Comment of the Week: Entitled bike riders are a thing, and it’s not helping

Posted by on October 26th, 2018 at 12:47 pm

The case of Mark Holzmann and the allegedly enraged revenge-seeker on two wheels is unprecedented on BikePortland.

We’ve covered many road rage stories over the years. We’ve covered vandalism. We’ve covered bad actors on both sides of the windshield. But we’ve never had a story where the car user sought publicity and then participated in our comment section once the story was posted. Holzmann has even earned a few fans due to his candid and tactful responses.

The discussion around Holzmann’s story has been interesting to say the least. Right after I posted it, many commenters both here and on our social media channels were skeptical. Some felt it might be even be an elaborate hoax (the term “false flag” popped up). Among the wide range of opinions shared, many of you expressed sympathy for Holzmann and disappointment that some readers didn’t believe him.

Jim Labbe shared one of the most noteworthy comments on the thread. And it’s my choice for Comment of the Week:

“Frankly I am surprised how many people here want to question Mark’s authenticity, speculate wildly on his motives, and quickly assume he is understating the harm to which he put the cyclist. He didn’t post the story here; he shared it with Jonathan. He also acknowledged his mistake. In light of all that, I am also surprised how few people dismiss or ignore the truly scary behavior of the planned revenge vandalism.

I don’t have any more facts than anyone else, but find his story quite possibly happened exactly as he describes it. Here is why.

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I have cycled in Portland since the 1980s. I have observed improvements in both the culture and the infrastructure even if far short of what it needs to be for truly safe (vision zero) streets. But I have also observed an increase in the number of angry people on the road who clearly bring frustrations to road interactions that have nothing to do with the immediate situation. They are always men, which says a lot to me.

And many of these angry, combative and, yes, entitled individuals are on bikes. The fact that the ones in cars are 100 times more dangerous doesn’t change that fact. The Portlandia skit from years back was not off the mark. These are the cyclists that cycle like some drivers drive; they have adopted the competitive, short-tempered car culture (with a little extra self-righteousness) that, despite some positive trends, still dominates our streets.

This combative and vindictive anger does nothing to dismantle the car dominated culture and transportation system that puts human lives and the planet at risk every day.”

Given the details and context of this story — and it’s potential to bring out the worst in people — I am very proud of the fact that our comment thread has been mostly vibrant, robust, and productive. That says a lot about you as readers and a lot about the community that orbits around this site. Yes, the comments have been messy (I’ve gotten a few emails from people I respect who are dismayed at the opinions expressed in them), but I’ve never wanted to manage a clean and tidy discussion. I don’t think we get work done unless we embrace the fact that when people come together around sensitive and controversial topics there will often be ruffled feathers, challenged assumptions, and a few feelings hurt.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the comment thread. I appreciate everyone who has participated.

And thank you Jim Labbe for your thoughtful comment. You’ve got a BikePortland sticker pack coming to you!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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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

229 Comments
  • Avatar
    BradWagon October 26, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    I meet his definition of entitled. I feel entitled to not be driven at, have other road users obey laws that help protect me, and yes I feel entitled to break laws when it makes me safer and gives me the benefits of riding a bike for which I sacrifice driving a car for. Bikes are better than cars… sorry this fact plays out in practical ways that anger people who only drive.

    I have followed cars to let them know they almost killed me, via calm conversation if time allows, via middle finger if not. I appreciate people on the other thread that are being constructive about this and I do not condone this kind of action (unless it was a clearly aggressive act or hit and run) but lets be real, no amount of “both side’s” conjecture is going to change culture or policy. Cyclists need to be vocal and forceful in advocacy and in asserting their rights, what drivers think personally or how civil the internet conversations are entirely unnecessary to consider in doing this.

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      BradWagon October 26, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Which is all to say “Entitled cyclists” are the only reason we have any kind of infrastructure or respect at all. We need more, not less.

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        David Hampsten October 26, 2018 at 1:15 pm

        Question: Do you personally drive a car, ever, at all?

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          John Lascurettes October 26, 2018 at 1:26 pm

          I do. I spend about a third of my trips equally between car, bike, or bus+walk. I’ve never been flipped off by someone on a bike. Just saying. I’ve flipped off plenty of drivers while riding. I’ve never had the need to honk at another cyclist or otherwise show my rage. At worst, I’ve just shaken my head.

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            John Lascurettes October 26, 2018 at 1:30 pm

            That is to say, how is it so many other drivers get flipped off or otherwise admonished by cyclists and I do not? Perhaps they should examine their own driving patterns themselves.

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              bendite October 26, 2018 at 7:39 pm

              Same. I’ve lived in Eugene, Corvallis, briefly in Portland, and in Bend. I’ve never been flipped off by a cyclist while driving.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty October 26, 2018 at 8:36 pm

              >>> How is it so many other drivers get flipped off or otherwise admonished by cyclists and I do not? <<<

              One possibility is you are the only cyclist flipping people off.

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                bendite October 27, 2018 at 10:02 pm

                I flip drivers off. So there’s at least two of us.

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                Daniel October 29, 2018 at 10:31 am

                I flip people off whenever they do something that shows intentional malice toward me because I’m on my bike (which is rare, but definitely happens). When someone does something unintentional that almost kills me, I’ll usually stick to a shouted “what is wrong with you?!” followed by a slap on their car, if it was that close of a call (much more frequent, probably 1-2 times per day).

                If someone does something passive that just makes the situation more dangerous, like double-parking in the bike lane because they’re too lazy to find a spot, I prefer sarcasm. I have to make it fairly loud so the driver can hear it through their rolled-up window, but I try, out of politeness, to keep my tone away from angry and closer to annoyed/disgusted.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 29, 2018 at 11:51 am

                Do you really find yourself needing to slap cars multiple times per day?

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                Daniel October 29, 2018 at 4:44 pm

                Oh no, I only slap a car when someone’s in the process of slowly running me over or off the road and didn’t notice when I yelled at them, which usually gets their attention first.

                Needing to yell to not be run over is probably 1-2 times a day, mostly on NW Broadway; nine times out of ten it’s someone slowly pulling into the bike lane as if it’s a right turn lane or trying to snag a parking spot, and I can usually yell loud enough to get their attention. When I can’t, I slap instead. I’d say it happens more like once a month. When it happens, I’m always a little amazed at how angry the driver is that I had the gall to get some fingerprints on their car, when just seconds before they were perfectly content to rub their entire car all over me.

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                soren October 29, 2018 at 5:12 pm

                I flip people off too but most of the time I do so because I see them genuinely endangering someone else.

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          BradWagon October 29, 2018 at 1:30 pm

          Yes. My wife and I each own a car. She drives nearly 100% of her trips. I drive about 50% of my trips. I drive to Corvallis often for work. I drive to pick up and drop off my son when taking him in his bike trailer isn’t possible. I hate every minute I am in a car.

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        Alexis October 26, 2018 at 1:24 pm

        I disagree with your assertion. “Competitive, short-tempered” cyclists (Jim Labbe’s terms) are not the reason we have infrastructure or respect. I believe the increased number of cyclists, especially those who fall into the “Enthused and Confident” and “Interested but Concerned” buckets (PBOT’s terms), are the ones forcing the issue of better infrastructure at the local level. And aggressive cyclists who behave in the way described above are certainly not the ones cultivating respect amongst any road users.

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          soren October 26, 2018 at 3:53 pm

          Cycling mode share has markedly decreased in Portland.

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            John Lascurettes October 26, 2018 at 5:26 pm

            I’m trying to understand the relevance.

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            • Avatar
              soren October 26, 2018 at 7:28 pm

              My reply addressed this: “the increased number of cyclists”.

              I realize that “cycling advocates” prefer optimism but, IMO, transportation cycling has less political power now that at any time since I moved here 20 years ago.

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            David Hampsten October 26, 2018 at 6:08 pm

            It doesn’t mean that the % of people who bicycle has declined, just that the people who reply to the ACS are bicycling less and using other modes more (or not traveling at all.) Part of the problem is that people reply to such surveys less often than they used to. Also, the survey doesn’t allow for people to use more than one mode equally.

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            • Avatar
              soren October 26, 2018 at 7:38 pm

              IMO, this is wishful thinking. Many of the people I know who bike for transportation have moved from Portland or are moving from Portland.

              I think there is profound denial of the demographic shifts occurring in this city among “advocates”.

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              • Avatar
                Chris Anderson October 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm

                I agree that the demographics challenges should not be overlooked. I was hoping that we’d get a wave of “sell your car and move to Portland” but that message never got beyond the civic minded bubble.

                As far as actual historical trends, here’s the bike count data going back. Someone would need to chart it alongside population growth etc. to see what it says. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1urP-ZA0Pd25_JZZ18hkGPlDEUQusBp49XmLzwpZ-2ag/edit?usp=sharing

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              B. Carfree October 26, 2018 at 7:49 pm

              That extraordinary claim may need some evidence. While it is true that the response rate to the ACS is slightly down, the probability that the people who are refusing to respond, not home, or fall under “other” for nonresponse are more likely to by bicycle commuters seems a bit much. Even so, the response rate since PDX began the great plateau in 2008 has fallen from 97.9% to 93.7%, with most of the difference being simple refusal.

              Is your hypothesis that people who ride bikes for transportation are so anti-government that they are actively refusing to fill out a simple ACS form at the same rates as non-cyclists? Frankly, I think the opposite is more likely to be the case.

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                David Hampsten October 26, 2018 at 8:10 pm

                No, quite the opposite. I think there has been a consistent under-count of bicyclists from the get go and an over-count of car drivers. ACS only allows for one mode, some sort of “primary” mode, when in fact all of us use multiple modes (including car drivers.) In addition, there has generally always been an over-count of older-than-average users which has been gradually getting worse on every ACS. It’s the ACS itself that’s flawed, how it asks questions, and how it does sampling. In addition, the “margin of error” rate has consistently been rising, an indication that the surveyors themselves know of these errors and flaws.

                Don’t get wrong, the ACS is the best tool we’ve got for national city-by-city comparisons, but too many users have too much faith in what it says without corroborating the data through other sources. Portland’s bike mode share may be falling, or it might not be. When the ACS says 6.3% with a margin of error of 0.7%, the actual ACS rate may actually be as high as 7.0%. Now we need an actual census more than ever, but also the ability to count and use data of people using more than one mode, just as we have people who identify with more than one race.

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                X October 28, 2018 at 5:50 pm

                An easy way to bump the bike user mode share would be to reduce the under-count of people with no fixed address.

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                soren October 29, 2018 at 5:15 pm

                I agree that the way the census measures mode shareis flawed. Neverthless, ACS stats are still a measure in time so they give an indication of the trend for a particular mode.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty October 26, 2018 at 8:37 pm

            It was reported in these august pages just days ago that the PBA survey showed a marked increase in the number of people riding to downtown.

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        • Avatar
          BradWagon October 29, 2018 at 3:01 pm

          Hmm, I wasn’t considering that aspect of the definition. Fair point, although I am absolutely competitive when it comes to staying alive (undefeated so far) and short-tempered when I almost lose (thankfully rarely).

          I’ll let recent cycling statistics for the city and also 100+ years of nation wide auto abuse rebut your points about “cultivating respect” and “better infrastructure”, things are going great!

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      • Avatar
        sikoler October 26, 2018 at 6:29 pm

        “Which is all to say “Entitled cyclists” are the only reason we have any kind of infrastructure or respect at all. We need more, not less.”

        This is one of the biggest logical fallacies in this whole situation and it’s just sad.

        You need to realize that the vast majority of Portlanders favor having the best bike infrastructure in the world…they just disagree with causing infinite rush-hour traffic jams to do it.

        WE CAN HAVE BOTH

        We have all the resources, including the budget, to make it happen, we just need to stop this “Bad for cars = Good for bikes” mentality.

        Our problem is that the opinion leaders in the bike community are often making irrational, counterproductive demands and advocate a perpetually antagonistic mindset that has no basis in reality.

        I think at least people should be honest about their intentions…the bikeportland.org founder and many other opinion leaders actively want to dismantle car infrastructure. I think they all should be clear about it.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty October 26, 2018 at 8:39 pm

          What would be really awesome would be if you could show me some of the proposed projects you support so I could get a better sense of exactly what you want to see more of.

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          • Avatar
            sikoler October 27, 2018 at 11:46 am

            “show me some of the proposed projects”

            I feel like this has been asked and answered but w/e.

            Each situation is unique and there’s no one magic bullet.

            I’m advocating a change in perspective, evolving past a “bad for cars = good for bikes” mentality.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty October 27, 2018 at 12:52 pm

              I get that, and I advocate for much the same thing in this community.

