Weekender Ride

Dangerous, high-speed pass on neighborhood street caught on camera

Posted by on July 9th, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Still from video by T.Lavender/Vimeo

Question: What’s one way to know when people don’t feel safe riding bicycles? Answer: When a growing number of them feel like they need to ride with an on-board video camera.

Here in Portland (and nationwide), we’ve noticed a strong uptick in the amount of people who equip themselves with a camera every time they ride around the city. This trend is the result of three main things; the advent and availability of smaller, cheaper and higher-resolution cameras, the epidemic of distracted driving that has resulted in more dangerous and illegal driving behaviors; and a growing sense that the police can’t (or won’t) do their part to enforce the laws.

With video evidence, the thinking goes, if something does happen, at least someone will have a greater chance at justice in court.

A lot of these videos never end up in court, but they are ubiquitous around the web. I quickly forget most of them; but every once in a while one will give me pause.

Yesterday a friend and long-time BikePortland reader (and commenter) sent in one such video. It really touched a nerve.

Tony Tapay was riding on a narrow and (usually) quiet residential street (SE 34th) with his pre-school aged son on the back of his longtail cargo bike. Here’s what happened next (video contains profanity):

And here’s his description of events:

“Heading home on the longtail with my son on the back when I can hear this guy absolutely flying up behind me. Notice in the video that when he passes me, he’s almost fully in the other lane and there’s another person on a bike coming the other way. The video doesn’t really capture how dangerous it was. I then proceed to catch up with him at the light and ask him if it was worth it, to which he responded “yup!”

The guy then proceeded to go straight toward hang a left on Clinton, and then go east for a few blocks and take a right. It seemed pretty clear by how he was driving that he was cutting through and using these back streets to avoid traffic.”

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Tony said this happened around 5:00 pm, hence his assumption that the person was using 34th as a cut-through.

The video highlights an issue Portland is struggling with right now: As our city grows and changes, many people choose to drive on backstreets in order to avoid congestion on larger arterials. That’s the issue that has forced the diverter conversation on SE Clinton and other neighborhood greenways.

In fact, Tony says he bought his camera about nine months ago specifically for this reason. “I wanted to start documenting my experiences with the dangerous driving/cut through traffic on Clinton,” he said, “because that’s the route to/from my son’s pre-school.”

For people who don’t ride around our city on a regular basis, it’s hard to put the urgency and outrage about bicycle access into context. The “bicycle community” probably sounds like a bunch of whiners. And hey, ‘Aren’t we the #1 bike city already?!’ they must think.

But unfortunately, the reality is often different than the rhetoric and the tourism brochures. Like Tony says in the video description he has up on Vimeo (where he has also posted the car’s license plate number), “Mayor Hales, this is what we deal with. Enforcement now.”

Hopefully this video will lead to justice in the courtroom — and a greater sense of urgency to take back our streets. Now!

Portland Century August 19th

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

241 Comments
  • Aaron July 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Where the hell are the police!?

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    • Dead Salmon July 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      The police respond after a crime is committed. They cannot be everywhere all the time. That’s why we have that thing libs hate called the 2nd amendment which states that the God-given right of each individual to own the tools necessary to defend his life shall not be infringed.

      As far as traffic cops go, most are in patrol cars. Do people drive like the dude in the video if a patrol car is nearby? NO.

      If you want traffic policing to improve, put the cops in unmarked cars – preferably small cars. They will not be able to go 1 block without writing a ticket for something. Put them in a big patrol car with lights all over it and they suddenly morph into the donut eaters that are so familiar to us; and all the drivers within sight morph into little old grandmas.

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      • caesar July 10, 2015 at 8:30 am

        That’s why we have that thing libs hate called the 2nd amendment which states that the God-given right of each individual to own the tools necessary to defend his life shall not be infringed.

        God wants us to own guns? Interesting. I just checked God’s Twitter and Instagram feeds saw nothing about her supporting concealed-carry legislation. And the guy that answered the phone at the NRA said there’s nobody named “God” on their member list. Did you read that somewhere or was it a personal communication?
        Thanks!

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        • Dead Salmon July 11, 2015 at 1:22 am

          “Unalienable” rights are mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and listed as the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution in the “Bill of Rights”. They are rights given to all humans – that is according to the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence.

          This article explains it.
          http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2013/09/23/what-did-thomas-jefferson-mean-by-unalienable-rights/

          Here’s the Declaration of Independence:
          http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

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          • caesar July 11, 2015 at 11:54 am

            Oh, so the Founding Fathers = God.
            OK, got it.
            Thanks!

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            • Dead Salmon July 12, 2015 at 9:28 pm

              Sorry to hear about your but t hurt.

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          • Pete July 13, 2015 at 12:44 am

            You do see the irony in learning about “rights” from the owner of many slaves, yes?
            http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-dark-side-of-thomas-jefferson-35976004/?all

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            • Dead Salmon July 13, 2015 at 10:52 pm

              Pete,
              Only a moro n would bring up something such as slavery which has absolutely nothing to do with the topic under consideration. Nice try though. Sorry about your but t hurt.

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              • Dan July 14, 2015 at 7:26 am

                Is this what you call getting the last word?

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              • Dead Salmon July 15, 2015 at 9:12 am

                No, you and EB did that.

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              • Pete July 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm

                Maybe not last word, but name calling is last resort.

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              • El Biciclero July 14, 2015 at 9:57 am

                Well, now, wait a minute—who made reference to gun rights in a traffic safety story? Besides learning about human rights from Thomas Jefferson is at least as good as learning about pedestrian and bike safety from Drivey McDriverton.

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    • paikiala July 9, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      There are only about 12 or 13 per shift for the entire city.

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      • Eric July 10, 2015 at 7:27 am

        Has that staffing level kept pace with population growth?

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        • gutterbunnybikes July 10, 2015 at 9:25 am

          I suspect it’s actually dropped over the years.

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          • Paul Johnson July 16, 2015 at 4:21 am

            Can confirm. That used to be the staffing level for just the Northeast precinct when I was growing up there.

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            • Dead Salmon July 16, 2015 at 7:05 pm

              I’d guess that the pension costs of retirees are eating them alive – forcing a smaller active force so the budget will balance.

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    • Jayson July 10, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Let’s get the license plate and wait for this crazy f—tard to do the same movement – same time and place. Perhaps someone could discreetly, or not so discreetly throw a rock at his side window while he’s speeding and endangering lives.

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      • Paul Wilkins July 10, 2015 at 11:46 am

        In my house, the main ‘tard’ word that’s acceptable is mustard. This driver was a f—wit.

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        • BIKELEPTIC July 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm

          Maybe he’s referring to the “flustard” of Dr Suess fame. . .

          http://seuss.wikia.com/wiki/Flustard

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        • middle of the road guy July 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm

          You should petition Dr. Who to rename his vehicle then…but maybe in the future people won’t be so PC, either.

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  • Kyle July 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I feel like we could have avoided this whole neighbourhood greenway mess if the city had focused on protected bike lanes on the arterials from the beginning. Instead of direct, separated routes for cyclists we now have a network of parallel streets with endemic dangerous cut-through traffic. With all the cross-traffic as well, I’m starting to wonder if diverters will really cut it. There’s also the issue – especially on Clinton – of drivers using the greenways for parking, dangerously slowing down randomly and zipping in and out of spaces.

    Perhaps the city will ultimately spend far more money making the greenways safe – through diverters, parking reform, signals, speed bumps, and more – than they would have spent by simply building proper cycling infrastructure on the arterials.

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    • Nick Falbo July 9, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Your comment may be true, but it shows a lack of history.

      Protected bike lanes have been banned in the US since the late 70s, and it took 40 years before they were reestablished as a viable type of bicycle facility. Yes, it would have been great to be building these on our streets since the 90s, but they literally were not an option.

      But what we could do was build bicycle boulevards, and the results have been amazing. The bicycle boulevard system has been responsible for the bicycle boom in Portland, and is these streets, (not bike lanes, or protected bike lanes) that are the reason inner neighborhoods have over 20% bicycle mode share.

      Today though, you’ve got a good case. Protected bike lanes should be the new normal on our busy streets. The 2010 Bike Plan for 2030 agrees with you too, by way of quoting the Copenhagen Cycle Policy:

      “…cyclists prefer to ride on shopping streets where the pulse of the city can be felt and where they can shop on their way home from work. So-called ‘back street’ solutions have therefore been dropped as a planning principle in Copenhagen.”

      They staff at the city get it. They understand it. But that doesn’t mean they can just do it.

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      • Eric July 9, 2015 at 4:57 pm

        Neighborhood streets are the vast majority of the network on Amsterdam, but they have diverters everywhere and 18mph (or lower?) speed limit.

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        • ethan July 10, 2015 at 1:04 am

          We need more diverters like Holman park. Just have a path for bikes to get through and a separate path / paths for people to walk through. On offset junctions, you can make a four way bike / pedestrian only crossing with lots of extra greenery.

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          • Paul Wilkins July 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

            Sadly, this type of thing still happens on Holman, but I agree the park diverter works pretty well. I’m anticipating Rodney will be the same way in just a short time.

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      • Scott Mizee July 10, 2015 at 7:12 am

        Well articulated and thoughtful response, Nick.

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    • Mike Reams July 10, 2015 at 7:15 am

      One problem with diverters is, they only work if people obey them. I see people illegally turning at 53rd and Burnside almost every day I walk through there.

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      • Matt July 10, 2015 at 1:25 pm

        The key to diverters is to make them non-optional.

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  • Lester Burnham July 9, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    This is why I ride right up the middle of the street on any neighborhood bikeway. Screw these a-holes wanting to use them as shortcuts!

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    • Spiffy July 10, 2015 at 10:48 am

      that just means that they pass you within 3 inches once there’s a hint of space…

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  • Josh Chernoff July 9, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Warning lots of f bombs.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFsZBpAslx8 Clinton St.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6_G3_vW7lQ Clinton St.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH7j_EMfElU Clinton St.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxAggKz3XPo Sandy St
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQeNpaROh_k Clinton St.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IegmJeRjOE

    I don’t think it amounts to anything even if you post videos, The Portland PD wont do anything unless a major crime was committed. This city leaders are only interested in pacifying the complainers who poses to reflect negativity on their next campaign.

