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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cyclist knifed in road rage incident

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 3:01 PM

As we noted this morning, there was another accident between a cyclist and a motorist in Highland Park this week, leaving a retired Pitt professor injured.

But even more disturbing is the vicious attack on a cyclist whose throat was cut around 11 p.m. in the South Side Wednesday night in an apparent road rage incident.

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard told City Paper in an email that the victim reported he was riding his bike near Josephine Street when the occupants of a car — described as “possibly small, gray 2-door older model Mercury” — accused him of cutting them off. Richard said the cyclist said he cut in front of a vehicle at a red light on Water Street and Hot Metal Street “and that he thought this incident might be a result of road rage.”

The cyclist says that the driver got out of the car with a knife, and cut him from his ear to the front of his neck, took his bike, then threw it in the bushes, according to police. The cyclist ran down the city steps to Mary Street until he was able to get help. He was taken to Mercy Hospital in Uptown and is listed in critical condition, she said. Police continue to investigate.

Bicycle advocates, meanwhile, say they have had enough, in a violent summer for cyclists

“I’m speechless,” says Scott Bricker, executive director of BikePGH. “Are these people sociopaths? What’s going on and how do we stop this? ... We’re not going to educate the sociopath out of people.”

BikePGH, the city and other advocacy organizations have been working on improving cycling infrastructure around town — from cycling lanes to marked bike routes, educating drivers and creating more awareness around bike safety. But incidents like this, Bricker says, defy logic — and any advocacy effort out there.

“We don’t have answers,” he says. “This is a societal problem.”

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