              I think most of the currently proposed projects do involve some level of tradeoff. I am willing to remove auto capacity to improve safety and the environment for other street users; I am not willing to do so in an attempt to degrade the driving environment with the aim of making other modes look comparatively better.

              I think I sit somewhere between you and most other commenters on this site.

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              • Avatar
                sikoler October 27, 2018 at 7:28 pm

                Interesting I see what you are saying. I think your position is logical, I’d go as far to say we might not be that far apart ideologically.

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                X October 28, 2018 at 4:53 pm

                get a room

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          Chris Anderson October 27, 2018 at 8:04 pm

          IMHO car culture has as much to do with why kids don’t play outdoors as smartphones and stranger danger put together. Bad for cars is good for more than just bikes.

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        • Avatar
          q October 27, 2018 at 8:45 pm

          You wrote, “You need to realize that the vast majority of Portlanders favor having the best bike infrastructure in the world…”

          That’s not true. If it were, the vast majority of Portlanders would be willing to pay for it. Even for bike infrastructure projects that don’t impact drivers (such as bike paths not on streets) support is pretty lukewarm. As one example, look at Portland’s off-road cycling infrastructure–no impact on drivers, yet it’s mediocre or worse.

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        • Avatar
          q October 27, 2018 at 8:51 pm

          The comment you responded to said nothing that advocates a “Bad for cars = Good for bikes” position.

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      • Avatar
        Jason Skelton October 29, 2018 at 9:34 am

        I appreciate the entitled cyclists because they have taught me that I should expect more. Not being ridiculed for riding a bike was enough for me. I had no idea that separate infrastructure to make bicycling safer and more convenient was even an option until others advocated for it.

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    • Avatar
      9watts October 26, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      “Cyclists need to be vocal and forceful in advocacy and in asserting their rights…”

      Certainly, but they don’t need to be assholes. I took Jim’s comment to be calling out the latter.

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      • Avatar
        BradWagon October 29, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        I’m fine with being an asshole, would expect someone be an asshole to me if I were to negligently threaten them or demean them the way I have been as a cyclist or pedestrian at times.

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        • Avatar
          9watts November 1, 2018 at 8:53 pm

          I think two things are being collapsed here by some commenters:

          (1) anger and related behavior immediately following actual threats upon our bodies, and
          (2) an attitude of law-flouting assholery, unmoored from specific threats at that moment.

          quoting the winner of CotW:
          “angry people on the road who clearly bring frustrations to road interactions that have nothing to do with the immediate situation.”

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    • Avatar
      Columbo October 26, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      Amen. This entire story is a smear campaign against ALL cyclists by a man who feels wronged by just one. The fact that his car tires got cut? I’ve yet to see any evidence that proves it was related at all.

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      • Avatar
        9watts October 26, 2018 at 1:46 pm

        I’m going to start* a gofundme campaign to pay for Columbo to get Vindictiveness Management Training.

        *actually, just like the aforementioned, I’m going to just float the idea as a rhetorical flourish.

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  • Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
    Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike) October 26, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    The world is hard enough without people slashing your car tires. Please pitch in a few bucks to show that the bicycling community rejects what happened to Mark. The person who committed the crime of slashing Mark’s tires does not reflect the goals of the Portland bicycling community. Let’s show some support for Mark after what was a troubling experience. There are few good things in the news these days maybe by doing this we can help give this one a better ending. I’ve set up a gofundme. I will post an update once we reach the goal of replacing the slashed tires. https://www.gofundme.com/replace-mark039s-tires

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    • Avatar
      Columbo October 26, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      I think I’ll start my own GoFundMe, proceeds will pay for Mark to attend remedial Drivers Education classes.

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      • Avatar
        9watts October 26, 2018 at 1:43 pm

        Who needs Portlandia?!
        We’ve got the bikeportland comments!

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    • Avatar
      Jay Dedd October 26, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Lest we forget: There is no monolithic “bicycle community” in Portland or elsewhere. (That is: Advocates, be careful not to try to have it both ways.)

      Rather, there are a bunch of people who ride bikes at least sometimes, and some of them are socially clustered with some of the others. Much like with people who drive cars.

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      • Avatar
        David Hampsten October 26, 2018 at 6:11 pm

        Bicyclists remind me of cats. Each person has a different relationship with their universe and to each other. It’s easy to categorize car drivers but much harder to do so with bicyclists, let alone herd them into action.

        Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 26, 2018 at 8:42 pm

        Making it more confusing is that many cyclists also drive cars. And visa versa. It’s almost like we don’t live in a digital world where people can be neatly placed in one of an orderly set of bins that are somehow magically meaningful.

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    • Avatar
      Johnny Bye Carter October 28, 2018 at 11:09 pm

      “The person who committed the crime of slashing Mark’s tires does not reflect the goals of the Portland bicycling community.”

      How do you know this? Did the bicycling community post it on their web site?

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      • Avatar
        q October 28, 2018 at 11:34 pm

        Could have come via a statement from one of their spokesmen, or from a cycling community leader.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 29, 2018 at 12:50 am

        It whispered it to me in bed a few nights ago. I didn’t know it had told anyone else.

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  • Avatar
    RobM October 26, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Mr. Holzmann gave some of the most insightful responses to some really ridiculous comments. I doubt any of those commenters would have handled the situations (the actual incident and commenting on the story) with the same class as him.

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  • Avatar
    Joe October 26, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    I’m just trying to stay alive with semi broken infrastructure, oh this morning was epic on NE 42ND narrow road coming down from fremont only have car cross double yellow because of a garbage truck. * could you please effn wait 2 secs ? * rant over * but lotta pushy drivers these days.. be safe and enjoy the ride.. plus I get judged by the type of bike I ride..

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    • Avatar
      B. Carfree October 26, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      That’s my #1 peeve (used to be a pet peeve, but it wasn’t domesticated and has taken off into the wild). Why do motorists feel so entitled to the road space on MY side of the center line? If I was in a car or big rig, I know they would wait until I had passed to move onto the left side of the road, but when I’m on a bike they think it’s A-OK to drive right at me. I really love the fact that they will give more room to a likely-unoccupied parked car than to an actual living, breathing human being who happens to be on a bicycle.

      Of course they then think I’m the a-hole. smh.

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      • Avatar
        Kristent October 29, 2018 at 2:12 pm

        If you were in a car or a big truck they still wouldn’t wait. They’d expect you to make room for them in YOUR lane because their convenience trumps your safety. It doesn’t matter what matter of conveyance you’ve chosen to use for transportation.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 26, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      When I drive (and sometimes even on my bike), I will often cross the double-yellow to make more room when it’s needed. Usually for a cyclist or a pedestrian (I like to provide a wide berth), but sometimes for a person getting into/out of a vehicle, or just on the street for whatever reason.

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        resopmok October 28, 2018 at 10:55 am

        I think he meant a car coming the opposite direction crossed the double yellow into his lane (with head-on collision potential) to get around a garbage truck. This truly is the sort of impatience we deal with on the roads everyday, whether driving or riding a bicycle. Of course, riding a bike means feeling more threatened by these bone-headed maneuvers because of being more vulnerable.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty October 28, 2018 at 5:59 pm

          There are many situations where drivers do this with other drivers, without cause for alarm. From the description, I would not automatically assume the maneuver is daft. It is only so if it brings with it a risk of collision.

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            Kristent October 29, 2018 at 2:14 pm

            It IS a daft move.

            The other driver should NOT be crossing the center line to get around ANY slow-moving or stopped vehicle unless the other lane is free of oncoming traffic. Yet many, scores, hordes of drivers do it all the time, regardless of oncoming traffic, because waiting for oncoming to clear is apprently “not an option”.

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              Middle of the Road Guy October 30, 2018 at 8:46 am

              But how often does it result in an accident?

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                9watts October 30, 2018 at 8:54 am

                That is of course one concern. Mine, though, would be, what does passing under those circumstances do for giving the person a safe passing distance? Lots of things can be unpleasant, dangerous, frightening that aren’t strictly speaking an accident (or did you maean crash?).

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 30, 2018 at 10:06 am

                That, of course, is the issue. If drivers are passing too close to cyclist and it’s a problem. If they’re not, then it may just be an annoyance.

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              • Avatar
                Kristent October 30, 2018 at 3:40 pm

                Why does it need to result in a crash (not accident) to be taken seriously?

                Asking not just for car-vs-car crashes, but anyone-vs-anyone crashes.

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  • Avatar
    Bjorn October 26, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I continue to be disappointed in the way that all local media is treating this as a case of a cyclist vandalizing this man’s property. He has absolutely no evidence of who was behind the vandalism, again assuming that he didn’t actually do it himself for attention. I agree with the idea that entitled cyclists may not be helping, but the idea that this is an example of a bad act by a cyclist continues to be a huge stretch for me in the absence of even the slightest bit of evidence.

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      X October 29, 2018 at 10:55 am

      I’m prepared to believe that Mr. Holzman was careless. However: Please stop saying he slashed his own tires. That would be about three standard deviations of crazy, out where the tail of the curve is flatter than Hitler’s EKG.

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      Middle of the Road Guy October 30, 2018 at 8:46 am

      #BelieveVictims

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        Dan A October 30, 2018 at 10:09 am

        #IfTheyAreTheDriver

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    soren October 26, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    “These are the cyclists that cycle like some drivers drive…”

    First of all, the vast majority of drivers are courteous road users who do care about the safety of people walking or rolling. Secondly, cycling in an assertive manner does not make one “combatitive”, “angry”, or more prone to vandalism.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 26, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      Yes!

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      soren October 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      A slight clarification: Most people who drive intend to drive safely and courteously but many are awful at this due to a dominant culture that de-emphasizes safe driving.

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  • Avatar
    Rain Panther October 26, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Personally, my response to Mr. Holzmann’s story was initially very sympathetic. But then I got to the last 1 1/2 paragraphs of his letter:

    “…you gotta love this town and the foresight of mixing cars and bicycles in such a dangerous way. I strongly believe Bicyclists need license plates and identification if they want to “Share the Road.”

    Lastly, this by no means is commentary on Portland Bicycle riders. As I bicycle rider myself I believe we co-exist with cars as best we can. However with the City’s agenda and support of Bicycle Transportation, has come a dangerous attitude of entitlement from some bike riders. I believe this attitude can encourage reckless behavior. I don’t need to remind anyone a bicylist is so vulnerable. I very much support education, testing, and operating licenses for Bicyclist using public roads for there primary way transportation. I also believe bikes should register and licensed similar to cars…”

    1. Sarcastic remark about “mixing cars and bicycles”, with its accompanying insinuation that streets are meant for cars.
    2. The whole BS licensing thing that people reflexively glom onto when they feel inconvenienced by bikes. Again, the implication is that bike riders need to earn the privilege of being allowed to share the road.
    3. As a bike rider myself… Ick.
    4. The city’s agenda and support of Bike Transportation? Seriously, look around you and what do you see? Cars, cars, cars – everywhere you look, cars.
    5. He’s the one whose driving behavior was reckless, but he can’t resist shifting the blame.

    That’s more than 3 strikes.

    The part where someone found his home and vandalized his car is despicable, bonkers, and downright scary. And I respect his willingness to jump into the comments section here. But beyond that, I don’t really see how this story is indicative of some collective wave of entitlement among people who ride bikes. To me, it’s the story of a reckless, inconsiderate driver (who otherwise seems like a nice guy) and an out of control vandal (who’s likely also a bike rider).

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      Rain Panther October 26, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Just read my previous post, and it sounds pissier than I’d like. I think I’m just vexed by what seems like an impulse to look at this very particular story and find a way to make it representative of some bigger picture, which just so happens to confirm a common bias. I just don’t see how this is construed as evidence of a trend of “cyclist entitlement”.

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      sikoler October 26, 2018 at 6:34 pm

      “I don’t really see how this story is indicative of some collective wave of entitlement among people who ride bikes. ”

      That’s not what he is saying.

      He’s saying irrational bike activists (my words not his) are encouraging reckless behavior because of the entitled perspective they use.

      This is where he says it:

      “However with the City’s agenda and support of Bicycle Transportation, has come a dangerous attitude of entitlement from some bike riders. **I believe this attitude can encourage reckless behavior.**”

      And it is true. An attitude of entitlement mixed with righteous indignation does indeed encourage reckless behavior.

      I think many bike activists need to reflect on this truth and evolve.

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        X October 28, 2018 at 5:02 pm

        I think bike activists to need to close their laptops and go ride their bikes because that’s the only thing that will change the allocation of space on the street to active transportation as opposed to resource sucking single occupant large over-powered vehicles. LOVs. Evolve? (strokes vestigial limbs)

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    Josh Chernoff October 26, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    As a cyclist I don’t want your respect, I want you to have accountability for your actions and to understand the severity of your ignorance. Also that blahze “I’m sorry didn’t see you” lacks real empathy and really is a cop out for being a competent driver.

