I, Anonymous Sep 2, 2010 at 4:00 am

Stop and Go


So, so, so true!
THANK YOU. When people talk about Portland having bad drivers, this is what they mean.
This "politeness" can end very very badly.

From the 7/10/2010 Oregonian:
"The encounter began like so many others across the metro area.

A driver in a Subaru pulled into the middle lane of busy Southeast Stark Street in Gresham to turn left. He waited for a break in traffic.

A driver in one of two oncoming lanes came to a halt, then waved the Subaru through.

But what happened next is the stuff of nightmares. As the Subaru turned left, a car in the second oncoming lane slammed into it -- sending a 20-year-old passenger in the Subaru to the hospital. Now, more than four years after the crash, Jocelyn Edlin still suffers painful headaches, vomits at random and has a memory worse than patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, her attorney says.

During a two-week trial that ended Friday, a Multnomah County Circuit Court jury was left to decide who was at fault -- including, to the surprise of some jurors -- the well-meaning driver who stopped to wave the Subaru through."
Ha! This same thing just happened to me and is one of my biggest pet peeves. It really gets my undies in a bunch when that "polite" asshole ends up getting pissed off at me for refusing to put my and others lifes in danger. Serious leotards.
All corners are legal cross walks. There is a hand signal, right arm extended. that means you intend to cross. You standing at a corner in this town could mean a crosswalk traffic sting.
Portland drivers/cyclists/skateboarders/pedestrians suck monkey nuts! Yes, they are either overly polite or total wankers. Either way, they are always only about themselves and haven't a clue about the consequences of their actions. Think a step ahead. Be predictable. Look others in the eyes when you can. Indicate to others your intentions. Be courteous; not overly polite/selfish. Use some common sense. And GFY.
You are the most pedestrian ever. If you (or another of that ilk) even look like you might cross a street or if you are at a bus stop or going to your parked car on your phone- guess freaking what? Every driver who thinks that vehicular manslaughter is less desirable than your scowl is gonna stop. So if you don't want to be reviled or considerately acknowledged for stopping traffic- cross at a frickin' light or WAIT, far away from that street until YOU DON"T FUCK UP TRAFFIC!
Another boring traffic rant. How... pedestrian.

Introvore: I don't think you've ever driven, biked or walked in this town.
Thank you, I hate when drivers do this. I have no problem with them stopping for pedestrians, but do not ever stop for a car or bicyclist who has a stop sign! You may be trying to be polite to them, but you are being rude to the cars behind you.
Another thing is that most drivers in this city do not understand the whole right of way system at 4 way stops. And pedestrians seem to have forgotten about the whole 'Stop, Look, and Listen' motto. They step out into the crosswalk, usually to busy talking or texting on their phone to pay attention to traffic, and assume everyone knows what their intentions are and can see them.
THANK YOU!! I've been saying the same thing for years about this type of Portland driver (and there are a lot of them). Politeness ceases to be effective when the 'polite' action is not helpful or is dangerous. It then becomes moronic... and extremely annoying whether you're another motorist, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. And what is with people consistently going 5-10mph under the speed limit when there is no traffic?
I could have written this. It annoys me the most! I've been at crosswalks with traffic lights & crosswalk signals and have had cars stop AT A GREEN LIGHT and try to wave me across. Meanwhile, there are about a hundred angry people blaring on their horn behind her, looking for ways to get around and run me over, and then she gets pissed at me for not crossing. Unbelievable.
I had a Tri-met bus stop for me while I was waiting to cross Vancouver once. I thought that was pretty awesome, up until the guy behind him decided that he couldn't wait five seconds for me to cross the road on my bike and almost hit me.

It is unfortunate that such courtesy often facilitates such dangerous scenarios.
Yes! I've been contemplating how to write this exact I-Anon for months! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
No kidding. This shit drives me nutso. I think these drivers believe they're getting some sort of karmic points for being kind to poor ol' bikers, when it really amounts to stupid and dangerous behavior.

Also, what's with the drivers who stop when cross traffic has a stop sign but they don't? Are these the same people who blow through when they actually have a stop sign? How is this so confusing to so many?
It's funny b/c I was just discussing this with some friends and I completely agree. Just keep doing what you're supposed to be doing and I will do the same. Walking is one thing but when on a bike you are supposed to obey traffic just like cars and it fucks everything up when you think of me as a pedestrian. I appreciate the curtosity to some extent but I'd much rather you keep going.
I really thought I was the only one who hated this. What kind of person complains about someone trying to be nice and waving you through? I do!

Happens while I'm driving, too, all the time. Four way stops - no one ever wants to take their turn. They'd rather try to wave me through, despite all the other traffic flying around, trying to guess what the two of us are doing. Pisses me right off!

