Dangerous Drivers Thread, vol. 2
Just another close pass (like 1ft, & fast), on Duncan this morning, heading towards Peebles.
White Ford Explorer minivan, DRX 3370
I don’t know if this really belongs in this thread, but my observation of the newly reopened West Carson St., after having driven it three times now, is that biking it would be dangerous to the point of suicidal.
I don’t know if the lanes have all been completely painted (sharrows are missing, for one), but the lanes are ENORMOUS. As such, it’s hard NOT to speed. I’m a cautious driver, as I bet most are who post here, given our experience on the road outside of a metal cage, but even I found myself hitting 45 MPH without really noticing. I slowed down to 40 and the car behind me started tailing me as if he was planning on passing me.
It’s such a shame. The pavement is really nice and the sidewalks are clean, at least.
On the Every-Pittsburgh-Neighborhood ride (Saturday 8/20, 74 miles), I thought car drivers were more polite this year than in past years. I don’t recall any honking at us. There were a number of cases of drivers waiting patiently for a safe chance to pass. But there was one hostile SUV driver in the South Hills that yelled out “When are you guys going to get licensed like other motorists?”.
I yelled back “We’re not motorists”.
On August 4th I was assaulted on Liberty Avenue outbound by having a van purposely hit his brakes in front of me causing me to wreck into him. I was legally in the right lane and he could have just simply switched over to the left lane like a normally adjusted human being and passed me. Instead he came by honking at me closely in the same lane with the woman in his car flipping me off. I flipped them off back to cause him to get in front of me and slam on his brakes. I totaled a three week old $1600 bike, glasses, and cracked my helmet. I was scratched and bruised, bleeding in my mouth, and had a headache for a few days. However, I refused medical treatment due to the hassles I had to deal with the first time I went to an EMG room with knocked out teeth and the driver was considered not at fault. A witness helped me at the scene and a friend of his was also driving near by followed the driver who fled and texted him his plate number and gave it to me.
I am glad to say that the Detective at zone 2 has found and charged the man. I wrote the commander a email last week explaining how I felt this crime should be pursued as this was violent in nature and he purposely caused harm on me with no regard to my life. If a person was following me closer I could have been hit while on the ground. Since then a detective called me, and was very kind and respectful and went after the person. So I would like to give a kudos to zone 2 police.
I do have to admit that I am kind of hesitant in having to face this guy in court. I do just want his insurance to pay for my bike and other belongings, but I am not backing down and I want this guy to face his actions for treating me like I don’t matter.
@shooflypie: I’m glad your injury seems minor (or is it?). I think you did the right thing to pursue a criminal charge against the motorist. Read up the case of Ron Peterson vs. Christopher T. Thompson – it might be helpful for you:
You’re lucky, BTW, that the concussion didn’t turn out worse. People have died from a subdural hematoma, after hitting their head in much the way you did, and thinking they were OK.
I’m glad you’re OK now and the police are being helpful. It was great that the witnesses helped you out; o/w the driver could have gotten off scot-free.
Just got to this thread…
The Neighborhoods ride did have another nasty driver encounter. On Mt. Oliver, approaching 18th, a lady in an SUV yelled out “get off the road, some people have to get to work”. Eventually she cut across the gas station lot at the corner.
When reliving that moment, in that Walter Mitty-esh way, I thought I should have said “why didn’t you leave earlier?”, or maybe “shouldn’t you be in church?” I guess it’s human to project our inadequacies on the behavior of others, or to believe that we can rise to all occasions.
For context, I was at the back of the pack where the driver was, and there was enough “car back!” yelling to have pulled everyone to the side of the lane.
Current pet peeve:
Should not all drivers be required to re-test every (say) five years? Laws change and abilities decline. Wouldn’t everyone be safer if we kept tabs on drivers? They (literally) have license to a piece of equipment that’s know to be dangerous to themselves and others.