    At the end of the day I see this kind of thing at least once a weeks and I don’t think it will ever stop.

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    • Adam July 9, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      As a fellow judge and jury, I applaud your honesty. F’in people. They’re the worst.

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    • SilkySlim July 9, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      We cover much of the same ground apparently (bottom of Gladstone, 21st, Clinton, etc.). And I’ve had pretty much the exact same experiences. I’m done with confronting anybody though, at least in such a direct form. Instead I just bike in the position I feel safest, which makes it pretty darn obvious while passing in a car that they are being completely ridic.

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    • Alex July 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Pretty much the same route for me. I come from top of Gladstone to downtown. I see all the same. Thanks for capturing.

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    • Rob Chapman July 9, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      You know Josh, I’ll bet the Audi guy who threatened to run you over would have gotten all bent out of shape if you told him you were going to shoot him in the face.

      It blows my mind how casually people will threaten murder by motor vehicle.

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    • JBone July 9, 2015 at 11:03 pm

      Just to see the other side, in a couple of your videos might the drivers been annoyed or felt antagonized by your lane position…as a cyclist I assume I should ride to the right as far as reasonably possible. And to look for opportunities to work with drivers to let them pass safely or go ahead. As a motorist, I feel cyclist create unsafe road situations when the ride with grips/bars/ beyond the white line in bike lanes or double abreast, leisurely claiming lanes while cars are expected to drive half the speed limit.

      Frankly, I would prefer the bike-centric world, but given the current near term reality I’m not always sure how to share the road with with people that have so many different ideas and feelings about transportation. New infrastructure and Vision Zero are great, but I simply wish we’d have an education campaign regarding what is currently in place. Not pamphlets handed out at Sunday Parkways, but radio PSA’s, Trimet, billboards, etc. I doubt most drivers have a clue how to share the road in Oregon. I suspect most just follow their character regarding patience, kindness, etc.

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      • meh July 10, 2015 at 7:17 am

        Look at how that vehicle bounces over the speed bump. Notice the cyclist coming in the other direction. The two together with clearance would equal the width of a standard car.

        Would that driver have attempted to shoot the gap with an oncoming car???

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      • gutterbunnybikes July 10, 2015 at 8:05 am

        Depends what you mean “by as far to the right as safely possible”. For me and many others that means 3-4′ away from parked car to stay out of the door zone even if there is no car (predictable riding).

        And yes a few drivers do get mad over that position – most don’t – many older drivers actually like this because the “bikes act like cars” method was what use to be the norm.

        It is much safer than bopping in and out of the parking lane and around cars as many people ride – that is how bikes often “come out of nowhere”.

        MIddle lane/street position increases your visibility to traffic, is predictable, you can see and be seen by crossing traffic farther back from the intersection (particularly blind ones), and should an you need it you have room for evasive measures, and it eliminates right hooks too.

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        • spencer July 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm

          I’ve been told by the POLICE to ride in the middle of the lane

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      • Josh Chernoff July 10, 2015 at 9:19 am

        First and foremost I stay to the green ways were I belong remember we are not talking about going down the middle of Hawthorne, Burnside or Powell. Gladstone happens to have a bike lane were I will happily ride. Sadly there are not bike lanes on all the green ways. On Clinton for example there are signs, LOADS of signs showing that bikes are expected to be in the road. They placed the sharrows in the middle of the road to show the cyclists how far out to the left to ride.

        Bottom line if you need to pass slower moving vehicles go take Powell or try your luck on Division. Don’t go driving aggressively on through NEIGHBORHOODS. If its not me someone is passing recklessly its one of our family members or fiends.

        Sorry, I just won’t empathize with someone who puts their driving inconveniences over my safety. Let them be mad.

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        • gutterbunnybikes July 10, 2015 at 8:30 pm

          Yes there is a bicycle path on the greenways. Those bikes painted in the middle of street with the arrows are the intended path for bicycles to ride. You should be riding directly over those painted bicycles.

          Here is a link to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices written by the Federal Highway Administration which clearly states it’s purpose.

          http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/part9/part9c.htm

          It’s at the bottom of the page by Figure 9C-9.

          Here is the text quoted for those too lazy to click:

          1) Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist’s impacting the open door of a parked vehicle,

          2)Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in lanes that are too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel side by side within the same traffic lane,

          3)Alert road users of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy within the traveled way,

          4)Encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists, and

          5)Reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.

          Time to save this comment for future cutting and pasting, I’m getting tired of typing it out each time.

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          • El Biciclero July 13, 2015 at 9:45 am

            6) Grant bicyclists right-of-way….oh, right—only a bike lane does that.

            Without an actual bike lane, and at speeds under 35, there are no safe passing requirements. On further reflection, it may well be that if the driver in the example video was going 35 or under, the only law that was broken was the speed limit. The laws we have that are “designed” to protect bicyclists are very weak. They appear to be actually designed to give drivers who hit a bicyclist an out in all but the most egregious circumstances. Further, interpretation and application of the law many times seems tilted against a bicyclist even when the driver was the lawbreaker.

            Should passing this close at 35 mph on a street with sharrows be illegal? Yes! Is it?

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          • soren July 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

            Bike lanes have legal meaning and provide statutory protections for cyclists riding in said lanes. On the other hand, sharrowed greenways have no legal meaning in the state of Oregon and provide no statutory protection. I think we need to lobby the city and the state to change this!
            In the meantime, BikeLoudPDX has asked the City to implement one quick fix:

            Install “Bicycle may use full lane” signs throughout the city on neighborhood greenways (and other bike infrastructure) where cars and people biking are in close proximity. This would prevent future tragedies by educating all road users on how to safely “share the road” (and correct the misconception that bikes belong in the door zone on neighborhood greenways).
            Link — MUTCD Figure 9B-2, Section 9B.07_07

            http://bikeloudpdx.org

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      • El Biciclero July 10, 2015 at 10:19 am

        I don’t see anything that indicates gratuitous traffic-blocking by any riders in any of Josh’s videos. What I see instead are impatient drivers who believe they are More Important Than Others and have some kind of right to go as fast as they want. They are probably driving down a neighborhood greenway because the cars were going too slow on some arterial. Tell me how this makes sense: if cars are going too slow, the answer is to go drive on another street where you know you are going to encounter lots of bicyclists. If the bicyclists are going slow, the answer is to intimidate them and endanger their lives. Why is the answer not just to realize that traveling through a city is likely to be slow?

        Pandering to ignorance and emotional immaturity is not the path forward.

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      • KristenT July 10, 2015 at 10:25 am

        As a cyclist, you should know that there are all kinds of reasons why you take the lane– and as a motorist, what often looks like leisurely riding along is actually going as fast as they can to get out of your way.

        Hey, there’s that phrase again: EVERYONE expects people on bikes or on foot to GET OUT OF THE WAY.

        If I’m in the center of the lane, it’s because

        A) there’s no bike lane, or shoulder, or what is there is too narrow or too choked with glass, car crash debris, garbage, etc to ride there;
        B) the regular lane is NOT wide enough for someone in a car to pass me while giving enough room to pass me safely
        C) the lane isn’t wide enough for me to ride outside of the door zone and allow a car to pass me safely.

        Besides, OR DMV says I’m supposed to ride in as straight a line as possible and not swerve in and out of empty parking spots.

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      • Spiffy July 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm

        might the drivers been annoyed or felt antagonized by your lane position

        I agree… I feel the person on the bike is way too far to the right and should be riding over the sharrows more often…

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      • John Lascurettes July 10, 2015 at 1:32 pm

        as a cyclist I assume I should ride to the right as far as reasonably possible.

        You assume wrongly then. The law states as far right as practicable not as far right as possible. This means that when it creates and unsafe passing situation (as in, tempts people to pass), the more appropriate lane position is in the middle of the lane. “As far right as possible” would mean always riding in the gutter and hugging parked cars’ doors.

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        • Dan July 10, 2015 at 1:45 pm

          When I ride up through Washington Park now, I make a point to occupy the center of the lane whenever I’m approaching a blind corner, and then move back to the right side of the road afterwards. I’ve had too many cars pass me on the corners there and nearly hit someone going in the other direction.

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    • Pete July 10, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      The crime committed was passing too closely. Unfortunately, you’d need evidence showing the exact distance, plus in Oregon the cyclist’s height…

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  • redhippie July 9, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    This is a challenging subject. I recently had an issue where a driver was being really aggressive pulling out across a busy cross walk. He was obviously in a hurry and didn’t want to wait for the pedestrians so was using liberal speed hoping to get people to stop and stay on the curb. I dealt with it by stepping in front of him, stopping him and just sat there for a minute. If people get called on their behavior in a non-violent and non-hostile way they’ll correct their behavior. BTW- he was a Rose City Cab Driver

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  • Allan July 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    If it were illegal to pass on n’hood greenways and folks started enforcing with videos like this, this problem could go away over time. I don’t see why its legal to pass a bike in that sort of environment. Just make everyone in cars slow down and they’ll get back on the main streets

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 9, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner.

      I agree with you Allan. I am a big fan of using “no passing zones” as a way of creating more safety for people riding bicycles. If we have already agreed that 20 mph is max speed on n’hood greenways, and most bikes are traveling at 12-14mph or so, why not say that if a person on a bicycle is present there is no passing allowed? Who could be against this idea? On narrow n’hood streets there is absolutely no reason someone in a car should squeeze past someone on a bike.

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      • Justin Carinci July 9, 2015 at 3:16 pm

        Properly enforced “safe passing distance” rules get at this with fewer unintended consequences. If I want to bike slowly and don’t want a car (or line of cars) on my tail, I can move over and/or wave them by and we’re both happy.

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        • Wyatt July 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

          I thinks it’s actually a lot harder to enforce a safe-passing-distance rule because it’s not as easy to tell when it’s being violated. I’ve never heard of anyone getting a ticket for passing too closely even though it happens all the time. The last time I saw it happen, it was a Portland police officer.

