Dangerous drivers thread
This thread has hit the board’s 25-page usable limit, so I’ve started another continuation thread:
Most of those cones appeared last summer, after the Bigelow/Baum construction project posted Melwood to Herron as a detour and boosted the volume of non-local, cut through traffic, often moving at high speed, leading to several residents’ cars losing mirrors or suffering other damage.
Orange cones appeared along Melwood in Polish Hill at some point in the last while. I suspect it’s the residents trying to slow down cars cutting down Gold/Melwood. It’s cool that they’re taking pics as well. And offering to call 911.
I don’t see why the city didn’t installed some speed tables along the stretch between the bridge and Finland.
At a recent Bike-Pgh event, I proposed creating some sort of how-to mechanism to help people do that. I don’t know exactly what form it should take or where it should be posted — streaming video? get everyone in one spot and someone walk around with a camera? stop in at your leisure and explain your setup? … doesn’t matter … just that I think there’s a need, there are several of us out there with some expertise, and Bike-Pgh has some wherewithal to facilitate putting it together.
I think as many people as possible should invest in even used GoPros and record rides. There are whole channels like this in Australia to document the E X T R E M E road rage there; See link below:
Fri. Jan 15th, 3pm. Silver 4 wheel drive pickup Pennsylvania Plate ZDH-1973, two white middle aged men in hoodies. They looked like contractors of some type.
I was taking the lane on Gold way/Melwood in Polish hill and a driver came up fast behind me and immediately laid on the horn. I held my line due to cars being parked on both sides of the street and it not being safe to pass. There was literally a two car break in parking on the left side of the street and he gunned the engine and attempted to pass me in this small space missing me by less than a foot. I screamed out his license plate# several times and the driver stopped and started yelling at me through his window. I yelled back that it wasn’t safe to pass, and then he started to get out of his truck. I started yelling out his license# a few more times and then a very nice lady came out of her house with her cell phone taking pictures of the truck and asking if I needed 911 called. A few seconds later a lady on the other side of the street came outside as well. With that the big bad man in the truck drove off.
I’m posting this to both thank these kind ladies of Polish Hill for taking the time to help someone in need, and to suggest that this might be a new strategy for me when in a residential area- just keep yelling out the plate#.
License plate with J before and after is a dealer plate, fwiw…
J25754J, Black Jeep Wrangler with Brown Top. Jan. 7th at about 5:45 pm. As I made a right off of the RD Fleming Bridge into Sharpsburg, two middle age white guys roll down the window, ride about 4 inches from my bike, and start screaming obscenities including “Get the f&*# off the road a$$hole, ride your f$%*ng bike in the park, I almost killed you on the bridge.”
I commute from Aspinwall to downtown every day, and still haven’t found a great way to get across the river. I usually ride on the sidewalk across the bridge inbound, but there is no safe way to get onto the sidewalk outbound as the left turn off of Butler requires you to go against traffic to get around the barriers. So I take the lane on Butler, make the left turn with the arrow in traffic, hug the left shoulder on the bridge, and then take the lane once traffic starts to back up on the left hand exit to Sharpsburg. Not sure what this guy’s problem was, as I was well lit, didn’t slow traffic at all, and was, in my opinion, obeying all laws and being respectful. I’d think the proper response to “I almost killed you” would be “sorry” not “f&*k you”, but such is life.
Report: Distracted Driving Results In More Than 5,000 Unfinished Texts Each Year
GDX-7071 silver Lexus sedan. Dude gave a <1′ pass while riding westbound on Boulevard of the Allies, between Wood and Market St. Parking lane was full, so I was taking the right lane, to avoid door zone. He had room to spare to go on the turning lane to pass me safely, but noooooo, he had to get to that red light on Stanwix faster than me.
Some people gave her what for on FB. When I saw it I thought, “Oh of course… this is supposed to be amusing but instead it’s just super irresponsible and awful.”
Apparently WTAE’s Wendy Bell applies makeup while driving at night down Penn Ave. Be careful out there people!
