Massholes don't like acknowledging somebody else has the right of way

Also don't realize that some bicyclists now wear helmetcams for just such occasions, as Eoin O'Carroll demonstrates in this video from Mass. Ave. (the Boston one) yesterday:



Free tagging: 


SIX inches!

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That's like half a foot -- nearly as close as two cars come to each other on that same street! He *almost* hit you! Oh the humanity!

6 inches isn't a lot of space

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How about this: you walk across the street in the crosswalk, and I'll buzz by in my bicycle six inches away and see how you feel. Wear a diaper, just to be safe.


False. When over taking

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False. When over taking another driver, you get in to the other lane to pass. This was cutting next to the biker while staying in his lane.

Six inches clearance becomming the norm

State and Federal roadway designers, pressured by walkable, sustainable, and bike lobbies are continuing to narrow roadway lanes. They call it "traffic calming", yet it produces more stress as drivers and cyclists all have less room to go around turning vehicles, stopped vehicles, and road debris and defects. Worse, all this slowing down and speeding up contributes to higher fuel usage, increased dependence on foreign oil, and higher greenhouse gas production. Curb extensions have the same effect. No studies show that fewer accidents result. Lane removals were done in Central Square, and it tops the state's most dangerous place to bike, and #2 to walk. Boston, at nearly 5x the population doesn't make either top ten list! Who benefited? Developers and bar owners. Low income people living there had to move farther from jobs and spend an even greater portion of their limited income on transportation. Wider sidewalks instead of roadway worsened safety.

I really can't fault the cyclist. He stopped at red lights, yielded to the pedestrian crossing and needed to use the travel lane in the tight road. I'd only suggest biking another route than Mass Ave. It tops the state's list for bike accidents.

How do you define "most

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How do you define "most dangerous place to bike"? If you are merely counting number of accidents, that is a terrible metric, because it doesn't take into account the volume of cyclists. Mass Ave is a fairly significant corridor, in an area with a lot of bicycle traffic. Have you considered whether it's the most dangerous per user or per vehicle mile? There is a lot of pedestrian traffic in Central Square as well; again, are you counting absolute numbers, or a rate per pedestrian? In fact, what are your sources for you claims?

Which low income people have to move further away? Why would narrowing the road mean that they need to live further? Are you saying that just because it increased property values? If it increased property values, doesn't that indicate that more people consider the changes an improvement, and are thus willing to pay higher prices to live there?

We could just widen all roads

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We could just widen all roads instead of narrowing them. That way cars won't be slowed down at all by traffic calming measures like those pesky curb extensions, and they won't end up using more fuel in the process. Sure it will make things a bit harder for pedestrians or bikers, but after all, the goal of our transportation system is to move cars through as quickly as possible, not people. Let's try to model our new city after others with lots of wide roads: Houston, or Phoenix, come to mind.

To be serious though, traffic calming reduces the speed of vehicles, which makes walking and biking safer and a far more pleasant experience. I'm not sure about Central square, but often when a car lane is removed, the extra space goes towards a bike lane. I thought that's what happened in that case. Overall, when walking and biking become safer, fewer people use their cars, and there is less dependence on oil. Also, I highly doubt Central square is one of the most dangerous places to bike in the state. It may have one of the highest accident rates, but it also handles a huge number of bikers. You need to factor in the volume of bikers into the equation.

Slow down!

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Boston was recently rated the safest walking city in the United States by one group.

Stop speeding down city streets! Stop veering out of your lane!

You might want to reflect on the insanity of proposing "wider roadways for pedestrian safety." Such a ridiculous conclusion should make you think twice about your premises.

Video captures the best part

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What I noticed when riding my scooter through the city the past few years (at speeds not much faster than the bikes), is that it doesn't matter if they think you're going too slow in front of them. They weren't going anywhere anyways even if they passed you. The lights, traffic, and turning vehicles in this city won't allow it. Look near the start of the video where the car behind him wouldn't have had anywhere to go because the minivan in front made the right onto 90 at Newbury St.

In fact, the ONLY reason this guy is able to get out of his car and threaten the biker at all is because after he zoomed by him within the same lane, he ends up stopped at the next light behind the moving truck that was in front of the biker! Never mind the fact that Mass Ave becomes 2 lanes wide right where the car invades the bike's lane and so anyone and everyone can go around the bike legally there anyways if cooler heads prevailed.

What in the world was there to get upset about? You didn't get to grasshopper your way down the street behind the slower moving traffic in front of you because the slower moving bike was in the way??

Also, just to note, the idea that BPD is going to track this guy down by his license, model, and make based on what's on this video is just sorta laughable. It's sad that stuff like this is tolerated at all, but let's be real about our current situation on the roads in this city. If a cop had been the next car back in line he *might* have flipped on his lights and pulled the guy over to keep him in line but not even a ticket would have been given. If he came up on them stopped with the driver out of his vehicle, he probably would stop long enough to tell him to get in his car and drive away...again, no further action. So, the idea that he's going to put out a BOLO or send a detective to find this guy to do what? write a ticket? give him a stern talking to? It's just laughable.


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Fat idiot is clearly an amateur driver. Mass ave is the slowest road in town. Uh duh. Speeding up to stop, revoke his license.

I don't really find that

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I don't really find that expectation laughable. The man is clearly harassing the cyclist, including a verbal threat, and I wouldn't rule out something like physical intimidation. Maybe I'm being delusional, but I think Somerville or Cambridge PD would have taken this a little more seriously.

By the camera view, the bike

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By the camera view, the bike was smack in the middle of the right lane. I do not condone the car nearly hitting the bike, and I can see that there is no bike lane. I do not see why the bike was riding in the middle of the lane, though. That is not sharing the road.


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Did you see the truck on the right?

Bikes are allowed to take an

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Bikes are allowed to take an entire lane as legal vehicles. Usually cyclists do this in areas where splitting a lane could result in being run off the road.

That IS sharing the road

The bike belongs in the middle of the lane when being to the right creates an adverse safety condition. In this case, you have parked cars to the right, so the safety zone for the bike begins 3 feet into the lane. At 3 feet, there's still a danger of being doored (some doors are long) or hitting a pedestrian who ambles out from between two parked cars. More to the point, at three feet, there is no longer room in the lane for a car to pass (amply demonstrated by the video), which means that the biker should move further to the left, to make it less likely that a car will attempt such a maneuver. Safe practices and the law both indicate that the cyclist was riding in the correct spot.

