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Truck with logo of blond woman sought by Pgh Police

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buffalo buffalo

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Dec 14 2012 at 3:57pm #

I thought PA had a mandatory yield to pedestrian law. If a pedestrian steps out in the roadway, the vehicle operator is obligated to stop.

Only “when traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation” (75 PaCS § 3542). Otherwise, it’s unclear; as far as I can tell (IANAL,TINLA), it’s up to the local government: “Local authorities by ordinance may require pedestrians to obey traffic and pedestrian-control signals” (§ 3541(b)).


Vannevar

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Dec 14 2012 at 4:32pm #

Stu i really like the blog post.


Anonymous

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Dec 14 2012 at 4:35pm #

I remember being taught in drivers’ training lo those many years ago that a green light wasn’t an automatic “go”–it’s a “go as long as it’s safe to proceed.”


cburch

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Dec 14 2012 at 4:51pm #

^ding ding ding^

same reason i lose it when people treat right on red as a green arrow. of all the cities ive driven or riden in pittsburgh has by far the dumbest drivers. not sure ill ever adjust to that, no matter how long i live here.


Pseudacris

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Dec 14 2012 at 5:14pm #

Last night while traveling inbound on the Parkway West in congestion, I was trying to merge left and get out of an “exit only” off ramp. A Big white SUV passed me on the right in the emergency lane, zigged left a few car lengths ahead of me and nosed into a spot he/she must’ve seen given the extra height of the vehicle.

***I know I’m just adding on to the heaps of venting about vehicular entitlement***

The first thing I was taught when pursuing my driving license was “driving is a privilege, not a right.”


Anonymous

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Dec 14 2012 at 11:57pm #

Has Bike-Pgh ever conducted, supported or even attended any sort of event in support of the PGH Police? Maybe a (warm weather) carwash event (for donations) for Motorists, just to show’em some love and maybe hand out some literature, talk to drivers, etc?

I realize it’s easy to come up with ideas and feel free to discard all of these, but it’s just something I thought of the other day. It’s always been my experience and maybe some of you will agree, that there are two ways of getting things done.

There are official channels which are almost always the slowest and most ineffective. Then there’s the other way, which is using your contacts and trading favors or other acts of goodwill, to make progress. I hold the opinion that being Police is a fairly lonely job, one in which they are often abused and seldom shown any appreciation.

If there is a way to devise or construct a bridge/rapport between the cycling community in PGH and its policemen and women, it could only benefit cyclists/peds in the future. Them being a smaller target audience than ‘motorists’ and wielding the badges/guns, I might target them first with such an outreach effort.

The very general consensus seems to be that there’s a great deal of inertia where motorist behavior or respect for cyclists is concerned. Perhaps if we collectively found a way to raise our visibility to individual officers and their departments that would slowly begin to change.

There, I said it. Feel free to disagree but I think it could be done. Somehow.


jonawebb

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Dec 15 2012 at 12:25am #

People send messages of support to the police web site. At least I have. But I would support something like a car wash etc.


Vannevar

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Dec 15 2012 at 2:16am #

Val: You are exactly right. I’m not sure what the details are exactly, but if there’s a way to build that bridge I’m in. Do the precincts have bike safety events for young kids we could support, or something like that? It’s a worthwhile idea. V.


Pierce

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Dec 15 2012 at 2:24am #

Car wash? The Pittsburgh Police get $67 million a year, not counting whatever Federal money rolls in

And before we get too cozy with them, let’s also remember these are the same people that stop and frisk two black people for every white person, even though there are three times as many white people in the city

Now I’m sure there’s some decent individuals in that group, but as an organization, the black population is much more heavily represented in stop and frisks and arrests

The Police answer to Luke Ravenstahl, the same guy that let them beat up innocent students at Pitt during the G20, let them hassle people at the Friendship share fairs, let them assault people in Lawrenceville playing music, let them beat up Jordan Miles without any followup change in policy, etc, etc, etc


quizbot

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Dec 15 2012 at 5:16am #

A bake sale for the cops? I thought I was already making my mandatory donation by paying my taxes. The idea of outreach is quaint. They are not kindergarten teachers who can be bribed with cookies or goodwill efforts.

Why play nicey-nice in order to ask them to do the job they’re supposedly being paid for to begin with? Why not demand accountability for failure to enforce existing laws instead?

