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Why cars suck

Old 09-05-07, 03:26 PM
  #1  
trich
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Why cars suck

I just found this on Digg, and it proves yet again why I hate people...


Two weeks ago today, a motorist on Wilshire Boulevard came to an intersection and found herself behind somebody who was preparing to turn left. Under normal conditions this would mean slowing down and waiting but since it was a cyclist, the motorist accelerated and screamed “Get out of the road!” The incident escalated and resulted in the arrival of Beverly Hills Police Officer Prenesti who greeted the cyclist by yelling “You idiot!”

Beverly Hills signIt’s clear that motorists are 1st Class citizens in Beverly Hills and that pedestrians and cyclists are not only 2nd Class but must travel at their own risk, unsupported and unprotected by those charged with providing for the safety and quality of life of the community.

This harsh charge is backed up by the fact that Beverly Hills holds the dubious distinction of being #1 in the State of California for pedestrian deaths for a city of its size.

As we approach the anniversary of Bloody September 2006 when 3 pedestrians were killed on the streets of Beverly Hills and a cyclist was killed by a hit & run motorist, it is evident that we have a long way to go if we are to consider the streets of Beverly Hills safe for humans.

If the same number of deaths were caused by drive-by shootings, we’d call it a gang war and we’d call in the militia. If the same number of deaths were caused by the “West Nile Virus,” we’d call it a “Public Health Crisis” and we’d be spraying DEET from the rooftops.

But because the deaths are simply the result of motor vehicle collisions, we call it “traffic” and return to the task of speeding it up even more.

Isn’t this the missing chapter from Collapse, Jared Diamond’s excellent book on great societies and the behavior that caused them to fail?

After the jump is a letter from the Beverly Hills cyclist. On September 6th a group of cyclists will be riding to the Beverly Hills Traffic Commission to speak in favor of multi-modal cooperation and shared space.
Subject: Bicycle Harassment in Beverly Hills

I've been commuting to work daily by bicycle for two years now. I own a car but I choose to ride my bike instead for several reasons including the following: parking at UCLA is very expensive; riding my bike uses no gasoline; riding my bike does not pollute the air that we all breathe; riding my bike puts one less car on the road that would contribute to traffic congestion; commuting everyday is great exercise; I can get to work faster on my bike than in my car because traffic is so bad; and I just enjoy riding.

I believe that we should be doing everything we can to encourage alternative forms of transportation like bicycling to make this city more livable. It makes me very sad to think of how many other potential cyclists are out there that refuse to ride because they fear harassment form motorists and police.

I was riding to work as a graduate research assistant for my PhD studies at UCLA at around 10:40am Tuesday morning (August 21, 2007). I was westbound on Wilshire preparing to make a left turn onto Spalding from the left turn lane when a black Ford Explorer swerved into my right of way, nearly knocking me over into oncoming traffic. I was just able to maneuver out of the way to avoid a collision. At this point I was close enough to Spalding that it was my judgment that the safest course of action was to continue a few more feet along the yellow line and then make the left turn onto Spalding rather than trying to force my way back into the left turn lane. As soon as I made the left onto Spalding the black Explorer quickly accelerated and drove right up to my rear wheel and began to honk at me. I slowed down to pull over and then stopped. She stopped behind me and then I asked, "Why are you honking at me? You nearly killed me back there."

She then told me that I don't belong in the road and that I shouldn't be riding my bike in the first place. I responded by saying that is no excuse to put my life in danger by pulling a stunt like what she did back there. I told her that what she had done could be considered vehicular assault and that I had not broken any law. She said she was calling the police and she rolled up her window and then held down her horn for a few minutes and would not speak to me any more. I told her to go ahead and call the police because she is the one who broke the law not me. She then started driving in reverse down the street to flee the scene and I followed her and waited next to her because I wanted to make sure she would be there when the police arrived. I knocked on the hood of her car gently (not hard enough to leave a mark of any kind) and said, "Excuse me, I'm trying to talk to you." But she continued to ignore me so I just waited for the police to arrive.