Yes it is

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A bike in a moving lane should position themselves in line with the driver's seat of an imaginary car ahead of them in the same lane. This puts you square in the direct view of any driver approaching you from the rear and puts you in the expected location of someone using their rear view or side mirror if they intend to merge into your lane. It also gives you the most directions out of any potential accident that starts developing.

Bikers who hug the right run the risk of being clipped by drivers (like this one) who intend to aggressively pass a "slow" bike but feel justified to fully stay in the lane, drivers who don't see you around the pillars of their windshield, drivers merging into your lane whose mirrors were never intended to show them the far right side of the lane, trucks, etc.

"Sharing the road" doesn't mean sharing the lane.

Mass General Laws, chapter 89, Section2

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" If it is not possible to overtake a bicycle or other vehicle at a safe distance in the same lane, the overtaking vehicle shall use all or part of an adjacent lane if it is safe to do so or wait for a safe opportunity to overtake. "

When the lane is as narrow as the ones on Mass ave, there is by default not enough space for the car and the bike and a safe distance of 3'. Unfortunately lots of drivers will try to "squeeze through" if the biker stays too far to the right, leading to an unsafe pass. By riding in the middle, or really the right third, the bicyclist is signaling to the drivers that in order to pass safely, they need to change lanes.

Unfortunately this masshole thought he could squeeze though anyway instead of waiting a couple of seconds and making a complete lane change. That does tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

However if you stay way to the right, you'll get close passed 75% of the time, plus put yourself in danger of being hit by a door.

Given that there was a completely open left lane, I don't see how the bicyclist was obstructing traffic in any way.

I actually quoted that very

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I actually quoted that very law to the BPD officer. He just gave me a blank stare.

Bonus: You may have noticed that there's a thing dangling down over the guy's rear license plate, obstructing some of the numbers. I could get only a partial tag: 457 **3.

I asked the officer if the driver could be cited for covering up his license plate. The officer said that he could, but only if I could provide the full license plate number.

I was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of the officer's logic, and let out a respectful whistle.

Map of Martha's Vineyard

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I saw that and replayed it to see what it was. Looks like a silhouette of the Vineyard as best I can tell. So tell the officer his plate is 457 MV3.

I think riding around with a plate that doesn't belong on the car is a bigger offense than covering up your plate! ;-)

License plate codes

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Is that really how the MA license plate numbers are given out? With numbers/letters corresponding to their region? They do do that in Indiana.

Some around here cops do not seem give a fuck about...

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...things that they can ignore without getting in trouble.

I had some guy in Somerville threaten to beat me up over a parking situation and instead of getting into it with him, I'd figure I'd do the right thing and wait for him to walk away, then call the cops. The officer showed up, annoyed, said he couldn't do anything, even though I said I knew where the guy probably lived. Makes me feel I should have just beaten that guy up, although then, presumably, the cops would have done something when called - to me.

I'm still confused what you

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I'm still confused what you expected the police to do. The biker got yelled at, he wasn't assaulted. You wanted the cops to show up at this guys house and yell at him for yelling at you? Arrest him... for what? Sorry your feelings got hurt, buddy.

Assault is not the same as battery

According to Massachusetts' Model Jury Instructions, an assault has occurred if the offender "intended to put the victim in fear of an imminent battery, and engaged in some conduct toward the victim which the victim reasonably perceived as imminently threatening a battery." Note that there is no requirement that the offender actually strike or injure the victim.

An example would be pointing a gun at someone, then shooting and intentionally missing them by a few inches. You didn't hit them - but it was still an assault.

Given the driver's anger (honking, buzzing, swearing) and the difference in size between the two vehicles, one could make the above argument in this case. The driver could have just flipped him the bird, but instead he chose to buzz him extremely closely. I think this indicates he intended to frighten the cyclist.

The guy broke the law,

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The guy broke the law, specifically MGL, chapter 89, Section2. And he did so in a way that, had I swerved at the wrong time to avoid a pothole, I would have ended up badly injured, or worse.

Yes, I know that the BPD is unconcerned with cyclists' safety and that they would likely give me the brush-off. But when I finally do snap and start riding around with a window breaker, a can of Mace, and a tactical knife, I want to have a long history of attempts showing that I initially sought justice through lawful means.


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Judging by some of his other videos our film maker seems to like provocation (re Porsche video, you sped up to catch him but he did pass safely, according to the law).

In this situation I would have ridden around the guy as he got out of his car. You both ended up blocking a lane for your little argument/video/time-sink.

*disclaimer - cyclist for 25 years, driver for 17. Only hit by cars 3 times (2 were my fault/ignorance)*

Believe it or not, I would

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Believe it or not, I would love nothing more than to have nothing but uneventful videos. I'm 35 years old with a wife and a 10-month-old daughter. I'm not up for confrontation these days, if I ever was. I just want to ride my bike to and from work without fearing for my safety. I ride with a camera because last year I was badly injured on my bike by a jaywalker, who then lied in court. I had no recourse.

I chased the Porsche so that I could get the driver on video. Once I ID'd him, I rode away without getting into an altercation.

As for yesterday's incident, I remained behind the guy's car because I was worried that if I passed him, he would buzz me again, or simply hit me.

I dig your disclaimer. You are a way more experienced cyclist than I am. But I think you should set your standards higher. If a pedestrian told you that, in his 25 years of walking, he'd been hit by a car three times, wouldn't you think that a bit much?

We cyclists have a right to safe accommodations, just like everyone else.

The right is only on paper

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Roads aren't on paper, so relying on "the right of way" is dangerous and a bad habit. It's why you ran into a pedestrian, and lost in court. The judge probably knew the guy was lying, but also knew that you were being a ninny who thought you had a "right". Judges hate that kind of person. Clearly it was you that crashed into him, because you "had the right of way". In this state (in case you are new here) there are no "jaywalkers" except on paper.

