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Dangerous drivers thread

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salty

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Jan 18 2014 at 1:51am #

Wow, that is messed up and clearly a pattern of this behavior – clearly someone who should not be permitted to drive. I’ll be interested to hear if anything comes of it.


jonawebb

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Jan 18 2014 at 8:36am #

BTW, there is a dangerous drivers page on the BikingPgh wiki (http://bikingpgh.com/index.php?title=Dangerous_Drivers). PM me if you’d like an account to update it. I’ll need the username you’d like, your email, and real name (for the registration form on the page). (We blocked user account creation because we were getting a lot of spam.)


Marko82

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Jan 18 2014 at 9:29am #

Wow that was totally uncalled for. Hopefully the cop will follow up on this.


czarofpittsburgh

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Jan 18 2014 at 2:43pm #

Marko82 wrote:Wow that was totally uncalled for. Hopefully the cop will follow up on this.

I think he will. The fact that there was a police report/post on this person before definitely caught the police officer’s attention. The officer followed up with me a couple times and collected the video. Between the video and the fact I was able to see the driver well enough to provide a detailed description was plenty of evidence. The officer I spoke with was very good and helpful. I believe this will end up with some citations being issued.

I don’t want to post too many details in public as of now, but I will once it’s all resolved! In the meantime, be careful on Schenley Park roads with this guy out there.


StuInMcCandless

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Jan 19 2014 at 9:57am #

I gotta go through my tweets and make a list of the plates I tweeted.


andyc

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Jan 20 2014 at 10:02am #

I remember that car and it was the worst incident for me of the summer. Stupidity and ignorance roll off my back quickly enough (after all, we are all stupid and ignorant in our own ways) but this was a belligerent deliberate assault IN A PARK.


kitaira

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Jan 24 2014 at 1:05pm #

Some kind of dark colored truck, ladder on top, weird light green accents, paw print stickers on the back – License plate # YZY4634

Pulls up behind me at the light on Liberty & Main. Hasn’t been following me (so was not slowing him down). I wasn’t in the bike lane because it’s on and off icy and crap right now.

Starts yelling to get in the bike lane. I point out the ice, he says he doesn’t see it (passenger is yelling at this point). He tells me he has to pass me with 4 feet so I need to get in the bike lane, calls me an asshole and flips me off.

Light turns green, we head towards the next light. He lays on his horn the ENTIRE time (I was pretty tempted to point at the snow as I rode) and as soon as oncoming traffic clears, he passes me with maybe 1-2 feet, then slams on his brakes in front of me (because the light was red).

I ended up behind him at THE NEXT light (Herron, Ligonier, Liberty). At this point Liberty opens up to be a 4 lane road and he could have passed me safely. BUT he didn’t make it any further than I did before this point (lots of opportunity for me to stare at the back of his vehicle)…

The day I think about bringing a camera and leave it at home…

(this counts as 2 negative folks, right? passenger yelling and obviously the driver agreed…)


Eric

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Jan 25 2014 at 4:47pm #

I had the driver black Ford Ranger (with a ladder rack) honk and swear at me as I rolled across the top of Baker street, headed towards the 62nd street bridge. He was headed in the opposite direction.

I stopped and looked back, he reversed about 40 feet, rolled down his window and called me a dick. I asked for an explination, and he told me I ran a stop sign. I calmly informed him there was no stop sign in my direction, and he wasn’t too happy with that answer, as his crestfallen face revealed that he knew I was correct.

He swore at me some more, I made the assertion if there was dick in the vicinity, it was the guy sitting in a truck smoking a cigarette, more swearing on his end, I suggested he should find more productive things to do with his time, he drove off.

Really, really angry dude, grey hair and mustache, mid-40’s – 50’s.