And when I'm crossing a street on foot? Man, they were doing 30 mph - they could have gone right on by before I even lifted one foot towards the curb. You weren't in my way! Stop backing up traffic just so you can feel like you're doing a good deed!
A small dose of "fuck it, let people handle their own shit, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing" would be a great improvement to our fair city.

Well put. Everyone who's been biking in Portland for more than a couple months hates this shit. Surprising that there hasn't been an I,anon like this before.
Really? You're lucky if cars stop at crosswalks when they're SUPPOSE to. I've never seen a vehicle just stop in mid-street the way you've mentioned here. Have you noticed this afew times, or just once?
Eh, in any case this one really does seem like you're just whining about sometime that's very small. But here's what i'm trying to figure out: why would a driver even stop for you in mid-street unless YOU looked like you were actually trying to cross the street??? Are you trying to cross the street, or not? If you're soo concerned about being run over, just use the crosswalks. If that's indeed what you do anyways, then what reason is there for drivers to just stop mid-block? If you somehow indicate that you want to cross the street beyond a crosswalk, then maybe a driver might be courteous enough to let you by. Yet, you say how UNSAFE it is for you to cross that way, insisting you're "not an idiot", & suggesting that the driver ought not be surprised if you "refuse". So like, ARE YOU TRYING TO CROSS THE STREET, OR NOT? And if NOT, then why would anyone even bother stopping?

Whether this 'I, Anon' is fake or a genuine gripe, whoever wrote it clearly didn't think this one through.
I hate to do this, but SPECIFICALLY the intersection of NW Glisan and 13th. The blinking yellow light means "caution" - like every other yellow thing you see in traffic. It is not a four way stop, you dumb mother fuckers. Portland drivers are insincerely polite and dangerously timid, and each has his/her own interpretation of "Right of Way." Listen, assholes, traffic is NOT the place for nonconformity, even in whacky fucking Portland. Bicycles are NOT pedestrians, and not every single fucking pedestrian needs to cross the street right this goddamned minute. And for christ's sake, stop trying to enter the freeway at 40 miles an hour. FUCK!
Sorry DamosA, you just aren't grasping what we're talking about here. If you don't understand it, then it obviously has never happened to you, either as a driver, biker, or pedestrian. Consider youself lucky 'cause it happens in my neck of the woods a lot.
"And for christ's sake, stop trying to enter the freeway at 40 miles an hour. FUCK!"

I second that. Also, don't start slowing down before you EXIT the freeway. That's why off ramps are soooooo damn long.
AMEN! Thanks for writing the I, Anonymous I've been meaning to write for the past 10 years. Take heed Portland and quit your effing dangerously courteous way of driving!!
This I,Anon is upsetting the natural balance of things where we all call the writer a fucking douchebag retard. That said...

I too concur with the sentiment.
You people need real problems.
Nooo, i read the letter quite carefully & i still don't get where the complainer is coming from, assuming this isn't another fake write-up.

I'm a pedestrian. I ride a bike all the time. Most of the time i use the CROSSWALKS (that row of white bars going across the street - i'm sure some of you have seen them). Cars are SUPPOSE to stop at those white bars, if someone is trying to walk across them. I know b/c i've taken the driver's road test in this state & i had to do the same thing.

When-ever i DO cross a street mid-block (apparently that's called "jay-walking' or something), i only do so when there is NO on-coming traffic.

In any case Ovidious is right: you people DO need real problems.
YES! Thanks for bringing this up.
cars stopping at random in the road and coaxing people to jaunt out in front of them is in fact a real problem. i'll never forget the day my first boyfriend and i were cruising down foster around 55th and he signaled into the right lane to avoid a line-up of cars in the left lane, which i presumed were stopped cause somebody was turning left. got up to the front of the line of cars, and what did we see but a lady carrying a baby darting out in front of us! it was totally a moment frozen in time as kevin slammed on his brakes, the lady stood dumbfounded, we collided with her and she did a flip over the hood of the car. the powers that be were definitely on our side, though, cause when we got out, the baby was still safe in his mother's arms, stunned but not crying. mama started to wail, though; she couldn't speak a lick of english, but crying is the same in any language. the cops showed up, an ambulance showed up, and kevin thought he was in big trouble, but after examining the scene of the accident, the cops decided to give the lady a ticket for jaywalking and sent us on our way.

it was super traumatizing to all involved and i've been a big foe of false-courtesy-wave-acrosses ever since.
Damos, good on you for most of the time using crosswalks. Those very, very few times that you have wanted to cross the street while not at a crosswalk you've seriously never had a car see you waiting at the curb, stop and wave you across? Really? Never once in your entire life?
Uhm, nooo. Anytime i cross or am about to cross a street & i'm NOT at a cross-walk, the following conditions are something like this:

There are NO cars around. I clearly have several moments, more than enough time to jolt across the street safely. I typically do this on semi-commercial streets such as Belmont or parts of Burnside [for example], especially during times of day/night where traffic is sparce. I never try & play Frogger on a busy street - if i need to cross 39th during the afternoon, i ususally take my ass to the nearest cross-walk.
No driver has EVER attemped to wave me through in mid-road b/c anytime i've "jay-walked", it's always been clear of traffic.

