Special gravel coverage

An Uber driver strikes again: 3 assaults on bicycle riders in 10 weeks

Posted by on November 14th, 2016 at 2:25 pm

This Uber driver is parked illegally and is creating a dangerous situation by parking in a cycling-only lane on NE Multnomah.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

People who drive for ride-sharing company Uber frequently ignore a key traffic law that impacts bicycle access on major streets. And when called out for doing so the drivers have a tendency to lash out at — and in some cases physically assault and/or harrass — other road users.

We now know of three such incidents in the past ten weeks.

This morning we received an email from a reader who came upon an Uber driver who was parked on the new raised bike lane on NE Couch as it enters the Burnside Bridge. When the bicycle rider confronted the person inside the car and attempted to photograph the vehicle, he claims he was verbally threatened. “He got out of his vehicle, got face-to-face with me, and threatened to asssault me.” Not wanting the situation to escalate, the man on the bicycle says he stood down and let the driver vent. That tactic didn’t prevent the driver from forcibly grabbing his bike and throwing it aside.

On October 19th another Portlander tried to document illegal and dangerous parking by someone who drives for Uber (and Lyft). He said the driver got mad, stepped out of the car, and grabbed his phone. He captured it on Twitter…

And on August 27th, we reported about another case where a person who appeared to be driving for Uber assaulted a bicycle rider. In that case the woman was later arrested thanks in part because the bicycle rider had documented proof of the altercation and the driver bragged about the incident online.

These are just the incidents we’ve heard about.

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I have personally seen several people with Uber and/or Lyft stickers in their cars, staring at their phones while parked in bicycling-only lanes. It seems to be yet another dangerous nuisance people on bikes have to deal with on a daily basis.

So far Uber has been responsive when contacted about the problem. Jon Isaacs, their public affairs manager for Oregon, told us the woman in the August 27th incident was immediately “suspended from accessing the Uber platform.” That phrase (which the company calls “Deactivation”) is strategic because Uber says people who drive for them are only “independent driver-partners” and not full-fledged employees who can be “fired” or “suspended”. Isaacs also told us that, “rider and pedestrian safety continue to be our top priority” and that, “We have a zero tolerance policy for any reckless or dangerous actions by drivers or riders.”

Uber’s current policy states that any driver who receives “several or serious complaints of poor, unsafe or distracted driving while using the Uber app” will face deactivation. Once they can no longer access the app, people can re-enlist as an Uber driver by showing the company they’ve “taken steps to improve” such as taking a “quality improvement course.”

It’s hard enough for traditional transportation agencies to educate and police the behaviors of their drivers. So can we really expect much improvement from a company that considers their drivers nothing more than “independent partners”? These behaviors are happening with too much frequency for a company to rely only on legal fine print to keep their drivers in check.

We’ve asked Isaacs to comment on this recent incident (they’ve responded to the victim and have started an investigation) and will update this post if/when we hear back.

For now, since this trend is likely to continue, here’s what to do if you would like to file a complaint with an Uber or Lyft driver: Email Isaacs at jisaacs@uber.com and fill out the complaint form on the Portland Bureau of Transportation website. If you have been assaulted, file a report with the police online or call the PPB non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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  • Pete November 14, 2016 at 2:30 pm
  • bikeninja November 14, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Seems best to quietly take a picture of the car in the bike lane, the license plate, and the Uber Sticker before calling out the driver from a safe distance . I see this all the time too, and will certainly using the pbot website to report them in the future.

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    • CaptainKarma November 14, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Hopefully the driver won’t be packin heat, but i can imagine that be or she might, being in a perceived high risk job.

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      • Spiffy November 15, 2016 at 7:52 am

        guns aren’t allowed on Uber…

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        • Alan Love November 15, 2016 at 11:56 am

          They also aren’t allowed to park in bike lanes.

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  • the law November 14, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Guys, when this happens, you absolutely have to report it to the police! The process will be frustrating, I can guarantee, but you will help build a record that can be used (a) in general to show the problems people riding bikes face and (b) against a particular driver down the road, if he escalates. But physical attacks, such as throwing someone else’s property, are illegal and should be reported.

