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Old 08-12-05, 06:16 PM   #1
randya
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Bicyclists With Agendas - The Right to Safe Streets

The following letter was printed by the local weekly in response to last week's 'rogue of the week' editiorial, also reprinted below. IMO, this letter writer is way off the mark. Maybe I'm a 'bicyclist with an agenda', but last time I checked, they're all public roads, and we have a right to use them, and expect to be safe doing so, the same as all other road users expect.

SHARE THE LANE, SHARE THE BLAME

Dang, I hate to write this letter and reference your colleague Angela Valdez, but maybe it will serve a purpose.

You vilified Charles Myrick as Rogue of the Week [Aug. 3, 2005] for causing Angela to run into the side of his car with a sudden right turn off Northeast 15th Avenue at Prescott Street.

OK, here goes. As a Portland bicyclist who enjoys the "bike-ability" of our great town, I must ask, why the hell do my fellow cyclists insist on riding on the main streets when there are so many wonderful and vastly safer alternate routes which get you there just as fast?

The reason? BWA: Bicyclists With Agendas. Period. They have to force the issue of sharing a busy street.

What in heaven's name was Angela doing riding her bike down Northeast 15th Avenue, in the street, per your article, when she could have been blissfully making the same time a block east on Northeast 16th?

Look, what's done is done, but this is what I want to say to my fellow cyclists: Stay the hell off the main streets and embrace the alternatives. That means stay the hell off Hawthorne, stay the hell off Division, etc., etc., etc. Get over yourselves and get on the alternative routes the city has spent gazillions on to make safe for us.

I pray for Angela's speedy recovery and hope Mr. Myrick discovers his side mirror and the notion to glance over his right shoulder. Self-absorbed motorists? How about BWAs?

Frank DiMarco
Southeast 32nd Avenue
http://www.wweek.com/story.php?story=6587


Rogue of the Week: SELF-ABSORBED MOTORISTS

With 10 pedestrians and cyclists killed by cars in Portland this year, we here at the Rogue Desk meant to step in earlier to comment on self-absorbed motorists. It is with some shame, then, that we admit it was not until one of our own was hit that we finally took notice.

Last Wednesday morning, WW reporter Angela Valdez was riding her bike south on Northeast 15th Avenue when 51-year-old Charles E. Myrick, going the same direction, passed her in his car. Myrick then took a right on Northeast Prescott, cutting Valdez off. She slammed into the side of his car and fell onto her back. An ambulance took her to the hospital, where doctors found she had a fractured spine and sacrum.

Valdez faces a long painful rehab but will survive. At the scene, Myrick denied responsibility, saying it was Valdez's fault for riding into his car. Portland Police Officer Todd Hussey, who responded to the accident, says another witness came forward and echoed Valdez's account-that it was Myrick's fault.

But as with most collisions, there will be no prosecution. "It doesn't rise to the level of a crime," says Hussey.

It's easy to single out Myrick-besides being an ex-con, he has had several tickets for speeding, as well as for failure to obey a traffic-control device, meaning a stop sign or stop light.

But he's far from the only motorist who has been involved in near-fatalities, near-misses and the like with Portland's pedestrians and pedalers. The latest fatality was a cyclist struck Monday night by a hit-and-run driver near Delta Park.

The Rogue Desk wishes it didn't take such a personal scare to get off the dime, but hopes this better-late-than-never message can help remind our driving readers not to space out behind the wheel.
http://www.wweek.com/story.php?story=6574
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Old 08-12-05, 06:35 PM   #2
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OK what's fair is fair.

Just keep the motorists off the "vastly safer alternate routes" and there will be no problem.

Easy as pie, all motorists should just stay on the "main routes." Main route doesn't go where you want... tough, learn to live with it, after all, that's what you want cyclists to do.

Fair enough.
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Old 08-12-05, 07:02 PM   #3
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What's your agenda?

Mine is to get where I want to go, when I want to get there. Pretty much the same agenda everybody else has.
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Old 08-12-05, 07:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
What's your agenda?

Mine is to get where I want to go, when I want to get there. Pretty much the same agenda everybody else has.

I can buy that... in theory.

I have one problem. North.