Not that I have anyone in particular to point out, but I go through the roundabout at Reynolds St & Homewood Ave (Point Breeze) daily on my commute. I have close calls probably once every week or two. It gets my goat that people either cut me off or just fail to yield while I’m trying to bike through it. This week it was an older man in a white Chevy of some sort – I don’t think he even saw me and almost clipped me on the side. It was close enough that the person driving behind him pulled up to me to see if I was okay.
HNG 3156 silver Ford Escape. Less than 2′ pass on Stockton Ave in the North Side, between Sandusky and Anderson. Driver felt compelled to get to the red light on Anderson faster than me. SMH
Wow, looks like KDKA is interested in the 18th Street video now. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
^ I cant see the page (not a FB user), but I’ve not had a bad encounter on 18th street (not even buses) for quite some time, so I hope this is just a one-off bad encounter.
Can someone please post a screen grab of the vehicle?
On Facebook’s “South Side Secrets” page there’s a post
that’s got a video of a cyclist climbing 18th Street, Southside.
Cyclist takes the lane. at 00:59 it gets bad.
SUV pulls around cyclist then quick-stops in front of cyclist.
Then they play tag for a bit. It’s terrifying to watch.
Here’s a link direct to the video:
Can anybody make out the license plate?
(edited to change link)
Well, I’ve lived another day….but for how long?!?
There were TWO occasions on today’s ride when my instincts have prevented me from becoming roadkill. Both were in Brighton Heights, and simply involved carelessness on the part of the drivers. I guess it wasn’t my “instinct” but rather a learned, instant reaction to a the scenario around me (presence of traffic light, intersection, speed of car approaching from cross street, etc.)
Besides those two incidents, there were two other moments where I was perilously close to a vehicle travelling from behind me. There ARE many more narrow streets than Brighton Road – what is it with drivers hugging the edge of the bike lane!?!? For those two events, there was no defensive action I could have taken. I was just lucky that I was not grazed by the side mirror.
Getting up to Brighton Heights is a fantastic workout. But it is so dangerous – there is too great a number that just drive too fast (legally, anyway), and are too careless. All I wanna do is ride my bike!
Please be careful out there, bike people.
On Saturday morning I was riding down the hill on Kittanning Pike in Ohara Township heading towards Sharpsburg. A silver BMW sedan (I think) made a left turn right in front of me from Harding Road on to Kittanning Pike. He didn’t just roll through his stop sign, he drove through it at full speed (I guess 25 – 30 mph). I had to slam on my brakes to avoid crashing into the back of his car. My wheels locked up, but luckily I didn’t wipe out. I rode up beside him on the passenger side and started yelling at him to slow down and pay attention before he kills someone. He started yelling back. Then he pulled over, got out of his car, walked back to me, got right in my face and yelled some more and threatened me with physical violence. Luckily another car pulled up behind us and stopped, so the road rage guy got back in his car and drove off. Thankfully, the woman in the second car got a picture of his plate for me. I filed a police report, but because the police didn’t witness anything and the guy denied everything, I’m not going to waste my time pursuing legal action.
The driver was a white male, probably in his 50s. Again, the car was a silver (or gray) BMW (or other luxury) sedan. PA plate DPX 5890.
For some weekend reading, you all might want to check out the latest entry (Nov 18) on John Michael Greer’s Archdruid Report blog titled The Heresy of Technological Choice. I think it sheds a lot of light on the questions of why some drivers react the way they do toward cyclists. Comments as always are voluminous and thoughtful. Well worth the time to read to see people’s experience with this phenomenon in other contexts. Be advised it will take you at least an hour to read them. That’s why I said it was for weekend reading.
Sorry, ShooFLy, but as far as Greenfield Avenue goes, I say – just use the sidewalk. Yes, I know you have a right to the road, but be reasonable – the uphill is rather narrow.
