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Dangerous drivers thread

This topic contains 511 replies, has 73 voices, and was last updated by  ShooFlyPie 11 hrs, 19 mins.

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jonawebb

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Nov 11 2013 at 11:05am #

You can look up parking tickets by license # at

https://step1.caledoncard.com/tickets/pittsburgh.html


RustyRed

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Nov 11 2013 at 11:35am #

jonawebb wrote:You can look up parking tickets by license # at

https://step1.caledoncard.com/tickets/pittsburgh.html

Cool, thanks! My husband isn’t thankful I just looked up my own plate # though.

Apparently, he got a parking ticket USING *MY* CAR back in 2011… $20 expired meter that is now over $75.
Grrrrr.
>:(


jonawebb

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Nov 11 2013 at 11:42am #

One of the little-known side effects of reading the BikePgh message board is marital discord.


salty

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Nov 11 2013 at 1:22pm #

also, what do you have to do to get a $160 parking ticket? handicapped spot? fire hydrant?

probably more than he’d get for clobbering a cyclist in any case….


Mick

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Nov 11 2013 at 2:00pm #

I got a $185 ticket for swimming in Shawnee Lake in 2011.

But then, it wasn’t like I did something minor like running over a cyclist or anything.


buffalo buffalo

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Nov 11 2013 at 2:27pm #

salty wrote:also, what do you have to do to get a $160 parking ticket? handicapped spot? fire hydrant?

It’s $160 *now*. Doesn’t say what it would’ve been two months ago. Those late fees pile up fast.


RustyRed

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Nov 11 2013 at 6:55pm #

I’m not comfortable with how close this truck got to me this morning and I get these sort of buzzes all the time. Is this a 4 foot violation?


Marko82

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Nov 11 2013 at 7:40pm #

If you freeze the video at 11 seconds you can see that you are in the middle of the lane and the truck has its wheels at least a foot or more in YOUR lane. I’m not sure how wide that lane is, but I’d guess he is clearly closer than 4 feet. The second car looks close too, but without lane markings its hard to tell because of lens distortion.


Steven

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Nov 12 2013 at 3:55am #

I’d say that lane is 9-10 feet wide. (Interstates are normally 12, and the minimum seems to be 9.)

It looks to me like you’re a bit to the right of the center of the lane, though after he passes you move left a bit. (Look at the tire impressions in the road, which are offset perhaps a foot or two toward the right side of the lane. You start off right between them, but by the time the truck passes you’re almost over the left-side one, and roughly in the middle of the lane.)

My best guess is the truck is right at 4 feet. It’s too close to call.

But unless he was going at a “careful and prudent reduced speed” (and how ofter do passing cars do that?) he’s still in violation of the 4 foot law.


neilmd

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Nov 12 2013 at 8:59am #

Your arm is probably about 2 – 2.5 feet long (full arm span is typically height, and your torso is something like a foot wide). So if you could reach out and touch the vehicle is is DEFINITELY in your space — it should be close to twice that distance away.


mjacobPGH

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Nov 12 2013 at 11:16am #

I just moved to Lawrenceville and commute via Butler/Penn to get to downtown. Penn in the Strip has two lanes with the one on the right having a sharrow. At least 3 times a day I get passed closely by cars/trucks within the sharrow lane when there is an entire separate lane of traffic for them to go into(often without other cars). I gesture for them to do that, but it probably doesn’t achieve anything. I’m new to this route so I’m not sure if there’s a better way that I could go and avoid these interactions(even though I am biking in a perfectly law abiding fashion). I used to have a Contour to document this but it broke and they went out of business and I can’t afford a camera at the moment.


cburch

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Nov 12 2013 at 11:42am #

if you’re not taking the lane. try positioning yourself smack dab in the center or slightly to the left. if you are already taking the lane and are just sick of the crap try this (except just ride next to the tracks until Railroad starts where google sends you up to Smallman): http://goo.gl/maps/PlWkX


ajbooth

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Nov 12 2013 at 12:21pm #

if you are already taking the lane and are just sick of the crap try this (except just ride next to the tracks until Railroad starts where google sends you up to Smallman): http://goo.gl/maps/PlWkX

Just a minor note: the trail along the river from the convention center to 25th street is closed until February for some sewer work. I ride the opposite direction in the morning, as my office is at 25th and Railroad.

