Dangerous Drivers Thread, vol. 2
@marko82, can we please try to keep the fatphobic replies in this forum to a minimum? As infinitebuffalo said previously, what someone looks like physically has no bearing on their sympathy (or lack thereof) to cyclists. And fear of being verbally harassed for their appearance often keeps folks who’d otherwise love to try cycling from doing so.
Well, now we have two kinds of IED’s to worry about on our roads…
I am not going to get caught up in the sensation of PC culture with the board SJWs. I really don’t care. If a morbidly obese person tries to run me off the road by using a large vehicle I will call him as is.
IED = Improvised Explosive Device
IED = Internet Expert Douchebag
SJW = St. John’s Wort
SJW = Social Justice Warrior
A fine line between description and denigration, at least sometimes. “Red sedan, license plate xxxyyyy, heavily overweight white female driver” seems legit.
“Fatass” is more the type of term used by people who are so angry or scared that they need to feel as if they’re striking back, even though they really aren’t.
Source: said similar things myself in the past, wished I hadn’t let my precious feels lead me into acting like a jackass.
@paulheckbert I prefer Social Justice Wizard, myself.
Right hook by PA ZBC-3550 going south on Wightman towards Raleigh. Cars were backed up down Wightman and I was going pretty slowly in the bike lane. I probably should’ve backed off right when I saw him turn on his right-turn signal (at 0:08), but for some reason I assumed he was going to turn on Beacon, not Raleigh.
Scary. He did the classic fade into the bike lane “fuck this traffic I’m out of here move.”. I would have screamed something since his window was open. Usually ” watch!!!!!!!!!”. Not that it does any good because either a) he was watching and saw you and was being a prick, or b) he wasn’t watching and with that type of vehicle I worry that a concealed carry is close by.
I figure though at least “watch!” makes for great audio and is non controversial.
Glad you are safe.
Almost got t-boned yesterday at the intersection of Liberty and Sixth downtown, scared the hell out of me, guy ran the red doing about 35 during rush hour while I was northwest bound on Sixth turning left on to Liberty. Be careful out there, grateful that I didn’t get creamed.
Twice today (so far) I’ve yelled “Go through a red light, DRUNKARD.”
The first time the person had their window up and clearly didn’t hear me – but the pickup truck behind them also going through a red light had it’s window open. The driver, indeed, looked like he could have had a problem with alcohol.
The second time the driver shot me a look.
In both cases, pedestrian passerby heard – and appeared to register – what I yelled.
In courage any biker to use “DRUNKARD!” when they want to yell an epithet at a driver.
It would be difficult to find major fault with the pickup driver. Instead, this is a built-in danger of road-edge bike lanes, and why I am growing to distrust every one of this type.
Granted, the driver should have checked the mirror before starting to fade right. But that’s a fail-safe; that space was empty when the driver initially got to that point.
OTOH, this cyclist and every cyclist should be aware not to pass vehicles on the right. Even in a designated bike lane. Because this happens. Regularly.
Solution: Get out of the bike lane. Get in the traffic lane. Get in the left tire track. Stay there, particularly at lights. Since the Susan Hicks incident, I’ve also started to leave an entire bike length, maybe two, between my front wheel and the rear of the car in front of me, just in case someone rear-ends the car behind me.
TL;DR, this isn’t a dangerous driver, this is a dangerous bike lane design.
Different topic. At tonight’s Walk//Bike Ross meeting, I heard about a car-on-bike crash near North Park recently. Two males riding westbound on Wildwood Rd, a father and teenage son. Son was not hit but the father was clipped by a passing car’s mirror. Father went to the hospital, badly hurt. Probably will be out of work for a couple months. Unfortunately, I’m getting all this verbally, second-hand, and have no specifics beyond what I stated above.
Has anyone heard about this incident? I know nothing about the driver, not even whether they stopped.