    I don’t think respect or entitlement falls into the same category as being willing to fight for my life or being sick of being subject to other’s incompetence.

    That one bad interaction that driver had with that cyclist was probably not the only bad interaction that cyclist had with the sum of all the drivers they had interacted with that day.
    That makes it a compounded issue for peds/cyclists vs how drivers perceive bad interactions with others.

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    Noisette October 26, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    I read somewhere recently something to the effect of “If you encounter one angry a**hole a day, they are just an a**hole, but if everyone you run into is an a**hole, you yourself are probably the a**hole”.

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      q October 27, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      “If you run into an a**hole in the morning, you ran into an a**hole. If you run into a**holes all day, you’re the a**hole.”
      –Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, “Justified” tv series

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    Alex Reedin October 26, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    I decry anger and lawlessness towards other road users and agree that some people are overly angry while biking, for sure.

    However, I really don’t think “entitled” is the right word. I think it’s more a frustration at being constantly vulnerable and treated as “less-than” by our transportation infrastructure and laws. I really think the “entitled” idea comes from the stereotype of elite cyclists rather than a widespread psychological reality.

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      John Lascurettes October 26, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      BINGO!

      Also, we are literally entitled (believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges) to the road but we are treated as if we shouldn’t be.

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        Dan A October 26, 2018 at 6:42 pm

        When people say that cyclists are “entitled”, what they really mean is “uppity”.

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          9watts October 26, 2018 at 8:52 pm

          Yes.

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          Matt S. October 27, 2018 at 6:56 pm

          What entitled means to me: I think it’s when a cyclist internalizes the idea that the city owes them a favor for riding their bike, thus essentially paving the way for the cyclist to do whatever he/she pleases regarding movement through the city infrastructure; with impunity.

          I ride my bike. I save the environment. I shouldn’t have to stop at traffic control devices because it slows me down.

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            Alex Reedin October 27, 2018 at 8:19 pm

            I don’t think disregarding traffic control devices correlates very well with a feeling of righteous anger in the event of a conflict, though. My experience is that, in the event of a conflict while someone disregards a traffic control device on a bike, the disregarder is either apologetic or just breezes on by more often than average for traffic conflicts. My psychological interpretation is that most disregarders have made the decision to disregard, and take their lumps when/if they come while disregarding.

            It’s conflicts occurring while someone is biking according to traffic devices, etc. that I see resulting in anger by the person biking more often.

            Honestly, I don’t see either of these scenarios as an unhealthy or antisocial entitlement mentality. In one, someone is biking clearly against the rules and traffic system (which, let’s be honest, really are not made to be very reasonable or helpful for biking) and may get hurt as a result, and they accept that. Yes, there are potential negative consequences to others, but they are very small and/or unlikely compared to serious injury or death to the person biking. So small/unlikely that I don’t think it’s reasonable to castigate someone for biking that way because of the possibility of mental harm to an innocent person driving nor for a potential downstream physical crash impact on a third party.

            And in the second scenario – if someone is obeying all the cut-and-dried rules in a transportation system that exposes them to danger, fear, and intimidation, AND routes them on inconvenient, slow, low-priority routes, and after X number of unintentional endangerments by people driving, I really don’t fault them for getting angry in the moment at the X+1th endangerment, perceived, real, inattentive, unavoidable, whatever. I don’t think it’s entitlement. I think it’s the opposite – the built up rage from being treated as a second class citizen day after day (albeit only in a small, voluntary-for-many part of one’s life). People who are favored by the societal system and get angry at not getting as much favor as they are used to getting are entitled. People who are disfavored by the societal system and get angry at being disfavored day after day – well, I’m not sure what they are, but it’s not entitled. “Oppressed” is the word that comes to mind – though in the case of biking it needs to be caveated, so “experiencing at least a small amount of societal oppression, in this case often voluntarily” maybe?

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              9watts October 27, 2018 at 8:57 pm

              Well said!

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              Charley October 29, 2018 at 1:23 pm

              I think this is exactly it: I’m a nonviolent guy, a Buddhist even. I’ve experienced numerous moments of on-the-bike-rage over the years. Why does this happen? Well, for one thing, when my life is threatened (and I’ve been hit by a truck while riding my bike, so I know how bad it feels and how long it can take to recover) the frontal lobe doesn’t have time to calmly think things through. Instead, the lizard brain takes over and reacts.

              I think it’s kind of like the Brown Eyes Blue Eyes demonstration that Jane Elliot did with her school students after MLK was assassinated: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/karinabland/2017/11/17/blue-eyes-brown-eyes-jane-elliotts-exercise-race-50-years-later/860287001/

              When I participated in this demonstration, I couldn’t believe how quickly discomfort (I have blue eyes) turned into seething anger. When you are treated like shit, it is really, really hard to behave logically, calmly, patiently. It’s mental and emotional gymnastics of the highest order.

              I don’t mean that it takes this kind of mental effort not to slash someone’s tires. That’s not so hard. But slapping cars and flipping birds? That’s like catnip for the brain, when one feels threatened, and especially so when one feels physically threatened and treated like a second class citizen on a daily basis. Don’t those feelings build up over time into a kind of resentment?

              By cycling to work, an activity that I consider ecologically, civically, and physically preferrable to driving, I am subjecting myself to a degree of unfair risk, subjecting myself to a sub-optimal transportation system not designed for my use, and subjecting myself physically to the danger of people who don’t even care enough to take their eyes off their phone. This situation is a complete bass-ackwards incentivization of a social ill (an economist might ask, in terms of incentive structures, shouldn’t we make car driving dangerous and cycling safe?). How am I supposed to feel and react when someone’s momentary carelessness risks my very life, especially when their carelessness is sort of aided and abetted by the state in ways large and small, even in a place as progressive as Portland?

              In other words, I know the City and other drivers are not literally trying to kill me, but that’s what it feels like a good bit of the time. Is it any wonder that I act outraged? Again, slashing tires is not the answer. But I believe that, when someone threatens my life, either through carelessness or malice, I reserve the right to anger.

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            soren October 29, 2018 at 9:32 am

            “I ride my bike. I save the environment.”

            Honestly, I don’t enjoy riding my bike for transportation any more than I enjoy brushing my teeth. Given that I’m not car-dependent and have lots of transportation options, I view walking, cycling, and busing as a moral contract — kinda like not dumping trash in my neighbors backyard. As for “saving the environment”, it’s far too late for that. Nevertheless, there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that collective action could lessen the severity of global warming. Is this so horrible?

            “I shouldn’t have to stop at traffic control devices because it slows me down.”

            Much of the time violating a traffic control device makes absolutely no difference in how quickly I get to my destination. I safely blow stop signs and run lights because I believe it is the right thing to do.

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              Middle of the Road Guy October 30, 2018 at 8:49 am

              I will adopt your philosophy when I drive. There are many intersections with no other traffic that I could safely ignore the traffic controls at.

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                soren October 30, 2018 at 9:51 am

                Hi False Equivalency Guy,

                The Idaho stop law led to a small decrease in crashes involving people cycling (according to two studeies). Do you have any evidence that ignoring traffic signals is a safe behavior for people driving?

                PS: no need to answer. that was a rhetorical question.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 30, 2018 at 9:57 am

                That millions of people roll stop signs everyday without incident could be considered evidence.

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    sikoler October 26, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    “dismantle the car dominated culture and transportation system”

    This is not a goal, it’s trolling.

    You cannot “dismantle” modern society…unless of course you want to claim some esoteric, a-typical definition of “dismantle”.

    Semantics aside, prima facia this statement is absurd and as a policy goal it’s not only unworkable it’s basically just trolling and prohibiting actual discussion. (No, Paris isn’t going ‘car-free’ they’re hoping to go electric-car only by 2030).

    I understand that people want to “de-modernize” for myriad great reasons, I really do get it. I lived in a remote national forrest for a few years in the Rockies. I love nature as much as anyone here.

    Still, this attitude is the same as the, “Bad for cars = good for bikes” mentality.

    Jamming commuter roads by removing infrastructure and actively promoting policies that make life difficult for people for no other reason than some idea that we are going to demodernize our city is basically abuse of the democratic process.

    If we can ditch this nonsense we can actually make Portland’s traffic system the best in the world.

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      q October 28, 2018 at 12:47 am

      Your continually accusing people of “trolling” is tiresome and nonproductive.

      I don’t know who you quoted saying, “dismantle the car dominated culture and transportation system”. But that’s a legitimate position for someone to take. It is not “trolling”.

      And it doesn’t mean “dismantl(ing) modern society”, any more than replacing horses and buggies with cars, or replacing slavery or serfdom “dismantled” modern society.

      Nobody is saying they want to reduce or eliminate auto use without replacing it with something else–better transit, better bike infrastructure, better development patterns that reduce the need for commuting and travel…And nobody is wanting to do any of that unless it brings positive change.

      And if does, then it can hardly be called “dismantling” or your more histrionic “de-modernize”, or your even more histrionic “abuse of the democratic process”.

      The accurate term would be “progress”.

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      9watts October 28, 2018 at 8:00 am

      “this statement is absurd and as a policy goal it’s not only unworkable it’s basically just trolling and prohibiting actual discussion.”

      So you decide what is and what is not a reasonable policy goal? I’m curious (not holding my breath) for you to explain on what basis you feel qualified to make this call? Of course on its face (to the average O-live commenter) Jonathan’s phrase probably would plausibly seem unworkable, but we don’t generally give small minded, unimaginative folks a lot of space here. The world would be a far more interesting and rewarding place if more of us dared to imagine things that appear unworkable. Calls for the eight hour workday were at the time not only seen as unworkable, to the cheeses it was pretty much unthinkable.

      Perhaps you are not familiar with this quip, but I’ll offer it to you as inspiration:
      “The difficult we do immediately; the impossible will take a little longer.”

      As for “prohibiting actual discussion” you may have that backwards. You are I think the only one who just recently started showing up here & most every day lectures us about how we’re all doing it wrong, thinking the wrong way, using the wrong language.
      We’re all about discussion here (I didn’t think we were shy about revealing that), and while we’re at it, perhaps you’ll show us what *actual* discussion looks like? Have we unwittingly been engaging in a poor imitation of actual discussion here all these years?

      Perhaps at some point you will allow yourself to drop the defensive hectoring tone and engage, mix it up, get into the weeds. I’m very open to learning where my blind spots are, but so far you’ve not deigned to help me find them, persuaded me of your position.

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        sikoler October 29, 2018 at 6:15 pm

        I can’t help you unless you read my entire comment. I did “get into the weeds”.

        I have the feeling that you’re the kind of message board commenter that will always demand “more evidence” from people you disagree with, no matter what.

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          Toby Keith October 29, 2018 at 9:17 pm

          He’s also one of Jonathan’s friends apparently.

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          Dan A October 30, 2018 at 6:41 am

          Your comments contain many words, but there is not much to learn from them. ‘You don’t understand the world. Bad things are bad and good things are good, and everybody should get more good things’. You haven’t suggested a single specific way to accomplish any of that, that I can find.

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            9watts October 30, 2018 at 7:33 am

            What Dan A said. You’re pretty much just huffing and puffing here.
            Your decision not to engage is perfectly fine, but you should understand that this means we can’t learn much from you, and your proposals are far less likely to gain traction, followers.

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      Johnny Bye Carter October 28, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      You seem completely unaware of the automobile’s impact on our world and how our politics work.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 29, 2018 at 12:51 am

        Tell me… how do our politics work?

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          Johnny Bye Carter October 30, 2018 at 12:08 pm

          Poorly.

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    Anna October 26, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    They are not all men. I am a women cyclist who lets out a fair amount of rage at driver’s that have no regard for my safety!

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    Mark Holzmann October 26, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Columbo
    Amen. This entire story is a smear campaign against ALL cyclists by a man who feels wronged by just one. The fact that his car tires got cut? I’ve yet to see any evidence that proves it was related at all.Recommended 11

    Tell me again how I smeared all cyclist? How is suggesting registration and licensing a smear??

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      9watts October 27, 2018 at 7:51 am

      There is no particular reason you would be expected to know the background, but it turns out that the suggestion bike riders be subject to licensing and registration has a history and is based on several nested and generally vindictive misconceptions.

      The assumed parallels between cars and bikes which tend to motivate these calls just aren’t there: cars are subject to registration and drivers to licensing because of the required skills, and inherent dangers the combination presents to others.