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    • soren November 15, 2016 at 9:06 am

      there is no process. the portland police don’t record these interactions without evidence of bodily injury or documented evidence of law breaking (a difficult task under the best of circumstances).

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  • Chris I November 14, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Silver lining: at least we know which vehicles to be extra-cautious around now. Just look for the “rideshare” sticker.

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  • Todd Boulanger November 14, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I guess we (the community & city taxi commission) should have asked “what” Uber / Lyft look for when prescreening professional drivers before hiring…perhaps they got what they were looking for?!

    …or perhaps it is a case of work pressure given the downward pressure on wages this industry that they press have reported…

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  • Mike November 14, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    All these assaults on bicycle riders. Anyone ever heard of self defense? Fight back. Learn Krav Maga and get good at it. It’s easy to learn without the ritualistic BS that accompanies other kinds of martial arts.

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    • Mark November 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      As much as I would love to hurt these angry, entitled drivers, disproportionate force will get you in a lot of legal trouble. Breaking someone’s wrist or gouging their eyes is not a legally allowable use of force in response to being pushed or having your property thrown in the street.

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      • Spiffy November 14, 2016 at 3:26 pm

        when faced with somebody wielding a 2-ton explosion-powered weapon I will use every last ounce of force I have to ensure they can’t use it… breaking just one wrist is not enough force to subdue a driver and prevent them from killing you with their vehicle…

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 14, 2016 at 9:18 pm

          Big Bertha?

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        • Kyle Banerjee November 15, 2016 at 6:57 am

          A couple hundred pounds tops of flesh vs a couple tons of steel? Good luck with that.

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      • Middle of the Road guy November 16, 2016 at 8:23 am

        assuming you get caught.

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    • longgone November 14, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      @Mark.. Please site laws in this state that state I cannot use physical force to protect myself, or my property when being accosted.

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      • longgone November 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm

        …oops, laws in Oregon.. Grammar flub.

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      • Mark November 15, 2016 at 8:44 am

        Being yelled at doesn’t count. If you throw the first punch, it will be a messy legal situation. Also, I am not a lawyer.

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    • the individual involved November 14, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      i have years of martial arts experience and read the situation. while the driver attempted to get me to initiate a situation, i remained calm and let him vent. anyone who gets face to face like that wants to intimidate but it is too close for effective strikes. while i did not like my bicycle being handled, it’s only a bike and not worth the legal trouble fighting for it could cause. better he throw it then try to hit me. i appreciate the riders who stopped and witnessed the event. they helped de-escalate the situation by being present.

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      • Buzz November 15, 2016 at 10:01 am

        Well you know, hitting someone’s car with your U-lock can get you an assault conviction, as if you had hit the person themselves; I would assume that handling or damaging someones bicycle against their will would also qualify as assault (but I’m not going to hold my breath).

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        • Adron Hall November 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm

          Unfortunately, I would suspect that isn’t equivalent. Also, it seems absolutely insane to get an assault charge for damaging property. Ugh, American laws are often so completely broken. 🙁

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  • Mark November 14, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I see this every Thursday and Friday when I commute home using the bike lane on lower E Burnside. It’s the worst when it’s dark and raining and I have to merge into the next lane to go around. Jerks!

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  • J_R November 14, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    If I’m assaulted by anyone whether riding a bike, walking, or driving a car, I’m calling 911. NOW! Reporting an incident that happened a while ago by using the non-emergency number is giving in to the criminals.

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    • dan November 14, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Don’t hold your breath if you’re waiting for cops to come. I was assaulted by someone on foot a few years ago, eventually got on top, and a bystander called 911. They said they would send a police car…15 minutes later, no police in sight, I asked the perp if he was feeling more calm (he had a kind of mental break, it wasn’t a planned / calculated attack), he said he was, so I let him go. This was right downtown too.

      So…yeah, don’t count on the police to save your bacon.

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  • bikeninja November 14, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Perhaps if the Official website reporting to Uber and PBOT does not work we could use smoke signals. Just build a small fire on the hood of the offending car and use a damp blanket to modulate the smoke in to the desired official message to Uber headquarters.

