“Rolling coal” is a vile act and one of the many deviant behaviors commonly displayed by people who operate motor vehicles.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, let us explain how it works.
Imagine you’re out enjoying a nice bike ride on a beautiful road. Then the driver of a large diesel truck comes up next to you and purposely slams on the gas pedal to emit a huge plume of toxic black exhaust right in your face.
We told you it was vile. But unfortunately it happens more than you might think.
Everyone knows Multnomah County is growing, and that most new residents are buying or bringing in cars, too. In all, state records show, 8,709 more passenger vehicles are registered in the county than there were in 2007.
But a review of car registration statistics shows that if passenger vehicle ownership were still as popular in the county as it was in 2007, it would have had to find room for 38,501 more cars and trucks instead.
How many cars are we doing without? Well, if we built a parking lot to hold the 38,501 cars that didn’t show up and assumed a standard 325 square feet per space, we’d need about 287 acres of land. For the sake of scale, that’s everything between NE Killingsworth, Skidmore, Rodney and 16th:
Biking in America suffers from a major image problem. Bike riders are rarely seen as cool, conquering heros in movies or advertisements the way auto users are. While we do our activism and political lobbying here and there, it has very limited impact when our entire culture is consumed by media that makes automobiles look like sexy, must-have products.
Many car commercials are fake, mean-spirited, and promote dangerous driving; but with billions of dollars to spend, the auto industry knows how to win the hearts and minds of Americans. The bike industry? Not so much. More often than not bike advertisements focus too much on racing or too much on the corny stuff bike advocates love but that non-believers (an important marketing target) can’t relate to or simply don’t care about. Granted, the marketing budget of the entire bike industry is probably equal to what Ford spends on office coffee for a week. But still.
The Great Recession has left plenty of marks on the Portland area. Here’s one of the happier ones: so far, at least, a lot of the cars aren’t coming back.
The number of registered passenger vehicles in Multnomah County peaked in 2007, a review of 16 years of state records shows. After the economy began shrinking in early 2008, passenger vehicles per resident started a rapid slide, landing 9 percent lower by 2012. Finally, in 2013 and 2014, the local economy began a relatively rapid rebound out of one of the sharpest local downturns in the country.
But in those two years, the number of vehicles the average Multnomah County resident registers has edged back up just 1 percent.
a Prius owner, I can only imagine what
they think of bicycle riders.
(Photo from Rollin Coal & Raisin Hell
Prepare to be depressed about the current state of civic relations here in America…
Remember our two recent reports about “rolling coal”? That’s when someone who owns a truck drives it close to another road user and then purposely spews a huge cloud of black exhaust fumes at them. We first reported about it after a man claimed he was a victim of it while riding near Mt. Tabor back in February. Rolling coal made our front page again last month when a truck driver did the same thing to a group of people riding bikes in Beaverton. In that case, one of the people on bikes turned out to be an off-duty Washington County Sheriff deputy who then pulled the driver over. (Note, we initially reported that it was a member of the Beaverton Bicycle Patrol Unit and have since learned that was incorrect.)
Fast-forward a few weeks and it seems “rolling coal” has broken through beyond YouTube videos and truck enthusiast forums and onto the major online news media. Stories this week on Talking Points Memo, Slate, Huffington Post, and other outlets have brought the behavior out of the shadows. [Read more…]
writing up the truck driver in a parking lot
off SW Murray Blvd.
A man driving a truck along SW Murray Road in Beaverton yesterday thought it’d fun to harass a group of bike riders; but he got more than he bargained for.
According to a Reddit user named “Scolgan”, the man driving the truck pulled close the riders and then as he pulled away, “he really got on the gas and covered them in a big black cloud of diesel exhaust.” What he didn’t know is that one of the people on bikes was an off-duty Washington County Sheriff deputy.
Here’s more from Scolgan:[Read more…]
Getting hassled on the road for no other reason than simply being on a bike is unfortunately relatively common here in the United States. Usually it involves someone yelling at you, or honking, or revving their engine, or all of the above.
But yesterday we heard of a disturbing new method of anti-bike road rage: a smoke screen that sends a huge black cloud from a truck’s tailpipe. We’re not talking about someone intentionally revving their engine and sending a bunch of exhaust into your face (that’s bad enough, and yes, it’s all too common) — what happened to reader John M. Tuesday night was worse.
John says the incident happened while riding near the Mt. Tabor reservoir. Here’s his account:[Read more…]
Scion has pulled an ad that referred to people riding bicycles as “obstacles.” The ad, which we highlighted on July 11th, had a fighting theme and the “King of the road” was its tC model sportscar.
Over the weekend, a reader pointed us to a blog post on Scion.com (which seems to be incorrectly dated to July 2nd), where the company addressed the concerns about the ad and announced its removal:[Read more…]
in a fight you must win, says a Scion ad.
Toyota-owned car brand Scion has unveiled a new commercial for their latest model. In an urban setting, they equate driving with a boxing match where the car is dubbed “King” of the road. Unfortunately, Scion includes a scene with people riding bicycles and refers to them as “obstacles” and then shows the cars zoom by them dangerously — all in an effort to “roll on to victory with the path of least resistance.”