      Furthermore, in places where this generally vindictive policy has been tried it revealed two things that caused it to be reversed: the newly invented barrier caused a precipitous decline in bicycling, and the costs to administer the system in all cases outweighed the funds raised from the nominal fee levied.

      Here’s more: https://bikeportland.org/2015/01/26/oregon-senate-bill-repeal-bike-bill-mandate-bicycle-licenses-registration-131400#comment-6139215

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 27, 2018 at 11:31 am

        It seems far more likely that vehicle registration was originally designed for taxation purposes, not because of the inherent dangerousness of cars.

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          resopmok October 28, 2018 at 11:09 am

          Don’t be so sure, my understanding of history is that cars were not, in their first years of introduction, lauded as the paragon of efficiency and utility that they are today. Neither of has stated references here, but I think there’s more to this story than might be guessed.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty October 29, 2018 at 12:05 pm

            Now you’ve got me intrigued.

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      Dan A October 27, 2018 at 7:51 am

      “They don’t think the rules apply to them.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdqZnV6Q0Qs

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        Dan A October 27, 2018 at 8:45 am

        And also, “…if their awareness is heightened through education, it might help.”

        I’d like to know what sort of education you feel would have helped them avoid a driver who suddenly changes lanes and then turns into their path. Is this sort of education required of people who drive?

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        Al October 27, 2018 at 10:39 pm

        If Holzmann was apologetic, why would a “shouting match between him and the cyclist” ensue? Why would you be shouting at a person you just wronged?

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      Daniel October 29, 2018 at 11:46 am

      You said you support mandatory licensing and registration. You also said that you’re a bicyclist as well. This raises some interesting questions:

      Is your bike registered with the city? If so, did you do that before taking it out on city streets? It’s not mandatory, but you’ve suggested that you think it should be.

      How about licensing yourself as a bike operator? Also not mandatory, but there *is* a detailed guide published by the city that outlines how to ride in Portland, including a section on how to navigate in Portland and the fact that motor vehicles are required to yield to bicyclists in bike lanes. Did you at least read that guide before riding your bike in Portland? Or maybe take one of the many bike commuter classes offered by various organizations?

      I can’t speak for you so I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that your answer to these questions will probably be no. Like most people, you bought a bike and occasionally ride it. If it’s worth enough that you’d want to chase it down after a theft, you registered it with the city (and only well after purchase), and you feel like you have a perfectly good grasp of traffic law because you’re already licensed to drive a car in Oregon (like, you know, the vast majority of people cycling in Portland). But now here you are on local TV, explaining how the laws should be changed so that people like you wouldn’t be allowed to use their bikes in Portland until they go through processes you didn’t feel were necessary before.

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    Mark Holzmann October 26, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Columbo
    I think I’ll start my own GoFundMe, proceeds will pay for Mark to attend remedial Drivers Education classes.Recommended 13

    You’ve been a bit snarky and nasty. You’ve poked and prodded at me. Tell me what basis you have to assume I need training. Is it your spotless record of making no mistakes in life or just being cute and clever at my expense.

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      Alan 1.0 October 26, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Mark,

      Totally changing the subject, but could you be more specific about the location of where you turned right in front of the bike rider? Is it that entrance to the garage from “Winning Way,” just east of “Center Street”?

      https://goo.gl/maps/977QPQ22PR12

      I’m just trying to get a better picture of how it all went down…where you came from, where the bicyclist came from, etc.

      I appreciate you discussing the incidents so rationally.

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    Mark Holzmann October 26, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Rain Panther
    Personally, my response to Mr. Holzmann’s story was initially very sympathetic. But then I got to the last 1 1/2 paragraphs of his letter:“…you gotta love this town and the foresight of mixing cars and bicycles in such a dangerous way. I strongly believe Bicyclists need license plates and identification if they want to “Share the Road.”Lastly, this by no means is commentary on Portland Bicycle riders. As I bicycle rider myself I believe we co-exist with cars as best we can. However with the City’s agenda and support of Bicycle Transportation, has come a dangerous attitude of entitlement from some bike riders. I believe this attitude can encourage reckless behavior. I don’t need to remind anyone a bicylist is so vulnerable. I very much support education, testing, and operating licenses for Bicyclist using public roads for there primary way transportation. I also believe bikes should register and licensed similar to cars…”1. Sarcastic remark about “mixing cars and bicycles”, with its accompanying insinuation that streets are meant for cars. 2. The whole BS licensing thing that people reflexively glom onto when they feel inconvenienced by bikes. Again, the implication is that bike riders need to earn the privilege of being allowed to share the road. 3. As a bike rider myself… Ick. 4. The city’s agenda and support of Bike Transportation? Seriously, look around you and what do you see? Cars, cars, cars – everywhere you look, cars. 5. He’s the one whose driving behavior was reckless, but he can’t resist shifting the blame.That’s more than 3 strikes.The part where someone found his home and vandalized his car is despicable, bonkers, and downright scary. And I respect his willingness to jump into the comments section here. But beyond that, I don’t really see how this story is indicative of some collective wave of entitlement among people who ride bikes. To me, it’s the story of a reckless, inconsiderate driver (who otherwise seems like a nice guy) and an out of control vandal (who’s likely also a bike rider).Recommended 12

    Ward, don’t you think you’re being a bit hard on the Beaver?? An isolated incident or mistake does not make one a consistent reckless or inconsiderate driver. Lighten and give me a strike back. Just because I believe it is absolutely dangerous and reckless that the City combined cars and bikes doesn’t mean I’m anti bicycle. I am pro safety and believe investment in separation either with barriers or separate routing. But I’m new to this discussion. If I stupid take a moment to enlighten me preferably in a civil voice.

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    Wendell Walker October 27, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Mark, you may not be a consistently reckless driver, but you were on that day in the situation you described.
    So when you refer to “a dangerous attitude of entitlement from some bike riders (that) can encourage reckless behavior” I feels to me like you’re changing the subject, shifting the blame.
    I truly am sorry about the wacko who slashed your tires, but in my mind that’s a different story and I recoil at any attempt to draw parallels between that mean-spirited, destructive act and the daily choices made by bike riders in traffic.
    I suspect many of the choices that seem “entitled “ or even “reckless” from a distance are actually motivated by self preservation. What seems safe and sensible to you , sitting in your car, is frequently a far cry from what feels safe to the person on the bike. Sometimes we try to choose the lesser of two dangers. Sometimes we base those decisions on previous interactions, close calls, altercations, etc. in that same location that you aren’t privy to.
    I apologize if my tone was abrasive, but I cannot tell you how many times my life has been imperiled y someone who “didn’t mean to” or “didn’t see” me. After a while it just wears thin.

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    John Shaver October 27, 2018 at 8:41 am

    As someone who commutes and is on a bike for an average of 125 mikes a week, I can say that riding a bike in Portland is not an enjoyable experience. On my commute from Garden Home to NW Portland and back in the afternoon I witness drivers constantly breaking laws.

    Speeding, running stop signs, stop lights and on phones. In the mornings on Multnomah Av. cars are backed up 30-40 deep waiting for the light at 45th. It is always interesting to count how many drivers are on phones, most times half.

    For the most part drivers in Portland are distracted and pissed off. Where is the enforcement? It is rare to see a cop pulling someone over for a traffic violation. I believe the situation will get worse and I believe the city government could care less about this situation.

    Every morning I make sure to hug my wife and our two dogs a little extra because there is a real chance I might not me coming home.

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      Matt S. October 28, 2018 at 9:43 am

      There’s a disconnect of what the city government wants and what the police bureau does. There’s a disconnect of what the upper chain of command want at the bureau and what the street level patrol officers actually enforce.

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    Still Alive October 27, 2018 at 8:49 am

    (man eating storm grates + potholes + disappearing bike lanes + car/road water tsunamis + parked car door attacks) is not greater than (blowing thru stops + riding on wrong side of the road + no hand signals + no verbal warnings to pedestrians + zero visibility night mode)

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      9watts October 28, 2018 at 7:36 am

      That is a humorous but odd list you created there. Let’s take a closer look:

      “(man eating storm grates + potholes + disappearing bike lanes + car/road water tsunamis + parked car door attacks)”

      All but the last are arguably infrastructural slights, results of thoughtless or biased use of public dollars. All who bike are to a greater or lesser extent subject to these slights, at risk physically or cowed emotionally by experiences related to them.

      “(blowing thru stops + riding on wrong side of the road + no hand signals + no verbal warnings to pedestrians + zero visibility night mode)”

      This list, on the other hand, represents a grab bag of tropes we tell ourselves characterize other people on bikes. Most of these I’ve encountered exceedingly rarely (we can if you wish delve deeper into you chosen phrase:blow through) and although certainly annoying if and when they do happen are AFAIK rarely harmful to others.

      The phrase you chose to link these two lists is perhaps the most telling:

      “is not greater than”

      I get the sense that the reason you went to the trouble of writing this post was to lecture ‘scofflaw cyclists’ or perhaps ‘cyclists in general’ that because behavior, don’t complain about bad infrastructure; or actually because worse behavior by a few, we’re not going to listen to crybaby cyclists in general who lament infrastructural slights.

      The class of cyclists got what it had coming because from Olive comments we know there are some blatant rules violators out there, so shut up.

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    Mark Holzmann October 27, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I am not being shitty but I read your comment and in reminds me of the narrative of an addict. If that is your perception and feeling why would you continually subject
    Yourself?

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      9watts October 27, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      “If that is your perception and feeling why would you continually subject Yourself?”

      Assuming you are replying to the comment immediately preceding yours, I will register astonishment. To move about by bike is everyone’s right, and although some people no doubt see bicycling as discretionary or even perhaps as a lifestyle marker, I would never dream of questioning anyone’s decision to ride a bicycle. Instead I would applaud him, especially if he persists under conditions (not incidentally generated by those on a bike like him but rather caused by those in a car like, um, you). I’d try to imagine what it would be like, what could be done to, as it were, level the playing field, make it less dangerous.

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        Matt S. October 28, 2018 at 3:50 pm

        It’d be interesting to know the true nature of why someone chooses to ride (presumably) 25 miles round trip. Is it for fitness, health, environment, parking, time — probably. The alternative – car driving – must be terribly miserable depending on location of home and job. What I wonder is if car driving was easier, would the person drive?

        I’ve seen it with my friends and myself. Friend worked downtown for years and rode her bike because there wasn’t parking. She got a new job across the river where parking and traffic was free/easier and she never rode her bike again.

        I got a job in Vancouver with a reverse commute. I stopped riding my bike.

        Sometimes bike riding is the least miserable option, other times it’s not.

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          9watts October 28, 2018 at 3:58 pm

          “Is it for fitness, health, environment, parking, time — probably.”

          All true, and interesting questions.

          I’ll only add that in addition to the questions you pose that focus on preferences I’d point out that the question of constraints will start to encroach into this territory if it hasn’t already.
          We who are well off are all about choice, preference, lifestyle; but for those less fortunate, and perhaps for all of us one of these days it will come down to something rather different. Resilience is one term that points to a scale against which to measure the viability of different options, technologies, modes of transport. Cars and bikes and feet can be placed on that scale, and I am expecting cars not to score well in future.

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            Matt S. October 31, 2018 at 3:35 pm

            I agree.

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    BikeRound October 27, 2018 at 9:52 am

    In my experience, women also frequently engage in highly dangerous driving behaviors, so when the author says that these people are “always men,” he lost quite a bit of credibility with me.

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    Mark Holzmann October 27, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Alan 1.0
    Hi Mark,Totally changing the subject, but could you be more specific about the location of where you turned right in front of the bike rider? Is it that entrance to the garage from “Winning Way,” just east of “Center Street”?https://goo.gl/maps/977QPQ22PR12I’m just trying to get a better picture of how it all went down…where you came from, where the bicyclist came from, etc.I appreciate you discussing the incidents so rationally.Recommended 0

    Hi Alan 1.0, I am more than happy to chat on the phone and discuss this. My number is easy to find as my posts disclose and unlike most everyone here my user name is my real name. The more information I give on this forum the more rope I am rhetorically hung with. If you truly want more insight jot down your thoughts and give me a call.

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      Alan 1.0 October 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks for the offer but I’ll retain my thin veneer between OL and RW. 🙂

      If it is that Winning Way & Center Street intersection, I can see where drivers are given a difficult task to pick the right lane ahead of time, then make a wide left turn to the curb lane of Winning, and then a very short distance to check behind them on the right before turning into the garage entrance. I can also see why a bicyclist would be frustrated to give up momentum (as well as ROW) on that uphill. And the bike routes (according to Google) go around Broadway, Wiedler, three sides of the parking block , whereas the obvious short route is up Winning to Wheeler. I guess that most of the time Winning has fewer cars than Broadway/Wiedler, too; it’s mostly used by cars during Moda events. Considering the bike and transit connections down at Wheeler and Multnomah, that Moda area seems like PBOT should figure out a better way to get bikes through it. How about closing Winning to unauthorized motor vehicles except during events, and during events have in-the-road cops directing traffic?