And the video shows numerous opportunities to pull toward the side, where there are no cars parked, that would have let the guy pass (and probably a couple others behind him) before you got up to the truck. Then he would have made the next light. He was probably pissed he missed the light that you stopped at in front of him (I don't know what the traffic was like when you arrived at the light, but I suspect you could have gone through, judging by the scene when the video starts).

Last character looks like a J

The last character looks like a J to me. It only starts looking like a 3 when the car moves far enough away that the image gets distorted. The second to last character looks like a C, G, or 6, based on the upper part of the character being visible.

The thing obscuring the plate looks like the housing for the light that illuminates the plate at night. It looks like the housing has fallen out of position and is dangling by its wires.

The car is a 1998-2002 Honda Accord Coupe. They're the only ones that have that distinctive tail light pattern where the light bar goes all the way across.

doing a quick search of the

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doing a quick search of the RMV database, I can see a 2000 honda accord registered in ATTLEBORO, MA with license# 4575NJ
Could that be it?

I'm so sick of hearing about

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I'm so sick of hearing about you self-righteous, hippie, instigating, bike riders. Why can't you just ride your bike and mind your own business like a normal person.

probably because of

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probably because of bike-ignorant people like yourself who don't mind their own business.

Can you contact me?

John Daley!

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Super impressive! If this is really you, which I suspect it is, but obviously have some doubts of, which you can probably infer through my "If this is really you" comment. Anyhow, you (You, as in a police officer. Not you, as in John Daley.) are being awesomely proactive which blows my mind! Kudos! Bravo!

Move to Barcelona?

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They cut down the width of some of the wider boulevards so that cars are away from buildings and there are wide cycletracks and wide sidewalks and sidewalk cafes ... and only the tourists are stupid enough to walk where they shouldn't! Bikes even get their own lights at intersections, and cars stop at stop lines and stay there and don't pout about it.

Sweet place, this. Sweet.

grow up and do something better with your time

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Seriously? Do have nothing better to do? You are looking for a case. Do something better with your time. You didn't feel threatened you just wanted to end up on the news

I agree and

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I understand why he went around the truck into the lane. When he did that he came up against a driver who did not like the fact that the cyclist was in the lane in front of him. So the driver, instead of slowing down and just passing him in the other lane, got pissed off and buzzed him a bit too close.

As someone who used to ride alot in the city, I never liked going down this section of Mass Ave. Too dangerous in my opinion. In a battle of bike v. car, a car will always win and me being dead or hurt is of more importance to me than catching aggressive drivers on my helmet cam. But to each their own, I guess.

I'm sorry, but obviously you

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I'm sorry, but obviously you have never ridden a bike as an adult, and more obv not in Boston. We have as much right to the road as you when there is no bike lane, and have to be concerned with people throwing their doors open at any given time. He was in the middle cause he had to go around the truck, and was there for what 100 feet. Its drivers like you who contribute to actions like this. You are probably the type of person to drive up on a biker and honk your horn cause they are being cautious of their safety in a severely unsafe riding road...esp on that particular street and area. Makes me so mad. Do all bikers a favor and go rent one of those New Balance bikes and go ride on that road...hell any road in boston and then you can start stating your opinion about riding a bike in boston...cause trust me it will completely change your view...a newbie will probably fear for their lives the entire time...thats how crazy drivers are with bikers.

"I do not see why the bike

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"I do not see why the bike was riding in the middle of the lane, though. That is not sharing the road."

The law, and common safety sense, says that riding in the middle of the lane is fully appropriate.

he has a right to take the lane

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When there is no bike lane, a cyclist has the right to take the lane when it is necessary for safety. Ever had the drivers' door of a parked car fly open in front of you when you were trying to be extra-polite? Or even just have a pedestrian walk out into the road from between two parked cars? A sa cyclist, you are often literally between a rock and a hard place - it's necessary and legal to have a little breathing room for safety's sake.

I appreciate how you kept your cool!

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Especially when he was threatening you!
"Because you're in my way" is a great response

Sucks that the police were unwilling to do anything. I wonder if you can appeal it up? send Nichole Friedman a link to this and ask her what she would recommend. Maybe you can at least get someone to pay him a little call and give him a talking to.

Mayor's office

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He is trying to promote Boston as a bike-friendly town; he should see evidence of how well/poorly his efforts are working.

It's probably a good thing

It's probably a good thing they cop didn't want to see the video, since recording someone's audio is illegal wiretapping in MA. I don't know how the guy saying he didn't care would affect that, though...



This wouldn't be secret.

But the conversation could be.

First things first

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After I ascertained that he was not threatening me, I informed him that I was taping.

Does that constitute illegal wiretapping? My understanding – based on a conversation with a Cambridge police officer – is that because I did not initiate the conversation, his initial words to me do not constitute a private oral communication.

For those who are interested, I use a Contour HD camera mounted on the left side of my helmet.

Don't be a wiretap moron.

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Wiretap laws apply to wiretaps on phone lines, stop perpetuating the nonsense that a 'camera' in secretly wiretapping someone. No it's not.

This just needs a test case and it'll be thrown out.

The EFF are working hard to dispel this ignorance, so please don't fall for the media hysteria about wiretaps.

Don't be a legal moron

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You might be completely right that eventually this idea will be thrown out. For now, however, people are continuing to be arrested in Massachusetts for violating Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 99(C)(1), commonly referred to as the state wiretapping law, which bars the "interception of any wire or oral communication."

Just ask Simon Glik, who, yes, is one of the people attempting to oveturn the use of this statute in public places, such as the Boston Common (See the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit's recent ruling, which held that, no, police officers cannot claim job immunity for violating somebody's First Amendment rights in such a public setting and so are subject to lawsuits).

There is also the Hyde case.

Where a motoroist audiotaped a conversation between him and the officer without the officers knowledge. The motorist was charged with the wiretap statue, was convicted, and then the MA supreme court upheld the decision.

So if a conversation between two people on a roadway can be illegal (According to the courts), there is probably some grey area with this one.

Be more precise

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While it is clearly legal to make video recordings (with sound) of plainly visible and audible events transpiring in a public place, and while no such arrest ever results in prosecution (charges always dropped), the fact remains that people who videotape police activity are frequently threatened and arrested by the police.


Ok. But I wasn't talking about those situations, I was talking about this one.

I kinda feel bad for the biker..