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  • Jerry H November 14, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Is bear spray allowed for self defense?

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    • James November 14, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Bear spray is a fog I think. I suggest a straight stream spray. Practice using it and moving out of the way….spray and side step. Then if/when you use it you don’t spray yourself. In the end self defense is about articulating the circumstances which caused you to defend yourself.

      In the end your on a bike. Is engaging a pissed off person really worth it? Take a deep breath and ride on.

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  • Will November 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Question. What is the specific law they are violating? A possible peaceful way to get the cops there fast is to stand in the auto lane adjacent to the car and just sit there blocking traffic. You stand there till they move or till the cops show up. But this also might involve you getting a ticket as well. Just a thought.

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    • B. Carfree November 14, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      That would be perfect civil disobedience combined with exposing the imbalance in response to blocking cars vs blocking bikes (one of which creates an actual hazard, the other mere inconvenience).

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    • Spiffy November 15, 2016 at 8:02 am

      ORS 811.550 Places where stopping, standing and parking prohibited
      (23) On a bicycle lane.

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  • Chris November 14, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I was a witness to this morning’s incident. I was riding a biketown bike, and had I been on my own or something faster, I would have chased him down grabbed the driver’s info. He was stopped for a little bit in the bike lane, but its a new car, so he didn’t have real license plates yet.

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  • John Lascurettes November 14, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    For now, since this trend is likely to continue, here’s what to do if you would like to file a complaint with an Uber or Lyft driver: Email Isaacs at jisaacs@uber.com

    So that’s an uber.com email address. Who do we complain to about someone with a Lyft sticker (typically ever driver for one drives for both)?

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  • rick November 14, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    What have the police said about this?

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  • the individual involved November 14, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    This is the report to UBER. Still deciding if I will file a police report/citizen initiated petition.

    DATE: 2016/11/14 8:00a
    LOCATION: Couch St on the Burnside Bridge westbound onramp “curves”
    VEHICLE: Toyota Prius, purple. Oregon plate XXXXXX
    DRIVER: Male, self identifies as in his 60’s
    INCIDENT: Riding westbound on Couch st. i came upon the driver’s vehicle was parked up on the raised bike lane in, what is essentially a blind corner. This forced many riders to have to re-merge with bridge traffic mid curves. I maneuvered around the situation and dismounted. I approached the vehicle and took photographs. The driver became agitated and i explained that he was blocking a lane of traffic and endangering riders. He said “fine take your pictures” got in his vehicle and drove off. He changed his mind after about 30 ft and pulled back up on to the raised lane (almost hitting other riders with his door and confronted me on the sidewalk. He told me i could not take pictures and i informed him that he is in public and indeed i can. He then crossed into my personal space and stood nose to nose threading to assault me. He continued to vent and attempted to get me to hit him. Sensing that he was not going to initiate an attack, i stood my ground and let him vent. When he realized i would not take the bait, he picked up my bicycle and attempted to throw it. He noticed other individuals filming, dropped my bicycle, and drove away. When i passed him again in traffic he laid on his horn. I do have empathy for him. He is an older man trying to make by. I would like to see him reprimanded and given a second chance.

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    • KristenT November 15, 2016 at 8:30 am

      You should make a police report. Whether or not it comes to anything, the incident will be on official record.

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    • Chris November 15, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      I was one of the riders forced to go around this car (I was on a BIKETOWN bike). As much as it is this driver’s fault, I also thought of how he was dropping someone off, and at what point did the passenger ask to be let out at that spot. Yes, it was illegal to be there, and as a driver, should know better, but I ended up casting some of the blame on the passenger. While we have no idea where they asked to be dropped off, that thought made me not want to pursue the driver.

      However, with how the driver reacted, F**K that guy.

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    • Chris November 15, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      While I don’t want to defend the driver for his actions after, or stopping at all, he was not parked on the raised bike lane, he was a little further down the bridge. IN FACT, I can tell you EXACTLY where he was stopped.


      see where my speed dips below 5mph. Myself, and a cargo bike were stopped waiting to go around the car.

