Is Forbes always this bad?
I don’t normally head east on Forbes out of Oakland, but I did tonight, apparently at precisely the wrong time. I started by turning left onto Forbes from Bigelow, took the right lane, and within a block a light blue Taurus with a bunch of godblessamerica bullshit all over it laid on her horn and then went screaming around me in other lane, which was free (imagine that). Just before I got to Morewood, I heard another horn, and this time the driver screamed “WHORE! GET. OFF. THE. ROAD!” and swerved at me forcing me over. As I pulled up behind them at the light he signaled toward the sidewalk. I was too angry, and he was too ignorant, for this to be a “teaching moment.” So I slogged up the hill, pissed, but convinced it was just coincidence, when…I’m sailing happily through a green light at Murdoch (I think?) when the car turning right onto Forbes says fuck it, makes the turn while I’m already under the light, forcing me into the other lane (fortunately no oncoming traffic, so no biggie, but…) at that point I lost it and just starting screaming at the driver. Of course, I might as well have been screaming at a rock, because she was in a car with music on, but…holy hell, this was some serious bullshit. All that within about 8 minutes? Important to note that I was well lit and wearing a bright green jacket, also…I don’t know what to make of this, but I’m sorry I couldn’t have made it out to support the new plans for this corridor. These drivers need some serious reeducation. Incidentally, in case I do this again, is there a good side-street route from Oakland to Regent Sq.?
Epilogue: when I got home, I went to buy some wine to try and put this behind me, and while I was walking through a crosswalk some bitch in an SUV started drifting right into me until my “hey. Hey. HEY!” finally got to her eardrums. So, I dunno, the moon’s full? BE CAREFUL out there tonight!
Big roads = entitled drivers. This area is under redesign considerations at the moment which will fix everything you dealt with tonight. I usually take Elsworth into Shadyside and that’s pretty ok.
when i hear stories like that i think how miserable some of those peoples lives must be.
wow! terribly bad coincidence maybe?? I dunno, but I can say I biked that route today (Oakland thru Regent Square) and it was uneventful so hopefully next time it will be that way for you too.
If you don’t want to deal with the section of Forbes that passes by Morewood and is generally busy with traffic and uphill, you can try cutting through Schenley park on Schenley Drive, either by accessing it from the intersection at Dippy the Dino or cutting through the CMU campus. That will dump you onto Forbes as it enters Squirrel Hill. As for getting from Squirrel Hill to Regent Sq, Forbes is probably your best route.
Anonymous 11/11/2011 at 5:34am #
I live near Regent Square as well. I mostly take Forbes back and forth, but I always cut through on Schenley Drive instead of taking Forbes all the way past CMU. It’s much more pleasant – and faster since there are no lights. I have had experiences similar to yours, and I think that part of Forbes just sucks. Otherwise, Forbes is mostly fine, but I strongly dislike riding through the CMU part of it, especially at night.
At times when traffic is heavy and I’m not feeling confrontational, I sometimes take a back route that uses Ellsworth. It’s a lot slower than taking Forbes, but it’s really low-stress in terms of traffic. If you’re interested, I’ll find a way to post it (it’s a little complicated to explain). Where-ish are you coming from in the Regent Square area? (Like, what major intersection are you near?) That determines which variant of that route you would want to take.
I’d love to make a collection of these “I avoid Forbes past CMU” stories because as I understand it the redesign rsprake mentioned (which would change forbes to a car lane + a bike lane in each direction) is far from a done deal and the more need we can show for it the better.
@ not the ocean I think you must have hit some serious coincidences. I’ve ridden on Forbes hundreds of time (maybe thousands). The sum total of the harassment I’ve received might exceed yours, but not dramatically – and that’s over the course of decades, not minutes.
Usually Forbes is mellower than that.
SO sorry to hear about that crap happening to you. A few weeks ago, I had 3 or 4 encounters with dangerous and angry drivers every time I was out on my bike for 3 or 4 days straight. I got pissed and actually kinda fearful that I was finally gonna get hit and nearly put the bike away for a while. Luckily I had a week or two since then where I didn’t have one single bad encounter with a driver.
I nearly got nailed by some fat woman in an SUV on Wednesday near Shadyside pizza sola when she pulled out from the old boarders parking lot without looking. She nearly struck my on my left side. I was told that she wasn’t on a bike route when I screamed at her at the red light. I then used some expletives. She stayed way far behind me in traffic after that. Sorry you had bad encounters. It gets me fired up, too, especially when people are unapologetic and rude. People really do think that they are so important and they can do whatever they want when they are in a vehicle, whether it is dangerous or not, and that if you are not in a car, screw you. It doesn’t happen to just cyclists. It happens to peds who stand in a crosswalk that has a bajillion signs, bright paint, and flashing lights. Rarely do people yield for peds.
Thanks all – I will definitely be coming out to support redesign plans if there are any future meetings planned. I’m glad to hear this isn’t (too) typical, and I just hit a bad stretch. And, d’oh, why didn’t I think of cutting through the park? Next time…
was this yesterday? traffic seemed a bit screwy all over. i have no idea why that might have been. i usually go months between negative interactions (and that includes people yelling things, or even just beeping obnoxiously), and i’m out every day. three in one stretch, that’s rough. did you kick somebody’s grandmother or throw a kitten out a window or something recently?
Nthing using Schenley drive past Phipps as an alternate route.
Ha, no no thrown kittens or kicked grandmas here Maybe it really was because of the full moon – who knows?
People have been taking exception to me riding on the road much more this week than any other. None of them had anything to say when we were both stopped side by side.
I hate to say this since I still have to ride home tonight, but my week has been refreshingly “incident free” and I even keep running into people I know also out riding which is always cool.
Road rage, impatience, ignorance and distraction account for the first two situations, but this might account for the third:
Glad you managed to stay ok out there on such a bad night.
Ironically, today while sitting at the red light at Forbes and Bigelow (I was on my bike), I watched a guy on a bike blow past me (I was first in line) and nearly get t-boned by another cyclist who had the right of way.
Like HV, I tend to be free of negative interactions with motorists, but I have been oddly plagued by negative interactions with other cyclists.
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