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This crap is getting old

This topic contains 58 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  jonawebb 1 yr, 2 mos.

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ajbooth

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Jun 5 2013 at 4:52pm #

Another buzz by on West Liberty Ave, but this time followed by an angry confrontation, complete with threats of bodily harm. All recorded for posterity.

What do I say to my wife when she walks up to say hello and I’m sitting at the computer, still shaking, as I e-mail the video to the police? She said “Not again…”


Pierce

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Jun 5 2013 at 4:59pm #

The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.


Drewbacca

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Jun 5 2013 at 5:13pm #

That sucks… but thanks for taking one for the team, none the less. Be safe out there.


Mick

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Jun 5 2013 at 5:22pm #

@ ajbooth – Thanks so much for following that other one to its conclusion. I hope this guy gets a chance to talk to the judge, too.


Marko82

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Jun 5 2013 at 5:23pm #

The South Hills suck for bike riding. Glad you’re ok.

Was it a similar situation to the last one? You could ask the Lebo cop for his cell# so you can alert him to when you’re in his jurisdiction. He might go for it, not sure until you ask.


ajbooth

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Jun 5 2013 at 5:24pm #

Mick wrote:@ ajbooth – Thanks so much for following that other one to its conclusion. I hope this guy gets a chance to talk to the judge, too.

Mick, I hope so too. The local magistrate is a good friend, and would rip this guy a new one if he gets in front of him. The last guy didn’t show for his initial hearing, was found guilty, and got bumped right to the county level so my friend never saw him.


ajbooth

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Jun 5 2013 at 5:28pm #

Marko82 wrote:Was it a similar situation to the last one? You could ask the Lebo cop for his cell# so you can alert him to when you’re in his jurisdiction. He might go for it, not sure until you ask.

The initial buzz happened in Dormont. The confrontation happened in Lebo, when I was filtering and drifted into my way and rolled his window down.

The officer was pretty good about it, we’ll see where it goes from here. I lost my temper, really really bad, and that’s on video too. Hope it doesn’t hurt my case.


quizbot

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Jun 5 2013 at 7:33pm #

Just don’t post your justifiably angry cyclist videos here & you’ll be fine.


byogman

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Jun 5 2013 at 7:56pm #

Sorry to hear that you’re dealing with more of the same scary crap out there. Good luck with the case, and out there generally.

Also, good luck at home. I sympathize with your wife’s sentiment, and can’t fault her or you if you do make that decision. I’d just say that those like yourself who’ve managed to bike in the south hills have done an intensely valuable thing in the civic sense, showing that something is possible to an audience wouldn’t get that message otherwise.

A hearty thank you for what you’ve done so far, riding and bringing drivers to justice, whatever your decision for the future. And do let me know if you want to head up Sycamore together some time.


byogman

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Jun 5 2013 at 7:58pm #

On that topic of showing what’s possible you can go too long without a shout out to our very own McKnight rider, Stu. Seriously, someone with some skills (and photoshop), photoshop this one, pretty please?


stefb

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Jun 5 2013 at 8:25pm #

I am sorry to hear this. Lately I have had 3 close calls in 3 weeks. Be safe.


Pierce

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Jun 5 2013 at 9:39pm #

“Just don’t post your justifiably angry cyclist videos here & you’ll be fine.”

Or yell at an old guy for being confused because you don’t know the right of way at an intersection, and then hold a grudge for a year and a half when somebody calls you out on it


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 5 2013 at 10:24pm #

I guess I better start rolling more video. The stupid battery in my helmet cam craps out after 20 minutes on a good day, which has severely limited my recording.

I don’t bike McKnight much. Too annoying. Not the kind of annoying in the OP, just a lot of fast traffic, and I don’t feel like hammering all the time.

Gotta hand it to you, @ajbooth — Commuting in from south requires a special form of cojones.


gg

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Jun 5 2013 at 11:37pm #

Marko82 wrote:The South Hills suck for bike riding. Glad you’re ok.

I don’t even like driving down there, let alone bike riding. All I can say is good luck to you. Have you even considered a move? Maybe to the East End or around Millvale or Aspinwall? It is pretty crazy down there.

