Greater Greater Washington

Bicycling


Driver assaults bicyclist, police ticket bicyclist: The video

Evan Wilder has posted the video of his experience with driver road rage, where the police wrote him a ticket, rather than the driver who swerved to a stop right in front of him, then threw his bike into the back of the truck.

Sarah Hughes from DCist points out that, according to the transcript, the driver seems to have thought Evan should have been in the adjacent bike lane. That is a contraflow lane, which lets people ride westbound from the Metropolitan Branch Trail to the rest of R Street along a one block section which is one-way. (To get to a parallel westbound street requires going up and down a hill.)

Motorist: What the f**k are you doing touching my car? The bike lane's over there.
Cyclist: The bike lane….
Motorist: The bike lane is over there, dude
Cyclist: This IS the bike lane
Motorist: THAT is the bike lane.
Cyclist: Look at this.
Motorist: That's the bike lane, dude.
Cyclist: See this arrow
Motorist: I don't know about that but you ain't gotta touch my car.
C See that arrow? It points that way.
Motorist: I don't even know about all of that shit. I don't drive a bike. Don't put your hands on my f**king car.
The driver seems to have believed that Wilder should have been in the bike lane, and therefore that justified passing him too closely, stopping right in front of him, yelling at him, and then throwing his bike into the truck.

In DC at least, people on bicycles are allowed to ride in any lane (outside of freeways) where cars are allowed, as well as in bike lanes. It's best to use the bike lane when it's available, but there are a lot of reasons not to use one even when it's not a contraflow lane in the wrong direction.

If you're driving, it's never okay to try to muscle a cyclist aside or drive in a way that's aggressive toward the cyclist, even if the other person is wrong. (And the same goes for any other road user.) Particularly since sometimes, as in this case, it might turn out you are wrong instead.

Unfortunately, it's too easy to ascribe hostile and nefarious motives to others on the road. Just look at this comment on yesterday's Dr. Gridlock chat (hat tip, again, to Sarah Hughes):

I commute down Connecticut Ave via car to work and back and have noticed that cyclists are increasingly hostile to cars, confrontational and dangers to themselves. They now ride two abreast, one in each traffic lane, taking two of the four lanes available. The only reason they do this is to be hostile to drivers and express aggression. ...

More and more of them are wearing cameras on their helmets. ... Am I to be harassed by angry cyclists daring me to do something that they can record on their cameras?

Some people do ride recklessly (and some people drive recklessly). But nobody is putting a camera on his or her bike to "dare" drivers to do something; they do it because they've experienced, as in this case, many other people misunderstanding the rules of the road, taking offense at the cyclist's behavior (even if it's totally legal), getting angry, driving aggressively, and causing a crash... and then police ticketing the cyclist.
David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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In a meeting. So can't watch the video right now. But are there any other updates aside from the video?

by AtlasCesar on May 20, 2014 11:24 am • linkreport

Pretty clear the driver passed too close and then cut off and short stopped the cyclist. Not sure how it isn't the drivers fault that his truck got a little scratch.

by William on May 20, 2014 11:25 am • linkreport

One person in each lane isn't something that I'd consider as riding abreast. Correct me if I'm wrong though

Plus, riding two abreast is legal in DC anyway isn't it?

by drumz on May 20, 2014 11:32 am • linkreport

Terrifying. It's so sad to see that there are people out there that react to being slowed down by ~10 miles per hour for half a block by screaming, intimidating, and attempting to damage personal property.

Have there been any developments about the cyclist's ticket? I hope he has contested it, submitted this video as evidence and got it thrown out. And, hopefully, the driver in this video has been ticketed with passing too closely and has been charged with attempting to steal and/or damage the bike.

by JDS32 on May 20, 2014 11:32 am • linkreport

There are always more horse's rear ends than horses.

I hope the cyclist gets his ticket revoked and it's good that he has his camera. It'll take a long time before the behavior the driver exhibited is shamed out of existence. Throwing the book at this driver will be a good start.

by Cavan on May 20, 2014 11:35 am • linkreport

I think that the video is pretty telling. I suspect people will say that Evan should have slowed down as soon as the car started to pass too closely, and in hindsight that probably would have been the best option. But those people have probably never been passed that closely by a big truck. There is a huge surge of fear and adrenaline that occurs, and a little bit of disbelief. And certainly you wouldn't expect them to then muscle over in front of you and stop.

by David C on May 20, 2014 11:37 am • linkreport

drumz, riding one person in each lane is not riding two abreast. What if one person is turning left at the next intersection and the other is turning right?

But, while riding two abreast is legal, cyclists are supposed to move into single file if a faster vehicle wants to pass. It's a dumb law, but it is the law.

by David C on May 20, 2014 11:39 am • linkreport

If you don't want people running into your truck, maybe you shouldn't drive like an aggressive ass. And of course the driver doesn't understand the lane situation and can't be bothered to listen or do anything other than scream about not touching his truck.

Pretty clear the truck driver moved to the right in order to cut Evan off. The truck driver gives about 1 foot of lane to his right to pass (not enough) and then erases that once he barely gets around.

by MLD on May 20, 2014 11:41 am • linkreport

Holy cow, I can't believe the cyclist was the one that got a ticket for this.

by JDAntos on May 20, 2014 11:43 am • linkreport

It kind of goes without saying, but you might want to note that the language in the video is not super appropriate for many settings.

I can imagine times when bikers or pedestrians might try to pick fights with drivers, but it seems pretty clear that that isn't what happened here.

Is there any progress with this case? Are the police sticking with their decision to ticket the cyclist and do nothing to the driver?

by Gray on May 20, 2014 11:45 am • linkreport

That's kind of like saying all Russian drivers have dashcams because they're daring poeple to kill them.

The fact is, Russian drivers adopted dashcams as a form of self-help in response to a traffic system with high fatalities and lax/corrupt law enforcement and accountability.

If DC cyclists are adopting helmet cams, it suggests they too perceive a system of high risk and low accountability, potentially corrupt and biased against them. The fact that DC *drivers* aren't doing the same tells us that the perception of bias is localized.

Cyclist helmet cams are basically a vote of no confidence in a referendum on DC traffic enforcement. And I say that as a driver, who does not drive in the city.

by Curmudgeon on May 20, 2014 11:47 am • linkreport

drumz - per WABA riding two abreast is "...allowed when it does not impede traffic. May not ride more than two abreast" in DC, MD, and VA. But yeah, one person in each lane is not riding abreast anyhow.

David is right - it's never okay, as any road user, to drive aggressively. This includes the cyclists whose aggressive actions muscle pedestrians and fellow cyclists out of the way. I think a lot of cyclists who claim that they break the law to ensure their own safety forget that they are not the only/most vulnerable road users. There needs to be increased education/enforcement for ALL road users.

by DC Transit Nerd on May 20, 2014 11:49 am • linkreport

Now that we have the evidence, what is the final outcome on all of this?

1) did the cyclist have the ticket overturned?
2) has the driver been criminally charged?
3) is the driver being sued civilly for damages?
4) is MPD admitting that they screwed up?

I recently purchased a camera for my bike. After seeing video like this, I feel like I can't afford to not have one. If they can afford it, cyclists should seriously consider it as a $200 insurance policy if nothing else.

by RP on May 20, 2014 11:50 am • linkreport

Did anybody else notice that the driver of the truck was out of the truck and behind it to assault the cyclist within under two seconds of the impact? He PLANNED for the cyclist to hit him and was prepared to jump out as soon as it happened. You can't get your seat belt un-buckled and get a door open that fast any other way. He already unbuckled his seat belt and had his hand on the door handle as he slowed down for the stop sign.

This is why I'd like for us to have an elected District Attorney - someone we could petition to bring this case to trial. This guy is dangerous and needs to be locked up. He already let his road rage escalate to a terrifying verbal attack and theft. Who's to say next time he won't go further and kill somebody over trying to use a roadway near him in a way he does not care for? A year or two in a jail cell away from his precious shiny truck will teach him a lot about patience.

by ShawGuy on May 20, 2014 11:56 am • linkreport

That's cute. You think he had his seat belt on.

by David C on May 20, 2014 11:58 am • linkreport

One could argue attempted (?) assault with the truck from this video as well.

by William on May 20, 2014 12:01 pm • linkreport

I think we can all agree the driver is at fault, but I have to ask- why didn't the bicyclist swerve to the right of the stopped truck? I could totally be interpreting this incorrectly, but from what I see, the bicyclist is on the right hand side of the road as the truck makes a reckless pass. As the truck stops, there's a striped no parking zone that seemed in line with the bicyclist's trajectory, but he instead swerved left toward the driver as he continued to rage. I looked at his Twitter feed, and as many noted in the last post, he often takes the opportunity to confront drivers over every and any infraction- there was debate over whether this was justified or in bad taste. I can't help but feel that the bicyclist was looking to get hit in order to reprimand the driver for cutting him off so dangerously. It's just a feeling and I wouldn't bet anything on it, but I'm wondering if others felt the same way.

Regardless, if drivers were held liable for their actions against cyclists this wouldn't be an issue in the first place, so hopefully things change slowly but surely.

by Jason L. on May 20, 2014 12:02 pm • linkreport

@ Jason L.

"I can't help but feel that the bicyclist was looking to get hit"

Are you seriously suggesting this guy risked injury just to make a point?

by nbluth on May 20, 2014 12:06 pm • linkreport

What is Evan doing at second 2 and 3 of the video. From the shadow he is casting, looks like stuck out his left arm and gave the guy the bird.

If that, or something similar occured then Evan is going to have a hard time convincing anyone he didn't instigate the whole thing. The driver may have escalated it, but start it?

And let's be honest here, the video clearly shows the most ginned up "attempt to stop", I've ever seen. Even never even broke cadence until he was a couple feet from the truck, which by then was stopped at a stop sign. Was Evan planning on stopping for that stop sign at all, because it looks like he was biking into that stop at full speed.
Lastly, the truck was what, half a tire width into that cross hatched section of the road, leaving what...another 3-4 feet to the right of the truck that was completely clear for Evan to bike into, but he seems to have actively chosen to bike straight into the back of the truck.

by Karen on May 20, 2014 12:08 pm • linkreport

The driver has 3 outstanding tickets including two that are 60+ days delinquent. Since it is eligable, please send someone out to boot/impound the car asap.

by hugh on May 20, 2014 12:10 pm • linkreport

The ticket issued was for following too closely. Based on the video, the ticket was written correctly.

Whether the driver of the truck deserved a ticket for straying into the bike lane is an open question, not sure what that ticket exactly is. But clear from his interaction not familiar with bike lane.

Grabbing the bike and throwing it into a truck is common law grand larceny, but in Dc that isn't charged as such.

Bicyclists appears to be an ass and probably the basis for the cop writing ticket.

by charlie on May 20, 2014 12:12 pm • linkreport

The driver may have escalated it, but start it?

Even by your reasoning. Yes the driver started it. Being rude is not illegal and doesn't justify assault.

Saying there was room to the right assumes that the cyclist could have safely swerved. There's no proof of that. You could easily overcorrect and launch yourself off your bike and back into oncoming traffic.

But yeah, maybe being rude and not swerving wildly means that the cyclist somehow is at fault for being assaulted.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 12:12 pm • linkreport

I constantly walk the line between being more zen and being passive when drivers are aggressive and/or thoughtlessly dangerous. I don't pretend to have the answers, I only know at times I have been too aggressive, usually in response to a more confrontational stance by a driver. So, responding in kind. That's not a considered approach.

I have had some modest success in being assertive but not confrontational, combined with a riding style of my well-known adherence to the law, taking the lane and riding in a straight line, almost no swerving.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 12:13 pm • linkreport

The ticket issued was for following too closely. Based on the video, the ticket was written correctly.

Said without any justification or any statement of expertise. I doubt many police officers or judges would agree.

by David C on May 20, 2014 12:15 pm • linkreport

@Karen re second 2-3 of video.

Evan was reaching out to touch the vehicle as a measure of how close it was...pretty common among experienced bikers.

by steelm on May 20, 2014 12:17 pm • linkreport

I too am having difficulty with Evan's vigilante/confrontational style. To be sure the motorist clearly was the one that should have been ticketed. Probably shouldn't even be allowed to have a license based on this and his past driving record.

But viewing Evan's twitter feed gives me the apprehension that he looks for these situations and tends to escalate rather than avoid. It appears he barely taps the back of the truck. No collision. He dismounts and lays the bike down and then is seen walking about fine. So why the EMS and the trip to the ER unless you want to generate $$$$ bills to punish the offending driver?

Less I seem over critical there was a time when I too was tired of all the daily crap from motorists and I wasn't going to give another inch. But I now realize that seeking a confrontation with the occasionally truly crazy driver is not a wise path.

by Jeffb on May 20, 2014 12:22 pm • linkreport

Look pretty clear to me that DCPD needs some education in bicycle rules. This clearly looks like a single lane street to me, so how does the driver explain that he ended up in front of the bike during the incident when he started out behind the bike.

by Jon on May 20, 2014 12:23 pm • linkreport

No, being rude is not illegal, but it flies in the face of Evans entire story. The original story on GGW was that Evan was just minding his own business and was hit by a truck that swerved into him, that Evan didn't do anything.

Well, this entire video and the interaction between driver and Evan starts with what appears to be Evan giving the guy the bird. So no, it appears Evan is not the innocent bystander he was made out to be. You can't pretend to be surprised when someone gets when the first interaction you have with the person is getting the bird.

by Karen on May 20, 2014 12:24 pm • linkreport

Update: the ideal cyclist just lies down and takes it (literally).

The ideal cyclist rides without a camera lest he catch a motorist doing something illegal or dangerous.

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/18671/the-ideal-cyclist/

by drumz on May 20, 2014 12:24 pm • linkreport

From the shadow he is casting, looks like stuck out his left arm and gave the guy the bird.

Stuck his arm out? Maybe. But there is no evidence he gave the guy the bird (and based on the low angle, that guy wouldn't have seen it anyway). That is speculation at best.

The driver may have escalated it, but start it?

Yes. Start it. Even if Evan gives him the bird at second 3 (and it looks more like he trying to reach over to the truck), what's important is that the truck is close enough that Evan can touch it, even though he is pushed over to the bus pad visible at that point.

Even never even broke cadence until he was a couple feet from the truck, which by then was stopped at a stop sign.

Evan was a couple of feet from the truck the whole time, because it passed too closely. But you can see Evan squeezing his brakes at 10 seconds, before the truck is at the stop sign, and he doesn't let go. So, that's incorrect anyway.

Was Evan planning on stopping for that stop sign at all, because it looks like he was biking into that stop at full speed.

Again, he hits the brakes at the 10 second point, more than a couple of car lenghts from the stop sign.

Lastly, the truck was what, half a tire width into that cross hatched section of the road, leaving what...another 3-4 feet to the right of the truck that was completely clear for Evan to bike into, but he seems to have actively chosen to bike straight into the back of the truck.

Again look at a still at 10 seconds and look at the gap he would have to shoot to get to the right of the truck. Anyone who thinks that's easy doesn't ride a bike.

by David C on May 20, 2014 12:24 pm • linkreport

@charlie

You're going to be, by default, "following too closely" if someone cuts you off and slams on their breaks like that.

by Catherine on May 20, 2014 12:27 pm • linkreport

Well, this entire video and the interaction between driver and Evan starts with what appears to be Evan giving the guy the bird.

No it doesn't. It does not appear that he's giving the guy the bird. Take a still. Prove it or stop saying it. And if he doesn't give the bird, then the driver is not reacting to that.

by David C on May 20, 2014 12:28 pm • linkreport

Couple things here:
1. Driver is an aggressive road-ragey idiot who, had the police given this a fair shake, should have copped at least some sort of charge.
2. I'm not going to blame the cyclist for what happened, because he didn't instigate this (and I don't always handle things the right way as a cyclist in this city) but dude, you have to let some stuff roll off of you sometimes, otherwise you're going to end up in a fight with someone like this, and Jesus, in this case, you probably would have lost.
3. I've seen stuff happen in this stretch of R before... it gets a little icky in that spot between drivers / cyclists, imo.

by timo on May 20, 2014 12:37 pm • linkreport

I see no basis for asserting that the cyclist was following too closely. When a driver pulls in front of you and then mediately applies the brakes, the vehicle behind has not committed the infraction of following too closely, rather the driver who made the lane change has committed the infraction of failing to yield.

If we were to fault the cyclist, his mistake was riding too far to the right. I ride in the center of that lane, on the left edge of the sharrow, and it is never a problem. The sharrows should be farther to the left.

While the cyclist might be contributorily negligent for riding so far to the right in this case, I do not believe that such negligence would bar recovery, for two reasons. First, the driver had the last clear chance--you do not have to pass a cyclist and right hook him, just because he is riding too far to the right. Second, this appears to be a case of battery rather than negligent driving, so the defense of contributory negligence does not apply.

This case might fit within the relatively new law that allows cyclists struck by intentional aggressive driving to recover legal fees. Punitive damages seem possible as well.

Part of me hopes that the ticket is not dismissed, so that the offcer who wrote it will have the opportunity to explain himself.

by JimT on May 20, 2014 12:41 pm • linkreport

Steelm,

I have never in my life seen that, or done it myself, and I used to bike commute daily from Cap Hill to Rosslyn for 7 years. You reach out and touch a multi-thousand point vehicle driving down the street to see where it is? Seems like a dangerous thing to do.

And again, the original story is then not true. You are saying Evan reached out and slapped / touched someone else's car. Are you surprised they would be upset or offended by it?

Despite the narrative originally spun, Evan had a hand (literally) in starting this entire thing. He either flipped the guy the bird or slapped his truck as he went by 2 seconds into the video.

by Karen on May 20, 2014 12:45 pm • linkreport

So here's the thing about the rule of law: it doesn't only grant protection to polite people. Someone is covered by the law even if he has an agressive-sounding Twitter account, or he may have given someone the finger, or he isn't the ideal poster-cyclist.

I don't know Evan. Perhaps if I did I'd want to ask him out, perhaps I'd dislike him, or perhaps somewhere in between. There are legit discussions to be had about how cyclists present themselves to the public. questions about his behavior. But in terms of who should have gotten ticketed or this driver's behavior, it doesn't particularly matter.

by Mister Goat on May 20, 2014 12:48 pm • linkreport

Karen, if he could slap his truck, that means the driver was passing dangerously close. Period.

by Brian S on May 20, 2014 12:55 pm • linkreport

The police have an obligation to correctly enforce the law, and an attempt to ensure they do so ought not to be the occasion to evaluate the (legal) behavior of the victim to see if they were "asking for it". Even if the crime, in this instance, was less serious than sexual assault.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 20, 2014 12:56 pm • linkreport

Imagine if the cyclist hadn't taken a video of this. Police believe driver (by default). Cyclist gets ticket. End of story.

Is it any wonder people are recording their rides?

by TransitSnob on May 20, 2014 12:56 pm • linkreport

Re:hand gesture
I don't see it as something offensive or a flipping of the bird. I dare say there isn't a commuter who hasn't at some time done a "what the hey" to a motorist. It's instinctual body language.

by Jeffb on May 20, 2014 12:57 pm • linkreport

Evan had a hand (literally) in starting this entire thing. He either flipped the guy the bird or slapped his truck as he went by 2 seconds into the video.

Actually, the video does not show that he did either of those things. It does not appear that he touched the truck until the crash. And it does not appear that he gave the guy the bird.

Can we focus on things that actually happened and not made-up speculation?

by David C on May 20, 2014 12:57 pm • linkreport

@Karen

Yeah...It also lets you feel if a stopped bus your passing begins to move or if a vehicle beside you begins to change lanes.

Click on the link to the original Vimeo site and there is a written account...he explains what he was doing with his hand.

by steelm on May 20, 2014 1:00 pm • linkreport


Actually, the video does not show that he did either of those things. It does not appear that he touched the truck until the crash. And it does not appear that he gave the guy the bird.

Can we focus on things that actually happened and not made-up speculation?

Agree. Can we also agree that it's not a crash but a tap of the wheel to the bumper?

by Jeffb on May 20, 2014 1:01 pm • linkreport

Whether the driver of the truck deserved a ticket for straying into the bike lane is an open question, not sure what that ticket exactly is

There is no bike lane here in the direction Evan was riding. There are sharrows which merely serve as a reminder that cyclists may be riding on that road.

So, the driver doesn't deserve a ticket for straying into a bike lane but does deserve tickets for passing too closely, failing to yield, and reckless driving. There should also be criminal charges for battery and property damage.

Well, this entire video and the interaction between driver and Evan starts with what appears to be Evan giving the guy the bird. So no, it appears Evan is not the innocent bystander he was made out to be.

There's no evidence that Evan flipped him the bird. However, if he did, that's not against the law, so he's innocent either way.

by Falls Church on May 20, 2014 1:02 pm • linkreport

OK, now I'm paranoid. I've made it 17 years biking in DC without an encounter like this but I know that if loose cannons like this guy do something to me, including kill me, there's a good chance that I will be blamed.

What is the cheapest and easiest way to record your rides? Can you use an iphone?

by scared on May 20, 2014 1:05 pm • linkreport

You are saying Evan reached out and slapped / touched someone else's car. Are you surprised they would be upset or offended by it?

There's no evidence that Evan did that but if he did, I would not be surprised that the driver would be upset. However, I would be surprised that the driver would go on to break the law through multiple criminal acts.

by Falls Church on May 20, 2014 1:06 pm • linkreport

Can we also agree that it's not a crash but a tap of the wheel to the bumper?