Mikhail

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Feb 5 2014 at 7:16am #

Ok, guys, I have a proposal…
From now and on every bicyclist in PGH should care about 30-40 these – Haribo Gummy Candy, Sugarless Gummy Bears and in case of altercation should act friendly by giving to a dangerous driver 15-20 candies with words: “I know life is tough and bicyclists are obstacles for you. Let’s brighten it — here is something for you!”


jonawebb

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Feb 5 2014 at 8:03am #

I like the “here is something for you” part but prefer paintballs.


salty

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Feb 5 2014 at 4:21pm #

Riding up Ellsworth, I stopped at Spahr and had this asshole pass me fully in the other lane as he blew the stop sign. Bonus points for doing it while the wind is blowing like crazy and the roads are icing up. He would have had to follow me another 1/4 of a block before I got to the dentist. I debated going left at the stop sign, glad I didn’t do that or the asshole would have hit me for sure.

PA handicapped plate 33154


stefb

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Feb 6 2014 at 9:45pm #


The 54D. 440pm. Outbound on liberty around 38th street. Was biking up on the line that divides the bike lane (covered in ice and snow) and the outbound travel lane. Bus can’t wait 5 seconds until I pass bus stop. Front half of bus passes me as I see the middle/back half cut me off diagonally. Yes. Bus pulls over to let someone off right in front of me and comes within 6 inches of hitting me in the process. Had to think fast. Couldn’t put left foot down because bus was that close. Couldn’t put right foot down on Rutted ice. Couldn’t really stop at all without it being dangerous, as I had to swerve to the right to avoid being hit. Had to ride over thick rutted ice on a bike on a knee that I had ACL reconstruction on 3 months ago. Didn’t lose control and didn’t hurt myself luckily. Once I cleared the bus, I got in front of it and took the lane until a bit past 40th. I wasn’t going to take the entire lane up liberty on a slow fat bike. Just about every driver who passed gave me 2-4 feet before that happened. But regardless of that, the driver would have cut over in front of me no matter my lane position.
Driver was a middle aged black woman with braided hair in a larger pony tail. I believe I witnessed same woman doing the same thing last year to a cyclist ahead of me on a bus route that takes friendship to negley last year. PAT doesn’t do anything to fix problems like this. Saved my time and didn’t contact them.


byogman

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Feb 6 2014 at 9:57pm #

If you get a moment, this would be a good comment to add here: http://talent-city.com/BusCameras. Bus drivers can be bad about passing, especially dangerous in conditions like these… this cutting cyclists off before the stop is a major category of the problem, and PAT is a black hole. All bears repeating.


J Z

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Feb 10 2014 at 10:41am #

To the rider I saw at around 4PM yesterday coming down Blvd of the Allies and turning right to drop down Greenfield. Hope you’re okay after that close call, that older red Mercury didn’t have to make that pass on you on that blind curve honking all the way and crossing into the ice/slush filled unplowed section to make an impatient and dangerous move for all road users, completely unneccesary. My stomach clenched up just witnessing that. I’m only sorry I wasn’t close enough to see the plate, otherwise I’d post it here.


mjacobPGH

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Mar 11 2014 at 4:51pm #

Unfortunately, I have to revive this thread. It’s hard to see because of glare but I’m pretty sure the plate is RC1259 it’s an early 2000’s Honda Civic. You can see the MIT bumper sticker and USMC emblem. Driver is a man probably in his 70’s. I was biking along the 31st Bridge this morning, I actually was thinking how peaceful everything looked along the river, I use the shoulder for most of the bridge until the end where I have to turn left on to River Avenue. I’m in the lane and this guy is behind me laying on his horn so I flip him off(maybe not best idea), he pulls up along side me, pleasantries are exchanged. This driver then speeds ahead of me extremely fast, slams on his brakes at the light to the point his tires are screeching, gets out of his car and threatens me telling me I’m not a car and I need to get off the road or bike to the side. I explain I need to turn left, but he doesn’t care, threatens me some more, gets back in his car and keeps yelling from inside. Stay safe everyone!


RustyRed

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Mar 16 2014 at 3:16pm #

Grrrr. Driver (who claimed ‘I ride my bike everyday’) passes me soooo close. She’s stuck at a red light with me now and I let her have it. I managed to keep my temper at defcon 4 though.
PA HNX 4675 Black Hyundai Veloster


Marko82

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Mar 16 2014 at 9:39pm #

Holy crap that was close.

