclists calling out others…”?

    …also, it is incredibly ableist to insist that we be going fast.

    Ya, I had to go look that one up and couldn’t find anything. What is, “ableist”?

    Not all traffic moves at such speeds — either because of loads we might be carrying home from the store, or being survivors of chronic pain or arthritic challenges, and other such factors.

    Agreed, but again I routinely carry 50lbs or more of groceries home in my shoulder bag. I fail to see why you would need anymore than that under normal circumstances. Much more weight than that and you really should be walking, busing, or driving. As far as I’m concerned some serious regulation of bicycle-type is in order, and I’m really not inclined to allow those the same access to the right-of-way I expect on a conventional bicycle.

    Furthermore, the rest of your examples are also users who are traditionally regulated in other modes, and even less likely to be able to operate a bicycle of any sort on a public highway safely. In my opinion cycle traffic of this type belongs on the sidewalk, and clear of the 201 zipcode altogether.

    You close your comment with a complaint about being judged. Well the state of Oregon judges thousands of people a year on their fitness to do any number of things. This is nothing new. You identify yourself as a person in a regulatory category, not the other way around. A person traveling well below the speed a road surface is designed for is obliged to stay out of the way. If you are going slower than that there are plenty of sidewalks. I don’t even mean that negatively. Seriously, most of your examples would be well served by a sidewalk route.

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  • Anonymous May 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I’m glad to see no one is actually responding to Vance, good on y’all, you’re learning.

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  • Mike May 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    re 49:

    Thanks – the information you were able to provide clears up a lot of my questions.

    Any update on the victim’s status?

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  • Burk May 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    To quote Pogo:

    “we have met the enemy and he is us”

    I imagine most people reading this site have seen cyclists doing a bunch of stupid stuff and have not said anything. I know I haven’t…

    I agree that it’s probably time to start calling folks on their bad riding. I just feel uncomfortable doing it…

    Unfortunately without some kind of social pressure/call people on their crap I think we are only going to see more of this kind of stuff.

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  • steve May 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Short memories some of ya’ll have.

    Last summer I remember a few well publicized events involving folks with the increasingly common hall monitor mentality, chastising others on their actions. Pretty sure one of them turned into a fist fight and another culminated with someone eating the business end of a u-lock.

    Mind your own business, you special little do-gooders! The last thing we need are a bunch of little brownshirt vigilantes, hassling other riders. If you want to become a cop great, go sign up. Otherwise keep it to yourself, especially when pestering people for perfectly legal behavior.

    I have had 4 separate people yell something about wearing a helmet at me already this summer. Funny, none of them were out there making pests of themselves in the rainy, cold winter months.

    Now if someone has injured you by breaking the law or caused an accident things are very different. Other than someone hitting you, best to keep your opinions to yourself. Or be prepared for the consequences of your rudeness.

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  • Vance Longwell May 29, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    steve #60 – That was the very first thing I thought of when I read anna’s comment. I’ve personally witnessed people complain about being harassed like that here before.

    Ya anonymous #57 that’s pretty mature. Well, say what you will at least I put my name on my comments.

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  • Rixtir May 29, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Steve, maybe I missed it, but where are people here advocating pestering people for “perfectly legal behavior”?

    And when did aggravated assault (an act which will guarantee the perpetrator a felony conviction and a stretch in state prison, by the way) become the appropriate response to “pestering”?

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  • steve May 30, 2009 at 9:16 am


    No one wound up in prison for the incidents last summer.

    There are numerous posts in this thread calling for others to berate cyclists for their supposed misdeeds. No one has really qualified which actions are worthy of such harassment. Which of course is the problem. Little hall monitor vigilantes are often unaware of the law and are not accountable for their actions.

    Also who said anything about appropriate?

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  • wsbob May 30, 2009 at 10:54 am

    “There are numerous posts in this thread calling for others to berate cyclists for their supposed misdeeds.” steve

    Is their even one? Just scanned through the posts, again, and didn’t see any like that. #15 was over the top, but actually something different and more extreme than a call to berate.

    steve, it kind of seems like you’ve got a persecution complex. No offense intended, and please don’t berate me if I’m wrong about you possibly having one.