That's semantics. A low-speed crash is still a crash. Dictionary.com defines it crash as "to collide, especially violently and noisily". In my book, if you hit something you weren't intending to hit, that's a crash. But if it's necessary, I will call it a collision. The collided. Better?

by David C on May 20, 2014 1:08 pm • linkreport

I was wondering who would try to flip the proverbial script and blame the cyclist in some way...I was not disappointed*

*I am deeply disappointed...and also so glad I record all my rides.

by thump on May 20, 2014 1:09 pm • linkreport

Its telling about the "investigation" that the MPD didnt even find out that the driver had outstanding tickets.

by SJE on May 20, 2014 1:12 pm • linkreport

Speculation about hand gestures is ridiculous.

I must just easily speculate that the driver is a drug dealer known to the MPD, or the relative of a public official, which is why they were afraid to ticket him.

You see how that works?

by Greenbelt on May 20, 2014 1:19 pm • linkreport

Click on the link to the original Vimeo site and there is a written account...he explains what he was doing with his hand.

Thanks.
He also explains why he wasn't more in the center of the road. The truck simply overtook him to quickly.

When I viewed the video I initially wondered why he didn't just let the truck pass. Then I measured the time and it was just about 10 seconds. Well within the time frame for disbelief to prevent more cogent actions.

But in the Vimeo explanation he states he was trying to get back ahead of the truck! If you got a crazy driver alongside of you why didn't he just let it pass? He ays he was worried because he was now pinched between the truck and the door zone.

So why not just stop? Why not let crazy truck driver pass? Why try to race him to the stop?

by Jeffb on May 20, 2014 1:23 pm • linkreport

I routinely put my arm out if I feel like a car is going to pass too closely. Not to deliberately touch the car, but to try to tell the car to move over because they are too close.
Once, a year ago or so, I did touch the car that tried to pass on a narrow one way side street with speed humps. Because it was that close. It was a Sunday morning, and the driver got out of his car (DC plates: BAPTIST) and berated me for touching his car. I had two kids on my bike and a 9yo riding along side. I may have looked like a maniac that day, yelling at the driver, because I was terrified. I was in mamabear mode.
So yes, what Evan did with his arm, and why he was so angry, make perfect sense to me.

by elizqueenmama on May 20, 2014 1:27 pm • linkreport

This may sound curmudgeonly, but does a protocol exist for a private individual to communicate dissatisfaction with how situations like this are handled. Can a local council representative be contacted? A local police district? Would the council rep and/or district be chosen based on where the complainant lives, or where the incident occurred? Perhaps both?

by Atlas on May 20, 2014 1:27 pm • linkreport

The driver's got two unpaid and overdue parking tickets (one for parking on the sidewalk) plus another parking ticket last week. But yeah, obviously the police believed him instead of the biker.

by TM on May 20, 2014 1:34 pm • linkreport


That's semantics. A low-speed crash is still a crash. Dictionary.com defines it crash as "to collide, especially violently and noisily". In my book, if you hit something you weren't intending to hit, that's a crash. But if it's necessary, I will call it a collision. The collided. Better?

Using a word that most accurately describes what happened would be better. How about "bumped". ;)

If I'm parallel parking and I tap the car behind me I don't call up my significant other and report that I've just been involved in a collision. Per your dictionary - nothing violent about it.

by Jeffb on May 20, 2014 1:35 pm • linkreport

And the video clearly shows two crimes by the driver that immediately and directly lead to the collision: passing too closely and then swerving to the right in front of the stop sign. He goes from being 3-4 feet from the lane line to crossing it in 2 seconds.

And that's not to mention the attempted larceny of the bike.

by TM on May 20, 2014 1:40 pm • linkreport

Not sure if I'm hearing the tape correctly: Before the accident, was it the bicyclist or the MV driver yelling: "pull the f*** over" ...and the MF word as well?

by kob on May 20, 2014 1:41 pm • linkreport

Ive forgotten what the point of the quibble over crash vs collision vs bump is.

A driver passed too closely (in violation of the three foot law) went too fast over a speed table (no violation? not sure) than apparently deliberately cut off the cyclist (failure to yield) The cyclist came into contact with the truck due to the drivers actions, was not following too closely, and apparently touched the truck to steady himself (is that illegal in DC?) Driver then picked up the bike and put it in his truck (larceny?)

and MPD gave a ticket to the cyclist?

This is a scandal. Period. alleged flipped birds, and quibbles over the seriousness of the contact do not matter.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 20, 2014 1:44 pm • linkreport

But in the Vimeo explanation he states he was trying to get back ahead of the truck! If you got a crazy driver alongside of you why didn't he just let it pass? He ays he was worried because he was now pinched between the truck and the door zone.

I'm not going to defend the driver or blame the cyclist, but there are drivers who behave this way towards cars as well, trying to push their way into a lane or to get ahead. You can jockey for position with them if you want, but eventually you're likely to trade paint. It's highly annoying, but sometimes the best course of action is simply to back down/back off. Chances are they're miserable people with a miserable life, so you can let them have their little bit of joy.

by ah on May 20, 2014 1:47 pm • linkreport

Yeah, bicyclist deserved the ticket. Sorry, but he seemed determined to not let the truck pass him and tried to keep pace and squeeze between the truck and the parked cars. Since he did not slow down, drive defensively, and allow enough distance between himself and the truck he was following, he crashed.

by Sensible Biker on May 20, 2014 1:50 pm • linkreport

@AWITC +1

When a driver passed me too closely on 12th St NE (north of Michigan Ave where the sharrows end) the other day, I screamed "3 feet! 3 feet!" She stopped and asked why I was yelling, and apologized, somewhat. I explained that the law in DC says she must pass me no closer than 3 feet away. "What am I supposed to do? I can't cross the yellow line!" She said. I answered "Well, then you have wait. If you can't pass safely, you can't pass." She then said that she usually saw "those markings in the road" for bikes, and she didn't know about the 3 foot law. I explained that bikes are allowed on all roads, not just in bike lanes, and that ignorance of the law did not excuse breaking the law. Then she started swearing at me for calling her stupid.

Point of the story? Well, sometimes I'm the one who swears, sometimes it is the driver. But it doesn't matter. Because breaking the law, driving dangerously, and threatening a vulnerable road user with a giant metal machine is not OK, regardless of the language used.

by elizqueenmama on May 20, 2014 1:56 pm • linkreport

For those asking, the full transcript is posted on the Vimeo page, as well as a narrative of the event.

The driver clearly broke three laws for which he could have been cited: passing too close (3 foot rule), failure to yield and reckless driving. The driver even admits that he doesn't know the rules of the road or where bicyclists are allowed to ride.

As others also pointed out, he was delinquent on two tickets at the time of the incident, which means the police could have had his truck impounded on the grounds of unpaid tickets alone. They didn't.

This is clearly a case of MPD bias against the cyclist. I'd like to hear their explanation.

by RP on May 20, 2014 1:57 pm • linkreport

+1 @ah.

What's the lesson for our children: When you encounter an aggressive driver on the road don't use profanity, especially the MF word, to express anger. Do take defensive action, such as slowing down. Don't assert yourself, even if you think you are completely in the right. The first rule of bicycle riding, children, is protect yourself, even if that means slowing down to the let the threat pass. Otherwise, you may risk injury, a confrontation, and police enforcement that's tone deaf to the rights of bikers.

by kob on May 20, 2014 1:59 pm • linkreport

The easiest thing to do in this situation would have been for Evan to let it go. The driver insisted on passing and the laws of physics would have dictated the victor of this battle had it escalated any further.

Keep in mind that I do not dismiss the behavior of the motorist or the police in this matter. They were both deplorable for reasons already discussed.

by CyclistinAlexandria on May 20, 2014 1:59 pm • linkreport

looks like more than a bump to me. He had to put his hands on the truck to keep from falling down. But I don't see why it matters? Perhaps someone could explain that.

Collide - hit with force when moving. Sounds right. But then so did crash, since it means collide.

Bump is a synonym for "crash into" BTW.

by David C on May 20, 2014 2:01 pm • linkreport

Since he did not slow down, drive defensively, and allow enough distance between himself and the truck he was following, he crashed.

He did slow down, you can see him hitting his brakes. He did allow for enough room for the truck until the truck closed that distance. The truck driver is the one who got too close, then pulled in front of him without getting far enough ahead of him. The truck is the one responsible for the lack of distance.

Also, apparently there was no crash, only a bump. Nothing to see here.

by David C on May 20, 2014 2:05 pm • linkreport

Before the accident, was it the bicyclist or the MV driver yelling: "pull the f*** over" ...and the MF word as well?

Cyclist. the transcript is available at Vimeo. Why does it matter?

by David C on May 20, 2014 2:06 pm • linkreport

KOB

And I would suggest to my daughter that she should not get drunk at college parties, not go to the room of a young man she does not know VERY well, and be wary of how she dresses in certain times and places.

But, in a story about a rape, someone who focuses on the faults of the victim, needs to seriously examine their perspective.

If Mr Wilder wanted our advice on how to avoid confrontations he could ask for it. And in a bike forum, it might be worthwhile to discuss how we want to behave as cyclists. But the issue Mr Alpert has raised is one of law enforcement, and it is extraordinarily inappropriate to raise issues of advice to children, unless your child is a police office, a district attorney, or a judge.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 2:06 pm • linkreport

I'm glad he released the audio. Paints an even clearer picture of the cyclist on the hunt for problems.

So we have Evan starting out this video by either flipping the guy off, or touching his truck. Then we have Evan screaming like a lunatic while riding, swearing at the guy to pull over, and calling him an MFer.

Then we have him admitting he was trying to get back in front of the truck. Why exactly, would a person "not" looking to escalate the situation do that? It was far, far more dangerous than simply to stay the same speed or slow down and let the guy go ahead.

This is the video of a guy clearly looking a problem. But, having gone though his twitter, it isn't surprising.

by Opie on May 20, 2014 2:14 pm • linkreport

kob,

So in other words, just let yourself be victimized and hope things eventually change for the better? Ok.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 2:18 pm • linkreport

looks like more than a bump to me. He had to put his hands on the truck to keep from falling down. But I don't see why it matters? Perhaps someone could explain that.

Maybe Evan should also mount some deacceleration measuring gauges in addition to his camera on his bike. I think David C could loan him some.

Accurately describing the force of the collision does matter if one were seeking damages.

Entering pure speculation mode here:
We don't see what happened when the police arrived. Maybe by that time the driver has calmed down and appears reasonable if mildly upset by a scratch on his car.

On the other hand we have a cyclist seemingly unhurt who requests medical attention and a trip to the ER after a "tap" between the bike and the bumper. The bike is undamaged is it not?

The police officer doesn't have the benefit of the video. The only thing clear is the truck came to an intersection, stopped and was struck by the cyclist.

Maybe the officer thinks the cyclist is trying to scam the accident to collect money. This pisses officer off. So he slaps the ticket, which under our laws, prevents any recovery by the cyclist. Street justice has been served.

by Jeffb on May 20, 2014 2:20 pm • linkreport

ConcernedParentHandle

Mr. Wilder isn't asking for advice on how to avoid confrontations because his example, above, doesn't hold up very well. That's the point. The law enforcement actions, post collision, is an entirely separate issue.

I don't think it's best practice to yell MF at a driver you're unhappy with it.

This isn't about blaming the victim. It's about choice. From this video, it appears Mr. Wilder had enough time to take evasive action, namely slow down rapidly. Maybe he feels differently, and if so, he can post to this forum and explain why that wasn't so.

by kob on May 20, 2014 2:21 pm • linkreport

Paints an even clearer picture of the cyclist on the hunt for problems.

The first thing that happens is that the truck passes him too close. The problem found him, not the other way around.

So we have Evan starting out this video by either flipping the guy off, or touching his truck.

Again, No.

Why exactly, would a person "not" looking to escalate the situation do that?

He writes "The speed table on this street is significant and I trusted that Mr. Watt would slow and at that point I would pass him and get safely out of the door zone." So that's why.

It was far, far more dangerous than simply to stay the same speed or slow down and let the guy go ahead.

Only because Watts didn't slow down at the speed table.

by David C on May 20, 2014 2:21 pm • linkreport

This is the video of a guy clearly looking a problem.

Possibly. This is also a video of a cyclist obeying the law and a driver breaking at least four laws, one of which is criminal -- passing too closely, failure to yield, reckless driving, and battery (the criminal one).

by Falls Church on May 20, 2014 2:22 pm • linkreport

@drumz

>So in other words, just let yourself be victimized and hope things eventually change for the better? Ok.<

I'm sure we all know people who have been injured in accident. If you want to assert yourself on the road, and not feel victimized, please go ahead. If those actions put you at risk, physics will trump, not rights.

by kob on May 20, 2014 2:25 pm • linkreport

RE: "touching his truck!!!!!"
I was unaware that touching an automobile in public space was an affront. Birds shit all over your car when it is outside, it gets pollen on it, rain, oil, mud, etc. My fingerprints aren't doing anything to it. Since when is it a crime to put your hand out in order to to keep your distance from the car that is bearing down on you?

To any of you saying what the cyclist should have done during this 10 second encounter, I am fully willing to rent a Zipcar and put you on the bike and we can do an accident recreation. No way should you come to a stop and let the driver try to pass you as close as this guy was. You run the risk of not being able to get out of the vehicle's way, and being run over by the rear tires.

The driver is on his feet and in front of Evan literally FIVE seconds after coming to a complete stop. Doesn't it seem like the driver was looking for a confrontation?

by MLD on May 20, 2014 2:29 pm • linkreport

Yeah, the person driving the lethal vehicle passed too closely here. There's not enough room for both a bike and a car in this lane. The driver committed the first infraction (at least, the first one shown in this video). And regardless of the law, it's just unsafe.

by Gavin on May 20, 2014 2:32 pm • linkreport

I repeat what I said. The point here is that LE did the wrong thing - Mr Wilder apparently did nothing illegal, nothing. And the driver did multiple illegal things. As a citizen, I am concerned about the miscarriage of justice. Focusing on how the victim could have avoided the problem is in my opinion absolutely inappropriate.

The law enforcement actions, post collision, is an entirely separate issue.

That however is the issue Mr Alpert has raised. And that some are eager to distract from.

It may be that LE was simply uninformed at the point they showed up. In which case after they view this video, they will not only retract the ticket to Mr Wilder, but will both take action against the driver, and take other steps to address the perception that they are weak on cyclist safety. If they do not, it will be a matter of great concern.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 2:32 pm • linkreport

I have been in that position literally dozens of times. You can be in the right every time, and every time you have a choice at to how to respond.

All I can tell you is that practically every time I have chosen to escalate, I felt ashamed afterwards. I owe to much to those who count of me to risk harm when I don't absolutely have to.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 2:32 pm • linkreport

All I can tell you is that practically every time I have chosen to escalate, I felt ashamed afterwards. I owe to much to those who count of me to risk harm when I don't absolutely have to.

Good for you. The video still shows that the driver was the one who deserved a ticket (or several) and Mr. Wilder didn't deserve a ticket. That's the issue here.

by MLD on May 20, 2014 2:35 pm • linkreport

Allow me to modify that for you.

"I'm sure we all know people who have been sexually assaulted on campus. If you want to dress and act withouth regard to consequences, please go ahead. If those actions put you at risk, physics will trump, not rights."

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 2:35 pm • linkreport

I owe to much to those who count of me to risk harm when I don't absolutely have to.

I owe much to those who risked physical harm so that I could have rights.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 2:36 pm • linkreport

"...we have a cyclist seemingly unhurt..."

Um...because he's walking? So, the only injuries that count are the ones that keep you from walking? Could it possibly been an upper body injury from oh...I don't know, colliding with the back end of a truck? Maybe a shoulder, arm, or chest injury not readily apparent in the moments directly following a crash, when adrenaline might be masking the pain?

Thanks for the diagnosis doctor! You're wrong about everything so far...why stop.

by thump on May 20, 2014 2:41 pm • linkreport

I'm sure we all know people who have been injured in accident.

Yes, which is why I'd like society and law enforcement to watch out for people when they're assaulted for simply being on a bicycle.

If those actions put you at risk, physics will trump, not rights.

Except the cyclist didn't do anything to put himself at risk. The driver used physics to violate the cyclist's rights.

As a society we've agreed in the past that this isn't ok. Therefore when it happens, we should expect justice for the victim rather than trying to justify that his expression (which is a right in this country) somehow led to his harm.

What a strange world we live in where assault is apparently a reasonable restriction of expression.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 2:48 pm • linkreport

Thump +1

Yeah, adrenaline does weird things. I was hit once...felt OK, got up, and tried to get back on my bike but my arm wouldn't work. Turned out I had a fractured scapula and dislocated shoulder.

by steelm on May 20, 2014 2:50 pm • linkreport

The road rage can go both ways. I have been guilty of bike road rage myself. It's easy to let the F bombs fly whenever someone passes too close but it's really not wise. You never know what that person is going to do. Cursing escalates things. When that truck started to pass him he should have slowed down, allowed the truck to pass, and pulled into the center of the lane so nobody else would try to pass him too close.

by TakomaNick on May 20, 2014 2:54 pm • linkreport

You are free to dismiss what I say. I only have approximately 70,000 miles of injury-free urban riding, so what do I know?

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 2:54 pm • linkreport

Paints an even clearer picture of the cyclist on the hunt for problems.

And some would say that Rosa Parks was "on the hunt for problems" when she refused to give up her seat.

If those actions put you at risk, physics will trump, not rights.

Physics trumped when MLK and Ghandi's head met with a policeman's nightstick but eventually rights trumped.

by Falls Church on May 20, 2014 2:54 pm • linkreport

Bicyclists need concealed carry. Period.

by NE John on May 20, 2014 2:55 pm • linkreport

But I'm a bit more militant than most of you

by NE John on May 20, 2014 2:58 pm • linkreport

Crikey

Your riding habits have zero to do with question of what LE should have done, which is what is at issue here.

I have tens of thousands of miles of driving and have never been hit by a cyclist, nor cursed at by one. It may have to do with the fact that I pass appropriately, and consider cyclists to have a right to ride in the road, and that I respect the safety of vulnerable road users. Also I obey the law. But what do I know?

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 3:02 pm • linkreport

My point is that I have faced this situation. Not because I did something wrong (as my record reveals), but just because. So I know exactly how this feels. I've responded this way myself. I'm not a shrinking violet, and I assert my rights to the roads each and every time.

There is a difference between being assertive and being aggressive. I've crossed the line, and I know how I felt afterwards. That's waht experience does. It gives you a bigger frame of reference.

BTW, Rosa Parks did not slap the bus driver, no matter how much she may have wanted to.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 3:09 pm • linkreport

Since this is a blog comment thread, I think that folks here should expect that there will be several parallel threads going on, and not be offended is some people choose to talk about something that does not interest everybody.

There are three players here, one of whom is clearly a victim a bad driver, and possibly also a victim of poor law enforcement. Some people on this thread spend their spare time trying to fix injustice, bad driver education, or the bad infrastructure that can make these things happen. So the discussion of what police and driver did wrong is appropriate.

The line of reasoning put forth by Crickey7 and others may be a bit removed from the central thesis of the post, but it is also probably more relevant to most of the people reading this. As mad as we may be, few of us will be in a position to fix what the driver or police do, while most of us are cyclists who need to reflect on what we would do.

We ought to be able to talk about three things at once.

by JimT on May 20, 2014 3:11 pm • linkreport

Perhaps if more drivers saw people upset with how they drove when around cyclists, they would get that THEY are the problem.

Backing off every time only serves to teach people that the correct cyclist reaction to anything a driver does is "get the F*** out of my way."

by MLD on May 20, 2014 3:15 pm • linkreport


I have been in that position literally dozens of times. You can be in the right every time, and every time you have a choice at to how to respond.
All I can tell you is that practically every time I have chosen to escalate, I felt ashamed afterwards. I owe to much to those who count of me to risk harm when I don't absolutely have to.

+1.

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 3:16 pm • linkreport

JimT,

Thats fair except:

A: it's brought up a number of false equivalencies (stated or implied) that suggest that legal and relatively normal actions (being mad about someone not driving well) leave someone as culpable as the person who assaults someone or writes a ticket to a victim rather than a perp.

B: The sense that a "good" (or ideal, as I posted above) cyclist just does what he/she can to stay out of drivers' way and not let things bother them. That may work for some people but it does seem insensitive to bring it up after an event like this which could have had much more dire consequences.

C: we can keep several threads going at once but it grows tiresome after a while to always talk about certain things (how should an individual behave) when there are other bigger problems going on (at least, I'd contend that society's overall hostility to cyclists is a bigger issue than an individuals personal behavior). Because, despite one's intentions, cyclist behavior is often brought up as a diversion to an actual issue. See: any article put up about cyclists, especially on bigger news sites like the post or whatever.

tl;dr - If we want to talk about what cyclists should be doing. Then maybe it is best to have it as a separate conversation.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 3:20 pm • linkreport

BTW, Rosa Parks did not slap the bus driver, no matter how much she may have wanted to.

Nor did the cyclist slap the driver. The cyclist asserted his right to the road. Rosa Park asserted her right to a bus seat.

