Photo: A ‘Don’t Share the Road’ license plate

A reader sent me an interesting photo via Twitter last week. The photo is of the license plate on a convertible BMW that was spotted in Northwest Portland. It shows an unintended use of Oregon’s ‘Share the Road’ license plate…

“Here’s a thought – Use the sidewalk.”
(Photo: @r3v0lt on Twitter)

I wonder if the person who bought it knows that proceeds from the sale of these plates are shared between Cycle Oregon and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. According to the BTA, for the 2009 fiscal year, they netted $12,300 in income from the plates. The money, which is unrestricted, was spent on various programs including their (now defunct) Eye-to-Eye campaign, the Bike Commute Challenge, the Share the Road safety class, and others.

Now there’s a thought.

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Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Also… I’m pretty sure altering a license plate is illegal.

Jerry_W
Jerry_W
11 years ago

The owner must be proud to be getting his message out. Not sure giving him this exposure is a good thing, like reinforcing bad behavior.

OregonJeff
OregonJeff
11 years ago

A classless ex-yuppie-turned-wage-slave that clearly doesn’t know the rules of the road and quite possibly only uses their brain to keep their ears from slamming together.

Patrickz
Patrickz
11 years ago

Nearly funny..but inviting trouble. Besides, cycling on the sidewalk is illegal (isn’t it?)

Shetha
Shetha
11 years ago

Patrickz – biking is only illegal on sidewalks for most of downtown. It’s legal elsewhere but I think you’re supposed to be going at walking pace, not 15 mph. Anyway, I am a rude generalizing person towards folks who drive bimmers and tend to yell “BIMMER ALERT” when I see a BMW doing something arrogant and insensitive to other road users. So, without further ado: BIMMER ALERT!

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

Patrickz,

Yes, riding on sidewalks is illegal in downtown in the area bounded by SW Jefferson, Front Avenue, NW Hoyt and 13th Avenue. there are some exceptions for police and security personnel… read more in City Ordinance.

eric
eric
11 years ago

So, it is true what they say about BMW drivers and porcupines.

Steve
Steve
11 years ago

‘Anyone heard of Photoshop?

OnTheRoad
OnTheRoad
11 years ago

It looks likes the messages and the NO Circle are part of the license plate cover.

So the license plate isn’t altered. I think it would fall in the same category as those polarizing license plate covers that keep red-light cameras from reading the plate number.

Maybe the wife got the bicycle plate, and the husband is trying to negate her message.

TonyT
Tonyt
11 years ago

It is illegal to obscure “Oregon” on a vehicle plate.

Babygorilla
Babygorilla
11 years ago

Clever. It doesn’t seem that the plate is altered in any way, just an elaborate frame.

Molehill that I predict will be turned into mountain, at least on this site and throughout the “community”. Hope nothing happens to the car to which this plate is attached or the occupants inside.

Let the overreaction begin!

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

Just want folks to know that I am watching these comments very closely and have already deleted FIVE of them. I may not catch everything, but I don’t tolerate comments that incite violence or that make personal insults — no matter who the subject of those insults is.

thanks.

Pete
Pete
11 years ago

Sure, I’ll admit it’s clever, but it reinforces what I said a few months ago: Bicyclists – the only minority you can get away with publicly insulting and still be PC.

You wouldn’t see someone getting away with altering a veteran’s license plate, for instance, with an anti-war slogan (or even an OSU/UofO plate with “Go Ducks/Beavers” for that matter ;). Though it’d be legal the backlash would be greater than a bunch of angry comments on a website that preaches to a choir.

Wait’ll the bOregonian gets a hold of it…

Babygorilla
Babygorilla
11 years ago

“It is illegal to obscure “Oregon” on a vehicle plate.”

Likely not, as long as the numbers, letters, and stickers are visible as it appears that nothing was done to the plate here, its just an elaborate frame. ORS 803.550

Spiffy
Spiffy
11 years ago

I agree that it’s inviting trouble… especially on a convertible yuppie-mobile like that…

and I also agree that it’s illegal to obscure your license plate… an out-of-state cop would have no idea what state to run your plate under and you’d be pulled over super fast… but there are a LOT of idiots with their plate obscured… I’m too lazy/busy to do it but somebody could easily report the obscured plate to the police…

and it’s pretty obvious they don’t know the law about bicycles and sidewalks… it would be especially hilarious if this car was in a section of town that it was illegal to ride on the sidewalk… makes me want to carry a copy of the law just in case I see the car…

Brewcaster
11 years ago

That is a nice thought. He should park the car and use the sidewalk.

peejay
peejay
11 years ago

Or, it could be ironic.

Spiffy
Spiffy
11 years ago

Babygorilla #14, the letters O, R, E, G, O, and N are obscured at the top of the plate… sounds like it breaks the law…

Vance Longwell
11 years ago

That’s an Oregon plate?

