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Old 10-08-06, 06:10 PM   #1
sbhikes
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Sheriff contacted me

How about that. I got a totally unsolicited email from someone at the Sheriff's department who heard I had some trouble on my daily route to work.

I had someone come up behind me way too fast on Ortega Hill, which is narrow and twisty with no shoulder or bike lanes and not even quite enough room in the lanes for ordinary vehicles. The guy came around the bend way too fast so he passed me unsafely, forcing a driver in the oncoming lane to have to slow quickly and swerve to avoid being hit. The oncoming guy laid on his horn and then aimed his car directly at me, crossing into my lane on purpose to "teach me a lesson". I had to swerve to avoid being hit by this guy.

I don't know how they heard about my event. I did tell an off-duty reporter about it yesterday, and the bicycle coalition, so maybe they heard from one of them. But they contacted me out of the blue. I am not the only person who has a story to tell about that stupid hill so maybe they will do something. They did something once before when I complained nobody ever stops at the stop sign at the top.
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Old 10-08-06, 06:13 PM   #2
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What did they say? Did they imply they were going to do something?
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Old 10-08-06, 06:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I had someone come up behind me way too fast on Ortega Hill.....
Sorry, dumb question: Was this person driving a car or a bike?

I freak out if a cop contacts me. I feel guilty even if I didn't do anything. Maybe you should look at the post office and see if your picture is hanging there. I don't see how they'd identify you on a bike.
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Old 10-08-06, 06:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Sorry, dumb question: Was this person driving a car or a bike?

I freak out if a cop contacts me. I feel guilty even if I didn't do anything. Maybe you should look at the post office and see if your picture is hanging there. I don't see how they'd identify you on a bike.
I got a call from the cops when I was a teenager. They wanted to ask about a report that I had been seen speeding near a certain intersection.

Turned out to be my uncle playing a practical joke.
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Old 10-08-06, 07:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Blue Order
I got a call from the cops when I was a teenager. They wanted to ask about a report that I had been seen speeding near a certain intersection.

Turned out to be my uncle playing a practical joke.
I got a call from a trucking company wanting to know when to deliver 500 bales of Hay to my house.
Argued with the guy for 45 minutes, finally told him I would call the police if he tried to unload that Hay in my yard, then hung up the phone.

Turned out to be my Uncle playing a praticle joke
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Old 10-08-06, 07:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Sorry, dumb question: Was this person driving a car or a bike?

I freak out if a cop contacts me. I feel guilty even if I didn't do anything. Maybe you should look at the post office and see if your picture is hanging there. I don't see how they'd identify you on a bike.
That is a dumb question. What do you think?
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Old 10-09-06, 12:36 AM   #7
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sbhikes,

That is really amazing to me. That would certainly make me appreciate local law enforcement. Unless you got a really good description or plate number, there probably isn't a lot they can do, but the fact that they saw a reason to contact you at all is fantastic.

If it were me I would write a letter or e-mail to somebody higher up in the department to thank them for doing there job realizing you had a right to the road. A letter to the local paper may not hurt either, to let people know that the local law enforcement doesn't take bullying like that lightly. I'm sure some will say that we shouldn't have to thank our police for doing there job, but kudos for a job well done never hurt anyone's job performance.

You may want to even go see the person that e-mailed you, if they are stationed nearby, to thank them in person so that they can put a human face with an impersonal incident described on paper. Ride your bike if you can and go in carrying your helmet. I think if more bicycling clubs tried to make perosnal contact and build relationships with the local police, it would go a long way towards making these incidents "more important." If I'm dealing with someone on the phone, or via e-mail, I always find it easier to deal with them if I have met them before. In a sense, they become more real.

I hope you don't run into that jacka$$ again.
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Old 10-09-06, 07:59 AM   #8
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Well, Alloy, the woman who contacte me was a community resource deputy and said:
Quote:
I would really like to hear more about what happened, with some more detail (date, time of day, type of car, etc.) to both try and identify such a dangerous driver, and to address traffic concerns in this area. There has been some recent legislation in the area of bicycle safety, and with your help, I would love to focus some attention on this important issue. I would also pass the information along to the CHP, with the intent to create a safe environment with the assistance of all concerned law enforcement agencies.
So it looks like they are wanting to improve the enforcement in that area, and that probably my story is only one of many they have heard of.
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Old 10-09-06, 08:02 AM   #9
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What amazes me is the absolute stupidity of the oncoming driver...
This wackaloon blamed YOU because the idiot passing you almost hit him???

Unfluckinbelievable.
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Old 10-09-06, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Well, Alloy, the woman who contacte me was a community resource deputy and said:


So it looks like they are wanting to improve the enforcement in that area, and that probably my story is only one of many they have heard of.
Rock on! I hate to sound so negative about the city I call home, but I would wager that that would never happen here. Maybe someday.

Please keep us updated. It's nice to see a positive post in the A & S forum.
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Old 10-10-06, 10:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
What amazes me is the absolute stupidity of the oncoming driver...
This wackaloon blamed YOU because the idiot passing you almost hit him???

Unfluckinbelievable.
It doesn't amaze me all that much. Since many motorists don't believe or know that bicycle riders are allowed to use the road, of course they will blame them for being in the way. If the cyclist wasn't out there doing something they consider wrong, (being in the way of motorists) then the other motorist wouldn't have had to swerve around them. Of course I don't agree with this faulty logic, but it is what it is.