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but hey, it's Boston, not Seattle. No one in a car gives two shits about someone on a bike. Sorry to say, I've seen it more times than I care to count.

Question to biker; what did you really think the cops were going to do?

Even though I believe that

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Even though I believe that buzzing cyclists constitutes assault. I didn't really expect an assault charge.

I did, however, think the Boston police might send an officer to speak with the driver. That's what the Cambridge police said they would do after I showed a CPD officer a video of a similar – but less dramatic – incident. Maybe the CPD officer was lying about that, but I figured it was worth a shot.

But yes, I also fully expected to get the brush-off. But I want to establish a pattern of reporting these incidents to the police so that when I eventually resort to violence it will serve as a mitigating factor, morally if not legally.

No plate, nothing they can do.

But if you have a partial plate that is missing 2-3 digits with a good color and make of the car can be an easy find if you searched the registry.

I have that: It's a silver

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I have that: It's a silver Honda Accord with the license plate 457 **3.

How does searching the registry work? Is it something I can do?

No you can't do it.

You have to have access to the registry database (police, dispatch, registry) to find that out. There is a program that finds this stuff out and with your information you should be able to find it out pretty easy (you also have the race/gender of the driver as well).

Not sure if you can officially file something with the registry and they legally have to give you the information. In general the Boston Police traffic divisions will not follow things like this up for civil infractions since they are usually backed up with criminal traffic investigations (hit and runs, vehicle assaults, etc).

If you had the right info, you could go to court yourself and file a criminal complaint on your own behalf.

Registration is public knowledge

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And you can get it, for a fee. Problem is I think you need the whole number. I don't think they'll do a search like that.

You'd probably be able to get a list of all 457 **3 in MA, for whatever that number of registrations costs you... but knowing the RMV that's questionable, even if it's technically possible.

not sure if you saw this comment....

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Map of Martha's Vineyard
By Stevil - 9/14/11 - 10:53 am
I saw that and replayed it to see what it was. Looks like a silhouette of the Vineyard as best I can tell. So tell the officer his plate is 457 MV3.

I think riding around with a plate that doesn't belong on the car is a bigger offense than covering up your plate! ;-)

"when I eventually resort to

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"when I eventually resort to violence it will serve as a mitigating factor, morally if not legally."

by this writing you are showing that you are already planning on taking violent action and using these tapings to justify them.. hahaha

I completely agree that the

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I completely agree that the driver in this post's video was in the wrong, especially for exiting his vehicle and being aggressive/threatening you.

However in the video you link to in your comment, it seems like the driver was simply honking to alert you of his presence and then go around you. I do that all the time; not in a f*** off kind of way, just in a "hey I'm here watch out" kind of way. Seems like you were the threatening one by chasing him all the way down the street, initiating an aggressive conversation, and yelling that he's being taped. He was trying to get a picture of YOU to report YOU.

My point is, sometimes bikers feel way too entitled. Biking in this city must be a scary thing; I wouldn't attempt it. But driving here is no picnic either, and if us drivers have the opportunity to go around you, we're going to take it. Better honk at you and annoy you a bit, than not honk at you, try to go around you, and then you suddenly turn left unaware that we're there.

Please stop honking at bikes!

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For goodness sakes...Do you honk at every car you come upon? Given the blind spot present in pretty much every motor vehicle, a motorist is much more likely to be unaware of your presence that someone on a bike who is going to have his/her head on a constant swivel. You look around as you drive, right? Cyclists do the same.

Your motives may be pure, but trust me, you are in fact only annoying the cyclist, along with everyone else on the street. That horn should be the alarm of last alert, not a cheery "hello".

Drivers are the entitled ones

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They think they own the road, and that the laws don't apply to them.

I have been navigating a city this week where cars yield to pedestrians and will sit behind a stop line at a complicated intersection and wait for the light - even if they can't "see" why they are stopped.

Cyclists just want their due space on the roadway. If drivers had to pay the full cost of driving, can you imagine the whining? If snow removal budgets were slashed to clear sidewalks and bus stops, would we hear the end of the mewling and baaaahing? Of course not.

Drivers are entitled here, not cyclists. Cycling amenities cost very little - driving costs seriously big bucks that come out of the paychecks and property taxes of everybody.

"No one in a car gives two

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"No one in a car gives two shits about someone on a bike. Sorry to say, I've seen it more times than I care to count"

And that is what needs to change.

To be more accurate...

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Nobody gives two shits, period.

Bikers seem to think that Masshole drivers only threaten them, not everybody else. It's not a picnic driving a car around people like that either. It wouldn't matter if the guy in the Honda was on a tricycle, he'd still be a ball of hatefulness and rage and a danger to everyone around him.


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It'd sure be a lot more amusing to see him swearing at people while tooling his fat ass down the street on a too-small tricycle.

I've looked at every frame of video...

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...and the best plate I can get is "457" for the first digits.

There's something blocking the plate, can't tell what. The last digit might be a 3.

Primered grey bumper shows this guy is apparently not that good at piloting this car, or likes to use it as a weapon...and it wouldn't be hard to confirm the car.

Funny how BPD regale us with stories about how they find guns and drugs with traffic stops over someone failing to signal a turn...but some huge angry dude nearly kills a cyclist with their car and then hops out to threaten them with a fight, and gosh, too many better things to do.

Yeah because he drives around

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Yeah because he drives around in reverse and rams into people. You're an Idiot.

I just reported a similar

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I just reported a similar incident to the police this morning and was told that if you report the license # to the RMV they can take action. They may have powers that the police do not. In addition, I recommend you call the police again and request action until someone IS willing to track these guys down. Again, with a license plate # they CAN take action. Also, do be careful about confronting such drivers, it can clearly be very dangerous and if they threaten you, you clearly have every right to demand action from the police. Don't be complacent about your safety. And, for those of you who aren't cyclists - how do you think this guy treats his fellow drivers, or pedestrians? Be safe out there everyone!

BDP has better things to do

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Like harass college students in Allston, or sit in C6 while the bank up the road gets robbed weekly, or yell at people filming them in public not doing their jobs.