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  • Kyle Banerjee November 15, 2016 at 7:05 am

    What’s the obsession with rideshare companies, particularly Uber?

    Yeah, this stuff happens but it’s hardly like these people are worse than ordinary drivers. If anything, my experience is that they’re actually a little better, possibly because complaints can affect their income.

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    • Robert Burchett November 15, 2016 at 7:32 am

      Well, you are wrong. Uber drivers are almost always inexperienced at the particular job they are doing, often in an unfamiliar part of town, looking at one more electronic device, and completely clueless about where and how to park in an urban environment. Throw in a little economic desperation, job insecurity and apparently, no training. I’ve seen U/L drivers invent whole new categories of wrong. They make Green Cab drivers look like astronauts.

      Tuesday is Uber drive-like-a-chimp day, and it’s always Tuesday someplace 😉

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      • Robert Burchett November 15, 2016 at 7:33 am

        Sorry, that’s one or more electronic device

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      • Buzz November 15, 2016 at 9:56 am

        Hey, you’re lucky when they actually pull over to do their thing, I have come across many of these drivers who simply stop in the traffic lane while checking their ‘devices’, routinely turn without signalling, and are responsible for the noticeable up-tick in intersection U-turns.

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      • Kyle Banerjee November 15, 2016 at 10:03 am

        The same could be said for the rest of the drivers, and the electronic gizmos they are looking at are navigation related and do not steal attention the same way texting, alcohol, etc affect many other drivers out there.

        Rideshare drivers have weaknesses that can be found in all drivers, but I have no issues with them as a group. I am always surprised by the crazy adventures some cyclists repeatedly find themselves in.

        If people want to photograph people doing minor illegal stuff like parking and get into confrontations over illegal parking, that’s great. I personally feel there are much bigger fish to fry.

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        • Dan A November 15, 2016 at 11:25 am

          I can’t recall a time where you were in favor of a change to anything besides rider behavior. Is that the bigger fish you speak of?

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          • Kyle Banerjee November 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm

            I was thinking about drivers this time. Illegally parked cars representing a big enough problem that it’s worth stopping to talk to a motorist?

            Give me a break. I would think that anyone who rides deals with far worse on practically every ride. How often do people ride and *not* see motorists inappropriately using the bike lane? And what percentage of those are rideshare? I see this stuff every day — including this morning — and rideshare is not what’s in the way. It’s trucks, people loading/unloading, drivers who don’t realize they’re not supposed to be there because the markings aren’t clear, and garden variety ninnies. Take all the rideshare offenders away, and I doubt I’d notice the difference.

            Most drivers do the right thing, but a small percentage selfish people who do what they want regardless of how it impacts others can be found on and off the roads.

            My guess is that photographing and reporting may well make a difference with Uber and Lyft drivers, but it’s not going to make a difference with anyone else.

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            • Dan A November 15, 2016 at 12:51 pm

              So…you want riders to change and stop reporting illegal behavior. Okay.

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              • Middle of the Road Guy November 16, 2016 at 11:32 am

                wouldn’t it be cool if cyclists reported illegal behavior by other cyclists?

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              • Dan A November 16, 2016 at 1:09 pm

                I’m happy to be ticketed for illegal cycling behavior if it is done proportionately. Determine the amount of the fine by using a set dollar amount depending on how much danger you have imparted to other road users, and then multiply that amount by gross vehicle weight.

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            • Chris I November 15, 2016 at 2:28 pm

              Where this driver was stopped creates a significant hazard, which is why ACTUAL WITNESSES above are posting that they were stopped (rather than moving into the vehicle lane to go around) and why ACTUAL WITNESSES felt they needed to confront the driver. There are places where drivers create significant hazards by stopping. I experienced this on Marine Drive constantly. Drivers park in the bike lane, which forces you into the roadway (shared with 50+mph traffic) in order to pass them. This is illegal for a reason, so stop saying that it isn’t a big problem.

