Sharing the Road on Raymond Avenue: Impatience

We recently had one of those rare “Get the fuck off the road” incidents on Raymond. To set the stage, we’re on our way for groceries and I’m towing the trailer.

The rear view shows the second car behind us veering far to the right side of the lane, trying to see around the car ahead of him, with much blowing of horn:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 1

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 1

The big GMC had been following us at a reasonable distance from the Juliet roundabout as we trundled along Raymond at about 12 mph, riding out of the Door Strike Zone for well and good reason.

The GMC passed us at the end of the median, which let the impatient driver zoom up next to us. You can’t hear the horn that will blow as he pulls up next to me:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 2

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 2

Our usual route takes us into Davis St, so Mary’s already leaning into the right turn. I think he intended to go straight on Raymond for at least another block to the arterial, but he made an abrupt right turn into Davis St directly in front of me:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 3

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 3

Perhaps that’s to Teach Us A Lesson after all the horn-blowing?

I always ride behind Mary and slightly to her left, so that if / when bad shit goes down, I can bring it down on me, rather than her. In this case, she was safely beyond what was about to happen:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 4

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 4

The wide-angle lens is deceiving, as I’m less than three feet from the car and closing rapidly; I’m obviously not turning as sharply as he expected and I’m not slowing to avoid a collision. There’s a parked car just ahead of Mary, to her right, and her path is as far to the right as it can get.

He apparently realized that Teaching Me A Lesson would produce a nasty scuff on the side of his shiny black car and, perhaps having spotted the helmet camera, a nasty loss in the ensuing insurance squabble. He also wasn’t willing to swing wide, head-on into the oncoming lane of Davis, so he stopped dead in the intersection:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 5

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 5

That’s fine with me.

I continued wide past the parked car on Davis. He accelerated hard, decided, once again, not to ram me from behind, turned abruptly left into the parking lot, and proceeded to the eastbound arterial:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 6

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 6

I’m stopped in that picture to aim the helmet camera backwards over my left shoulder. The car behind the white one is parked near the intersection, just to my right in the previous picture.

As nearly as I could make out, he shouted, in addition to the usual obscenities, “Roads are for automobiles!”, a surprisingly articulate word under the circumstances. Evidently, he hadn’t noticed NYSDOT’s “Share the Road” signage helpfully posted on the far end of Raymond.

Elapsed time from the Juliet roundabout to the parking lot: 45 seconds.

Maybe he had a cake in the oven?

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  1. #1 by rkward on 2016-10-18 - 07:32

    There are some real nuts out there, but we never know what other events may be going on in their lives. I try to be understanding but it’s getting harder every day. In this case, I think that particular individual should have their license suspended and be forced to use a bike to get to and from work everyday for a month. Though, we’ll need an automatic ticketing system in our vehicles and on the streets like the ones from Demolition Man. Somehow I’m sure that would go the route of traffic cams and entrapment.

    • #2 by Ed on 2016-10-18 - 13:45

      Everybody gets to make a mistake once in a while, but laying on the horn says it’s deliberate.

      I keep both hands on the grips and have gotten adept at shouting license numbers.

      Fortunately, all of that happens rarely enough to make the exceptions you see here more notable.

    • #4 by Ed on 2016-10-18 - 13:42

      That looks entirely too much like a handle.

      Folks generally give us plenty of space, although I have occasionally pondered the merits of a carbide scribe extending from the top left of the seat frame.

      He has a GoPro on his helmet and, these days, that counts for a lot.

  2. #5 by Frans on 2016-10-18 - 08:35

    Roads are for pedestrians and cyclists. Automobiles are an inefficient waste of space. :-)

    I see this person has creepy tinted windows to boot. What’s surprising to me is that they’re driving a Toyota; in my experience you find this kind of behavior either with some kind of worn-down city car or with something like a Mercedes or BMW. Where by this kind of behavior I mean impatience, honking, thinking the road is their property, and in general neglecting the rules of polite society as well as traffic regulations — nothing toward cyclists in particular.

    But yeah, only in America have I experienced someone looking at me like I was committing some kind of unspeakable sin for crossing the street on a crosswalk.

    • #6 by RCPete on 2016-10-18 - 12:10

      I’ve run into that sort a fair amount of the time, though the urban areas tend to be worse. The favorite rural transgression is the illegal pass, but most of our local roads aren’t that twisty.

      According to cartintlaws dot com, that tint job might be legal for Oregon (35% transmission front and back), but not for NY (70%). I’ve had the impression that it’s not a high priority for enforcement, though it might get an addon ticket.

      IMHO, they’re bullies, and usually cowards. If they think they can get away with the behavior, they’ll do it, but if there are consequences, it’s better. (One reason for the not-so-bad incidence of road rage in our county is the high CCW take rate.)

    • #7 by Frans on 2016-10-18 - 12:16

      I thought of this blog post while reading this article.

      In their new book Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead, published in September, Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman find themselves wondering what it will be like to someday explain to a child “how the act of driving used to be equated with adulthood and freedom.”

      As a Dutch person I can see how it’d be equated with adulthood (although seeing how in America the driving age is 16 that seems like a bit of a stretch), but freedom? Freedom is not having all of the cost sink associated with owning, let alone operating a car. The approximately €15/month (€3 subscription, the rest use) I spend on my as-you-need-it car subscription is more than enough.

      I know that America is a very different place. I’ve experience for myself how without a car, in American suburbia there are these enormously wide roads that isolate you from the rest of the place. To that end, I’ll leave this final link that shows how Amsterdam was transformed from a city not unlike Brussels or your average American city into the much more livable place it is today: http://calgarybuzz.com/2016/02/sustainable-amsterdam-transformation/

    • #9 by RCPete on 2016-10-18 - 13:00

      First reply got munched. Noscript and/or changing cookie policies can be a problem.

      IMHO, a lot of the road rage bullies are cowards; they’ll do their thing until/unless there are consequences. (Locally, the concealed carry rate acts wonderfully…) That helmet cam did wonders…

      According to cartintlaws dot com, that tint job might be illegal in NY. 70% transmission for side windows is required. In Oregon, it’s 35% front and rear side (thought it was supposed to be more transparent for the front, but no).

      • #10 by Ed on 2016-10-18 - 13:56

        I think you changed your nom de plume and that tripped the must-approve-first-post filter.

        For sure, some of the tints I’ve seen around here aren’t anywhere near 70% transmission: they’re nigh onto blackout curtains!

    • #11 by Ed on 2016-10-18 - 13:51

      Aye! I tested the Forester’s horn after we bought it, but it hasn’t been used since. My feeling is that in any situation where you think you need a horn, your hands should be firmly holding the wheel; most likely, you don’t know something the other driver just learned.

      Like the guy three cars back at an intersection who laid on the horn when the first car didn’t instantly turn right at the green signal, some weeks ago. Apparently, he couldn’t hear the sirens on the phalanx of emergency vehicles bearing down on the intersection and was still honking even as the fire trucks blew through on their red. Maybe he had the music turned up really loud in there?

  3. #12 by tantris on 2016-10-18 - 10:41

    The license plate looks almost recognizable. Any progress on that?
    I was thinking if one could somehow align and combine consecutive frames, that would increase resolution. Something like a combination of hugin and HDR.

    • #13 by tantris on 2016-10-18 - 10:43

      Oh – nevermind. the plate is visible on the linked picture :)

    • #14 by Ed on 2016-10-18 - 13:51

      There is a method to my mad(ness)… [grin]