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          • Dead Salmon July 9, 2015 at 4:25 pm

            Long as they don’t hit me I consider it a successful pass. I’m not worried about the actual distance – of course, if the car speed is high, a little more room feels better.

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            • Dan July 9, 2015 at 5:24 pm

              Speak for yourself. I want to be passed safely, and I want the same for my wife, my kids, my friends, and my neighbors.

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            • Craig Harlow July 10, 2015 at 8:54 am

              I don’t believe you are for real.

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            • ethan July 10, 2015 at 10:23 am

              That’s not at all safe. Imagine if your crank arm broke and you fell into the path of the car right as it was passing you (this has actually happened to me, btw). If the driver doesn’t give you much room, you might end up dead or with some nasty wounds.

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        • Craig Harlow July 10, 2015 at 8:53 am

          If I read it right, our current safe passing laws are meaningless for autos travelling under 35 MPH:

          http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.065

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          • John Lascurettes July 10, 2015 at 1:34 pm

            You read that right.

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          • El Biciclero July 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm

            They are also meaningless in the presence of a striped bike lane, regardless of speed. The wording of this exception (A) is especially troubling for me, since I may have reason to be close to the left edge or even outside the bike lane, but as long as the driver is operating “in a lane that is separate from and adjacent to a designated bicycle lane”—irrespective of any bicyclist’s position relative to either lane—there are no safe passing requirements.

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            • Dan July 10, 2015 at 3:17 pm

              In many bike lanes, the right 80% is covered in flotsam.

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              • El Biciclero July 10, 2015 at 4:00 pm

                Or dotted with below-grade storm drains, or lined with poorly-jointed gutter pans, or longitudinally half-paved with severely washboarded pavement…

                I wonder what the ruling would be in a hypothetical close-passing case in which the bike lane stripe was completely worn away by car tires—does the bike lane exist or not?

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      • wsbob July 9, 2015 at 6:23 pm

        “… and most bikes are traveling at 12-14mph or so, why not say that if a person on a bicycle is present there is no passing allowed? Who could be against this idea? …” maus

        Unless to accomplish this on given streets, you’re thinking of using just the standard yellow diagonal ‘No Passing’ sign, let’s see some ideas of yours, or those of anyone else that would want to venture an idea of such a sign should look like.

        I think the ‘cut through’ is among the worst things that can happen to neighborhoods, so to my mind, the basic idea of effectively attempting to regulate with bike traffic, the character of motor vehicle traffic through neighborhoods, has some merit.

        There most likely would be obstacles encountered as efforts were made to actually make it happen. If the idea was passed around to the broader public, I’m sure there would be people objecting to the efficiency of their route being additionally impacted by bike traffic. For a variety of reasons, I believe the appeal of the ‘cut through’ strategy of dealing with traffic, can be great.

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      • Dwaine Dibbly July 10, 2015 at 5:32 am

        These drivers are already operating their vehicles illegally. Changing laws to make their behavior even more illegal probably isn’t going to change anything, but I do support doing that as part of a plan.

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        • meh July 10, 2015 at 7:33 am

          So true, more laws doesn’t change anything when

          1. The existing laws aren’t enforced.

          2. The new laws add to confusion as to which law takes precedence.

          3. Can anyone know every law.

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          • gutterbunnybikes July 10, 2015 at 8:29 am

            If drivers were tested every time they had to renew their license with a test that highlights all the recent changes in law and markings. They might not know all the laws, but they’d know most of them.

            And considering most changes don’t happen at the highway level, frequent stringent testing (preferably with medical exam waver too) would make the streets much safer.

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            • Opus the Poet July 11, 2015 at 8:17 pm

              This is actually the law for pilots. There is a thing called the Biennial Flight Review, where a pilot who has not upgraded his ticket in the previous 24 months must take a check ride with a designated instructor pilot preceded by an oral exam of any changes in regulations since the last BFR. Given that rate of change to driving laws this could be extended to every three years with drivers.

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      • Bjorn July 10, 2015 at 8:30 am

        The biggest problem with this approach is probably education, at this point most drivers don’t even seem to have a handle on the fact that they need to stop for pedestrians crossing at intersections even if the crossing isn’t marked with white paint. Enforcement is spotty at best and enforcement actions on the greenways always seem to end up focusing on cyclists more than cars, and I don’t like the idea of putting up no passing signs every block either…

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      • Craig Harlow July 10, 2015 at 8:56 am

        Bike or no bike, I think there’s no such thing as safe passing on a 20 mph street. The speed is 20 because of conditions that likely make all passing maneuvers inappropriate for those conditions.

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    • Alan Love July 9, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      I’ll second that, even if you do spell your name wrong.

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    • Spiffy July 10, 2015 at 7:05 am

      it’s already illegal to pass on most of them because they’re so narrow…

      the pass in the video is illegal on a couple of counts, passing to close and not yielding to oncoming traffic…

      they need to write the drive a citizen initiated citation…

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    • Mike Reams July 10, 2015 at 7:13 am

      Would it still be legal for a bicyclist to pass another bicyclist?

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  • Adam H. July 9, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Looks like pretty much every day on Clinton.

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    • Todd Hudson July 10, 2015 at 8:36 am

      And the Everett/Davis/Couch bikeway.

      I’m amassing a nice collection of close calls with my Contour cam, and soon will have enough for a nice montage set to music. Can’t decide which tune though….

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      • Adam H. July 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

        Highway to Hell?

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      • John Lascurettes July 10, 2015 at 1:36 pm

        And NE Siskiyou/Klickitat, and NE 7th north of Broadway.

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      • Opus the Poet July 11, 2015 at 8:18 pm

        Probably something in the “death metal” genre…

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  • NIk July 9, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    That psychopath needs to be off the road immediately.

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    • Eric July 9, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      If the police don’t do it, this kind of behavior and attitude is going to lead somewhere.

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  • ethan July 9, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    This is not uncommon behavior on greenways, unfortunately. NE 7th is terrible for this. Oftentimes, I’ll be passed within 50 feet of a traffic circle.

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    • Eric July 10, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Every street in SW, s/traffic circle/blind corner or hill/.

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  • Adam July 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Kids these days, huh? What a little twerp. Behavior like this makes me get behind closing streets to everyone but residents, their guests and emergency vehicles.

    What would it take to turn a neighborhood like this into a “gated” community?

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    • Tony T
      Tony T July 9, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      Just FYI, the dude was in his late 60s early 70s.

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      • Adam July 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm

        Wow. I sincerely hope I never act this way now, at 32. Euthanize me if I act this way at 60.

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        • lyle w. July 10, 2015 at 7:50 am

          Don’t worry, Obama’s death panels are a ‘lurkin in the shadows. Won’t have to wait till 60.

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      • Granpa July 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm

        Wasn’t me.

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  • hoop July 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    License plate number please?

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    • Tony T
      Tony T July 9, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Tan Kia Soul – Oregon plates 331-ERS
      Driver – thin white male with beard in his late 60s or early 70s

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      • meh July 10, 2015 at 7:38 am

        You have enough information for a z cite. Obviously speeding and passing too close two cases with both cyclists.

        It will cost you the time to appear in court, but with the video, you have a good case.

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  • Anne July 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    One thing I’d like camera users to start doing is to zoom in on license plates. Video Dad had a perfect chance when he caught up to the car but didn’t.

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    • Tony T
      Tony T July 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      I did get the plate and it’s in the description of the video. I’m currently looking into whether I have any legal recourse.

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      • Spiffy July 10, 2015 at 7:12 am

        citizen initiated citation for not leaving enough passing distance…

        http://www.stc-law.com/bicyclepassinglaws.html

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      • meh July 10, 2015 at 7:39 am

        http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2012/08/oregon_diy_traffic_tickets_one.html

        See how to issue a z cite and get your day in court.

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        • gutterbunnybikes July 10, 2015 at 8:35 am

          would be nice if video like this could substitute the presence of the person issuing the citation in court. The biggest problem with civilian citations is just that.

          Do I take a day off work to appear at court so someone will be fined less than the money I lose taking the day off.

          There needs to be some work around on that – or fines need to be able to be adjusted for compensation to the citation writer without having to take it to small claims – which I don’t know would be possible.

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    • Jeff M July 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      “One thing I’d like camera users to start doing is to zoom in on license plates.”

      I think you need the plates *and* a visual ID of the driver, and he got both. Maybe a legal expert can weigh in, but it seems like he did the right thing to me. I hope a citation is issued, at the least.

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      • Lyle w. July 10, 2015 at 7:41 am

        Yep, as I understand it, when you go through the process, the police (or whoever) make you pick the guy out of a photo lineup. Combined with the clear video of his car, and that is rock solid evidence.

        Please do it, Tony.

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  • Captain Karma o July 9, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    In the last week I have witnessed a large motorcycle charging up the bike lane “lane-splitting” for > 150 metres @45 mph to bypass waiting traffic. Same thing with an isane “Qube” car driver. Outer Sandy Blvd…never any cops around to witness the clowns on their “last chance power drive” as Springsteen would say.

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  • MR July 9, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Had a guy get out of his car and threaten me after I yelled at him for almost hitting me. Happened on NE 9th north of Tillamook. A-hole. Which is what I called him and probably why he stopped, oh well, he proved he is one several times in our 30 second interaction.

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    • Jeff July 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      I’ve given up on confronting drivers. I used to, but it was sapping all the joy out of riding – and I get close-passed effectively every time I get on my bike. Think cut through drivers on Clinton are bad (and I do)? Try SW Virginia when Macadam is backed up….suburbans in suburbans if you catch my drift.

      I made a rule: if I do something meant to confront a driver, either by yelling, gesturing, or staring, I get no beer for that evening or the evening after that. I like beer a lot more than I like confronting drivers.

      Illigitimi non carborundum, I guess.

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      • SilkySlim July 9, 2015 at 3:52 pm

        Yes yes and yes. I was DEEP into a negative loop at one point, with the only thing on my mind while riding being impending confrontation. It was terrible, and massively addictive. No more, all smiles and sunshine and humming songs for me. And frankly, I think showing joy while biking (even if sweating bullets) will do more for the cause than anything.