Yes, I would call what the white truck did a violation. Let’s say that lane is 10 feet wide. Your bike is probably 30-32″ across at the handlebars. If you were perfectly centered, then you are 44″ from the edge of the lane. So as soon as the edge of the car touches the line, he’s too close.


mjacobPGH

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Nov 12 2013 at 1:00pm #

cburch wrote:if you’re not taking the lane. try positioning yourself smack dab in the center or slightly to the left. if you are already taking the lane and are just sick of the crap try this (except just ride next to the tracks until Railroad starts where google sends you up to Smallman): http://goo.gl/maps/PlWkX

Yea, I am already taking the lane and cars pass me half in the lane and half in the other when, of course, the entire other lane is available. Thanks for the tips on an alternative route.


gg

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Nov 12 2013 at 4:33pm #

RustyRed wrote:I’m not comfortable with how close this truck got to me this morning and I get these sort of buzzes all the time. Is this a 4 foot violation?

If you aren’t comfortable with that, I think you might want to take a different route. You can get on the trail and head up that way and enjoy the river view. Then run back roads for the most part. That pass wouldn’t bother me much. I might not love it, but it was really close to okay. People are going to pass you on those roads and I wouldn’t advice anyone to take lanes as suggested. Then you will deal with more road rage.


salty

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Nov 12 2013 at 7:45pm #

going up Wilkins this am I was behind another rider who nearly got left crossed by a car coming out of Murray. Then, when I was making a left on Beechwood, I got a new one – asswipe in the straight lane tried to left hook me making an illegal turn. 2-fer!


buffalo buffalo

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Nov 12 2013 at 8:03pm #

I’ve noticed a number of drivers lately using turn lanes to pass me when i’ve been in straight-going lanes. today’s, however, was special: SB Neville at Fifth, I take the right to go into Oakland, and as I’m making the turn I notice movement to my left–turn my head, and there’s a woman in a green SUV who’s making a big right turn, shadowing me from the left/thru lane into the left lane of fifth…which was where i was headed, as I usually go left at Craig or Dithridge. glad i managed to turn my head and see her.


bear250220

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Nov 12 2013 at 9:57pm #

almost got hit this morning was riding past the penthouse club on my way to the river trail on the northside a guy pulled out from the curb so i moved over to give him room then he makes a u turn right in front of me i ended up right in front of his front grill he saw me at the last second


ajbooth

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Nov 12 2013 at 10:06pm #

gg wrote:I wouldn’t advice anyone to take lanes as suggested. Then you will deal with more road rage.

Might be the worst possible advice.

Taking the center of the lane is proven to be the safest option for cyclists. If you ride along the curb, cars think they can pass you without changing lanes, so they do. And you get close calls for the entire ride. If you ride confidently in the center of the lane, be predictable, and be visible, cars will change lanes the vast majority of the time, without incident. I’d rather have one or two drivers per week buzz me closer than I’d like than have dozens of drivers try to squeeze past me in the same lane.


RustyRed

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Nov 12 2013 at 10:18pm #

gg wrote:

If you aren’t comfortable with that, I think you might want to take a different route. You can get on the trail and head up that way and enjoy the river view. Then run back roads for the most part. That pass wouldn’t bother me much. I might not love it, but it was really close to okay. People are going to pass you on those roads and I wouldn’t advice anyone to take lanes as suggested. Then you will deal with more road rage.

Considering the trail is under construction until Feb, this was my only option.

And as far as ‘taking the lane’ goes, on my very first day riding in traffic I had a “OMG, cars are scary, I need to stay as far to the right as possible to stay away from them” attitude.
Bad Idea. A car came within a foot of me on a pass. This might have stopped me from ever riding on a road again… holy crap, that was scary. I’ll take a hundred questionable/borderline passes that make me uncomfortable over one of those passes that make me almost crap my pants.
I’ve only had questionable passes ever since I took the ‘take the lane’ advice.