      Yes, I’d take the lane if pedaling on Winning. No, I don’t think that’s a VZ or even “Bronze” solution.

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    Mark Holzmann October 27, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Wendell Walker
    Mark, you may not be a consistently reckless driver, but you were on that day in the situation you described. So when you refer to “a dangerous attitude of entitlement from some bike riders (that) can encourage reckless behavior” I feels to me like you’re changing the subject, shifting the blame. I truly am sorry about the wacko who slashed your tires, but in my mind that’s a different story and I recoil at any attempt to draw parallels between that mean-spirited, destructive act and the daily choices made by bike riders in traffic. I suspect many of the choices that seem “entitled “ or even “reckless” from a distance are actually motivated by self preservation. What seems safe and sensible to you , sitting in your car, is frequently a far cry from what feels safe to the person on the bike. Sometimes we try to choose the lesser of two dangers. Sometimes we base those decisions on previous interactions, close calls, altercations, etc. in that same location that you aren’t privy to. I apologize if my tone was abrasive, but I cannot tell you how many times my life has been imperiled y someone who “didn’t mean to” or “didn’t see” me. After a while it just wears thin.Recommended 1

    I just quickly read your article. Having not been in the discussion of licensing and registration I was naive to the “dog whistle” that triggers you. It only makes sense that all of us need education since you all admit how dangerous riding is. If you want to call it a certification to me it’s semantics. I won’t waiver on my position that driving or riding on public streets is a privilege and not a right for any form of transportation. Public thoroughfares need over sight and enforcement of rules and regulations to keep public safety. Twenty years ago bicycle Transportation was a blip on the radar. Now I marvel at the bicycle traffic jams that occur at N. Vancouver behind traffic signals during rush hour. I have always acknowledged the sea change in transportation choices. This certification would be required for all using OREGON roads. Therefore educating drivers and riders. This can be done rather quickly, the OREGON Marine Board accomplished this with boater safety in the past ten years. I speak truthfully that I have learned much from all of you in the past few days. My only wish would be the venom was removed from many here. I had no idea I was such a thoughtless jerk. All this time thinking I was a law abiding citizen only to find I take joy at thoughtlessly maiming others! Who knew?
    Cheers

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      9watts October 27, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      ” I won’t waiver on my position that driving or riding on public streets is a privilege and not a right for any form of transportation.”

      That is really too bad.
      Driving is a privilege which at least on paper can be revoked.

      Walking and bicycling are not; never to my knowledge have they been considered s privilege anywhere. And it seems pretty evident why this should be so. No one can nor should they be able to prevent anyone from exercising their right to walk or cycle or skateboard or whistle on a public thoroughfare. And why (besides possible vindictiveness at the ease with which someone on a bike whizzing by a traffic jam may be perceived by someone who has contributed to and is stuck in said jam) would they?

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      q October 27, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      The Oregon Marine Board doesn’t require certification or licensing of all vessels. Kayaks, rowboats, standup paddleboards, rowing shells…all are legally defined as “vessels” that have full legal rights on the water, but the Oregon Marine Board wisely decided it doesn’t make sense to require certification, licensing, registration, etc. for those as is required for motorized or larger vessels. I’d guess the Board’s reasoning is similar to the reasoning DMV has had for decades for not requiring licenses or certification for bicycles or their riders.

      So if you’re using the Oregon Marine Board as an example, you shouldn’t be advocating for bike licenses, registration or certification.

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        q October 27, 2018 at 10:30 pm

        In fact, if you want to use marine regulations as an example, it’s those same small vessels that aren’t required to be registered, certified, etc. that are MOST protected by regulations. In some cases, such as a large vessel that cannot maneuver quickly or move out of a navigation channel, the larger, more powerful vessel has the right of way. But often, the larger, more powerful vessels must yield to the smaller, slower, more vulnerable vessels.

        And these protections are taken to such a level that a larger vessel must at times SIGNIFICANTLY alter course or speed in the presence of a smaller vessel. For instance, a large motor boat is not allowed to create a wake that could create safety problems for a small kayak or standup paddleboard, even if it means that the large vessel must slow well below any speed limit, or veer well off its desired course.

        I would love if the regulations on roads gave as much protection to people biking or walking as water regulations do to the smallest (and unlicensed) waterway users.

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          9watts October 27, 2018 at 10:34 pm

          I’m glad I get to (occasionally) play on the same team as you and El Biciclero.

          Nice bit of sleuthing there.

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          resopmok October 28, 2018 at 12:57 pm

          What’s more is that boats powered with motors must generally give way to boats under human or sail power when on a collision course. I’m not a licensed captain, but I’m pretty sure the only exception is large shipping vessels inside a charted commercial channel.

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      mikeybikey October 28, 2018 at 11:06 am

      We may be home to the Trail Blazers but Portland itself is not a trailblazer when it comes to urban cycling. Both The Netherlands and Denmark have better outcomes when it comes to addressing traffic safety issues related to cycling. Neither place uses a licensing system for bicycles, so whatever problems licensing is perceived to solve, it is clear that positive outcomes that are largely unmatched by anywhere else in the world have been achieved w/o resorting to heavy handed licensing schemes. That said, I do think we have a big education gap and are missing the opportunity to start bicycle-based traffic education in grade school in order to grow better riders and better drivers from an earlier age.

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      Johnny Bye Carter October 28, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      We don’t all think cycling is dangerous. I always state that it’s not dangerous at all. I don’t count scraped knees. Motor vehicles are dangerous. Riding a bicycle is not dangerous. Drivers behave dangerously in their motor vehicles when they violate another’s right of way by turning into their lane when it’s not clear.

      Driving is a privilege which requires permission after training and obtaining insurance should you do any damage. Bicycling is more of a right as it requires no such permissions.

      You don’t realize how many laws you’re breaking with your car until you stop using your car to go everywhere. It wasn’t until they built the orange MAX line by my house and there was a bus stop outside work that I gave transit a try and never went back. Then after constant daily interactions with drivers putting me in harm’s way I started learning the real laws and how nobody knows them.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 29, 2018 at 12:48 am

        >>> We don’t all think cycling is dangerous. I always state that it’s not dangerous at all. I don’t count scraped knees. Motor vehicles are dangerous. Riding a bicycle is not dangerous. Drivers behave dangerously in their motor vehicles when they violate another’s right of way by turning into their lane when it’s not clear. <<<

        Sounds dangerous!

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    Mark Holzmann October 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Wendell Walker
    Mark, you may not be a consistently reckless driver, but you were on that day in the situation you described. So when you refer to “a dangerous attitude of entitlement from some bike riders (that) can encourage reckless behavior” I feels to me like you’re changing the subject, shifting the blame. I truly am sorry about the wacko who slashed your tires, but in my mind that’s a different story and I recoil at any attempt to draw parallels between that mean-spirited, destructive act and the daily choices made by bike riders in traffic. I suspect many of the choices that seem “entitled “ or even “reckless” from a distance are actually motivated by self preservation. What seems safe and sensible to you , sitting in your car, is frequently a far cry from what feels safe to the person on the bike. Sometimes we try to choose the lesser of two dangers. Sometimes we base those decisions on previous interactions, close calls, altercations, etc. in that same location that you aren’t privy to. I apologize if my tone was abrasive, but I cannot tell you how many times my life has been imperiled y someone who “didn’t mean to” or “didn’t see” me. After a while it just wears thin.Recommended 1

    Sorry but you don’t know what I did, how I did, whatever. You’re assuming and guessing that I did the wrong. I could have been crawling down the road signaling with the bike rider aggressively over taking me from behind and just pissed that a dare drive or cross in front of him and ruin his vibe. So lay off the condemnation unless you 100% sure. If you want to rephrase this as if you did this action, then I make this remark. If you did that, my opinion is that. It’s pretty annoying being tried and convicted in Kangaroo Court.

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      Wendell Walker October 27, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Mark, you are correct – I don’t know what you did. I only know what you’ve already stated you did. In the original letter you wrote, unless I misunderstood, it seemed you’d acknowledged that you were in the wrong – that if the guy hadn’t been so irate, you’d have offered an apology as you normally do in such situations. I have no intention of condemning you; I only meant to share my perspective and to discourage reading too much into the act of vandalism and intimidation you experienced as being representative of the “bicycle community” at large.

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      Dan A October 27, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      IS that what happened? You seem reticent to answer any questions about the initial incident itself, like even where it happened.

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      El Biciclero October 27, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      “I could have been crawling down the road signaling with the bike rider aggressively over taking me from behind…”

      Well, even if this were the actual case, the driver would be in the wrong if there is a bike lane. There is no such thing as “aggressively overtaking from behind” if the overtaker is abiding by speed limits and in a separate lane. In Oregon (you can take it up with the legislature), in their zeal to keep bicyclists out of the way, they have created a double-edged sword of confining bicyclists to the bike lane and prohibiting drivers from entering it. Oregon created the traffic infraction of “failure to yield to a bicycle rider upon a bicycle lane”, and its evil twin, “failure to use a bicycle lane or path”. These two laws mean that a driver cannot cross a bicycle lane to make a turn without first yielding to any riders in the lane, and that a bicycle rider cannot legally move out of the bike lane until a driver has turned in front of them—sort of a catch-22.

      Now if there is no bike lane, some shared responsibility for “due care” takes over, and right-of-way gets murky, but my advice to drivers I know that complain about bicyclists squeezing past them as they try to turn right is that if there is no bike lane, and you are planning to turn right, don’t leave enough room for anyone to get past. I know some bike riders might find that distasteful, but just as I would “take the lane” when on my bike to prevent unsafe passing by drivers, I also “take the curb” if there is no bike lane and I plan to turn right fairly immediately.

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        El Biciclero October 27, 2018 at 8:55 pm

        Should clarify—I “take the curb” when driving my car, if there is no bike lane and I plan a fairly immediate right turn.

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      Buzz October 28, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      Sorry Mark, but you are no longer helping yourself with your continued comments, which contain way too much conjecture, speculation, insinuation and displaced blaming.

      Plus, whether you agree or not, Oregon law definitively states that motorists are required to yield to an overtaking cyclist in the bike lane to your right if you are making a right turn, which it seems you didn’t do in the first place, and was error one in this cascade of errors. On top of that, your argument for bicycle registration and bicyclist licensing is basically just a straw man argument, since at the time of the initial incident, the cyclist appears to have been entirely within his rights as far as compliance with the law.

      My personal opinion is that bike facilities should not be placed to the right of right turning motor vehicle traffic, and particularly not to the right of dedicated right turn only lanes; but it seems like PBOT planners and design engineers in many cases do not share my opinion on this, so, rather that calling for bicyclist licensing and registration when you make an error as a motorist that potentially risks a cyclist’s safety, motorists like you would do better to learn the law and comply with it. A motorist reeducation effort would certainly help, but it doesn’t seem like any public agencies at either the state or city level have any desire to step up and do this.

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    Mark Holzmann October 27, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    9watts
    There is no particular reason you would be expected to know the background, but it turns out that the suggestion bike riders be subject to licensing and registration has a history and is based on several nested and generally vindictive misconceptions.The assumed parallels between cars and bikes which tend to motivate these calls just aren’t there: cars are subject to registration and drivers to licensing because of the required skills, and inherent dangers the combination presents to others.Furthermore, in places where this generally vindictive policy has been tried it revealed two things that caused it to be reversed: the newly invented barrier caused a precipitous decline in bicycling, and the costs to administer the system in all cases outweighed the funds raised from the nominal fee levied.Here’s more: https://bikeportland.org/2015/01/26/oregon-senate-bill-repeal-bike-bill-mandate-bicycle-licenses-registration-131400#comment-6139215Recommended 1

    THIS WAS MEANT TO RESPOND TO THIS POST-Thanks 9 Watts
    I just quickly read your article. Having not been in the discussion of licensing and registration I was naive to the “dog whistle” that triggers you. It only makes sense that all of us need education since you all admit how dangerous riding is. If you want to call it a certification to me it’s semantics. I won’t waiver on my position that driving or riding on public streets is a privilege and not a right for any form of transportation. Public thoroughfares need over sight and enforcement of rules and regulations to keep public safety. Twenty years ago bicycle Transportation was a blip on the radar. Now I marvel at the bicycle traffic jams that occur at N. Vancouver behind traffic signals during rush hour. I have always acknowledged the sea change in transportation choices. This certification would be required for all using OREGON roads. Therefore educating drivers and riders. This can be done rather quickly, the OREGON Marine Board accomplished this with boater safety in the past ten years. I speak truthfully that I have learned much from all of you in the past few days. My only wish would be the venom was removed from many here. I had no idea I was such a thoughtless jerk. All this time thinking I was a law abiding citizen only to find I take joy at thoughtlessly maiming others! Who knew?
    Cheers

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      resopmok October 28, 2018 at 11:54 am

      You state that we “all admit how dangerous riding is.” So, what is it that makes it dangerous? Is it inherently dangerous, because you might fall of your bike and hit your head, or worse, lose control at high speed (e.g., slip on leaves or wet thermoplastic on a downhill) and crash, breaking bones or worse? In reality, these types of things are rare, and are the reason most of wear helmets. Also, while there are recorded cases of pedestrians dying after collision with a bicycle, they are extremely rare.

