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MORAGA: Bicyclist Gets Physical With Driver

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A cyclist takes her lane without incident during a normal commute hour. But incidents between cyclists and drivers appear to be increasing. Photo: Stella Ngigi

Moraga police Monday logged the latest in what appears to be a growing trend of roadway incivility and incidents between bicyclists and drivers in The Numbers – and beyond.

Officers were summoned to 1355 Moraga Way at 7:05 p.m. Monday after receiving calls of a possible accident between a car and cyclist at that location. After further investigation officers determined the incident was actually a road rage case, with the cyclist angry enough about the motorist’s actions behind the wheel to dismount, vandalize the car and then assault the driver.

The driver declined to press charges against his alleged assailant. Police did not detail what, if any, injury he incurred.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting that the driver declined to press charges for the alleged vandalism and assault. Perhaps s/he was experiencing some regrets about how the situation arose. In any event, glad that everyone chose to de-escalate at that point with no serious injuries.

  2. I do hear a lot of name calling lately. Is there a suitable road for designated bike only days?

  3. There does seem to be some increased tension out there right now and I don’t know why it is. I don’t know if the bicyclist are trying to make a point or if drivers are just losing patience. Maybe it’s both.

  4. I would respect bikers a lot more if they obeyed the rules of the road. Nothing like a Saturday morning pelaton on Moraga Way that spans 6 wide. Might as well give me some tire tubes so I can be the team car.

  5. See it all too often I’m sad to say. Saw a cyclist throw his water bottle at a car on saint marys road and the car swerve dangerously to take evasive action. I am certain the cars and drivers are just as culpable at times but I have seen a lot of bad behavior lately and I agree that someone is going to be seriously hurt unless we do something to stop it.

  6. Editor:

    It is a good idea for our neighborhoods to keep bikeeastbay.org informed of unsafe behavior by cyclists. More, when damage to a car is the result of cyclists’ actions, informing one’s insurance company is an appropriate method to enforce safe behavior by the offending cyclist.

    The same should be considered when cyclists endanger people walking on our local trails. More and more, walkers are at risk from cyclists that speed, abuse right of way, fail to call out passes, and generally are abusive toward walkers on the trails.

    Hal

  7. I am a hyper aware cyclist that rides in the area on a regular basis. A large majority of drivers share the road and you can sense that they see you. A minority are at best ignorant(not paying attention) or at worst aggressive. Speeding cars, driving too close or aggressive behavior happens too often. So you end up in a battle with 1+ tons of steel in a gas combustion engine versus a man/woman on a bike. As a rider I would ask people to imagine a family member on that bike as they approach or if you are texting or racing somewhere, would it be worth injuring/killing someone to read a text or get to your destination 30 seconds faster?

  8. We’re weekend riders and try to be friendly and courteous to everyone we meet on the road. I will say we have heard of some riders traveling in peloton who sometimes go four or five abreast on some roads forcing drivers into opposing lanes and in our opinion causing potentially dangerous situations. I agree it appears to be happening more often and that the potential for accidents or confrontations like this one are also on the rise. We are holding our breath and hoping no one is injured or worse in the time ahead.

  9. It is safe to assume that because no charges were pressed, it means there was no damage to the car, and no case to make.

  10. At Charlie – not necessarily, for the reason someone has already expressed. Maybe on the FaceBook site

  11. We can not even say the title should be “Bicyclist ALLEGEDLY Gets Physical With Driver”, because no charges were pressed. This title does not deliver news, of which there is none, but merely serves to cash in on aggressive emotions seeking an outlet. This journalism is guilty of egging on road aggression against cyclists.

  12. Here’s what really happened: a handsome, incredibly healthy and super smart dude on a resource saving, scientifically engineered modern marvel (known to the undereducated as a bicycle) took valuable time from his earth saving ride to advise a malicious, fossil fuel consuming caveman type in a…… a……. Car, gag, I just threw up a little there, about the error of his ways. At the end of their very instructive conversation the icky 4wheeler saw the dawn of truth and the fact that he is responsible for the warming planet, decline of the polar bear population and a lichen with a name he cannot pronounce and promised the handsome stranger that he was parking his emissions vehicle as soon as he got home and donating half of all his future earnings to the cyclists riding club. Police were called to witness the moment and to provide our Hero with a police escort to his perfect off the grid and car-less abode. THATS what happened. Tell the truth media stooges!