When I read “Should not all drivers be required to re-test every (say) five years?”, Gene Wilder singing “World of Pure Imagination” played in my head. LOL. But yeah, they absolutely should.
Bozo parked his black Subaru outback, PA GBT 7568, across the Southside Trail near 9th St, as if it were a parking lot. So we stickered his windshield.
Might not be the best idea to post that here…
As the Klingons say,
“Revenge is a dish best served cold, and eaten in private.”
Illegal parking and yelling is quite dangerous. I hope there were no injuries.
White sedan, PA plate GRT 1620 struck a cyclist in South Oakland on 9/1/16, left the scene without rendering aid to cyclist or providing information.
Simplex Grinnell minivan, plate ZCT 4612, cut around a vehicle stopping for pedestrians at the Bellefield/Fillmore crosswalk, then blew past the crosswalk itself, nearly hitting me and a coworker heading to lunch Thursday.
Of course, Bellefield Ave being what it usually is during the school year, the light at Fifth cycled twice before he was able to get through it, so I was able to walk up and take this picture of the van. Unfortunately didn’t think to take a picture of the actual driver.
Attempted to call Simplex Grinnell via the phone number on the back, but got redirected twice before ending up in a voicemail.
Wow. Are you saying that employees of Simplex Grinell, whose website (https://www.tycosimplexgrinnell.com/) notes that “Tyco SimplexGrinnell is advancing safety and security for organizations of all sizes in a wide range of industries” employs individuals who casually endanger pedestrians while driving company vehicles?
I wasn’t there but I wonder if management knows about this possible law-breaking behavior, disregard for human life and disrespect for the company’s reputation. I see that the vehicle is monitored by GPS, so they should be able to identify the driver who was assigned vehicle ‘ZCT 4612’ on September 2nd, 2016 and had appointments in Oakland (Pittsburgh, PA). It certainly suggests that Tyco SimplexGrinnell might not care about acquiring a bad reputation for its business and have comments appear in public forums.
That’s Tyco SimplexGrinnell in Pittsburgh, right? With local offices at 220 West Kensinger Dr, Suite 400, Cranberry Township, PA 16066.
[Do feel free to quote in other fora as you see fit. Do add text with relevant keywords if you’re so inclined.]
Ahlir – your post was excellent, and made me laugh!
I was wrong for so long. Not all bicyclists are the bad apples I contend with, and often brake for on my own bicycle. I am so glad to see people complaining (in another thread) about the lack of adherence to traffic laws during Pedal Pittsburgh (a most frustrating debacle at times, I must say after four years of participation in it).
This isn’t about a driver, but a dangerous walker.
Today my wife and I were out for a ride on the GAP, riding in the Waterfront at around 10:30 am in front of the apartments going towards the Pump House at about 11 mph. We were riding on the sidewalk in the front of the apartments because the GAP is poorly maintained behind the apartments, and the street is too busy for my wife’s tates. there was a man walking on the sidewalk toward us. as soon as we got close to him he stopped, puffed up his chest, spread out his elbows, and screamed at us, “THIS IS A SIDEWALK, YOU FUCKHEADS.” He looked to be about 6’0″, 200+ lbs, a lot more muscles than me, bald, wearing a really old Rolling Stones t-shirt. We had to go on the grass to pass him.
not wanting to get the shit beat out of me, we kept going.
But it was scary, and this was the first time I ever encountered anything like this.
Some dangerous motorists think they need to use their vehicles to force cyclists out of their ways. I don’t know if they are aware of the destructive power of their rides. But if they do and still don’t care, they need to be treated as terrorists and dealt with as such.
Someone needs to teach those Uber robot cars to measure 4′. I had two of them doing laps around me on my commute home tonight. The first three passes were arguably safe but probably about 3′, but the last one (by a white Ford on Liberty Avenue before the Bloomfield Bridge) was about 2 feet.
Honestly I’d call Uber. They would actually appreciate the feedback (I’m not being sarcastic). They run these things 24/7/365 it seems, around Strip, Bloomfield, Cultural District, River Ave, etc. etc. and they are constantly tweaking the algorithm.
