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    so is hate speech, but you did it above



    are you making a refernce to the fact that this driver was supposedly african american. ? thats disgusting



    So, the cyclist should have maced the driver, since the driver threatened her with a close pass?



    The mace was sprayed when the woman on the bike had backed away from the car, so it doesn’t sound like defense at that point.



    The converse is to sit idly by while people break the law with no consequences. Someone stealing that bike over there? Oh well. Someone dropped their bag of McDonald wrappers on the ground? That’s a shame. That cyclist just blazed by me in the crosswalk? Darn. That person threatened me with their car? Have a good day! It’s no wonder so many people get away with so much BS in this town.


    Sean Maher

    I’ll guess “in group / out group” – drivers see other drivers as part of the same tribe, but cyclists are the “other” tribe. That makes it easy to blame the whole tribe for that one guy you saw run a stop sign two years ago, because they’re all the same.

    You don’t see the same hate on articles about peds or drivers, because peds and drivers are individuals, not part of some monolithic “other” group.

    Other people are just bullies, and feel an uncontrollable urge to attack when they see vulnerability; I assume they are also compelled to kick puppies and pull the wings off of flies.



    Of course he has a double standard. He is literally defending the perpetrator of a violent crime.



    Your comments in this thread make me confused. Doesn’t your “you can defend yourself” question also apply to the bicyclist who was buzzed by the motorist? Passing too close is also hostile and threatening. Just curious if you have a double standard.



    “Knock knock knocking on heaven’s do…”

    Go away, I’m not talking to you!!!” *sprays mace*



    “It’s like thunder
    The way you love me is frightening
    I think I better knock, knock, knock on wo…”

    Get out of here!!!” *sprays mace*



    Don’t bother with calling the cops, just open the door and mace whoever’s standing there. Sorry Fedex delivery person, you shouldn’t have threatened me with all that banging!



    I’m not going to speculate about what actually transpired, and will leave that up to the witnesses who saw the situation go down.

    If I’m in a car and am feeling threatened by someone outside the car, though, my typical reaction would be to just drive away, not roll down the window and mace them.



    The door of someone else’s house is their property. Is knocking on it violent and threatening behavior?



    No kidding. Those uppity slaves might have thought their masters were bad people, but saying so only got them a whippin’



    “a gaming community I’m a member of”

    That explains a lot. Gaming – even more so than driving – allows you to pretend your actions do not have consequences



    Driving within 6 inches of a cyclist is an act of aggression and specifically illegal



    I think what happened to it was anger, hostility and loud words. I wouldnt open the door either if that was the type of person on the other side, would you?!



    Well, if you must know its tied to a gaming community I’m a member of. At the time I didnt realize Disqus could be used elsewhere, but here we are.



    What law says you can defend yourself if someone is acting hostile and threatening towards you again?



    its not a verbal confrontation. she hit on the driver’s window with her fist. another issue that bothers me with this story is mentioning that the driver is african american. whats the purpose of that information on a streetsblog story, except to further bias people


    Nahn Faerns

    I routinely do this along the right side of a car when I suspect they are turning right and have no indicator on. I say, “Are you turning right? Can you please remember to use your blinker?” Most drivers curse, many more ignore me, and some say sorry.

    I wouldn’t call my behavior…threatening. Also, I recommend you never drive in a developing country. You’re going to be mighty spooked at all the window-banging. But don’t worry, they probably just want to sell you Kleenex.


    Nahn Faerns

    You’ve opened Pandora’s Box, my friend.


    SF Guest

    How can you argue something is a false choice when this choice applies and occurred?



    Great! Now I have an excuse to call the cops on solicitors who “violently bang” on my door. But when the cop arrives and knocks on the door to take my statement, do I need to call a second cop on the first cop’s violent banging?

    Whoah, looks like a tower of turtles below!



    This is a false choice as it does not require road rage to result in intentional hit-and-run. I don’t see how confronting someone verbally on their bad behavior should elicit an violent response. If they react in that manner, that person should be removed from society. We shouldn’t be coddling, condoning, or apologizing for that behavior. Non-violent response to an injustice done to you does not require you to meekly accept it.


    SF Guest

    While I don’t work for law enforcement a peace officer would also advise you not to try to stop a bank robbery for your own safety as well.


    SF Guest

    Acts of retaliatory violence are not limited to psychopaths. Road rage has resulted in intentional hit-and-run. Your body camera is a nice deterrent but may not help you against the wrong person at the wrong time in an act of road rage:


    SF Guest

    It’s always admirable and rewarding to get your point across to someone who behaved badly (don’t get me wrong), and I’m glad it worked for you, but many a times discretion is the better part of valor.” Many psychopaths look no different from normal human beings.



    banging violently on a window is a threat.