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        • Zach H July 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm

          Dang, you’re so right — I’ve never been honest enough with myself to admit that waiting for the next (inevitable) confrontation is really… addicting. Yikes.

          I don’t really know what helps “the cause” more — confronting bad drivers or just letting them all pass you by, but I’ll be thinking about your idea of just “showing joy while biking” a little more from now on.

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          • Jeff July 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm

            I would submit that with nonconfrontation, the very worst thing that can happen is that the driver goes merrily on his/her way oblivious to anything s/he did.

            With confrontation, that’s one of the BEST things that can happen. More likely, you’re just giving them (even more of) a reason to be angry at people who ride bikes. Things can just get worse from there.

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            • Alex Reed July 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm

              I think that, occasionally, confrontation can have a good outcome. However, I find it too emotionally taxing and have made a conscious decision to stop. I think my time and energy are better spent changing the system than trying (often unsuccessfully) to convince each individual road user to change their ways.

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            • soren July 9, 2015 at 5:21 pm

              I could not disagree more. I’d estimate that ~70% of my attempts at motorist education were a positive experience. Most close passes, cut offs, hooks, or crosses are not malicious and in my experience it’s important to let the person driving that the person cycling felt endangered.

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              • Jeff July 9, 2015 at 6:27 pm

                If that’s your experience, then by all means, carry on. I’m clearly at the other end of the bell curve (no sarcasm intended by the way – I’m truly impressed.

                I can restate: When ‘I’ confront a driver, no good can come of it…

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              • Ted Buehler July 9, 2015 at 11:09 pm

                Jeff —

                I know that Soren has good diplomacy skills. That may account for his 70% success rate.

                I don’t have such good skills on the road, so I avoid confrontation.

                FWIW,
                Ted Buehler

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              • dan July 10, 2015 at 10:43 am

                Yeah, mixed bag for me, but definitely some positive. And one very embarrassing interaction when I was cut off on a dark, rainy night, chased down the driver to chastise them, and he pointed out that my light (low battery) had turned off.

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              • soren July 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm

                i’d consider that a positive interaction. 😉

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            • wsbob July 9, 2015 at 6:49 pm

              “…More likely, you’re just giving them (even more of) a reason to be angry at people who ride bikes. Things can just get worse from there.” Jeff

              There logically, on the road in motor vehicles, are people intent on taking advantage of any opportunity to make a public display of how they’re the baddest boy or girl for miles around. So, the ‘one-upmanship’ can factor in to what they do when they get an opportunity.

              It’s worth it to me personally to choose routes where I can reasonably depend on people using the road to be mellow. Unfortunately, not everyone riding has that luxury. For people having to ride in intense road situations, I think that riding defensively is the first and foremost procedure to rely on. People riding and making sure they’re doing everything right as far as following road use procedures are concerned, is part of that; depriving the bad guys of any justification for their wrongdoing.

              If people can effectively use go-pro cameras to slam some of the bad road users out there, more power to them.

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              • gutterbunnybikes July 10, 2015 at 8:45 am

                Just curious but what is “ride as defensive a possible” entail?

                This phrase has been popping up more and more, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it laid out into any kind of method or technique.

                It seems pretty vague, and likely for every rider that would vary. I’d consider middle lane position defensive because I can see and be seen better, and have more room to react should evasive maneuvers need to be taken. Unlike hugging parked cars/curbs, where your visibility suffers, your attention is split between traffic and trying to see if someone is in a car about to open their door, you can’t be seen/or see blind intersections until you enter the intersection and you have no where to go should you need to.

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              • wsbob July 15, 2015 at 11:36 pm

                “…Just curious but what is “ride as defensive a possible” entail?…” gutterbunnybikes

                You’re quoting someone, but looking in my comment to which you’re responding, I don’t see that statement. Nevertheless, you ask a good question. Because bikeportland’s staff is taking so long to moderate my comments (four or five of them from yesterday still waiting… .), I don’t know when you’d be able to read any answer I might write to your question. It would be good if someone else would answer the question.

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      • Dead Salmon July 9, 2015 at 4:31 pm

        Smart man. It ain’t worth getting your teeth knocked out, or getting charged with a crime -even though YOU were not the aggressor. It’s sad but many times the person trying to defend themselves will be charged with a crime – that would be a big bummer for a long time. So, because of this, a lot of bad behavior isn’t called out by someone who might otherwise say something. Aholes are allowed to get away with being aholes.

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    • ethan July 9, 2015 at 4:30 pm

      I’ve had issues in that same area. I generally take 7th home, but lately it’s too frustrating to be in near misses every single day, so I go about 1-1.5 miles out of my way for a better route and it’s still not safe (Vancouver/Williams).

      And keep in mind I’m only on 7th in the first place because the most direct route (NE 15th) has parked cars but no bike infra. And apparently parked cars are worth more than the lives of people on bikes.

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      • ethan July 9, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        I meant to say that I was taking 9th for a bit, but ran into the same problems (and a park).

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    • Jonno July 10, 2015 at 5:30 am

      I had the same thing happen to me on NE 28th just north of Glisan. Tan Ford Ranger, last 3 plate digits were 551. That incident convinced me of two things: one, that confrontation just isn’t worth it, and two, that the cops don’t give a flying f* even if you have it on video, which I do.

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  • Shelley Batty July 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    It isn’t just Clinton and urban streets that these unsafe passes happen.

    I bike commute on Willamette Falls Drive between Oregon City and the Stafford triangle. Yesterday during the evening rush hour there was solid traffic in both directions with no shoulders and a double yellow line. A white van with a kelly green utility trailer passed me with all of 1.5 inches between me and the trailer. When the traffic speeds dropped below 10 MPH, I took the entire lane and stayed in traffic instead of passing the stop and go cars on the right (I personally feel that is safer than passing the cars so they can pass me a second or third time). The ugly unsafe passing saved the guy in the van zero time on his way through West Linn as I sat in traffic 4 cars behind him.

    I am always hopeful that people will realize that my presence on my bike means that there is one less car blocking traffic ahead of them. The response of the police office I called and spoke with was that the guy was probably “just distracted and really didn’t mean to pass that close”. It felt a lot like someone saying “Sorry, I didn’t mean to kill you”.

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    • KristenT July 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Welcome to Willamette, I guess. I used to live there and wouldn’t ride to work from there on a million-dollar bet.

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  • m July 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Wack-a-mole has begun.

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  • chris July 9, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Happens to me almost every day. Today riding through Ladd had a driver dangerously pass me. Thats why I take the lane now.

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    • Tony T
      Tony T July 9, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      I was taking the lane, and he passed me at that speed anyway.

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  • John July 9, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Another example of this craziness: Yesterday afternoon about 5:40 while riding east on NE Tillamook in between MLK and NE 7th, there was a woman driving a purple boxmobile (maybe a Toyota or Scion?) that floored it to try to pass a group of commuters on bikes, only to run out of room before the stop sign. She then slams on the brakes and “merges” in to the middle of the bikes. I followed her through the right and left turns to continue eastbound on Tillamook, and watched her do the exact same pass-then-slam-on-the-brakes to another bike rider at the next stop sign – then she pulls over and parks! She was driving in the most selfish and dangerous manner imaginable on that street, just to get to her parking space 10 seconds earlier. Best part: her license plate is LUV SELF.

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    • Philip July 9, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      I was directly in front of her at the stop sign at NE 7th, and witnessed the same behavior. Saw her car parked on the North side of ***Location information of car has been deleted by moderator due to privacy concerns*** this morning on my commute in…

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      • John July 9, 2015 at 4:24 pm

        Yep, I saw it there this morning too.

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        • 9watts July 9, 2015 at 7:51 pm

          Does she imagine herself is in a video game? If so who is driving her? Would that defense hold up in court?

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      • Chris I July 9, 2015 at 5:02 pm

        Well, it sounds like a lot of people know where she parks her car. That’s too bad for her.

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    • ethan July 9, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      I think I’ve seen that same driver pulling a very similar move in that location as well. That area is notorious for that kind of pass. And it’s gotten worse because people are avoiding MLK, Broadway/Weidler and Fremont.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu July 9, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      In that situation, you should pound on, kick, hit her car. She is assaulting you and you have the right to self defense.

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    • Dan July 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Wonder if she was running when she got out. I assume so, since she was in a massive hurry.

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    • Paul in the 'Couve July 9, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      Given the other comments on this woman, I suggest getting together, along with BikeLoudPDX maybe and first sending a diplomatic delegation (documenting all) to her residence and presenting her with a letter or grievance – maybe a lawyer along to – legal notification that her driving is hazardous and the bike community knows, and that if she does hit anyone the lawsuit / criminal prosecution will have more evidence.

      If she predictably acts like an idiot, video to the TV news, and a protest ride just for her around her block, hopefully with news coverage.

      This would be much for effective than any nefarious night time activity.

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  • newberry July 9, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    it’s time to take a different route. All the cameras, crossing lights, green paint, signs is just visual pollution. Take the technology and install speed limiters using GPS, camera recognition, ground sensors. With the coming of self driving cars speed difference will become a real headache with associated road rage. Limiters could initially be installed in public vehicles, then public utility vehicles (buses, gas, cable trucks) and finally in all vehicles. The area could be governed by metro, density or numbers.

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    • Eric July 10, 2015 at 1:41 am

      Retractable speed bollards only retract if your speed is below 20. Every 50yd.

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    • Tom July 10, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Speed detection can be used to discourage speeders by modifying light timing real time so as to take away any advantage of speeding. Upon detecting the speeder approaching an intersection, the light turns red and stays red longer than it would normally. Then reward drivers driving near the speed limit with a green they would otherwise not get, or a shorter red. Drivers would soon figure out it is more advantageous to drive closer to the speed limit.

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  • Mixtieme July 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Car free streets! We need car free zones, restricted access, retractable bollards, all of the above. I’m still mad they gave in and mingled all the traffic in the downtown bus mall. Stupid chaotic and dangerous.

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  • MaxD July 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I think there may be some value in reporting these incidents here: https://nearlykilled.me/. It is my understanding that the reports are compiled and delivered to the CIty every month. The CIty needs a way to prioritize safety projects, this kind of information may be enough.