Rosa Parks didn't curse while the cyclist did but that's what makes her Rosa Parks. I'm certainly not trying to say the cyclist is equal to Rosa Parks, even if their stories share some common elements.

by Falls Church on May 20, 2014 3:21 pm • linkreport

>And some would say that Rosa Parks was "on the hunt for problems" when she refused to give up her seat.<

This thread has totally run off the rails.

by kob on May 20, 2014 3:24 pm • linkreport

And as a counter example: I've never really taken things personally when drivers did dumb things or yelled really ignorant stuff at me.

The times I have gotten heated and let someone know have always been riding with my wife. I don't regret those moments at all.

If we had a society that didn't treat cyclists as a nuisance at best and law enforcement that actually knew the rules about riding a bicycle then there'd be less for cyclists to get heated about in the first place.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 3:24 pm • linkreport

Can someone tell me what exactly the lane situation is on that part of R St NE? Since I don't recall despite having been there in the past. After reviewing the start of the video frame by frame, it appears there is parking on both sides and the eastbound driving lane is also sharrowed (where this incident occured). But it looks like there might also be a westbound bike lane between the cars parked on the north side of R and the north curb. Is this correct?

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 3:30 pm • linkreport

Got nothing but love for you whippersnappers.

Now get off my bike lane.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 3:38 pm • linkreport

As mad as we may be, few of us will be in a position to fix what the driver or police do,

I strongly diagree with that. We are all voters, we are citizens, and many of us are members of bike advocacy orgs like WABA. We can and must change what the police do, by bringing it to the attention of our elected representatives. Mr Alpert is advancing that by bringing the policy questions into a public forum that mostly addresses policy questions.

while most of us are cyclists who need to reflect on what we would do.

I do believe thats a more appropriate place for that discussion would be a biking forum.

We ought to be able to talk about three things at once.

We could take about advice to young women on how to avoid date rape and sexual assault at the same that we discuss university failure to appropriately address sexual assault. Many people would be very troubled my mixing those two topics and with good reason. I believe the same applies here.

Or to get a closer parallel, one might discuss how much one wishes to endanger oneself (whom one's family relies on) to protest a violation of civil rights. Such people are obnoxious trouble makers who should worry more about their own safety and their family responsibilities - until decades later we build monuments to them.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 3:40 pm • linkreport

This thread has totally run off the rails.

It could easily be returned to the rails by focusing on the topic Mr Alpert has raised. The legal and policy aspects of this incident.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 3:42 pm • linkreport

If you are going to strain the civil rights analogy, there were 3 groups. The incrementalists, who did not want to rock the boat, the civil rights activists who largely embraced the credo of non-violence, and the radicals.

You imply that I am the first type, and wrap yourself in the mantle of the second. My point is that you verge on the third, who, as history tells us, were unsuccessful.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 3:47 pm • linkreport

Mr Wilder did not commit any act of violence. Period. He did curse, as did many opponents of the Viet Nam War and of police brutality. I think people "verging" on radicalism played a much larger role in achieving change, from the independence of India, to the civil rights changes in the USA than you give credit for. And of course folks who DID engage in violence, from John Brown to the Easter Rising to Stonewall, have often been successful.

I do not claim to be personally more than an incrementalist. I am not much for cursing in public myself. But I take my hat off to someone who goes into harm's way in a way I might not. I don't think they need "so much resistance, from behind"

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 3:52 pm • linkreport

Anybody who cares about their car being touched in a non-damaging way should lose their driving privileges for being too much of an idiot to be on the road.

by iaom on May 20, 2014 3:52 pm • linkreport

Perhaps if more drivers saw people upset with how they drove when around cyclists, they would get that THEY are the problem.
Backing off every time only serves to teach people that the correct cyclist reaction to anything a driver does is "get the F*** out of my way."

Let me disagree. No good purpose is served when a cyclist looses his/her cool and goes all ragey on some motorist - who probably doesn't even have a clue as to why the cyclist is upset.

I can go further and say that is probably not wise to chase down a motorist with the intent of calmly instructing them on their offense as Evan appears to do in other videos. If there is an oops and no real harm has been done a friendly smile and wave goes a long way.

I admire Evan for putting the video out there, I guess his purpose is that he wants us to pass judgement on the motorists that he comes across. But in doing so he, and those of you who are unquestioningly supporting him, should be willing to accept criticism of his actions.

Jim T is right that the discussion here has fragmented. Evan continues to provide the evidence that we, as cyclists, are often unfairly treated by the police when involved in an accident.

But I do feel uneasy that he is pushing the envelope in his interactions and unnecessarily putting himself at greater risk. Everybody has yelled foul words at some motorist. Many of us have felt so aggrieved that we've chased motorists down so as to yell at them so more. In the end how is that helpful? How do we not come off as looking like suicidal clowns swathed in lycra?

You can't right a wrong by yelling at somebody. They get defensive and you look like an idiot.

Is the fact that Evan is recording and has a twitter feed of followers motivating him to continue/escalate incidents so that he can get something worthwhile to post?

Why isn't it good enough just to post the video of a driver infraction. Why then chase down the driver to "instruct them". Why isn't it good enough to post the video of an aggressive pass? Why try to race the driver to the stop sign?

In a split second when we feel threatened we must take action. Sometimes the action we take may be a poor choice. That's human nature. But part of me can't help feeling that Evan's choice to contest the driver passing him was a conscious effort. Motivated by the desire to get good tape?

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 3:53 pm • linkreport

@Jason L - why didn't the bicyclist swerve to the right of the stopped truck?

Did you see the parked cars on the right? There wasn't room to go anywhere except straight and try not to startle/panic and lose control, fall and get run over by the tires of the passing truck or crash into the parked cars on the right.

This section of R St NE is narrow, has several speed humps and stop signs.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 3:56 pm • linkreport

@ConcernedParentHandle

You appear determined to conflate this topic with sexual assault, to make the most inflammatory point possible about victim's right generally.

My entire point is that when one gets on a bicycle, one should bike defensively, and perhaps consider avoiding yelling MF, if someone cuts you off.

by kob on May 20, 2014 3:57 pm • linkreport

@charlie - Whether the driver of the truck deserved a ticket for straying into the bike lane is an open question,

There is not a bike line. there is a very clearly marked sharrow, multiple speed humps and stops signs. The rd is very narrow.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 4:01 pm • linkreport

Thanks for the diagnosis doctor! You're wrong about everything so far...why stop.
Oh please he didn't even fall over. May have reached out with an arm to steady himself. Just calling it like I see. Something, by the way a jury or judge would do if this went to a civil action.

By the way - I get jostled more violently everyday on Metro whenever the train stops short :)

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 4:01 pm • linkreport

kob

My point is that what one should do on a bicycle, in this context, is a distraction from the point, which is that a miscarriage of justice happened here. I believe the parallel with sexual assault is completely apt, and just might indicate wby changing the subject to the victim's behavior is so inappropriate and infuriating. Indeed, I find it inflammatory.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 4:02 pm • linkreport

And to those who think aggressive bike riding is heroic, and a powerful stand for the rights of all, the image that comes to my mind is of a fellow I new who was hit from behind while on his bike and now spends his days in a wheelchair. It doesn't take much to suffer a catastrophic accident. Whenever I ride, I think of him.

by kob on May 20, 2014 4:02 pm • linkreport

My entire point is that when one gets on a bicycle, one should bike defensively, and perhaps consider avoiding yelling MF, if someone cuts you off.

Except, bringing it up in relation to a conversation about how justice was denied to this (and many cyclists) can imply equivalency between the cyclist's actions and the driver's.

You may not have meant that but it's been done before countless times and people are right to call it out for what it is, a BS false equivalency.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 4:02 pm • linkreport

@Karen - The original story on GGW was that Evan was just minding his own business and was hit by a truck that swerved into him, that Evan didn't do anything.

Wrong.

the original story -as evidenced by this video - is the driver passed too closely and aggressively. Go look at the width of R St NE. It is very narrow with multiple speed humps, stop signs and multiple clearly marked bike sharrows.

There is not room to pass safely. in addition the pass was executed about 20 feet from a stop sign. It was clearly an aggressive move intended to bully and intimidate/punish the biker

by Tina on May 20, 2014 4:07 pm • linkreport

I agree with one of Evan's recent tweets: "Your bike ride should be fun. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong."

My idea of fun does not include being some sort of martyr for the cause of better traffic enforcement and bicycle infrastructure. I'm just trying to get to my destination safely.

by 20712 on May 20, 2014 4:09 pm • linkreport

If there is an oops and no real harm has been done a friendly smile and wave goes a long way.

The passing too closely and cutting off appear to be deliberate acts. Even if the driver was correct and there was a bike lane elsewhere, AND it was forbidden to ride outside it (which it is not) his actions were egregious.

.I admire Evan for putting the video out there, I guess his purpose is that he wants us to pass judgement on the motorists that he comes across. But in doing so he, and those of you who are unquestioningly supporting him, should be willing to accept criticism of his actions.

I do not particularly care what his motive was. I don't care if he is getting paid by GoPro to promote their cameras. I care about what happened, and how MPD handled it.

But I do feel uneasy that he is pushing the envelope in his interactions and unnecessarily putting himself at greater risk. Everybody has yelled foul words at some motorist. Many of us have felt so aggrieved that we've chased motorists down so as to yell at them so more. In the end how is that helpful? How do we not come off as looking like suicidal clowns swathed in lycra?

There is no "we" kemosabe. Different people react differently. In all kinds of situations not just on bikes. While I am not much for using the MF words, what I see is someone who biked appropriately, a driver who commited multiple violations, the cyclist was ticketed, and the driver was not. And I see people less concerned to focus on what MPD is going to do about it, than in calling out the cyclist.

You can't right a wrong by yelling at somebody. They get defensive and you look like an idiot.

Sometimes yelling leads to social change. Sometimes it does not.

Is the fact that Evan is recording and has a twitter feed of followers motivating him to continue/escalate incidents so that he can get something worthwhile to post?

Lots of people ride with cameras for just this reason, and a lot of folks IIUC post what they see.

Why isn't it good enough just to post the video of a driver infraction. Why then chase down the driver to "instruct them".

Because cyclists are human. "If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge?"

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 4:13 pm • linkreport

And to those who think aggressive bike riding is heroic

I do not see where he was bike riding aggressively. The only thing he did that I would not do was to curse at the driver. Its true that cursing at someone who wronged you, who is larger and stronger, can result in great harm to oneself. I think we should discuss how to change that, not warn people to defer to the stronger.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 4:15 pm • linkreport

@Karen - You can't pretend to be surprised when someone gets when the first interaction you have with the person is getting the bird.

You are wrong about the "first interaction". The first interaction is the driver passing too closely and aggressively. That is, The first interaction is the driver intentionally trying to bully/intimidate/"punish" the biker in a very reckless and dangerous manner.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 4:16 pm • linkreport

If you chase someone down, that's aggressive. A loud "WTF", "Hey!" or similar, is assertive.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 4:18 pm • linkreport

>I do not see where he was bike riding aggressively. The only thing he did that I would not do was to curse at the driver. Its true that cursing at someone who wronged you, who is larger and stronger, can result in great harm to oneself. I think we should discuss how to change that, not warn people to defer to the stronger.<

I agree with you here! Except, we're discussing the difference between a possibly 2,500 pound vehicle and fellow on a bicycle. We're not discussing two guys in a bar having a heated exchange.

by kob on May 20, 2014 4:20 pm • linkreport

@Karen - Despite the narrative originally spun, Evan had a hand (literally) in starting this entire thing.

Read the first post again. It starts with the first action -a driver passed too closely and aggressively (too fast). You are mistaken about the sequence of events.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 4:21 pm • linkreport

It may be an aggressive response, but its not aggressive riding. I took kob as referring to his riding style, not his approach to communication.

I continue to be befuddled that kob and crikey seem uninterested in the topic of how to change MPD behavior, or what needs to happen at MPD.

MLK was an adulterer. Oscar Schindler was a drunkard and war profiteer. Thomas Jefferson was a slaveholder.

What matters is the message, not the messenger.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 4:25 pm • linkreport

RE: "touching his truck!!!!!"
I was unaware that touching an automobile in public space was an affront. Birds shit all over your car when it is outside, it gets pollen on it, rain, oil, mud, etc. My fingerprints aren't doing anything to it. Since when is it a crime to put your hand out in order to to keep your distance from the car that is bearing down on you?
To any of you saying what the cyclist should have done during this 10 second encounter, I am fully willing to rent a Zipcar and put you on the bike and we can do an accident recreation. No way should you come to a stop and let the driver try to pass you as close as this guy was. You run the risk of not being able to get out of the vehicle's way, and being run over by the rear tires.

The driver is on his feet and in front of Evan literally FIVE seconds after coming to a complete stop. Doesn't it seem like the driver was looking for a confrontation?

Couple of things here.
Some people consider their car an extension of their person. Sounds crazy right? So touching their car could be considered to be the onset of an assault. So don't touch somebody's car if you can avoid it it - not the case here.

Nobody is reasonably disputing the driver isn't a first class $%(*&^. Upon seeing the video I think most reasonable people would agree he - not the cyclist - deserves a ticket. I look forward to seeing MPD reversing things.

I think we as society cut aggressive drivers way much slack. Based on this and his past driving record I would be in favor of suspending his license. He is dangerous.

I see the incident, as short as it is, breaking down into 3 parts.

In part 1 truck driver begins to aggressively pass cyclist.
In part 2 cyclist responds by trying to beat truck over speed table so as to pull ahead.
In part 3 truck speeds over speed table, pulls ahead and aggressively pulls over in front of cyclist and stops. Cyclist is unable to come to a complete stop before striking back of truck.

This is my critiscism - when Evan states that in part 2 he *consciously* chose to try to regain a frontal position ahead of the truck that was a poor choice. When faced with an aggressive motorist let them pass. The last thing you want is a maniac BEHIND you where you can't see what they are doing.

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 4:26 pm • linkreport

I agree with you here! Except, we're discussing the difference between a possibly 2,500 pound vehicle and fellow on a bicycle. We're not discussing two guys in a bar having a heated exchange.

A guy in a bar could have a gun.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 4:26 pm • linkreport

Except, we're discussing the difference between a possibly 2,500 pound vehicle and fellow on a bicycle.

Yes, it's a symptom of a society that is at best apathetic, and at worst outright hostile to anyone not in a car.

Maybe we should figure out how to regulate the people with the weapon (the car) more than worry about the behavior of threatened people (anyone outside of the car).

by drumz on May 20, 2014 4:26 pm • linkreport

@DaveG - Can someone tell me what exactly the lane situation is on that part of R St NE?

Its one way eastbound, narrow with cars parked on both sides, multiple speed humps, stops signs at every corner, and in this last block there is a protected (between curb and parked cars) counter-flow bike on the left side of the road from the perspective of the driver and the biker in the video.

The counterflow bike lane allows bikers coming off the MBT to travel westbound for 1 (or 2?) blocks until R St becomes two way with marked sharrows, multiple speed humps and stop signs at every corner.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 4:26 pm • linkreport

And I'll say again. Even if you have the best of intentions re: the cylist, you're still making a false equivalency argument by talking about the cyclist's behavior here. It's not helping.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 4:28 pm • linkreport

jeffb

The period between part 1 and the door zone of parked cars is about 3 seconds. I'm sure YOU can process all the choices and consequnces in three seconds (while also being observant for potholes, jaywalking pedestrians, and all the other things one must pay attention to on a bike.) I am not sure I could.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 4:29 pm • linkreport

For those commuting on aggressive/not aggressive:
My referral is to other Evan videos where that is precisely what he does. Some driver makes an oops and he chases them down to instruct them.

As Jim T said some of this discussion is veering off the incident at hand and onto how best should cyclist demonstrate/advocate for their rights on the road.

I apologize for any confusion rendered.

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 4:33 pm • linkreport

@ drumz.

I could not disagree more. The choices we make as cyclists, even when we are ultimately in the right, have consequences. This space is about normative behavior, and this is not the behavior I'd model.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 4:36 pm • linkreport

@Sensible Biker - ...he did not slow down,

You can Hear the screeching of his brakes and See his hand squeezing the brake seconds into being passed too closely and aggressively, trapped between the passing truck and the parked cars on the right..

by Tina on May 20, 2014 4:38 pm • linkreport

Crickey7,

Except it can distract from the arguably more important issue of having law enforcement that actually understands the laws they're supposed to enforce.

If the police did what they're supposed to do then this conversation would have never needed to happen.

Or if we had more drivers that actually realized the danger they posed AND they're responsibility to share the road again, this post would never had needed to have been written.

One group of people's actions (law enforcement, the driver) led to material harm. The other person's actions (the cyclist and his "choices") did not.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 4:42 pm • linkreport

@Opie - So we have Evan starting out this video by either flipping the guy off, or touching his truck.

No. The video starts w/driver executing a pass too close and too fast.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 4:44 pm • linkreport

I hope the consequences of Mr. Wilder's actions are to cause a thorough re-examination of how MPD deals with cycling incidents.

As for me, its modeled to me that riding with a helmet cam is a good idea. I think that's what most cyclists are taking from this - not to spice up their curse word vocabulary.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 4:46 pm • linkreport

@drumz

You can control your own actions, but not really how the police are going to do things. MPD is getting better, but I see a whole lot of wishful thinking about exactly what you're going to see from them. They are not always going to agree with you, putting aside the fact that they won't be around during your interactions, in all likelihood.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 4:47 pm • linkreport

@ ConcernedParentHandle
The period between part 1 and the door zone of parked cars is about 3 seconds. I'm sure YOU can process all the choices and consequnces in three seconds

Thank you. It is only offered as constructive criticism. As I said up thread it can be difficult knowing how to react when you feel suddenly endangered.

But afterwards if we take the moment to honestly reflect and ask ourselves did we do the right thing we may be better prepared in the future should a similar situation arise.

So yes - if a car is aggressively passing me the last thing I will do is attempt to keep alongside or pull ahead of that car. Keep in mind that, post-mortem, Evan says he was TRYING to get ahead of the truck. Slow or stop and let the maniac go. If you practice those reactions daily they become automatic. So 3 seconds is plenty of time to respond and get yourself away from danger.

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 4:49 pm • linkreport

This space is about normative behavior, and this is not the behavior I'd model.

Plus, even in this scenario we can't say that anything could have prevented what transpired. The driver could have still gotten out of his truck and assaulted the cyclist even if he was as demure as possible.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 4:49 pm • linkreport

This space is about normative behavior, and this is not the behavior I'd model.

This space is about whatever Mr. Alpert et al want it to be about. While he has in the past discussed normative behavior, I think the title of this post makes clear that his concern here is police behavior.

What do you think the police reaction to this video should be? If they do not react as you like, what is your proposed political strategy for change?

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 4:49 pm • linkreport

Jeffb-that you're talking about Evan at all IS THE PROBLEM!

He has literally done nothing wrong, yet here you are, in comment after comment, trying in some way to minimize the colossal cock up MPD made of this, not to mention lessen the responsibility of the driver to operate his vehicle safely.
YOU, and people like you, are the reason so many of us feel the need to record our rides.

by thump on May 20, 2014 4:50 pm • linkreport

@Tina - and the eastbound driving lane is sharrowed, of course. So the protected counterflow bike lane (cycle track) is westbound and on the right as you bike west on it...that's what I thought I saw in the video but wasn't 100% sure...got it now!!

Thanks!!

After initial skepticism upon reading the first article, then viewing the video in this second article, I am now with those who think Evan, once the truck was alongside him, should have then fallen back to a safe following distance in the sharrowed driving lane. I now think Evan was more or less looking for some sort of confrontation...to be a victim i.e. Evan COULD have simply backed off or bailed out in one of several possible directions (westbound bike lane, either sidewalk [or alley if one was available]) at the first sign of aggressiveness by the truck driver. It's simply not worth risking whatever over something like this. Just because you are recording doesn't mean it's smart to then get assaulted or even murdered...what good does the camera do you, then, except after the fact? If you stay back, you can then better record the license plate(s) of vehicle(s) that do something to you.

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 4:52 pm • linkreport

If Dave wants to shut it down, he knows how.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 4:53 pm • linkreport

If you can watch this video and think anything other than road rage by an impatient driver, you are the problem.

If you think that the cyclist receiving a ticket here is just, you are the problem.

If you think MPD investigated this appropriately, you are the problem.

by thump on May 20, 2014 4:53 pm • linkreport

Now I wonder what David Alpert's take on all this is, or does he want to say?

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 4:54 pm • linkreport

but I see a whole lot of wishful thinking about exactly what you're going to see from them

So then complaints about cyclist behavior rather than MPD's is wasted energy.

Neither of us can control the cyclists behavior either. And it gets annoying to stick up for all cyclists when the law should be sufficient. But it isn't and that's why we're having this conversation.

I reiterate, talking about how cyclists should act (especially when we're talking about assault) is creating a false equivalency. Don't be your brother's keeper, it's not a real problem.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 4:54 pm • linkreport

You can control your own actions, but not really how the police are going to do things.

I have a great deal of problem with this fatalism. No one individual can impact how MPD does things, but enough people getting outraged can (and also Park Police and other regional police departments.) Thats why its good Mr Wilder posted the video, and why its good that Mr Alpert is spreading it. That is HOW we achieve change.

They are not always going to agree with you,

I am not sure what you mean by that.

putting aside the fact that they won't be around during your interactions, in all likelihood.

Thats true, but A. If we can't get things to be done right when they ARE around, its going to be much harder to change driver norms when they are not B. The fact of a miscarriage of justice by MPD is a moral outrage in itself C. Someone with a camera will have a good position in civil court - if MPD hasn't ticketed them

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 4:54 pm • linkreport

I'll add one more...if you think the cyclist should have bailed out somewhere and bc he didn't he was "looking for it" , you are the problem.

by thump on May 20, 2014 4:56 pm • linkreport

@Kob - This isn't about blaming the victim. It's about choice.

