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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 9, 2008 10:04 PM. The previous post in this blog was It's obvious. The next post in this blog is Miss Oregon may do belly dancing.... Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Only in Portland, Oregon

Here's a story for our times in the Rose City: It's alleged that an off-duty Portland transportation bureau employee, Steven McAtee, while drunk, assaulted a driver by beating him (and the driver's car) repeatedly with McAtee's bicycle following a confrontation involving McAtee's running a red light on said bike.

The motorist on the receiving end of the blows? Colin Yates, himself identified as a long-time advocate for cycling.

I am not making this up. Maximum Maxine has the story.

Comments (41)

And Betsy will be intrigued by the location of said incident: 20th and Belmont, to 20th and Stark.

I'm a strong pro-bicycling advocate, but Yates is exactly right:

Yates honked his horn, leaned out his window, and chided the bicyclist for making other cyclists look bad. Yates, a self-described bike advocate for more than 30 years, told the bicyclist that he was a responsible bike rider who gets upset when he sees fellow riders disobeying traffic signals.

There's lots of really bad behavior from a small minority of bicyclists giving everyone else a bad rap.

From riding on sidewalks dodging pedestrians, to running stop signs and red lights, to riding in black clothes without lights at night (and then getting mad when drivers don't seem them), well, it's no wonder...

Which isn't to say that there aren't LOTS of bad drivers - but I think that's so common that it's less surprising.

My favorite: No helmet, high speed, talking on cellphone.

A friend of mine roots for the cars. Sometimes I don't blame him.

Now you know why I call them Bike Nazis.

Yeah, this guys obviously a s***head. There are lots of 'em on bikes. But lets not fool ourselves into thinking that there also aren't a fair share of them driving cars too.

And Mr Yates and his family are moving to Colorada because....... I don't blame him....

And Mr Yates and his family are moving to Colorada because....... I don't blame him.... Keyword here is "DRUNK "

It sounds like they are both Bike Nazis, and they each behaved like self important jerks.

One of them just happened to be driving a car on this occassion, and he was probably overwhelmed with guilt.

And of course the passing bikers (according to the news article) take up for the biker, even when they didn't see what happened. It's just part of the anti-car sentiment in Portland...if someone in a car is involved in any kind of altercation with a person who is not in a car, it must be the car driver's fault!

Thank goodness Colin had a witness who was willing to speak up, or he'd be looking at criminal charges. I'm sure that the D.A. would be happy to get some good publicity for jacking up a motorist who "victimized" a poor, innocent cyclist. Sick.

My favorite,,, he works for Sam Adams' transportation department.

Hey Sam, is this your typical employee or some of your cream of the crop?

1. Is he a "typical employee"? Hey, he rides a bike, sober or drunk. Doesn't that answer the question?

2. Should the Portland Transportation Alliance consider a name change to Portland Thug Alliance, in light of the bystanders' behavior?

Is this your typical employee of Sam Adams? Yes, in fact most of them are the self righteous smug types.

With a growing percentage of legal concealed handgun licenses being issued, it really isn't smart to physically assault anyone anymore.

Green box orientation and training for cyclists. Are those over or are there still some scheduled?

rw: are you inferring an armed public might reduce crime? What a novel thought.

I wonder if this jerk, McAtee, will lose his job over this incident. Maybe it might send a "message" to other City workers; that if you behave like a jerk and get caught, you will lose financially as well.

My brother (who lives in Salem) is an avid cyclist. Between him and his wife, they have two road bikes, two mountain bikes, and a tandem bike.

The group that he rides with has plenty of lawyers, dentists, etc. that think they own the road when they are on their bicycles. He constantly has to tell these accomplished upper-class citizens the following:

1. If you are riding more than two-abreast, you're being an ass.
2. If you aren't wearing a helmet, you're breaking the law, and asking to die.
3. In the realm of physics, cars ALWAYS win.
4. On the road, those signs aren't just for cars. You have to stop too. You still have to yield to pedestrians. You still have to yield right-of-way at intersections per the law.
5. If there is a bike lane, and you aren't in it (and not turning left), then you're an ass.

It's amazing the attitude that these guys give him when he reminds them of these simple things that they don't do, which keep THEM safe. Sharing the road applies to everyone on it, not just the people with motors.

I'm getting really, really sick of bicyclists who think they own the road. I was waiting to turn left onto Sandy from Prescott the other day when a cyclist blew past me on the left, going straight across the intersection. I was clear to turn and had lifted my foot off the brake. The biker is extremely lucky that I caught sight of him in my side mirror or he might be dead right now. He had the nerve to flip me off (I guess it scared him when I strated to go). I briefly (and seriously) considered going after him and just plowing into him with my car. I ALWAYS find myself rooting for the cars against the bikes these days.