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  • Rixtir May 30, 2009 at 12:23 pm


    I’ve seen the post[s] suggesting that cyclists should cll other cyclists on their “blatantly illegal” behavior (see post 54). That’s why I questioned your assertion that people were calling for “pestering” other cyclists for “perfectly legal behavior.” Obviously, in your own personal experience, you ARE being pestered by total strangers about perfectly legal things that really are none of their business. I can see how that would be annoying to you. I just don’t think that anybody here suggested pestering other cyclists for perfectly legal behavior.

    Re the aggravated assault, you’ve refreshed my memory now. A cyclist made a jackass move that nearly resulted in a collision with a car, another cyclist (riding as a passenger in said car) shouted “get a helmet”, as a coup de grace insult, and the cyclist followed the car, attempted to key the paint, and got involved in a fistfight with the passenger/cyclist. When the cyclist/vandal pulled his u-lock, there was a struggle for control of the u-lock, and the cyclist/vandal ended up getting bashed with his own u-lock.

    You’re right, nobody went to prison for that. In fact, the last I heard, dropped charges were pending. Here’s the problem with charging aggravated assault in that incident: Cyclist/passenger gets involved in a scuffle while defending his friend’s property. Cyclist/vandal pulls a weapon, but drops it. In the struggle to gain control the weapon, cyclist/passenger uses weapon to defend himself against cyclist/vandal. The prosecutor could charge cyclist/passenger with aggravated assault, but c/p has a pretty good defense, and both parties have apologized and indicated their desire to drop charges against the other, so why bother prosecuting what may well be a losing case?

    What I meant in my previous post was something different– if somebody says something that some cyclist doesn’t like, and that cyclist delivers the business end of the u-lock to his annoyer, that’s aggravated assault, and if the cyclist is apprehended, he’s going to state prison. Oregon prosecutors are very, very strict about prosecuting aggravated assault cases, and the sentencing guidelines are also very, very strict. Bottom line, if you (not “you” personally, Steve) use a weapon to assault somebody– and Oregon prosecutors are getting very creative about what constitutes a “weapon”– you are looking at prison time.

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  • Donna May 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    As he rode off one of the other riders called to him to come back. He yelled back that “you were in the way” as he fled.

    What a sociopath. I shudder to think of what that guy would do if he believed I was in his way if he was driving a car and I was on my bike or walking.

    It’s preposterous to opine that the failure of a woman to chase after a man for the sake of a direct confrontation on a bike suggests some lack of concern, seriousness, or whatever else was being implied in some comments.

    Absolutely right, PDXMark. I’d never chase an unknown guy down for a confrontation. Since I’m neither armed nor stronger than 95% of guys out there, it doesn’t seem like a particularly wise idea.

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  • twistyaction June 1, 2009 at 10:59 am

    A question for y’all:

    What’s the most constructive, brief thing I can yell at another cyclist whom I witness breaking the law, not using common sense and damaging the reputation of all cyclists?

    Sure, I want to yell “ASSHOLE!”, and while that may be an accurate description of their attitude towards other road users, it generally does not engender an attitude of humility or personal growth. “Scofflaw”, while accurate, unfortunately sounds stupid.

    I recently took it upon myself to roll up beside a person I had witnessed roll a few stop signs to the detriment of cars and pedestrians waiting to cross the intersections in their turn. I politely addressed the rider by saying (I closely paraphrase in the same spirit) “Excuse me, your disregard for the other modes of road user we are supposed to share with really makes it tougher for all cyclists to be respected.” He shrugged to me and nicely, but sarcastically said that (verbatim) “Everybody’s got their own way of doing things. You’ve got your’s, I’ve got mine.” Of course this pissed me off after taking the time to address him politely, but I didn’t give him the pleasure of further addressing his smug ignorance. I hate stereotypes. He was furthering a bunch of them: dreadlocks x no brake fixed gear x stinky. I had hoped that behind that facade there might be a conscious individual. I wonder if his female companion he was riding with gained or lost respect for him as a result of his inability to receive a piece of respectfully offered criticism?