Thats what "blaming the victim" is; ascribing fault for the crime to the person who was wronged for making the choices s/he made that led him/her be in the place at the time when the crime against him/her was committed. Examples: "you didn't have to ride a bike." "you didn't have to take that route". "You didn't have to respond with fear and anger when someone intentionally threatened your life with his car". "You didn't have to leave at the time you did that put you on R St at the same time as this driver". Etc.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 4:57 pm • linkreport

I'll tell a bad driver to jump in the lake as much as the next cyclist, but that video shows the cyclist as the antagonist and equally to blame for the confrontation. The truck barely moved over (after the cyclist yelled at him to move over) and the cyclist still had plenty of room to the right to avoid contact. Cyclist chose contact in order to continue escalating confrontation.

Basically, this is the same as pulling a false alarm. This doesn't win police over to the issue of upholding cyclist safety.

by crin on May 20, 2014 5:01 pm • linkreport

but that video shows the cyclist as the antagonist and equally to blame for the confrontation.

EVEN IF this is the case (it's not) there's no way that the driver is justified in his actions which is basically assault and attempted theft.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 5:04 pm • linkreport

I'll tell a bad driver to jump in the lake as much as the next cyclist, but that video shows the cyclist as the antagonist and equally to blame for the confrontation. The truck barely moved over (after the cyclist yelled at him to move over) and the cyclist still had plenty of room to the right to avoid contact. In fact the cyclist had trajectory clear and to the right as the truck was stopping then adjusted left to make contact with the truck on purpose. Cyclist chose contact in order to continue escalating confrontation.

Basically, this is the same as pulling a false alarm. This doesn't win police over to the issue of upholding cyclist safety.

by crin on May 20, 2014 5:05 pm • linkreport

The driver is nuts in this case... but bicyclists can be really rude and self-absorbed. No wonder some people snap. Maybe one day every road in the US will have a bike lane... but it isn't the case and you make everyone driving afraid they are going to kill you. Every time I drive near one I afraid I'm going to hit one because they ride too close to cars... then I will be to blame when these people with death wishes get hurt. Just because DC law allows you to ride somewhere doesn't make it a good idea.

My suggestion is take up riding a motorcycle and save everyone the stress. You get the freedom bicycles give you but are much safer for everyone.

by Peter on May 20, 2014 5:05 pm • linkreport

I'm not saying Evan should have bailed out here other than just backing off the truck. I'm just saying that part of defensive bicycling is knowing when and how to bail out of a situation if need be.

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 5:07 pm • linkreport

@TakomaNick - When that truck started to pass him he should have slowed down,

He did. You can Hear the bike brakes screeching and See his hand squeezing the braker.

[he should have] allowed the truck to pass,

The truck Did pass

[he should have]..pulled into the center of the lane so nobody else would try to pass him too close.

... the truck passed and immediately pulled to the right in front of him then stopped.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 5:07 pm • linkreport

Whether or not he deserved that ticket, he got it after he made a choice that was inadvisable, in my book. Not morally wrong, not illegal. Inadvisable.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 5:09 pm • linkreport

The driver is nuts in this case... but bicyclists can be really rude and self-absorbed. No wonder some people snap. Maybe one day every road in the US will have a bike lane... but it isn't the case and you make everyone driving afraid they are going to kill you. Every time I drive near one I afraid I'm going to hit one because they ride too close to cars... then I will be to blame when these people with death wishes get hurt. Just because DC law allows you to ride somewhere doesn't make it a good idea.
My suggestion is take up riding a motorcycle and save everyone the stress. You get the freedom bicycles give you but are much safer for everyone.

Don't bike anywhere! Because even if the law says you can do so with a reasonable expectation that other people will keep you safe, and we want people to bike because it's healthier, safer, you scare people who can't seem to slow down for ten seconds to avoid killing you!

Seriously, this is like the superfecta of blame-the-victim posts.

by MLD on May 20, 2014 5:10 pm • linkreport

Not morally wrong, not illegal. Inadvisable.

Yup, he got on a bike. Shame that people can stoop so low.

by MLD on May 20, 2014 5:11 pm • linkreport

@DaveG

++1

by kob on May 20, 2014 5:11 pm • linkreport

No wonder some people snap.

This is illegal. Being a jerk isn't.

Maybe one day every road in the US will have a bike lane...

Like the street that this happened on?

you make everyone driving afraid they are going to kill you. Every time I drive near one I afraid I'm going to hit one because they ride too close to cars

A: Why should I be worried about your peace of mind over my safety?
B: Maybe you're riding too closely to the bikes.

then I will be to blame when these people with death wishes get hurt.

So riding a bike = "death wish". Ok.

...and people wonder why cyclists can be rude.

My suggestion is take up riding a motorcycle and save everyone the stress. You get the freedom bicycles give you but are much safer for everyone.

Riding a bike is very safe. Safer than a motorcycle. Most danger that cyclists face comes from drivers who don't know the basic fact that they have to share the road. What's worse is that when it gets pointed out some drivers respond by assaulting people.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 5:11 pm • linkreport

Then they should have ticketed him for public cursing. of course if that were illegal in DC a helluva lot more people would be getting tickets.

They ticketed him for passing too closely. That he had engaged with a drive in a way you think is inadvisable is neither here nor there.

And btw, I do think that after this truck gets booted, the driver may well reconsider how he drives.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:13 pm • linkreport

Not morally wrong, not illegal. Inadvisable.

Yes, but here we have one party that actually did do several illegal things and got away with it. That's a problem, especially since this is just the latest story where it's happened. Which means we have a systemic problem of police not enforcing the law.

That seems like a way more important topic of discussion. If only we could have it without having to defend the moral choices of someone whose only shared trait with a lot of us is that he rides a bicycle.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 5:14 pm • linkreport

pardon, for following too closely

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:15 pm • linkreport

Then again, the truck driver should have also backed off the situation, ignored any provocation from Evan and just driven on without getting out of his truck. Or maybe gotten out only to check on Evan after he hit the truck but certainly not grab any bike and throw it around. I hate to say it but I see fault with both parties here.

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 5:15 pm • linkreport

drumz

+1000 throughout this thread

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:16 pm • linkreport

DaveG

Maybe when he saw he couldnt pass with enough space, he shouldn't have passed at all. Thats actually the law, you know?

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:17 pm • linkreport

I feel like I've landed in Hyperbolia.

Pointing out foolishness is not blaming the victim. He hasn't been sexually assaulted and he did not post the video from the Birmingham jail.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 5:18 pm • linkreport

Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_blaming

Seriously? The excuses people are making here for "why people snap" or "he should have backed off" are the very definition of victim blaming. All they are missing is the implied "well it's partially his fault this happened because he..." Why bring it up otherwise?

by MLD on May 20, 2014 5:21 pm • linkreport

@CPH - Actually it appears Evan was trying to share a single lane at that point. Which you should not do both under the law and as a matter of practical safety. The right thing then was for the bicyclist, Evan, to back off to a safe following distance. If the driver then continued to do anything aggressive such as stopping in the middle of the block the way he did at the stop sign, Evan could have then bailed in one of several opposite directions, as he could have at the stop sign. Just me, but I don't think any of this was worth the confrontation that did happen.

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 5:23 pm • linkreport

Crickey7,

That's another false equivalency. You're demeaning what you yourself is acknowledging is a serious problem (our streets are hostile to people not in cars).

You have someone who is traveling from A to B and is assaulted because he was on a bike and had the temerity to be following the law while expecting others to do the same.

The public safety crisis we have regarding the state of our streets may not be as well known or acknowledged as other civil rights struggles but I resent that you would demean it in the guise of "pointing out foolishness".

by drumz on May 20, 2014 5:25 pm • linkreport

I don't think I'm blaming Evan unfairly here. Clearly the driver was also way out of line beyond any reasonable concern for injury or damage to anyone/anything.

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 5:26 pm • linkreport

DaveG

I was responding to your post about what the truck driver should have done. You began your critique of the driver's actions with Evans's "provocation". But the driver's unlawful actions begin before that. He violated the three foot passing rule. That rule does NOT say that when a cyclist stays to the right and fails to take the lane that the driver has the right to pass more closely.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:26 pm • linkreport

@DaveG
Actually it appears Evan was trying to share a single lane at that point.

WRONG - the driver was trying to share a single lane. If you want to overtake you have a duty to do so only when it is safe and legal to do so. The driver was the one acting on the bicyclists right-of-way.

Again, why is the onus continually being put back on the more vulnerable road user?

by MLD on May 20, 2014 5:27 pm • linkreport

" He hasn't been sexually assaulted

No, instead someone drove recklessly in a way that resulted in a (thankfully) minor accident, but could have resulted in something more serious.

Of course had he died, we wouldn't have his testimony. This is an actual problem in the accident data, as I am sure you are aware.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:29 pm • linkreport

@CPH - Of course any driver must give at least 3 feet clearance to any bicyclist in DC, and should if not legally required elsewhere. I'm sorry you ever thought otherwise :-)

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 5:29 pm • linkreport

@thump
Jeffb-that you're talking about Evan at all IS THE PROBLEM!
He has literally done nothing wrong, yet here you are, in comment after comment, trying in some way to minimize the colossal cock up MPD made of this, not to mention lessen the responsibility of the driver to operate his vehicle safely.
YOU, and people like you, are the reason so many of us feel the need to record our rides.

Not once have I defended MPD in any of this except to say the officer did not have the benefit of the video. Now that we've all seen the video I've said I look forward to MPD reversing things. How is that wrong?

Not once have I lessened the responsibility of the driver. I go further and say I consider him dangerous and he should be removed from the road. How is that defending the driver?

Evan has put this, and other videos, up for public inspection. How is it wrong to comment or offer criticism?

I said I admired Evan for recording his rides. I encourage others do to so as well. More videos of MPD getting it wrong should help in getting their officers better training on how to handle car/bike accidents. I said all of that up thread. How is that wrong or discouraging to you?

Seems to me the only offense I've made to you is to question Evan's better judgment. For that I'm sorry.

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 5:29 pm • linkreport

I feel like I've landed in Hyperbolia.

Hyperbole is a rhetorical device designed to make a point. We show parallels with a more serious situation to show why what is being done does not make sense.

Granted sexual assault is more serious. All the more reason that we should focus on giving young women advice on how to dress modestly and limit alcohol intake, wouldn't you say? And jail is worse than getting a ticket - all the more reason to warn protestors of the dangers of civil disobedience.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:33 pm • linkreport

Not once have I defended MPD in any of this except to say the officer did not have the benefit of the video. Now that we've all seen the video I've said I look forward to MPD reversing things. How is that wrong?

Not once have I lessened the responsibility of the driver. I go further and say I consider him dangerous and he should be removed from the road. How is that defending the driver?

Evan has put this, and other videos, up for public inspection. How is it wrong to comment or offer criticism?

These actions are not equivalent so our response (even if they're just internet comments) should not be equivalent.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 5:36 pm • linkreport

How is it wrong to comment or offer criticism?

It's a distraction from the issue at hand. Lots of people tweet, blog whatever for many reasons. Some are rude. I don't think eliminating cursing, or reforming twitter are feasible projects. If they are they are not ones I am interested in, and I think they are far removed from the purpose of GGW. Reforming local govts on transport issues, OTOH is the point (I think) of GGW (one of the key points) Ergo that is what we should focus on. And I see a couple of people stating outright that changing MPD is not possible so we should focus on cyclist behavior instead.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:37 pm • linkreport

No, I'm simply rejectingthe analogies as inoperative. It's not like sexual assault no matter how hard you try, and while it is a matter of rights, it's not to the level of the civil rights movement, and if it were, you are Malcolm X, not MLK.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 5:40 pm • linkreport

more hyberbole

"That poor man he got knifed. The police haven't taken action. "

"Yeah well walking around that neighborhood after dark is inadvisable. And the guy smelled. But I agree they shouldn't have knifed the guy. And yeah, the police need to be more efficient."

Note that now

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:42 pm • linkreport

It's not like sexual assault no matter how hard you try,

Its a crime, that LE does not deal with appropriately, and impacts seriously on human life. And confronted with the failure of enforcement, people subject the victim's behavior to scrutiny to show why it couldn't happen to someone more sensible.

. and while it is a matter of rights, it's not to the level of the civil rights movement, and if it were, you are Malcolm X, not MLK.

The level does not effect the logic. Mr Wilder did not do or advocate violence, nor have I (and in fact I do not engage in public cursing as Mr Wilder did.) And we have streets named after Malcolm X.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:45 pm • linkreport

@DaveG - I now think Evan was more or less looking for some sort of confrontation...to be a victim i.e. Evan COULD have simply backed off or bailed out in one of several possible directions (westbound bike lane, either sidewalk

No. There are no driveway cuts. The protected bike lane is behind parked cars and was on the LEFT of the direction of travel (if I initially said R i was wrong. I often transpose R & L verbally). There was no access to the sidewalk. Look at the video.The biker was trapped between the too-close passing truck on the L and parked cars on the R. Plus you can hear and see him braking.

99% of drivers on this section of road slow way down at the speed humps. It was a good strategy to predict this driver would too. Biker would then have an opportunity to get himself out in front and away from the crazy driver. i have used that strategy many times on this section of R St.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 5:46 pm • linkreport

I ride, and I like riding. I don't happen to think I poop butterflies because of it.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 5:46 pm • linkreport

It's not like sexual assault no matter how hard you try

No, but it is assault.

and while it is a matter of rights

Yes, and the thing about rights is that they're supposed to be guaranteed. They aren't conditional on behavior.

it's not to the level of the civil rights movement
So? Then don't compare the two and definitely don't belittle one side (people trying not to be assaulted for riding their bike) in an effort to bring in some sort of skewed perspective.

and if it were, you are Malcolm X, not MLK.

now THAT is a specious analogy.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 5:46 pm • linkreport

These actions are not equivalent so our response (even if they're just internet comments) should not be equivalent.

Gee - and I thought i was precisely on point answering thumb. Maybe thumb should speak for himself/herself.

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 5:47 pm • linkreport

"Not sure if I'm hearing the tape correctly: Before the accident, was it the bicyclist or the MV driver yelling: "pull the f*** over" ...and the MF word as well? "

The cyclist. The transcript on the Vimeo page says "move the f*** over", but it sounds like "PULL the f*** over to me", after repeated listens. Has anyone considered that the driver also heard "pull the f*** over" and then pulled over, only to have this guy (who apparently either doesn't have brakes or can't stop in time) slam into the back of the truck. Note to cyclists, don't urge someone to "move" or "pull" "the f*** over" unless you're ready for them to...gasp...actually pull over in front of you. Cursing at people is a bad way to handle situations as well. I'm a cyclist and I see why the driver was pissed here, his only mistake was picking up the bike and slamming it in his truck (that was completely uncalled for). I probably would immediately grab someone the second they did that, just because I would misread it as an attempt to steal my bike (I'm not trying to let you steal my bike first, then hope the cops can catch you later, not in this town). Bad behavior all around here.

by Alan on May 20, 2014 5:47 pm • linkreport

Another reason we need protected bike lanes (cycle tracks). Separate the bicyclists from the car drivers and incidents like this would never happen.

by TransitSnob on May 20, 2014 5:48 pm • linkreport

@drumz and concerned parent etc.
There are a variety of critiques here of the cyclist, not all of which should be viewed as blaming the victim.

This is the premier cycling forum for commuter cyclists. As far as I know, not alot of police or aggressive drivers read it, or even policy makers or the media when you get into the comment thread.

So there is value to both the policy and safe-cycling discussions. You ought to expect than when people are given a video to watch, they will say what they see. It might not be what you or the photographer wanted to emphasize. But some of the comments show too little respect for people's prerogative to express an opinion about what they think they see.

by Jim Titus on May 20, 2014 5:50 pm • linkreport

I'm a cyclist and I see why the driver was pissed here, his only mistake was picking up the bike and slamming it in his truck (that was completely uncalled for).

You don't think passing too closely or zooming over a speed bump are mistakes?

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:50 pm • linkreport

This is the premier cycling forum for commuter cyclists.

I generally like your posts Jim, but that is ridiculous.

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/forum.php

GGW's comparative advantage is entirely in the area of policy.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:52 pm • linkreport

@Tina - There were enough gaps between parked cars on both sides that anyone as young as Evan appears to be could have easily jumped the curb then ridden off in the opposite direction, even without any alleys present. However I agree the driver should have given Evan more room, at the very least.

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 5:54 pm • linkreport

As far as I know, not alot of police or aggressive drivers read it, or even policy makers or the media when you get into the comment thread.

We have had state legislators comment here. Delegate Surovell from FFX not long ago. And of course activists who influence public officials, directly or indirectly.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 5:54 pm • linkreport

So there is value to both the policy and safe-cycling discussions.

I think those general points, in the context of this story, are counter productive to the goal of safer streets. They reinforce an attitude that says cyclists shouldn't expect any help unless they reflect some sort of moral purity.

That's why I say, even if you're intentions are good, the effects of those comments are the same. If we're going to start changing the mentality of society we need to stop talking about things in the way that anti-bike people have put them.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 5:55 pm • linkreport

If you mention GGW to the average MPD officer, they'll be thinking of some very different videos.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 5:56 pm • linkreport

@ ConcernedParentHandle

Re: commenting or offering criticism
It's a distraction from the issue at hand

I don't think David or anybody at GGW wants to just a thousand yeas on every post. The point of GGW is to have a discussion and with that you need comments and, yes, differing points of view.

If your point is that all discussion to be kept to the very narrow focus of cyclist strikes truck, MPD tickets cyclist, and video shows MPD shouldn't have then we could have ended this at about 10 comments total.

But the fact we do have a video and cyclists can't help but analyze the entire thing invites us to consider a broader context. That is how would I have avoided the situation / could I have avoided the situation? Is there a difference between riding legally and safely and riding legally and assertively? Is it always good for a cyclist to assert their right to the road - even if it puts them in further danger?

I don't know about you but I think these are useful points to consider and we seldom get accident videos that allow us to deconstruct our behaviors.

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 5:58 pm • linkreport

The driver was not pissed because wilder tried to get in front of him. As he clearly stated, he was pissed because Wilder was not in "the bike lane". Driver, some rude guy who zooms in his big truck over speed bumps (which are not there to protect cyclists mind you, but neighborhood residents who have an issue with speeding cut through traffic) sees one of these obnoxious hipster cyclists riding in HIS lane when there's a bike lane over to the left. Sheesh. Time to teach him a lesson by buzzing close. What could possibly go wrong? Those fa**ot hipster bike riders wouldn't respond to a tough guy in a truck right? Wait, he's still trying to keep up with me? Well let me cut him off, that will show him. He wont respond to that. Wait, he DID? he pointed to lane markings showing I'm an idiot? he cursed at me? Well I will show him, I will take his friggin bike.

Thats what went through his mind, I would bet dollars to doughnuts.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 6:01 pm • linkreport

@drumz - I agree 200% that it's not necessary for all bicyclists to be 300% angelic riders at all times in order to ask for, and get, fair treatment on the roads. The same is also true for all other road users, who should simply do their very best to safely use and share the roads (and sidewalks which are part of the overall roadway, too). Just because some are less than perfect...

by DaveG on May 20, 2014 6:02 pm • linkreport

'If your point is that all discussion to be kept to the very narrow focus of cyclist strikes truck, MPD tickets cyclist, and video shows MPD shouldn't have then we could have ended this at about 10 comments total.'

I would have liked a discussion of MPD policies, and past behavior, of how council members have approached the issue, of how its done in other jurisdictions, maybe a Richard Layman comment on how he got Baltimore county or somewhere to hold community meetings, and a whole host of relevant policy and poltical considerations, such as we have on many issues. But we can't discuss the policy issues related to MPD - because - Scofflaw cyclists. Or in this instance a cyclist who was 100% within the law, but did things that were "inadvisable"

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 6:04 pm • linkreport

The fact that the cyclist was able to walk says little. I got 5 broken ribs in an accident and, on adrenalin, and was able to keep riding, but it doesnt mean that it was OK or wise. Anyway, its largely irrelevant: if someone was raped, you don't suddenly doubt the rape because she can walk away.

by SJE on May 20, 2014 6:04 pm • linkreport

@drumz: doesn't it really depend on how many cyclists are a bit more careful because of this discussion, compared with how many drivers are a bit mire careful? This comment thread isn't disclosing secrets to a larger body politic.

@concernedparent. Can you name one legislator whom you believe to be reading this thread? Or more than one activist?

by Jim Titus on May 20, 2014 6:06 pm • linkreport

I'm happy to talk about MPD.

If the purpose is to get a ticket reversed, this should do the tick.

If the purpose is to get them to change their mindset about cyclists, showing them a video where it looks like you may have been contributing to the bad blood, even if the other party was guiltier, is going to earn you a collective shrug from them.