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              • Dan A November 15, 2016 at 4:44 pm

                Clearly you are doing something wrong. Be a better cyclist.


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            • Kyle Banerjee November 15, 2016 at 4:46 pm

              Despite the fact that I come off as a victim blaming car apologist, I see a lot of good ideas on this blog.

              However, I think that the the approach I normally see here pretty much guarantees perpetual marginalization. Every issue is presented as some melodramatic conflict between car and bike with an effort to whip up the greatest amount of outrage possible to whatever the event of the day is. The practical effect is that enormous amounts of energy get expended making small changes to tiny areas while making cyclists look like yahoos in the eyes of the public.

              There will never be 100% compliance on some issues, parking being one of them. Even if they know they risk getting towed, motorists still park in towaway zones.

              Illegal parking doesn’t hold a candle to most safety issues. Yes, you get pushed out in the lane, but it only takes a couple seconds to clear a car. Getting cars in the lane to give you enough space or timing the pass so you don’t get squeezed is easy and safe enough. Even in a worst case scenario where you wait for a few cars to pass, this is an annoyance at worst. Given that it is universally accepted here that delaying a motorist by a few minutes is no big deal, it should also be no big deal to delay a cyclist on occasion by less time.

              When we make a big deal of things like this, it conditions people to not take future complaints seriously, even if they have some real substance to them.

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              • the individual involved November 15, 2016 at 6:09 pm

                in most situations i would agree that it would be an over reaction. in this specific case, the location was particularly dangerous for both cyclist and motor vehicles. this was a blind corner in a tight series of curves just after a traffic control device. not a good mix.

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              • Dan A November 15, 2016 at 6:11 pm

                Is there a safety issue where you think something needs to change, besides rider behavior? I can’t think of a story where you’ve posted without suggesting that we’re doing something wrong.

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              • Eric Leifsdad November 15, 2016 at 7:20 pm

                Yes. “Even in a worst case scenario where you wait for a few cars to pass, this is an annoyance at worst.” — why is an annoyance ok? Drivers expect people on bikes to get “out of the way” and go out of their way to stay there. I think this entitled attitude is dangerous and parking in bike lanes is just a stationary manifestation of that. Drivers frequently try to pass me going 20mph down a neighborhood street with blind corners, hills, and intersections and cars parked on both sides. They seem to think I should pull over and stop so they can speed down the street to get in line to run a stop sign (or they don’t know the law or just can’t be bothered to think 20s ahead.)

                We do have city and metro goals which require significantly increasing cycling mode share and reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles. Saying “no big deal” and “just go around” will just sell more cheap gasoline. Putting a life-sized dent in the entitlement might make a difference.

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              • Kyle Banerjee November 16, 2016 at 6:08 am

                Don’t get me wrong. I heavily favor towing parked cars — the city can’t be aggressive enough about it as far as I’m concerned. I wish they’d tow vehicles left on the streets more than 72 hrs (I think there should be no such thing as free parking), I think they should tow all illegally parked vehicles, and I’d certainly appreciate it if they towed the cars out of the bike lanes since this is something I deal with practically every day. I personally have always wondered why car thieves don’t just use tow trucks to haul away illegally parked cars in broad daylight since it would look like regular enforcement.

                Having said all that, I don’t think this is a good area to focus attention except in particularly egregious instances — I would prefer improving conditions in the more underserved and dangerous areas of town.

                The reason I always harp on cyclist behavior is that is one of the few things you can control wherever you are and it makes an enormous difference on outcomes. Only a few places in this country have *any* bike infrastructure, and Portland’s has some of the best. Even with that, there are significant areas that are fairly challenging and it will take a very long time to change that.

                As a practical matter, this means it’s critical to know how to be safe on what we actually have while things slowly improve. When people do this, it’s safer, people have more fun, and it’s much easier to get support for cycling.

                I’m not against good infrastructure or driver behavior. I am in favor of keeping in mind that environmental change occurs very slowly and that you need to be ready for the worst you’ll encounter.