    When you ride in the public domain, remember that showing some respect for others is really having respect for yourself. If you disregard the law and common courtesy in view of another citizen, be they a pedestrian, driver, cyclist, child or someone gardening way off street, you are contributing to the decline in civility that makes life less pleasant here in a really nice city. Leave the ego at home or take it to the racetrack, it doesn’t belong in SHARED space.

    Again, what do I say to people?

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  • DJ Hurricane June 1, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    You should back up a step, twistyaction (# 67), and ask yourself whether you have any empirical basis to believe that anything you say or “yell” at some random idiot on a bike will make any difference in how they behave.

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  • Alexis June 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Sometimes asking people to correct their errors helps… like telling somebody not to walk their bike in the bike lane (during rush hour traffic on the Hawthorne bridge no less… it was right after you leave the sidewalk and are actually on the road) or to not pass you on the right. But generally confrontation is kind of useless and if you go all day stewing because some jerk didn’t listen to you it’s not really going to do you any good

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  • steve June 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Exactly the point I so poorly made earlier, DJ. Nothing good will come from hassling other riders.

    Jerks do not stop being jerks, simply because another jerk calls them a jerk.

    What can in fact happen, is the spectacle of two jerks finding out which jerk is the stronger jerk. We received national coverage for some of our jerk on jerk ‘civility’ explosions last summer. Talk about bad publicity!

    I suggest you keep it in your pants twistyaction and stop taking yourself so seriously. I guarantee that no one on the road is interested in your opinions and it sounds like you now have some anecdotal evidence to prove it, courtesy of Mr. stinky dreadlocks.

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  • wsbob June 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I’d say twistyaction’s was right to approach the person in the manner described.

    I think that whenever someone decides to use a public road, they, out of consideration and safety for others, in effect, accept an obligation to acknowledge and adhere to various unwritten and written behavior while on the road. If a road user’s behavior on the road reflects that they aren’t making that acknowledgment, it’s perfectly reasonable, even important, to remind them of the fact.

    On this weblog, an ever present, at least underlying if not conspicuously visible theme is activism; in the context of the type of behavior displayed in this incident, that would be making conscious, deliberate efforts towards change that produces greater safety and fairness for everyone.

    And still, perhaps because they personally dislike or feel uncomfortable being told when their own behavior is out of line, we have people attempting to humiliate those that would reprimand them into silence: ‘Keep your mouth shut.’ ‘Mind your own business.’

    Remember this has to do with behavior in the public setting, not a private one where people have much more latitude to do what they want. ‘Just do nothing’ doesn’t seem to be very good advice. Do that and nothing will ever change for the better.

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  • steve June 1, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    The Beaverton living, infrequent bike rider Bob said-

    “I’d say twistyaction’s was right to approach the person in the manner described.”

    And remind us what good it did? Well? And would you feel the same if violence had ensued? Would you? IMO, all this useless vigilantism is, is a form of ‘road rage’.

    The car driving, suburb dwelling Bob also states-

    “I think that whenever someone decides to use a public road, they, out of consideration and safety for others, in effect, accept an obligation to acknowledge and adhere to various unwritten and written behavior while on the road. If a road user’s behavior on the road reflects that they aren’t making that acknowledgment, it’s perfectly reasonable, even important, to remind them of the fact.”

    Right you are Bobby, that is why we have police. We give them training, nice shiny cars, and the ability to cite all mode users for various offenses. Want to be a cop? Great, go sign up. Otherwise keep your worthless and unhelpful opinions to yourself. Or don’t and be prepared for the repercussions of your meddling. I could really care less.

    And yet again, for the cheap seats- Jerks do not stop being jerks, simply because another jerk calls them a jerk. Thats because you know, they are jerks.

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  • steve June 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    And for the record Bobby, I am a law abiding daily cyclist who finds others taking it upon themselves to be traffic hall monitors repugnant on many levels.