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  • James July 9, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    This happens every. goddamn. day. on Clinton

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  • Bart July 9, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve considering attaching pool noodles, hanging over 3 feet on each side of my bike, to make safe passing distance more apparent. Bonus – they’re bendable if you need to get through a tight squeeze somewhere and they don’t damage paint.

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    • davemess July 9, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      I don’t know if this would help some people. I had a guy pass me way too close on NE 47th yesterday (where there are no bike lanes), probably 6-12 inches), he then proceeded to continue to drive as far to the right as possible (I”m assuming to keep me from thinking of passing him), and lightly clipped the mirror of a parked car with his mirror! I was dumbfounded (but still had enough space to pass him while he sat at the Burnside light).

      He was also an older dude.
      I have seen way more bikes out this week, and am wondering if that his having an effect on more crazy drivers.

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      • Chris I July 9, 2015 at 9:59 pm

        So, you witnessed a hit and run? Did you call 911?

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        • davemess July 10, 2015 at 9:19 am

          Didn’t actually do any damage to the parked car that I could see rolling along at 20 mph (this was a very light graze). So no, didn’t even think of it, was more worried about myself and car erratically trying to hit me.

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      • El Biciclero July 10, 2015 at 4:02 pm

        “He was also an older dude.”

        Get off my lane! Whippersnapper!

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        • davemess July 11, 2015 at 10:38 am

          In my very anecdotal experience the closer calls I have are more often than not “older” drivers. I often wonder if this is because bikes are somewhat of a newer thing on US roads, and they didn’t grow up or start driving with them? Or maybe they’re less likely to see themselves as a cyclist?

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  • Todd Boulanger July 9, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    The van looked, as if it was travelling about 40/ 45 mph…from the van’s bouncing over the speed hump and its rate of forward progress when passing a bike traveling swiftly (~15 mph) on a 25 mph street. Definitely an aggressive speeder.

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  • Bill Walters July 9, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    OK. One thing about this video is that the camera is handlebar-mounted. The footage is good, but _the passing driver can’t tell that he’s being filmed._

    Instead, consider a classic boxy GoPro mounted atop your helmet. It’s visible from front, back and sides, and it’s totally the wrong shape to be a light.

    Doing mine that way, I notice a definite calming effect. People in cars tend to take more care, they often point and wave as if they think I’m the Google Streets vehicle … and when they screw up, they gesticulate profusely in apology (especially if I silently, gravely shake my head like the ghost of Christmas past).

    Sure it looks a little silly, but the effect is worth it. Plus, the camera sees something closer to your own POV — so you can get plates and faces more easily.

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    • Editz July 13, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Sounds like somebody could make some money selling lightweight GoPro decoys that everybody can attach to their helmets.

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      • Pete July 13, 2015 at 9:12 am

        I’ve always wanted to make a cycling jersey with the classic yellow smiley face that says ” you’re on camera!”.

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  • davemess July 9, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    “Questions: What’s one way to know when people don’t feel safe riding bicycles? Answer: When a growing number of them feel like they need to ride with an on-board video camera.”

    Society in general is becoming a bit more paranoid, and at the same time accepting of being filmed everywhere.
    Many more people these days have video cameras on and in their house, but in many (most?) areas of the city crime has seen a steady decline over the last few decades.
    I’m just saying I don’t know if this phenomenon is specific to bikes.

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  • Dan July 9, 2015 at 5:29 pm
  • Ray Thomas
    Ray Thomas July 9, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    If anyone can tease a license plate number out of that video I would be pleased to do a follow up report if they send it to me at rthomas@stc-law. com.

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    • pdxfixed July 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Tan Kia Soul – Oregon plates 331-ERS

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  • Matt Merritt July 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    I live in SE where this one happened, on a dead end off 34th. I bike commute to work 5 days a week, but also own a car, which, by definition, involves driving on 34th whenever I use it.

    Obviously the dude in this video was ridiculous, but my question is, what IS the right way to pass a bike on a street like 34th? Whenever I do it, I wait for there to be no oncoming traffic of any kind, and wait for a spot where there aren’t parked cars either, and even then, giving a huge berth, I still feel like I am coming off as aggressive to the person in the bike.

    Is there a consensus on the right way to do this? I really don’t think the answer can or should be “you can’t pass.” Again, this is coming from an avid biker that uses SE greenways all the time, so don’t shoot.

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    • Alex Reed July 9, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      Personally, I think cases are rare in which it’s polite/courteous/good practice to pass people biking on 34th, particularly if the people biking are taking the lane (which is the safe way to bike on streets like 34th with on-street parking). 34th is not very wide, and it’s generally at least partly parked up on both sides. This means that any pass is going to feel stressful to a significant percentage of people biking.

      Assuming you’re somewhere between Belmont and Division, you’re never further than 5 or 6 blocks from Belmont, Hawthorne, or Division. It doesn’t seem crazy to me to ask people to drive at a biking pace for a minute or two when they’re on one of the few streets designated as biking thoroughfares.

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    • Spiffy July 10, 2015 at 7:24 am

      you can pass if there’s enough room for the rider to fall over and not get run over by you…

      on 34th this is usually never because it’s usually packed full of parked cars leaving 1.25 lanes for traffic… it’s hard to even pass oncoming cars…

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    • Eric July 10, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Open your windows at least partway, follow 3s behind and check their speed, calculate the distance required to pass without excessively revving the engine and conclude it’s not necessary. It’s not legal to interfere with the operation of the overtaken vehicle, which takes a lot of planning ahead at even 10-15mph to avoid cutting them off at the stop sign or turn.

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      • Psyfalcon July 10, 2015 at 10:29 am

        Rev as much as you want, but you’re still bound by the speed limit, even passing. Going from 10 to 25mph makes that pretty much a non revving event anyway.

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        • Eric Leifsdad July 10, 2015 at 7:48 pm

          Many combinations of driver and transmission appear to be unable to make an easy pass without unnecessary downshift.

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    • Dan July 10, 2015 at 10:33 am

      How about this:

      Don’t pass, and be a blocker for other cars behind you that might want to make an unsafe pass.

      Now you’ve done your good turn for the day!

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    • Alan Kessler July 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      The answer is “You can’t pass.”

      There is no safe or courteous way to do it. The inconvenience is miniscule. It takes, 2 minutes, to travel from Hawthorne to Division at bike speeds. (source: https://goo.gl/maps/03cpF) Is it worth terrifying somebody or teaching other drivers bad behavior to shave off 10 or 15 seconds?

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    • El Biciclero July 10, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      As I hinted at above, if the answer to being stuck behind slow cars is to move to a parallel street, the same answer should apply if there are slow bikes.

      A large part of the problem between drivers and bicyclists is that most drivers assume they have a Right to Pass bicycles immediately, and they further assume that bicyclists have a duty to immediately Get Out of The Way. Neither assumption is true.

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  • Christopher Sanderson July 9, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Rode SE 41st from Belmont to Division, and noticed two cars in front of me using the greenway to get to Division to turn east. Not sure why they were using this route, which parallels SE Cesar Chavez, and they probably could have used that route to make it to their destination more quickly. If we are talking diverters on Clinton, then why not other greenways? I hope the city can take a good look at the greenways, and provide an infrastructure that will deter thru-motorists, and reserve these routes for bicycles, skateboards, pedestrians, and neighborhood traffic.

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    • Terry D-M July 9, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      Neighborhoods and groups need to organize for them.

      Currently I know what is happening on Clinton of course and Going,

      North Tabor will have a full diversion plan by the end of the month. Want to take on 41st or Salmon? I know the board in Sunnyside is very bike friendly, but the locals need to be on board. I personally HATE 41st…..I always take 45th as it does not meander and is just as flat….since neither of them have diversion, 45th has less aggressive traffic as it is more narrow.

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      • Christopher Sanderson July 10, 2015 at 9:04 am

        The advantage of 41st for me is travel to Eastmoreland/Reed College and Woodstock area is more convenient than 45th. I agree that 45th meanders, and has many stop signs (should be flipped!). I would love to tackle 41st between Belmont and Division!

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  • Buzz July 9, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Same thing happened to me this morning at about 8:45 AM, I was northbound on NE 28th at NE Wasco, taking the lane to avoid the parked cars and traffic exiting the Freddy’s parking lot. Guy was in a company car with a young teenager on board. When I caught up with them at the signal at NE 28th and Broadway the driver and I exchanged some choice words and the teen flipped me off.

    I think the heat is melting the motorists’ brains.

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  • Tyler Bradford July 9, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Jonathan, I know you’re always conducted this blog and your advocacy efforts with a spirit of collaboration and mutual understanding. But this shows that the solution isn’t diverters, white lines of paint, or “awareness”. It’s time for bikeportland.org/bikeloud/BTA (I know, fat chance) to start demanding biker only streets.

    If you saw a pedestrian walking down the middle of the Banfield, you’d say “What the hell!?” If you saw a car driving on the sidewalk in the Pearl, you’d say “WHAT THE HELL?!”

    Tell me where the (non-scenic) transit paths are in Portland where if you saw anything but a bike, you’d say “WHAT THE HELL?” Nowhere.

    That’s what gets us over 6% adoption of primary transit by bike. That’s what gets us back to #1 Bike City. And that might be one of the things that can keep PDX International, Sauvie Island, and every property North of the Fremont ridge from not being marshland when the Pacific rises 25 feet.

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    • El Biciclero July 10, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Excellent point. Cars have non-shared spaces (freeways). Pedestrians have non-shared spaces (sidewalks in a large part of downtown, trails in Forest Park). Bicyclists must share at all times. Even in spaces which are supposed to be exclusively for bikes (striped bike lanes are the only legal space reserved exclusively for bicycles—oh, and also motorized mobility assistance devices), we must share with car doors, pedestrians, delivery vehicles, etc. Most people think absolutely nothing of blocking a bike lane, but if I stopped my bike in such a way as to completely block a sidewalk or a lane of I-84, I’d be considered deserving of death on the spot.