No driver has ever tried to 'trick me" into crossing the street.
Maybe it's just where I go in Portland because it happens to me damn near every day. You know that crosswalk between Pier 1 and Safeway at Lloyd Center? Cars stop there at green lights ALL THE TIME and try to wave people across... at a green light... when we have a Don't Walk signal. Unreal.

Drivers on Belmont must not be idiots... or you're exaggerating for the sake of being internet contrarian.
"You people need real problems."

People creating dangerous situations in traffic is not a real problem for you, Ovidus? Well it's obviously a REAL problem for some people. Jerkoff.
Just had this happen again not a half-hour ago, and it almost caused a wreck...again.

If you're on a bike and it looks like someone might be slowing down to stop and wave you through - wave them off - or do whatever you can get the point across that you don't need them to stop for you.

I hate when I roll up to a stop sign on my bike and see that a car has the right of way... so I start trying to balance on my bike behind the stop line until they pass so I don't have to put my feet on the ground ... and then 9 times out of 10 they end up slowing to a stop, which prolongs the increasingly difficult balancing in addition to trying to verify they are actually stopping by looking for a 'wave through'. UNHELPFUL FAVOR!!! Portland driver don't you see we are BOTH inconvenienced in this situation??? JUST GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
My fiance and I talk about this all the time. I know people are trying to be polite, but if they just kept driving, most of the time there is a clear spot to walk across right after them anyways.
I also laugh at all of the people who say just to use a crosswalk. Sometimes crosswalks are way out of the way. Such as in front of my house. There's a bus stop across the street, but no cross walk for about a quarter mile either way. So I don't want to risk missing my bus and walking all this extra distance every day, especially being pregnant and huge, so I can use a cross walk and have to walk another quarter mile back to the bus stop when it is right across the street. I live on a highway. I make sure there is no traffic before I cross, but I do have those drivers that despite having a perfectly clear spot to cross behind them, stop and wave me across, on have other cars rushing up behind them on the highway while they stop, causing problems for everyone. People that say just use a cross walk, or that this is not an issue, obviously are not the kind of people who put themselves in other people's shoes.
Ha Ha. It's all true. But, deal with it. People drive like jack-nuts here. It's part of the infuriating paradox that is this place. Don't like it? Move. Somewhere out there the perfect flow of traffic is waiting to soothe you.
I think alot of you people are just imagining all this stuff. Really, what a dumb & silly thing to whine about. Get some REAL problems, already.
@Rosy the pedestrian hand signal law, while a very good idea that reduces confusion about the intent of a pedestrian (are they standing there waiting for the bus or to cross) and improving safety since you don't actually have to step out into traffic to assert your right of way, did not actually pass. It was proposed and both the BTA and several other groups testified in support of it, but it unfortunately failed. That said I think everyone should just do what Rosy is doing and pretend it did pass, once everyone is doing it anyway it won't matter as much if it is the law or not...
Okay, so we are all sharing a mass hallucination and should really concern ourselves with whatever it is YOU have to deal with, DamosA? I'm guessing you don't drive a lot, if at all, so you are incapable of identifying with the subject. Either that or you are one of the halfwits being complained about and are part of the problem. Either way, why are you going into a comments section to comment on how nobody should be commenting? In other words, fuck off.
"Okay, so we are all sharing a mass hallucination and should really concern ourselves with whatever it is YOU have to deal with, DamosA? I'm guessing you don't drive a lot, if at all, so you are incapable of identifying with the subject. Either that or you are one of the halfwits being complained about and are part of the problem. Either way, why are you going into a comments section to comment on how nobody should be commenting? In other words, fuck off."

fuck off. Nice. What manners you have.