Some people should stay off Bikes

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I have nothing against people riding bikes but, there are some people who should just stay off of them, I can also understand the Police not doing anything about this matter. Bike Riders need to think like car drivers are suppose to think if you can avoid a dangerous situation then avoid it, don't wait for something bad to happen and then say I had the right of way. If I get the green light and I see another car barreling towards me do I still move my car or do I say hey he's going to hit me if I do and wait. I saw a women yesterday in the middle of Summer St. on one of those city bikes wobbling all over the road like she hasn't rode a bike in 20yrs. It was a tragic accident waiting to happen in a high traffic accident no helmet no nothing just someone's mother who thought it was a good Idea to rent a bike.


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by ms leslie (parodied)

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I have nothing against people driving cars, but there are some people who should just stay out of cars.
Car drivers need to think like bike riders are suppose (sic) to think, if you can avoid a dangerous situation then(sic) avoid it, don't wait for something bad to happen and then say I had the right of way. If I want to pass, and there isn't a safe space to pass, so I still move my car, or do I just wait 30 seconds, and pass safely. I saw a woman in (insert practically any location in the city) a) weaving between lanes while talking on his cell phone, b) running a red light - (I counted two cars blowing the red at Charles circle this morning) c) turning right from the left lane with out signaling. It was a tragic accident waiting to happen in a high traffic accident (sic) no helmet, no nothing, just someone's mother who thought it was a good Idea (sic) to drive a car.

Dear Ms. Lesley,
I hope you appreciate that riding a bike gives you a lot of appreciation for stupid things cars do, and an acute desire to be cautious, and avoid any situation in which they might hit you. The biker in this video was clearly operating safely. Drivers have a legal obligation not to hit anyone in the road, whether that be another car, a pedestrian, or someone's mother wobbling on a bike.

I think you should stay off the road

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...given your fundamental misunderstanding of how right-of-way works, and your fascinating concepts on moral relativism and traffic laws.

There's a difference between taking evasive action to avoid a collision (your example), and having someone pass you illegally and dangerously from behind because they're a fuckwad (and then having them get out of their car in the middle of the road and threaten you repeatedly.)

The law says:
a)the cyclist has the right to the lane
b)an overtaking vehicle must wait to pass until it is safe, or use another lane.

End of discussion. I don't care if the cyclist is flipping you the bird while juggling and has a sign on the back of the bike telling you you're ugly. Follow the law.

Like Like Like Like

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Now that we have a + button we need ones for multiple pluses.

"I don't care if the cyclist is flipping you the bird while juggling and has a sign on the back of the bike telling you you're ugly."

video quality is pretty bad...

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What settings were you using? There's only about 5 frames of video where you can barely read the plate.

wouldn't happen to have been an older bald guy with glasses?

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I was hit on the BU bridge recently by a guy who did exactly what this asshole in the video did - he passed so close his mirror hit me. I managed to save it by bouncing off the side of his car; nearly bought it going into the jersey barriers. The guy kept going...and then while I was biking behind him, he looked in his rear-view mirror and slammed on the brakes trying to make me hit the back of his car.

Brookline Police punched in his plate and said he lived in Cambridge, and the incident happened on State Police territory, so there was nothing they could do.

Silver honda coupe, older heavyset balding male driver with small, silver-rimmed glasses. I have the license plate number written down at home. What was the plate of the guy who hit you?


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What was the plate of the guy who hit you?

I emailed it to you.

Dear Anon, Holy *crap*,

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Dear Anon,

Holy *crap*, someone here is trying to screw with us. Whoever just wrote the reply saying "I emailed it to you" was not me. I did not see your reply until just now, and I did *not* email you anything. Hopefully the person who just posted as me is *not* the person who attacked us both!

But the car AND the gentleman somewhat match your description. I will NOT do any of this process online. Anon, please *immediately* call Detective Brian Gill at 617-343-4683 and tell him that you think you were hit by the same driver as me.

Thank you!
Dan (pocky)

Good reason to register?

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Not sure how anon, or psudo-anon (is such a thing even possible) could have emailed you since your post was as as non-registered user...

Red Light

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I for one, commend you for actually stopping at the red light. If more cyclist actually followed simple rules of the road (like, stopping at red lights) I think there would be a different attitude from most motorists.

I think that's what provoked him

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The rider rides like a douchebag bike rider. Waiting at the light, and then taking up the whole lane, so the cars have to stay behind him. I'm surprised they didn't run him over.

I hate that, too

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The worst is when there's another CAR in front of me stopping at a red light then taking up the whole damn lane. Don't they know I'm in a hurry?

God, why do other people have to exist???

cars should go faster

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A slow car can annoy drivers too. But slow bikes that didn't have to be right in front when the light turns green, that could be halfway down the block, but are instead making the driver nervous he's gonna hit him, are even more annoying. Especially when its a douchebag videotaping prick.

So... riders who _don't_ follow the rules applicable to cars are douchebags AND bike riders who DO follow those rules are also douchebags. Thanks for clearing the situation up for us all. (Haven't ridden a bike myself since around 1980, but still ....).

Only sometimes

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You should be ready to stop, and not barge through traffic or snake around and startle drivers, but you should go through if there is no traffic. It's very consistent douchebag behavior. Just don't be a douche.

Welcome to Boston

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And welcome to every day in the life of a Boston cyclist. I, for one, am entirely disenchanted with the Bureaucracy and have no illusions that it will ever protect me or facilitate any kind of justice. At this point I have taken it upon myself to keep the balance; I carry a heavy u-lock, a knife, and a whistle. I often have a camera on my helmet, as well, but I use it solely as a backup for my own memory.

If you are a cyclist and you still trust in the goodness of the common man and the power of the institutions of Boston to care for you, think again. Protect yourself. Help me even out the playing field and show the Massholes we are done being treated as third class citizens.

I'm so tired of all the bike

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I'm so tired of all the bike riders complaining about drivers. It's so rare that I actually see a cyclist following the rules of the road. I'm not saying that drivers should be exhaulted in their wonderfulness, but own up a bit! I'm not always the best driver and I make mistakes, but I freely admit that. Ask the 6 cyclists that I saw run a red light this morning to make a left, if they did something wrong and you'll get a very different response.

You're tired?

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Their intrusion into your life == some slight inconvenience, probably more perceived than actual

Your (or another driver's) intrusion into their life == a possibly debilitating accident or catastrophic injury

So excuse us if we just tell you to fuck right the hell off.