I was riding on the bike lane on liberty near it’s terminus when a self driving uber came up to me and slowed down allowing me to take the lane.
It did not act like a rational human though and unnerved me a bit. It was a little jerky in it’s avoidance of me. However, it did appear that it was trying to give me a bit of buffer space, but I wouldn’t say it was 4 feet, but I could be wrong on that since I was a little weirded out.
Here’s video of one passing us. Before it passed us, we joked that we should make erratic, sudden moves to test the vehicle.
Cool video of the Uber autonomous car passing cyclists and turning safely! It a sharp contrast to the human-operated car @0:50 – the driver was probably doing 35 mph on a 25-mph street, putting the cyclists in greater danger.
I long for the day when autonomous vehicles replace human-operated ones. Human-operated vehicles are weapon of mass destruction after all, and should require stringent regulations. In the future, individuals who wish to purchase a human-operated vehicles should pay a tax of $200, fill out a lengthy application to register the vehicles with the federal government, submit photos of the said individuals, ask the local chief law enforcement officials to sign on the application, and wait for 7-11 months for approval. Even with application, the officials should not be obliged to approve the purchase – driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right after all.
That car at :50 looks to be going 40+, not just 35.
I would be happier with much more stringent licensing. I have said several times I would like to see a written test at every license renewal. But beyond that, at initial licensing, I want to see more like 60 to 100 questions, not the 18 or 20 or 25 that it is now, varying by state. Further still, I want the answers to be tougher. I want four choices. One of them will be the right answer; score five points. One of them will be a plausible answer, not exactly wrong, but not the best answer; score one point. Having to decide between two potentially right answers will narrow the chances for success significantly. Then a third, wrong, choice; score zero points. But then also, a fourth, very wrong answer; score a negative five points.
Say we stick with the 20-question test. Twenty, five-point answers provides 100 points. I would say you need 81 points to pass. Choose two simply wrong answers, scoring zero for those two, and then even if you get the other 18 right, you would score 90 points. But choose two very wrong answers, with the other 18 right, you score 80, not good enough to pass. One very wrong answer and one merely wrong answer, you get 85, good enough to pass. The point being, if you have any more than one really wrong answer, you have no business having a license.
More stupid than dangerous.
I can’t get my photo to post. Pretty much a person driving in the bike lane on Penn Ave downtown.
got passed by KFC7446 on Wightman (before the bike lane) today with maybe a foot of clearance.
In happier news, construction crews are filling up some major potholes on Darlington today, which is nice.
This was a fun way to start a beautiful Friday morning:
I’m riding down West Station Square drive, headed towards the entrance to the South Side trail. I approach the entrance and hold out my left arm to signal I’m going to turn left. I was, of course, maintaining the lane.
Just as I’m about to turn left, a white sedan being driven by a middle-aged lady passes me… on my left. I hit the brakes and swerve back to the right, yelling expletives in the process. She stares straight ahead, and continues on to the parking lot.
In my anger I didn’t get any identifying characteristics of the car. But I felt the need to vent here. It’s really cool when someone decides that arriving at a PARKING SPOT three seconds earlier is worth risking your life. And I was probably going an easy 18-20 MPH at that point anyways, so it’s not like my presence was a major inconvenience.
This isn’t the first time that’s happened there, drivers don’t seem to expect a cyclist to turn there, even if you’re signalling _a_turn.
I’ve started making a habit of riding the yellow line to prevent a pass as I approach that bend.
Would better signage help there? Maybe a speed table?