It’s just somebody’s opinion, for Pete’s sake. There’s no difference between that, and somebody with a, “One less car”, sticker on an appropriately obnoxious conveyance. Many here are responding as though threatened, somehow. About the time you wanna put your fingers in your ears, and start chanting, “lalalalalalalala”, really loud, you really owe it to yourself to, at least, figure out what is so threatening about some one expressing an opinion.

Hart
Hart
11 years ago

“When man invented the bicycle, he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man´s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once was a product of man´s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.”
~ Elizabeth West

Amos
11 years ago

Seems pretty cut and dry to me. It’s just plain illegal.

ORS 803.550 Illegal alteration or display of plates; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of illegal alteration or illegal display of a registration plate if the person knowingly does any of the following…

(d) Owns and causes or permits a vehicle to display a registration plate that is illegally altered in a manner described in subsection (2) of this section or that is illegally displayed as described in subsection (3) of this section.

(2) A registration plate is illegally altered for purposes of this section if the plate has been altered, modified, covered or obscured in any manner including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) Any change of the color, configuration, numbers, letters or material of the plate.

(b) Any material or covering, other than a frame or plate holder, placed on, over or in front of the plate that alters the appearance of the plate.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

Vance,

i think what’s threatening about this is that the person with these feelings is piloting a vehicle that some courts have considered a deadly weapon and that weighs several thousand pounds just inches away from fellow roadway users who are quite vulnerable to any contact that might occur.

r3v0lt
r3v0lt
11 years ago

“Anyone heard of Photoshop?”

As the person who sent this picture to Jonathan, I can assure you it’s not altered in any way. It was taken by my ex-wife, sent to me via MMS, and almost immediately tweeted to Jonathan.

Martie McQuain
Martie McQuain
11 years ago

I definitely wouldn’t park that car in public, if I were that guy.

Esther
Esther
11 years ago

amos is right, and it is a Class B traffic violation, which is equivalent to driving 21-30 mph over the speed limit:

(6) The offense described in this section, illegal alteration or illegal display of a registration plate, is a Class B traffic violation. [1985 c.243 §2; 2007 c.192 §1]

Esther
Esther
11 years ago

A class B violation can be issued up to $360 fine.

Andrew
Andrew
11 years ago

@Martie (#25)

I’m sure s/he probably doesn’t have to, and it probably lives in a reserved space in the basement of a condo tower.

encephalopath
encephalopath
11 years ago

And should that car be involved in an “incident” with a bicycle the driver wouldn’t be helping himself out any with those things prominently displayed when it comes to convincing the court that it wasn’t intentional.

Babygorilla
Babygorilla
11 years ago

#19, 22, 26 and 27:

Considering the context of the statue, a court would likely interpret the use of the term “letters” in the statute to refer to the particular letters in the plate’s specific ID, not the letters spelling “Oregon.”

But, again, feel free to pursue a citizen citation against this scourge of the streets. This horrible menage who terrifies all of us vunerable right of way users.

Wait, there’s actually no evidence that this person poses any danger to the public. Unless I’m missing something, its just an opinion that differs from most of the readers of this site. Then again, that seems to be enough to most here to vilify someone and conclude that “this ignorant person” has “the rotten life they have chosen”.

Babygorilla
Babygorilla
11 years ago

And I think we’re halfway up the mountain, looking back toward the molehill.

peejay
peejay
11 years ago

What’s so funny is if the driver is busted for this violation, they’ll be required to remove the offending covering, and must then drive around with an unmodified “share the road” plate, thus advertising an opinion they do not agree with. That’s pretty good karma, I’d say.

Cemetery Rider
Cemetery Rider
11 years ago

Ok, the scary part of that being an elaborate license plate frame is that someone is actually producing and selling those–likely there are others out there…

weastsider
weastsider
11 years ago

Monday, me and my toddler (in the trailer) got the ole revved-engine and brush-by a bright yellow convertible Corvette with personalized license plates YBSLO. I kind of laughed at the fact he raced by me to get stuck behind traffic.

It struck me that somebody would be such a **personal insult deleted** in such an obviously recognizable, expensive vehicle with easy to remember plates. Not everybody is polite and charitable. **personal insult deleted**

Ed
Ed
11 years ago

I think it’s funny. All the car needs now is a “bicycles allowed full lane” bumper sticker.

Or “If you don’t like how I drive, stay off the side walk”.

Nick
Nick
11 years ago

I feel bad for this guy’s beemer. It is not the car’s fault the guy is an idiot.

Oh! And don’t park on Mississippi Ave any time soon. I think the riders there do carry a set of house keys to key a car with.

~n

A.K.
A.K.
11 years ago

Vance Longwell:

I agree, it’s an opinion, albeit a stupid one. I think its funny how people can’t resist turning their car into a rolling billboard for something they’d probably never have the balls to tell someone face-to-face, or something they’d never walk around repeating over and over out loud (which is what is essentially being done here).