Excuse me?

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I certainly don't appreciate both your tone and being sworn at. My point is that we are ALL REQUIRED to follow certain rules. Can you grasp that or do you need to swear like a juvenile a bit more, Matty.

I ride a bike on occaision and I'll agree it can be quite scary, however I stop where and when I'm supposed to. How can a driver make decisions on how to act or react when not everyone on the road is operating under the same umbrella of rules. The amswer is, they can't.


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So they stop in the middle of Mass ave to get into an argument when they're in the wrong. Rrright.

Yeah, your argument is simply

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Yeah, your argument is simply invalid when presented in this case.

Also, if you don't like my tone you can feel free to not read the comments. Free country and all that. But go ahead and argue about my tone without addressing my logic. That will definitely make your point way more interesting.

When you start swearing, no

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When you start swearing, no one takes you seriously. No matter the strength of your point, all anyone actually hears/reads is someone who has lost control

Regarding 'Cyclists suck' melodrama. You are correct, in the video they weren't running a red leight and didn't deserve to be confronted. However, the general tone of most cyclists is that they are always right and I might point out there are several other posts in this thread with that trend.

Oh, and 'it's a free country and all that'


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People who can't comprehend logical statements because they get caught up in the emotional baggage of certain 4-letter words are the ones who are not taken seriously.

If you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

I understood the statement.

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I understood the statement. We're not on the playground and name calling and swearing is ridiculous for adults, especially in a public forum. I can't understand why it's necessary nor will I ever take anyone seriously on any account who feels the need to bark swear words when they feel strongly about something

Abject hatred? Where on earth did you get something like that? How did a statement about following the law turn me into someone who hates cyclists?

I have the right, just as you do, to vent that people run red lights and cut people off. There's a reason why both parties are frustrated with one another.

Only the majority can oppress

However, the general tone of most cyclists is that they are always right and I might point out there are several other posts in this thread with that trend.

The general tone of most cyclists is that of somebody who feels cornered into a dangerous position. Yes, we'll be righteous about our safety, and we'll be righteous when we assert our right to use the public resource (ie the roads).

the general tone of people like you and the driver in he video is one of abject hatred.

Off-topic: Hey Adam, check out the HTML

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This post is just a proof of something I noticed in the comment that I'm replying to. The "blockquote" blue background invades the vote box and plus sign (doesn't make them unusable).

See what I mean?


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This again? Homeboy was STOPPED AT A RED LIGHT. I hadn't noticed he made any infractions on the tape. If you're going to start quacking about the bikes v. cars thing you could at least wait for a more germane thread, it comes up like once a month. (Caveat: I don't think either side has totally clean hands, but in a situation where a driver is pretty clearly being a jerk to a cyclist who doesn't seem to have broken any rules, I don't see where the "Bicyclists suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" argument comes in here)

I'm so tired of all the car

I'm so tired of all the car drivers complaining about bikers. It's so rare that I actually see a driver following the rules of the road. I'm not saying that bikers should be exhaulted (sic) in their wonderfulness, but own up a bit! I'm not always the best biker and I make mistakes, but I freely admit that. Ask the 6 drivers that I saw run a red light this morning to make a left, if they did something wrong and you'll get a very different response.


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I've been memed.


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Just wipe yourself off....use some seltzer and it won't stain yer slacks.

You will not see 6 drivers

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You will not see 6 drivers run a red light to make a left in a lifetime. In 6 years of daily driving in Boston I only saw that happen once. I see bikes running red lights and cut off incoming traffic at least once a week (I'm not talking about running red lights when no one is coming, but rather when the car has a green light and they have to slow down to avoid the bike that ran the red light).


You lose all credibility with a statement like this

every single day, I see dozens of cars run red lights. Some go straight, some turn. If you think drivers don't break the law multiple times, then you aren't paying attention. Somebody with such low awareness of road conditions is a hazard to all.

Nope, I see that many a week.

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I ride through Charles circle every weekday coming off the Longfellow to go up Cambridge street. Every day at LEAST one and as many as THREE !! drivers coming off Storrow run the red to cut left across three lanes of traffic that have the green. So I easily see that many running a red and making a left in a week.

In the more typical 4 way intersection, I think that running a red to turn left is actually one of the more common ways people run a red. They get stuck, or purposely inch out into the intersection, and then complete their turn after the light turns red. As a cyclist, that doesn't worry me so much
as people pulling a "boston left" by jumping the light to get ahead of oncoming traffic. That's harder to predict, and people who do that are so busy looking at the cars that they don't "see" the cyclist who might be also starting up with the green.

I thought that was a "Pittsburgh left turn"

My understanding is that the traffic law there is actually different from most other parts of the US, and the first two cars are expected to take left turns immediately when the light turns green.

According to wikipedia: "The

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According to wikipedia: "The Pittsburgh Left has no basis in law. Failing to yield to oncoming traffic while navigating a turn is a traffic violation, and is prohibited in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

(And the fact that there is a whole Wikipedia page on the "Pittsburgh left" cracks me up.)

You beat me to it

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Charles Circle has got to be one of the worst intersections in the city. I'll bet if you watched during rush hour on any given morning/evening you might see 6 people make a left through a red light in 15 minutes or less. Drivers (and bikers) coming off of Storrow Drive or from the Longfellow Bridge routinely run the red light. And they do it in bunches. It's as if they're thinking it isn't a big deal if they run the light since they're doing it along with the 4 other people who just did it too.

I go through this intersection at least twice a day and I find the safest way to approach it (whether I'm walking, biking, or driving) is to assume there will be a handful of people who run the light every time.

It's been especially bad since the city/mbta removed the pedestrian footbridge which used to go over the traffic to connect to the Charles MGH T stop. Now you have impatient pedestrians rushing (and often jaywalking) to get to the train station, in addition to all the masshole drivers running the light. Throw in the occasional tourist unfamiliar with the confusing mess of an intersection (and lack of clear signage), or someone looking for the hospital, and it's a real shit show.

Epic fail of an Intersection. Be careful people!