  13. Brian – the spin doctoring began with this absurd headline and the biased reporting in the article.

  14. Over the years I’ve learned that people tend to call news they don’t want to hear absurd and biased. It is clear something went on that day or the police would not have been called. Moraga is a small city, these two people probably realized they were neighbors and that pressing criminal charges would not be a wise thing to do.

  15. Gregg – Over the years I’ve learned that papers publish news that people want to hear – and they want to hear news which reinforces their biases and peeves. You are correct in saying “Moraga is a small city, these two people probably realized they were neighbors and that pressing criminal charges would not be a wise thing to do.” And I am correct in saying that it is not right or wise to publish a follow up story, one sided and biased, which kangaroo court convicts the cyclist – despite the fact that there were no charges.

    We know that police are constantly responding to civil disputes – and that these are frequently resolved without criminal charges – none of those stories would make it in to the paper. The “angle” that brings this story into the paper is the “bogeyman” of the bad cyclist. The content of the article – nothing more than a few maximally inflammatory accusations and no attempt to cover the incident in depth – is designed purely to cash in by exciting, honing and sharpening the existing anti-cyclist grudge.

  16. Sorry Charlie Horse but I think you’re wrong. You also sound new to this site, which may explain your perception of a bias. I actually started lurking here after their coverage of the Herman Shum accident back in December. IMO they have successfully identified an issue and have been reporting later incidents as they happen both on the site and on their facebook. Much of what they have reported has not appeared anywhere else and again IMO suggests a growing tension on the road. There was a BIG facebook dialogue after another incident not too long ago and some bikers weren’t happy with that either. After reading comments from both sides it has sure made me more aware of the situation.

  17. “Over the years I’ve learned that papers publish news that people want to hear – and they want to hear news which reinforces their biases and peeves.”

    Well obviously not because you obviously didn’t want to hear this piece of news! I think it’s more a case of someone taking an issue and holding it up to the light. There will always be people who don’t want to hear what they have to say because in their eyes it presents them or their sport or their way of life in a way they don’t like. They also wrote about a recent trail ride on the Iron Horse with people commenting positively.

    People see what they want to see and they hear what they want to hear. You don’t like this story. We get it.

  18. Carol – No, you don’t get it. You don’t like the facts I gave so you ignore them. Let me try again with the most simple rule from journalism 101: After a suspect has been charged and before he has been tried the correct terminology is “ALLEGED” crime. This suspect has not even been charged yet the article clearly implies he/she is guilty of vandalism and assault – that is kangaroo court journalism. The article also makes zero attempt to document the entire incident – it only one-sidedly assigns final blame without any legal judgement to back it up.

    In my humble opinion, what would have made for a very good article would have been to see if both parties, the cyclist and the driver, would agree to a joint interview, so they might both have a chance to reflect on the events after the excitement had cooled off. After all, they are both humans, only separated by a vehicle type. Failing that, at least the journalist should have given both sides a chance to recount their experience.

    Last Saturday I was riding in Davis, when I came upon an accident involving two cyclists and a pickup. The young pickup driver had come out of a side road not seeing the cyclists due to the sun. Both cyclists were knocked down; one of them an older guy about 60 getting scraped up pretty bad and in a lot pain. Both bikes were not able to be ridden. Nevertheless, the older cyclist insisted it was not necessary to call the police or an ambulance. He just needed to get home and rest and would take himself for a foot x-ray the next day. The cyclists got the pickup drivers documents, insurance, etc., and they all agreed to have the pickup driver take them and their bikes back to where their cars were parked. No police, no newspaper article.

    There is still a chance for this newspaper to redeem itself by providing the statements from those involved, preferably by getting them to talk together. Without that, the coverage as it is now is just biased baiting, and cancels out the good which came from settling the issue without resorting to further legal procedures.

  19. @charlie
    Mmmm no, I don’t agree. There are a couple of great comments counter to yours on this sites FaceBook page, perhaps the posters will transfer here. Good discussion with interesting positions.

  20. I went riding Saturday and passed a group where one guy was saying to another – Be nice today Tom, or we’ll end up in News24!

    Maybe reading about these things will help even things out on the road.

  21. Happened again in the city. Uber driver gets upset with cyclist after cycle reportedly vandalizes his car, driver rams cyclist. Driver charged with ADW.

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