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Old 06-16-14, 10:30 AM   #26
JoeyBike
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Of course it is funny that people who will wait for cars in front of them get irate when it is a bike in front of them.
It's even funnier after reading hundreds of comments under cycling news stories over the years where many anti-cycling folk can only write "And they don't obey the law!" Then one guy decides to obey the law and gets punched in the chops.

I know this is a rare and bizarre occurrence but it does shine a light on part of my dogma that if I run red lights whenever I can, everybody wins...except the ER doctors and undertakers. And when the occasional stranger making conversation while I am locking up somewhere asks me "Are you one of those cyclists who runs red lights?" my response is always "Yes. I do that out of courtesy for motorists. Why would you want me stopped right in front of you when the light turns green?" 100% of the time this makes the inquisitor feel like an goof and they can only say "Oh!" before shutting up and moving along.

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Old 06-16-14, 10:40 AM   #27
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We shouldn't read too much into this incident or draw any general conclusions about how to ride.

This was a unique event reflecting a driving culture unique to parts of Boston, and just about nowhere else.
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Old 06-16-14, 11:10 AM   #28
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We shouldn't read too much into this incident or draw any general conclusions about how to ride.

This was a unique event reflecting a driving culture unique to parts of Boston, and just about nowhere else.
Not so unique. If I stop for a red inside of an auto lane in Downtown New Orleans and position myself like a motorcycle, about 10% of the time the car directly behind me is going to start honking and gesturing for me to move out of the way when I look back at them. It does not matter if I am first in line at the light, or ten cars back. Certainly more than 10% want to honk at me but stay composed. And more than a few would jump out of their car and puff their chests out if I just flipped them off (which I am always tempted to do). So how do I handle this problem?

1. I stop for as few red lights as possible.

2. I try to NEVER stop right in front of someone's grill if there are cars ahead of me. I stop as if splitting lanes if I am up front too.

3. I will probably filter to the front even if I can't run the light. When the light turns green I will either sprint to the next light, or just take a break at the right curb and let everyone go past, then follow the last car through the light.

4. I never block a right-on-red even when the sign reads "No Right On Red" because like myself, there are other road users willing to break the law and I do not feel compelled to police them or unnecessarily impede their progress if they want to turn anyway. This is the beauty of cycling in traffic - I can get through any little crease in the mayhem AND I can become tiny to let the mayhem filter past me as required.

I want to be clear that I am in no way blaming the poor guy for obeying the law. If the world was perfect, I would stop for a lot more red lights myself (but not all of them). I hope the victim does not quit cycling because of this incident. And Sluggo needs to have his wages garnished for many years to compensate the victim for pain and suffering including the increased risk for dementia later in life due to being knocked out.
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Old 06-16-14, 11:15 AM   #29
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I watched the video again. It reminded me of a video on YouTube. Where a motorcyclist was berated for following the law.
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Old 06-16-14, 11:45 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
No turn on red. (Trying to figure out what that sign has to do with an assault btw.)


See above - the bike lane is dashed on approaching the intersection. BTW, on Blue Hill Avenue they put sharrows at the Franklin Park/Columbia Road intersection. Does that style of infrastructure meet your approval? (I'm trying to figure out how paint had *ANYTHING* to do with this assault btw.)


So you've never ridden a bicycle in Boston. Thank you for sharing. (Trying to figure out what this has to do with this assault, btw.)


Bingo. Full stop.


Near as I can tell, a few people take very little time before they blame the victim. Thank you for not blaming the victim

-mr. bill
Hopefully, my previous post did not in any way add any fuel to the "blame the victim" fire.

As you so kindly bolded (thank you) this bike rider did nothing wrong.

The fact that they put it on the news (sensationalizing?- maybe) throws a spotlight on something that might otherwise be accepted and expected instead of seeing it as an exception. That it happened in Dorchester, where I would guess a fair share of people get smashed in the face by someone for various reasons daily, and it still made the news, means maybe we are not accepting this kind of violent behavior anywhere, for any reason. What the guy in the car did was 100% unacceptable and was clearly in violation of the law.