Cases like that, where they’re trapped (headed for a parking lot), I’m starting to get courageous enough to chase them down and have a word with them. “Do you pass cars on the left if they have their left blinker going? “
Dangerous driver captured on video again! Unfortunately, Pittsburgh police will not act on this, and I can only report this to Close Call database again, which has no official power to do anything. I think Pittsburgh should set up a traffic violation report system similar to 311 system. The police should fine the violators if there are enough evidences against them. This system has been implemented in my home country – Taiwan – for years, and has been very popular. In 2015, there were 230,000 reports with 167,000 successful prosecutions in New Taipei City: http://udn.com/news/story/7266/1634485 (in Mandarin)
The July incident is clearly a violation of §3331e, particularly as you have front and rear video, which show that you had to take evasive action to avoid being hit.
§ 3331. Required position and method of turning.
(e) Interference with pedalcycles.–No turn by a driver of a motor vehicle shall interfere with a pedalcycle proceeding straight while operating in accordance with Chapter 35 (relating to special vehicles and pedestrians).
I suggest we get Bike-Pgh to give this case some visibility.What beyond this would give it that visibility, short of actually being hit, or worse, seriously injured or killed? This driver has it in for cyclists. Needs a stern talking to by someone with the power to make something stick.
FWIW, you were in one of the much vaunted bike lanes. This is the sort of trouble we are not supposed to have to endure by being in such lanes.
Regarding my video above, one of my friends said: “Looked to me like the person that was closest to the truck was too far from the curb, if a vehicle isn’t going the speed limit, it can cause accidents if holding up traffic, especially since that bike lane is there”
Here’s my reply: ”
Bicycles are considered vehicles under PA laws, and may take full lane if conditions do not permit safe passing regardless of the existence of bike lanes. Just look at the 7/14 incidence, I should probably even move further in the middle to prevent being right-hooked. In addition, speed limits refer to the MAXIMUM speed that a vehicle can go, even though most motorists go at least 10 mph above that. When motorists are in an accident in the cities, they usually only have minor cosmetic damage on their vehicles, but cyclists may lose their lives. That’s why laws and infrastructures should be in favor of vulnerable road users such as cyclists.
Driving a motor vehicle is like carrying a loaded gun with safety off. In a gun range, muzzles are required to point down range all the time. Like wise, motor vehicles should pass cyclists as they would pass other motor vehicles.”
Gordon, see my comment on your friend’s comment in another thread.
Also, the problem I have with increasing the financial and administrative burden to driving (especially without facilitating alternative, public transit options) is that it will impact lower income individuals more harshly than the already-privileged. I, for instance, am no fan of autonomous vehicles, IMO they are no more than the jetpacks and monorails of this era, and all they will do is continue to facilitate a single occupant vehicle transportation framework. Society will take the keys to my 1973 Mini, which has nothing more autonomous than a vacuum advance on the distributor, from my cold, dead hands. I, and I’m guessing many other people with the means, will gladly pay higher fees and undergo more stringent testing to maintain the privilege of operating a personal vehicle. In fact, I would STRONGLY favor that approach. However, people of more limited means will be adversely affected if autonomous vehicles become the default. I fully expect that the economic burden of being able to use autonomous vehicles will not be insignificant either. Those things aren’t cheap. More than anything we need to steer our transportation system toward equity and fairness.
@ed, cars used to be a lot more expensive than horses. Poor people couldn’t afford cars. But now the reverse is true.
There’s nothing inherently expensive about autonomous vehicle technology. The costs will come down enormously over time.
And the cost of a car includes the likelihood that you’ll be involved in an accident. Driverless cars, if we develop them in the right way, will greatly reduce that chance.
I agree about driverless cars helping to freeze the current broken system in place — we have to keep pushing for better city design. But the cost to the poor shouldn’t be a limiting factor.
And maybe they’ll still let you drive your Mini someplace, a closed course for example.
Sure, but what about my motorcycle? I haven’t heard about any work on autonomous motorcycles. As long as I can fk around in traffic with the sensors on the autobots, I’ll be happy. :)
A while ago at one of the DARPA Grand Challenges someone was running an autonomous motorcycle. Self-balancing. I don’t think it succeeded in that particular competition but I suspect people are still working on that sort of thing.
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