Motorist Vs Courier

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Motorist Vs Courier

Postby David » Wed 1 Feb 2006 23:59

this is very interesting stuff:
An incident occured in the Kensington Market of Downtown Toronto, when a driver threw his trash out on to the road, only to have a cyclist open his car door, and throw it back at him.

here is some pics:

Many wade into bike-car brawl online
More than 100,000 hits on website documenting fight
`Psycho motorists strike again,' one angry posting proclaims
Jan. 31, 2006. 08:38 AM

A series of dramatic photographs capturing a quintessential urban confrontation — a daytime brawl between a bike courier and a motorist in downtown Toronto — has sparked a raging debate in cyberspace.

The vigorous, sometimes vitriolic venting weighs in on a host of topics from pedestrian versus motorist rights and conjecture about the nationalities and sexual preferences of the combatants, to littering and whether the photographer should have put down his camera and stepped in to stop the violence.

The incident apparently began after a man tossed food onto the street in Kensington Market and escalated when the cyclist threw the food back into his car.

"Psycho motorists strike again!" said one posting on the website, where photographer Adam Krawesky posted the images last Thursday.

Visitor traffic has since gone through the roof with more than 100,000 hits being logged by yesterday afternoon. The images are also circulating widely on the Internet and appear on dozens of websites as far away as The Netherlands, some in foreign languages, with links provided to Citynoise.

But many postings also sided with the unidentified man.

"The bitch chucked food in his car. Yeah, he's a moron for littering, but she made it personal ... it's nice she's so passionate about the environment that she seeks personal confrontation by shoving food back into people's laps, but honestly, what did she expect?" reads one.

Krawesky said while the incident highlights the "gulf between cyclists and motorists, typically male motorists," the subsequent online discussion mirrors another aspect of human interaction.

"It's interesting how the Internet reflects in one way when you're in a car — in the same way the anonymity of the Internet and posting all sorts of threatening, awful things that you would never do if you were actually face to face," says the 28-year-old who works as an editor at

Krawesky posted 15 images of the altercation Jan. 26, several days after the incident on Augusta Ave., near Nassau St., in the heart of downtown's fabled and crowded Kensington Market.

He'd just finished photographing an elderly woman wearing a colourful headscarf when "it just exploded in front of my eyes ... and my first reaction is camera to the eye and start shooting."

The woman in the photos, a bicycle courier named Leah, said yesterday she is uneasy with her newfound Internet fame but chose to add her voice to the blog to tell her version about what happened.

It unravelled in two stages, she explained. She was out shopping — it was a Saturday and she wasn't making deliveries — and was locking up her bike when she heard someone yelling.

"He had popped open his car door and whipped his food on the road, like a beef patty on a bun in a paper bag, and then slammed the door ... so obviously now, against better judgment, I leapt up, grabbed the food, opened his door, shouted something about `Don't litter in my neighbourhood,' and threw it back in his car and shut the door. He lost it."

She then added: "I understand, that's your personal space and in hindsight maybe it wasn't the best way to approach it."

What followed happened fast. She said he jumped out of the car, and threw two coffees at her, and the two tussled and yelled at each other. She says her bike lock key, worn on a bracelet around her wrist, scratched his car — she says unintentionally. The fracas continued, with bystanders jumping in to separate the sparring pair.

Leah said in five years as a courier she has had no physical confrontations.

"There's a lot of postings about `self-righteous bike couriers' but I'm not like that. I hate litter," she said adding she makes her son pick up 10 pieces of garbage in the park "before he's allowed to play."

"I do say stuff to people and they usually yell back and that's fine, move along. But I'm not generally in the practice of handing people back their garbage." Someone did post the man's identity — and workplace — on the website but Krawesky had it removed for fear of things ramping up further.

The day of the incident, police arrived at the scene and interviewed the two but did not lay any charges — another source of fiery discussion on the Web.

One posting wondered how so many people could offer "random speculation" based only on "a few pictures which can be taken a lot of different ways." He reprimanded the photographer for being "a jerk for taking photos as he watched."

On that, Krawesky has the last word — at least in print.

"My first reaction is shoot — because I'm a photographer — just like her first reaction is to throw the trash back in the car. She understood that."
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Postby gail » Thu 2 Feb 2006 03:18

The photographer certainly was at the right place at the right time there.
What a shame the incident even had to happen though. :(
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Postby David » Thu 2 Feb 2006 05:00

indeed. alot of people through garbage around...thats why city looks the way it does...bloody dirty!!!
i never heard anyone getting fined for throwing stuff...that would be quite good law. then city councill wouldnt complain that there is no money to clean everything :P but laws ar enot enough..peoples mentality should be changed as well :P
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