Tactically, you guys could not be more wrong.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 6:08 pm • linkreport

Is there a difference between riding legally and safely and riding legally and assertively? Is it always good for a cyclist to assert their right to the road - even if it puts them in further danger?

even at that level the comments are useless, because they repeatedly conflate his riding with his mouthing off. As Jim T pointed out earlier, the most unsafe thing he did as a RIDER was to ride LESS assertively than he should have - it would have been better to not ride so far to the right. But people keep jumping to how he shouldnt have been so confrontational or pursued the guy or yelled at him. Or posted so much on twitter. Thats why it feels much less like a safe biking discussion (which really does belong on a biking forum, which this is not) and so much more like an argument about philosophy "Im mellow, I turn the other cheek like Budda, I pull to the side when theres a truck nearby, I dont use cursewords, I dont tell people when they are wrong, I doubt the effectiveness of changing policy, change yourself instead"

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 6:10 pm • linkreport

@DaveG - Evan could have then bailed in one of several opposite directions, as he could have at the stop sign.

No he could not have. He was trapped between the too-close passing truck on the left and parked cars on the R. When the truck stopped at the stop sign the biker is as far to the R as one can get w/o having been riding in the parking zone. Notice the truck quickly swerved over to the R in front of the bike and then stopped quickly. This all transpired in a matter of seconds. There was no escape.

Thats what the whole issue is. the driver passed too closely -thus not leaving the biker enough room to escape!

by Tina on May 20, 2014 6:11 pm • linkreport

Im an activisty in my locality (though Ive missed the last couple of board meetings) and I know you are, and certainly DA is. I really really hope Drumz is, as his contributions could be very valuable. I don't know of course who is READING this thread. But I do know we have been read by delegates, by city council members (CM Krupicka posted here once, IIRC) and I suspect some ArlCo supervisors check in frmo time to time, and I strongly believe that this board influences the discourse in other places from City Paper to ArlNow. I don't know if Dr Gridlock reads it, but I wouldnt be surprised.

by ConcernedParentHandle on May 20, 2014 6:13 pm • linkreport

I would have liked a discussion of MPD policies, and past behavior, of how council members have approached the issue, of how its done in other jurisdictions

Fair point. But the video is too much eye candy to ignore and, in general, discussion of GGW are free-wheeling affairs.

I think a future post referencing this AND other incidents of bad MPD enforcement would be a better place to have your desired discussion.

For my part i was more interested in the discussion of how I can prevent this from happening to me? I do not what to have large men charging out of their trucks and flinging my bike around - ever.

So I was focusing on the part of okay maniac driver here - what should I do now?

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 6:18 pm • linkreport

I stop and shout for someone to call the cops.

I don't care if they do, it just usually freezes everyone.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 6:23 pm • linkreport

Not to drive this analogy into the ground but Rosa Parks was chosen to represent the grievances for her race because of who she was and how she conducted herself - beyond reproach.

I, for one, don't think Evan Wilder fits that bill for cyclists. I agree with Crikey7 - this is not the incident we want to use to ask authorities for change.

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 6:29 pm • linkreport

Agree with the truck driver: "You ran into the back of [the truck] acting stupid." Seriously, just drive/bike defensively and stop being so damn aggro because someone passed you. Evan should have slowed down to a safe speed and controlled his bike.

by Trinidaddy on May 20, 2014 6:30 pm • linkreport

@DaveG - so you think Evan, and anyone else by extension in a similar situation, should be able to jump curbs while threading between parked cars. Great. No unrealistic expectation of biker-behavior at all..Please go ride a bike at ~12-18mph and see how easy it is to do what you're proposing.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 6:30 pm • linkreport

@cph: so then how do you suppose that inclusion of a discussion of safe cycling impairs or sidetracks whatever an advocate might do? You can say what you have to say about mpd and people will respond. Or you can instead argue against talking about safe cycling and people will respond.

Do you think that anyone with anything useful to say about mpd has been deterred by the sidebar on safe cycling? Or that the few elected officials inclined to troll this thread, if any, would be sidetracked?

As for me, I am more concerned about getting the bike organizations to push for enforcement of the crosswalk rule in PG because I think that drivers unwilling to even stop for peds will never give cyclists a break, and police who don't even know the crosswalk rule will never learn the cycling rules, and that advocating the case that seems to be larger than just you is more effective. Any ideas?

by JimT on May 20, 2014 6:32 pm • linkreport

Wow, now we have cyclists making civil rights equivalencies. Clearly, as someone mentioned above, people have cometely gone off the rails.

It is clear the rider did nothing to descalate this situation, and swearing like a sailor and demanding action from him right away was as equally as offensive.

I do find it funny that the same people who are demanding adherence to the letter of the law, are the same ones who frequently excuse all manner of cyclist lawbreaking. Pretty hilarious.

by Arlie on May 20, 2014 6:42 pm • linkreport

Wow, now we have cyclists making civil rights equivalencies. Clearly, as someone mentioned above, people have cometely gone off the rails.

Sorry - this was in the context that what we have here is a teachable moment to be put forward to authorities on how badly cyclists are being treated. I think the right, as a cyclist, to use the public roads safely is a civil right - don't you? And to not be subject to biased enforcement by police is pretty important too.

I just don't think this video is going to change many minds.

It's going to take a collective body of videos demonstrating time and time again biased and subjective enforcement against cyclists.

by jeffb on May 20, 2014 6:51 pm • linkreport

It's definitely a right, though as a Constitutional matter the states probably could prohibit cyclists on many roads that we currently enjoy.

by Crickey7 on May 20, 2014 6:58 pm • linkreport

If the purpose is to get them to change their mindset about cyclists, showing them a video where it looks like you may have been contributing to the bad blood, even if the other party was guiltier, is going to earn you a collective shrug from them.

Then whoever walks away thinking this doesn't get how the law works. That should be remedied for their sake and the sake of the people around them. Getting heated (and justifiably so, he could have been seriously hurt!) is not illegal. Cutting someone off, then trying to steal their bike is illegal.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 7:00 pm • linkreport

And what's funny is that most cities (certainly DC) want cyclists. If you told the mayor that he got to choose whether the next 1000 residents who moved into the city traveled by car or by bike he'd absolutely pick the bike every time. You'd think he'd at least tell MPD to pretend like they give a crap.

by drumz on May 20, 2014 7:03 pm • linkreport

The biker was wrong according to the law, regardless if it's a tough pill to swallow.

by Burd on May 20, 2014 9:14 pm • linkreport

There is an awful lot of focus on what Evan did wrong here. But let's put this in context. Below is a list, in chronological order, of all the bad choices that were made. And I'm going to be most generous to the blame Evan crowd.

1. Driver passed cyclist too close in a lane where safe passing was not possible
2. Cyclist yelled obscenities
3. Cyclist didn't slow down to let the driver get far away
4. Driver merged in front of cyclist, without allowing the cyclist time to readjust for a safe space allowance. Basically this is equivalent to an unsafe lane change (and he didn't signal his move either).
5. Cyclist yelled obscenities
6. Driver yelled obscenities
7. Driver took bike and threw it into the back of his truck
8. Police officer wrote ticket without reviewing the video

Now, if we re-order these from most to least egregious, the list looks like this:

1. Driver took bike and threw it into the back of his truck [probably a felony]
2. Driver merged in front of cyclist, without allowing the cyclist time to readjust for a safe space allowance. Basically this is equivalent to an unsafe lane change. [A traffic violation]
3. Driver passed cyclist too close in a lane where safe passing was not possible. [A traffic violation]
4. Police officer wrote ticket without reviewing the video [A failure to do his job]
5t. Cyclist yelled obscenities [rude]
5t. Cyclist yelled obscenities [rude]
5t. Driver yelled obscenities [rude]
8. Cyclist didn't slow down to let the driver get far away [ill-advised]

Now we see that every bad action the cyclist committed is bunched at the bottom. And the list gets worse if one thinks that the driver did 2 or 3 on purpose (which I'm not sure there is sufficient evidence to suppose). But even this doesn't tell the whole story. Because these things could be weighted. If we place these on a 1000 point scale, with 1000 being genocide and 1 being "wearing one's cummerbund upside down", these might be scored as

1. Driver took bike and threw it into the back of his truck [100]
2. Driver merged in front of cyclist, without allowing the cyclist time to readjust for a safe space allowance. Basically this is equivalent to an unsafe lane change (and he didn't signal his move either). [60]
3. Driver passed cyclist too close in a lane where safe passing was not possible. [50]
4. Police officer wrote ticket without reviewing the video [40]
5t. Cyclist yelled obscenities [5]
5t. Cyclist yelled obscenities [5]
5t. Driver yelled obscenities [5]
8. Cyclist didn't slow down to let the driver get far away [3]

Or something similar. In other words all the things the driver did, even when looked at in the best light are orders of magnitude worse than all the things the cyclist did, even when looked at in the worst light. So why are people focusing on the cyclists behavior?

Some people seem to think that the cyclist's profanities after the passing "escalated things." If that is true, then the driver's behavior in merging and stopping was intentional, rather than merely negligent (otherwise the yelling had no impact). That hardly paints the driver in a better light.

by David C on May 20, 2014 9:24 pm • linkreport

I hate to say it but I see fault with both parties here.

As one probably can in most crimes, but only one party broke the law, so the two are not equivalent.

by David C on May 20, 2014 9:27 pm • linkreport

Actually it appears Evan was trying to share a single lane at that point. Which you should not do both under the law and as a matter of practical safety.

It's not against the law to be passed unsafely. If he was trying to share a single lane (which is not illegal in DC) the driver was doing it twice as much.

by David C on May 20, 2014 9:30 pm • linkreport

Doesn't seem that there's much else to be said beyond what David C has pointed out above.

by MLD on May 20, 2014 9:45 pm • linkreport

Is anyone not laughing that folks here are critical of the speed of the driver. "The driver must have been going faster than the speed limit and didn't slow down for the speed humps".

Yet the biker was going just as fast as the driver, and stayed next to the truck the entire time.

How is it not comically hypocritical that two people going the exact same speed, but the biker apparently wasn't breaking the law.

I see why we got the one sided story, with a couple strategic photo stills to accompany it last week, because had Evan led with this video, the hitting the car, flipping the driver the bird, the screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs, ordering the driver to pull over (which is exactly what happened no?), the admission he was trying to get back in front of the truck rather than slowing and letting it go its way (why anyone would purposely try to put themselves directly in front of a 5,000 lb truck that according to the author was purposely trying to hit him boggles the mind) the reaction to the story would have been much different...ala the skeptical reaction that summarizes today's conversation about it.

by Sly on May 20, 2014 9:45 pm • linkreport

Some people seem to think that the cyclist's profanities after the passing "escalated things." If that is true, then the driver's behavior in merging and stopping was intentional, rather than merely negligent. (otherwise the yelling had no impact). That hardly paints the driver in a better light.

Evan: "pull the f*** over MF'er!"

He was yelling that ~4 seconds into their encounter and thats exactly what the driver did. He wanted the driver to pull over, and he did. You can't demand an action, get it and then critique him for doing it intentionally.

by Opie on May 20, 2014 9:56 pm • linkreport

The biker was wrong according to the law, regardless if it's a tough pill to swallow.

Which law?

by David C on May 20, 2014 9:58 pm • linkreport

Is anyone not laughing that folks here are critical of the speed of the driver. "The driver must have been going faster than the speed limit and didn't slow down for the speed humps".

That quote isn't an actual quote of anyone. That's called putting words in someone's mouth. It's pretty easy to win an argument when one does that.

by David C on May 20, 2014 9:59 pm • linkreport

equivalent. I love this. We're trying to build a moral, legal logic this around video about two people behaving badly. This incident is -- in its entirety -- disgusting.

by kob on May 20, 2014 10:00 pm • linkreport

... flipping the driver the bird...

OMG, this is the Obamacare Death Panel of this debate. The lie that won't die. There is absolutely no evidence that he flipped the bird. None. And if he did, and that caused the driver to behave badly, then the driver caused the crash intentionally. Which is far worse than flipping the bird.

by David C on May 20, 2014 10:02 pm • linkreport

"went too fast over a speed table (no violation? not sure)" - Awalkerinthecity

"Only because Watts didn't slow down at the speed table." - David C

And again I ask "How is it not comically hypocritical that two people going the exact same speed, but the biker apparently wasn't breaking the law."

by Sly on May 20, 2014 10:11 pm • linkreport

@Burd,

The biker was wrong according to the law, regardless if it's a tough pill to swallow.

Care to bet?

"D.C. Police tell WNEW senior correspondent Mark Segraves that they’ve launched an investigation into the incident after seeing Wilder’s video.

“We are investigating this crash and we received video that we are reviewing. Upon further review, a determination will be made as whether to change the classification of this incident,” said D.C. Police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump.
Sources close to the investigation tell WNEW that the truck driver now may be facing destruction of property charges."

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/05/20/d-c-police-investigating-100-ticket-for-cyclist-who-caught-incident-on-camera/

by David C on May 20, 2014 10:12 pm • linkreport

"How is it not comically hypocritical that two people going the exact same speed, but the biker apparently wasn't breaking the law."

The speed table is different. It's designed to slow cars down, but not cyclists and it's a little more dangerous to go over them fast in a car than on a bike, because of the differences in the vehicles. I don't think there's a lower speed limit related to them, but my point was that it was reasonable to expect the driver to slow down for the speed table, but he didn't.

by David C on May 20, 2014 10:16 pm • linkreport

"There is absolutely no evidence that he flipped the bird. None. And if he did...

You've claimed multiple times above that he didn't, then you walk it back by saying "if he did", which means you have no clue. Can't have it both ways.

He reached over with his left hand and did something, and I am pretty sure he didn't hand him flowers. So if he didn't reach out and slap the vehicle or flip him the bird (which would fit right in with Evan's immediate biker rage", then what did he do?

by Sly on May 20, 2014 10:16 pm • linkreport

equivalent. I love this. We're trying to build a moral, legal logic this around video about two people behaving badly. This incident is -- in its entirety -- disgusting.

But only one person was punished. And it was the wrong person.

Justice isn't contingent on someone's courtesy or lack thereof.

What a bizarre world we live in when manners matter more than making sure people are protected and not abused by the law because the mode of transportation that they choose.

by Drumz on May 20, 2014 10:18 pm • linkreport

"The speed table is different. It's designed to slow cars down, but not cyclists".

No, its meant to slow all traffic. There are no exemptions for bikes, segways, skateboards..."whatever".

by Sly on May 20, 2014 10:22 pm • linkreport

Sly,

If they're at the same speed then it makes it all the worse for the driver to pass too closely, and then fail to yield to the traffic (the cyclist) already in the road.

The cyclist didn't break any laws. The driver broke at least three.

by Drumz on May 20, 2014 10:23 pm • linkreport

He reached over with his left hand and did something, and I am pretty sure he didn't hand him flowers. So if he didn't reach out and slap the vehicle or flip him the bird (which would fit right in with Evan's immediate biker rage", then what did he do?

So is that the complete list of options. Hand flowers, flip bird or slap truck. According to Evan:

"I stretched out my hand to gauge the distance"

And that's what he did. None of the evidence refutes this.

by David C on May 20, 2014 10:23 pm • linkreport

Yelling MF at someone isn't an indelicate failing of manners, it's an incendiary device.

by kob on May 20, 2014 10:25 pm • linkreport

No, its meant to slow all traffic.

Well, if it were meant to slow all traffic, then it would be designed to slow all traffic. But it isn't, because it wasn't.

by David C on May 20, 2014 10:25 pm • linkreport

Yelling MF at someone isn't an indelicate failing of manners, it's an incendiary device.

The yelling happened after someone started doing something reckless that could have harmed the cyclist.

Being yelled at (for doing something dangerous at that) is not justification for assault.

If you don't want to be cursed at while driving, then don't drive like you dot care if you hurt people.

by Drumz on May 20, 2014 10:38 pm • linkreport

And to those who think aggressive bike riding is heroic, and a powerful stand for the rights of all, the image that comes to my mind is of a fellow I new who was hit from behind while on his bike and now spends his days in a wheelchair.

Unless he swerved in front of someone without giving them proper space, how was his behavior related to aggressive bike riding?

by David C on May 20, 2014 11:33 pm • linkreport

@Sly, If you have ridden a bike on this road or any road w/ speed humps then you know that there's no problem taking a speed hump at speed on a bike as apposed to when in a car, when you risk scraping the bottom of the car on the hump if you don't slow down-that's why they work as traffic calming devices.

by Tina on May 20, 2014 11:49 pm • linkreport

Re:WNEW report
Good news and shows the value of having a camera.

by Jeffb on May 21, 2014 12:00 am • linkreport

I'm sure the same thing would've happened here in Ohio despite several laws that would indicate the driver was at fault. I suggest looking up the similar DC laws. ORC 4511.25(B)(1) Upon all roadways any vehicle or trackless trolley proceeding at less than the prevailing and lawful speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, and far enough to the right to allow passing by faster vehicles if such passing is SAFE AND RESONABLE, except under any of the following circumstances:

4511.25 (B) (2) Nothing in division (B)(1) of this section requires a driver of a slower vehicle to compromise the driver’s safety to allow overtaking by a faster vehicle.

This next one is for crossing a center line but the same safety standards should apply. Pay special attention to the "without interfering" part

4511.29 Driving to left of center of roadway in overtaking and passing traffic proceeding in same direction.
(A) No vehicle or trackless trolley shall be driven to the left of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing traffic proceeding in the same direction, unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made, without interfering with the safe operation of any traffic approaching from the opposite direction or any traffic overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle or trackless trolley must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for traffic approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within two hundred feet of any approaching vehicle.

by Chris Balcomb on May 21, 2014 3:57 am • linkreport

Speaking of Ohio, new comment in the original thread about a similar case there, written by the lawyer:

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/22841/driver-assaults-bicyclist-police-ticket-bicyclist/#comment-233560

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 6:20 am • linkreport

After spending the spring traveling through foreign countries, I just have to shake my head and laugh at this whole thing.

Only in America, land of the anal, would this become such a huge, melodramatic issue. In other countries, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists all share the road, all tap each other, and all yell at each other. And they all move on with their day.

I will say this, too, as a regular bike commuter: why is it the guys with the headcams are always the ones with the biggest problems? If you're looking for trouble, it will find you.

by OX4 on May 21, 2014 6:40 am • linkreport

I finally watched this video and it made me chuckle after reading all the comments above.

Obviously the driver was wrong to pass in that situation and definitely wrong to throw his bike. The bike guy seems like a drama queen, though, which was the funny part.

by NE John on May 21, 2014 7:05 am • linkreport

Only in America, land of the anal, would this become such a huge, melodramatic issue.

I'd argue that when the cyclist is assaulted (and is just now getting the cops to pay attention) it goes beyond melodrama.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 8:02 am • linkreport


"Well, if it were meant to slow all traffic, then it would be designed to slow all traffic. But it isn't, because it wasn't."

Another David Cranor special! Please show us the engineering or ITS data that shows us Bikes are supposed to be exempt from them?

And by your logic, since redlights don't stop all bikers, they therefore aren't designed to stop bikers, purposely permitting them to blow through them whenever they like, no?

Clear case of biker rage if I've ever seen one. Scream mf'er at someone seconds after your first interaction and then, not expecting them to react in a similar way is pretty mind boggling.

by Redlights on May 21, 2014 8:06 am • linkreport

I feel like these two guys are my sons, only involving higher stakes.

Let's say son 1 intentionally bumps into son 2 while walking by. Maybe he even causes his hand to slip while doing homework and the pencil goes across the whole page. Now, son 2 will probably start yelling at son 1 and calling him names. Then maybe son 1 will come back and hit him harder.

Not that you care, but I personally handle a situation like that by telling each son what they could have done differently. I talk to son 1 about his mean behavior and son 2 about how he can't just say whatever he wants and expect to get away with it. Son 2's words don't justify the actions of son 1, but he has to understand they escalate the situation and be prepared for what's going to happen rather than come crying to me about his mean brother.

Just because I tell son 2 where he went wrong, doesn't mean I'm saying son 1 was not at fault.

by jh on May 21, 2014 8:08 am • linkreport

This whole thread has jumped the shark. I will comment merely on a matter of fact: speed tables are designed to slow cars down from extremely over the speed limit to merely a little over the speed limit. That's it. (Basically from 40+MPH to 30 or so in a 25MPH zone.) It is not legally required to go below the speed limit when crossing a speed table, so I have no idea why people are complaining that cyclists don't slow down for them. Nor was the truck required to slow down for the speed table. (Yes, the question was raised early in the thread--it's also been answered, so stop the ridiculous counter-argument that cyclists are somehow breaking the law.)

by Mike on May 21, 2014 8:28 am • linkreport

@OX4
I will say this, too, as a regular bike commuter: why is it the guys with the headcams are always the ones with the biggest problems?

You mean why is it always the ones with headcams (actually this is a handlebar-cam) who have videos of interactions to post where people can see what happened and we can all talk about what could have gone differently?

...because they're the ones with cameras. Can't take a video with a potato.

by MLD on May 21, 2014 8:31 am • linkreport

+1 MLD

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 8:34 am • linkreport

Wow -- If ever there were a video of the gap and sometime conflict between modernizing Washington and "ol' DC," this is it. There are many who think that the local government cares more about "dog parks and bike lanes" then more traditional concerns.

by Jasper2 on May 21, 2014 9:25 am • linkreport

jh

and who is the police in this analogy?

Society is not a family, the people we observe are not children, and we are not their parents. We are citizens, and what is called for from us is not lectures, but justice.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 9:32 am • linkreport

why is it the guys with the headcams are always the ones with the biggest problems?

