Newer Grey Chevy Malibu clipped my mirror coming up Greenfield Avenue 4:55PM

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Anonymous #

With the bad weather I’ve been looking for a route back up to squirrel hill that’s reliably clear so I’ve started coming up Greenfield Avenue to the Greenfield bridge area.

Was feeling pretty good about it all since I’m the terrible klutz who posted about wanting to stand on the pedals to climb faster when I joined and now I can go (pretty much) all the way up Greenfield Avenue (until the bridge area) that way at the same pace as the rush hour traffic delayed by the stop signs higher up the hill.

Even so, I was riding as far to the right as possible since I wasn’t able to quite keep pace at that point on the hill because the full slowdowns from the stop weren’t in effect yet.

So, why is it under these conditions, pushing decently hard, showing deference, and frankly going almost the same pace as the traffic (up to the top of the hill the malibu never got more than about 100 ft ahead) that an idiot clips the mirror on my bike?

I put in a 311, but if anyone else has encountered this gem (I’m so mad I don’t have a solid tag, adrenaline messed me up. 1 or 2 0s, a 3, 1 or two zeros after, a 1, a P thrown in there somewhere and a couple digits I didn’t quite get) please let me know.

I am unharmed, amazingly my mirror is too (he just got the plastic rim before the reflective surface and I need to keep it loose because I need to pivot it to get through the narrow doorway of my home so it just swung forward). I didn’t even stop moving up the hill, but the experience just sucked. Gah!


jonawebb
Participant
#

Glad you’re not hurt. I live in the area as you know and will keep an eye out.

I usually move off Greenfield to one of the side streets as I approach the top, around Hough’s. The two kind of narrow lanes on Greenfield somehow encourage aggressive behavior, and not only towards bikes. I’ve seen people blow through the stop sign there, at speed.


stefb
Participant
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That is terrible. I am glad you’re ok.


cburch
Participant
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911 this. 311 wont record crimes. or do anything else useful in this instance.


Anonymous #

Horrible! I am so sorry. I’m glad you are safe!


Anonymous #

Once there is reliable maintenance on the paved trails, consider jailtrail to panther hollow then up thru CMU then the golf course as a route to sq hill.

Not sure as to the distance it would add to the commute, but its got to be shorter than a trip to the hospital because of a jagoff that cant wait 5 seconds to speed up to a redlight and slam on their brakes.

Glad to be reading about a close call than a “just back from the ER” though.


Anonymous #

On the suggestion to 911 this, I haven’t and am feeling odd about it. Obviously, a crime was committed, but I’m not positive the driver was aware that he clipped my mirror, there’s no victim and I don’t have much in the way of identifying information.

What I asked in the 311 was that if the likely driver could be identified with my (admittedly sketchy) description, that they be mailed a letter reminding them of the 4 foot passing law, the rights of cyclists on the road, and their responsibilities toward them.

I forwarded to Stephen Patchan asking for his take on the matter and asking perhaps if such a mailing could go out even if my info couldn’t narrow it totally down, in the spirit of public education and recognition that stamps are cheaper than lives. Will update here if I get it.

Continuing the thought experiment though, because I’m sure a decent number of these sorts of situations come up, and if it is possible to narrow it down to 1 or at least a very small number of drivers, I’m thinking a hand delivery of such a letter by a police officer on a bicycle might make a nice impression.


joeframbach
Participant
#

The law says that cyclists must ride as far right as *practicable*, not *possible*. If there are parked cars, do NOT weave in and out trying to stay to the right, just stay in a straight line even if it means being a little bit in the road. If the edge of the road has a curb, stay away from it, even if it means being in the road. In the middle of the road, cars have a better chance of seeing you. On the side of the road, you are less visible. Stay alert and be safe.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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When I take the lane, I am in the LEFT 1/3 of the lane, directly in front of drivers’ line of vision. Leave nothing to chance. Be visible, be predictable, but also be unapologetic. It’s your lane, and they can have it when you are done with it, and no sooner. And if that means they creep along behind you at 3 mph, then so be it.


salty
Participant
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That sucks, and you were definitely a victim even if you were not injured. I’d think of it like someone pointing a gun towards your head and missing by a few inches. I suspect 911 is likely futile, but who knows…


Pseudacris
Participant
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There’s also the city’s crime tip form. Good for them to know the harassment continues…

http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/police/html/police_tip_form.html


Anonymous #

I talked to a random police officer downtown about it, try and get the “boots on the ground” take on things. Short answer is that it sounds like there isn’t anything directly doable since I didn’t have a video or full plate and it wouldn’t be investigated based on a partial plate since there’s no bodily harm.

I guess that’s about what I expected to hear. Will consider the tip, though I imagine that’s a lot like filing a 311 public safety issue which I already did?


sloaps
Participant
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+1 what Stu said.

Stay right as practicable, you can be courteous but drivers must give you four feet. On certain narrow roads where I know drivers like to pass closely I bike defensively by staying out of the gutter and taking the lane.


Anonymous #

Stu, on your suggestion to take a left of middle posture, that’s what I usually do on roads where I’m going at a pretty good fraction of the speed of the traffic (or at least, pretty much the speed limit), or any time there’s another lane for cars to pass me and traffic isn’t too crazy.

But it’s hard for me to be totally unapologetic going uphill on a busy road with no passing lane. I have a car I could be driving and not that long ago was a (slightly impatient) driver myself.

What I was not, was an idiot who’d try and squeeze through even if it meant jeopardizing someone’s safety. It makes me angry that the behavior of one idiot has me contemplating holding up the majority of drivers who aren’t aggressive toward me.

Backpedaling mentally about 4 months to before when I was a bike commuter, I wouldn’t have understood a bike taking the lane going up a hill like Greenfield, it just would have seemed like the cyclist was being an a-hole. You can’t make everyone happy and being safe is more important, but the cognitive dissonance is killing me.

I think where this is all going to wind up is that I’ll maybe cut over to take the full lane a little earlier maybe not, but will probably start looking for a cheap bike camera. Suggestions appreciated.

I’m also thinking of taking my menorah mount and sticking this to it, though it looks like there’s a second avenue ride starting tonight, so maybe something for that.


helen s
Participant
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I did ride up Greenfield a few times a few years ago, but only because there was 2 feet of snow in Panther Hollow. But it was a tossup as to which was more of an irritant.

I am riding Panther Hollow again tonight- it’s not that bad.

Do you ride down Greenfield in the Morning? I do that when it is the least icy option.


Anonymous #

On possibly icy mornings my route is Panther Hollow (the psuedo highway, not the the trail) -> Blvd of the Allies -> Craft -> Fifth. Under less icy conditions I often cut over to jail trail from Bates. Greenfield is a slightly less direct option, but also reasonable.

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