    It’s fascinating how you transform “knocking” to “banging violently.” But that’s what serial trolls do.



    I think pedestrians should also have licenses so their bad behavior could be posted, especially the runners who run into the street regardless of what’s going on in the intersections. Make them wear helmets too. They look so irresponsible and dangerous without them.



    I have a feeling that condo tower on Mission in the SoMa will be a bust. $500M to construct? $2000/sq ft for a condo? Sounds like it will be one of the first victims of the upcoming dot-com bust. And if Four Seasons thinks getting $100,000 for street improvements out of a $500,000,000 project is a victory, that’s laughable.



    Pretty sure no judge is ever going to agree with you on that. Even if banging on a window is a threat, a self-defense response has to be proportional to the magnitude of that threat. There is no way that pepper spraying someone who did nothing more than bang on your window, and is backing away from you at the time you sprayed them, is ever going to be considered to a proportional response.



    I don’t agree. I confronted a driver a few months ago who deliberately tried to run me down. During our conversation he admitted that his act was deliberate and said the reason he did it was because of the behavior of other cyclists behind me who followed me into the intersection.

    Although I didn’t get an apology, I think he realized that it was illogical of him to try to run me down because of the behavior of other people. Of course, you shouldn’t try to run someone down even if they did behave badly, but at least the interaction made him realize that I was an individual human being who was not responsible for the actions of other people who just happened to be using the same transportation mode.

    So I’m glad I did it, but I’m also aware that maybe one time out of ten you’ll encounter someone who is simply unhinged, as seems to be the case here. Most drivers don’t ever expect someone they just cut off to bang on their window, because that doesn’t usually happen if you cut off another car. Some people will act defensively to the unexpected intrusion on their personal space, and some people will act aggressively. So, confronting drivers is a risk, and I don’t blame anyone for not taking that risk.



    What law says you can’t knock on someone’s window again?



    Knocking on someone’s window is in no way illegal. I’m not sure what rights you think you have in public, but you seem to be confused about that.



    Ah yes, I’m reminded of this classic joke:

    “Knock knock”

    “Get out of here!!!” *sprays mace*

    “Aah, my face!!! What happened to ‘who’s there’?”



    There is no risk of personal injury to the occupant of a car when you knock on a window. It cannot be considered a threat. However, rolling down your window and then spraying pepper spay – that’s assault. The driver in this case was under no obligation to roll down their window.



    You know what? I agree. It is generally a bad idea to confront a stranger on the street, especially a lawbreaker like this motorist.

    This usually comes up when some anti-bicycling extremist repeats a story about confronting a bicyclist and getting a swear word in response–there’s always a wide-eyed child in the same crosswalk–but here, we’re talking about a violent criminal motorist who topped off her violation of the three-foot passing rule with assault and battery.

    The violent motorist deserves to rot in jail for her crimes.



    you dont think theres a law againt trhreatening someone? banging violently on a window is a threat.



    No, I think the gridlock is due to all the drivers gawking at this Superb Owl.



    Super Bowl is TWO WORDS



    I also hope that bicyclist is already lawyered up, as he seems to have a very good case, especially considering that using a cell phone while biking is not yet illegal in California.



    Knocking on the window of a car represents no risk of personal injury or property damage to the occupant of the car. The driver is under no obligation to roll down their window. However, driving within 6 inches of a cyclists or opening a window and then spraying pepper spray on them are acts of assault.


    Ion Feldman

    It comes as no surprise a police officer would recommend keeping your mouth shut as it makes their life easier. That said, one always should use their judgement. I wasn’t there, and if the person seemed unstable, confronting them may not have been best. But this idea that you need to stay silent out of fear that you might get gunned down is silly. Even if she’s not right in the head, if every cyclist who she buzzed confronted her, she’d probably stop doing it just to avoid the hassle. People never standing up for themselves out of fear is part of what perpetuates such selfish behavior. I wear a camera when I cycle and you’d be surprised how quickly even the most seemingly psychopathic motorists change their tune as soon as they find out they’re being recorded.



    Oh, look–you “liked” your own post!



    In the eye of the law, idiot troll.



    Question to everyone replying to Judas: Why would you reply to someone who chooses to go by the moniker “Judas”?

    Might as well have chosen the handle “Troll”.



    in the eye of the beholder



    As a daily bike commuter it’s easy for me to agree with your sentiment and pessimism, but having seen some great infrastructure work well to nearly completely solve this problem, I’m optimistic that it will become more common and people will realize that it’s easy to safely share the road when simple physical measures are taken when designing roads and intersections to make it clear how.



    As always with people like you, the cyclist is always wrong.

    Knocking on someone’s window is nothing. Nearly hitting someone with your car is dangerous. You’re clearly a sociopath.