Does it have to do with bike advocacy and bike safety? IMO, absolutely. If there is one thing that makes people not want to ride a bike in Boston it's because the drivers are aggressive and the roads are in poor condition and congested and people know from driving that it can get really hairy. The idea of being vulnerable on a bike without encasement in glass and steel and a gas pedal which could be floored to travel at 60 mph in a few seconds seems like absolute insanity to many people. And yet thousands of us do it daily- even in the harshest of winters.

And the fact of the matter is that there are times when it does feel like we can't win- follow the rules of the road and you get honked at or worse, break the rules of the road and you'll get harassed as well. The implication that those of us who ride in Boston suffer from a "victim mentality" for stating that fact could only be voiced by someone who hasn't ridden there.

As tough as Boston drivers are Boston bikers are even tougher because we do everything they do except on a bike. We are the Ginger Rogers of commuters doing everything Fred Astaire does except backwards and in high heels.
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Old 06-16-14, 12:19 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
We shouldn't read too much into this incident or draw any general conclusions about how to ride.

This was a unique event reflecting a driving culture unique to parts of Boston, and just about nowhere else.
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Not so unique. If I stop for a red inside of an auto lane in Downtown New Orleans and position myself like a motorcycle, about 10% of the time the car directly behind me is going to start honking and gesturing for me to move out of the way when I look back at them. It does not matter if I am first in line at the light, or ten cars back. Certainly more than 10% want to honk at me but stay composed. And more than a few would jump out of their car and puff their chests out if I just flipped them off (which I am always tempted to do). So how do I handle this problem?

1. I stop for as few red lights as possible.

2. I try to NEVER stop right in front of someone's grill if there are cars ahead of me. I stop as if splitting lanes if I am up front too.

3. I will probably filter to the front even if I can't run the light. When the light turns green I will either sprint to the next light, or just take a break at the right curb and let everyone go past, then follow the last car through the light.

4. I never block a right-on-red even when the sign reads "No Right On Red" because like myself, there are other road users willing to break the law and I do not feel compelled to police them or unnecessarily impede their progress if they want to turn anyway. This is the beauty of cycling in traffic - I can get through any little crease in the mayhem AND I can become tiny to let the mayhem filter past me as required.

I want to be clear that I am in no way blaming the poor guy for obeying the law. If the world was perfect, I would stop for a lot more red lights myself (but not all of them). I hope the victim does not quit cycling because of this incident. And Sluggo needs to have his wages garnished for many years to compensate the victim for pain and suffering including the increased risk for dementia later in life due to being knocked out.
Actually, I think FBinNY is correct; this is a fairly unique incident. I've been commuting for over 25 years and while I've had my fair share of encounters with motorists, I've never had anything like this happen.

And I'm the complete opposite rider than you. I stop for all lights and I do take the lane when approaching a red light; placing myself between vehicles. It's true that vehicles are usually a little taken aback by this, but only because not too many people do this, but it is IAW the law. I don't slow them down one bit, because I'm actually faster than cars in the "get going" phase and once I'm clear of cars in front of me, especially WRT right hooks, then I FRAP.



DISCLAIMER: I've never ridden in "Downtown New Orleans"; however, I'm retired navy, so I've lived all over the place and I've been cycling/commuting for all but the first 3-years of my navy career and continue to commute to this day. And now I live in the "Murder Capital of the Country" for cyclists
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Old 06-16-14, 12:31 PM   #32
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I think FBinNY is correct.
[MENTION=158672]FBinNY[/MENTION]

Ever seen those 5 words together before?
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Old 06-16-14, 09:27 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
We shouldn't read too much into this incident or draw any general conclusions about how to ride.