Pittsburgh Yellow Cab driver, white Dodge Caravan unit 453, license plate TX-47572. Less than 1′ pass while I was taking the lane on William Penn Pl downtown (there’s street parking on both sides). The light at 6th Avenue was red, so all this driver accomplished was getting to the red light faster than me. After the light turned green, he merely went across 6th and got in line for the taxi stand.
One more reason not to give Yellow Cab my money. I’ll be submitting a formal complaint later
I got buzzed with less than a foot of clearance by a black pickup truck while biking Second Ave toward downtown just after Saline St , the railroad overpass, and the right turn. (I generally use the chute for outbound travel, and the road for inbound). I was biking in the center of the inbound lane (to dissuade a car from attempting a pass), Yale was behind me and slightly to my left. I think what happened is that the pickup truck’s driver, impatient, decided to pass us just after the right turn. He saw a car approaching in the center lane (there are 2 lanes outbound and 1 lane inbound here). Rather than wait until they could pass safely, the pickup truck driver zipped past Yale and me, swerving right and nearly hitting me. No reaction as I yelled at the truck.
Red pickup truck plate MINKA-2 somehow managed to aggressively pass me twice within half a mile. Once at high speed with his foot down as the residential road narrowed with parked cars. This is immediately after he had to poor judgement to make a three point turn without checking for traffic, finding himself stuck perpendicular in the road as people went around him. The second pass, again high speed with the engine at high RPMs, around a blind turn partially over the double yellow as cars were coming the opposite way.
All that, and I was still stuck directly behind him afterwards.
Perry Hwy in Ross, southbound, between Thompson and Harden Drives. A small, red car (maybe a mid-sized GM thing like a Chevy Corsica?), plate EGP-2255, does a thread-the-needle pass, with 12-18″ clearance. It’s two lanes through here, one northbound, one southbound, but right at Harden Drive the shoulder, which had been wide enough to park cars on, disappears altogether, so I’ve learned to take the lane along here. (StreetView)
What’s really maddening about this is that, after a second car passes me (with lots of space, as the oncoming car had passed) and they both stop at the light for Rochester Road, the first guy rolled his window down as if to encourage me to come up and talk to him. Nope, I had no interest in engaging. Just pulled over and tweeted the plate.
What this told me was that he had passed me that closely on purpose.
(Totally unrelated, but amazing discovery: Rotate the StreetView image to point north, and the red station wagon in the image is my old Sable!)
I got this one from its creator on Facebook. A definition:
Cyclopath. Noun. A person with this behaviour (usually a car or taxi driver) shows an irrational and deep rooted hatred of cyclists that is impervious to any logic or reason. The behaviour is exhibited variously from a belief that cyclists should be responsible in some way for the upkeep of the roads (as drivers wrongly believe they do through “road tax”, correctly called VED) through to the belief that cyclists have no right to use anything other than the extreme nearside of the road, must always wear high visibility clothing and helmets, and should be licensed with visible identification. Ultimately this belief may progress to physical threats and abuse, so-called “punishment passing” and harassment both verbal and physical. The condition has yet to be classified as a mental illness under DSM-IV but is well recognised by the cycling community as a sociopathic condition. There is some evidence that it extends to institutions such as the Police and the Judiciary. The term is believed to have first been used in a post to Critical Mass London in December 2014.
Attribution to Michael Glan Facebook link
I’m sharing a wise comment from Ferdinand Cesarano that appeared on a Gothamist blog, on the subject of the dangers of urban cycling:
Driver training is in the hands of self-styled amateurs, when it should be an official function of each state.
This gets to the point that we need meaningful standards of licensure. As it stands now, people who are essentially incompetent (and who have been “trained” by incompetents) can easily acquire driver’s licences. I can recall in my own driver’s test that I made an error which I was sure would sink me — I stopped ahead of a stop line at a stop sign. Yet I passed with no problem; the examiner didn’t even say anything.