If I want to go North, Before I can get to the bucolic bliss of North Ludlow/Granby/Belchertown I must first negotiate RT 21 in Springfield, a 4 lane 35MPH (which is a joke, because every vehicle does a min of 45) without ANY shoulder whatsoever. No white line, storm drains sticking out 3 feet into my line, all sorts of gutter refuse... you get the idea.

I have now found a patchwork collection of sidewalks/sidestreets that get me through the gauntlet at a time penalty of about 10 mins - and ya know what? The pragmatic me, will use this newfound solution.
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Old 08-12-05, 07:14 PM   #5
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Maybe she had business on 15th street. Anyway, a rogue would be someone who is outside the law, but she is fully within her rights to ride her bike on any street she wants (unless the street is specifically prohibited to bikes.)

I can understand the sentiment, though. The reasons why I don't take the nice safe streets a few blocks over are these:
1. At the end of one is a dangerous underpass and I need to avoid it.
2. The other one has stop lights every 1/2 block and if I'm in the mood for cruising that is fine, but on my way to work I just want to get there.
3. The multitudes of other parallel routes have a lot more stop signs. I hate stop signs.
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Old 08-12-05, 07:57 PM   #6
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It appears that Portland's vast bike lane network has succeeded in making the city cyclist friendly. Kudos to the bike lane advocates for this great success story.
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Old 08-15-05, 09:50 AM   #7
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It sounds like Portland, Oregon has a long way to go if an at reckless motorist with a poor driving history can hit and almost kill someone without prosecution because their action does "rise to a level of a crime".

Does it really matter if the cyclist was traveling on a busy street vs. a "more bicycle friendly alternative", eventually if you are out there commuting - you end up on busy streets and need the cooperation of motorists and the integrity of the police and legal system to enforce your basic right not to be struck by a motorist who chooses to disregard the law.

Maybe after Frank gets run over by Mr. Myrick on a bike friendly street, he will develop an "attitude".

Cheers.
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Old 08-15-05, 09:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
OK what's fair is fair.

Just keep the motorists off the "vastly safer alternate routes" and there will be no problem.

Easy as pie, all motorists should just stay on the "main routes." Main route doesn't go where you want... tough, learn to live with it, after all, that's what you want cyclists to do.

Fair enough.
That mostly sums up my thoughts on this. Jim-in-Kirkland fills in the rest.
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Old 08-15-05, 05:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
I can buy that... in theory.

I have one problem. North.

If I want to go North, Before I can get to the bucolic bliss of North Ludlow/Granby/Belchertown I must first negotiate RT 21 in Springfield, a 4 lane 35MPH (which is a joke, because every vehicle does a min of 45) without ANY shoulder whatsoever. No white line, storm drains sticking out 3 feet into my line, all sorts of gutter refuse... you get the idea.

I have now found a patchwork collection of sidewalks/sidestreets that get me through the gauntlet at a time penalty of about 10 mins - and ya know what? The pragmatic me, will use this newfound solution.
It must be great to live in Portland or Western Massachusetts where motorist on less busy streets never right hook or left hook cyclist. Here in Hawaii, the motorist are just as likely to right hook a cyclist on a nice quite, suburb, residential street or especially the sidewalk (as you state you ride). 95% of the time they will not even use a turn signal while they do it.

Bikepacker67, you are so lucky to live in such an area.
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Old 08-15-05, 06:14 PM   #10
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Portland, like many other (every other?) US city is afflicted by a candy-assed police force that won't DARE cite a white motorist who has threatened a non-motorized traveler with a rolling homicide weapon. Maybe it'll take a career drunk driver putting a Portland bike cop in the hospital for them to wake up. Funny thing, they're kind of trigger happy--it's just that they pick relatively harmless targets.
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Old 08-15-05, 06:14 PM   #11
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This driver's actions do not rise to the level of a crime? If the driver had done this to another car he would be sited. Making a right across another vehicle can't be legal- a reckless driving charge at minimum. Unfortunately, most people realize the stupidity of crossing another car and refrain from doing so only to preserve their own lives and property and a bicycle isn't nearly as threatening to a drivers survival.
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Old 08-15-05, 07:14 PM   #12
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It's cyclists like Frank that give us a bad name. Another case of CIC, cycling inferiority complex.
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Old 08-15-05, 09:47 PM   #13
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Frank is just a self-righteous troll, whose entire focus in life was to see his own name in print. Ignoring is the best option. Now that he's had his little moment in the spotlight (which should suffice for his failure to take his medication), I'm sure he'll be feeling a lot better about himself.
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Old 08-15-05, 09:59 PM   #14
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"But as with most collisions, there will be no prosecution. "It doesn't rise to the level of a crime," says Hussey."