This was a unique event reflecting a driving culture unique to parts of Boston, and just about nowhere else.
I would say this is an example of what to watch for in densely packed urban areas with poor infrastructure for every day traffic- which is not entirely unique to Boston or parts thereof but certainly descriptive of some US cities in the northeast. Despite the addition of bike lanes, which has helped to some degree, Boston drivers still fight for every inch of turf. It's not really that they resent cyclists in particular they just resent anyone who is in their way.

I've just spent my first week of bike commuting in the San Diego area. In this past year I commuted by bike in NYC last summer (Manhattan and Brooklyn) and the winter and spring in Boston. Each city has its own unique characteristics. NYC shares much but not all with Boston. San Diego is a whole other ball of wax with its wide, multi-lane roadways often with the shoulder having been converted to a bike lane. The sight lines are better, lanes for the most part wider but the traffic speeds are higher. Intersections are wider and left turns are a bit of a journey, often crossing three lanes to do so.

But in the entire week I have only been closely passed once (a daily occurrence on my Boston commutes) had one car almost right hook me in the bike lane and the driver slowed down and the passengers rolled down the window and said, "Sorry! You okay?"- I can't really recall that happening in Boston. But I don't know if I feel any "safer" and the high speeds of these roads leaves little room for error at times. To me it often feels like I'm riding on the side of a freeway- and basically, I am. Also, I'm not super comfortable with night time riding here yet- something I do with regularity in NYC and Boston.

But so far, San Diego drivers are relatively polite- though I am sure there are exceptions.

Last edited by buzzman; 06-16-14 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 06-17-14, 03:31 AM   #34
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Dorchester has a very high % of crime. Certainly not my favorite part of the Boston area. Not surprised some violent wanker decides to punch this fellow in the mouth. I do hope this incident results in either a conviction of some sort, or a high $ compensation for the rider.


p.s. the funny part of this all is the puncher, Javier Rodriguez says he works at a law firm.
http://www.whdh.com/story/25708466/b...ng-a-red-light

His old, red Hyundai Excel certainly indicates he isn't doing much at the firm in a legal capacity, unless he is a pro-bono puncher-in-the-face barrister.

Last edited by Essex; 06-17-14 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 06-17-14, 06:31 AM   #35
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Bottom line - this could happen (and has happened) ANYWHERE. A rager getting out of a car is one of the *MOST* dangerous things anyone can encounter on the road. If you are in a car, you have the *OPTION* to have your windows up and doors locked -that buys you time to get out of harms way. On a bicycle, that option is gone.

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Hopefully, my previous post did not in any way add any fuel to the "blame the victim" fire.
You absolutely did not blame the victim. But I'm somewhat disappointed you blamed the neighborhood.

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Dorchester has a very high % of crime. Certainly not my favorite part of the Boston area. Not surprised some violent wanker decides to punch this fellow in the mouth. I do hope this incident results in either a conviction of some sort, or a high $ compensation for the rider.
Dot Ave is a common cycling route. I'm completely surprised by this incident.

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His old, red Hyundai Excel certainly indicates he isn't doing much at the firm in a legal capacity, unless he is a pro-bono puncher-in-the-face barrister.
It's actually a 6th Gen Honda Civic EX Coupe - very well cared for too.

-mr. bill
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Old 06-17-14, 08:33 AM   #36
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cyclist-who-refuses-to-run-red-light-in-dorchester-punched-in-face
Apparently unaware he was supposed to be running with the bulls.

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The chances of getting punched in the face are basically nil if you just don't make eye contact with anyone. I've been a cocky jerk for nearly 40 years and the technique has yet to fail me.
This is pretty much my approach. I may look in their direction, but I'm not aiming for the whites of their eyes.

While I can see the virtue of the standard advice to lock eyes with motorists when possible to make sure you have their attention, I prefer to rely on body language, road positioning, and assertiveness (aka cockiness aka insolence as it doubtless is perceived by some of the true 'owners' of the road). Does wonders to help keep the blood pressure down, too.

