A conversation between myself and a woman I work with (WIWW) that took place at 5 PM in the bathroom at work while I was getting dressed up in my bike garb: WIWW- Have you ever been hit?
FF- Not while biking, just while driving and once while walking.
WIWW - I have a friend who has been hit three times.
FF- Wow! Is he careful? Does he wear lights?
WIWW - Yes, he says he's careful, but you know, there are some bicyclists who deserve to be hit.
FF- Well, I don't think I deserve to be hit. I'm pretty careful. I stop at stop signs and follow the rules.
WIWW- They make it unsafe for drivers.
FF- I guess there are some cyclists who do.
The WIWW left the bathroom in a huff and I pedaled home hoping she wasn't looking to hit me with her BMW.
Portland is one of the most bike friendly cities in the world, but there is still loads of animosity between drivers and cyclists. This is my theory as to why this happens:
Drivers don't generally see other drivers; they hide behind tinted windows, metal and plastic. So when a bicyclist or pedestrian pedals (or walks/runs) onto the road, drivers are faced with a more human encounter. They are forced to stop, slow-down or move over. They are forced to care for a stranger even though they are too busy and rushed and preoccupied to care for a stranger.