so if i scratch a Toyota there is a level of crime. If I injury a cylist there's no crime.
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Old 08-16-05, 05:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris L
Frank is just a self-righteous troll, whose entire focus in life was to see his own name in print. Ignoring is the best option. Now that he's had his little moment in the spotlight (which should suffice for his failure to take his medication), I'm sure he'll be feeling a lot better about himself.
Nicely said. If anything, Frank is the one with the agenda - and not much of an intelligent one at that.

It's bad enough that such a deplorable viewpoint is used by cagers to justify their arrogance. I can't believe a cyclist has also bought into it. There's nothing like a troll.
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Old 08-16-05, 09:28 AM   #16
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Roody already asked, what agenda?

It is a good question, especially if we go with the idea that the police involved are decent folks and doing their job (and a bit of Serge thrown in).

The incident did not rise to the level of a crime (or perhaps more correctly a winnable case with no police officer present). What does this say about where the rider was lanewise? Surely not towards the left part of the right lane aggressively taking the lane!

So what is the riders agenda? The rider has a legal right to take the lane, someone with an agenda about rights surely would have been doing just that! An agenda that riders have a right to ride the gutter on busy streets? Sounds pretty lame to me.

So the agenda argument fails pretty badly, unless of course one considers riding streets that go where you want to go an 'agenda'.
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Old 08-16-05, 09:35 AM   #17
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But run over some ducks and watch the feathers fly and the reward money pile in.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...&sn=002&sc=884


Quote:
Originally Posted by Feldman
Portland, like many other (every other?) US city is afflicted by a candy-assed police force that won't DARE cite a white motorist who has threatened a non-motorized traveler with a rolling homicide weapon. Maybe it'll take a career drunk driver putting a Portland bike cop in the hospital for them to wake up. Funny thing, they're kind of trigger happy--it's just that they pick relatively harmless targets.
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Old 08-16-05, 10:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarry
But run over some ducks and watch the feathers fly and the reward money pile in.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...&sn=002&sc=884
Quote:
Car wash employees offered a reward Friday. So far, they've received calls from CNN, the "Today" show and outraged duck lovers throughout Northern California
How depressing is that?
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Old 08-16-05, 12:21 PM   #19
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On the Duck thing:

It was caught on video

The guy went out of his way to run over ducks, not once but several times

Sounds like he was on the property of the car wash.

Unlike the cyclist incidident this one is clear, it was a deliberate act. His goal was to kill.

Today ducks, tommorrow cyclists. I have no problem with people wanting this guy off the streets.
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Old 08-16-05, 12:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB HI
It must be great to live in Portland or Western Massachusetts where motorist on less busy streets never right hook or left hook cyclist. Here in Hawaii, the motorist are just as likely to right hook a cyclist on a nice quite, suburb, residential street or especially the sidewalk (as you state you ride). 95% of the time they will not even use a turn signal while they do it.
Isn't it nice how they check your turn signals every year in the bogus "$$$ safety inspection $$$", but don't expect you to actually use them on the road? I get the impression turn signals are going out of fashion across the nation.
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Old 08-16-05, 12:49 PM   #21
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it's just another example of the mentality that claims anything faster and bigger has more rights than something smaller and slower.
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Old 08-16-05, 12:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
OK what's fair is fair.

Just keep the motorists off the "vastly safer alternate routes" and there will be no problem.

Easy as pie, all motorists should just stay on the "main routes." Main route doesn't go where you want... tough, learn to live with it, after all, that's what you want cyclists to do.