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              • Middle of the Road Guy November 16, 2016 at 11:35 am


                I’m curious as to your Myer’s Briggs personality type. Care to share? Not asking in a judgmental way. You have a dispassionate, objective way of thinking and I’m wondering if it corresponds with a specific M-B type.

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              • Kyle Banerjee November 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm

                I’ve taken the test a number of times over the years. I always come out ENTP

                I don’t know what that means as a practical matter. Not much gets under my skin. My experience is that I’m internally calm and my head works well in critical situations.

                But I’m not just an analytical type. I like people and animals, and am a softie and romantic at heart.

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        • Spiffy November 15, 2016 at 11:32 am

          illegal parking is like a gateway drug to car abuse… once you get used to being able to leave your car wherever you please then you get used to doing whatever you please with your car…

          cracking down hard on illegal parking would make a tremendous impact towards safer streets and it would let people know that cars are not king and there are real rules they need to follow…

          illegal parking one of the top things I’d like the city to address as part of Vision Zero…

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          • Middle of the Road Guy November 17, 2016 at 10:21 am

            That’s an inane statement with no proof to back it up. What next, pot is a gateway to heroin?

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            • El Biciclero November 17, 2016 at 8:45 pm

              I think this statement could be generalized to something more like “getting away with illegal behavior can be an incentive to engage in more (and possibly escalating) illegal behavior”. Could apply to car use/abuse, or just about anything else. Some folks, after dodging a bullet, start to think they are bulletproof.

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        • Robert Burchett November 15, 2016 at 11:48 am

          U/L drivers are clearly worse. The business model guarantees a burgeoning crop of rookies and they are dependent on their GPS to a greater degree than almost any other drivers. I had never been shoaled by any MV operator but two Uber drivers did it in the same month. It’s completely normal for those folks to be looking at a screen, talking on a phone, and only looking outside for a person waving their hand so they can immediately dive for the curb and the devil take the hindmost. They are either in aggressive mode, going too fast, or looking for a fare and going too slow. They have no concept of team play in traffic.

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          • Kyle Banerjee November 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm

            My experience is that they have less of a sense of team play than most drivers. I also see this with cabs and delivery drivers.

            My guess is that the reason this stuff doesn’t bug me is that I expect a lot less out of motorists than most people. If you assume they’ll do dumb and dangerous things, you’re always ready and never disappointed. And when they do the right thing, it’s just gravy.

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    • Greg Spencer November 15, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Have to say I agree with Kyle. There are some bad apples out there, but the ride-share drivers I’ve been with have all seemed like conscientious drivers. It’s true they lack professional experience, but I’m not sure if that makes them more dangerous or less dangerous. The few angry confrontations I’ve had with professional drivers have been with city bus drivers (not Trimet, but in other cities) and traditional cabbies. Too many years behind the wheel can breed permanent road rage in some people — I’ve seen it and it’s scary.

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      • Robert Burchett November 15, 2016 at 1:13 pm

        It’s all very fine with a passenger in the car. I’ll stipulate that they are service-oriented. When they’re heading for a fare they hit the trifecta: aggressive like a cop on a silent call, clueless and lost like a tourist, and parking entitled like a shredder truck. Texting like a teenager for a bonus. No doubt in time there will be some improvement but the barriers to entry are low, by design, and I don’t see the uberlords taking a lot of responsibility.

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    • Middle of the Road guy November 16, 2016 at 8:26 am

      That was my thought also. Are they doing it at any different rates than anybody else? Than a taxi?

      As an aside, remember when everybody wanted Uber and Lyft to come to Portland?

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  • GlowBoy November 15, 2016 at 7:24 am

    It was a month ago so my memory could be foggy, but I think I saw that black Sonata parked on the 3rd Avenue protected bike lane when I was in Portland last month. Looks like we have some serial violators out there. Maybe Uber will do more to screen out these drivers, though I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Escalation is almost never a good idea, no matter how tough and burly you THINK you are. I’ve experienced this firsthand. I like how The Individual Involved mentioned having actually had self defense training – and that actually led to the decision NOT to escalate. And don’t forget, you NEVER know who’s carrying a firearm. Oregon has issued tens of thousands of concealed carry permits.

