PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A heated confrontation between a driver and a cyclist in the Terwilliger curves that was caught on camera all started because of a clogged bike lane full of leaves and standing water.
It was Halloween night when Steven Mitchell was on his commute biking his 20 miles home.
But the bike lane was clogged, which made is treacherous for Mitchell. So, he veered into the car lane for safety.
“It was the safest path to go at that speed because the bike lanes were just full of stuff,” Mitchell said.
Not long after a car starts to honk, Mitchell’s camera that’s attached to his bike is recording the ride.
In the video, there’s a second honk and, seconds later, a near miss as Mitchell and a truck nearly collide. They both pull over at a turn off parking spot.
That’s when it gets heated and the two get into a confrontation, which ultimately ended with a handshake, a ‘Happy Halloween’ and continued accusations at each other.
Mitchell says he’s sharing his story because he looks at this as a public service announcement for everyone to share the road.
“I've had people roll down their windows and yell at me or throw stuff at me because they were mad at me, but I've never had somebody get in my face like, thinking I was about to get punched,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell says it’s also a call to the Portland Bureau of Transportation to clear bike lanes and streets more frequently.
“The only thing I do wish is that they would take the same sort of priority to bike lanes as they do vehicle lanes,” Mitchell said.
FOX 12 spoke with the driver in Mitchell's video who didn’t want to be identified.
The driver admits he overreacted but says if Mitchell hadn’t hit his mirror he doesn’t think it would’ve gotten so heated.
The driver says he’s glad the confrontation ended the way it did that night.
A spokesman for PBOT says it is within cyclists’ rights to use the roadway if there’s any hazards. PBOT advises drivers to pass with caution and enough space.
As for clearing leaves and other debris, PBOT clears residential streets once a year and busier streets, like Terwilliger, three or four times a year.
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