Cars running reds

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I routinely see cars (sometimes 2 or 3) sneaking through red lights to make a left. At Wellington Circle in Medford, I frequently see 3 lanes of cars sailing through the red light to continue straight on 28 S. I also have to watch myself at that intersection because people are always trying to take a left onto 16 E from the center lane, and don't understand that the far left lane can also go straight. I've been startled by cyclists behaving badly, certainly, but I don't feel threatened by their actions on a daily basis they way I feel with motor vehicles.

"It's so rare that I actually

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"It's so rare that I actually see a cyclist following the rules of the road."

"I'm not always the best driver and I make mistakes, but I freely admit that."

so, if you're admittedly not the best driver, it seems likely that you don't know all the rules of the road yourself.

Did I catch the helmet-wearer

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Did I catch the helmet-wearer checking out that blonde on the median in front of Hynes? 0:53-ish.

Heh. I was actually turning

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Heh. I was actually turning around to confirm that the guy honking at me wasn't a police cruiser.

Any checking out of said blonde that may or may not have happened would have occurred only when I was reviewing the video.

You mean the blonde preparing to jaywalk?

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You mean the blonde who looks like she's preparing to jaywalk from the median to the side of the street, who likely jaywalked to get to said median in the first place?

Maybe the rider turned to remind her that she's not in Kansas anymore.

That's a badly planned bus transfer area

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She's clearly going from Green Line - Hynes Convention Center to the #1 bus stop on the other side of the road. I used to make this connection all the time. There's no way to quickly get across the road without jaywalking.

I think we should accomodate pedestrians and not build 5-lane roads in between train stations and connecting bus stops.

We're in Boston, not in Kansas. In cities, pedestrians come first. Perhaps we should issue "jaydriving" tickets to drivers who obstruct pedestrian right of ways?

That's a short block with

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That's a short block with crosswalks at Boylston and Newbury.
I'd probably jaywalk there too but I wouldn't be blaming the infrastructure for doing so.

There used to be a pedestrian

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There used to be a pedestrian tunnel under Mass Ave at that station.

Hurry? What hurry?

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Yup, that's the way this stuff works. The dude in the Honda was in such a hurry that he had to honk, buzz Eoin and make a big scene for Eoin to get out of the way. Then, magically, he had all the time in the world to stop, get out of his car and pick a fight. So I guess he wasn't in such a hurry, was he?

There used to be a Mass state form to report an unsafe driver however, I am unable to find that form on any of the state websites just now.

Clearly there are drivers out

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Clearly there are drivers out there who don't understand that cyclists can legally ride on city streets. I have suburban relatives who are still shocked to see cyclists in the middle of the street. I always remind them that it's legal, yet their inevitable response is that said cyclist is a dumbass for doing so.

The real story here is that

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The real story here is that there's a Boston area cyclist who stops at red lights

Bikes will always be slower

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Bikes will always be slower than autos so u must move for faster traffic have u ever driven outside of the country it will wake u up . Right of way doesn't mean anything if your in the hospital.

Your hit the nail on the head.

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When I was a bike commuter many years ago, I would never have road in the city as Eoin did over on Mass. Ave. As the bike is the slower vehicle, they need to stay (i.e. the painted bike lanes are not down the middle of the road, right?!) as far to the right as they safely (notice I safely, people) can. There is no law that I can find that says a bike can ride in the middle of a road, blocking car traffic. Yes, bikes have a right to ride in the roads and yes bikes have a right to pull to the right if (and this is the law) excape a hazard, pothole and/or a car door opening. But to ride in the middle of the road because you think every parked car is a hazard is silly and dangerous (just ride your bike for the conditions. If you see a parked car, check to see if someone is in the driver's seat and take caution. If no one is present, you do not have to worry about a car door opering, right?) But as the bike is always slower, if you ride in the middle of the lane, and in front of a car, and don't pull over, you are asking for trouble.

Eoin, in my opinion, could of moved way over to the right as he approached the bridge (and even before). I would of hand signaled, telling the drivers behind me that I was about to pull out and go around the truck, and then I after I passed the truck, I would of pulled over to the right as much as I safely could. Eoin did not do this, putting himself in danger.

I would not of confronted the guy, not yelled at him, but just continued on after him. (But, again, I was not on a mission with a helmet cam on my head.)

(In all my years of riding, bike touring and bike commuting (in and around the city and from Norwood to Cambridge, which I did 2 times per week), I was hit by a car only once (an older man who cut too close to me when making his right turn and that happened in Brookline not Boston). I was lucky enough never to be hit by a car door.)

Thanks, Whyaduck

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Lot of good points. Bikes do not go fast enough to drive in the middle of the lane.

In this situation, he was

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In this situation, he was going plenty fast enough to ride in the middle of the lane! This was a classic "hurry up and wait" moment. Barely 12 seconds after the car honks, it's stuck at a stoplight, so what's the rush?

In addition, given some widepsread sentiment that the particular intersections shown in this video are possibly the absolute worst for bikes in Boston, I would want to be in the middle of the lane (as permitted by Mass General Law) at that particular intersection purely so people would notice me. If you ride further to the right, you often end up on the wrong side of cars making ferociously quick right hand turns on to the mass pike (done so quickly as to hit the magic hole in the herd of jaywalking pedestrians along the west side of mass.@newbury).

I've been riding in Boston for about 4 years, and I ride the way a lot of cars want me to ride. I say as far to the right as I can, often just on top of the white line between the parked cars and the travel lane. Most drivers appreciate this, but I've almost been doored a dozen times. As if getting doored isn't enough of a threat, I was once dismounted by a car pulling out of a parallel parking spot in front of a hotel on Boylston. I was to the far right of the three lanes, and she very quickly jerked out of the spot. No checking the side view mirror, apparently. Usually I go wide of cars displaying the telltale signs (brake lights flickering, reverse lights clicking into drive, turn signals) she had nothing going for her. I ended up with a split elbow and I was lucky it wasn't worse. My bike made it to the left side of the road, and I was spread across the middle two. If the traffic behind me hadn't managed to stop in time, I'd be flat.