      The short answer is no, cycling is not dangerous because of these things. It’s because there are large vehicles on the same roads we must ride that are piloted by humans who do not have the ongoing training which is required to operate almost any other piece of heavy machinery. Cars create the danger, and that’s why the onus should be on their operators to do so responsibly. The “reason” we have so many laws which govern rights-of-way and the movements of non-motorized traffic is in part of our history of promoting car transportation above all other forms. Keep in mind that roads were around before cars, and they were shared by horses, pedestrians, carriages, rickshaws, trolleys, and so on. Arguably, many roads built for cars should be privately owned and maintained while public roads can be open to users of all modes. The responsibility for injuries in collisions should fall to the person who is operating the more dangerous vehicle, as is the case in some other countries.

      However, as a society, we are so car-addicted (and cars are so ubiquitous), it is difficult for us to see some of this reasoning, much less make changes that will help us break the addiction and all the negative consequences it has wrought. Our goal should be to get more people out of cars, and it will be difficult to do that when we place more bureaucratic restrictions (e.g., licensing) on less dangerous modes.

      I’m not convinced you are “thoughtless,” but this particular opinion is founded in ignorance, and sticking to it without research or consideration may make you seem such.

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      SD October 28, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      Your call to require licenses for bike riding was a reactionary response to a bad experience. Instead of making imprecise arguments to defend this response, please consider fully exploring the subject and the intended and unintended results of licensing non-motorized travel.

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    Toby Keith October 27, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Everybody here loves density and now you’re getting it. The only problem is all the people coming here have cars, don’t ride bikes, and probably have no intention of riding a bike. Who really thought this was going to go any other way?

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      resopmok October 28, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Clearly the solution is to pack more cars into the limited space our city has to offer. In fact, why do we bother having buildings? Cars provide plenty of shelter from the elements, can stay warm, and have all the electronic gadgets you need for work and entertainment. Let’s just raze downtown and turn it into one giant road so that everyone who moves here without the intent of giving up their car can have plenty of space.

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        q October 28, 2018 at 1:52 pm

        That was the strategy for several decades–tear down buildings for parking lots, cut sidewalks back to add an extra lane, tear down neighborhoods for room for new streets…all to accommodate driving.

        If you look at old photos of Portland (say 1930s or earlier) you see wide, active sidewalks and vibrant sidewalks filled with people and activity that were killed off to accommodate cars.

        At least things are reversing in some respects–downtown real estate is getting too expensive to leave as parking lots, urban residential buildings are being built, at least some sidewalks are getting widened…All these things could be said to be making things more difficult for driving, but to say they’re “de-modernizing” or “dismantling modern society” as other comments have claimed couldn’t be further from the truth.

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          Buzz October 28, 2018 at 2:48 pm

          The century of the motor vehicle is over; what we are experiencing now, as exemplified by this incident, are the disruptions that come with changing this now-ingrained part of the social order.

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        Toby Keith October 28, 2018 at 3:14 pm

        My point was we’ve been a little naive to think all the transplants coming here think like we do when it comes to transportation and Portland was magically going to become the next Copenhagen. They are bringing cars with them, and lots of them. I don’t expect many folks from that neighboring C-word state to be jumping on bikes any time soon.

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          resopmok October 28, 2018 at 7:30 pm

          You stated the “problem is all the people coming here have cars” but that bicycles as an alternative is unworkable. Clearly I was being facetious with my proposed solution (at least I thought it was clear), but you propose no solution at all, so what was the point of bringing it up?

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      Johnny Bye Carter October 29, 2018 at 12:08 am

      “The only problem is all the people coming here have cars, don’t ride bikes, and probably have no intention of riding a bike.”

      So? That described me. It took me a year of living in the metro area before I moved out of the suburbs and into the city where I bought a bike to get around. I still drove to work for several more years before I got tired of traffic and switched to transit and bicycle use for most everything.

      People CAN change. And even if it takes several years to transition it will be worth it.

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      Chris I October 29, 2018 at 6:28 am

      I don’t love density, but I really really hate sprawl, and so does our climate.

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    Mark Holzmann October 27, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Wendell Walker
    Mark, you are correct – I don’t know what you did. I only know what you’ve already stated you did. In the original letter you wrote, unless I misunderstood, it seemed you’d acknowledged that you were in the wrong – that if the guy hadn’t been so irate, you’d have offered an apology as you normally do in such situations. I have no intention of condemning you; I only meant to share my perspective and to discourage reading too much into the act of vandalism and intimidation you experienced as being representative of the “bicycle community” at large.Recommended 0

    Thanks fair enough I appreciate it.

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    Josh R Chernoff October 27, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Maybe its the lack of empathy for the life he endangered or maybe its because he feels justified in his galvanized opinions of entitlement or maybe its in the complete lack of accountability for his own roll in this but the more I read Mark Holzmann the less I like him and the more I empathize this the cyclist. Sure what that cyclist did was shitty but I can’t say I would have not done the same thing if I felt some self serving entitled narcissist used his vehicle with complete disregard for my safety and had shown no accountability for his own actions. If he felt his slashing of his poor tires was extreme then I wonder if he views his capability of harming someone was any less extreme.

    Sorry Mark I’m not looking to have an intellectual conversation with you on the validity of my right to safety based on your in inability for operate your vehicle in a public space with out enraging your community to the point they felt they should they exact their revenge upon you.

    I think the saying is play stupid games win stupid prizes. There is no guarantees in life, maybe just be happy he didn’t decide to use his knife any time sooner.

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    Al October 28, 2018 at 12:00 am

    This story is being used to smear cyclists. Whatever the intent or whether true or not, it doesn’t matter. That’s what’s happening. Now that it’s out there on the interwebz and youtubes it will forever be linked, referenced and referred to as “this is what cyclists are” story just like the thrown bike lock picture.

    Whatever benefits the driving community and cycling community gleaned from finding out about this event and discussing it are completely overwhelmed by this fact.

    There are several types of road rage stories. Driver on driver road rage which just gets reported as people get mean. Driver on cyclist road rage gets reported the same way but not cyclist on driver road rage which always puts the cyclist and cyclists in general in a bad light. I think this stems from the widespread and wrong perception by drivers that cyclists are taking something away from drivers, that they are encroaching on privileges that drivers had to pay for and earn without the cyclists themselves having to pay for and earn. In fact, if this wasn’t clear enough, Mr. Holzmann goes on to explicitly call for cyclists to be registered and licensed.

    So what we have here is an incident that regular cyclists are all too familiar with, a driver performing a dangerous right hook in front of a cyclist, being used to smear cyclists because one lost their cool after this driver then wanted to escape being accused by the cyclist and proceed on with their life as if nothing happened. Well, some people react poorly to stress and do things they shouldn’t. Would this story get the play it’s getting if the person Mr. Holzmann angered was another driver who then went on to slash his tires and leave him a note? Would it get posted to some DrivePortland.org blog for other drivers to discuss and offer their apologies to Mr. Holzmann and assure him that not all drivers are like the mean one who vandalized his car?

    In fact, how does Mr. Holzmann know that the author of the note wasn’t another driver who was slighted by his driving the previous day or week or month? Is there something about bicycling that improves penmanship with a Sharpie? And Mr. Holzmann’s finely tuned eyes and experience in Sharpie penmanship allow him to conclude that the note could only have been penned by a hand accustomed to drop bars?

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      Charley October 29, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      How the media reports these interactions, as well as the reactions to those reports, are good examples of ultimate attribution error: “The raging biker was a jerk, because most bikers are jerks,” vs. “Those two individual raging drivers must have been under a lot of duress, to act in such an uncharacteristically jerky way,”or, “Those two individual drivers must be jerks, unlike the rest of us normal drivers.” I can’t tell you how many non-riding friends I have tell me that I must be a “good cyclist.” Like, when I was growing up in east Tennessee, my grandfather telling me about his “good black” friends. Makes me want to barf.

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    Daniel Amoni October 28, 2018 at 8:03 am

    I moved here with my family two years ago to live a car-free lifestyle, after being an urban cyclist for over 25 years and getting my kids around on cargo bikes for a decade of that time. While my principle toward confrontation is to not do it with anger or disrespect, I do confront drivers to express my discomfort with something that they have done. This practice is largely a waste of time as it typically results in a driver telling me off, revealing the entitlement that they feel I have threatened.

    On the one hand, I deplore using anger and violence to solve problems. Getting around by bike and foot here, however, can feel like one is in a battle zone. This condition creates the other hand, which is a situation where it can feel like there is nothing but violence as a way to express the fear and frustration felt by daily encounters with dangerous, reckless, and indignant drivers .

    I think we have reached a boiling point here in Portland, and I would not be surprised to hear of more instances of cyclists acting violently after being threatened by an automobile driver. If this happens, I think we need to look at how to reduce the entitlement felt by car drivers, such that they do not take think that they deserve fast and care-free driving through the city.

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    Liz October 28, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Things I Feel Entitled to That Don’t Hurt Drivers but Actually Just Annoy Them:

    –taking the lane/preventing cars from passing
    –going slow
    –signaling then changing lanes in front of a car to make a turn
    –not giving “thank you waves” because a driver did the right thing
    –mean mugging drivers (that’s just my face)
    –smacking cars that encroach on my 3 feet space bubble (I won’t ever damage property but if you’re close enough for me to smack your car…then I’m gonna)
    –yelling at drivers that don’t see me
    –riding slowly on the sidewalk
    –passing stopped traffic

    I watched a man get scooped up off the ground by paramedics just yesterday evening (before dark) as he was traveling East in the Hawthorne bike lane and a car crossed the intersection heading South…..I’m not here to placate drivers anymore because honestly, even when I didn’t do all the things above, they still don’t like me. I’m here to stay alive while fighting for the environment, my health and the downfall of consumerism culture and that’s totally fine if drivers want to call that entitlement.

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    Mantra October 28, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Great point, Liz. This reminds me of a conversation I had with a Lyft driver about a month ago. I was dealing with an infected inner ear along with the associated labyrinthitis, our car was in the shop, and cycling was out of the question due to balance issues. The Lyft driver headed down Clinton and was tailgating a cyclist with what looked like less than 2 feet between her front bumper and their back tire. She then rolls down the window and yells “Just because you can take the whole lane doesn’t mean you fucking should! GET OUT OF THE WAY!”

    I said calmly “To be fair you did choose to drive on a greenway. It seems incredibly dangerous to be following someone that closely and I’m sure the person on the bike is feeling a bit nervous right now.”

    She then asked me if I’m one of those “entitled fucking bike riders.” I responded that yes, I most certainly do feel entitled to bike lanes, greenways, and staying alive on the road. I asked her to pull over so I could get out and find another driver that wasn’t going to risk others’ safety to get me to work. I’m with you… if asking for others to not be threatened with bodily injury and claiming a right to exist in our bike lanes, roads and greenways makes me entitled, so be it.

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      9watts October 28, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      #principled actions

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 28, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      I’m guessing you left a big tip?

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        Mantra October 28, 2018 at 6:36 pm

        Hah! Not this time. There’s a first time for everything, I guess.

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      mark smith October 30, 2018 at 10:04 am

      Did you go back and slash the tires? That seems appropriate to some nowadays.

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    Buzz October 28, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Here is a story from BikeSnobNYC about a similar incident he had with another overly-outraged cyclist while crossing the GW Bridge…

    http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2017_09_08_archive.html

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    q October 28, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    All the “entitlement” conversation has me noticing that just about every time I’ve ever stuck up for my rights, or others’ rights, I get labeled “entitled” or something similar.

    Typically, it’s when going up against some large company or organization that is used to getting its way, and in the few cases where people have previously dared to object, they’re used to mowing over them with their kit of intimidation tactics–“We’re the experts”, “We do it this way all the time and everyone else but you accepts it”, “It’s a code requirement”, “None of your business”, etc.