Fair enough.
that's well said genec. his entire argument can be blown by your simple post.
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Old 08-16-05, 04:13 PM   #23
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Right, I'm totally with you on that. That guy is scary and I'm sure if he has no inibitions about running over some ducks, cyclists will be next on his hit list.

But it's ironic that people get emotionally so worked up about ducks getting run over, but a cyclist who gets run over will be ignored for the most part, except for bikenuts.

There was also the poodle that got thrown into traffic during a road rage incident in SJ a few years ago prompting a huge reward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith99
On the Duck thing:

It was caught on video

The guy went out of his way to run over ducks, not once but several times

Sounds like he was on the property of the car wash.

Unlike the cyclist incidident this one is clear, it was a deliberate act. His goal was to kill.

Today ducks, tommorrow cyclists. I have no problem with people wanting this guy off the streets.
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Old 08-22-05, 01:24 PM   #24
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Here's a couple of follow-up letters to the editor:

PEDAL EXTREMITIES

I am so tired of bicyclists whining about unfriendly motorists, et al. ["Riding Herd," WW, Aug. 10, 2005]. Perhaps if we didn't see 99 percent of them continually doing stuff like blowing through stop signs and not waiting for traffic lights, we'd have a bit more sympathy. The arrogance and entitled attitude ("I'm helping the environmennnnnt") that comes across from this behavior, does nothing to foster positive relations. Don't even get me started on Critical Mass.

Literally, over a period of several years, I've yet to use up all 10 fingers in counting the number of times I've seen a bicyclist obey the traffic laws, which they are supposed to follow. It is so extremely rare that it really stands out, and I always want to compliment the very small percent who did.

Bicyclists can't have it both ways. As long as their attitude is one of blatant disregard, they are not going to gain the respect of motorists. And this comes from someone who is an anti-war protestin', recyclin', nonprofit workin', never-in-a-million-years-would-I-own-an-SUV, liberal female.

Rashas Weber
Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway

CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET AROUND?

I can tell that Frank DiMarco, self-described "Portland bicyclist" [Mailbox, WW, Aug. 10, 2005], has never attended the Bicycle Transportation Alliance's Bicyclist's Legal Clinics, or he'd know every cyclist has the right to the full travel lane if (a) she can go the speed of traffic, or (b) it is unsafe to stay to the side of the lane. Angela Valdez was probably following the letter of the law when she was hit by a motorist.

We disagree with Mr. DiMarco that cyclists should "get the hell off the main streets." We at the BTA believe that bicyclists should have equal access to all parts of our road system. Why should cyclists have to take a less-convenient route, while autos get to go from point A to point B in a (nearly) straight line? Also, many of the "alternative routes" Mr. DiMarco refers to don't have signals at major streets, so it can be difficult to go long distances.

Most cyclists will choose neighborhood streets because they like quiet streets, but cyclists who choose major routes have a good reason: They use the signals at major crossings, they are strong, speedy cyclists who want a direct route, or they simply need to get to a destination that's on that street. Don't forget that cyclists, just like motorists, need to get from any starting point to any ending point. Does Mr. DiMarco think cyclists shouldn't shop at businesses on Hawthorne or Belmont?

Our next free legal clinic will be held on Sept. 21, from 6 to 7:30 pm. Please call to RSVP and for directions (503-226-0676).

It doesn't need to be a civil war out there, folks. We're all just trying to get around. With a little bit of effort and empathy, we really can share the road.

Jessica Roberts
Bicycle Transportation Alliance
Southwest 12th Avenue

http://www.wweek.com/story.php?story=6621
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Old 08-22-05, 10:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randya
Here's a couple of follow-up letters to the editor:

PEDAL EXTREMITIES

I am so tired of bicyclists whining about unfriendly motorists, et al. ["Riding Herd," WW, Aug. 10, 2005]. Perhaps if we didn't see 99 percent of them continually doing stuff like blowing through stop signs and not waiting for traffic lights, we'd have a bit more sympathy. The arrogance and entitled attitude ("I'm helping the environmennnnnt") that comes across from this behavior, does nothing to foster positive relations.
Holy stereotypes, Batman! From reading this you'd get the impression that the smug author, who obviously counts herself as a complete saint on the road, actually believes (any) automobiles follow traffic laws. As if.
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