    Pepper spray? Tricky stuff. Better hope you’re upwind of your assailant and aim it just right. I was in Banff this summer, and got trained in how to use pepper spray against attacking grizzlies. Very effective when deployed properly, but you still don’t want to use it unless you absolutely have to.

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    • Spiffy November 15, 2016 at 8:06 am

      if an Uber driver is caught with a gun they’re fired…

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      • John Lascurettes November 15, 2016 at 12:25 pm

        They can’t be fired. They’re not employees. They’re not even contractors. That’s an awfully convenient gray area for Uber/Lyft lawyers.

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      • Chris I November 15, 2016 at 2:48 pm

        Small consolation when you get shot, I guess.

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  • Editz November 15, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I’ve not dealt with either service, but what immediately struck me was the size of those stickers and their barely legible registration numbers. Hell, one appears to be hand written?! Why aren’t the numbers made larger and the dumb logos made smaller to help people ID the drivers when there’s a problem?

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  • rh November 15, 2016 at 10:19 am

    The Amazon delivery vans are pretty horrible drivers too.

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    • Spiffy November 15, 2016 at 11:33 am

      also horrible at parking and horrible at following delivery instructions…

      thanks for reminding me I need to file a complain with Amazon…

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    • lyle w November 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Let’s be honest, here: Conventional cabs are, too. Or were before they got swallowed by uber. It’s the nature of what cabs/uber do probably more than the specific personality and/or type of person who is drawn specifically to ride-share companies.

      Frequently being in a rush, frequently being confused about addresses/details of pickup/ frequently being distracted by the screen/phone they’re coordinating their pick-up with, etc.

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  • the individual involved November 15, 2016 at 10:31 am

    If there are any witnesses that were present for this altercation please write up a brief statement. there was a woman with glasses/curly hair/hex yellow jacket that saw most all of it. but yeah, anyone.. thanks!

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    • the individual involved November 15, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      contact made! 🙂

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  • esther2 November 15, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    There are 4,000 Uber drivers in Portland. I don’t like blaming the behavior of a hand full on all Uber drivers.

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    • John Lascurettes November 15, 2016 at 1:00 pm


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    • Robert Burchett November 15, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      I I think it’s the other way. A few drivers with professional skills (there must be some, right?) in a swamp of yahoos.

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  • Eric Leifsdad November 15, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    How about an app for reporting a driver in the bike lane? These companies know where their drivers are by gps, right? Seems like an easy thing to enforce if we really want to.

    Has anyone else noticed the increase in illegal photo-resistant license plate covers? What about missing front plates? Maybe our Vision Zero initiative should include some way to report those.

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  • kittens November 16, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Can’t say i didn’t see this coming.

    Uber drivers are by their very definition are amateurs. You want to pay them peanuts and expect to be chauffeured around at any time of the day or night by a white, college educated, safe, perfectly friendly and normal person and then are surprised when any one of these expectations is not met. You are living in a fantasy world. They dont know what they are doing. They are just following instructions on a phone. If it ain’t there they don’t know what to do.

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    • Middle of the Road guy November 16, 2016 at 8:34 am

      It’s a shame they can’t all be white, college educated, safe, perfectly friendly and normal persons like every cyclist in town 🙂

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  • Cycling Lyft Driver November 17, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    As a white (not that it should matter), college educated, hopefully safe, perfectly friendly and normal person who cycles to my main job *AND* does part-time Lyft driving I can say that both driving and cycling here were a learning curve. As a cyclist you’ve probably ridden this route many times vs the driver who may have found themselves there for the first time. Sometimes the passenger is late coming out, expecting the driver to miraculously be there. Sometimes they open the car door before it is stopped. It took me a week of riding to work to find my preferred route. It took me a couple of weeks of Lyft driving here to get used to some of Portland’s road peculiarities.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

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  • Jeff Forbes November 23, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Isn’t there a number for reporting illegally parked vehicles, and as I recall it’s a $90.00 ticket. Of course, an Uber driver is unlikely to be there long enough to get a ticket, but I see cars parked for much longer and want to report them.

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