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  • wsbob June 1, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    “And remind us what good it did? Well? And would you feel the same if violence had ensued? Would you? IMO, all this useless vigilantism is, is a form of ‘road rage’.” steve

    “…if violence had ensued?” steve

    Why would it have? twistyaction explains clearly that the comment to the offender was made with composure, self control and respect for the other person. What “…useless vigilantism…” could you possibly be talking about? Apparently, when you don’t like something other people do that abrades your personal sense of appropriateness, you dismiss their actions with distorted allusions.

    You would remove yourself from taking any responsibility for encouraging responsible behavior from others in your community. What’s your idea of an appropriate response to rude, unsafe behavior on the part of others? Just hire more cops…let them do the work. Great from a guy that, if I remember correctly, has frequently, on this weblog, expressed their dislike, if not outright hatred for cops.

    To those that question your various views, you attempt to get your differences with them across by resorting to demeaning nicknames and directly insulting comments. Perhaps that’s the best you can do. I can’t believe it; attitudes like this are something I’d expect from junior high school.

    I’d like to think editor Maus is not, as he has seemed to on past occasions, sitting there, enjoying that you’re doing this.

    twistyaction, #67, in an adult, civil manner, took a stand to convey to a fellow road user, concern about the potential consequences that might result from that persons use of the road. That in itself was a worthwhile accomplishment.

    This action was taken without bullying or wanton use of authority. This is exactly what more people should be recognizing their need to do. Many people already understand and do this very kind of thing in a somewhat different context, such as neighborhood watch. If they didn’t we would be having to hire more cops…if we could afford them.

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  • steve June 2, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Thanks for answering none of my questions Bobby.

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  • El Biciclero June 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Gosh, steve, you say “Beaverton living” as if it were an insult. You also appear to use “suburb dwelling” and “car driving” with kind of a pejorative tone. I’ll bet you didn’t mean to use stereotyping to that extent. I mean, I guess it’s obvious that anyone who is lucky enough to live in funky-cool inner Portland within a 3.2 mile traffic-calmed radius of everywhere they could ever want or need to go is far superior to anyone like me, who lives in a city other than Portland, rides 8 miles to work on 45mph arterial streets 5 days per week most weeks, and–holy crap–drives a car occasionally when requirements dictate, but maybe you could deign to sit on a little of your contempt for us “suburb-dwellers” and disagree without all the sarcastic jive.

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  • El Biciclero June 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    …but I guess that would be too much to hope for, since “Jerks will not stop being jerks…because, you know…”

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  • DJ Hurricane June 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    The guy running red lights will stop it if I just tell him how it makes me feel. Hilarious. How naive and narcissistic you must be to believe that.

    And just so you know, I wasn’t saying you shouldn’t speak your mind. Just don’t be surprised at the potential response, which you have good reason to suspect will range from impolite to violent.

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  • Vance Longwell June 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    El Bicyclero – If steve doesn’t mind me putting words in his mouth, I think the context is, “authority”. While suburban, part-time, vehicular cyclists are perfectly valid users, are they to be looked to as authorities where harder-core, inner-city, full-time vehicular cycling is concerned?

    I, for one, find a person fitting that description to command less authority on the subject, than riders like me and steve. A bit pat, I agree, but again context.

    Personally, if you even have an automobile titled in your name, you don’t belong in the bike policy forum. Just an opinion.

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  • Vance Longwell June 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    This too. DJ, why are you and I in agreement here? 🙂 Kinda makes it hard to hate you…!

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  • DJ Hurricane June 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Just for the record El Biciclero (#76), Steve is not the only one who’s sick of Bob’s inane posts. It’s obvious that the guy just does not get a great deal of what it’s like to ride a bike around in Portland. And that’s directly related to the fact that he does not do that — he is an infrequent bike rider who lives in a suburb.

    And also: It is my considered opinion that Beaverton sucks. The suburb where you live probably sucks too. But I’m sure you’re a perfectly nice guy. I wish you safe travels out there, as I know it can be extremely dangerous.