That's not accurate. Here's a list of local cyclists who had much bigger problems, but no headcams:

Diane Whitman
Danielle Cooper
Christopher Benton
Natasha Pettigrew
Stanton Sylvestor Miller
David Haywood Williams
Abdelouahid Chaldi
Constance Holden
Code Alexander
Alice Swanson
David Marsden
Curtis Leymeister
Maciano Axibal
David Van Keuren
Walter Penney
Trish Cunningham

by David C on May 21, 2014 10:45 am • linkreport

Man, this thread.

Driver nearly hits cyclist. Confrontation ensues. Somehow cyclist gets ticketed. This is wrong. MPD is reopening an investigation. That's good! The end, hopefully.

#unsubscribe

by LowHeadways on May 21, 2014 10:49 am • linkreport

Please show us the engineering or ITS data that shows us Bikes are supposed to be exempt from them?

I don't know what is meant by "exempt". As pointed out above, there is no legal speed requirement associated with them. It is an engineering measure, not a legal measure.

But if evidence is required that shows that a feature of speed tables is that they slow cars more than they do bikes, I'll point out that they NACTO includes them as a design element for bicycle boulevards.

by David C on May 21, 2014 10:53 am • linkreport

@AWITC

My comment wasn't intended to have anything to do with the law. In this case, I think it's clear who broke the law and who didn't. (Although, I'm no lawyer and don't pretend to know the law so I could be wrong.) There is no police in the analogy. I guess the dad is a judge? I think sometimes judges will say things like, "You did nothing illegal but your actions helped create this situation." Or maybe the dad isn't a judge, but maybe a mentor or counselor or religious authority or whatever. Whatever the analogy, I think it would be appropriate if someone told Evan what he could have done differently.

I'll admit that I didn't read all 250 comments before mine. Heck, I may have read only 15 and skimmed another 20. My comment was more of a reaction to what seemed like a "The biker did absolutely nothing wrong". Saying he did nothing illegal is one thing. Saying he's totally blameless in regards to what transpired is another. I don't think his actions/attitude should be totally overlooked when the case goes in front of the court of public opinion.

by jh on May 21, 2014 11:00 am • linkreport

"My comment wasn't intended to have anything to do with the law."

IMO that is whats at issue.

"There is no police in the analogy."

which is why the analogy fails, IMO. It missses the central concern.

"I guess the dad is a judge? I think sometimes judges will say things like, "You did nothing illegal but your actions helped create this situation.""

Sometimes, sometimes not. But its never the central point, AFAIK.

" Or maybe the dad isn't a judge, but maybe a mentor or counselor or religious authority or whatever."

My Wilder is free to seek out a mentor, or to visit his priest or rabbi if he chooose. Or to not do so if he chooses. Profoundly different from a child who MUST listen to his parent.

" Whatever the analogy, I think it would be appropriate if someone told Evan what he could have done differently."

I strongly suspect that he is aware of all the different approaches to riding, the different approaches to communicating, and has chosen this one deliberately. I doubt he lacks awareness of altneratives. It would be interesting to see his reply though.

""The biker did absolutely nothing wrong". Saying he did nothing illegal is one thing. Saying he's totally blameless in regards to what transpired is another. I don't think his actions/attitude should be totally overlooked when the case goes in front of the court of public opinion."

As far as I can tell, in his riding he did nothing wrong, other than possibly being too reluctant to take the lane. I am very unclear who his excessively unassertive riding style would impact the court of public opinion against him, or against better enforcement in general.

I do realize it would have been better for optics had he refrained from cursing and instead very politely pointed out the law to the driver (though I an not sure that the driver would have reacted any better - in my experience ignorant bike haters are infuriated by logic presented calmly but firmly) Some in the public will sympathize with the natural tendency to curse at someone who just did something illegal and dangerous such as the motorist did, and some in the public will not. C'est la vie.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 11:11 am • linkreport

++ jh

>Saying he did nothing illegal is one thing. Saying he's totally blameless in regards to what transpired is another. I don't think his actions/attitude should be totally overlooked when the case goes in front of the court of public opinion.<

A completely reasonable assessment.

by kob on May 21, 2014 11:16 am • linkreport

Based on the video, I think the police ticketed the wrong guy. I am glad that they are re-opening the file.

However,I still wonder, why did the cyclist have a camera running? I have this nagging feeling that he was looking for, and to document, conflicts with drivers over bike lanes.

by Jasper2 on May 21, 2014 11:23 am • linkreport

This thread verged at points into a discussion of what to do on a going forward basis, not necessarily who was ultimately at fault. I see that as a good thing.

There are two aspects to this: relations with MPD and cyclist behavior. On the first, it's fine to get the ticket reversed on the basis of the video. At a "teachable moment" for MPD, though, Evan made no friends among a group that we need to make friends with. I guarantee you that they watched it and thought he was being a jerk. We all lost ground there.

As to cyclist behavior, I and others said there's a difference between being right and being wise. Evan may win on the first, and lose on the second (I would say he did). As a matter of cycling advocacy, we have a responsibility to admonish against unwise and unsafe behavior. It's not blaming the victim. And I make no apologies for saying it.

by Crickey7 on May 21, 2014 11:24 am • linkreport

>Saying he did nothing illegal is one thing. Saying he's totally blameless in regards to what transpired is another. I don't think his actions/attitude should be totally overlooked when the case goes in front of the court of public opinion.<

A completely reasonable assessment.

Naw, it's mealy-mouthed and sets up the two parties actions as equivalent when they aren't. And that doesn't make our streets any safer.

Calling out dangerous behavior and embarassing police into action does.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 11:24 am • linkreport

I have this nagging feeling that he was looking for, and to document, conflicts with drivers over bike lanes.

And I think Evan would be more than happy to have nothing but footage of boring, safe bike rides in which no one ever endangered his life for their own convenience.

by David C on May 21, 2014 11:27 am • linkreport

@AWITC

I get that the main issue here is the law. But, just because that's the main issue doesn't mean people can't discuss other lesser issues.

Agree with your last sentences. While I sympathize with the reaction, I think it's worth pointing out that you don't get to control someone's reaction to your reaction. I understand why Evan cursed and yelled at the driver. That's not a mystery. Some people find that an appropriate reaction and others don't.

I assume you would agree there are some things he could have said that would have been inappropriate and your reaction might be "Well, the driver is clearly in the wrong legally, but Evan really shouldn't have said that and his words contributed to the escalation"? Different people just put that line in different places.

by jh on May 21, 2014 11:28 am • linkreport

"There are two aspects to this: relations with MPD and cyclist behavior. On the first, it's fine to get the ticket reversed on the basis of the video. At a "teachable moment" for MPD, though, Evan made no friends among a group that we need to make friends with."

I doubt he lost friends - I think the MPD should be and is embarrassed, regardless of the fact that Wilder cursed. And I think the main audience for the video is going to be not MPD, but the DC Council and citizenry. I don't think police behavior improves from winning over police, so much as winning over the people who employ them.

"As to cyclist behavior, I and others said there's a difference between being right and being wise. Evan may win on the first, and lose on the second (I would say he did). As a matter of cycling advocacy, we have a responsibility to admonish against unwise and unsafe behavior. It's not blaming the victim. And I make no apologies for saying it."

But his riding was not unsafe. As we have discussed extensively above.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 11:32 am • linkreport

AWITC

We'll have to disagree. I think you overestimate our popularity. This election cycle has shown that a number of candidates feel they can appeal to anti-cyclist sentiment.

by Crickey7 on May 21, 2014 11:35 am • linkreport

"I assume you would agree there are some things he could have said that would have been inappropriate and your reaction might be "Well, the driver is clearly in the wrong legally, but Evan really shouldn't have said that and his words contributed to the escalation"? Different people just put that line in different places."

I am glad for saints, but I do not expect them. Some people could, while biking both legally and safely, be in encounter with an unlawful, and possibly deliberately dangerous motorist, and then proceed to explain the law calmly to them, lovingly, with their other cheek firmly exposed. I do not disagree that that would make a powerful video. But the absence of such a remarkable phenomenon is not worth noting. As it stands the events and the video are powerful.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 11:35 am • linkreport

@drumz

Why does saying "X also did something wrong" make you think the claim is that the wrongs are equal? That certainly wasn't my intent. Maybe others have tried to make that argument, though?

by jh on May 21, 2014 11:37 am • linkreport

Crikey

Who, other than Anita Bonds?

Meanwhile I see the Council moving ahead with biking in DC. Far faster and better than in most of NoVa, BTW.

Heck, even Milloy hasn't brought it up lately, has he?

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 11:38 am • linkreport

Jh,

I think, despite people's best intentions, they can't help but make the comparison. So many people make the comparison in bad faith that its hard to treat it seriously if its actually made in good faith. In that sense it's like a reverse poe's law or something where people's true intentions (deflection or genuine discussion) are impossible to distinguish.

Otherwise, you type out a lot of words trying to explain how they aren't equivalent and then the overall comment loses meaning.

I'd rather live in a world that's safer for ruder cyclists than our current one that's needlessly dangerous no matter how polite you are.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 11:46 am • linkreport

+2 MLD

by Vince on May 21, 2014 11:54 am • linkreport

@drumz

That makes sense. I guess I don't get why it's an either/or situation.

by jh on May 21, 2014 12:01 pm • linkreport

@Jasper2: when cyclists get killed by motorists there's almost never an investigation, and the case is closed after the driver says something like "he swerved into me" or "he came out of nowhere". Note that cyclists (and pedestrians) are disproportionately found to be at fault in fatal collisions. Some cyclists find that hard to believe. It's also the case that (as in this example) even if the cyclist isn't killed, the police automatically side with the motorist and don't issue any citations related to bad driving. As a result, some cyclists have started recording everything, in hopes that they (or their survivors) will have at least a fighting chance at justice. I suppose some people may find that to be unfair or somehow "looking for trouble". I find that point of view both sad and disturbing.

by Mike on May 21, 2014 12:02 pm • linkreport

@Jasper2, et al Re: camera on bike - However,I still wonder, why did the cyclist have a camera running? I have this nagging feeling that he was looking for, and to document, conflicts with drivers over bike lanes.

Everyone who bikes regularly and who doesn't stick to sidewalks will eventually have an ugly scary incident w/ a driver. Note this incident happened on a road that is a clearly marked designated bike route.

I have had many scary ugly incidences w/ drivers. I finally got a camera last year after a driver buzzed me just like in this video, then let me pass, then passed me again but this time turned the wheels of his car in my direction and drove toward me - yes - in an intentional and deliberate attempt to run me down or make me think he was going to run me down. i was filled with adrenaline and sprinted ahead.

This happened about 50" in front of a stop sign, just like in the video, also in NE DC, also on a designated bike route. On Taylor St between SD Ave and 14th. I memorized the license plate number and called MPD to report someone had tried to kill me. They couldn't have cared less. Had I had a camera I would have been able to press charges I believe. It was such a clearly deliberate and intentional threat.

What had I done to provoke such animosity? I rode my bike on a designated bike route though not one as clearly marked as R St. There were cars parked on the R and I was far enough L to be out of the door zone. There were cars ahead stopped at the stop sign. There was no on-coming traffic, i.e. the driver could have easily passed me w/ plenty of space just by swerving around into the other lane. But it wasn't about what the driver could do. It was about the driver being angered to the point of threatening my life with a weapon because I had the temerity to ride a bike.

by Tina on May 21, 2014 12:12 pm • linkreport

Jh,
I guess I don't get why it's an either/or situation.

Personally, it's because I think the stakes are too high. We have a serious public safety crisis on our hands and the best we get from our elected officials is lip-service and piece meal infrastructure improvements while the law enforcement culture remains apathetic at best and hostile at worst.

So, talking about a cyclists behavior seems neither here nor there when it's been so hard to actually get to the point that we're at now which is still woefully behind where it should be.

Everything that happened in this video/case is the result of a driver's actions and negligence from the police. That is what needs to change anyway to make any real progress.

Otherwise we'll spend all of our time wonder how to be the ideal cyclist

by drumz on May 21, 2014 12:18 pm • linkreport

*50' not inches

by Tina on May 21, 2014 12:18 pm • linkreport

@David C

Yes, I'm willing to bet you that the biker was wrong for rear-ending a vehicle...regardless of what "reconsiderations" may be made outside the normal judicial procedures that everyone else must follow but that's unfairly being excepted for this biker. No surprise though that the city is once again pandering to bikers.

The biker had time to stop and was in plain sight of an approaching stop sign. What's clear is the bicyclist was upset that he was passed by the truck and intentionally rear-ended it.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 12:21 pm • linkreport

Y'all can be totally dismissive, convinced of your righteousness. When you have racked up the injury-free period and mileage of cycling I have, then you can tell me how wrong I am.

by Crickey7 on May 21, 2014 12:24 pm • linkreport

@Burd - have you ever run into an immobile large object while riding a bike? To suggest someone do it intentionally is an absurd suggestion.

by Tina on May 21, 2014 12:25 pm • linkreport

The bike is undamaged is it not?

According to this, it has $400 worth of damage.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Altercation-Between-Bicyclist-Truck-Driver-Could-Lead-to-Charges-260008981.html

by David C on May 21, 2014 12:27 pm • linkreport

Yes, I'm willing to bet you that the biker was wrong for rear-ending a vehicle

Not if the vehicle improperly merged. Which is what happened after the vehicle improperly overtook the bike in the first place.

The biker had time to stop and was in plain sight of an approaching stop sign.

The cyclist had time to stop for the stop sign. He did not have time to stop for a truck that had just cut him off.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 12:30 pm • linkreport

And even if the rear ending ticket is justified (it's not) then it still doesn't cancel out all the laws the driver broke.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 12:31 pm • linkreport

What's clear is the bicyclist was upset that he was passed by the truck and intentionally rear-ended it.

This accusation is so far past absurd that it takes light leaving absurd one million years just to reach it. As they say, incredible claims require incredible evidence, and none has been offered to support this one.

What would he possibly hope to gain by rear-ending the truck? A damaged front wheel/bike? Possible injury? Getting his ass kicked? It's insane.

by David C on May 21, 2014 12:32 pm • linkreport

@Tina

To suggest he did it unintentionally is much more absurd, considering the biker knew the truck had passed him and knew there was a stop sign approaching. Othewise he'd have had to be blind and/or stupid.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 12:32 pm • linkreport

@drumz

Never said it did not. Just clarifying that the biker was wrong.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 12:33 pm • linkreport

@David C

"What would he possibly hope to gain by rear-ending the truck? A damaged front wheel/bike? Possible injury? Getting his ass kicked? "

As I said, he was upset at the driver for passing him, shouting "Move the F*** over, buddy," etc. And what makes you think he thought he'd get "his ass kicked"? Sounds like you're stereotyping to me.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 12:35 pm • linkreport

@Burd -whatev'. Your suggestion could only be made by someone who is completely lacking in bike riding experience.

by Tina on May 21, 2014 12:38 pm • linkreport

"When you have racked up the injury-free period and mileage of cycling I have, then you can tell me how wrong I am. "

There are cyclists who do everything right, and still get hurt. You are fortunate. That you keep bringing this up gives the impression that you think EVERY cyclist who get hurt has themselves to blame. Speaking of not making friends ....

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 12:39 pm • linkreport

"To suggest he did it unintentionally is much more absurd, considering the biker knew the truck had passed him and knew there was a stop sign approaching. Othewise he'd have had to be blind and/or stupid."

There is a reason we have laws against cutting people off. But then you do live in Maryland, don't you ;)

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 12:42 pm • linkreport

I have no idea what Evan Wilder's state of mind was, but I hope that he does not agree to a settlement in the civil lawsuit that he will hopefully file. We need a trial.

by JimT on May 21, 2014 12:42 pm • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity I thought the fact of the victim-blaming was already fairly well established

by Mike on May 21, 2014 12:42 pm • linkreport

While a civil trial might well be beneficial in spreading the word of what happened, if he gets a good settlement offer I would not advise him not to take it just to settle an argument at GGW.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 12:44 pm • linkreport

Many of you seem to be reacting to what was said by both parties rather then their actions before the verbal exhchange. Try watching this video with your sound off, you might change your mind. Since when has physics changed so that a 150 lb cyclist stands a chance of withstanding a one ton truck? The truck driver drove recklessly and endangered the cyclist, period. Hopefully, the courts will see it the same.

by BobW on May 21, 2014 1:23 pm • linkreport

I have plenty of friends. I come here to share my thoughts, be they welcome or not. Frankly, I don't see the value in being part of a chorus of yes-men saying there was nothing he could have done differently, the police are either dolts or meanies and drivers are incipient murderers.

I know it's unfair to point out things I wrote way, up in the thread, but I said I've done the exact same thing, more than once. And I concluded it was wrong, in part because it markedly increased by risk of injury, to no real purpose. And also because society does not need more enraged people.

One can ride for quite a while being just lucky not to me injured. To do it for decade after decade generally takes more than luck. Most of those who said he could have done things differently were very careful not to say the driver was right. Just the same, our insights were dismissed as being "part of the problem" or blaming the victim.

I call BS on that, as a way to avoid any introspection, ever.

by Crickey7 on May 21, 2014 1:32 pm • linkreport

Re: "Attempted larceny of the bike."

Ha. Let's not forget there is no vehicle theft in D.C. Only "unauthorized use," b/c as soon as you say "Some dude let me borrow it" to the cops/prosecutors, they back down.

by Bill on Capitol Hill on May 21, 2014 1:35 pm • linkreport

Just clarifying that the biker was wrong.

But he wasn't. The only way you can say the cyclist was wrong is if you decide that all rear end collisions are categorically the fault fault of the rear vehicle. But that's not the case.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 1:38 pm • linkreport

And what makes you think he thought he'd get "his ass kicked"? Sounds like you're stereotyping to me.

The yelling, the getting up in his face while the cyclist is calling the police, the reckless behavior before the collision, the attempted theft after the collision, etc.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 1:40 pm • linkreport

"I have plenty of friends."

as do we all, I guess. The point is your point is that your tone was offputting to the persuasion you wish to make, just was wilders choice of words.

"Frankly, I don't see the value in being part of a chorus of yes-men saying there was nothing he could have done differently, the police are either dolts or meanies and drivers are incipient murderers. "

Thats not the conversation I wanted, but one about advocacy and policy. There are potential conversations to be had there are about more than the above, but are not about analyzing the behavior of the cyclist.

" And I concluded it was wrong, in part because it markedly increased by risk of injury, to no real purpose. And also because society does not need more enraged people."

I do not see how wilder rode that was incorrect, other than failing to take the lane. And I do not know if you reference to rage was the drivers or mr wilders.

"One can ride for quite a while being just lucky not to me injured. To do it for decade after decade generally takes more than luck."

Do you think everyone who gets into an accident has themselves to blame? I think you are incorrect. Why don't you come to the Washington Area Bike forum and explain how you ride. I am sure we could all learn from you.

" Most of those who said he could have done things differently were very careful not to say the driver was right. Just the same, our insights were dismissed as being "part of the problem" or blaming the victim."

Yes. Not to belabor this but saying "The crime X did to Y was wrong, but Y really should have done Z, and then they would have been fine" ALWAYS comes off as victim blaming. Especially when plenty of people who do Z still get harmed. And when, as in this case, Y did not do anything to cause themselves to be injured.

"I call BS on that, as a way to avoid any introspection, ever."

I have spent a long time on the bike forum introspecting how I ride on multi user trails, and have modified by riding accordingly - to me more respectful of the more vulnerable trail users. But thats a forum on how to ride, not a policy forum. And I was not critiquing the behavior of the more vulnerable user in the context of a specific incident caused by a less vulnerable one.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 1:41 pm • linkreport

It's off putting to be balanced and reasonable on one side, yet have every point you make and all advice you give be dismissed not on its merits, but on the grounds that the subject cannot be raised, or by casting aspersions on the party raising the issue. Like by claiming that I blame everyone who ever gets injured for their injuries. You know, if you want people to like you, you should not mischaracterize what they say.

Of course Evan could have ridden differently. Let's be real.

by Crickey7 on May 21, 2014 1:56 pm • linkreport

@Crickey7

I agree. When I looked at the taped for the first time, it was from the perspective of a rider: How would I have react to someone who comes dangerously close? After riding 15 years in this city, and having a share of experiences, maintaining presence of mind, equanimity, and a defensive posture is first and foremost. We all react differently to pressure situations and I'm far from perfect from meeting my ideal. But I will stick to my view and have not read one thing here to shake it. I'm not blaming the victim. I just hope that I might have reacted differently in a similar situation, and focus on diffusing the situation before it escalated. That's the only thing I can take away from it.

by kob on May 21, 2014 2:01 pm • linkreport

Of course Evan could have ridden differently. Let's be real.

He could have but the events in the video could have played out in the exact, same, way. Therefore, I don't see the point in trying to figure out what he could have done differently.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 2:22 pm • linkreport

@Crickey7 I call BS on your approach as a way to avoid holding police accountable for shoddy investigations, ever. You're focused entirely on what Evan could have done to protect himself after nearly being run off the road and completely ignoring what the police could have done to hold the driver accountable and (hopefully) deter future incidents before someone else is run off the road. You've said your say about what Evan could have done to protect himself, now can we maybe talk about how we can get MPD to protect all of us?

by Mike on May 21, 2014 2:36 pm • linkreport

now can we maybe talk about how we can get MPD to protect all of us?

I think we need to try something new, because what we have been doing has not been working. To me, that something new is for cyclists to press the police to enforce the crosswallk rule, especially in the suburbs.