The reality is that neither confronting them with nicey-nice or protest has an affect. Their agenda is determined and immune to outside influence.


cburch

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Dec 15 2012 at 5:57am #

while the fundraising outreach might not be my favorite idea either, i do think there is some merit to the general idea. i think we could be an excellent volunteer resource for kids safety events/bike rodeos etc. helping them do their job correctly does not indicate that we condone the incorrect execution of their duties. the bike cops that came down for the try-a-bike seem like they would be a natural starting point. i’d also like to make a serious effort to extend an open invitation to all the city bike cops and any other officers/families who enjoy cycling (believe it or not they are out there) to join us on our big group rides like Flock party rides. sort of a bridge to the bridge.

hopefully mayor opie will be out on his ass next year and upmc, buncher and lamar and the like will stop setting the agenda in the mayor’s office. im so tempted to finally register as a democrat, instead of an independent, just so i can vote in the primary, since thats all that will matter. seeing dowd get trounced by the establishment machine last time was painful.


Anonymous

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Dec 15 2012 at 6:23am #

I MEANT a carwash (or something easy) for MOTORISTS. I meant attempting some other method for building rapport with officers associations or what have you. I am perfectly content with everyone disagreeing, as long as you at least understand what I’m saying. Something like a carwash or assisting cops with one of their community outreach efforts, are just ways means to have a presence and capture the attention of people you’re trying to spread your messaging to. Think of it as like a mini-Bikefest, or whatever, but instead of festive rides and beer, we might be doing something else. If we (example) performed or assisted in some outreach effort or made one of our own, that would be a good chance for key people to either talk to folks about what we do, how we make the city better, etc. These two examples/ideas are just for purpose of explanation; I’m sure with some thought, we could come up with something effective and even worthwhile. I only have an interest in Information Operations (IO) and am not an expert, but I have worked with it enough to understand how it works, what makes it effective, etc…


Anonymous

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Dec 15 2012 at 6:31am #

I feel like I’m not explaining this clearly enough, so very briefly.

You know how some people sport those Fraternal Order of Police stickers on their car, to show they love the po-po? When they get pulled for speeding it hopefully sparks a dialogue where the driver gets to explain that he supports the police, the community, etc. It may not work enough to get him out of a ticket but then again, if his story is good enough, it damn well might. There HAS to be enough cyclists in PGH that if we all made a concerted effort to impress upon the police what upright and responsible, conscientious people we are, it would begin to have an effect. I really believe it can be done. The pay-off? Police are more conscious of cyclists, harmful stereotypes (of bikers) are replaced with positive ones, Police are more aware of the unique problems we face in this city. The end.


jonawebb

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Dec 15 2012 at 1:36pm #

I pretty much agree with long-winded Val. We could do worse than try to reach out to the folks that make quick decisions on whether to give someone a ticket for breaking the four foot rule, etc. Fair or not.


Vannevar

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Dec 15 2012 at 1:45pm #

I think Val is quite right. The police are individuals, they have discretion, they exercise judgement, they write the reports that become the official story and the basis for all subsequent action.

Why wouldn’t we build the bridge? I just don’t know how to do it.

Looking back on this year, when did we miss a chance to build that bridge? I think we missed an opportunity when the motorcycle officer got hurt trying to calm down Penn Avenue.

We could have made some inroads there and I just didn’t realize it.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Dec 15 2012 at 4:13pm #

Hm. I like Val’s idea of cyclists bridging to motorists with a carwash – perhaps an annual event during BikeFest? I like the symmetry, and the opportunity it provides for cyclists to speak directly with motorists, maybe put some bike-friendly propaganda in their hands. Key would be to get motorists who are not already bike-friendly to stop and have their car washed…


Pseudacris

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Dec 15 2012 at 4:15pm #

Maybe somewhere near 14th & smallman?


Anonymous

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Dec 16 2012 at 8:33pm #

I like outreach to police… ultimately both of our groups at our best are all about public safety, so we should be natural allies.

I’m not sure the right mechanism but am willing to entertain ideas. I agree that when the officer on a motorcycle was hit on the same stretch of Penn was hit, we should damn well have stepped up then.

For now, at very, very minimum, when we see misdirected policing effort, can we address that rather than indicting the “cops” or “popo” or breaking out with a stupid donuts stereotype?

These are people out there doing a hard thankless job who get orders they have to follow to keep it. If we don’t like what they’re doing we need to address our complaints to the folks giving the orders.


salty

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Dec 17 2012 at 2:28am #

http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/police-officer-injured-while-promoting-bicycle-safety


StuInMcCandless

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Dec 17 2012 at 4:17am #

I attempted to document what each of the three drivers saw, as well as what the pedestrian saw, while riding around the crash scene a couple nights ago.

video

I also managed to capture the typical speeds of several passing cars (close to 35-40 mph), as well as one case of driving down Smallman Street at 1:30 a.m. without lights.


Vannevar

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Dec 17 2012 at 4:50am #

(spoiler alert)

Stu that was excellent. It was compelling, I was apprehensive watching it and then when you yelled at that car I laughed out loud. Truly most excellent work, and what a sad documentary, recreating the last steps. wow.