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  • middle of the road guy June 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm


    considering vehicle registration fees and gas taxes (both state and federal) go towards transportation projects other than just roads, I would say anybody who pays those taxes should have a voice in the matter, especially if it concerns infrastructure.

    Why not just extend this and say “anybody purchasing any goods that are delivered in a truck or car have no voice in this forum”?

    But what do I know? I only worked at the USEPA on funding alternative transportation projects. Just my opinion.

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  • El Biciclero June 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    “It is my considered opinion that Beaverton sucks…I wish you safe travels out there, as I know it can be extremely dangerous.”

    Thanks for the well-wishes. I guess what “sucks” is a matter of opinion–I’m sure there are plenty of people from NYC, or Paris, or London who would think Portland “sucks”. There may even be a few in Portland who wish they could live in Tigard. It all depends on your personal preference. My only beef is being stereotyped as some kind of dilettante rube for not living in the urb. Maybe that’s just me being hypersensitive.

    …And if it is so dangerous to ride in places like Beaverton, then what constitutes more “hard core” riding? Daily riding in Portland, or daily riding in Beaverton?

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  • wsbob June 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    No one…no one… is forcing any of you to read any comments I post here on bikeportland. If you’re sick of them as hurricane says he is…by all means…don’t read them.

    I don’t expect everyone to like or appreciate the viewpoints I present. Maybe no one does. That’s fine with me. Popularity contests? Not interested. Counterpoint, especially in a setting such as this, where the focus is fairly narrow, seems like a worthwhile thing. It can be a good way to get people to think and find out what they think.

    I’ve made fun of people in the past. With a few exceptions, it’s not what I’d do today. Some people seem to go out of their way to invite it, and some people, such as the boy bimbo, are fair game.

    Discussing issues is something I consider worthwhile. Anyone that can do this in a civil fashion, staying above a junior high school spoiled brat level of behavior may have something worth listening to.

    hurricane has very little knowledge of my familiarity with riding conditions in Portland, so I suppose his conclusion that I don’t “…get a great deal of what it’s like to ride a bike around in Portland.” is based on assumption, intuition, or…something. If he’s happy with that, it’s fine with me.

    Here’s another of hurricane’s thoughts:

    “The guy running red lights will stop it if I just tell him how it makes me feel.Hilarious.” hurricane

    Who said the guy would stop under those circumstances? Not I. You and various other people seem to say; ‘keep your mouth shut’ ‘do nothing’ ‘say nothing’ ‘mind your own business’. Well, that’s just great. So all these people regularly showing no regard for others, come to think that since no one questions their actions, it’s perfectly o.k. for them to blow stop signs, knock people off their bikes from a narrow sidewalk, and so on. Just lie down and die, is that it?

    And discretion, as twistyaction seems to have effectively used in the incident described in #67, is one way to avoid possible violent response when deciding to comment about a fellow road users actions.

    About Beaverton: It’s actually a very interesting place, and beautiful too. Sure, there’s some things about it that suck…really suck. Many people know this and work to make it better. The bike infrastructure needs a lot of work of course, and because this city lacks the better organized, compact grid of commercial downtown and connected neighborhoods that Portland has, riding on what infrastructure that has been built is probably less favorable to bikes than infrastructure in Portland.

    But overall, the town does not suck, and it’s shortsighted to say it is, not to mention insulting to what I’d daresay are the many avid bikeportland readers that live in and bike for both commuting and recreation.

    Beaverton’s central core; the two east-west thoroughfares in a 5-10 block(guessing roughly) around Freddies are pretty nasty for biking. Go any direction outside of that radius and there are many excellent ride opportunities, probably easily equal to what Portland, a city I’ve grown up with and have great affection for…has.

    The Beav has hills to climb…readily accessible flat and rolling countryside…verdant parks. There’s much, much more. And it’s easy to get here quick with the bike on Max, and depart for a day excursion out of the core.I’m afraid that all of this is off topic, but maybe it’s a good time to have brought it up.

    “Personally, if you even have an automobile titled in your name, you don’t belong in the bike policy forum. Just an opinion.” vance

    Vance, I know you can do better that.