    Calling someone “entitled” is often just code language for “a**hole” (which is the word less polished people use, and which I have more respect for, because people using that aren’t pretending that’s not what they mean). You know it is for certain when you ask for specific reasons why you’re being called “entitled” and they’ve got nothing, other than that you’re not accepting their trampling on your rights.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 28, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      I agree. It’s another one of those terms used to dismiss people you disagree with.

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        Middle of the Road Guy October 30, 2018 at 8:56 am

        Now you’re just being privileged, racist and sexist.

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      Matt S. October 28, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      I really wish people would stop using the word entitled in relation to b

      Entitled BMW driver.
      Entitled bicycle rider.

      What does each one make you think of?

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        X October 28, 2018 at 5:23 pm

        Entitled Maserati driver? Third gear in the Pearl district. I rest my case.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 28, 2018 at 5:55 pm

        An entitled bastard.

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    Peter Siracusa October 28, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Every road user is “entitled” to a safe road experience. Where there is misconduct on the road, a road user is entitled to reparation through the legal system. I believe that some of us have given up on the legal system. That is its own conversation.

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    SD October 28, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Not to disagree with the comment, but when drivers endanger other road users they need to be called out in a way that they feel disapproval. Otherwise, many of them will consider silence to be tacit acceptance of habits that exist in a grey area of the law and responsible behavior.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 28, 2018 at 5:54 pm

      Does this apply to when then endanger other drivers?

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        SD October 29, 2018 at 12:31 pm

        Yes, horns are commonly used for this; however, it is more important for people walking and riding bikes because drivers often do not have the experience required to understand the extent to which they threaten these people. If people were equipped with horns, they would use them for this purpose. In leu of horns, vocalization and hand gestures suffice.

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          q October 29, 2018 at 4:21 pm

          You made me realize something with your comment that people don’t have horns. Drivers have them, people walking and biking (usually) do not. So a driver needs to warn someone, and sounds a horn. A person walking or biking needs to yell, and even that isn’t nearly as loud as a horn. Yelling is typically associated with anger or lack of control. So the person walking or biking comes across as angry and out of control.

          Drivers also use horns regularly to express anger or unhappiness with others’ behavior on the road. Again, people walking or biking have to yell, flip people off, etc. to do that, since they don’t have horns. So again, they come across as angrier and less in control than the driver who presses a horn.

          The fact that drivers’ faces are obscured means that even their expressions are hidden, again making people walking and biking, with their fully exposed faces, look more angry.

          This is all on top of the fact that in any close call, the driver is far less likely to be hurt than the others, so a person walking or biking who is yelling may just have been nearly run over–so charged with adrenaline and emotion–while the driver may not have even noticed that they’d done anything wrong.

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            Matt S. October 29, 2018 at 4:29 pm

            Pretty good comment. Makes a lot of since.

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    Mark October 28, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    SD
    Your call to require licenses for bike riding was a reactionary response to a bad experience. Instead of making imprecise arguments to defend this response, please consider fully exploring the subject and the intended and unintended results of licensing non-motorized travel.Recommended 0

    I believe your comment has merit. I would probably edit my knee jerk response. I hold that the problem in this scenario could be improved by
    *Better education and certification for both
    Cars and Riders
    *Motorist awareness and Rider defensive action
    * Anger management and medication
    *Increased training and awareness of confrontation skills.

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    sikoler October 29, 2018 at 8:11 am

    bottom line, it’s a “bad for cars = good for bikes” mentality, however you want to describe it semantically and it’s foolish, trolling, unworkable, and counterproductive

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      q October 29, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      Are you responding to someone in particular, or just making a general statement?

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      9watts October 30, 2018 at 11:42 am

      Alright, sikoler, since you are so fond of this phrase: “bad for cars = good for bikes” let’s take a close look at it:
      Diverters – bad for cars, good for bikes
      Chicanes – bad for cars, good for bikes
      Speed tables – bad for cars, good for bikes
      Speed limits – bad for cars, good for bikes
      Speed cameras – bad for cars, good for bikes
      Vision Zero – bad for cars, good for bikes
      Road diets – good for everyone, even though some in cars complain
      free parking – good for cars, bad for bikes
      DEQ smog testing – annoying for cars? good for bikes
      Freeway widening – good for cars, bad for bikes
      Parking cash out – ambivalent for cars? good for bikes
      I could go on.

      Now how about you share with us your list that demonstrates your perspective?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 30, 2018 at 12:22 pm

        Your notions of “good for” and “bad for” vary widely from mine.

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          9watts October 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm

          I think the dichotomy is clumsily phrased myself; I’m just trying to draw out sikoler.

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          9watts October 30, 2018 at 12:28 pm

          How about a rephrase – a substitution for the good/bad terms above? Does that fit better?
          Those piloting cars chafe at ______
          Those riding a bicycle celebrate _______

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    Jason Skelton October 29, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Excellent choice for comment of the week Jonathan. Thank you!

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    X October 29, 2018 at 11:11 am

    I appreciate Jim’s point of view and I always read his comments with interest. My personal definition of entitled road user: someone who demands to use the space presently occupied by somebody else. In turn, *their* definition of an entitled road user: me.

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    Andy K October 29, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    The people who call us entitled have no idea what its like to ride in this city day in and day out.

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      Daniel October 29, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      Exactly. I think it’s also a little silly to complain about aggressive, “entitled” cyclists without considering why it might feel like there are more of them. The simplest explanation isn’t that cyclists are “adopting car culture” en masse – it’s that polite, friendly cyclists keep getting maimed or killed, and other polite, friendly cyclists watch their friends get maimed or killed, and police barely even bother to ticket drivers when it happens, and judges decide it was totally legal in the first place, and those polite, friendly cyclists give up and switch to driving their Subaru.

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    • Jim Labbe
      Jim Labbe November 1, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Ha! I don’t own a car and I bike every day. You comment highlights another thing that is troubling: far too many “bike advocates” have adopted a type of cyclist-identity politics focused on “their rights” rather than advocating systemic change needed to create a sustainable human centered transportation.

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        q November 1, 2018 at 9:22 pm

        I don’t mind that at all. People have a right to respond in whatever way they want. If people aren’t “advocating systemic change…” themselves, fine.

        The thing is, though, that the ones you criticize for being “focused on ‘their rights’ ” are a perfect complement to the “systemic change” people. In fact, without them, I really don’t think much progress would happen.

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    Matt S. October 29, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Per https://www.portlandmercury.com/i-anonymous-blog/2018/10/24/23966257/dear-fellow-cyclist

    Dear Fellow Cyclist
    by Anonymous • Wednesday at 5:15 pm
    Dear Fellow Cyclist on Clinton Tuesday Morning,

    First you decided you needed to catch up with someone who passed to comment rudely on his music. Somehow you re-entered our pack and crowded us when you passed again, only to slam on the brakes with no warning. It’s great that you were watching for pedestrians. However, I don’t think it’s necessary to perform a NASCAR evasive maneuver for a group of peds that arrived at the intersection a split second ago. At this point I was on your left because I couldn’t stop fast enough to not rear end you. Obviously it’s a huge inconvenience to pass me again on your e-bike because you let me know in a snarky tone that “Fine, I guess I’ll just pass you on the right then.”

    Not to be out done, you decided to argue with the traffic controller at 21st that was diverting traffic for construction. He was trying to explain that the TriMet bus was too large to take that turn with other vehicles on the road, so he was simply asking us to wait a few seconds to let the bus come through… You know, the bus full of other people that are also trying to get to work? Obviously you’re more important, though, because you just said fuck it and went anyway which caused an entire bus full of folks to wait for your self-important ass. Dick move, dude.

    I hope that you were just having a bad day. Regardless, please take some time to think about your behavior and how it affects others. The sense of self-entitlement you displayed was obvious to everyone around you. You’re doing everyone on the road a disservice by being an asshole and you’re making the rest of us cyclists look bad. Please stop.

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      Mantra October 29, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      Yeah, turns out there are jerk cyclists just as there are jerk drivers. I’m happy to see someone in the community call this out, though. How many times have you seen a motorist stand up and call out a fellow driver for doing something like, I don’t know, merging into a bike lane without looking?

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    Clark in Vancouver October 29, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Entitled cyclists aren’t a “thing”. They’re a myth.

    Women are hysterical.
    Blacks are uppity.
    Gays are whiny.
    Cyclists are entitled.
    There’s a pattern here.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 29, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      Drivers are jerks.

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        Middle of the Road Guy October 30, 2018 at 8:57 am

        White men are ?

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          soren October 30, 2018 at 9:46 am

          increasingly angry about potentially losing their dominant position in our culture.

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    Jarrod October 29, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    There is no such thing as “entitled cyclists” and I’m appalled to see that phrase so flippantly used on BikePortland. I’m going to get essay-length on this but I don’t know how to say it any shorter.

    To be clear–the literal definition of “entitled” simply means to have a claim or right to something, and as many people have noted, cyclists are entitled–legally–to use the road in certain ways. But that’s not what people are talking about when they are talking about entitled cyclists. Instead, the sense in which they are using the term is how it’s often used as a corollary to privilege. As in, people who benefit from white and/or male privilege are likely to also feel a sense of entitlement to those privileges–not necessarily consciously, but in the sense that, as far as they can tell, that seems to be the way things are and the way things ought to be.

    Here’s the key thing, though: in any given social dynamic, it’s only members of the dominant group that can feel entitled. It’s just not an available feeling to those who aren’t in the dominant position. Nothing in the external world corroborates it; it’s necessary condition isn’t arrogance, it’s delusion. Cyclists cannot feel entitled in relation to motorists. Motorists can, and very often do, feel dangerously entitled in relation to cyclists.

    I routinely see motorists drive over the speed limit and run traffic signals–which, certainly, bikes do, too, but without the handicap of blind spots and without any risk of endangering other road users, and anyone who thinks that isn’t a meaningful distinction must think that rules exist just because, and not to ensure/avoid particular outcomes. I see motorists inexplicably come to a complete stop in the middle of a lane of traffic or park in bike lanes. These are all behaviors indicative of entitlement. I’ve also had drivers lay on their horn at me, swear at me, try to run me off the road, rev their engines and speed by me at first opportunity, all because I’m allegedly keeping them from exercising their rights and freedoms as an operator of a motor vehicle–rights and freedoms that exist nowhere but in their own imagination and in the car commercials that feed their imagination. These are also behaviors indicative of entitlement.

    Here’s another example of entitlement: when a motorist characterizes a given stretch of road as “very confusing” and basically indicates he doesn’t feel competent to safely and legally navigate it in his death-capable vehicle, but nevertheless continues to drive on that stretch of road with no thought as to whether that’s a good idea–as was the case in the incident at the root of this discussion. That’s entitlement, and it’s frankly pretty sick and disturbing to see that person project his sense of privileged entitlement onto the vulnerable population that he so recklessly endangered through his own incompetence. I’m not saying there was anything worthwhile in him having his tires slashed, but I’m also not about to sanction any notion of proportionality or equivalence between slashed tires and mangled bodies.

    And what about the cyclist in this scenario? Didn’t he behave with a sense of entitlement? Yeah, but his sense of entitlement had nothing to do with the fact that he happened to be operating a bicycle. As a cyclist, he was apparently using the road in a perfectly legal and safe manner–and even if he weren’t, his conduct would be better described as reckless than entitled, since that conduct wouldn’t, and couldn’t, be informed by any notion that he had a prior right to the road or that he was protected from harm or legal accountability while using the road. Any sense of entitlement on his part was specifically in his capacity as a walking, breathing human being who wants to continue being a walking, breathing human being.

    This blog has taken the position that the word “crash” should be used instead of “accident.” That’s the right stance–and it should take the same stance when it comes to perpetuating the dangerous myth of the entitled cyclist. Drop the phrase altogether. Nobody’s using it with the literal definition of the word in mind, so repeating the term does nothing but give a free pass to the reckless, hostile, negligent, distracted, and incompetent driving that poses a threat to every cyclist’s safety on a daily basis. I look to this blog to advocate for my safety as a cyclist, not to validate the people who are dismissive of my legitimate safety concerns.

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      9watts October 30, 2018 at 7:12 am

      One mark of great comments is the number of great or even greater comments they spawn! Thank you, Jarrod!

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 30, 2018 at 7:35 am

      Thank you for this comment Jarrod. It’s really good.

      Please keep in mind that there will be times on BikePortland when I share words/opinions from others that I would never use myself or allow slip from paid writers/reporters. This is one of those times. Perhaps I should have put entitled in ‘quotes’ in the headline to show that it is not coming from BikePortland. I agree with you that language/word choice is like a genie in a bottle: Once we let it out, it’s too late. As you know, goal is to keep certain words/phrases bottled up because I think they can do so much harm they are not worth using.

