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Old 08-10-05, 08:28 PM   #1
jab
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Police Report in San Diego?

Hi all,

I was just the lucky recipient of a blatant "close shave" whilst out on our fine City's arterial streets, within a few hundred meters of a red light no less. It was all I could do not to "annotate" the subject vehicle in some way.

I did, however, get the creep's license plate, and I jotted down what I could remember of the incident a few minutes after it happened.

Just for giggles, I plan to stop by the local cop shop tomorrow and file a complaint / report / whatever, in the hopes that at least something will happen to influence this individual's driving before they get someone killed.

Does anyone have any tips for dealing with the cops? Anything from the SD locals, in particular? (Note: if your "tip" involves misleading the cops in order to spruce up the story, skip it; that's not going to happen.)

Thanks!

-JAB
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Old 08-11-05, 09:02 AM   #2
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Local here. Never tried reporting close shaves... but here is a contact web site of local governemnt officials: http://www.sdcbc.org/contacts.html

You might try calling or emailing the city bike coordinator for info:

City of San Diego: web page 619-527-7500 email Joel Rizzo

Good luck.
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Old 08-11-05, 09:29 AM   #3
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In Minneapolis, we need to let them hit us before the police take a report.
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Old 08-11-05, 09:31 PM   #4
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I seriously don't think the cop will do anything.

by the way I live in downtown SD.
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Old 08-11-05, 11:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cro_Moly_Body
I seriously don't think the cop will do anything.
Neither did I, particularly given the lack of consequences in many instances when motorists have actually hit cyclists. I had to try, though; that was my reward for not kicking in his tail-light.

News flash: we were right! The cops didn't do anything, and didn't write anything, but I think they may have been amused. They were very polite in their dismissal, though, so it wasn't a total loss.

They said that basically, unless there is a collision, an incidence of "road rage", or an officer witnesses it, there's nothing they can do. They can't even contact the guy. (My "won't" vs. "can't" detector twinged a bit at that.) When I asked what qualifies as "road rage", they said it requires intent, such as yelling, running one off of the road, throwing things, etc. When I described the encounter -- an SUV that was behind me as I rode in the center of the rightmost lane (for safety reasons, ironically enough), about half a block in after starting from a red light, accelerated and passed me very closely within that same lane -- they said it was merely a lack of courtesy.

Courtesy. That actually amused me, given that being cut off, honked at, mocked, and otherwise crapped upon by motorists (outside the wee hours of the morning) is more or less the expected behavior; it's to the point now where I don't even really get mad at most such folks, any more than I get mad at the sky for not raining enough. I just accept these things; that's some cycling zen. This encounter was different: it stemmed from malice, versus just being oblivious or a general-purpose bad driver.

So the cops classify a deliberate, "well I'll show him who should get the F out of the street" near-miss with a 3000+lb SUV not as demonstrative of any ill intent, but more along the lines of farting in an elevator or yapping on a cell-phone during a movie. Given the relative risk involved in an auto-vs-cyclist impact, it sounds like the game plan is to wait for blood on the pavement before springing into action.

Dammit. I knew I should've decorated the vehicle; there's no justice like U-lock justice.

Pedaling on (nothing to see here),

JAB
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Old 08-12-05, 08:13 AM   #6
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Frustrating as hell ain't it... The problem with U lock justice is that you would have left evidence that the police could act upon... thereby making you the guilty party. Sucks eh?

Had this action happen from time to time... the only justice I can apply is to ride hard enough to keep up with the jerk at the next stop light or two... thereby showing them how stupid their desperate move to get ahead of a cyclist really was. Nothing like sitting right behind them at the light at staring right at the rear view mirror... I like to make lots of movement at those times too... just stretching, but the movement makes them check the mirror.

BTW just wondering... on which of our fine streets did this occur?
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Old 08-12-05, 10:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by genec
Frustrating as hell ain't it...
It sure is. *sigh* Maybe I'll get "lucky" and actually get hit next time; until then, I'll ride with my head high, confident that I can legally respond to their intentional, life-threatening moves with... dirty looks.


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Originally Posted by genec
thereby showing them how stupid their desperate move to get ahead of a cyclist really was
The funny thing was, we were both around 100-200m from a red light when this happened; I was basically on his bumper right away. He gained nothing other than running me out of my lane position. A grade-A ***hole.


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BTW just wondering... on which of our fine streets did this occur?
On one of our very finest, every cyclist's best friend: Genesee Ave! More specifically, southbound after turning left from Nobel, after the 3:2 merge, right about here.

-JAB

P.S. By the way, I saw your note about your encounter over on Clairemont Mesa Blvd near Coco's the other day. That was good stuff; way to get in his face while keeping the adrenaline under control. Riding westbound on that road is always an experience: there's the SR-163 overpass (narrow, enhanced with lack of long-distance visibility due to the arc), then staying clear of the parked cars past Mercury, dodging wide-right-turn folks cutting around you to get to Convoy, the climb with parked cars before Coco's, passing Ranch 99's driveways (oh holy mother of creation, LOOK OUT!), merging into the center lane to avoid being forced onto I-805, dancing with the devil over the I-805 cloverleaf, and finally steaming down past all of the street parking near the apartments while "2 Fast 2 Furious" is blowing leaves behind you. It almost makes one want to cycle somewhere more tranquil, like on an active runway at MCAS Miramar.
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Old 08-12-05, 11:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jab

On one of our very finest, every cyclist's best friend: Genesee Ave! More specifically, southbound after turning left from Nobel, after the 3:2 merge, right about here.

-JAB

P.S. By the way, I saw your note about your encounter over on Clairemont Mesa Blvd near Coco's the other day. That was good stuff; way to get in his face while keeping the adrenaline under control. Riding westbound on that road is always an experience: there's the SR-163 overpass (narrow, enhanced with lack of long-distance visibility due to the arc), then staying clear of the parked cars past Mercury, dodging wide-right-turn folks cutting around you to get to Convoy, the climb with parked cars before Coco's, passing Ranch 99's driveways (oh holy mother of creation, LOOK OUT!), merging into the center lane to avoid being forced onto I-805, dancing with the devil over the I-805 cloverleaf, and finally steaming down past all of the street parking near the apartments while "2 Fast 2 Furious" is blowing leaves behind you. It almost makes one want to cycle somewhere more tranquil, like on an active runway at MCAS Miramar.
I know that Genesee area quite well. I usually stay in the second lane over and take the right lane all the way across. It can get hairy there with right turners thinking they can squeeze in and the southbound motorists on Genesee trying to make the 3:2 squeeze play.

Your description of the Clairemont Mesa west bound way was through the eyes of a seasoned local. You know the route.

The sad thing was my encounter should never have happened on that early Sunday morning... there was enough room around to land a 747 when this jerk decided "I wasn't far enough to the right..." Sigh... It takes all kinds.
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