Passing a driver’s test should be very difficult; ideally, it should be something that most people are incapable of doing, just as a acquiring a pilot’s licence is out of the capability of most people. Even if we accept that that desireable state of affairs is not achieivable because so many communities are already deformed by the assumed universal availability of driver’s licences, what is achievable is to ensure that driver’s tests be far more stringent than they currently are. The aim would be to bring about a cultural shift such that people seeking licences would regard a driver’s licence as a serious responsibility for which they must demonstrate their fitness, rather than as a mere technicality which they are entitled to receive.
Furthermore, testing should be a condition to keep one’s licence; every licence renewal should depend upon passing another strictly-graded road test.
Of course, state-run training and licence-renewal testing would require a great deal more staffing at state DMVs, and would necessitate the hiring of many highly-trained experts and professionals. While I personally would be perfectly happy to pay far higher taxes in order to fund a public agency that would provide this useful and life-saving function, the backward anti-tax orthodoxy that predominates in this country would not allow for this.
So there are many obstacles to ever improving the competence of drivers.
I agree with @paulheckbert.
But good luck in getting this implemented (you pinko-socialist big-government black muslim, you).
I almost got creamed yesterday coming down Bayard in the bike lane in front of Sunoco. Car going same direction with front bumper at level of my front tire kept drifting to the right. Only a really load “watch!!!” Caused the person to hit the brakes. They were a foot away when they did. Person was going straight too. And so was I. Oi!
I was a good boy and had no follow up comments, no dirty looks, etc. Just got on my bike and kept going. Idiot followed me down Bayard to Winchester Thurston but was too scared to pass me again.
I know what Stu is going to say about these bike lanes. (:
Typically I have zero problems with the Oakland bike lanes and a lot of people even give extra space.
Those outbound lanes suck. The diagonal transition areas are not wide enough for many folks to navigate, so they drift in to the bike lane. Had several issues with this, especially since the baum blvd lane closures.
I want the transition areas widened, and bike lanes painted FULL KERMIT due to their confusing layout and lack of stop lines at crosswalks!
The inbound side is mostly fine, except I never turn left on to bigelow from bigelow (to go towards the cathedral / schenly plaza) since rush hour traffic backs up in the straight and left turn lanes so it’s hard to merge safely and the left turn lane is set back so far that you can’t easily install a bike box.
I had the same thing happen to me in the same spot around 9:15-9:20. I think the City of Pittsburgh should make intersection markings to show where the bike lane continues.
The problem with the Bayard’s lanes is that they should never have been put in. While I appreciate the enormous amount of effort it took to do this, the truth is that there isn’t enough space as designed.
If you are riding in the middle of the bike lane the only way a car can give you a four foot passing distance is to cross the yellow line. Most drivers don’t do that and I can’t blame them. From a design perspective we have created a lane for bikes and a lane for cars so we are telling them that it is ok to pass closer then four feet because the design is bad.
If you can’t add a three foot buffer strip to a bike lane the road is too narrow and any bike lane will be dangerous.
Full kermit, I take it, means painting the street green?
One factoid we learned last night at the North Side meeting was that that sort of paint treatment costs $15 per square foot.
For some context, that road work up the street (Baum-Craig-Bigelow) is an “estimated $14-17 million project”. That’s six 0’s at the end.
But I guess the square footage is greater.
Full Kermit = green bike lanes, painted green for the entire length, maybe some staggering across intersections.
Basically the same as the penn ave bikeway or near the bloomfield bridge.
The terminology I used was inspired by the #freshkermit hasthag used around the social media world for tagging freshly painted green bike lanes.
Area in front of wpic is super confusing too. Is traffic lane, then bike lane, and then empty space that looks like a traffic lane. So when people want to turn right and go up Desoto toward the Pete they either go in the no man’s zone by the curb or in the traffic lane, or sit in the middle of the bike lane. Somehow you can have two cars in two diff lanes turning right at the same time.
