East Liberty and Cycling Safety Update

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gimpPAC
Participant
#

Just gathering intelligence to see what people are currently thinking about bike safety in the East Liberty area. Someone from ELDI asked me if cyclists are encountering less problems along East Liberty Boulevard and the surrounding areas since the attacks this spring/summer.

“The Zone 5 commander, Timothy O’Connor, told us he has been trying to keep the area patrolled, especially by bike cops, as best he can in spite of their being understaffed.”

Has anyone noticed a difference? Better? Worse? Not much different? Have you seen more cops and bike cops on patrol? I don’t use ELB very much to be honest so I can’t really judge myself. I appreciate your feedback!


Noah Mustion
Participant
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I was attacked in mid-October for what it’s worth. Group of 5 black teenage kids, I’m guessing the same group of miscreants who were causing trouble before in the spring & summer


ck
Participant
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I avoid ELB out of fear for my personal safety. Wish that wasn’t the case, it would be really nice way to get to the gym/co-op, etc.


ejwme
Participant
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I’ve been riding it early (after sun up, before people up) mornings Saturday and Sunday, and haven’t had issues. I ride it from Negley Run in or out the whole way to Hamilton from Negley proper. But I’ve never had issues on it and don’t ride it at night.

It’s also winter – when it gets uncomfortable I assume even thugs go inside to stay warm. It’s the spring, summer, and fall that would show more of a difference.


gimpPAC
Participant
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Noah, can you give details on the attack? I know it’s past the point but giving more details on what happened would be a good gauge of when/how the police can do better patrolling.

Anyone else have an opinion? ELDI would like to keep tabs on this issue and try to do what they can to make it better.


gimpPAC
Participant
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ejwme, I think you have a point about thugs staying warm. There’s definitely a hike in criminal activity when spring weather arrives.

I’m assuming that most of these attacks occurred at night by the way?


Noah Mustion
Participant
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I called 911 right after it happened and gave them as many details as possible. But here you go anyway.

About 10:30 pm the evening of Saturday October 8

Riding NB on Highland Ave

Halfway between Peabody HS and Stanton Ave I encountered a group of 5 black youths, maybe 14-16 y/o. 4 on the sidewalk, one in the street, who was wielding an aluminum cigarette butt receptacle. As I passed him he threw it at my front wheel; while I did not crash somehow, I stopped and threatened to break his jaw with my u-lock as he ran away laughing, one of his pals ran out and picked the receptacle up and we faced off for several seconds until I decided to leave the scene and call 911


gimpPAC
Participant
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On my street last week (and this was in Garfield, near S’Liberty)… I had a teenager throw something nasty and unidentifiable in front of my bike (he missed) while I was half a block from my house. I just half-heartedly shouted “Hey!” because I had just climbed the hill and didn’t feel like confronting. I think he was visiting someone, not a resident.

Two years ago on my way home from Filmmakers, I was passing a car going into the Wendy’s drive through on Baum. A kid in the back seat threw a drink cup at me and missed while his parent(s)? in the front all laughed.

Yay for disrespecting random strangers by throwing stuff…seems to be a trend.

Thanks for the details Noah. Glad it didn’t turn into anything more than that.


Pseudacris
Participant
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I’m glad ELDI is concerned, but I agree with the other commenters here that weather may contribute to a change in behavior as much/more than increased patrols do. Keep up the patrols and let’s compare this october with the ones before and after it…


quizbot
Participant
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This am around 9:30 I had 3 young black males (13 – 14) give me some verbal harassment as I was riding past the Monro at Penn & Negley in Garfield…

“Hey, I’ma take your bike”

“No, I don’t think so”

“F you!”… and some more swearing & laughing…

Usually I just ride on and ignore this crap but this morning I was feeling a little sick of it so I stopped and told the main instigator that one of these days someone was going to teach his ass a lesson, and if he wanted it to be me to go right ahead and speak up. Not a word… definitely caught them off guard.

I don’t recommend this course of action in general, but this morning it worked for me.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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A kid in the back seat threw a drink cup at me and missed while his parent(s)? in the front all laughed

Awww kids are so cute.

Reminds me… a few weeks back on the way to the volunteer night at Bike PGH, I was locking up my bike & heard someone screaming maniacally from a car from up the hill on 34th. Then I saw a cyclist roll down 34th and go to BikePGH… the car followed shortly after and parked on Butler as the woman got out and continued screaming at the cyclist from across Doughboy sq. Turns out they were upset cause he was taking the lane on Liberty, and after they turned onto 34th, he followed them (because he was going to BikePGH). The woman took this as an affront, and her man (the driver) got out and shoved the cyclist. Then the cyclist continued to BikePGH office, while the car parked on Butler and the woman got out & was screaming like a lunatic, saying she was going to call the police on the cyclist for “coming up” on them. After she was done, a group of women waiting at the bus stop right there applauded. It was very depressing to me especially as I saw some cultural lines clearly drawn right there (the cyclist was white; the car occupants and the people at the bus stop, black).


scott
Keymaster
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Noah, did you talk to the victim at the volunteer night? Could you pm me who it was? I’d like to talk to him/her.


quizbot
Participant
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Motorist getting out of car & shoving cyclist = assault. Hoping the cyclist got a plate number.


Lolly
Participant
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Scott, I was there. I’ll talk to you about it this morning.

He didn’t get the plate number.

I thought the people at the bus stop were laughing because the lady seemed crazy and to be overreacting.


Pierce
Participant
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Man, does anybody ever get the plate? It’s like you’re in a heightened sense of alert because you’re in danger of bodily harm and then trying to remember a string of letters of numbers that quickly disappears.


ejwme
Participant
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numbers in paint on a plate aren’t the threat. It’s making the leap from gut response to actual threat to logical response for long term justice that I’m guessing makes those stupid numbers so darn hard to remember. That, and they’re rarely my birthday, favorite numbers, or husband’s middle name. at least that’s why I have trouble remembering 7 random alphanumerics.

The only time I’ve ever seen people react that way (as the driver/passanger of the SUV) was when they are scared for there lives – about something totally unrelated (job, neighbors, kids, something). Then a straw breaks the camels back and the camel goes ballistic, letting all that steam out. Ok, mixing metaphors isn’t pretty, but you get the point. Not saying it’s ok, either. Just sharing an observation.


dwillen
Participant
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I can remember the numbers just fine, if only I had better eyesight to read them in the first place.


edmonds59
Participant
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I can’t even remember to check if the bus I am riding on has a bike rack, even when I sit there for 20 min mumbling to myself “…bike rack, bike rack…”. Human brain funny.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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am i the only one who wonders what time it is, looks at his watch, then a few seconds later wonders what numbers he read and has to look again?


cburch
Participant
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you own a watch?


Pierce
Participant
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I used to… but then got hit by a bus and it broke


HiddenVariable
Participant
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did the bus have a rack?


Lyle
Participant
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I’m sorry, what were we talking about again?


edmonds59
Participant
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Win.

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