Also, I love the drivers who bike every day – it explains why they suck at driving so much ’cause you know, they are on their bikes so much. Dipshit!


steve k

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Mar 16 2014 at 10:20pm #

I’m sorry, but you were riding in the middle of the left lane even though there were no cars in the parking lane. I’m all for taking the lane when necessary, but not when there is a more reasonable alternative. Sure, you were passed super close, but you were riding way too far to the left given the road circumstances. I would think someone that can afford a helmet cam would at least have the sense to understand that you left the car with no room to pass you without going into the oncoming traffic lane on a busy road.


czarofpittsburgh

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Mar 16 2014 at 11:00pm #

steve k wrote:I’m sorry, but you were riding in the middle of the left lane even though there were no cars in the parking lane. I’m all for taking the lane when necessary, but not when there is a more reasonable alternative. Sure, you were passed super close, but you were riding way too far to the left given the road circumstances. I would think someone that can afford a helmet cam would at least have the sense to understand that you left the car with no room to pass you without going into the oncoming traffic lane on a busy road.

I totally disagree. There wasn’t a more reasonable alternative. On stretches of road where there are intermittently parked cars in the right lane, it’s unsafe and poor cycling to swerve in and out of the parking lane. The safest thing to do is pick a straight line in the rightmost lane that doesn’t have cars parked in it. It makes you predictable and visible.

@RustyRed did nothing wrong. She was even to the right of her lane such that she could be passed with safe clearance to her left. The driver didn’t do so.

And the most important thing… the 4 foot law doesn’t have any requirement that the cyclist be behaving legally. You can’t buzz someone just because you don’t like how they’re riding.


RustyRed

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Mar 16 2014 at 11:14pm #

steve k wrote:I would think someone that can afford a helmet cam would at least have the sense to understand that you left the car with no room to pass you without going into the oncoming traffic lane on a busy road.

It was a low-traffic Sunday afternoon. I counted 3 oncoming cars in a minute and half. Not ‘busy’ by any stretch of the imagination. There were cars parked to my right when she buzzed me.

What video were you watching?


salty

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Mar 17 2014 at 12:05am #

Not only is there no oncoming traffic, but they saved literally zero seconds by not waiting for an opportunity to pass. Regardless of any of that or the position of the cyclist there is absolutely no excuse for what that driver did.

FWIW, 99% of the time I get buzzed like that it’s because I’m riding too far to the *right* and some asshole thinks they can squeeze between me and oncoming traffic.


helen s

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Mar 17 2014 at 6:12am #

On a positive note, when the car passed you again (and the next car also) there was ample room. So maybe the first driver showed she can be educated.

I thought the conversation a the red light was pretty cordial considering how they sometimes go.


edmonds59

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Mar 17 2014 at 6:29am #

“Driver (who claimed ‘I ride my bike everyday’)…”

Yeah, see, a stationary at LA Fitness doesn’t really count.


RustyRed

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Mar 17 2014 at 6:49am #

RustyRed wrote:
PA HNX 4675 Black Hyundai Veloster

Arrgh. I mean HXN 4675

Damn you, dyslexia!

I’m not certain I changed her mind about anything, she accused me of being rude and said “It’s people like you…” before I rode off.

My only regret was that I made the dumbass move of getting in front of her after she already endangered my life once and that I didn’t say to her. “I’m being rude? I think I’m being very civil to someone who just nearly killed me”


Marko82

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Mar 17 2014 at 7:55am #

salty wrote:saved literally zero seconds by not waiting for an opportunity to pass.

Not to mention that that light is yellow changing to red as the car starts to pass just a few feet away from the light. Also, RR’s riding technique and lane position have zero accountability here. For arguments sake let’s say that RR is 100% wrong, that does not excuse this driver one bit. It might explain the driver’s frustration, but I dont care how frustrated she is, that pass was dangerous and 100% the driver’s fault.


byogman

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Mar 17 2014 at 8:55am #

The idea of being behind a cyclist is too much for some frail egos out there, no matter the circumstances.