Thanks for posting and also thanks for reporting it.


ajbooth

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Jun 6 2013 at 8:34am #

gg wrote:Have you even considered a move? Maybe to the East End or around Millvale or Aspinwall? It is pretty crazy down there.

That thought never even entered my mind. No, not planning a move other than to warmer climates when my kids are done with school.

StuInMcCandless wrote:Gotta hand it to you, @ajbooth — Commuting in from south requires a special form of cojones.

There’s a fine line between brave and stupid, and I’m now starting to wonder which side I’m on.


Pierce

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Jun 6 2013 at 9:11am #

This might be on the stupid side, but when I’m riding through hairy parts of town or usually when I’m going through a tunnel on 885 under the airport, I think “I’d rather die doing what I want to do than change my lifestyle to accommodate people driving like idiots”


Chris Mayhew

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Jun 6 2013 at 9:22am #

AJ, have you thought about hanging your first right off 19 and then Broadway? It’s super steep for a bit but after that the traffic is great. You can take that past the worst of Dormont.


ajbooth

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Jun 6 2013 at 9:37am #

I’ve done that several times Chris, and it is actually my preferred route. But yesterday I was in a hurry, because it was my wife’s birthday and we had dinner reservations. Should have stuck to my route, because the 911 call and police report took longer than the extra hill.

Still made it home and had a great dinner with my wife, though!


Chris Mayhew

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Jun 6 2013 at 10:22am #

I don’t even think it’s an extra hill. I think you’re just doing a majority of the elevation change all at once vs more slowly.

Such a weird road. High speed 4 lanes that funnels into Dormont where they have purposely tuned their lights to jam up traffic.


Mick

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Jun 6 2013 at 10:32am #

ajbooth wrote:The officer was pretty good about it, we’ll see where it goes from here. I lost my temper, really really bad, and that’s on video too. Hope it doesn’t hurt my case.

I want to reiterate here (I’m looping here): The best, most satisfying curse for drivers I know is “drunkard” but other things like “incompetent clown,” “reckless fool,” and the interrupting repetion of the phrase “you shouldn’t be driving” have their merits, too.

I’d love to have a judge hear the dulcet tones of me yelling “YO! DRUNKARD!” at a driver.


ajbooth

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Jun 6 2013 at 10:36am #

Mick, I wish I had the presence of mind to remember that last night. My blood was boiling, and the guy was threatening to kick my @%$#ing ass, so I wasn’t thinking clearly.


Mick

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Jun 6 2013 at 10:37am #

quizbot wrote:Just don’t post your justifiably angry cyclist videos here & you’ll be fine.

One of ajbooths videos caused a drunkard to get fined. Like, in a court of law.

To me, that justifies any number of his videos being posted here.


ajbooth

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Jun 6 2013 at 10:43am #

To update: Spoke to Mt Lebanon Police last night. The officer was very understanding. Because my video camera was pointed ahead (mounted on handlebar) and most of the altercation happened along side, he did not feel I could pursue and win anything based on that part of the story. However, the buzz incident was, in his words, “Clearly a violation” and he recommended contacting the Pittsburgh Police, since it happened just before the Dormont border.

I e-mailed the Zone 6 Commander last night, received an almost immediate response, and just hung up the phone with a detective this morning. He has viewed the video, and agrees that it is a violation. He is not inclined to pursue reckless driving, because it is too difficult to prove. We talked about the four foot law, and when I told him about last week’s P-G editorial, and how the City Police took some heat for not enforcing it, he said “Well, we’ve got one now.” He is planning to call the driver this morning, and mail him a citation for violating the four foot law.

I’ll update again as I hear more.


Mick

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Jun 6 2013 at 10:43am #

ajbooth wrote:Mick, I wish I had the presence of mind to remember that last night. My blood was boiling, and the guy was threatening to kick my @%$#ing ass, so I wasn’t thinking clearly.

Practice.

There are plenty of times on any bike trip when you can say in your head, “Go through a stop sign, drunkard,” or “That’s OK, drunkard, the posted speed limit is really just a suggested minimum,” or any description of whatever drunkard activity is appropriate.

