As bicycling increases in Portland, so does apparent motorist hostility if this article in the Portland Tribune is any indication.
With the number of cyclists in the city continuing to climb, both two-wheeled and four-wheeled commuters have noticed increased tensions on the road. This summer, in particular, the traffic deaths of five cyclists in the Portland area have fanned the issue.[Wow, motorists having to share the road with jerks. Bicyclists have never encountered anything like that before :-/ ]
“I don’t really like to drive anymore,” says 54-year-old Lynette Jones of Northeast Portland. “These cyclists have basically taken over. They refuse to be polite. You honk; they just go slower and look at you like you’re crazy. … To me it feels like they’re taunting: ‘I dare you to hit me.’”
Matt Larsen, a Multnomah County transportation planning specialist, thinks the conflicts will grow as long as more cyclists hit the streets. He leads a 12-member Bicyclist and Pedestrian Citizen Advisory Committee that frequently takes up the issue, but nothing has emerged as the silver bullet yet.
“There’s a lot of animosity between the groups, and it seems to be growing,” he says. “For the most part it’s not a problem about cyclists as a whole or drivers as a whole — it’s just bad apples that give each group a bad name.”
In my opinion, riding lawfully or increased enforcement won't reduce motorist antagonism all that much, but it's best not to give them any ammunition.