I know in my area 90 something percent of cyclists help to perpetuate this logic by "staying out of the way".

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 10-10-06 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 10-10-06, 12:44 PM   #12
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I second following up, probably in person. It sounds like they actually want to do something about the general situation (probably not much they can do for this incident in particular), and are asking for your advice. What a great opportunity, go with it!

I'd email a reply, but mention that you would alse be very interested in to talking to them in person. Are you willing to go so far as to offer to convene something like a citizen's advisory committee? They might appreciate that and be willing to listen.

Is there anything that can be done about the hill itself, such as widening? (I know you've said before how narrow it is and slopes down on either side.) I'm not a huge facilities advocate, but in this case, it sounds like widening with adequate shoulder is probably the best long-term solution.

Can you post a Google satellite link to the hill?
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Old 10-10-06, 01:48 PM   #13
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They are currently building a bike path bypass to the hill. You will then have the choice whether to use the hill or the bike path.

Here's a google map. Follow the arrow to the left. The road is partially obscured by trees and clouds. The bypass will go along the front of the hill between the hill and the freeway. The road doesn't look as twisty as it really feels.
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Old 10-11-06, 11:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Here's a google map.
Sorry, I can't see a link. Did you forget to add it?
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Old 10-11-06, 11:24 AM   #15
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Yes, I did. Sorry.
Google map
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Old 10-11-06, 11:40 AM   #16
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Election time coming up in your city?
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Old 10-11-06, 05:58 PM   #17
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They're going to install a speed bump.
Now you're gonna have people going airborne at you.
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Old 10-11-06, 07:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
They are currently building a bike path bypass to the hill. You will then have the choice whether to use the hill or the bike path. . . .
I hope you're right. What chance is there that you'll end up with another Dana Point-type problem?
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Old 10-11-06, 07:33 PM   #19
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I hope you're right. What chance is there that you'll end up with another Dana Point-type problem?
Zero.

Well, if you are concerned that you won't be able to ride your bike on the 101, then the answer is 100%. You won't be allowed to ride your bike on the 101 after they put in the bypass. But who the hell ever wants to do that? Pretty much nobody.

I think you will still be allowed to use the 101 on the southbound side, however. But again, who the hell wants to do that? I certainly don't. The shoulder on the 101 is a mess. The bike path will be nice and clean.

What is certain is that they won't close Ortega Hill road. I asked. Also, they won't take down the "share the road" sign on Ortega Hill. I asked about that, too. Perhaps after my little story they'll put up a better sign.
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Old 10-12-06, 04:32 PM   #20
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Goodness, is this real advocacy? ;0 Nice job.
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Old 10-13-06, 09:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
What amazes me is the absolute stupidity of the oncoming driver...
This wackaloon blamed YOU because the idiot passing you almost hit him???

Unfluckinbelievable.
+1!

I guess some drivers think they have "Title & Deed" to the roadway!
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Old 10-20-06, 11:35 AM   #22
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Here's an update: I saw the guy again riding his little brown Porsche and this time I got his license plate number. I sent it to the woman. She said they'd "take care of him."

He he he. Revenge is wonderful. I saw him again today and this time I made sure to swing way out into the lane so that he'd have to stay completely on his own side of the double-yellow line or else risk hitting a bicyclist. You know what? He didn't honk or anything. Bwuaaahahahahaha!
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Old 10-20-06, 11:43 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Here's an update: I saw the guy again riding his little brown Porsche and this time I got his license plate number. I sent it to the woman. She said they'd "take care of him."

He he he. Revenge is wonderful. I saw him again today and this time I made sure to swing way out into the lane so that he'd have to stay completely on his own side of the double-yellow line or else risk hitting a bicyclist. You know what? He didn't honk or anything. Bwuaaahahahahaha!
Sweet! I think this is the hardest thing to deal with motorists. They feel entitled to upbraid you because they think bicyclists don't belong on the road. Whatever happened to respecting another human being just because?
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Old 10-20-06, 11:46 AM   #24
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I suspect the Sheriff's Dept. is doing some before & after surveys of safety on that hill to see the impact once the pedestrian/bike-path bypass is completed.

What's really stupid is that the hill's only 1/4-mile long and it's not like any car's going to be wasting a whole lot of time waiting for a safe chance to get around a cyclist. With no shoulder/bike-lane of any sort and you're going uphill on the inside lane, cars coming up from behind can surprize you pretty easily around the blind right-hand corner 1/2-way up.

I'd almost thinking riding on the outside of the curves FACING ON-COMING TRAFFIC would be safer from a visibility point of view... Yeah that's it... ride in the middle of the left lane so that you'd be perfectly visible to BOTH sides of traffic for sure...
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Old 10-20-06, 03:23 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Here's an update: I saw the guy again riding his little brown Porsche and this time I got his license plate number. I sent it to the woman. She said they'd "take care of him."

He he he. Revenge is wonderful. I saw him again today and this time I made sure to swing way out into the lane so that he'd have to stay completely on his own side of the double-yellow line or else risk hitting a bicyclist. You know what? He didn't honk or anything. Bwuaaahahahahaha!
The guy will not be happy when he gets home and finds a pair of constables want ing to ask about a reported incident with a cyclist, such reports are public record, and when his insurance company finds out, he may have to trade that Porsche for a Pontiac Hopefully he learns his lesson, and doesn't decide to come after you with a scattergun.
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