StuInMcCandless

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Nov 13 2013 at 8:24am #

If I use the line to my left as zero, and the line to my right as 100, I position myself at about 35 to 50 on a multi-lane road, maybe 55 to 70 on a one-lane-each-direction road. Definitely not ever > 75, unless I get off the road altogether and stop.


gg

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Nov 13 2013 at 9:21am #

ajbooth wrote:Might be the worst possible advice.

No the worst advice is not having a mirror to see a pickup like that coming from behind, so you can adjust yourself to about the 60 mark, using Stu’s example and moving back to about 70. That way that pickup wouldn’t have been close at all. I do it ALL the time and it works great. I also am able to prevent motorists to buzz me and if they are going to do it anyway, I always have room to move over because I never ride as far right as I can.

I think I will take my approach, thanks, but without a mirror you can’t do what I do. Also, I have many years of practice and that isn’t something you can learn overnight. Good luck trying to muscle up to vehicles. I find that is a good way to get hit by one.


cburch

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Nov 13 2013 at 9:59am #

You’re so macho hcurtis. What an inspiration.


ajbooth

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Nov 13 2013 at 10:08am #

gg wrote:I think I will take my approach, thanks, but without a mirror you can’t do what I do. Also, I have many years of practice and that isn’t something you can learn overnight. Good luck trying to muscle up to vehicles. I find that is a good way to get hit by one.

Aside from having a mirror, which I do, I’m not even sure what the hell your advice is. Using Stu’s example, you seem to be advocating riding somewhere between 60 and 70. I advocate riding with my wheels on 50. That is not “trying to muscle up to vehicles” but rather is being predictable and visible. My experience with moving from the right edge of the roadway to the center of the lane is that doing so causes significantly less close call passes. And frankly, the ones who do it now in an attempt to be intimidating would do it no matter where you are in the lane.

By the way, your “advice” of moving to the 60 mark when you see someone in the mirror, then back to 70 when they pass, would actually have you moving closer to the passing vehicle. Ya’ know, “trying to muscle up.”


jonawebb

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Nov 13 2013 at 10:14am #

I’m totally down with taking the lane. It’s scary at first, but once you get used to it you’ll find that motorists just behave a lot better. You get a few jerks who honk, but since they’ll be behind you, unable to pass, they’re much less of a threat than they would be making a close pass. And I ride in the middle or to the left of the middle, making it clear what I’m doing.
Heavy traffic, approaching red lights, and multi-lane roads where the left lane may be occupied by someone turning left are all spots where it’s important to take the lane.
That said, I also look for opportunities to let motorists pass safely. If I’m in an area where there are wide lanes, I’ll ride to the right, and the same applies when I see there’s no oncoming traffic so the motorist can easily pass safely. In my experience, when I’ve been taking the lane, say at a stop light, and I move back to the right to create space to pass, motorists respond well, and give me a lot of space when they do pass.


FaunaViolet

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Nov 13 2013 at 10:43am #

I find taking the lane to be the safest place to be. I take the lane almost everywhere. If I can move over to let a person or two pass, I will. That being said, most of my commute does not allow for such a gesture.

I do not use a mirror. I find the best way to know what is going on around me is to keep my head on a swivel and eyes peeled. I did the same thing when I rode a motorcycle. I almost never used my mirrors. They seem to distort images, make things look better or worse than they are and give one a false sense of safety. IMO.

Got buzzed yesterday and today by a PAT bus, same driver coming up Penn avenue toward Main…. and I mean BUZZED. He pulled into the turn lane with a foot or two and straight cut me off to get into the straight lane and let people on and off at that stop by the gas station.

So, to keep him from doing it again, I got in front of him this time at the light and took the lane all the way to Friendship. This is what I call ‘saving my own life’.