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      • Paul Johnson July 16, 2015 at 4:24 am

        Likewise, I’ve been saying that the Willamette Greenway, Eastbank Greenway, and Springwater Corridor have needed four bike lanes (plus turn lanes at high congestion locations like approaching the Hawthorne Bridge interchanges) and seperate sidewalks for 15 years now. 25 years for Willamette Greenway.

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  • joel July 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    am i hearing correctly that the driver responds “yep!” to the question “was that really worth it?”

    i am *very* steadfastly in the “its not worth confrontation” department – 2 decades as a bike messenger has shown me that its just not worth it – but that there is the moment it becomes *very* difficult not to put something through his window.

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    • Dan July 10, 2015 at 6:47 am

      It made me think that the driver has been confronted regarding his behavior before. He was ready to answer.

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    • Spiffy July 10, 2015 at 7:28 am

      I like putting discarded lit cigarettes and other trash thrown from their car back into people’s windows…

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    • lyle w. July 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      In his mind the thing that was ‘worth it’ was intimidating and threatening a cyclist, not making it to wherever he was going faster (which obviously is nullified by talking with the cyclist stopped at a red light he just sped past).

      He did it to make someone feel threatened and to get a rise out of them, and by the simple act of being asked the question he was asked, he got confirmation that, Yes, it was definitely worth it.

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  • Anne Hawley July 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    I had the weirdest experience today. My business took me from Clever Cycles on 9th and Hawthorne, due north almost all the way to Columbia Blvd., then back home to Sabin. I rarely go into NoPo, so this was a new route for me.

    I used mostly 9th and then Rodney the whole way north. As soon as I crossed from NE to N (using Tillamook) it was like I entered a world of patient, polite, friendly drivers. People yielded to me everywhere except Lombard. On narrow little one-car-width streets, drivers waited in a parking spot for me to go by.

    Seriously, I don’t know when I’ve ever waved thank-you to so many drivers on a single ride. What gives? What’s the magic of North Portland? Was I just having a lucky day? Or have others noticed this effect?

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    • noah July 9, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      My very biased, unscientific theory? Closer in = more traffic + more affluent transplants + more tourists = worse driving.

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      • davemess July 9, 2015 at 8:43 pm

        You haven’t spent much time riding in East Portland, have you?

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        • Anne Hawley July 10, 2015 at 12:47 am

          No. When I have, I’ve found it generally terrifying.

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          • gutterbunnybikes July 10, 2015 at 9:14 am

            I know you’ve hinted before that you let your hair out in the wind when you ride…

            There have been studies that show drivers give less room while passing to those who ride with helmets on, than those that don’t. Not enough to say that it is a fact, but there are definitely indications that this may be a factor – if it is your case.

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            • Anne Hawley July 10, 2015 at 10:49 am

              Hey! That might be it! I specifically took off my helmet as soon as I was out of the traffic/industry/truck areas south of MLK. Very interesting insight. You might be right.

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            • jeff July 10, 2015 at 11:05 am

              no, I believe there has been one study and it was something like 5″ on average. believing that is some kind of panacea of personal safety is ridiculous.

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              • gutterbunnybikes July 11, 2015 at 9:50 am

                I wasn’t saying it causes safer cycling conditions I plainly said it was a possibility – not a fact.

                And when you’re talking about being overtaken by a car 5″ can be a huge difference.

                And if you want to get technical that same study long hair gave more the rider more room than short hair too.

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              • gutterbunnybikes July 11, 2015 at 10:31 am

                Or instead of 5″ you could say it is 14% more passing room if 3′ is considered a safe passing distance.

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    • Dead Salmon July 9, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      At least this didn’t happen to ya:
      http://bikeportland.org/2014/04/21/teens-arrested-for-throwing-bricks-at-three-men-riding-on-ne-tillamook-104893

      Maybe the area is improving?

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    • Justin July 10, 2015 at 8:28 am

      This is a really interesting observation. I think that it reflects the kind of traffic moving through a neighborhood. In my totally-non-scientific experience, it’s commuters (especially longer distance commuters) who are the most dangerous offenders. There’s an accumulation of stress and drive time that makes cyclists appear as obstacles instead of people, and any option to shave time off a commute (even if the difference is only in “perceived” time) is worth taking.

      People incidentally driving within their 20 minute neighborhood seem much more polite to both cyclists and peds – perhaps because they are more likely to be peds or cyclists themselves.

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    • Rob Chapman July 10, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Anne I live in North Portland and that’s been my experience as well. I thought it was just my imagination !

      So yeah, thanks N/NE Portland drivers.

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    • Ben Funkhouser July 10, 2015 at 10:31 am

      I bike in outer Southwest Portland every day and have found drivers here to be universally friendly and patient here as well. The space given to me by cars on the many two lane roads out here continues to pleasantly surprise me!

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    • Bald One July 10, 2015 at 10:44 am

      I mostly agree with you – N. Portland is less dense, less traffic, less cyclists, less problems. This part of N. Portland is a little bit of an island, so less people driving through it trying to get from one end of city to other – other than those folks living there. But, there are exceptions: try riding N. Willamette Blvd on the section North of Portsmouth to the St. John’s bridge. A great piece of road, but cars like to pass cyclists at >30 mph without giving an inch. Bike lane, where it still exists in this section, full of storm drains and is a very narrow 3 feet – with a situation of the road curving and winding provides many places where drivers cut into the bike lane while they shorten a curve. Happens to me while I am also trying to use the bike lane – since no on-coming traffic in other lane, why did they leave me so little room as they zoomed past? I try to be non-confrontational for reasons cited above by others (riding angry is no fun!), but when driver is a professional (Tri-met, delivery truck, etc), then it’s good to let them know they cut it too close.

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      • Anne Hawley July 10, 2015 at 11:02 am

        That could definitely be part of the magic: that island effect, not much to cut through to. Whereas in my area, though pretty low-traffic between Broadway and Fremont, is seeing more and more cut-through traffic on the quiet side streets of Irvington. It’s still a nice place to ride, but I’ve noticed a downturn in politeness lately that I hope isn’t a trend.

        I also see a heck of a lot of out-of-state plates around the close-in NE area, and I won’t swear to having noticed a single one in North. Correlation? Confirmation bias? IDK.

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  • AndyC of Linnton July 9, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Always thought 34th should be closed to cars between Belmont and Hawthorne. At least. Simple solution, but there’s like 12 parking spaces, so…never mind. Save the children, unless save the parking. Cynical F***ks. Pardon the language. These things are tiresome.

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    • AndyC of Linnton July 9, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Bet if we put in some “sharrows” there everything will be hunky dory, huh?

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  • Justin July 9, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    You hit the real issue perfectly: “The video highlights an issue Portland is struggling with right now: As our city grows and changes, many people choose to drive on backstreets in order to avoid congestion on larger arterials.”

    The cut-through problem goes beyond biking. I don’t’ think it’s hyperbole to say that it’s damaging the fabric of the city. It’s hard to feel neighborly when you need to keep an eye out for speeding vehicles when you’re just walking down the street.

    Aggressive, random enforcement is absolutely necessary, right now. Otherwise “quiet side streets” will no longer exist in SE Portland…

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    • Paul in the 'Couve July 9, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Another option, I think we need to actually encourage safe slow drivers to focus on driving on the main cut through routes, even if pointlessly driving. Get the old grandpa drivers like myself out there. I understand completely from so many long term perspectives that is counter productive, but as a short term stop gap I think it makes actual sense. I have made choices in life w/ kids that are difficult to unravel that force me to drive much more than I want but I take my favorite bike routes and drive 20 and never pass a cyclist unless I can give them 6 feet and not exceed the speed limit. I notice more people seemingly doing the same and it seems to be reducing car traffic on my certain streets. It only takes a few cars to increase the probability that the cut through drivers will get slowed down too much on the side streets enough that they calculate better odds sticking to the arterials.

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      • Justin July 10, 2015 at 8:22 am

        I can’t help but laugh to myself at the vision of organized bands of grandpa drivers, carefully and systematically cruising the side streets of Portland, a mobile traffic calming measure. Anyone that volunteers to take on this duty should get a special flag to attach to their car.

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        • Paul in the 'Couve July 10, 2015 at 5:40 pm

          I love the flag idea

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          • Dan July 10, 2015 at 9:03 pm

            What about a lit sign on the back of my car that displays the speed I’m currently driving?

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        • Paul in the 'Couve July 10, 2015 at 11:10 pm

          Actually an idea regarding driverless google cars… Not that I am totally sold on the, but with access to smartphone data about travel times and routes people take, computer algorithms could predict where cut through traffic was going to form, see where speeds were too high on bicycle routes, and actively control traffic speeds by sending driverless cars every 10 minutes down select streets at reasonable speeds and adapting real time to where the cheater and speeders are going.

          For example the algorithm might route cars taking passenger or even empty cars down Clinton 1 every 5 to 10 minutes and if as days progress drivers react by shifting Lincoln move some or all of the cars to that route.

          I should patent this idea… but I won’t you can have it for free. I see it happening somewhere within 10 years but not Portland, because that would be platinum. Great thing is it could be implemented, theoretically, without the cooperation of any gov’t agency.

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  • Ted Buehler July 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    We need
    “Bicycle May Use Full Lane”
    signs on our neighborhood greenways.

    See Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide, page 1-21, Figure 1-22.
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/Appendix_N_BikePedDesignGuide_Web.pdf

    In years past, PBOT was not enthusiastic about using this sign.

    Now, behavior has changed, and many people driving cars feel entitled to pass people on bikes on quiet streets, this message needs to be driven home with unambiguous signage.

    All of you folks citing specific instances where your safety was compromised by a person in a car engaging in a dangerous passing maneuver — send an email to safe@portlandoregon.gov and ask them to install a “R4-11” sign in that location.

    Ted Buehler

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  • pdx2wheeler July 10, 2015 at 12:19 am

    I’ve got a RidEye mounted and running 100% of the time I’m on my trusty 2-wheeler. I love that the camera has built in crash detection and automatically saves-off video for later analysis, in case you’re incapacitated after a serious collision… Having a camera has also allowed me to quickly deescalate verbal harassment incidents. Once a harasser realizes they’re on an episode of Candid Camera they start whistling a different tune, ah real-quick…

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  • Dwaine Dibbly July 10, 2015 at 5:35 am

    Please be very careful about confronting people. It’s very easy to get a concealed carry permit in this state, so you never know who is packing (including people on bikes).

