Conflict Between Skateboarder and Driver

I have ridden bikes in the city a fair amount. There are frequently cars/trucks parked in the bike lane. I am sometimes … moderately annoyed by this fact? It’s particularly annoying on busier roads where the bike lane is more of a safety issue than just a nice-to-have. But I cannot imagine escalating the issue like the guy making the video did.

The reaction of the people in the car is one reason why…like they get super mad, yell, throw things and the guy seems to fake getting a gun or something?!

Which side worse?

People are saying the guy in the car has like close to $10k in traffic tickets or something, so this isn’t some isolated incident but likely part of a pattern of creating safety risks to public that could cause serious harm. Also he pretends to be willing to potentially escalate to lethal force and is really nasty. Even PRETENDING that in this situation is fucking awful. So that seems really bad.

But like, the guy making the video seems super foolish, by virtue of his being willing to massively escalate and expose himself to potential lethal force over an everyday triviality. Even I know that people can act incredibly violent over traffic stuff and it’s not worth the escalation. And this was over literally parking in the wrong place (not some major accident), which happens all the time. What reasonable people do here is take a picture of the parking with the license plate in the frame and tweet the DC Dept of Transportation a picture or something…

So to sum up, I’m thinking that the guy in the car was worse in some overall moral sense but the guy making the video seems like the bigger fool. I could be wrong.

Did you notice Reddit‘s opinion? Thoughts on that?

Reddit seemed pretty anti-car people (and, to be clear, they have legitimate objections to the car people’s behavior). Some people were saying the video guy’s escalation was bad but I didn’t see that in a lot of the top comments. I’m guessing Redditors empathize with the guy on the e-skateboard or whatever more and aren’t also very street smart. Might be a racial and class aspect to that. I also think a lot of them don’t realize how quickly things can escalate to deadly violence. I have some memories of e.g. NYC when it was still pretty bad pre-Giuliani. That kind of thing shapes your perspective in certain ways.

Yeah I think Reddit is being racist and classist. And they lack awareness.

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As the left sometimes likes to say: You don’t know what other people are going through.

They might have a good reason to be pulled over there. They could be going through an emergency. They could have a disability that you don’t know about and shouldn’t ask them to disclose to you.

I thought the skateboarder was worse because he started the conflict unnecessarily. He also did more to escalate it and keep it going, and he was not the one who stopped it. I thought the car users provided at least one clear window to deescalate/end-it, before the ending, that the skateboarder rejected.

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I think you and reddit are both biased about this and are jumping to mean conclusions. Do you have any idea how he got those tickets or what the causality is?

For reddit, since they’re on the left, I’d ask them why they have no sympathy with a probably-poor racial minority being asked to pay $10,000. Do they not see anything concerning there?

For you, well, maybe you should care about that too. But are you able to figure out what’s going on? You are on the incorrect side of this from a right wing or libertarian perspective.

I didn’t before you asked, but my assumption is that if you get dozens and dozens of traffic citations (I had seen a figure of 90 citations before you asked), the causality is generally that you violated the traffic laws a number of times approximately equal to the number of citations received. Is that unreasonable? Like if someone just had 1 or 2 maybe there was a mistake, but the sheer number indicates a pattern.

I looked into it a bit and it found a screenshot on Twitter indicating that he apparently speeds a lot.

What? Why? I’m for LAW AND ORDER, which is very right-wing! I’m against the dumb/bad laws, but I don’t have any general objection to the traffic laws.

Even in anarcho-capitalist land, I think there would be some standard rules about what sorts of behavior were allowed on certain roads, drafted by whatever company owned or was administering the roads. So the govt is just standing in in the same role. Not a perfect system, but I don’t see any major problem of political philosophy here.

I have noticed that a lot of bicyclists make a big deal of this, and act like the problem is just drivers not respecting bike lanes enough or something. But cars stop in actual roadways all the time too. They normally put on their hazard lights when they do that, but sometimes they don’t.

I think the issue has more to do with lack of parking spaces than bad drivers. And it has been exacerbated a lot by things like Uber, delivery services (e.g. Uber Eats, Instacart), and the increase in residential package service. When people deliver things, they need to stop near the place they are delivering to, and there is often nowhere legal to stop. So they stop in places that aren’t legal to stop. From the perspective of both the delivery drivers and the customers receiving the deliveries, I don’t really know what solution would be better.

Yeah i’m familiar with this issue. My own apartment building has nowhere good to stop in front and faces a busy road. For quick deliveries, the solution many drivers use is “just turn on your hazards and stop”. UPS does that too. I do often include detailed instructions on better places to park in my delivery notes for stuff like Instacart, but 90% of the drivers just use their GPS and ignore my notes, so, lol…

BTW one reason I’m not a member of the local big bicyclist association is I think they’re kind of militantly anti-car in a biased and unreasonable way.

I find that’s true with lots of advocacy groups … they may have some good points on some stuff, but they’re super one sided and assume that taking other perspectives into account is completely someone else’s job.

I thought the skateboarder was worse too.

Take the car and the skateboard out of it, and imagine that two people are just standing somewhere that blocks a wheelchair ramp, with an unblocked stairway right next to them. Someone else comes up to them – someone who is able to use the stairs and doesn’t actually need the ramp – interrupts them, touches their stuff, and tells them they have to move because they are blocking a wheelchair ramp and people might need it.

In that case, if the guy who came up to them refuses to move past them and just go up the stairs, and instead continues to argue with them, I think most people would think he was being a “Karen” or something. Like, he doesn’t need the ramp, no one nearby needs the ramp, just leave them alone.