      I agree there’s reason for concern about how I’ve spotlighted this comment and given the “entitled cyclist” phrase so much life. But I didn’t do it without thought. I respect Jim Labbe. I know him beyond this comment section and he’s someone with credibility and respect in the community. I have watched the conversation around the Mark Holzmann story carefully and I felt that Jim’s comment wasn’t an outlier. I feel like it’s worth our time to consider that there can be bicycle riders who are simply jerks — for reasons beyond simply being aggrieved by an unjust system. I think there are a lot of people who ride with a chip on their shoulder for one reason or another. I often do myself. Whether angry at a system that is tilted against us (it is), or we are just angry jerks by nature or having a bad day, or we are feeling overly entitled to a space and react with rage whenever it is impeded upon — there are lots of reasons.

      This type of debate isn’t easy for me to explain electronically. Let me try this:

      — I think people can be jerks while biking and act entitled to biking space.
      — I don’t think the fact that the system discriminates against bicycle users is a free pass to be a jerk.
      — I think bike riders have very legitimate safety concerns.
      — I am concerned about how the “entitled cyclist” trope is to validate people’s existing bias against bike riders.
      — I don’t know what happened in this case or any case that I didn’t see myself, so it’s hard to base broader opinions on what is nothing more than a 2nd-hand anecdote.

      Thanks again for your comment. I hope mine was helpful.

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        Alex Reedin October 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

        I think “angry jerk” is the right frame when talking about this issue. “Entitled” plays into the mis-stereotype of biking as an activity of the “elite” too much. As far as I have seen, every data-based investigation into whether biking is disproportionately performed by “elites” (whether based on income, race, etc.) has found that it is not, and in many cases the analysis has found the opposite. The only sense in which it’s an “elite” activity is that it’s disproportionately male, which isn’t enough to warrant a negative “elite” stereotype from my perspective (is, say, sports fandom an “elite” status? It certainly doesn’t have that reputation. )

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      Matt S. October 30, 2018 at 9:09 am

      I also think your comment is well thought out and composed, much better than mine every are.

      Alas, “entitled” appears to carry too much baggage and negative connotation in our current transportation lexicon. I’ve never thought of it as a generous word in reference to bicycle commuting.

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      Middle of the Road Guy October 30, 2018 at 9:21 am

      But are cars still “death machines”?

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        9watts October 30, 2018 at 9:30 am

        #jeering?

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        soren October 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

        yes.

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        q October 30, 2018 at 1:31 pm

        I’ve never worried about killing someone inadvertently when I’m walking or biking, but I do when I’m driving, and believe it’s a reasonable fear.

        I think one reason there’s so much identification with–and resistance to punishing–drivers who have killed others is that many people who drive share that fear.

        I guess it could work the other way–people don’t fear killing others when they ride bikes, so (in addition to the common theory that people identify more with drivers who hurt or kill someone because more people drive than bike) they are less reluctant to condemn people biking for hurting or killing others? On second thought, that’s almost a moot theory, since people riding bikes so rarely kill others.

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    • Jim Labbe
      Jim Labbe November 1, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      I didn’t use the term “entitled cyclists” on purpose. I said “entitled individuals.. on bikes” to emphasize that I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact they are on a bike (apart perhaps from a little extra self-righteousness).

      That’s also why I don’t think your comment (if I understand it) that “only members of the dominant group that can feel entitled” is relevant here. For the most part, we are talking about modes of transportation that people choose, not social classes they are born into or historically excluded and dispossessed racial groups. One of the most disappointing ways I see people on bikes acting entitled is in failing to yield to pedestrians and other more vulnerable users when they should. Perhaps by your logic the “entitled cyclist” label would apply in this instance, but here too I think the mode of transportation is irrelevant to the deeper issue and problem.

      I see this entire tendency to conflate or even equate groups of people with their mode of transportation as a problem. I see some people (loosely associated with this thing we refer to as the “Portland Bike Community”) having imagined a type of identity politics for themselves around cycling and bike advocacy. I see this leading to an obsession with “rights” over responsibility or addressing a broader community interest to affect systemic change.

      It distracts from the vital work of advancing and implementing a vision for a safer, more equitable, efficient, and human-centered transportation system, an essential component of an ecologically sustainable-region.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 1, 2018 at 11:32 pm

        Well said!

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    Pete October 29, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    https://youtu.be/hgCqz3l33kU?t=58
    “Every day I ride the Tour de F___ You!”

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    mark smith October 30, 2018 at 10:09 am

    It’s an arms race out there. People can swerve at you -cops don’t do anything. Cars can buzz you, cops do nothing. Cars run people down and claim “I was choking on a soda” or “the sun was in my eyes” and walk free. Sure, they might get sued, but generally speaking, insurance takes care of that. In fact, as long as they don’t claim to be selectively impaired (radio, cell phone, sleeping, drugs) it almost downright impossible to get the cops to even write a single citation.

    Let’s repeat that…A SINGLE CITATION

    But, if you roll a stop sign on a bike, there might be an “enforcement action” that nabs the peaceful rider on a massive ticket. Or, if one rider loses their cool, it’s front page news somewhere and repeated endlessly on facebook.

    So yeah, I suppose the word “entitled” and “begging for equal justice” could be same in this instance. Heck, even the title of this thread shows that even the most bike minded are biased towards cars/trucks and delivery vehicles.

    I guess I am hoping to be entitled to live, injury free and my kids to live too.

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    Joe October 30, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Thanks Jarrod 🙂

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    Joe October 30, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Middle of the Road Guy
    But are cars still “death machines”?Recommended 2

    ha yes!

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    idlebytes October 30, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Hello, Kitty
    That millions of people roll stop signs everyday without incident could be considered evidence.Recommended 1

    By this logic breaking any traffic law is considered evidence for how it’s safe behavior. Millions probably run red lights, look at their phones, drive drunk and they did so without incident so therefore it’s safer.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 30, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      It’s all about risk and the perception of such. If something causes a problem 1 in a million times it is done, is it dangerous?

      The minimal danger posed by rolling a red light is not why I think it is a bad idea — it is the habituation to disregarding traffic signals that is the problem, and this applies to both drivers and cyclists.

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        idlebytes October 30, 2018 at 12:59 pm

        Where did 1 in a million come from? Do you have anything to backup 1 million rolling stops per pedestrian hit in a crosswalk. This sounds like the same specious reasoning I hear when people advocate the safety of freeways and why we should be going faster on arterial roads by comparing travel miles per accident.

        How many of those people rolling stop signs only didn’t hit someone because the other party was paying attention and stopped for them? I do it pretty much every week on my bike (twice this morning). So no I don’t think a made up statistic of millions of people rolling through stop signs constitutes much evidence for the safety of doing so.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty October 30, 2018 at 1:21 pm

          I made that up out of whole cloth. But I’m willing to bet that in Portland area, today, we could count 1 million rolling stops (500,000 drivers x 2 rolled stops per driver, also purely fabricated estimates), and none will result in a collision. So, if anything, it is probably a conservative guess.

          The point is that I do not believe the action itself is nearly as dangerous as the idea that traffic rules can be ignored.

          Extrapolating that forward, as you started to do, might lead me to agree with that national motorist association guy who argues we need to rely on engineered solutions (and, I would add, the police) to enforce traffic laws. Which actually is the conclusion I’ve arrived at through a different line of reasoning.

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            idlebytes October 30, 2018 at 1:53 pm

            Well lets just toss out the rolling stops are safe cause of made up numbers. The idea that traffic rules can be ignored is exactly what is coming into play when people roll through stops. The people that hit others are usually doing it more recklessly then others. The idea that traffic rules can be safely ignored depends too much upon driving ability to just shrug off. If we’re not going to properly train people to drive safely we end up with lots of traffic control devices that are constantly telling them what safe driving is like in that situation.

            Engineering solutions for safety are great. I’ve only seen the national motorist association guy use it as a way to promote engineering greater throughput (speed) cause freeways are engineered for such and they have such a low fatality rate per mile traveled…

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty October 30, 2018 at 2:37 pm

              >>> The idea that traffic rules can be ignored is exactly what is coming into play when people roll through stops. <<<

              This is exactly my point. And when cyclists routinely disobey the rules, it establishes the same bad habits as when drivers do it.

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                idlebytes October 30, 2018 at 3:04 pm

                The differences of course being cars are a lot more dangerous and require a lot more skill to operate safely so not exactly apples to apples comparison is it? This originally started with you citing made up numbers about why drivers should be able to safely roll through stops in defense of middle of the road. In relation to actual studies about bicycle safety related to that behavior. So lets circle back around if we’re throwing out your made up numbers. As soren asked: Do you have any evidence that ignoring traffic signals is a safe behavior for people driving?

                Also I don’t see anything in that thread relating rolling through stops and the general idea that traffic rules can be ignored where did that come from?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm

                It might be a fair comparison if cyclists also drive. It’s not like habits just turn on and off.

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    JRB October 30, 2018 at 11:35 am

    On any given day, it’s even odds as to whether I will encounter more rude drivers or cyclists. I’m not talking about risk, just thoughtless, self-absorbed or indifferent behavior.

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    Peter R. October 30, 2018 at 11:50 am

    not reading all 200 responses thus far, so maybe this has already been said. It is as simple as this….if you drive like an A$$ (and you also ride a bike) you probably also ride your bike like an A$$.

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      X October 30, 2018 at 10:14 pm

      Did you ever use a bench grinder while naked? Huh? you say? Essentially a person on a bike in the arena with cars is naked. You get more information on a bike (sparks, ow!) and you have fewer defenses on a bike. It’s specious to say that a person’s habits translate one for one from car driving to bike riding. You can still be rude but you can’t possibly be as dangerous.

      The natural tendency of a person on a bike to avoid hard things, because it hurt like heck last time you hit one, protects others. It isn’t a matter of obeying rules it’s a matter of laws. Mass times velocity squared divided by two will bite you every time.

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    X October 30, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Prophets: jerks

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    Mark Holzmann October 30, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    9watts
    “If that is your perception and feeling why would you continually subject Yourself?”Assuming you are replying to the comment immediately preceding yours, I will register astonishment. To move about by bike is everyone’s right, and although some people no doubt see bicycling as discretionary or even perhaps as a lifestyle marker, I would never dream of questioning anyone’s decision to ride a bicycle. Instead I would applaud him, especially if he persists under conditions (not incidentally generated by those on a bike like him but rather caused by those in a car like, um, you). I’d try to imagine what it would be like, what could be done to, as it were, level the playing field, make it less dangerous.Recommended 7

    Sorry 9 watts, I was not responding to you and forgot the quote box. My response was to the guy that doubts he’ll return from his bicycle commute so he always kisses his wife and dogs before he departs err he nerr return! I could comment that this forum isbit difficult for conversations but I believe I’m on enough thin ice as it is, LOL

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    tswaddell November 1, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I was walking through a parking lot yesterday. I witnessed a crossing pedestrian, loudly and emotionally reprimanding a driver who had failed to yield the right of way.

    I started thinking about the quote that started this thread. It seems to me that Portland has entitled cyclists and pedestrians. And, we also have entitled drivers.

    Somebody’s got to blink, or yield as the case may be, first. Seems to me it should be the person driving the multi-ton vehicle. US cities need to move to a model where the motorist is presumed to be at fault in an accident with a vulnerable roadway user. The current model of equal access, no fault accidents, just seems to breed mutual contempt.

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      Dan A November 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      I think we need more vocal reprimanding from humans. Last night I had to walk out of my house to ask someone to turn off their engine. They were sitting in their car with the engine running while their kids were trick-or-treating nearby. Now, I did it nicely, but I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing more people shout at drivers who can’t be bothered to stop spewing toxins while their vehicles are parked. How else can we get the point across that certain driver habits are not socially acceptable anymore?

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        9watts November 1, 2018 at 1:32 pm

        I quit that habit (reprimanding people idling to cut it out) thirty years ago. In my experience it rarely seemed to have any salutary effect, but it did pretty reliably get their hackles up.

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          Dan A November 1, 2018 at 2:07 pm

          Indeed. I did this at a bike race a few years ago to a fellow racer who was running his vehicle for 20 minutes so that he could charge his phone, and it was not greeted warmly. I don’t like people doing this out in front of my house, and I REALLY don’t like people pumping out fumes in my space when I’m trying to get my bike ready for racing. He thought it was kind of ridiculous for me to complain about it. I wonder if he has changed any….

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          q November 1, 2018 at 8:56 pm

          If you threaten someone repeatedly for leaving their engine running, you also risk having them tell you, “I’ve had just about enough of your idle threats!”

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