Not sure the best way to bring up these complaints. Do we 311 these? These seem more systemic than a quick 311 fix.
Emailed to Walnut Capital main (firstname.lastname@example.org). Will call 412-683-3810 later if I don’t get a reponse:
“At 8:45am on Apr 25, 2016, I was traveling west on bicycle on Pocusset St in Squirrel Hill. A Walnut Capital shuttle bus was behind me. Just past Wightman St, the driver honked. Since the oncoming traffic lane was clear, I waved that the shuttle could pass me. However, instead of moving over complete into the other lane, the driver chose to pass me very closely, giving me about 1 foot of clearance instead of the legally required 4. The shuttle was close enough that I could put my hand flat against the vehicle while it was passing me. This is both illegal and extremely dangerous for me. When the driver pulled over a block later for his next stop, I stopped by the driver’s side window and reminded him that 4 feet was the legal passing distance for bicycles. The driver gave me a glance but did not otherwise acknowledge me, then drove on.
The shuttle number was 942, with a license plate of BA-58401. This driver must be informed of the correct way to legally and safely pass a bicycle. I have uploaded a video of this incident at this URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7eMAbSZKug
(datetime on video is incorrect).
Please have someone get in touch with me regarding this incident. ” (included my phone and email)
I got a reply already.
I apologize for the drivers conduct, and we have made a complaint with his company.
Walnut Capital Management
5500 Walnut Street, Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
That is exactly what you should do when you encounter a shuttle bus driver driving illegally.
Last night around 6:45 I was biking from the Point on Liberty, in the middle lane (since the right lane was taken by parked cars). I was going to make a left on Stanwix in order to move over to the Penn Ave bike lane. There were cars passing me in the left lane. About 100 yards before the intersection the light turned red and the cars started to slow down and stop. At this point I indicated my intention to move into the left lane. The car driving next to me slowed down to about 5 mph (I was riding faster than the driver at this point) and I logically assumed they were letting me in, so I moved in.
At this point the driver – a middle aged trashy looking white female – started yelling that she could’ve effing hit me, put her car in park, jumped out and continued to yell profanities. I pointed out (rather calmly to my surprise) that there were two car lengths between us and I indicated before switching lanes. At this point the light turned green and I proceeded to make my left turn (nervously, since she was behind me, still yelling that the next time she’s just going to effing hit me). It was a greenish-blue neon or something like that, didn’t memorize the plate. This was my first ever verbal altercation with a motorist.
As backdrop to today’s Penn Avenue story, I had a minor altercation with the driver of a grey Jeep on East St, inbound, between the end of the bike lane and before the dogleg turn to cross 279. I’m on a bicycle; the posted speed limit has just dropped from 25 to 15. I am still doing 23 when this Jeep comes up behind me and I hear a horn. Like, where am I supposed to go? There is no “over”, just a concrete barrier and a 30-foot drop onto the highway below, and we have a 90-degree turn in less than 100 yards.
Driver floors it to go around me on the bridge, and hurls some insult at me at the stop sign, then speeds off. I followed, and of course caught up two lights later at Tripoli St. Woman, 50-ish, well fed, smoking a cigarette. All I said was “What’s your problem?” Her beef was that I was not in the bike lane. “There’s a bike lane, and you’re supposed to be in it!” she said.
Actually, I was in the bike lane, when it existed, but after the Gerst Way crossover, it disappears. (I have a separate video of how it vanishes into nothing along this very spot.)
GPJ-8259. I will post video later. I have audio but not a visual of her face. She looks familiar, as if she might be one of the anti-bike people at the Federal/East St bike lane meeting at the North Side library a couple weeks ago.
She wasn’t too threatening, just annoying, and clearly misinformed.