HiddenVariable

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Nov 13 2013 at 10:51am #

i ride that stretch of penn from about 29th to downtown a few times a week, and, yes, taking the lane is the only way to go. for one reason or other, this stretch of road is kind of awful for drivers not fully changing lanes, though. part of it is probably because of the left-side parking—in some places the left hand lane is considerably narrower than the right hand lane, and people seem quite averse to going all the way over. in those sections, i take the lane, but ride slightly right of center (and adjust based on right-side parking and strip district shoppers jumping out at me).


gg

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Nov 13 2013 at 11:09am #

ajbooth wrote:By the way, your “advice” of moving to the 60 mark when you see someone in the mirror, then back to 70 when they pass, would actually have you moving closer to the passing vehicle. Ya’ know, “trying to muscle up.”

? 100 is his right and 0 is his left. 60 is slightly right of center and 70 would be even more right. Maybe I am reading it wrong?

All this is done when the vehicle is behind me by some distance. I call it “flashing” myself to the vehicle. Fully clothed of course. I also spit in their direction prior to them getting there, to let them know what they may be in for if they want to buzz me. Yep, there is a lot going on to never to be buzzed and I haven’t been for months. Probably been buzzed once or twice in the past year of commuting. As I said, I am happy with my method and I don’t feel the need to be predictable to motorist well behind me. I want them to be on their toes back there, not thinking oh this guy is riding straight, so I can come close to him. Nah, I will go with looking as though I am missing some glass on the road now and again, because I might want to as I am being passed.

Whatever though. I spun my wheels long enough on this thread. There are people on here that feel like they have earned stripes if they have been hit by a car. I prefer to earn them if I never am hit. Enjoy the sunny day today. Great day to be on a bike.


stefb

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Nov 13 2013 at 11:20am #

Are you hcurtis?


gg

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Nov 13 2013 at 11:31am #

stefb wrote:Are you hcurtis?

Is that on-topic? Start a new thread if you want to discuss me. This forum is usually pretty good about staying on-topic.

It is funny if someone’s opinion differs from certain people. They switch subjects or resort to getting personal. Sort of like when I discuss issues with a Tea Party person. I try and reason with them and they immediately change the subject or attack me. With some folks it really does seem like I am talking to a Teabagger. No discussion and nothing to get out of it.


stefb

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Nov 13 2013 at 11:40am #

Oh really…


cburch

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Nov 13 2013 at 11:46am #

So, you ARE hcurtis then?


Vannevar

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Nov 13 2013 at 12:12pm #

What’s an hcurtis?


Mick

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Nov 13 2013 at 12:26pm #

cburch wrote:So, you ARE hcurtis then?

Why would anyone care? Really.

It seems to me a bit bullying when you and Stef pile on.


Ahlir

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Nov 13 2013 at 12:28pm #

Try

http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/index.html


stefb

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Nov 13 2013 at 12:30pm #

Because I believe hcurtis was banned before for saying terrible things. And if it is a “no” then whatever.


stefb

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Nov 13 2013 at 12:33pm #

I also think it is insensitive to say something like “getting your stripes” if you were hit by a car. If I was hit by a car and seriously injured I would take offense to it.

I think you are confusing egging someone on with bullying.

I also haven’t read the thread for a while and didn’t even see that Colin already asked if this poster was hcurtis. Several others have speculated. I asked.


jonawebb

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Nov 13 2013 at 12:39pm #

There should be a name for pre-emptively suggesting someone is a troll before they’ve really gotten down to trolling, but are just being a bit argumentative. Can’t we all just get along?


Mikhail

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Nov 13 2013 at 12:40pm #

ajbooth wrote:
Might be the worst possible advice.

Tend to agree. Taking the lane (and riding in the middle of lane is not exactly taking the lane — in 12 foot lane it just making car drivers aware that they have to cross a line to pass me). And for most drivers this is much more predictable than trying to pass someone almost on a curb.


ericf

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Nov 13 2013 at 12:41pm #

+1000 Mick, some people watch too much MTV. Kind of like “If you don’t play the way I want you to, then leave” idea. Thankfully the Pittsburgh Cycling scene is much more diverse than what exists on this board.
That said, after watching Rusty Red’s video, about 50% of drivers pass me with that amount of space. Although it is not 4 Feet , that is not what I call being buzzed.

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