Anonymous

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Dec 17 2012 at 4:56am #

I have made it a personal riding habit for years to nod or raise a hand to all drivers/peds that yield or otherwise exhibit courtesy, no matter who has the right of way. Even if I’m smoked, going uphill, I’ll manage a hand. That’s my own small personal info-campaign I’ve waged over the years. I tell myself it makes a small imprint on a persons mind when he is somehow positively engaged by a cyclist; that positive interaction may engender future courtesy on their part. Maybe.


Jack

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Dec 17 2012 at 6:07am #

@Val – I do the same. I ride to have fun and I’ve found that small gestures like that make me feel good and at the least give pause to automobile drivers. I really like when during the Flock rides people walking down the street or waiting at bus stops yell out or clap or wave. I don’t know, it just somehow makes me feel closer to my city.


Anonymous

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Dec 17 2012 at 1:50pm #

Jack, I haven’t done a Flock ride but it sounds fun. It’s interesting how traffic can be as wooly as it gets around town but pedestrians I’ve encountered seem to be some of the most easygoing. I haven’t been to many cities with a place like Station Square, where so many people are in and out of the bike path and no one seems to mind getting out of your way, one bit. Of course I always stay safe around peds but it’s so damn nice when they move and I get to keep cruising…


jonawebb

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Dec 17 2012 at 1:58pm #

I think the attitudes of others towards cyclists depends a lot on class. When you’re riding around Station Square, say, you’re encountering people who are used to seeing bicycling as an optional fun way to travel. In poorer or rural areas I think people tend to see cyclists either as arrogant recreational appropriators of roads that should properly be used by cars and trucks for transportation, or as inferiors who cannot afford a car. So their response changes appropriately, as might their response to someone giving them a thumbs up.


Mick

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Dec 17 2012 at 7:50pm #

@Val I have made it a personal riding habit for years to nod or raise a hand to all drivers/peds that yield or otherwise exhibit courtesy, no matter who has the right of way.

+1


Vannevar

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Dec 17 2012 at 9:30pm #

Concur w/Val on the positive energy, it’s always good to wave / smile.

Re Station Square, I think the issue is that nobody tells the people it’s a bike trail. They think they’re at a shopping mall. It’s not in any way evident there’s a bike trail, it’s much more evident that it’s a commercial plaza.

I think that’s why they’re shocked, shocked to see bikes riding on the scenic mall photoway; there isn’t any indication provided to (non-local-bicyclist) people that there’s an approved bike lane there.

That gap in expectations and communications completely explains the oblivious behaviors we see there. Wait for the soccer stadium to open.

Same thing with the Carnegie Science Center. Tourists and non-locals walk out of the Science Center enroute to the Submarine, turn onto the sidewalk, ding ding on-your-left swoosh damn! Where did that cyclist come from!

In both places, there’s a high likelihood of non-Burgh non-cyclists, and there’s no signs/ markings/ warnings like “caution bike trail” or “caution joint use trail” or “share the trail”. No little paintings of bike sillouttes on the pavement. No inkling at all that it’s anything except a pedestrian sidewalk, and then here comes Me at 15 mph.

And there’s no signs for the transient bicyclists either, no “caution joint-use plaza ahead”, etc.

So remarkably, we mix uninformed transients with ambiguous situations and no infrastructure and we get injuries and conflict. We could improve both Station Square and Science Center with a little bit of paint and signage.


edmonds59

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Dec 17 2012 at 10:26pm #

I’m pretty sure the terminology “joint use plaza” would attract an extremely confused demographic.


Mick

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Dec 17 2012 at 10:39pm #

@ edmunds59

I’m pretty sure the terminology “joint use plaza” would attract an extremely confused demographic.

I’m SO there, dude!


quizbot

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Dec 18 2012 at 1:32am #

I’m all for thumbs ups & waves.

Re: Science Center. I’m 99% certain that there’s a “watch for bikes” sign before the path heading toward the sub.

Re: cop outreach. They do have a bike squad & am assuming with that, some level of internal awareness about safety issues.


salty

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Dec 19 2012 at 1:28am #

Another article about the ped who was run down at Atwood & Bates on Friday (gg posted about it earlier): http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/police-seeking-vehicles-involved-in-two-hit-run-accidents-666860/

The initial article says “dark-colored sedan, possibly a Chevy Cobalt”, and this one says: “light-colored, full-size sedan”.


Anonymous

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Dec 19 2012 at 2:57am #

I’m laughing about that post, Vannevar, because coming through by the submarine is frequently on my way home. I maintain courtesy and slow down when necessary but yes, I have done some freakin’ barnstorming through there, too. it’s actually kind of funny sometimes, the way people look at you (the cyclist) like you just stepped out of a spaceship or something. Really? I’m just a cyclist, man…

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