Driver of this black Ford Taurus Limited with Pittsburgh Airport registration tag and livery licence plate—white female, undistinguished age (30s? 40s? I’m bad at this game)—rolled down her window to yell at me that I should have been in the bike lane on the southbound Millvale Ave Bridge. (For the record, there’s a sharrow at the north end of the bridge; the shoulder is usually covered in gravel and in my opinion unsafe to ride; and, according to my data, I was moving at approximately 23mph in a 25 zone.)
She was so incensed by my presence she nearly ran into the enormous Rescue 1 truck with its lights flashing as it was pulling out of the ambulance station between the bridge and Baum. She then nearly rear-ended another car in her mad dash to make it from the light at Baum to the red light at Centre, where I took this picture; tailgated another vehicle through the successive turns onto Centre and Devonshire; nearly cut off a driver crossing Devonshire on Bayard before she remembered to stop for a stop sign; and still hadn’t made it more than four cars ahead of me by the time we reached the end of Ellsworth nearly half a mile later.
Here’s a taxi/cab/limo PUC complaint form:
(my only report went without follow-up, despite a “We’ll get back to you within 15 days.”)
Just a reminder to the driver of the black sedan who zoomed around me on Forbes outbound around 4:20pm (Wed., May 4) right before it becomes one lane by the CIC: maybe don’t do stuff like that *with a BikePGH sticker on your car*, okay?
You may have thought you had enough room to get around me before the lanes merged, but you would not have had I not realized what you were doing and adjusted accordingly. I was not moving slowly. Maybe just chill out?
Certainly not the most egregious driver in this thread, but did make me cranky, especially given that some of the recent injuries to cyclists I know and love make me feel like I’m riding around with a target on my back. If it was someone here, I’m guessing you weren’t being intentionally malicious—but to let you know, what you did was not cool from the cyclist’s perspective, so, um, don’t do that.
Forbes in front of the CIC is a challenge. So far I’ve been lucky.
I usually try to get completely in the lane before the bridge. Fortunately it’s downhill to there so you can get going at a reasonable speed. Being completely in the lane gives you a bit of margin if you get cut in front of. Ideally cars stay behind you; and they’ll still be able to get to the red light at Morewood in plenty of time.(*)
What I don’t understand is why this shared, and crowded, bike / car stretch does not have markings that allows both constituencies to safely co-exist. For example maybe some flashing yellow lights. And a “slow down, 15mph” sign (flashing?). How hard is that?
Maybe it’s time for some re-education seminars in the department that’s in charge of signage in construction zones? Wasn’t there some advocacy group in town that might have looked into this?
(*) Yes, at night when car speeds get up to highway level, they can make it through the Morewood light.
@mick “What is the “CIC” ?”
“Collaborative Innovation Centre”. First building on the right after you cross the bridge on Forbes heading from Craig toward Morewood.
Video of my East St incident yesterday. I don’t know how I could have handled that any differently.
Video starts just before where the bike lane starts at East & Suffolk. I’m moving about 29 mph, and get in the bike lane.
* 1:00 – car passes me going much faster; I’m still at about 25. Posted 35.
*1:20 – Pass Gerst Way footbridge, end of the bike lane.
* 1:23 – I verbally announce I am getting in the traffic lane. There was nobody behind me when I did this. (I have a mirror.)
* 1:35 – I am going 23, and say so. Speed limit is 25 now.
* 1:59 – Horn. Speed limit is 15; I am still going about 23, with a 90-degree turn a few feet ahead.
* 2:13 – She pulls up alongside me and yells at me to be in the bike lane. (Which ended a quarter mile earlier.) I yell “What’s your problem?” but she zooms off.
* 2:18 – I verbally announce license plate, GPJ-8259.
* 2:25 – The police car is there to check for overweight trucks. I ignore it.
* 2:57 – I catch her at the Tripoli Street light. “Stay in the damn bike lanes!” she yells. “That’s what they put them there for!”
* 3:04 – She ignores my order to pull over, and zooms off onto the 279 on ramp.
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