I've lived in this city for 5 solid years now. I've done alot of driving, bike-riding, & walking the streets/sidewalks/crosswalks of Portland. And i very seldomly have had any of the typical "issues" most folks who were apparently born here whine about on a constant stream. Really, it's just tiring. If only you folks could hear yourselves crying over such pittle pattle. You think it's bad HERE? You people wouldn't last a day in Atlanta!
You are an obnoxious halfwit pussyfart. Shut the fuck up and suck the crust off a peach cobbler you nastard. Fuck you and fuck atlanta. People from atlanta are mentally inferior to the rest of the people on this planet. Atlanta is a cesspool of shitsmeared troglodytes, I hate you and all your stupid, stupid comments. Stop commenting on every other god damn comment that pops up on this board. No one cares what you have to say, on any subject, ever.
@DamosA: You are a really shitty troll. Go fuck your whore-mother's mouth with your syphilitic prick, you piece of shit.

You see, that's how you insult people. Now STFU and GBTW.
Goodness, what a bunch of fussy babies you are. Would you fussy babies like to have your baby bottle? Need you diapers changed?
Amen to that Anon!
I hate the "intersection stop game" as a cyclist. It really stresses me out and your supposed to be less stressed riding a bike.
Oh, and @ DamosA...."Get some REAL problems already"? What the fuck is that supposed to mean? YOU moved HERE to get away from the REAL problems of Atlanta chump! And you want us Portlanders to have some real problems, just so we can have something of YOUR worth to complain about???
That is the most douchebagest of douchebaggery statements ever made and fuck you and your 5 years of living here.
While you're at it, oh population of Portland's highways and byways, the lane on the left on roads with more than one going each direction is for *PASSING*. Do not park your friggin' car, doing 5 mph less that the limit, in this lane. Do NOT take it as read that you should adjust your speed in this lane to match that of the few people actually using the cruising lane. This forces everyone else to illegally pass you, which is, well, illegal, and dangerous. The left lane is for PASSING. When you reach a break in the traffic on the right, MERGE THE F*CK BACK IN. Seems to be a Portland-area only disease as well. Head half an hour out in every other direction and people seem to have figured this out. Jeez people.
It is a matter of safety.

From the Oregon Driver Manual:
As a bicyclist in Oregon, you must be aware that bicycles are considered
vehicles. You have the same rights, duties, and responsibilities as
vehicle drivers.

From the Oregon Bicyclist Manual:
Most crashes with motor vehicles happen at road intersections and driveways, where bicyclists and motorists cross paths. To avoid these crashes, follow principle #2: ride on the right, with traffic, in a predictable manner.

In Oregon, a bicycle is a vehicle by law. When riding your bike on a
road, you have the same rights and duties as other road users.

The laws are very clear. Motorists: You ARE breaking the law when you STOP to allow bicyclists to unlawfully pass. Please, be courteous and conscious and moreover SAFE: Do NOT continue to put us in these dangerous, incommodious situations.
So tedious.
THANK YOU for writing this! For years I've wanted to write the same I anonymous, using almost the exact same wording you used. Just go people. If you'd have kept driving, I could have crossed right behind you no prob.
"Oh, and @ DamosA...."Get some REAL problems already"? What the fuck is that supposed to mean? YOU moved HERE to get away from the REAL problems of Atlanta chump! And you want us Portlanders to have some real problems, just so we can have something of YOUR worth to complain about???
That is the most douchebagest of douchebaggery statements ever made and fuck you and your 5 years of living here."

I never said anything about LIVING in Atlanta (i lived in a much worse city in GA; i'm actually very fond of ATL), so i certainly did not move to get away from "real problems" in Atlanta, Einstein. I'm simply quite knowledgeable about navigating the streets of that city & how-much all you whinny babies would be utterly over-whelmed there - since even a simple Portland intersection seems traumatizing to you all.

Gawd, you people sure are dense!
Thank you! This happens to me all the time and it is ridiculous. When I drive in town I treat cyclists the way I want to be treated, like another car. I don't expect a special right of way for being on a bike. I wait my turn like everyone else.
I've had to turn my bike around and ride away from intersections before because a car will not go even though I have a stop sign and they don't. It is a weird politeness to a fault. Even after I've waved them through, and gestured to my stop sign and screamed at them they still wait for me.
Personally, I don't trust drivers. I don't feel safe crossing the street in front of their cars.
Thanks again for putting it out there.
Yes. Yes and yes and yes. I hate it when drivers try to be "polite." What they should be is predictable.
@ DamosA

You are the worst kind of insufferable prick.
Really, the WORST kind? Thanks bro! I always wanted to be no.1 at something.
who gives a rat's ass
Thank you!!!! If everyone just followed the normal signs, rules of the road, and the law in general while driving, things would just work and flow :) But no, everyone wants to be the saint and feel all warm and fuzzy and like a super karma magnet cause' they stopped for someone. I agree....just keep moving!
ehhh, it's not always being polite, it's the law that they have to stop for pedestrians...

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