I think that cyclists stand on a higher moral ground whne they ask the police to protect pedestrians--and that makes it alot harder for people to come back and talk about scofflaw cyclists. And I think that drivers who stop for all pedestrians are paying attention.

by JimT on May 21, 2014 2:54 pm • linkreport

I did talk about it above. You have a video that will serve to get the ticket dismissed and at the same time convince the average cop who watches it that the cyclist helped stoke the confrontation. I call that one step forward, two steps back. MPD will never change if this is what they see.

by Crickey7 on May 21, 2014 3:00 pm • linkreport

Of course Evan could have ridden differently. Let's be real.

He could have, and if he had, maybe there would have only been the way-too-close passing. But how is that any different than saying that a rape victim could have behaved differently and avoided their assault?

I do agree that a discussion of what the best response to this kind of driver behavior might be, and whether or not Evan exemplified this is relevant. But when you lead with it, as you did above, it seems like you've decided that this is the most important thing. Such a comment needs to be prefaced with something to put it into context, which is what many have failed to do.

by David C on May 21, 2014 3:16 pm • linkreport

"I think we need to try something new, because what we have been doing has not been working. To me, that something new is for cyclists to press the police to enforce the crosswallk rule, especially in the suburbs.

I think that cyclists stand on a higher moral ground whne they ask the police to protect pedestrians--and that makes it alot harder for people to come back and talk about scofflaw cyclists. And I think that drivers who stop for all pedestrians are paying attention."

I agree with the above. I note that the drumbeat of attention cyclists have given to the intersection of doom in Rosslyn has addressed the concerns of cyclists and walkers and runners, and ArlCo seems to be paying attention. Building alliances is a great strategy.

I am not sure how that applies in this case though. Wilder was not in a crosswalk - he was proceeding in a lane, where few walkers or even runners would go, but where cyclists are supposed to go.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 3:23 pm • linkreport

@drumz

That's what happened AFTER the rear-ending. The biker was bold enough to yell "Move the F*** over, buddy!" and "Hey motherf***er!" and "What the hell!" BEFORE slowly and safely running into the back of the truck, which is why we can easily see the biker intentionally meant to hit the truck, despite your bias.

@Tina

I've ridden bikes many times, but not once was I dumb enough to compete with a truck or not come to a stop when I was knowingly approaching a stop sign.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 3:23 pm • linkreport

But when you lead with it, as you did above, it seems like you've decided that this is the most important thing. Such a comment needs to be prefaced with something to put it into context, which is what many have failed to do.

Yes, underscore something many have failed to do on all sides of this issue.

by kob on May 21, 2014 3:23 pm • linkreport

"It's off putting to be balanced and reasonable on one side,"

I would rather not move this even further off topic by making it about your commenting style. Let me just say that I do not share your perception of it, as you may not share my perception of mine.

"Of course Evan could have ridden differently. Let's be real."

Please tell me how he could have ridden to avoid the close pass? (other than taking the lane)

As for the hit, while he might have been able to ride in a way to avoid it, there are disadvantages to anything else he could do, as have been discussed above, and it was not reasonable to expect a driver (even one who had done a close pass) to zoom ahead and then maliciously cut him off.

We could reduce our chance of getting killed by wearing body armor, and if its heavy, well rule #5. We can be safer on highways by always driving in the right lane, by getting off the highway whenever we see someone driving recklessly etc. At some point the expectation becomes unreasonable. It really is like expecting women to avoid street harassment by wearing a burka, or expecting people to avoid crime by only walking in groups. Those may be useful tips and appropriate in the right context, but in the context of discussing enforcement and justice they are more than troubling.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 3:29 pm • linkreport

"The biker was bold enough to yell "Move the F*** over, buddy!" and "Hey motherf***er!" and "What the hell!""

A not terribly unreasonable, if profane, reaction to what had already happened

" BEFORE slowly and safely running into the back of the truck, which is why we can easily see the biker intentionally meant to hit the truck, despite your bias."

Was his speed unreasonable for someone intending to stop at the sign and not expecting to be maliciously cut off? There are folks here who like to measure distances and seconds on videos and calculate speeds and stopping distances, any of them care to weigh in?

Note, that now that they have seen video, MPD has retracted the ticket. Perhaps you should complain to them about that, since they seem to not share your judgement, and are NOW engaged in a miscarriage of justice.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 3:33 pm • linkreport

The biker was bold enough to yell "Move the F*** over, buddy!" and "Hey motherf***er!"

Because the driver illegally and recklessly passed too closely.

BEFORE slowly and safely running into the back of the truck, which is why we can easily see the biker intentionally meant to hit the truck, despite your bias.

Your bias must be showing you a different video. The truck cut him off and then stopped suddenly which didn't give assured clear distance for the cyclist. Thankfully he had enough time to start braking and slow himself down but that's not evidence of intentionality. And isn't justification for what the driver did next.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 3:33 pm • linkreport

"It's off putting to be balanced and reasonable on one side, yet have every point you make and all advice you give be dismissed not on its merits, but on the grounds that the subject cannot be raised, or by casting aspersions on the party raising the issue. Like by claiming that I blame everyone who ever gets injured for their injuries. You know, if you want people to like you, you should not mischaracterize what they say. "

I am not sure how to respond to this without violating the terms of use. Can we agree to argue the merits and not get into who is fair and balanced?

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 3:34 pm • linkreport

also Jim T I am NOT sure what we are doing is not working. There are multiple issues with different forces, and Im not sure we are not making progress. Clearly there are issues with MPD (and the Park Police) but MPD's response to this video is a positive sign.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 3:38 pm • linkreport

@Burd - I've ridden bikes many times,

so you say but your assertion that someone would intentionally run into the back of a truck seems to belie your stated experience.

by Tina on May 21, 2014 3:44 pm • linkreport

It's ironic that drivers hate cyclists so much because more bikes = less traffic.

by 202 on May 21, 2014 3:48 pm • linkreport

Actually in my experience most drivers and bicyclists try to use the roads safely. Of course there are always some who don't...

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 4:30 pm • linkreport

@ drumz

"Because the driver illegally and recklessly passed too closely."

So you admit that he hurled expletives in response to being "passed too closely" but find it too hard to believe that he wouldn't tap the truck intentionally, when he had ample warning to stop (the stop sign) or space to veer right?

"Your bias must be showing you a different video. The truck cut him off and then stopped suddenly which didn't give assured clear distance for the cyclist. "

I saw the video taken by a biker that showed a highly visible stop sign, and where the biker yelled expletives as he was passed and softly rear-ended the truck when he could and should have stopped given the stop sign, and then continued a hostile exchange with an equally hostile truck driver.

I have been cut off numerous times, and have never rear-ended another vehicle.

@ Tina

Why not just stick to the facts instead of veering into personal assumptions of which you know nothing?

Given the circumstances presented in the video, any court would see that it was intentional or at least, he had ample opportunity to stop and even veer right.

Instead, he tried to compete with a larger vehicle which is both unsafe and stupid, then got hot-headed when things didn't go his way.

@202

"more bikes = less traffic"

That's a real thoughtless statement, given that "traffic" includes bikes. And when they're sharing lanes with motorized vehicles, like in the video, it slows down traffic.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 4:39 pm • linkreport

@DaveG -that's my experience too. The conflict comes when drivers lack the experience (and empathy?) to have the perspective of being a cyclist and/or walker and do things that are dangerous and/or really rude w/o realizing it. And of course when the occasional sociopath crosses your path.

by Tina on May 21, 2014 4:41 pm • linkreport

@Burd - Why not just stick to the facts instead of veering into personal assumptions of which you know nothing?

Yes! Why don't we do that. Like not assuming a cyclist would do something absurd like put him/herself in danger by intentionally crashing into the back of a truck...The much more realistic and less complicated reason* for crashing into the truck is in the video evidence - the truck cut in front suddenly and braked suddenly.

*Occam's razor

by Tina on May 21, 2014 4:47 pm • linkreport

@Tina

Same can be said for bikers who don't yield for pedestrians, don't stop at stop signs, run red lights, ride on sidewalks too fast and close to pedestrians, block crosswalks, weave in and out of traffic, travel down the wrong way on a one-way street, etc.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 4:51 pm • linkreport

@Tina

"Like not assuming a cyclist would do something absurd like put him/herself in danger by intentionally crashing into the back of a truck"

It's your assumption that he would not lightly and safely tap a car out of anger. It is based on the circumstances that it's clearly intentional or at least avoidable, and if the situation were reversed, a court of law would look at it the same way.

"The much more realistic and less complicated reason* for crashing into the truck is in the video evidence - the truck cut in front suddenly and braked suddenly."

The truck stopped at a stop sign, so the biker was stupid for failing to stop, knowing a stop sign was imminent. And we can tell from the video that from the biker's perspective, he saw the stop sign before the truck got in front of him.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 4:56 pm • linkreport

"Same can be said for bikers who don't yield for pedestrians"

A terrible thing to do (like the 90% of drivers who do not yield to pedestrians in my part of FFX) but as with the drivers, not endangering themselves.

" don't stop at stop signs,"

Absolutely not absurd.

" run red lights"

Often not absurd as frequently discussed.

"ride on sidewalks too fast and close to pedestrians, block crosswalks,"

Bad but see above.

" weave in and out of traffic, travel down the wrong way on a one-way street, etc." Bad and dangerous to the cyclist, but many people do NOT realize its dangerous - whereas its obvious that riding into the back of a truck is.

You seem to want to list everything any cyclist has done wrong.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 4:57 pm • linkreport

I have been cut off numerous times, and have never rear-ended another vehicle.

But if you ever did, you wouldn't be at fault. Just like the cyclist wasn't at fault.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 4:58 pm • linkreport

@Burd -??? your last comment seems to me like a non sequitur. It doesn't seem apropos to the discussion..

by Tina on May 21, 2014 5:00 pm • linkreport

"And when they're sharing lanes with motorized vehicles, like in the video, it slows down traffic"

A very interesting observation, considering that there is a speed table on that street. Had the motorist been driving on it at the intended speed, he would not have been slowed down more than a fraction of a second.

Note thought, that because bikes are smaller, shifting more people to bikes will reduce motor vehicle congestion. Also as they weigh less, they can use facilities that need far less maintenance.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 5:01 pm • linkreport

Burd

why dont you complain to MPD about the ticket reversal?

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 5:03 pm • linkreport

Again, in my experience most road users are trying to use the roads safely, but unfortunately there always seem to be exceptions. Therefore it's not fair to single out one type of road user as being more unsafe or scofflaw than other types. What about the drivers who run red lights, speed, fail to yield when required, etc? Pedestrians who jaywalk, cross against the light, block bike lanes, etc?

Do you hear me, Burd? :-)

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 5:16 pm • linkreport


@AWalkerInTheCity

"Absolutely not absurd."

[Deleted for violating the comment policy.] It is against the law for any vehicle to run red lights or stop signs.

@drumz

"But if you ever did, you wouldn't be at fault."

As any accident attorney knows, that's simply untrue.

@AWalkerInTheCity

"Had the motorist been driving on it at the intended speed, he would not have been slowed down more than a fraction of a second."

[Deleted for violating the comment policy.] My point was a general statement in response to 202's general and completely unfounded statement that "that drivers hate cyclists so much because more bikes = less traffic."

by Burd on May 21, 2014 5:19 pm • linkreport

DaveG

Most users who do unsafe things, do things that are safe to themselves, but endanger others, because of convenience.

burd is claiming that wilder deliberated struck the vehicle in order to create an argument. Some of us are quite skeptical.

I would note that A. There appears to be space between the front of the truck and the stop sign and B. The truck is long, so someone riding to stop at the stop sign could still be unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the truck And C. Many safe cyclists might be riding at a speed faster than to stop at the stop sign, with no pedestrians or cross traffic visible. They could be planning on going through it at 3MPH (walking speed.) at more than a truck length away from the sign they would therefore be going a good bit faster.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 5:22 pm • linkreport

"Perhaps to you, but it is against the law for any vehicle to run red lights or stop signs."

but we are not discussing what is lawful but what is absurd. We are questioing whether its reasonable to think he deliberately ran into a truck. A potentially quite painful experience, and potentially damaging to his bike. That people do things that are unlawful, but that do not deliberately lead to physical pain and financial loss to themselves, is neither here nor there.

Lots of drivers regularly speed, make illegal turns, etc. I doubt any of them deliberately crash into vehicles larger than their own.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 5:25 pm • linkreport

Some accident attorneys seem to disagree with you,

http://www.all-about-car-accidents.com/resources/auto-accident/fault-car-accidents/fault-rear-end-collision-when-front-car-fault

The sudden and unexpected entrance of another vehicle, pedestrian, or object into your rightful lane of travel provides some relief from the ACDA rule and accounts for the most common situation in which the driver of the rear vehicle is not liable in a rear-end collision.

An unexpected entrance like an illegal pass.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 5:27 pm • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity

Why don't you complain to MPD about deciding to reverse the ticket?

@DaveG

"Do you hear me, Burd?"

I saw your comments and they do not appear to be applicable to anything I've stated.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 5:28 pm • linkreport

I did not complain as I thought this video would cause them to reverse the ticket. I first saw it yesterday. They DID reverse the ticket (did you miss that.)

Now Wilder gets off with no penalty, and they are going to charge the driver.

So again, you should complain if you are certain wilder was at fault.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 5:31 pm • linkreport

202s statement was quite general. Clearly transportation things are very local, and whats true in one place is not in another. But I would say that most people I know who drive are not angry at cyclists and many are quite supportive of cycling even though they do not cycle. There is a small angry minority of drivers who hate cyclists. They do not speak for most drivers, who appreciate what cycling does for communities.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 5:33 pm • linkreport

@Burd

So sorry...I will leave your internet now.

by 202 on May 21, 2014 5:33 pm • linkreport

@ AWalkerInTheCity

"but we are not discussing what is lawful but what is absurd. "

I'm not interested in discussing what you think is absurd, as that has nothing to do with fact.

"We are questioing whether its reasonable to think he deliberately ran into a truck."

You may question as much as you wish, but given that he was hot-tempered, had ample opportunity to stop before reaching the stop sign which was in plain sight, or even veer to the right, it was intentional or at least avoidable.

@drumz

"Some accident attorneys seem to disagree with you"

Disagree with what? I simply said that your statement "But if you EVER did, you wouldn't be at fault" is completely untrue, as any accident attorney knows.

by Burd on May 21, 2014 5:36 pm • linkreport

Except an accident attorney will point out exceptions where the person who rear ended may not be at fault. Like when someone cuts you off.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 5:38 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Burd on May 21, 2014 5:55 pm • linkreport

ok

by drumz on May 21, 2014 6:00 pm • linkreport

All the debate about the cyclist actions, in my opinion, can at some level be equivocated and compared with other situations where people, for reasons of expediency and practicality, "turn the other cheek" or "let it go" and by doing this allow wrongs to go un-righted. But no group ever won it's rights, or protections, or fair or equitable treatment by the powers that be by "turning the other cheek" or otherwise shrinking away from confrontations.

Good for the cyclist. It's just a shame that it takes video evidence for the chance at justice.

by LateToTheDiscussion on May 21, 2014 6:01 pm • linkreport

He's an idiot of a pickup driver, not Bull Connor.

by Crickey7 on May 21, 2014 6:34 pm • linkreport

I haven't read through all the 300+ comments but I'm sure since this is GGW I'm probably one of the only people that the bicyclist has some fault.

[Deleted for violating the comment policy.] The truck doesn't look that close to me. This guy on the bicycle is yelling and swearing at him for no real reason. Looks to me like this guy has some real anger issues. Maybe he should get counseling....

The truck passed him and came to a stop at the sign like he's supposed to. The bicyclist had plenty of room to stop. But he probably wasn't going to. And that's what made him mad. He wanted to blow through the intersection like aggressive bicyclists do.

Given this guy's past videos, I'm inclined to believe he rides like this and films it just to call attention to himself. Again, counseling....

by Anonny on May 21, 2014 7:13 pm • linkreport

@WalkerITC: Out my way, I see no evidence that the police are playing a significant role in changing driver behavior toward cyclists or pedestrians. And the police do not even know the crosswalk rule, so I doubt they know the bike rules. In conversations with their traffic staff, they have explained that the data show that the most serious problem with bike-ped safety is drunk pedestrians and pedestrians crossing the street in the wrong place, so that is where they will focus their efforts. They are quite explicit that they see no evidence that it would be worthwhile to launch any enforcement campaign focused on driver behavior.

So I'm just trying to conceptualize a potential campaign with a chance of getting enough support to change what they do.

by JimT on May 21, 2014 7:17 pm • linkreport

Let me put it more directly. The running camera and the biker's language suggests that he was spoiling for a fight. And he found one.

by Jasper2 on May 21, 2014 9:30 pm • linkreport

So legal protection and getting frustrated at someone who almost runs you off the road is spoiling for a fight? Ok.

by Drumz on May 21, 2014 9:44 pm • linkreport

@Jasper

You are totally right. We once called that type of language fighting words and for good reason.

by kob on May 21, 2014 9:45 pm • linkreport

No, someone saying rude words (after actions you took that put them in harms way) is not a good reason to start a fight.

That's the price we pay to live in a civil society.

by Drumz on May 21, 2014 10:00 pm • linkreport

Those are well beyond rude words. But I'm all for a civil society. Last comment is yours. I'm done.

by kob on May 21, 2014 10:03 pm • linkreport

GGW is a forward-looking, proscriptive forum. Placing blame is backwards-looking. The things that this video points out are a problem with the police, and a problem with drivers interacting with cyclists.

As for MPD, we need to use the power of persuasion. Shane F. is a great advocate, very well-spoken and reasonable. Police respond to people who look like they are there to help fix problems, not just point fingers. As to drivers, no short-term fix is available. It will be a generational evolution. In the short term, keeping a cool head is, in my opinion, the preferable strategy.

by Crickey7 on May 21, 2014 10:53 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by 703 on May 22, 2014 1:28 am • linkreport

Ultimately this IS about policy. It's about how to ensure the police are fairly enforcing the traffic laws.

by DaveG on May 22, 2014 8:16 am • linkreport

Let me put it more directly. The running camera and the biker's language suggests that he was spoiling for a fight. And he found one.

Let me put it more directly. The makeup, short skirt and her body language suggests she's spoiling for a good ol fashioned raping...

Pretend all you want that this isn't exactly what you're doing (victim blaming), but you are. You're part of the problem. Period.

by thump on May 22, 2014 9:32 am • linkreport

Actually Evans's video/audio recording is to document things and protect himself, not to "spoil for a fight." Now I know why dash cams are so popular in Russia, because the traffic police there are so corrupt (sound familiar)?

by DaveG on May 22, 2014 10:44 am • linkreport

JimT

You live in PG, right? I am not surprised that FFX, backwards as it is on some of these issues, is a bit ahead of PG on this as it is on promoting urbanism. Not that I think all FFX cty police get cycling, or are making it a priority to support it, but they are being trained to become more aware. We have a long way to go, but I do think campaigns to approach police forces directly, and county pols who see increasing cycling as a goal, can have impact. Whats striking in DC is that a jurisdiction so much further ahead on law, infra, and ridership, still has these issues. That suggests to me that a concerted push on policing could have good impact.

I am glad Shane Farthing is a reasonable voice, and as a WABA member I wouldn't want someone more heated taking that role. That does not mean there may not be a place for individuals communicating in a sharper key.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 10:53 am • linkreport

@Anonny

You need to watch that again. That truck was VERY close. A matter of inches. That is both dangerous and illegal. If that does not look too close to you, passing anything, even a parked car...you 100% for sure need to stop driving immediately.

Pretending that the pass wasn't illegal--the merge was. It was (again) too close, and performed without a signal.

Then yes, he stopped at a stop sign. He shouldn't have passed and merged that close to a stop sign in the first place even if the pass and merge were performed legally. If he had waited *literally* four seconds longer (the amount of time he "saved" by passing. Count from the completion of the pass to the stop), cyclist would have gotten past the line of parked cars (probably) moved to the right, truck could pass at the stop sign and we wouldn't be here.

Anger issues? Um, who got out of a truck, started the yelling and escalated this to a physical confrontation and caused property damage?

by Catherine on May 22, 2014 11:13 am • linkreport

@Catherine - The truck should not have tried to pass Evan at all in that block of R St NE as Evan already had the single lane which includes a speed hump one needs to slow for anyway, so you are right, all this was for nothing, really.

by DaveG on May 22, 2014 11:41 am • linkreport

While I certainly don't condone the driving behavior of the p/u operator, or his actions in response to Wilder slapping the side of his truck shouting obscenities at him, it is clear that Wilder has his own bag of issues that he needs to take stock of. We all deal with the rudeness and carelessness of others on a daily basis - whether we are in our cars, on our bikes, or walking down the sidewalk, but Wilder seems to think his own frustrations are more important than everyone else's.

Here is someone who claims that he is so concerned for his own safety that he moves towards the center of the travel lane so nobody can pass him, but then sees fit to instigate a completely avoidable situation which quite possibly could have ended up much worse. Does putting your hand on a moving vehicle make you more safer or less safer. Does shouting obscenities at someone make the situation better or worse? Wilder had several choices available to him in that situation - he could have slowed down and let the guy pass, he could have moved over to right, or he could have gotten the drivers attention by yelling, rather than slapping the side of the truck and shouting obscenities. The response that Wilder chose was not out of concern for his own safety, but out of anger and the desire for a confrontation. Wilder CHOSE to slap the side of the truck, shout obscenities and keep pace with the truck.