This is a horrible incident, incited by an angry guy who was very disturbed and drunk. There is no excuse for him. It's also a very poignant symbol of what happens when you lump people into a category [i.e. predjudice].
We've all seen people do things that range from careless to absolutely horrible. From the guy who drove full speed through a farmer's market in California (killing 10), to the cyclist who went full speed through a stop sign next to a school, to the pedestrians walking down residential streets wearing black.
As someone who's traveled by all means and been involved in transportation for a decade, I see this in it's larger context. People are getting very frustrated with the inequality that everyone is dealing with both on the road and in the economy. Anger is being vented in random ways at people who may or may not be responsible for the problem.
When I see a cyclist or pedestrian doing something horrible, I tend to think to myself, "what would be the possible outcome if this person had been driving?"
Having witnessed drivers (in New York city) intentionally chase down people, I have definitely seen the worse that road-rage can offer. However this particular person has definitely come as close as a cyclist has ever come to being as socially destructive as a car.

There is a spandex clad bike geek who likes to ride one of those recumbant trikes on Boones Ferry Rd around Lake O/SW Ptld area. This smug jerk thinks he owns the road. BF Rd has curves and blind spots and no shoulder on south side. Yet this moron considers it his right to ride this low slung, poorly visible fruitbike as slowly as he wants. I hate those recumbants. They look unstable and are hard to see.

It really couldn't get any more stereotypical ironic-Portland than this. I notice the fact that the motorist is, fishily, a "self-described" bicycle activist. And the drunk cyclist building examiner? Well of course he rides: go down to BDS early some morning and see those guys all grimly helmeted and riding to work - down in Planning I'm sure if you don't bike in you're a total heel around the office.

Somehow I can't see this happening unless it's between people who are both basically full of it somehow.

Doesn't it always come down to personal behavior. It doesn't matter if someone is riding a bike or driving a car, a jerk is a jerk.

Bikes and cars aren't jerks, its the people riding/driving them.

Wait, that sounds like the NRA stance about guns don't kill people. And I'm for gun control (some at least).

But now I sound like someone I disagree with. So how can I use that argument and not be a hypocrite.

Dang, its all so confusing.

Let's blame it on all those people who use those two wheeled Segways, it's their fault.

"drivin' fool" and "dm", thanks so much for reminding us that not all the jackasses are on bikes.

Never get between cyclists and their self-satisfaction.

This story has the tri-fecta of cyclist self-righteousness:

1) The cyclist flips out because one of those un-evolved, subhuman "motorists" dares to give him grief.

2) The driver stops to deliver a lecture to a complete stranger out his window. Why? Because he's ALSO a self-righteous "bike advocate."

3) A mob of cyclists gets in the driver's face, even though he's the one who just got beat over the head with a bicycle. Some of the witnesses are even afraid to talk to the police so as not to cross these indignant nazis.

Oh, and...

4) The driver, when not being a "bike advocate for 30 years" drives a Subaru Outback.

Send this story to anyone who ever asks you what Portland is all about.

I agree with what kda, "Doesn't it always come down to personal behavior. It doesn't matter if someone is riding a bike or driving a car, a jerk is a jerk.
Bikes and cars aren't jerks, its the people riding/driving them."

I ride my bike in Portland and I drive a car. I will say that personally that I have had my share of rude and mean drivers in cars and on bikes. It's not cars v. bikes people. Just because you have had negative incidents with people on bikes or people in cars doesn't mean everyone who drives a car or rides a bike behaves that way. I just started riding my bike in Portland because of the gas prices. I've almost been hit by cars and bikes not paying attention. There are times I ride on the sidewalk when I don't feel safe on the street, but I'm respectful to pedestrians and will either ride back on to the road or get off my bike if it comes down to trying to dodge them. It's all about being respectful of eachother. I actually really love riding my bike instead of a car now. I get more exercise and it's not as stressful :)

"I will say that personally that I have had my share of rude and mean drivers in cars and on bikes."

I would definitely agree with this Melynda. However one difference is that a license is required to drive a car. While this isn't a failsafe system, it does ensure that most drivers have studied what the laws and rules are, and have passed a test next to a trained instructor. Again, this doesn't mean that every driver is skilled, or even close to skilled.

Cyclists don't go through a similar process. As a result, many cyclists that I see, even if they mean well, don't know what they're doing.

Almost as many evenings as not, I encounter a cyclist trying to ride north (uphill) on MLK during rush hour. MLK is a state highway with no bike lanes. A cyclist riding up MLK basically shuts down one of the two lanes during rush hour. This effects tens if not hundreds of cars before he makes it wherever he's going. This is one example of how a single unthinking cyclist can be very disruptive to hundreds of people.