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  • steve June 2, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Bob, it kind of seems like you’ve got a persecution complex. No offense intended, and please don’t berate me if I’m wrong about you possibly having one.

    I know you will especially appreciate that advice, since you have seen fit to dole it out to others.

    If you happen to have a problem with that or anything else I, or anyone else has to say, I suggest you heed this other excellent piece of advice again, courtesy of you-

    “No one…no one… is forcing any of you to read any comments I post here on bikeportland. If you’re sick of them as -blank- says he is…by all means…don’t read them.”

    You know, instead of complaining like normal.

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  • DJ Hurricane June 2, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    My problem isn’t with reading your posts, Bob. Its the way they drag down the discussion to the lowest common denominator of the mostly-driving suburbanite; of a guy who doesnt ride in Portland. It’s the opposite of ‘inform and inspire’.

    And yes, of course, we all get to express our opinion here, however repetitive, inflexible, and uninformed it may be. As I said, mine is that Beavertron sucks.

    And: civility is first and foremost about controlling the behavior of the only person whose behavior you can control.

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  • wsbob June 2, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Well you two guys are becoming quite the original, witty couple!

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  • Rixtir June 2, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    At one extreme, we’ve got busy-bodies who “call” strangers on perfectly legal behavior that is harming nobody.

    At the other extreme, we have sociopaths whose behavior threatens harm to everybody around them.

    In between those extremes, sensible people know to mind their tongues about perfectly legal behavior that is harming nobody, and also know that a healthy community doesn’t let sociopathy take root unchallenged.

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  • wsbob June 3, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Rixter…also in between are sensible people that know how and when to responsibly and constructively drop the hint to others about their inconsiderate and unsafe behavior.

    If enough people do this consistently, sometimes offending public behaviors can be reversed, bringing the more favorable behavior to become accepted cultural practice. Haven’t got any readily available examples, but there’s likely some proof in history to bear this out.

    Some people aren’t going to feel able to do this, and so they shouldn’t. If it turns out there isn’t anyone that believes this kind of thing can work, at least to some worthwhile extent, what alternative are we left with?….

    …I suppose some might say, just leave it to the cops…hire a bunch more cops…have lots more cops on every corner to go after every little lapse of behavior that ordinary citizens do not feel safe in commenting to the indiscreet about. Much safer that way…much easier…much more expensive too.

    Very likely, we’ll hear again from those that think that saying anything to strangers about errors in behavior will bring about nothing less than a violent assault or the onset of an authoritarian state. We should certainly always keep in mind the possibilities of this sort of thing happening.

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  • steve June 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Yup, DJ. Inane about sums it up. Banal might be appropriate as well.

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  • wsbob June 3, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    “My problem isn’t with reading your posts, Bob. Its the way they drag down the discussion to the lowest common denominator of the mostly-driving suburbanite; of a guy who doesnt ride in Portland. It’s the opposite of ‘inform and inspire’.” hurricane #86

    You might have noticed that very few people respond frequently to my comments, except you and steve, so no, I don’t think that’s happening. You guys just can’t seem to get enough of them though. Whatever.

    “…the lowest common denominator of the mostly-driving suburbanite; of a guy who doesnt ride in Portland.”…That’s quite a phrase…pat yourself on the back man! Tell us please: is that your contribution towards: ” ‘inform and inspire’ ” ?

    I’m not sure what the phrase means…if it means anything at all. It just sounds like biased stereotyping to me, the way editor Maus advised readers of this weblog last year, that certain people with a bias against people that ride bikes use words such as ‘cyclist’ ‘bike rider’ ‘biker’, and so on, to create divisiveness, animosity and spread hatred amongst people.

    Hey steve…sounds like you had a pretty good day!

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  • matthew June 4, 2009 at 8:04 am

    vance #5, 13….

    wow. helmets and helmet mirrors impairing vision? bike licences adding wieght? what planet do you live on? here on earth we don’t consider those arguments valid.

    take me to your leader…..

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  • DJ Hurricane June 4, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Well-said, Rixter (#88). As usual Bob (#89), you took a great comment and added another mental turd.

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