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    • soren July 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Sorry…but having someone pull a gun on me because I am letting them know that a close pass could have injured me (or worse) is not something I worry about.

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    • Dan M. July 13, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      You keep being a coward. I won’t.

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  • Spiffy July 10, 2015 at 7:34 am

    when did SE 34th become a quiet street? the last decade I’ve been riding it has been a constant game of dodge-a-car… I was surprised to only see 2 cars driving on it in the video…

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  • Andy K July 10, 2015 at 7:37 am

    If Portland Police cites this guy, it will be a huge victory for the cycling community.

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  • meh July 10, 2015 at 7:45 am

    We’ve all had to deal with the same issue, but how about all the positive interactions we have on the road?

    This morning’s commute I had three drivers wave me through at 4 ways when it wasn’t my right of way. This is a daily event and far out numbers the negative interactions.

    Much as we hate being grouped together due to those who ride without consideration for the law, drivers deserve the same consideration. They aren’t all out there trying to run us off the road, and in fact in my experience the majority treat me very well.

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    • Lester Burnham July 10, 2015 at 8:08 am

      That’s not what this story is about. It’s about a motorist out there that is endangering people’s lives and they need to be taken off the road.

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      • meh July 10, 2015 at 11:16 am

        And that’s all we ever hear about. Makes it sound like homicidal maniacs all over the roads.

        It doesn’t hurt to actually look at what is going on and realize that the majority of drivers out there aren’t trying to kill us.

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        • Opus the Poet July 11, 2015 at 8:49 pm

          The problem isn’t that all drivers are homicidal maniacs, not even that some drivers are homicidal maniacs. The problem is given the horrendous lethality of motor vehicles that any drivers are homicidal maniacs.

          The firearm equivalent for a motor vehicle is BB gun @ 20 MPH, 9 mm Parabellum @ 23 MPH, 20 mm cannon @ 30 MPH, with ever- larger cannons above 30 up to a 155 mm @ 60 MPH, all with unlimited amounts of ammunition until someone gets hit.

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    • davemess July 10, 2015 at 9:23 am

      I had someone try to do this to me this morning, and it actually REALLY annoys me. It’s a four way stop, I’m a vehicle and I’m legally required to make my stop. All the wavers-through do is hold every up, and create an unsafe situation. The rules are there for predictability and trust.
      Just follow the rules of the road.

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      • Eric Leifsdad July 10, 2015 at 7:52 pm

        Maybe we need a law that all bikes have the right-of-way at any 4-way stop sign if cars are not already rolling after having stopped? And simultaneous greens 2x/cycle at any 4-way stop light.

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        • davemess July 11, 2015 at 10:34 am

          What is wrong with the current 4 way stop sign laws?

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  • Eric July 10, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Ok, OK. Everyone settle down. I have the solution. And I will share it with you now…
    Public Shaming!! Get these drivers names, post the videos using their name as a tag, share on U-tube/Insta/FB/whatever. That is the only way to take down each ones of these terrible drivers one by one. They are most likely on their phones anyway…so wouldn’t it be ironic for them to discover this shaming for bad driving on their phone (while in the car probably).

    http://www.dmvlicenseplatelookup.com/oregon.php
    (Costs a few bucks, but isn’t it worth it!?)

    I feel fortunate that I have the privilege to use MUP’s for 90% of my 18 mile commute.

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    • Nathan Alan July 10, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Yeah… let’s put them in stocks in the town square and throw rotten produce at them…

      Shame is not a deterrent, nor an appropriate form of punishment.

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  • Tony H July 10, 2015 at 8:49 am

    It’s been drummed into my head that while self defense is legal, fighting is not. When emotions run hot, situations quickly escalate. If a situation becomes physically confrontational, and you are (justifiably) defending yourself, it’s easy to get carried away and keep attacking even when the “attacker” has been subdued. Suddenly, the roles are reversed and now YOU are the one facing assault charges. The aggressive driver is already amped up. Don’t waste time attempting to “engage them in a meaningful discussion”.

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  • kittens July 10, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I grew up here and have been riding in Portland since 2002. Cut-though driving is becoming a massive problem as the city densifies. We have a policy of not expanding existing road capacity for cars but where is the symmetrical expansion in bike, ped, transit necessary to support all the new density?

    This is just the logical outcome of a city who for years was not doing the hard work. Making clear it’s priorities. Work which will involve a coordinated and vigorous policy. One in which cars are actively discouraged.

    Additionally, I might add that in the past drivers seemed more accepting and polite with the concept of “share the road” when there were few bikers. But today it feels like just another exertion of the culture wars. These drivers are militant vigilantes who bully and hurt people because they see them as OTHER. They are a blight and must be stopped through law and education.

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  • Kevin Wagoner July 10, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Is this video proof of a crime? If so then I assume the police could take action?

    I’m kicking around purchasing this device from Garmin and capturing some threat level reaction on my commute. I’m guess roads like Barber are off the charts.

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into-sports/cycling/varia-rearview-radar/prod518151.html

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  • Dead Salmon July 10, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Crime video? Yes, he said he’s pursuing it.

    Doubt the Garmin device would help you much unless it records the speed and records a photo/video adequate to get a license number (in case of hit & run). It’ll just make you scared is my guess. Sounds like the “threat level” is based only on speed and that’s not a good indicator of actual threat IMHO.

    For my money, I’d prefer to have a camera and/or a really good flashing light (or 2).

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  • Randy July 10, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Greenways/bikeways are not working, esp. as people move here who have no intent to reduce vehicles miles traveled and the associated air pollution. Time for “One More Bike” on “Bike Only Lanes”…

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  • Tony Tapay
    Tony Tapay July 10, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    If anyone knows the rider who is in the other lane as the driver makes the pass, please have them contact Jonathan so he can put them in touch with me. I’m pursuing this via the courts.

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    • Alan Kessler July 11, 2015 at 1:17 am

      FWIW using the Google Maps “measure distance” function, I get about 160ft from the south sidewalk projection of Grant @ 34th (where he passed you) to the south sidewalk projection on Sherman @34th. It would probably be easier to get the time difference from the original video, but I clock about 3.2 seconds == 34Mph.

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  • OrganicBrian July 10, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    People who bike with cameras: if you don’t file a Citizen Intiated Citation when the camera captures illegal driving, what is even the point of having the camera? From what I’ve seen in these discussions, it seems to rarely ever happen. If I had a helmet cam, I’d be in court every couple of months getting another bad driver whacked with some consequences. Word would spread about it. Streets would be safer.

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    • Alan Kessler July 11, 2015 at 1:58 am

      If you’re willing to make that commitment, I’ll happily donate a few bucks to a GoFundMe or similar project to set you up with a GoPro. I doubt I’m the only one.

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    • lyle w. July 11, 2015 at 9:20 am

      I could think of two things off the top of my head…
      Preventing people from escalating the situation once they notice you have a camera on you that they have to assume is recording their behavior…
      And also documenting things if the worst-case scenario happens and you’re hit and incapacitated. So if this guy managed to hit the poster and then claim that he was swerving on his bike and riding unpredictably, there will be immediate proof that he was lying (on top of driving recklessly).

      Not only that, pursuing this case would be impossible (at least through the ‘Citizen complaint’ option) if the rider hadn’t caught the guy at the stop sign. Because you’re forced to visually pick the driver out of a photo line up to prove that they were behind the wheel of the car, and I assume the OP wouldn’t have been able to do that from the first pass.

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  • Andrew Holtz July 11, 2015 at 12:22 am

    My collection: http://www.youtube.com/crazytraffic99

    We need a streamlined system for citizen complaints that doesn’t require a huge investment of time and energy to hold road users accountable. I’d like to see a simple, easy way that people who have video or other evidence of unsafe behavior could file a report that is linked in police and/or DMV records to the vehicle & driver. Maybe a single report wouldn’t lead to a legal sanction, but perhaps the evidence could be available when that road user eventually gets cited by police, so that the judge or other officials involved would know the citation is not an isolated incident, but part of a history of misbehavior.

    I was frustrated when I first learned that even when I had video evidence of someone driving recklessly and endangering my life, there was nothing the police could do if there was no injury or they didn’t personally witness the incident, unless I took a day off work to file a complaint. It’s time to update the law to take advantage of all the helmet cams (and dash cams) out there.

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    • meh July 11, 2015 at 7:01 am

      It that nasty thing called the 6th amendment. The accused get to face their accuser in court.

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  • gutterbunnybikes July 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

    I’ve got to wonder if bicycle lanes actually hurt the idea of how much room is needed to pass a bicycle rider.

    Think about it for a minute – here you are in a bike lane riding pass stopped traffic in a lane thats width is often less than a safe passing distance. And they pass you on the lanes all the time without the propper 3′ distance between the two vehicles. Those of us that ride clearly understand the difference, but do people that drive understand the difference?

    If you’re riding on a 4′ bike lane in the center, they’re passing you inside that 3′ mark. If your dodging a sewer grate as they pass it’s within a 1′.

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    • Pete July 13, 2015 at 12:47 am

      Especially if they are 5′ wide and only the leftmost foot is usable. I’ve had this very same debate with a city planner who had in his mind that bike lanes should be a consistent width (5′) at all points, but they end up following undulations in roadway width and move bicyclists in and out of drivers’ periphery as a result.

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    • wsbob July 13, 2015 at 9:28 am

      “I’ve got to wonder if bicycle lanes actually hurt the idea of how much room is needed to pass a bicycle rider. …” gutterbunnybikes

      If you’ve got a better, viable idea than bike lanes, offer it. There’s no number described distance for people driving motor vehicles to pass each other. On the road, bikes essentially are vehicles that those riding them generally believe they should have as close to equal use of the road as is possible.