Here is some interesting info from the DDOT website:
http://ddot-hso.com/AggressiveDriving.aspx#Symptoms
http://ddot-hso.com/AggressiveDriving.aspx#Confront

Based on Wilder's interpretation of the rules of the road, vehicles are supposed to travel single file in this block, so according to his own rules, he should have stopped behind the truck when it stopped at the stop sign. Instead, Wilder CHOSE to hit the back of truck when it stopped at the stop sign. The video shows his bike leaning to the left and his front wheel tracking across the white line to ensure that he made contact, when he could have easily moved to the right to avoid a collision, WHICH IS WHAT HE WOULD HAVE DONE, HAD HE ACTUALLY BEEN CONCERNED FOR HIS OWN SAFETY. Willfully inciting another road user and then forcing a situation does not make you safer, it makes you a sociopath.

Wilder then selfishly utilizes police, ambulatory and hospital resources for this frivolous BS. Doctor: “Sir, you appear to have a bruised ego. Take two aspirin and get over yourself by the morning.” There are other people in DC who depend on these services for REAL emergencies. Wilder should stop wasting everyone else's time with his self-entitled whining.

Lastly, what makes the least sense is that Wilder publishes his latest shining cry for attention and everyone here seems to be heralding the video of this 'great injustice' as a victory in the war on drivers. But in reality, the size of the choir will stay the same, while that other guy is home recounting his own side of the story to all of his friends and family - people who may otherwise have been indifferent or at least ambivalent to cyclist's issues - about the raging d***head on a bike who slapped the side of his truck and shouted obscenities at him. Opinions solidifed! Mission accomplished! Way to be an ambassador for the cause. As a cyclist, I feel safer already.

by O2 on May 22, 2014 2:31 pm • linkreport

@O2 - Even if you were right about what you're saying, what do you have to say about the pickup truck driver arguing with Evan, claiming Evan should have been biking in the bike lane despite the fact that it goes in the other direction and last but not least, damaging Evan's bike?

by DaveG on May 22, 2014 2:53 pm • linkreport

"Instead, Wilder CHOSE to hit the back of truck when it stopped at the stop sign. The video shows his bike leaning to the left and his front wheel tracking across the white line to ensure that he made contact, when he could have easily moved to the right to avoid a collision,"

I think we have established that swerving to the side at the last minute, after he was cut off, was NOT the obviously safe thing to do.

"as a victory in the war on drivers."

There is no war on drivers. I am a driver. I own a car. I do not feel warred on, certainly not by people here. Most cyclists in this region, I would wager, are also drivers. As are most supporters of complete streets.

If its a victory in the war on police failure to properly enforce the law, I would applaud that though.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 3:06 pm • linkreport

Here is someone who claims that he is so concerned for his own safety that he moves towards the center of the travel lane so nobody can pass him

The nerve!

Based on Wilder's interpretation of the rules of the road, vehicles are supposed to travel single file in this block,

Which means the driver started this whole thing. If the driver had just waited until it was safe to pass then all of this would have been avoided and few of us would ever know that there is a cyclist somewhere out there who curses when someone almost hits him.

by drumz on May 22, 2014 3:24 pm • linkreport

@drumz

"Except an accident attorney will point out exceptions where the person who rear ended may not be at fault. Like when someone cuts you off."

Getting cut off is not always an excuse for rear-ending someone, and in fact rarely is it one. And your statement "But if you EVER did, you wouldn't be at fault. Just like the cyclist wasn't at fault" is therefore untrue, as any accident attorney knows.

@Aonny, O2

You hit the nail on the head. This angry, agressive biker could've easily avoided this situation, and absolutely deserves the ticket he received.

by Burd on May 22, 2014 3:49 pm • linkreport

He did not bike aggressively. He biked properly. He did communicate aggressively, but that does not mean he deserved the ticket, and MPD (now) agrees.

If someone did to me what that driver did by passing too closely, I would be angry. Many things drivers do make me angry (not only when I am riding, but when I am walking and when I am driving.) Do I deserve a ticket for getting angry? I don't think so.

I am sorry for those who would like to see acts of violence against persons and property used to deter those they don't think belong on the road, or in the city. Yours is a losing cause though.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 3:54 pm • linkreport

@AWITC - do you have a link for a story that shows Evan's ticket as having been revoked?

by DaveG on May 22, 2014 3:57 pm • linkreport

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/22966/breakfast-links-safety-steps/

apparently it has not been revoked yet, but it seems likely. Sorry for the confusion.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 4:00 pm • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity

He deserves the ticket for rear-ending the car, which was done either purposely or unnecessarily, as is clear from the video. People don't get tickets just for being angry, BTW.

To say "MPD now agrees" is inaccurate, as it has not been revoked, and it's not the police officer's place to decide to revoke a ticket, regardless what MPD has stated, it is a judge's duty.

If this biker wants his ticket revoked he should do what everyone else in DC has to do and schedule a hearing.

by Burd on May 22, 2014 4:09 pm • linkreport

@O2 et al.: Without being on the bike and/or knowing the speeds involved, it's very hard to know whether a maneuver to the side would have been possible or safe. Evan certainly seems to be grabbing a fistful of brake in the video, in which case making a sudden turn could have sent him over the handlebars, into the back of a parked car, or under the wheels of the truck. Which is why it's so important to leave appropriate space when passing/merging, and why the actions of the driver in this video are so egregious.

With all these helmet/dash cams out there, does MPD have a policy on accepting video evidence of moving violations from uninvolved parties? I'm thinking of bad things I've seen recently like tailing an ambulance through a red light, passing (in the same lane!) a car stopped for pedestrians in a crosswalk, etc.

by ohmypolarbear on May 22, 2014 4:11 pm • linkreport

"He deserves the ticket for rear-ending the car, which was done either purposely or unnecessarily, as is clear from the video."

I do not agree with that.

"People don't get tickets just for being angry, BTW." I do agree with that, which is why I took issue with the reiteration of his being angry. It seemed to imply he deserved a ticket because he was angry.

"To say "MPD now agrees" is inaccurate, as it has not been revoked, and it's not the police officer's place to decide to revoke a ticket, regardless what MPD has stated, it is a judge's duty."

I assume MPD knows the law on ticket revocation better than I (or you) do.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 4:14 pm • linkreport

I mean I guess MPD could just decide to not show up in court, in which case I imagine the judge would dismiss the case.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 4:17 pm • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity

You don't have to agree, but based on the video, he had ample opportunity to stop prior to rear-ending the truck. He unwisely tried to aggressively compete, which a judge would consider in his/her decision.

"I assume MPD knows the law on ticket revocation better than I (or you) do."

Perhaps better than you, but I know why we have a traffic ajudication system in place: so that judges can decide whether tickets were fairly or unfairly issued, not some MPD personnel who does not know how to interpret the law. Plus, MPD never said it would "revoke" the ticket, it said "a determination will be made as whether to change the classification of this incident."

by Burd on May 22, 2014 4:31 pm • linkreport

So lets say MPD decides that Wilder did not in fact follow too closely (as pretty much all the regular cyclists posting seem to agree, even those who despise Wilder for cursing and making a scene and thereby making cyclists look bad)

Wilder shows up in court. MPD (lets assume) shows up. Judge asks MPD officer what happened. MPD officer explains what he determined based on what witnesses told him and what he observes. Judge asks Wilder. Wilder explains, and says he has video. Judge asks MPD if they saw the video. MPD officer says yes, and they now agree that ticket was incorrect.

Judge says

A. Go free young man, and MPD be more careful next time
B. Go free young man, but try to ride more carefully.
C. Let me see the video, I do not trust MPD

??????

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 4:38 pm • linkreport

he had ample opportunity to stop prior to rear-ending the truck

The truck does move in front of him until the 11 second mark. The collision happens at the 12 second mark. 1 second is now ample time?

by David C on May 22, 2014 4:39 pm • linkreport

" he had ample opportunity to stop prior to rear-ending the truck. "

given the apparent rate of speed, and the time between the cut-off and the collision, it appears not. Whether he could have stopped at the stop sign is neither here nor there. That may be way to many of the "it was wilders fault" people keep arguing that he should have swerved.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 4:39 pm • linkreport

@AWITC

Last time I was in the DC traffic ticket adjudication court, I think the judge gave each petioner about 30 seconds, and denied every single appeal. Every one.

It may have been efficient, but left a little to be desired in the justice and fairness departments.

by Crickey7 on May 22, 2014 4:58 pm • linkreport

I presume the MPD can and may simply withdraw this ticket, i.e. drop the charge on Evan?

by DaveG on May 22, 2014 5:04 pm • linkreport

30 seconds

"your honor, I sent MPD a video, and I beleive they now agree the ticket was incorrect" Time left over.

Judge
A:Guilty, next
B: officer, is that true?

??????

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 5:04 pm • linkreport

daveG

we shall see

Apparently even if MPD says they were wrong, DC judges simply wont listen and will hold everyone who got a ticket guilty. Thats what we are told here. That should make some interesting headlines though.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 22, 2014 5:05 pm • linkreport

Last time I was in the DC traffic ticket adjudication court, I think the judge gave each petioner about 30 seconds, and denied every single appeal. Every one.

It may have been efficient, but left a little to be desired in the justice and fairness departments.

Did any of the petitioners in that 30 seconds may an argument that remotely suggested a different result was appropriate?

by ah on May 22, 2014 5:24 pm • linkreport

Um, yeah. One guy was out of the country and had documents to prove it.

by Crickey7 on May 22, 2014 5:37 pm • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity

The biker knew a stop sign was approaching, which we all saw from his perspective in the video. It was his choice (and stupidity) not to stop sooner.

@Crickey7

Last and only time I had a hearing in DC, I presented the judge with my evidence, and my tickets were dismissed. The ones who preceded me without any evidence did get the same outcome.

by Burd on May 22, 2014 6:20 pm • linkreport

*did not get the same outcome.

by Burd on May 22, 2014 6:21 pm • linkreport

It was his choice (and stupidity) not to stop sooner.

He was 15 feet from the stop sign when he hit the car in front of him. How much sooner did he need to stop?

Watching the video, the driver is going faster than the cyclist all the way up until the 11 second mark. By second 12 he has stopped and is in front of the cyclist. This means he approached the stop sign at a faster speed than the cyclist did, but stopped in a shorter distance. Driving into a stop sign and then braking hard is not safe driving.

It was not Evan's choice to crash into the cyclist. Not according to him, and he's the only person who could possibly know.

I've also had success getting tickets dismissed. Twice it was dismissed without me saying anything. Once they had failed to check a quadrant for a parking ticket and once the speed camera was known to be defective (now why I had to go downtown and waste my time when they knew the tickets were bad, I'll never know). At one hearing a guy had his ticket dismissed because he had proof that he was in prison when the ticket was issued. A lucky guy.

by David C on May 22, 2014 9:02 pm • linkreport

@ David C

"He was 15 feet from the stop sign when he hit the car in front of him. How much sooner did he need to stop?"

The camera showed he had clear vision of the stop sign long before he ran into the truck. He could've slowed down long before the truck stopped in front of him. Instead he kept at the same speed as if he were going to run the stop sign like MANY bikers do. Wilders doesn't fool me.

by Burd on May 23, 2014 11:31 am • linkreport

He could've slowed down long before the truck stopped in front of him.

He could've and he did. He grabbed his brakes at 10 seconds. The truck stopped at 12.

by David C on May 23, 2014 11:36 am • linkreport

@ David C

Again, he could've slowed down "LONG BEFORE" the truck stopped. You're just making excuses for an aggressive and disgruntled biker.

by Burd on May 23, 2014 11:43 am • linkreport

1. Even if he intended to run the stop, that does not mean he intended to hit the truck, which is what he was tickted for.
2. Given the length of the truck, and speed at which the collision apparently occurred, its quite possible he could stop at the stop sign, but not at the back of the truck

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 23, 2014 11:47 am • linkreport

"Given the length of the truck, and speed at which the collision apparently occurred, its quite possible he could stop at the stop sign, but not at the back of the truck"

LOL, your excuses get better and better. And so I guess the biker just thought the truck that was passing him would just disappear, or run the stop sign like the biker intended to do.

by Burd on May 23, 2014 11:55 am • linkreport

He expected it would not cut him off. he expected it would stop after continuing straight.

at 9 seconds there is room for him to stop to the right of the truck without himself swerving - its uncomfortably close, but doable. At 11 seconds thats no longer possible, because the truck as swerved to the right. But at that point there is no longer time to stop without hitting the trucks, despite him applying his brakes.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 23, 2014 11:59 am • linkreport

he could've slowed down "LONG BEFORE" the truck stopped.

True. Like at home.

But the question is whether or not he started to stop at a point that was reasonable to make the stop sign, and I think it is pretty clear he did.

This is like a malpractice case. The question isn't whether or not it was possible to avoid the crash, or even if the average or median cyclist would have avoided it. The question is could a reasonable cyclist, behaving within the scope of normal practices, ended up crashing. I think the answer is yes.

But I don't think the driver behaved in a way that was reasonable or within the scope of normal practice. That's why the driver is at fault. That another cyclist could have bunny-hopped the truck and avoided the crash is irrelevant, just as a claim that there is a set of choices that Evan could have taken to avoid the crash is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the primary cause of the crash is that the driver pulled in front of him with only inches of space and then within 1 second came to a full stop.

by David C on May 23, 2014 1:13 pm • linkreport

@JimT

I'm all for changing driver behavior. I actually do not think that a pedestrian should be considered entirely at fault if they are struck while not in a crosswalk. Maybe if they truly have jumped out from behind a parked car wearing dark clothing. No one on the road, driver or cyclist, can expect the road to be free of obstructions all of the time, and you can't expect to go as fast as you want to regardless of what the signs say. These are expectations that have been dangerously encouraged by how our infrastructure is built and then adopted as part of our culture.

by J.C. Smith on May 23, 2014 1:33 pm • linkreport

@J.C. Smith +1

by Tina on May 23, 2014 2:14 pm • linkreport

Clearly the driver is wrong but wouldn't it be prudent on the cyclist's part to have stayed away from this guy? Wouldn't it have been smarter to put on the breaks as soon as the truck got close to him in order to avoid any contact? It does not matter that you are in the right if you are in danger of getting hit.

by Matt Palmer on May 23, 2014 2:55 pm • linkreport

@Matt Palmer -the driver came from behind then trapped the cyclist between his truck and the parked cars on the R and even took the speed hump at speed in order to intimidate/punish the cyclist. 99% of drivers on R ST NE slow down quite a bit -even more than necessary -for the speed hump. This driver didn't b/c his goal was to intimidate ther cyclist, further evidenced by the way he swerved in front of the cyclist 1 sec before stopping suddenly.

Saying the cyclist should have/could have avoided a driver who came from behind, while riding on a clearly marked bike route on a narrow rd w/ many speed humps, is blaming the victim.

by Tina on May 23, 2014 3:17 pm • linkreport

@Tina. I am not blaming the victim. I clearly start out by saying the driver is wrong. I am trying to make the point that because there are drivers like this it would be wise that at the first sign of trouble to back off and away if possible. The cyclist could have stopped long before he did if his goal was thinking this driver is dangerous. Again it does not matter if you are in the right if it means you get crunched by a car.

by Matt Palmer on May 23, 2014 3:32 pm • linkreport

@Matt Palmer

That's, of course, logical, and collision was completely avoidable. Clearly they're just making excuses to justify the biker's tirade full of expletives and failure to slow down when he first saw the stop sign.

by Burd on May 23, 2014 4:23 pm • linkreport

@Burd I am not saying the cyclist is wrong. I am suggesting that he may need to be more afraid especially since it seems he was involved in a similar incident a few years ago.

by Matt Palmer on May 23, 2014 4:39 pm • linkreport

So there is a requirement to automatically slow down once a stop sign is in view? That's a weird rule.

Matt,

Acknowledging the wrongness of someone's action doesn't preclude you from putting blame on a victim.

by Drumz on May 23, 2014 4:51 pm • linkreport

@drumz. I am giving advice. I agree that the cyclist did nothing wrong. I am trying to make sure he cares more about his safety than whether he is in the right. I am not blaming the cyclist.

by Matt Palmer on May 23, 2014 4:55 pm • linkreport

There are people, who seeing a driver weave on a highway, will actually exit the highway out of fear. Most will not, and IMO saying they ought to have is a somewhat unreasonable thing to say. I think this is comparable.

Drumz

Someone is trying very hard to justify the behavior of the driver. Its hard to do that if you don't show that Wilder is at fault. Plus he seems like a myopic little twit doesn't he? So one must repeat over and over again its his fault, even if in doing so it confirms one's ignorance of bike riding.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 23, 2014 4:56 pm • linkreport

Lets use the weaving analogy. If you see someone weaving and they are next to you do you do you stay next to them or do you slow down to avoid being next to them? I would recommend slowing down and avoidance. This does not make someone who chooses not to avoid at fault. Now lets say there is an accident and you are hit by someone who had been weaving. The weaver is at fault no question but the next time you see someone weaving would you still stay next to them? I am suggesting that most people would not but if you do you are still not at fault. My post was about taking proactive steps based on experience to help you to not become a victim. I recently had my ipod stolen from my car while I was going in and out of a customer's home. I someone then suggested to me that I not leave my ipod in the car they are not blaming me they are trying to make sure I do not become a victim.

by Matt Palmer on May 23, 2014 5:38 pm • linkreport

@ Matt Palmer

Who said you did? I just agreed it was completely avoidable, which is evident from the video.

@AWalkerInTheCity

Please let us all know where on this page someone ever tried to justify the behaviour of the driver? But, what is clear is that you have made every excuse to desperately try to justify the biker's aggressive and unsafe actions.

by Burd on May 23, 2014 5:42 pm • linkreport

@matt palmer- the incident from a few years ago you reference is nothing at all like what happened here.

by thump on May 23, 2014 6:30 pm • linkreport

@thump I think they both involved aggressive driving that resulted in collision. The only differences I see is in the first the driver yelled at the cyclist and then hit him and in the second the driver yelled at the cyclist after. And the police went after the right person in the first instance and the wrong one in the second.
@burd I just do not agree that the cyclist was the aggressor. I just think he could learn from these cases that because we can not get rid of all the aggressive drivers that he would be wise to avoid them as soon as he had any idea that they are carelessly endangering him.

by Matt Palmer on May 23, 2014 7:07 pm • linkreport

@Matt Palmer - If you see someone weaving and they are next to you do you do you stay next to them or do you slow down to avoid being next to them?

In this situation I often speed up to get away from them, given there is room to do that.

I have ridden this section of R St NE many many times. I have experienced pissed off drivers aggressively accelerating past me there. Most of the time those drivers slow down at the speed humps, >95% of the time, and then I am able to get ahead of them and away from the trouble.

Evan was 1 block from the MBT. No one drives that last block to the MBT (except a few workers). If this driver had done what most do -slow down for the speed hump -Evan could have got in front of him and been on the MBT by the time the driver made a L at 3rd.

It was reasonable for Evan to expect the driver to do what the overwhelming majority of drivers do -slow down for the speed hump.

by Tina on May 24, 2014 12:33 pm • linkreport

The motorist should be doing 20-to-life for assault with a deadly weapon. Who controls the appointment of the DA? Who controls the police department in DC?

by Nathanael on May 25, 2014 3:53 pm • linkreport

@Matt Palmer

"I just do not agree that the cyclist was the aggressor."

Again, I didn't say you did, nor did I ever call the biker the aggressor. I said he was angry, as evident from his shouting expletives, had ample time to stop and the fender bender was avoidable.

by Burd on May 25, 2014 10:00 pm • linkreport

@Nathanael

And I encountered a biker today who blew a stop sign to turn in front of my car (which forced me to slam on my brakes) down the wrong way on a one way street. The idiot nearly hit a pedestrian, and as karma would have it he fell off his bike (where's a dashboard camera when you need one?). He did, however, get up and apologize to us, admitted he was wrong to, and thanked me for "not killing him."

But using your logic, he should get 20-to-life too.

by Burd on May 25, 2014 10:07 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Willie on May 25, 2014 11:27 pm • linkreport

#9
1. Bikes trucks each entitled to full lane. No sharing required.
2. Truck passes bike. Bad truck.
3. Truck now ahead of bike.
4. Stop sign visible ahead. Stop, bike stop!
5. Bike going to pass truck on inside (see #1)
6. Truck move to right while stopping at sign (see #1, entitled to full lane).
7. Bike hits truck squarely in the rear.
8. Biker goes to emergency room "despite showing no sign of injury."

by Mj on May 26, 2014 8:15 am • linkreport

Let me see if I can fix this

1. Bikes trucks each entitled to full lane. No sharing required.
2. Truck passes bike. Bad truck.
3. Truck now ahead of bike. (the truck was not ahead of the bike until well after the cyclist hit his brakes)
4. Stop sign visible ahead. Stop, bike stop!
5. Bike going to pass truck on inside (see #1) (At the time the cyclist planned to move in front of the truck, they were side by side
6. Truck move to right while stopping at sign (see #1, entitled to full lane). (Entitled to full lane, perhaps, but must be a proper distance ahead before moving to the right. 6 inches is not adequate).
7. Bike hits truck squarely in the rear.
8. Biker goes to emergency room "despite showing no sign of injury."

by David C on May 26, 2014 11:28 am • linkreport

This thread has turned into a fair amount of personal sniping among a few commenters about who should thank whom and so forth. I've deleted the snipe-y comments on both sides and am now closing this thread to further comments.

by David Alpert on May 27, 2014 11:33 am • linkreport

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