I don’t think they should have thrown things at him. But I think that if you took the car out of it, and had the same interaction with the above scenario, more people would be on the side of the two people. (Especially in the current climate, with how sensitive people are to racial issues, and white people trying to enforce rules on black people in public.)


Right, this is common. Lots of streets don’t have parking. Some used to have parking, but then they took it out to put in bike lanes.

I looked at the street this took place on. It is lined with apartment buildings and maybe office buildings, with no street front parking or pull out areas. The people in the video said they were “working”, so potentially they were doing some sort of delivery, or needed to be in one of those buildings for some reason.

Do all the people who are mad at these people for parking there just never use Uber, Uber Eats, Instacart, etc? Or do they want these delivery services to change their rates and delivery times in a way that makes it possible for them to legally park (and pay for it), and possible walk several blocks, every single time they make a delivery? Or maybe they would like to walk several blocks to a legal parking area to pick up their Uber Eats and Instacart?

The people who complain about this kind of thing and make these kinds of videos are in cities that actually have these parking issues. It’s not like they are people from the suburbs who don’t understand city traffic.

Delivery services and Uber are part of what actually make it possible for people to have a lifestyle where they can choose not to have a car, while still enjoying a bunch of modern comforts and conveniently get around and get access to things. And those services are actually a large percentage of the people who are parking in ways that block bike lanes.

I actually don’t know a great solution. It is problematic for people to be parked in bike lines and in the road while they do deliveries. It can actually block access for people in way that is difficult or even dangerous.

But If the people in the video were, say, making a delivery to the building across the road from them, where should they have parked? If they had pulled forward a little bit, they would have been actually blocking a crosswalk and the cutouts for that, and that seems worse: disabled people are more likely to need the crosswalk than the bike lane.

Do the people who make these types of videos and agree with them just want to get rid of delivery services? Do they boycott them? Or do they use them, benefit from them, but then complain when they encounter the actual reality of how these services work?


I found the original tweet:

I let most bike lane blocking slide because road design is the only thing that fixes it, but if you block the curb ramp that disabled people use, I will usually stop to hassle you.

So the video recorder knows that the primary issue is actually bad road design, but he admits that he is purposely stopping and hassling people. He is purposely accosting and hassling people who are also victims of bad road design.

He replied to his original tweet with this:

A note that I made a few short edits for Twitter’s time limit of videos <2:20. I tried to just cut the silent parts where they sit in the car or the part where the woman is accusing me of being brazen due to my white skin. D.C. has a lot of disabled, older Black folks. But, w/e.

So he also admits that he cut out silent parts where they were just sitting in their car, and he apparently just stayed there, to continue bothering them, while they were trying to just get on with their day.

I also noticed that he told them part way through the recording that he had a camera. So, up to that point, he knew the interaction was being recorded, while they did not. He also knew he had social media and might actually post it and get traction (he calls himself a “journalist” in his twitter bio), while they did not. Since he was the one who was recording it, and also he knew he might end up posting it, he was actually on his best behavior through the entire interaction.


I didn’t say this clearly, but my point was: I didn’t think his behavior was very good. It’s even worse when you consider that he was on his best behavior, while they didn’t even know it was being recorded for the first part of the video.

So he had more good deescalation opportunities and he was harassing them quite a bit more (longer, more persistently) than showed in the edited video.

He comes off as kinda yelling incoherently. He didn’t even rise to the level of lecturing them. He’s apparently done this before but has no prepared speech. He wasn’t trying to condescendingly educate them, or kindly educate them, or just plain explain what his point was. He opened by thinking they should or do already know what they’re doing is wrong, and that they’re doing it anyway as malicious sinners, and that the solution to that is to hassle them. They know they’re bad but they won’t change voluntarily so they just have to be hassled until they comply. That’s how he wants to make a good society?

Imagine a person who hates homosexuals who is making Twitter videos for people who agree with him. So he goes up to gay people on the street and yells at them pretty incoherently and then his audience is like “lol he showed them”. reddit is like that audience, and the twitter guy is like that bigot. he’s like “i don’t normally accost homosexuals in the street since the real issue is lack of religion in schools, but when they really flaunt it i confront them” and then reddit is like “those black homosexuals you yelled at look like drug dealers” and then write a bunch of comments about how their accents and speech patterns aren’t redneck enough and also gay sex is gross.

When you imagine it this way, it’s hard to imagine the person using a rational prepared speech with good arguments. What they are doing is fundamentally not rational. Rationality and this sort of confrontation plus social media posting are incompatible. That also applies to the actual thing that happened.

Why do we see SJWs doing this kind of stuff a lot but not homophobes? (I’m sure some homophobes do some bad stuff somewhere but it isn’t as popular and I’m not sure where to find examples.)

It’s because the thing here is persecution of the outgroup. And SJWs have power and privilege currently. The strongest groups always do the most persecution of outgroups. Weaker groups don’t get to be the oppressor.

It’s possible right wing people are, on average, more reasonable, less inclined to mob mentalties and outgroup persecution, etc. Or not. It’s hard to tell what they’d do with more power. Also I think part of what happens is a bunch of the worst people join whichever group is currently more powerful. A lot of the SJWs would be homophobes instead if that’s where power and privilege were. Maybe the right wing people are better on average today because the less powerful group is always better on average because people who want to use power against others join the currently winning group. (I hadn’t thought of it that way before. This would only apply to groups within a society that has mobility between groups.)

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