I to dislike those “one less car” stickers, or those “infinite MPG” patches you can buy at Powells and slap on your $200 messenger bag. Just shut up and let your riding do the talking! 🙂

geezer
geezer
11 years ago

Ok, the scary part of that being an elaborate license plate frame is that someone is actually producing and selling those–likely there are others out there…

Actually, I would find that comforting — it just becomes the PDX version of TruckNutz. It’s more scary if Bimmer Dude went to all the time and trouble to make a one-off version. It means they’re more serious.

shirinworship
shirinworship
11 years ago

Use the sidewalk? Why? So you can actually increase injuries running into pedestrians and people exiting buildings? ***portion of comment deleted due to a threat of property damage****

OregonJeff
OregonJeff
11 years ago

@geezer (#37): If you’ve got a beef with TruckNutz then you’ve got a beef with my bike. ;P

dojo mouse
dojo mouse
11 years ago

Is what I’m feeling now… “road rage”?

jv
jv
11 years ago

Come on, this really is not that big a deal – you can go to any number of online retailers and order a custom “vanity” lisence plate frame for $20. While it is funny that s/he supported BTA, this is not some product that is being mass-produced. I do applaud him (or her – why are we assuming it is a guy) for being able to color-match the plate to the background so perfectly. It appears to be a sticker over the bike though, so that may not be fully legal, but that just inspires me to make the bike on my Share the Road plates more custom. I think I’ll mod my STR plate bike to be rocking Aerospokes.

Pete
Pete
11 years ago

Andrew (#28): “I’m sure s/he probably doesn’t have to, and it probably lives in a reserved space in the basement of a condo tower.”

Maybe s/he leaves it parked there and rides his bike everywhere? (on the sidewalk, of course… 😉

OregonJeff
OregonJeff
11 years ago

@dojo mouse (#41): If you’re on a bike that better be “sidewalk rage” or you’re no bueno.

Dudewith
Dudewith
11 years ago

I’m a biker, and have worked in shops for several years around the country. This plate cover is fricken funny. Everyone needs to step back take a deep breath and thank the constitution for the right to freedom speech.

q'Tzal
q'Tzal
11 years ago

Do we have a public access database of Oregon licence plates?
It would probably be an easy bet that this individual has a history of using his vehicle to threaten and intimidate cycylists near where he lives.
If you aren’t up for a 4chan style assault on his private life some one could post fliers in his neigboorhood asking for any cyclist who recognizes this vehicle to come forward and tell their story of encountering him.
This could just be a stunt to anger people but we are a small demographic and the rate of return on his effort is low. It is much easier to alienate an entire race, gender or sexual preference but he chosr this for a reason: find that reason and solve him.

Marcus Griffith
Marcus Griffith
11 years ago

q’Tzal: Borderline threat there. Not good.

pfarthing6
pfarthing6
11 years ago

Riding on sidewalks is perfectly legal, it is described in the Oregon Cycling handbook. Few exceptions to this, unless posted otherwise, or downtown. Though that police and security can ride on sidewalks downtown and civilians can’t is pretty lame. But I guess we can’t ride our horses on the sidewalk either.

As for the plate, he/she will get a ticket for it soon enough.

But, the message should be food for thought that many cyclists really piss drivers off (ok, the converse is true too, but beeing an a$$hole cyclist won’t make it better, will it?).

I ride every day myself, but I drive too. And so often when I’m driving I encounter cyclists thay may be riding legally, but are causing a traffic jam in the process.

Like those folks that ride on SE39th and Hawthorne and similar where there is a lot of conjestion or high traffic flow and not much room. If they are commuting, there are many alternate routes available, both as fast and definitely safer. If they are sight seeing, sheesh, how about getting off the bike already, walk around, and enjoy the sights!

But, even riding “as far right as is praticable” in such areas, though legal, shows a serious lack of common sense and consideration.

For as much effort that is put out by the bike community on trying to change the car people, it might nice to also see the same effort to curb the rise of inconsiderate (lawful or not) riding habits that serve to perpetuate the bikes vs. cars attitudes.

Sorry, just putting that out there as I know many folks are are put off by how cyclists ride and so I can understand where the Beemer person is coming from.

BURR
BURR
11 years ago

More than likely this guy will get his first ticket from the City of Portland meter people, when he parks anywhere in the central city with metered parking, they do ticket for missing or altered license plates.

Dan Kaufman
11 years ago

It’s not funny, it’s not a molehill. This is the same thinking behind the intentional run downs we get to read about on this site much too often.

Remember this funny little video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFiwir7aiHI

The cyclist with a slash-trough and the corresponding comment are a staking of a claim, a tossing of the gauntlet. He is (I’m going WAY out on a limb here by calling him a he) is telling you from the back of his 1+ ton vehicle that he does not think you belong on the road. It is, in fact a veiled threat.

Is it any wonder people don’t feel safe on the road with such casual disregard (masked as humor)?

Marc
Marc
11 years ago

Tomorrow’s headline:

Man with small reproductive organ buys cliche red sports car to compensate – breaks arm patting himself on back for clever license plate frame.