      Given the dramatic difference between motor vehicles and bicycles, as vehicles for use on the road, bike lanes in their most common form as road shoulders or extensions thereof, are a kind of ‘make-do’ provision for biking on the road. Much better than no bike lane at all. So far, in the part of the world we live in here in the U.S., it doesn’t seem likely that the public will be willing to commonly dedicate entire full width main lanes of the road primarily to bike traffic.

      That being the case, motor vehicles passing people on bikes rather closely, is likely to be the reality people biking will have to figure out how to deal with for some time to come.

      People biking are entitled by law to ride the main lane instead of the bike lane, if for whatever reason, the particular situation they’re riding in involves a bike lane that’s less safe to ride in the main lane. Leaving the bike lane, as needed for the relative safety of the main lane, is far from a perfect answer to reducing difficulties and danger posed to people biking from people’s use of motor vehicles on the road…but doing so can help to make biking on the road be safer.

      What percent of people riding on the road have sufficiently acquired, and consistently use the skills necessary to correctly by law, jockey back and forth between bike lanes and main lanes of the road in order to gain this higher level of safety?

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      • Pete July 13, 2015 at 9:39 pm

        “That being the case, motor vehicles passing people on bikes rather closely, is likely to be the reality people biking will have to figure out how to deal with for some time to come.”

        You had me up to here. I tend to believe that the reality that drivers will have to deal with is that more and more people are going to a) choose a bicycle as an alternate transportation form (or recreation), and b) there’s an educational opportunity to be had by all.

        The video clearly shows a circumstance that I’m sure most of us have experienced, yet is this really so common an occurrence? The laws that are in place can certainly be improved upon, education of drivers, bicyclists, and law enforcement can improve, and so can technologies that help with reducing these instances.

        My beef with Oregon is its lack of clarity in guidance on passing distance. Yes, it’s true that there’s no typical standard for safe passing distance between cars, but if one car grazes another while passing the potential damage scale is quite different than that of a human body. We’re currently seeing a surge in “Give Me Three” campaigns for the states that have adopted this standard, and while I agree it’s not much, it creates the opportunity for awareness that wasn’t there before – as well as a measurable distance for compliance (if you can’t measure it you can’t fix it).

        This video doesn’t show someone who’s unaware of any legal standard, though, this video shows an individual with careless regard for anyone but themselves, and I have no doubt that most law enforcement officials who would have witnessed this would have intervened.

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      • gutterbunnybikes July 14, 2015 at 3:37 pm

        I was just speculating, however – it’s no secret that I don’t particularly like bike specific lanes much.

        Quite frankly, the “safety” of dedicated lanes isn’t much more (if at all) greater than riding in the street without them.

        Bike lanes aren’t designed for bicycles, they are designed for cars – specifically keeping bicycles from slowing down auto traffic. And quite frankly everyone knows that – and as such they do set up a priority of “who” the road is designed for – and “who” apparently has the right of way. And Oregon law pretty much backs this attitude up.

        My solutions are largely legal

        change “bicycle may use full lane” – to “bicycles have use of full lane”

        Forget even the three foot rule – make it illegal to pass bicycles while using the same lane – ie a car must pass by completely exiting the lane the bicycle is traveling in as they pass.

        Allow bicycles to ride 2 or 3 abreast in the lanes.

        Drop the speed limits to all streets west of 82nd/205 to 25 MPH. West no more than 35 (35 mph streets get protected bike lanes).

        All non arterial streets from 39th (perhaps even 52/60th) west should follow the same one way patterns that Downtown does.

        The Vulnerable Road User statute should apply at the citation level.

        Civilian citations/photo radar violations should be allowed and issued to the owner of the vehicle regardless of who the driver is – just as parking tickets are.

        Bicycles are exempt from the possibility of an impeding traffic citation.

        School Zones (max speed of 20mph – better would be 15) should extend 1/4 mile in every direction of the school and be standardized to applying at all times (24/7). Likewise school zones should be extended in that they should be allowed to be used for parks and libraries as well.

        Make it so that to renew your driver’s licence that you need to pass a written test focused mainly on all the new law and signage changes (its assumed you know to stop at a red light). score of 80% is needed to pass. Preferably with a physician’s waiver as well. Police check points at the exits of the DMV parking lots to cite the drivers that drive off after failing the test.

        And since PDOT already funds more traffic stings than the PPD does, use all that money saved by buying less infrastructure to frequent surprise stings throughout the town. Issuing tickets is education and enforcement at the same time. No one gets a ticket and doesn’t tell everyone they see later that day.

        PDOT needs to start doing bike counts on streets that don’t have infrastructure. Hawthorne west of 39th has less auto related bicycle injuries than Gladstone even though Hawthorne likely has more car and bicycle traffic than Gladstone. We need numbers and we really don’t have much to work with. Bicycle rates in my hood are supposedly down this year – though the bike counts didn’t include counting them on Division Street (60th-82) which likely stole much traffic from the Woodward greenway.

        Just my 2 cents. Until some of the bigger underlying issues with traffic and driver behavior (and bike riders as well) are corrected, infrastructure I feel just creates and furthers the divide between all parties involved.

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  • The Odd Duck July 11, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    One thing you need to think about when riding in the middle of the lane there is a lot of psychotic driver out there who believe they and only they have the god given right to be on the road. To give you a example, I was in my van on a 25 mph road I could see in my mirror this shadow, well it turn out to be a car tailing gating me. Here in California if you rear ended someone you are in a real world of hurt unless you have a dream team of lawyers.

    One of the things to do is to send a copy to the police department the other is to send a copy to youtube as they will build a library of incidents. The other is don’t get sarcastic with them as they are in psychotic world of there own. Instead come side them and ask, “you don’t mind if a driver comes at a high rate of speed next to your children?” Let them think on that for a while.

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  • Roberta Bike-Mama July 11, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Culturally we need a shift in car driving attitudes. The only way to do this is to completely revoke the driver’s license of anybody who hits a pedestrian or cyclist. This is what we do with drunk drivers who kill. Any driver of an automobile who hits a cyclist or pedestrian should immediately gets their license revoked. This would really drive a vision zero policy.

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    • Mossby Pomegranate July 12, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Don’t know if you know this but people drive all the time without licenses. Jail is the only thing that would work.

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      • Pete July 16, 2015 at 11:45 am

        Or chipped driver’s licenses working with the upcoming V2V and V2I infrastructure, but I’m sure my friend snowden will disagree.

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  • David July 12, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Looks like I’m a little late to the game, but I wanted to share an interesting treatment at a Dutch intersection: http://www.bikecurious.cc/delft-2015/you-shall-not-pass

    Jonathan–if you want pictures of anything specific here in the Netherlands in the next week or so, let me know–I’m here on a PSU trip studying bike infrastructure.

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  • Pete July 13, 2015 at 1:01 am

    I have only done this once, and I do not know the outcome, but it was based on an experience where I followed a (seemingly) drunk driver through the gorge into Gresham where police were dispatched to pull them over (which I witnessed).

    A person passed me incredibly closely while maybe doubling the 25-MPH speed limit on the residential street I was cycling on (at maybe 20 MPH). I didn’t see their plate but happened to catch up with them in traffic so I started reciting it to myself to memorize it. I noticed the direction they had gotten onto an expressway while flooring it. I called 911 and reported that I was “traveling” (key word) on that particular roadway and was passed illegally and unsafely by a dangerous driver who was driving erratically as they entered the expressway. I gave them my name and number and a description of the car and plate and what I’d been able to make out of the driver. They thanked me and said they were dispatching an officer to investigate. The implication that I believe the dispatcher took away was that I was driving and this person had passed me while possibly drunk. As I’ve learned through experience, driving while drunk is a far more serious crime than not stopping after killing a bicyclist by driving off of the roadway while texting.

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  • pl July 16, 2015 at 8:41 am

    I was passed in an extremely unsafe way this morning during my daily commute to OHSU. Wish I’d had a device to record with, since I wasn’t able to catch up to the vehicle to get the license number, and therefore didn’t think it was worth reporting to the police. Thank you to the folks at nearlykilled.me for collecting data on these incidents. Here’s a copy of my report:

    July 16, 2015 – ~7:20 am

    I was riding downhill on SW Marquam Hill Rd at the point where it becomes SW Gibbs St. I had taken the lane, since this is a blind curve to the right and there are often pedestrians walking down the hill to OHSU. I was probably going 22-23 mph on this 25-mph road. The vehicle behind me suddenly accelerated, swerved halfway into the lane of oncoming traffic to pass me, nearly missed hitting a car in the oncoming lane (driver of which honked their horn), and then swerved back into the lane in front of me to avoid hitting the other car.

    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch up to the offending vehicle or get the license number. It was a white SUV with Washington plates, 7 characters, first 3 AYD?

    This is a steep, winding road that is heavily trafficked by cars, bikes, and pedestrians all sharing the lane with no shoulder. Drivers are generally courteous, patient, and cognizant of the fact that passing is very dangerous on the curves. No one was hurt this time, but this driver’s action was incredibly stupid and reckless and could have ended very badly.

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  • esther2 July 17, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    People are unbelievably stupid. I was driving down the Moki Dugway (google it) in a small RV the size of a truck camper. There were cyclists riding up it. Hooray for them. I thought it was scary riding down it in a vehicle. Any way, minimal traffic but a car come up the hill passed a bike just as he met us oncoming. He couldn’t wait 10 seconds behind the bike until we had gone by to pass given him wide berth. We were already beside the bike so couldn’t stop and wait. If the cyclist hadn’t held steady but gone over the edge he would have fallen hundreds of feet to his death. My husband and I were furious.

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  • y.t. August 27, 2015 at 8:32 am

    I had a close call, too, also on camera. You are so right that our wide angle lenses – important to capture as much info as possible – make the near-passes seem farther from the cyclists than they actually are. I tried to illustrate this by adding more notes in my video (link below). Unfortunately my local PD opted to do nothing because MA does not have a 3ft safe passing law, only a generic “safe distance” law which they claim is enforceable. I’m disappointed, but I keep on filming! Glad that you & kid are ok! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3zcd5181RA Kudos to Portland PD!

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  • y.t. August 27, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Which they claim is UN-enforceable. Oops.

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