To put it in terms for the greenies out there: that whole line of cars are burning more gas while they slow down and wait to get around that bozo.

"that whole line of cars are burning more gas while they slow down and wait to get around that bozo."

Boo Hoo.

Gas mileage at 20 miles per hour is not that different from gas mileage at 30 miles per hour.

squeezed: So, this single biker should hold up 100 people? Why exactly? Because he's a biker?

And these guys don't ride 20 miles an hour up MLK, believe me. But if "boo hoo" is their response to me, then maybe I'll just help them up the street on my bumper.

I think the one who started it all was Colin Yates. He stated on KGW that he was just "helping people" with such a calm, and somewhat demeaning tone in his voice. What??? By yelling out the window? By confronting a bike rider? He's the one with the road rage! If he was having such a great time with his family then why not just blow off the idiot and be on his way? I think Colin Yates is an idiot and I want to bop him in the head with my bike too. HE GIVES DRIVERS A BAD NAME!!!

Deeds: FYI, although MLK may not have bike lanes, it is no longer a state highway between Lombard and Powell. Once ODOT finishes the Grand/MLK viaduct, it belongs to the City.

Bicyclists, like motorists, should be licensed, and getting a license should require that one demonstrate knowledge of the laws, regulations and etiquette demanded of those riding bicycles.

Then, they should be registering and licensing their bicycles and be required to clearly show their license plate on their bicycle.

This way, when bicyclists clearly violate the law, they can be reported to the police with an exact plate number. It should also act to reduce the theft and resale of stolen bicycles.

Maybe Yates did give drivers a bad name, but look here...

I think most of us are fed up with the Parentally-Enabled Twenty-Something Hipster Goofs who have overrun Portland with their bicycles, scooters, and skateboards and their OVERWHELMING sense of entitlement.


how come there was no statement about the race of cyclist? why can't we just admit some races are more violent than others?
/sarcasm

that was the only standard comment from the usual "violence in PDX" post missing so I'd thought I'd add it.

:::::::::::runs giggling:::::::::::::

Drunk on a bike is no way to go through life, son.

Allan L., why am I a jackass because some biker moron passed me ON THE LEFT as I was in the process of making a LEFT TURN? I thought I showed admirable restraint by not chasing him down and backing over him a few times.

Allan L., why am I a jackass because some biker moron passed me ON THE LEFT as I was in the process of making a LEFT TURN?

Allan is officially entitled to make those sorts of judgements because a) he rides a bicycle, b) he's a jackass expert and c) he has indigestion, or gas, or both.

At this point, I'm simply waiting for the day that I cannot stop in time to save the life of a scofflaw bicyclist.

It's only a matter of time.

My quick reflexes have probably saved a dozen or so of your lives over the past decade, and saved dozens more from a stay in the ER with horribly traumatic injuries.

As much as I might joke about killing you, at the bottom of my heart, in actuality, I am dreading that day when I can't stop in time. That day approaches, as sure as I'm sitting here.

You will be dead; I will have to live for the rest of my life with the consequences of your actions.

12 hours a night, Five to Five, week after week, year after year.

It's only a matter of time.

Think about it.

"by not chasing him down and backing over him a few times"

someone needs to take their meds.


I almost hit a dude on a road bike today(unhelmeted, earphoned, no hands on the handlebars) downtown today: he was doing about 30 mph on 4th street and decided he would just blow through the red light, I was crossing 4th street (on Salmon) but saw him in time to put on the brakes. I missed him by four or five feet. He blew through the next stoplight too: it turned red about a second before he blew into the crosswalk.

Some pedestrians yelled at him, but he didn't even bother to flip them off: just kept flying.

Darwin will catch up with the guy eventually.

I'm to the point where I'm so TIRED of Man mistreating Man I don't even keep up with it anymore, it's become so common. But this one did concern me, since my husband rides his bike to work quite often. I want him to arrive at work and then make it back home in one piece, without any harassment. I want him ALIVE at the end of the day. Is this too much to ask?

Numerous internet searches have led me to believe that the title of your post, "Only in Portland," is almost correct. However, for the record, I'd like to turn your attention to a few aging bits of news:

From 2005, in Rutland, MA: Officer allegedly assaulted with bike

My thoughts are twofold: 1. Attacks perpetrated by bicyclists upon other motorists (using the bike as a weapon) seem to be exceedingly rare. 2. The real story here is alcohol and its ability to stimulate the creation of dangerous situations.

Ha! Squeezed must be a biker. Don't get too comfy on your little seat when I'm driving, pal.


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