A police officer arrived a few minutes later and immediately yelled at me to go sit down on the curb with my bike without asking either of us what had happened. I started walking to the curb and told him that this woman had nearly killed me when she swerved into my lane. He then angrily yelled, "How stupid are you? What are you doing riding in the middle of the street with your bike blocking the road?" His response surprised me because bicycles have equal rights to the road according
to CVC21202.

I said, "Excuse me, but aren't you going to listen to me so I can tell you what happened? And why are you being so hostile to me before you even hear me out?"

He wouldn't listen to me at all and he then went over to the driver and talked to her for a few minutes. When he came back over to me a second police officer had arrived and was standing near me, but he wasn't really getting involved. It seemed like he was just observing things.

After speaking with the woman for a while the first police officer walked over to me and then started yelling at me in a very abusive and degrading tone. He yelled (before he had even asked for my version of what had happened), "You idiot! You're lucky I wasn't here to see it because if I had seen even a tiny bit of what happened I would have arrested you on the spot!" (I don't know what exactly the woman told him that I did.)

I said, "Why? This woman tried to hit me with her car and nearly killed me. Why are you taking her side before you even talk to me?"

He said, "Oh, so you're saying she's lying?"

I said, "I can't say either way because I don't know what she told you."

He said, "I can't believe how stupid you are! You shouldn't be riding your bike like that and If I had seen you in the road in front of her car I would arrest you for illegally detaining her."

I said, "Why are you talking to me like this? I'm a safe cyclist and I obey all the laws when I'm riding my bike. She is the one who broke the law by swerving into my lane nearly killing me and then honking at me even though I was legally riding on the street. I'm not a criminal."

Then he just started laughing at me and he then mockingly said, "Oh, now you're gonna cry?! Look at you, you're really going to start crying?! How old are you?!"

I said, "Well, I'm getting a little emotional because I feel like you won't even listen to my version of events and you just automatically took her side. You can't treat people like this. I'd like your name and badge number. "

He said, "You'll get it."

I then said, "She's the one who broke the law not me."

He then said very smugly, "You quote me the section of code that she violated and then I'll write her a ticket."

I said, "I can't remember the exact number of the vehicle code. But I know it's illegal to drive like she was back there and then to harass me with honking." He just ignored me.

He then went to write my ticket. He stopped after a few minutes and talked to the woman driver again and then on his way back by me he said, "You're really lucky she's such a nice woman. If she had wanted me to I would have arrested you for vandalism."

(I assume that he is referring to when I knocked on the hood of the woman's car after she had put her window up and was honking.) At this point I just completely stopped talking because I finally realized that it was pointless for me to try to talk rationally with him. He then gave me the ticket and I got on my bike and rode away.

I think this is just the kind of harassment that discourages people form bicycling in and around this city.

I have included California vehicle code 21202 which states I may use the entire right hand lane when the lane is a 'substandard width' or 'to avoid conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb' (such as on Spalding) and when preparing to turn left (from Wilshire). The person driving the Ford Explorer violated my rights under CVC21202 and CVC27001 regarding riding a bicycle in the street and regarding the use of horns.

The ticket says: "22400 VC - Deft used bicycle to block vehicle traffic movement" and "21955 - Ped in roadway"

Citing officer: D. Prenesti #421, serial no. 74700.

Other vehicle: Black Ford Explorer, XXXXXXX [license plate number redacted]

Operation on a Roadway: California Vehicle Code 21202.
(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.

Use of Horns: California Vehicle Code 27001.
(a) The driver of a motor vehicle when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation shall give audible warning with his horn.
(b) The horn shall not otherwise be used, except as a theft alarm system which operates as specified in Article 13 (commencing with Section 28085) of this chapter.
Amended Ch. 993, Stats. 1977. Effective January 1, 1978.
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Old 09-05-07, 03:39 PM
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lol, ****in pigs
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Old 09-05-07, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by trich View Post
Why cars suck

The problems here are people and their general attitude. Not really cars.
Its typically American.