So yeah, do I do stupid things when I ride? Sure. But the only stupid thing I've done that got me hurt is the one stupid thing all you car drivers seems to think we should be doing, riding as far to the right as possible. If you think you're going to get there faster in a car you're not. Since it is legal to pass a line of cars waiting at a light, it's often faster to ride your bike somewhere in the city when compared to driving. I routinely beat cars down Columbus, Tremont, even from Mass ave in Boston over to Porter or Davis. So, chill out, wait a few seconds, and please pass safely before anyone else gets hurt. The doors are bad enough...

Safely is the key

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Taking the lane is when biking is pretty important to safety. And like sekine said, where the hell was the driving going in such a hurry. He might have had to wait at the light a second and a half less if he followed simple courtesy.

It is a terrible idea to

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It is a terrible idea to continue to swerve right and then left again. Now you are moving in and out of the lane, you are a lot harder for drivers to see, and you have a lot more potential points of conflict. If you stay in the lane, a driver can just follow you, and overtake when the left lane frees up.

It really doesn't help drivers to go so fast; they will just be stopped by a red light a block or two down. A cyclist taking the lane will not delay them for more than a few seconds, and the chance that they will actually get to their destination any faster if the cyclist weren't there is minimal.

People need to understand that safety is more important than shaving a few seconds off of your commute. A cyclist has the right to take the lane when it's unsafe to ride to the right. On Mass Ave, for most of the way it's unsafe to hug the right, as there are trucks, busses, cars, and pedestrians, as well as only very short right hand lanes that are open, meaning you'd be swerving in and out of traffic if you hugged the right side.

Read the rest of the comments

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If you're not going to read the rest of the comments, then what makes you think we want to read yours?

Up above, I addressed pretty much everything you just wrote. Not only is it legally allowed AND suggested that you take the full lane when sharing the road with car traffic, but it's entirely safer in the long run too unlike your suggestions. Again, this was all addressed previously and it doesn't appear that you care that it was.

Check out this site with some bike safety tips

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It goes over all the different potential collisions a bicyclist could run into. I think it gives pretty sound advice with detailed explanations. Here are the ones suggesting that you ride away from parked cars, closer to the middle of the street:

Collision Type #1: The Right Cross
How to avoid this collision:
4. Ride further left.

Collision Type #2: The Door Prize
How to avoid this collision:
Ride to the left

Collision Type #6: The Right Hook
How to avoid this collision:
2. Ride to the left.

Collision Type #9: The Rear End
2. Don't swerve in and out of the parking lane if it contains any parked cars.

Collision Type #10: The Rear End, Pt. 2
7. Don't hug the curb.

Sample Explanation:
Ride to the left. Ride far enough to the left that you won't run into any door that's opened unexpectedly. You may be wary about riding so far into the lane that cars can't pass you easily, but you're more likely to get doored by a parked car if you ride too close to it than you are to get hit from behind by a car which can clearly see you.

Hey Eoin

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The Boston Cyclist Union in looking to get in touch with you. Check out their FB page.

Local news

Story was just on WBZ-TV. Not on the website yet.

Re: wouldn't happen to have been an older bald guy with glasses?

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By anon (not verified) - 9/14/11 - 1:06 pm#84

Silver honda coupe, older heavyset balding male driver with small, silver-rimmed glasses. I have the license plate number written down at home. What was the plate of the guy who hit you?

By pocky (not verified) - 9/14/11 - 9:13 pm#85

What was the plate of the guy who hit you?

I emailed it to you.

Dear Anon,

*WOW*, someone here is trying to mess with us. Whoever just wrote the reply saying "I emailed it to you" was not me. I did not see your reply until just now, and I did *not* email you anything. In fact, I can't see how they could have emailed you in the first place, because you posted anonymously! Hopefully the person who just posted claiming to be me is *not* the person who attacked us both!

But the car AND the gentleman *somewhat* match your description. I will NOT do any of this process online. Anon, please *immediately* call Detective Brian Gill (or any of the Area D-4 detectives) at 617-343-4683 and tell him that you think you were hit by the same driver as me.

Thank you so much!
Dan (pocky)

Re: wouldn't happen to have been an older bald guy with glasses?

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By anon (not verified) - 9/14/11 - 1:06 pm#84

Silver honda coupe, older heavyset balding male driver with small, silver-rimmed glasses. I have the license plate number written down at home. What was the plate of the guy who hit you?

By pocky (not verified) - 9/14/11 - 9:13 pm#85

What was the plate of the guy who hit you?

I emailed it to you.

Dear Anon,

*WOW*, someone here is trying to mess with us. Whoever just wrote the reply saying "I emailed it to you" was not me. I did not see your reply until just now, and I did *not* email you anything. In fact, I can't see how they could have emailed you in the first place, because you posted anonymously! Hopefully the person who just posted claiming to be me is *not* the person who attacked us both!

But the car AND the gentleman *somewhat* match your description. I will NOT do any of this process online. Anon, please *immediately* call Detective Brian Gill (or any of the Area D-4 detectives) at 617-343-4683 and tell him that you think you were hit by the same driver as me.

Thank you so much!
Dan (pocky)

Hey Eoin

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Hey Eoin,

Dan Rea on WBZ radio (1030 AM) is attacking you right now (9/16/2011, 8-9PM).
He enjoys stirring up anti-cyclist hatred. He's an ignorant hater who does no real research on his topics such as bicycle safety. I've heard him advocate riding on sidewalks which is exceptionally dangerous - 4X the accident rate on the street. He has railed against creation of bike lanes as expensive - he has no clue that the cost is $5 to $50 per mile. His father was hit by a cyclist once apparently (his own fault. who knows?)
Since then, his son is a bike baiter, bike hater. He thinks cyclists must use bike lanes despite the fact that they are not legally mandated to do so, and sometimes it highly hazardous to do so. The film clearly shows that the driver got out of his car to intimidate and threaten you, unmistakeably. To Rea, he was acting as a "gentleman" - is Rea delusional? No one could be that naiive. Must be a slow news day for intellectually challenged third rate radio hosts, huh Dan Rea...

In retrospect..

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In retrospect, you would have been better off running that red light. I always stop at red lights too, but sometimes go through them before they turn green if I think that will enable traffic to go around me - especially if a truck or bus ahead is a factor.

The driver works in my office

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I've never met him before - it's a very large company. He looked familiar when I saw him this morning and, coincidentally was leaving at the same time as me this afternoon. Same car, blacked-out front bumper, same license plate.