“Drunkard” has that satisfying rhythm that all effective curses have.

I’m saying this not just to ajbooth, but speaking as elder spokes person (pun acknowledged but unintended) to our whole community. Let the shouts of bicyclists ring through the streets :

“FOUR FEET, DRUNKARD! It’s the LAW!”

(sorry, I’m letting my ego overcome good sense here. It happens)


ajbooth

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Jun 6 2013 at 10:45am #

Mick wrote:One of ajbooths videos caused a drunkard to get fined. Like, in a court of law.To me, that justifies any number of his videos being posted here.

Thanks Mick, I was ignoring that post because I wasn’t sure what Quizbot’s point was.


Mick

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Jun 6 2013 at 10:49am #

ajbooth wrote:“Well, we’ve got one now.”

YEAH DUDE!


jonawebb

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Jun 6 2013 at 10:55am #

Wow, the first citation for violating the 4-foot law in Allegheny County! Congratulations, ajbooth!
Edit, BTW this more than anything has got me thinking about getting a camera…


gg

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Jun 6 2013 at 11:04am #

Wow. A camera seems to be a great idea for cyclists. If this guy is going to get a citation with the video as proof, I have to think seriously about investing in a cam. If enough cyclists have them, the word may slowly spread and people may not want to chance a ticket. I just figured the cops would blow this off, but they don’t seem to be doing that.

Thank you for pursuing this matter like you did. I am pretty darn impressed at the entire process. Glad you had a nice dinner.


ajbooth

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Jun 6 2013 at 11:12am #

gg wrote:Wow. A camera seems to be a great idea for cyclists. If this guy is going to get a citation with the video as proof, I have to think seriously about investing in a cam.

The day before this happened, I was in Appeals Court downtown with a driver from a similar incident in December. He was charged with reckless driving, but pled down to careless. Still $$ and points on his license. I never even had to testify, as the officer and the prosecutor said, “The video speaks for itself”


Marko82

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Jun 6 2013 at 11:21am #

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++1!

I hope the 4-foot-law ticket sticks. I say this because the driver can choose to fight this at the magistrate level and who knows how well that will go. But video does seem to be the way to go.


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 6 2013 at 11:27am #

This ranks right up there with Erica getting that invalid North Ridgeville OH bike law taken off the books.

We have clout!


jonawebb

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Jun 6 2013 at 11:39am #

Just ordered my ContourROAM from Amazon. $150 including 32GB memory + handlebar mount. Worth it if I can get one ticket enforcing the 4-foot law.


byogman

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Jun 6 2013 at 11:52am #

Or, if you have a cheapie cell phone and a wire hanger, but not money (or just not a willingness to spend it): http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/anyone-with-a-smartphone-and-wire-hanger-can-record-their-rides


Drewbacca

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Jun 6 2013 at 11:53am #

Thanks for that link, Stu. I missed that thread and it’s a good read!


ajbooth

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Jun 6 2013 at 12:00pm #

I hope it sticks too. If it goes before the magistrate, I’ll be there.


cburch

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Jun 6 2013 at 12:43pm #

AJ, in my book, you’re a fucking super hero.


Drewbacca

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Jun 6 2013 at 12:46pm #

cburch wrote:AJ, in my book, you’re a fucking super hero.

+1(k)


gg

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Jun 6 2013 at 1:07pm #

The day before this happened, I was in Appeals Court downtown with a driver from a similar incident in December. He was charged with reckless driving, but pled down to careless. Still $$ and points on his license. I never even had to testify, as the officer and the prosecutor said, “The video speaks for itself”

_____________

That really is great. I always feel the citizens of the US are totally against cyclists, but I guess if you have a video of someone being aggressive towards you, police may actually be on your side! You give me hope. Thanks. You are indeed a superhero!


mpm

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Jun 6 2013 at 4:19pm #

My suggestion — mount the camera on your helmet, not your handlebars. It’ll record everything you’re looking at.


Mikhail

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Jun 6 2013 at 4:39pm #

ajbooth, this is cool! and thanks for creating a precedent!

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