Last edited by deathhare; 09-05-07 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 09-05-07, 03:45 PM
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Ah Beverly Hills....
Bicycle = poor, and the poor are second class citizens there.
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Old 09-05-07, 03:47 PM
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people are just ********.
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Old 09-05-07, 04:05 PM
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They should nuke that town and start over--f them. Better yet melt down the death-star sized fleet of range rovers and benz's and whatnot and make cheap Pake track frames out of the lot while the former owners cry tears of anguish. . .

Beverly Hills isn't hip to the state law on bikes--which trumps their local law. . .

California Vehicle Code Section 21200. (a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the
rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver
of a vehicle by this division. . .[including the right to use the road].
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Old 09-05-07, 04:10 PM
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someone get a plate number...
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Old 09-05-07, 04:23 PM
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in NYC, you kick her window and then break out..why even wait around for a cop?
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Old 09-05-07, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dueL_ View Post
why even wait around for a cop?
i agree.
nothing good can come of waiting for the cop.
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Old 09-05-07, 04:35 PM
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This motivated me to print out the GA bike code and stick it in my bag with my bike tools.
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Old 09-05-07, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmy_jazz View Post
This motivated me to print out the GA bike code and stick it in my bag with my bike tools.
link to that?
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Old 09-05-07, 04:40 PM
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i ride on the sidewalk, its safer.
 
Old 09-05-07, 04:41 PM
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The dude should have called 911, given them her plate number and car description, and told the dispatcher that she was driving recklessly and then tried to run him down. Talking to motorists is pointless at best and will get you screwed over and/or hurt at worst.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:18 PM
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thats my daily commute... wilshire west LA to Hollywood, through beverly hills. So many ******* drivers I'm a fairly "zen" rider but lately i've been getting more aggressive against them to uphold my right to be on the road.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by na975 View Post
i ride on the sidewalk, its safer.
Okay, let's give you a specific instance in which it most certainly is not.
You're riding on a side walk and are about to go through a crosswalk, there is a car about to turn right at said intersection. There are cars parked along the curb, and you are riding faster than pedestrian traffic. You reach the intersection before any pedestrian, meanwhile that car is turning. Guess what most likely will happen.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by na975 View Post
i ride on the sidewalk, its safer.
its illegal in beverly hills and hollywood...

on my ride home last night i was riding on the street and stopped at a light.. I saw a cop down 1/2 a block talking with a cyclist. when they were done the cyclist rode up on the street, sees me and says, "whatever you do, DON'T ride on the sidewalk!"
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Old 09-05-07, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by na975 View Post
i ride on the sidewalk, its safer.
and illegal. plus who wants to deal with all the idiots on there.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by deathhare View Post
link to that?

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294

"§ 40-6-294. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths


(a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, except when turning left or avoiding hazards to safe cycling, when the lane is too narrow to share safely with a motor vehicle, when traveling at the same speed as traffic, or while exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction; provided, however, that every person operating a bicycle away from the right side of the roadway shall exercise reasonable care and shall give due consideration to the other applicable rules of the road. As used in this subsection, the term "hazards to safe cycling" includes, but is not limited to, surface debris, rough pavement, drain grates which are parallel to the side of the roadway, parked or stopped vehicles, potentially opening car doors, or any other objects which threaten the safety of a person operating a bicycle."
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Old 09-05-07, 06:29 PM
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thanks
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Old 09-05-07, 06:52 PM
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and some people wonder why in the same situation someone else wouldn't have u-locked her window in and road off.

the guy got a ticket for being safe.
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Old 09-05-07, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
thats my daily commute... wilshire west LA to Hollywood, through beverly hills. So many ******* drivers I'm a fairly "zen" rider but lately i've been getting more aggressive against them to uphold my right to be on the road.
+1. Riding in Hollywood sucks. Riding on Wilshire must suck even more.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:35 PM
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tl;dr
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Old 09-05-07, 08:51 PM
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No, that's why Beverly Hills PD sucks... I'm a pacifist at heart, but after reading that story even I wanted to drop Officer ****wad...
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Old 09-05-07, 08:52 PM
  #24  
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This happened in Beverly Hills? Noooooooo way!
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Old 09-05-07, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by deathhare View Post
The problems here are people and their general attitude. Not really cars.
Its typically American.
+1

But it's spreading, like almost everything American does.
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