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Old 06-17-14, 03:17 PM   #37
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I think this was more about race than about cycling...
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Old 06-17-14, 03:27 PM   #38
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I think this was more about race than about cycling...
I like that theory. Add hate crime to the list of charges against Sluggo.

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Old 06-17-14, 04:21 PM   #39
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\
It's actually a 6th Gen Honda Civic EX Coupe - very well cared for too.

-mr. bill
I'm stuck on the car - can't find it anymore. Looked like a beater Hyunda and certainly not a good-looking Honda coupe - 6th gen. As per Massachusetts - some wicked crazies out there.

I hope they post more …because this cretin's going be seeing some $$$$ for punching the guy unconscious.

p.s. you're right. It is a red Honda. In my eyes -a loser mobile. Saw it on the video again. Whatever happens - doubt his law firm is going to want to stick their neck out for some minor employee and get their name in the paper for defending a crazy employee. Wouldn't be surprised if they dump him from whatever he does at the place.

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Old 06-17-14, 07:17 PM   #40
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+1 (and for once I agree with Joeybike) get in lane split area, and if car is behind seem to be hesitant, indicate lots of room and wave them on.

Of course it is funny that people who will wait for cars in front of them get irate when it is a bike in front of them.
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Old 06-17-14, 07:52 PM   #41
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In this case, waving the driver on may well be interpreted as a challenge to a fist fight by the driver. You cannot reason with insanity. I think the bottom line in this case was the cyclist was screwed no matter what, and the driver needs to be caught and treated/disciplined, as needed. Then again, I really would not feel too bad if about 6 police beat the crap out of the driver, in this case.

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Old 06-17-14, 08:11 PM   #42
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Bottom line - this could happen (and has happened) ANYWHERE. A rager getting out of a car is one of the *MOST* dangerous things anyone can encounter on the road. If you are in a car, you have the *OPTION* to have your windows up and doors locked -that buys you time to get out of harms way. On a bicycle, that option is gone.


You absolutely did not blame the victim. But I'm somewhat disappointed you blamed the neighborhood.

I couldn't agree with you more that this could happen anywhere.

But Dot Pride aside, and I say this as someone who has ridden there a lot, worked there and knows plenty of people who live there who would be just as scandalized as anyone else by this assault: the unfortunate reality is that Dochester has a high rate of aggravated assaults. In the past, news stations, newspapers and people who didn't live there tended to dismiss these as something that went with the territory as if to say, "Well, it's Dorchester, what do you expect?" I am glad to see the news station making a case out of this because, yes, it could happen any where and it shouldn't be happening in Dorchester any more than anywhere else.

But the fact of the matter is, statistically, it does. And so when I ride down Dot Ave or down Dudley Street through to Columbia Rd. to Uphams corner I have a little extra radar out for that guy that holds a little too much eye contact. As someone who, as a kid and later times as an adult, lived in "tough" neighborhoods it becomes so natural that you don't notice it you just do it. I was never much of a fighter so my strategy as a kid was to either make jokes or run and I got real funny and real fast but once in a while I'd get caught-like this bike rider did. But it's been a long time since I've lived everyday like that so now I feel myself make the shift and, in all honesty, I don't miss those days when that was a part of everyday life. I admit, I couldn't wait to move away from those places.

And no one, anywhere should be subject to that kind of intimidation and fear and my hope is this guy gets the full force of the law thrown at him and that the cyclist feels safe to ride in his own neighborhood again.

If my point of view is seen as "blaming the neighborhood" then I guess I'll have to bear the brunt of my pragmatism and say you are entitled to your opinion but it's not my intention to blame an entire neighborhood for one jerk's actions.
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Old 06-18-14, 09:01 AM   #43
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I will move to the lane split position like Joey Bike at most intersections, but I do block the right turning cars if I know the intersection won't trigger from my bike. There is only one such intersection that I deal with which comes out of a truck stop shopping center. Its typically semi's behind me and they are very patient. I don't think they could pull off a right on red anyway.
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