Sorry to have what I assume otherwise, based on the traffic report, a rather pleasant ride, interrupted by such a jag-off. Impressed by the cool head you kept.


rice rocket

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Mar 17 2014 at 10:25am #

I’m with steve k, there’s a balance between “dodging between cars” and being sanctimonious.

My cycling has trailed off lately, but over 5 years and 5000 road miles in and around this city, I’ve only been buzzed/honked at/felt unsafe once or twice that I remember. I tend to err on the side of “keeping a low profile” because I’m not out there to be a martyr. Not to defend her buzzing you, but people tend to give respect when they receive it as well.

Just my opinion though.


byogman

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Mar 17 2014 at 10:35am #

I fail to see how anything RustyRed did was disrespectful or sanctimonious.


Benzo

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Mar 17 2014 at 10:48am #

This is a big conflict of how people think things should be done. Differences in opinions between the ‘vehicular cyclist’, who prefers to operate as if the bike were a car, and prefers to always take the lane, and the other side, people who don’t always subscribe to that mold and prefer to bear to the right most of the time, taking the lane only when needed, doing what ‘feels safe’.

You’ll have a hard time convincing either side that they are wrong. I’m not even sure either is. It’s a religious battle, like arguing over chain cleaning / lubing strategy, or whether miller lite or coors lite is better.


ajbooth

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Mar 17 2014 at 11:03am #

helen s wrote:On a positive note, when the car passed you again (and the next car also) there was ample room. So maybe the first driver showed she can be educated.

+1 on this. First thing I noticed.

czarofpittsburgh wrote:And the most important thing… the 4 foot law doesn’t have any requirement that the cyclist be behaving legally. You can’t buzz someone just because you don’t like how they’re riding.

Unfortunately, that is only true if the police enforce it, and the DA and Judges understand the law. Today, none of those things happens, even with video evidence. Until that changes and those groups are educated about the law, the law is more like a suggestion than anything that will protect us.


jonawebb

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Mar 17 2014 at 11:22am #

ajbooth wrote:Until that changes and those groups are educated about the law, the law is more like a suggestion than anything that will protect us.

I agree. I’ve had drivers roll their eyes when I tell them they are supposed to wait if they can’t give me 4 feet when they pass. Hell, I’ve had cops roll their eyes.
OTOH, if we keep insisting on our rights, most folks will come around. People may react badly at the stop light, but unless they’re assholes looking for a fight they’ll want to avoid it next time.
Also, if we get more drivers following the law, peer pressure comes into play. I’ve noticed that when I get one close pass, the next driver often will, too; when I get a pass with a lot of clearance, the next driver will, too.


helen s

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Mar 17 2014 at 12:03pm #

I find that when I get one close pass, then yell, hold up 4 fingers (not four middle fingers, but my whole hand minus the thumb) , then take the lane more, the following drivers have to decide if they are willing to cross the middle line to pass me, and usually do not.


Marko82

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Mar 18 2014 at 4:29pm #

It must be the nice weather….

Brentwood Area – Hot headed driver- black Hyundai GYS-9735

This jerk passed me on a side street with an oncoming car in the other direction. I yelled “what the F**k dude” with a full raised WTF arm (not just one finger). The guy slams on his brakes and starts yelling how bikes don’t belong on the street, etc. I started to say “dude there was a car coming (the other way)” when he sped off toward the stop sign a block away. Naturally I caught him at the stop sign & the dude got out of his car and started to come at me. I grabbed my u-lock and yelled at him to get back in his F’n car. He was hesitant, but there were a lot of witnesses at the intersection and the dude looked like he was in need of a fix. I caught him again a few blocks away and took a pic of his plate. White middle aged man with dark, dirty, stringy, receding hair.


RustyRed

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Mar 18 2014 at 5:08pm #

Marko82 wrote:It must be the nice weather….

Naturally I caught him at the stop sign & the dude got out of his car and started to come at me. I grabbed my u-lock and yelled at him to get back in his F’n car.