Plus, well, drivers are inherently a-holes. The sidewalk is rarely used by pedestrians….I say just play it safe (and considerate) and use that sidewalk.
You talked about recording a cop…IS that legal? Because I’m about ready to mount a camera on my bike and catch cops and civilians alike (and other bikers with whom I’ve almost collided because they don’t grasp rights-of-way principles), and post it on youtube – WITH license plates visible.
“Yes, especially since a jogger was robbed at gunpoint and pistol-whipped the other day on one of the river trails. Something like that seems to happen at least once a year. ”
Any additional information on this incident? This is the first I’ve heard about it and am interested in location, time, etc. as I commute on the trails every day.
The other recent case that I recall was that moron who tried to assault a female jogger last summer on the north shore. The jogger was an officer/agent for one of the federal law enforcement agencies – FBI perhaps, but I don’t recall. Suffice it to say that the assault was unsuccessful. Nothing else comes readily to mind but, again, having read the newspapers daily for the last decade or so, something like that seems to happen at least once a year.
That is not to say that the trails are dangerous; all things considered they are probably some of the safest public places in the city. But bear in mind that with the homeless camps under bridges being fenced off (apparently pushing the homeless – some of whom are criminals – to the rivers) and the region’s heroin epidemic (the major driver of thefts, in my expericence), there is at least the potential for the trails to become more dangerous than in years past.
Jacob, that intrigues me – I thought this was the first report of trail-crime that I’ve heard of. Have there been others? thanks!
“Shouldn’t we be happy there is a visible police presence on these isolated trails from time to time?”
Yes, especially since a jogger was robbed at gunpoint and pistol-whipped the other day on one of the river trails. Something like that seems to happen at least once a year.
I’m not happy with motor vehicles on the trail. An officer on motorcycle I could somewhat understand depending on circumstance, or an EMS van. A police van I still don’t get. I’m not going to post anymore on this because it was going slowly enough to not be THAT big a deal, but any normal patrolling of a bicycle trail, if that’s what this was, really ought to be done by bicycle.
Shouldn’t we be happy there is a visible police presence on these isolated trails from time to time?
@byogman, I encountered a police car on the trail during the evening commute yesterday. It was likewise going slowly, but like your incident there was no apparent reason for it to be there. (It was Junction Hollow, though, not the Jail Trail.)
There were no signs of medical response.
Perhaps they were trying to stake something out or flush something out. But it’s an incoherent vehicle choice for a short section of boxed in trail.
What if there became a chase?
The van would be impeded by so much more than a bicycle, and it would take so much backing and forthing to turn around if that became necessary.
A motorcycle, that I could see.
I found my stolen bike on a car in the Eliza Furnace trail parking lot one time. Called the police and they set off down the trail in their car to look for the thief. Not sure that really made sense, but I don’t think they drive down the trail in a van just for the hell of it. There presumably was a reason they were there.
I’m frustrated I didn’t have time to get the plate down before rushing off to pick up the kids, but I followed a police van home on the jail trail, probably around 4:40-4:45.
It wasn’t going fast, in fact it may have been tracking 15mph speed limit but there isn’t the space for a vehicle like that if there’s anything going in the opposite direction through the narrowed section.
What really gets me is that there was literally no reason for it to be using the trail. It turned left around to second at the end.
Ha! I saw the aftermath of the fender bender, by 7th St. Both drivers furious at each other, with one accusing the other of being drunk. The latter was still inside his van, which was tangled up with the car he presumably hit. He forced the van out in reverse and hit the cop car that was parked behind the crash. Ah, Pittsburgh drivers…
They always talk about how understaffed they are, and yet yesterday four squad cars responded to a fender-bender on Penn Ave. Great use of resources!
I called 911 to report this, but I was told an office would have to arrive and file a police report.
I’m guessing this is standard procedure, but it makes it so I don’t even want to report a possible drunk driver or road rager.
With how understaffed Pittsburgh police are I assume almost nothing would result from this other than the report and me using up several hours of my day.
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