Jebus.


paulheckbert

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Mar 18 2014 at 7:48pm #

Not a “dangerous driver”, but one time while biking near Morgantown, a dog darted out and bit me on the foot, so the second time I biked past his yard I had my large Kryptonite in hand.

The dog did not reappear, so I never got to practice my bicycle polo…


rainbow dog

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Mar 19 2014 at 11:02am #

rice rocket wrote:I’m with steve k, there’s a balance between “dodging between cars” and being sanctimonious.

My cycling has trailed off lately, but over 5 years and 5000 road miles in and around this city, I’ve only been buzzed/honked at/felt unsafe once or twice that I remember. I tend to err on the side of “keeping a low profile” because I’m not out there to be a martyr. Not to defend her buzzing you, but people tend to give respect when they receive it as well.

Just my opinion though.

I second. There was no reason to take the left lane for a good block length, and then do it again after the light. A car parked 200 yards away in not equal to intermittently parked cars.

Especially on a Sunday, with low traffic, it’s hard to justify those riding habits by finding it difficult to merge back in. Your moving to the right would have allowed those few vehicles to pass you safely.


jonawebb

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Mar 19 2014 at 11:14am #

rainbow dog wrote:car parked 200 yards away in not equal to intermittently parked cars.

I also would have taken the empty right lane prior to the parked cars, then merged to the left, checking my rear view mirror, before them. I know about the “dodging in and out of the lane” advice, but IMHO that applies to situations where parked cars are more frequent than shown in the video.
Taking the lane as @rr did doesn’t justify the driver’s buzzing him, of course. But we can ride in a way that makes it easier for drivers to show courtesy and follow the law, while still protecting our safety.


WillB

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Mar 19 2014 at 12:53pm #

RustyRed wrote:There were cars parked to my right when she buzzed me.
What video were you watching?

Seriously, go watch the video again. There’s a lot of obnoxious bike riding that goes on out there, but this isn’t it.


jonawebb

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Mar 19 2014 at 1:09pm #

WillB wrote:Seriously, go watch the video again.

OK, I did.
There are no cars in the right lane until between 12-17 seconds, and then from 1:06 on. The buzzing occurs at about second 15.
I would have ridden in the right lane until about second 10 or so, then merged to the left. I would have checked before merging and slowed down or stopped if the left lane had traffic. And I would have then ridden in the right lane from about second 17 to 1:06.
I don’t think I would have gotten into an argument in this particular case because I suspect the driver who buzzed @rr would have passed me sometime when I was in the right lane before the parked cars at second 12.
Again, not justifying the buzzing. The driver was wrong. But there are ways to ride to reduce the chance for conflict, while protecting our safety. That’s the way I ride, unless I’m pissed off.
Oh, BTW, jumping back in front of the car and taking the lane again at the red light really is creating a conflict where there doesn’t need to be one. The driver got ahead of you, by whatever means, let it go. Stay in the right lane, and merge left when it’s clear, or stay in the left lane, and continue taking the lane. Don’t go around stopped traffic to grab the left lane again just to show you can.


byogman

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Mar 19 2014 at 2:52pm #

I definitely would not have riden in the right lane with a line of parked cars coming up, even though I could have and then merged.

What would be the point? There’s a boatloads of room to pass to the left anyway. It’s in no sense disrespectful, discourteous, whatever, if it’s not likely to create an inconvenience for the driver.

And sorry, having to go around doesn’t count, unless you think parallel parking is also intrinsically disrespectful. No? Then the only way your thinking makes sense to me is if you think it’s specifically disrespectful that it’s someone on a BIKE. A bike, OUT THERE. In which case, riding toward the right probably only partially alleives the guilt and perhaps you’re better off at LA Fitness.

I’m not sure whether I would have done what RustyRed did, cutting in front again, or not. Surface level maybe not, it’s clearly not in her individual best interest. But adrenaline can make you do interesting things. Anyways, I think at the very least it deserves a pass both for being legal (filtering is and she didn’t move till the light), and for illustrating important points that help us all if they sink in (stupid passes don’t get drivers anything, and cyclists are not easily bullied). Bonus that the driver apparently learned to pass properly on the second go-around.

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